Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Friday Furo Questus

Wednesday Edition

Heading out to Spokane tomorrow, so here's the Questus a little early.

Questus Furore - A War Everybody Can Play In
From today's New York Sun:
Hundreds of Iranian Revolutionary Guard personnel are on the ground in Lebanon fighting Israel, security sources say.

"I have no doubt whatsoever that they are there and operating some of the equipment," an Arab diplomatic source told The New York Sun yesterday.

Another foreign source, based in Washington, said the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps contingent in Lebanon is based in Beirut and in the Bekaa Valley. He said the troops usually number a few dozen, but that the size of the force increased in connection with the hostilities that have broken out between Israel and Iran's proxy, Hezbollah, over the past week.

The sources said the Iranians had directly operated a radar-guided Cā€“802 missile that Iran acquired from Communist China and that hit an Israeli navy missile boat off the coast of Lebanon on Friday, killing four Israeli seamen.
Now a question you may be asking is, "And why should I care?"

For the first time in the decades of war between Israel and the various terror groups, the involvement of Iran and Syria is being openly noted and discussed. Before, it was only hinted at. Now, it is more or less in the open.

And the United States does have a stake. A functioning Lebanese democracy is in the best interests of peace in the Middle East - and the United States has a few scores of its own to settle. Hizbollah has long been a client of Iran. While the exact nature of the relationship is unknown - is Hizbollah a puppet, or a pet? - their relationship is not. Hezbollah is also responsible for the 1983 Beirut Marine barracks bombing. They are linked to some of the most notorious terrorist acts of the 1980s - hijackings, kidnappings, and bombings - and also engage in international terror from time to time.

So we have an interest in the region, and seeing Hezbollah get what it richly deserves. But it opens a whole host of questions.

How far will this go? Hezbollah has demonstrated that it is not interested in peace - so what good can a peace settlement accomplish? The discussion of a UN or international force to keep the peace is pointless - unless that force has the authority and the means to pursue terrorist rocketeers and raiders, across international boundaries.

Can Lebanon be salvaged from this mess? From the "Cedar Revolution" to this in less than a year. It is in both American and Israeli interests to let that fledgling democracy grow. But can it survive this war? For the most part, Lebanon has furnished the battleground, while Hezbollah and Israel fight.

And what of Iran? The timing of this crisis is fortunate for them - suddenly their nuclear ambitions are no longer on the front burner. What role did they play in formenting this war? How far are they willing to let it go?

And what will happen if Israel finds some way to hold Iran to account?

Lots of questions. Precious few answers.

Questus Furore ā€“ Fickle Felicitous Fury
I am old, and still single.

Dating bites. Lately, my lack of progress on this score has been eliciting this sort of feeling from me:

"OK, now we can panic."
Picture courtesy
The Happy Carpenter

In case you were wondering.

Recommended Reading
As you might have expected, most of it deals with Israeli-Hizbollah war occurring in Lebanon.

James Robbins, "Payback by Proxy."

Michael Rubin, "Eradication First."

Ben Stein, "Eretz Israel."

Andy McCarthy, "Whither The Bush Doctrine?"

Jay Nordlinger's latest Impromptu.

For your edification, and something a little different, an essay on the ongoing philosophical conflict currently happing in the west, and its implications: "Liberal Democracy vs. Transnational Progressivism," by John Fonte.

Thought(s) of the Week
"As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness."
Supreme Court Justice William Douglas

In light of the transnational progressivism essay above, take this thought into account:

"Now it doesn't require expropriation or confiscation of private property or business to impose socialism upon a people. What does it mean whether you hold the deed or the title to your business or property if the government holds the power of life and death over that business or property? Such machinery already exists. The government can find some charge to bring against any concern it chooses to prosecute. Every businessman has his own tale of harassment. Somewhere a perversion has taken place. Our natural, inalienable rights are now considered to be a dispensation from government, and freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp as it is at this moment."
Ronald Reagan

Churchill Quote of the Week
"The day may dawn when fair play, love for one's fellow men, respect for justice and freedom, will enable tormented generations to march forth triumphant from the hideous epoch in which we have to dwell. Meanwhile, never flinch, never weary, never despair."
From the ending of Churchill's last major speech in the House of Commons on (1 March 1955)


At 12:37 PM, Blogger The Deseret Spectacle said...

That is a sweet picture.


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