Bryan at Hot Air offers his analysis on why the team of Iran and Hezbollah is destabilizing Lebanon and attacking Israel now as opposed to when Iran has a nuclear warhead at its disposal. If the democracy movement in Iraq and Lebanon continues to grow in the Middle East it sounds the death knell for the Mullahs.
Fast forward to today, and attacking Israel now may be the shot the mullahs have to take, before Iraq is self-sufficient and before democracy takes root in Lebanon and spreads further. Using Lebanon as a forward base makes sense from a logistics point of view and from a political one. The Lebanese government, an infant democracy, is not yet strong enough to resist Hezbollah (assuming it even wants to) and isn’t fully rid of Syrian influence. Destabilizing it makes sense from both an Iranian and Syrian point of view-as a relatively cosmopolitan if weak democracy, its existence is a threat. Handing it to Hezbollah by inflaming rage against Israel and highlighting the impotence of Lebanon’s democratic government hands Iran a little piece of empire right on Israel’s doorstep, and weakens nascent faith in democracy. And if it succeeds, Israel is weakened and America takes a proxy defeat. Seen this way, Hezbollah’s rocket strikes opened up an Iranian/Syrian counterattack against the US and its broad plans to re-shape the Middle East.
Read the rest of his post.
Update: Orde Kittrie writing in the Arizona Republic believes Iran’s and Hezbollah’s attack on Israel was to buy time so Iran can continue its development of a nuclear arsenal in order to destroy America:
Why does Iran want to destroy the United States?
Because the United States is the foremost purveyor of Western culture. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, wants to root out Western culture because it is contrary to Islam and in his view directs “everyone toward materialism while money, gluttony and carnal desires are made the greatest aspiration.” As Khamenei put it in an interview in May 2004: “The source of all human torment and suffering is the ‘liberal democracy’ promoted by the West.”
Iranian President Ahmadinejad claims he was divinely given the presidency for a single task: provoking a “clash of civilizations” wherein the Muslim world, led by Iran, defeats the “infidel” West, led by the United States, and thereby hastens the return of the “Hidden Imam,” a messiah-like figure. According to Hassan Abbassi, chief strategist for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards: “We have a strategy drawn up for the destruction of Anglo-Saxon civilization . . . There are 29 sensitive sites in the U.S. and in the West . . . We know how we are going to attack them . . . Anything that can be done to terrorize and create fright in the infidel camp is our privilege and honor. . . We have to uproot liberal democracy from the face of the world.”
What is Iran’s connection to Hezbollah?
Iran founded Hezbollah, arms it, trains it, and provides it with $20 million to $40 million per month. At Iran’s direction, Hezbollah had, prior to Sept. 11, 2001, killed more Americans around the world than any other terrorist organization.
How is Iran using Hezbollah’s recent attacks on Israel to advance Iran’s nuclear weapons program?
This is a textbook example of how a terrorism-supporting state, Iran, like a master magician can use its left hand, Hezbollah, to distract the world from the more significant action it is undertaking with its right hand, the development of a nuclear arsenal capable of threatening the United States.
More and more world pressure was building against Iran so it had to do something to stall and distract from its efforts:
On July 11, Ali Larijani, Iran’s national security adviser, met with Javier Solana, the European Union diplomat who represents Europe and the United States in negotiations to convince Iran to give up its nuclear weapons program. Solana had in early June presented a very generous offer to Iran of various incentives in exchange for Iran ceasing its nuclear weapons program. Solana wanted a response to the generous offer.
Larijani’s response at the July 11 meeting made it clear that Iran is simply dragging out the negotiations to buy time to advance its nuclear weapons program. “The Iranians have given no indication at all that they are ready to engage seriously on the substance of our proposals,” announced the French foreign minister on behalf of the United States, France, Britain, Russia, China, Germany and the European Union. “In this context,” he declared, “we have no choice but to return to the United Nations Security Council” for a resolution ordering Iran to suspend its nuclear weapons program.
The world seemed to be turning against Iran, and Iran was in a bind. Larijani flew directly from his meeting with Solana to meetings in Damascus with Syrian President Bashar Assad and senior Hezbollah and Hamas leaders. The next day, Hezbollah fired dozens of Iranian and Syrian made missiles at Israel and dispatched its guerillas across the international border to kidnap Israelis. In the days since, Hezbollah has launched 1,000 more rockets at Israeli cities.
Iran’s gambit succeeded. At the G-8 summit, the focus was on the televised fighting between Hezbollah and Israel rather than on Iran’s quiet nuclear weapons program. Russia announced it would not agree to impose sanctions on Iran. The plan for a Security Council resolution ordering Iran to suspend that program is on hold. And the world has lost interest in seriously pressuring North Korea over the missile tests it conducted in partnership with Iran.