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Milton J. Madison - An American Refugee Now Living in China, Where Liberty is Ascending

Federalism, Free Markets and the Liberty To Let One's Mind Wander. I Am Very Worried About the Fate of Liberty in the USA, Where Government is Taking people's Lives ____________________________________________________________________________________________ "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Tolerance in the face of tyranny is no virtue." -Barry Goldwater-

Monday, July 24, 2006

Arab Autocrats, Worried That The Recent Israeli-Hezbollah Conflict Risks Expanding Into A Greater Conflict...

So, the Egyptian sponsored peace initiative is gaining ground. Arab leaders have also been calling for Syria to stop supporting Hezbollah, I suppose in an attempt to isolate Iran. Syria is the regional player in Lebanon and a co-sponsor of Hezbollah so less support by Syria will hurt Hezbollah's chances for survival.
A loss of Syria's support would deeply weaken Hezbollah, though its other ally, Iran, gives it a large part of its money and weapons. The two moderate Arab governments were prepared to spend heavily from Egypt's political capital in the region and Saudi Arabia's vast financial reserves to break Damascus from the guerrillas and Iran, the diplomats said.
Also, the Autocrats in Middle-East are very worried that a larger regional conflict will force them to flee and if the rest of the world gets involved in a regional war, then they will not get their seats back and will be forced into exile.

Additionally, Israel is saying that they would accept a international peace keeping force from NATO. Given that the toothless UN may have been complicite in allowing Hezbollah to operate with impunity, and the equally toothless Europeans, who have been involved through NATO in an unreported quagmire of their own in the former Yugoslavia will now have to 'fish or cut bait' with Israel. They will want to negotiate, negotiate, negotiate... but will find that negotiation with an organization like the nearly stateless Hezbollah, that has nothing to negotiate with except promises that will be unkept, will be nearly impossible.
Israel's defense minister said his country would accept an international force, preferably NATO, on its border after it drives back or weakens Hezbollah. But his troops described the militants they encountered as a smart, well-organized and ruthless guerrilla force whose fighters do not seem afraid to die.
This also gives Israel lots more time to do the cleanup that they need to do since it will take Europe ages to decide amongst themselves what to do and then have lots of State dinners and toasts and telling each other how smart they are and how wonderful the concept of the EU is before they even set diplomatic foot number one on the ground there. Also, GWB has been purposefully dragging his feet to resolve the problem and is being shown as the regional power broker as the Saudis are now asking him to get involved in solving the problem.

Despite the American left yapping and yapping like little nervous poodle dogs that they are about this, trying to use this as a political wedge against Bush and the Republicans, it shows that the calculus of the Middle-East is shifting and more than imperceptibly. As I wrote about before, Hezbollah was condemned by several Arab countries and the Arab League has been unable to do their usual condemnation of Israel. A NATO force in the Middle-East will go a long way to reducing Syrian influence and the destruction of Hezbollah would reduce Iranian influence in the volatile region further isolating that country that is surrounded by US military forces.

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