'œMake no mistake,' said Richard Chesnoff in the New York Daily News. The war Israel is currently fighting in southern Lebanon is much more than a confrontation with a single terrorist group. The real enemy is Iran, of which Hezbollah's scrappy fighters are merely 'œservile puppets.' Not only does Hezbollah get most of its funding, training, and equipment from Iran, it was almost certainly Tehran that decided to provoke this current crisis, as a step toward achieving a pair of 'œintertwined goals.' Most immediately, the crisis diverts international attention from Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons. Ultimately, though, Iran is flexing its muscle with a view to becoming the Mideast's dominant power. Tehran's messianic leaders are trying to export their Islamic revolution throughout the region, creating a 'œShiite crescent'' consisting of Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine, with Iran at its center.
Well, what did the Bush administration expect? said Thomas Omestad in U.S. News & World Report. The White House did Tehran a huge favor when it generously toppled the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Not only did the U.S. eliminate two 'œnext-door' Sunni enemies, we then got our own military bogged down in Iraq's endless insurgency. Giddy Iranian leaders have concluded that the embattled 'œBush could not intervene in yet another country.' Emboldened by our weakness, Tehran now fears neither the U.S. nor its Western allies, said Robert Satloff in The Weekly Standard. Iran was recently caught red-handed enriching uranium, and what did we do? Offer them ever-more lavish incentives to stop. No wonder President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his cronies are acting with such 'œpreening self-confidence.'
Victor Davis Hanson
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