July 29, 2006
|From Lebanon To Iran||Iran Iraq Palestine/Middle East|
As I wrote in an earlier post, if US forces are inserted into southern Lebanon, the inevitable Hezbollah attacks on those troops are sure to lead to a wider war pitting the US and Israel against Syria and/or Iran.
John Robb agrees, but believes the target will be Iran:
If the US sends troops to Lebanon as peacekeepers and/or as a force to disarm Hezbollah, we will see a quick escalation. Any attack (and it would be inevitable) on US forces by the Hez would be seen as a direct attack on the US by Syria and Iran. This would lead to an immediate expansion of hostilities (to include an EBO [effects based operation] against both countries as a means of punishment). From that point on, the situation would be beyond repair. [...]
I do not think I am overstating the danger here. Once momentum starts moving in that direction, we might soon find ourselves in another situation where stubborn pride, as much as anything else, would make it hard for us to modify our rhetoric and admit our inability and that of our Israeli allies to disarm and dismantle the military arm of Hizballah. It's a proxy war right now, but if our surrogates (the Israelis) fail to achieve their objectives, they will attempt very purposefully to broaden the conflict into a much larger one directly involving the United States and Iran. [Emphasis in the original]
Robb cites former CIA analyst Ray Close, who writes:
My source confirmed in detail the fact that intelligence being produced for the Bush Administration by the Pentagon strongly supports the thesis that Hizballah operations are directly controlled and closely managed from Teheran. My source considers this an exaggerated picture of the real situation. He believes that this assessment contributes to an unhealthy and even dangerous mindset in Washington, leading to potentially serious miscalculations and errors of judgment by President Bush and his closest advisors at this very critical time. [Emphasis added]
These people have their heads in a bubble, and they are going to get a lot of people killed. The idea that Hezbollah is being "directly controlled and closely managed" by Iran is as outmoded as the idea that the opposition in Iraq is just a bunch of foreign jihadists and Baathist dead-enders. And we know how that turned out. If the US allows itself to be drawn into a war with Iran, we will look back on our current difficulties with nostalgia.