Thursday, April 7, 2011
The Useless Arab Spring
Michael Totten reports that the so-called 'Arab spring' has done very little thus far to change the most vehement enemies of the US and Israel.
At least NATO is busy patrolling the skies over Libya. But the Arab League pretends there's nothing to see in Damascus as Assad warns darkly of Jewish plots, guns down demonstrators with live ammunition and takes organizers from their homes in the night, throwing them into dungeons.
And the Iranian regime looks as strong as ever. Millions of demonstrators have been trying to bring down the government for almost two years now, but they appear no more likely to prevail today than they did when they started. If Green Movement leaders don't take up arms as Libya's rebels have, and if the Revolutionary Guard remains loyal to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Supreme Guide Ali Khamenei, Iran may well be immune from internally-driven regime-change for now.
It's remotely possible that the Gaza Strip Palestinians will temporarily forget about Israel and remove the Hamas entity that so cruelly governs them, but there's no chance at all that nonviolent protests or even an armed rebellion will eject Hezbollah from Lebanon.
Hezbollah isn't the government, it's a terrorist army, and it controls Lebanon from the shadows, where demonstrations can't reach it. Lebanon has produced more mass demonstrations than any Arab country by far, and has been producing them since 2005. But guerrillas in hardened bunkers who can't wait to go to heaven after impaling themselves on the Zionist Entity don't care two figs what protesters in Beirut, or even ostensible government ministers, have to say.
Syria and Iran arm and equip Hezbollah, and Hezbollah controls the Lebanese-Israeli border, so that border has effectively become the frontline not only in the Arab-Israeli conflict, but also the Iranian-Israeli conflict and the conflict between the West and Iran in general.
Hezbollah has more rockets and missiles -- as well as more powerful ones -- than it did during the devastating 2006 war with Israel. Indeed, it has more rockets and missiles than most legitimate national militaries. It's a real, bona-fide terrorist army -- armed not with boxcutters and improvised-explosive devices but with the heavy weaponry possessed otherwise only by states.
Yet it retains all the advantages of a nonstate guerrilla army, making it exceptionally difficult to defeat even with conventional forces, let alone street demonstrations.
NATO's low-grade intervention in Libya is dominating the headlines, but in hindsight it may look like a sideshow. If the Iranian ayatollahs develop nuclear weapons -- and it seems like being overthrown is the only thing that will actually stop them -- not only will their Syrian sidekicks enjoy a protective nuclear umbrella, so will their terrorist proxies in Gaza and Lebanon.
What could go wrong?
Labels: Arab spring, Hamas, Hezbullah, Iran, Syria
posted by Carl in Jerusalem