The New Decor Works In Middle East
Having Middle East hostilities between Israel and a terrorist-harboring regime with terror sympathizers nearby would normally create massive logistic problems for the US. But considering we have toppled a historic trouble-maker who at least would have provided Hamas and Hezbollah financial support while cutting off a transportation lane from another Israeli enemy, the war equation is much different.
Josh Manchester at TCS explains that our presence in Iraq tilts the dynamics considerably. He notes that the recent anti-Hezbollah comments from members of the Arab League is evidence of how much has changed in the Middle East since Saddam was removed.
Even Saddam himself has recognized the strength of the US position to stop Iranian entry. Writes Manchester:
Saddam's own comments, as reported in Deutsche Presse-Agentur, about the war in Lebanon:
"Toppled Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has issued a warning to the Syrian leadership 'not to go too far in its alliance with Iran,' blaming Tehran for the current flare-up of violence in the Middle East, the head of Saddam's defence team claimed Tuesday ... 'I am convinced that the Iranian and US agendas have met in Iraq and elsewhere in the Arab world and Arabs are now placed between the US-Israeli hammer and the Iranian anvil,' Duleimi quoted Saddam as saying."
This is a man whose prized dictatorship was overrun by US forces, who was captured by US forces, and who as a result is on trial for his life. He blames Tehran primarily for the current flare-up, not some Zionist-US conspiracy in the standard rhetoric of the region. Remarkable.
What occurred in our Iraq invasion did change the dynamic in the Middle East in a big way. What would have been Arab unity against Israel now shows Iran to be a bigger threat to the sovereigns.
Were Saddam still in power, the Arab world would not feel nearly as threatened by Hezbollah, the Frankenstein's monster of Iran's creation. Instead, they would have sided with the Syrian foreign minister's strong support for Hezbollah. Saddam himself might even have offered cash rewards to anyone attempting martyrdom against the Jews.
And the clincher:
Decisive action is what has traditionally been missing from the wars of the Middle East. Land changes hands, blows are exchanged, and peace eventually is negotiated. But the underlying dynamic never changes because the sides are rarely faced with a decisive defeat, the only condition that can force the most avowed of men to abandon the ideas they hold dear.
It took devastation in the 1940's to halt Japanese and German supremicist ideology among the populace---the people Sharansky calls the "double-thinkers" who are not true-believers and can be persuaded to open their mouths upon the defeat of the dictators. This is now needed in the war against Islamo-Fascism.