No More Half-Solutions
Mohammed Fadhil, The Wall Street Journal: an Iraqi blogger
In spite of what we are facing here every day I find myself, just like many others, so attached to following what's going on between Israel and Lebanon and that's mostly because of the close resemblance between the two cases.Iraq The Model is a must read Iraqi blog.
In both cases we see a weak government suffering to control a powerful militia that is challenging the will of the rest of the country and engaging in a proxy war making the people suffer the results of regional conflicts that in no way can benefit their country.
The other reason why I'm closely following this ongoing crisis is that the powers involved in this conflict between Lebanon and Israel are closely connected to the powers fighting in Iraq and we here believe that the battle over there will have an impact on the situation here in one way or another.
It's still very difficult for people here to predict how this crisis is going to end especially that politics mix with ideology in a complex way in this region, however there's a general sense that the fires of war are going to spread to the rest of the region but still no one here can see the way this bigger war is going to end.
This comes from the nature of strategy adopted by the fighting powers and here I'm talking about the Arabic/Islamic component whose strategy relies on keeping a crisis open and always on reaching half-solutions to enable the leaderships to retain their positions--of course this also means keeping the countries of the region behind of the rest of the world and I see the same strategy being employed this time.
Iran proved that it's able to drag the region into a state of chaos by maneuvering its tools in Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas and the militias in Iraq. Iran knows that such a conflict directed by militias that blend with civilians will lead to long-lasting chaos and represents a half-solution that debilitates the other powers and at the same time it's not a costly tactic for Iran! One hundred million dollars in the hands of gangs is enough to cause a lot of destruction that cannot be cured by billions in reconstruction, and it always costs less to destroy than to build.
The key point in this strategy is to keep the half-solution alive. This method proved successful in keeping the despotic regimes in power for decades and these regimes think this strategy is still valid. What makes them this way is their interpretation of international comments which came almost exactly as they always do; calls for restraint and urging a cease-fire which they (Iran and her allies) think will mean eventually going back to negotiations which they know very well how to keep moving in an empty circle.
That was clear from Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, secretary general of Hezbollah, earlier speech when he said "whether today or a month or a year from now, the Israelis will sooner or later find themselves forced to negotiate." Of course Mr. Nasrallah did not talk about the rest of his hidden policy which is provoking another crisis once the first one cools down. READ MORE
The same is going to happen in Iraq if the situation does not change from the way it is today and maybe one day the Iraqi south will be similar to the Lebanese south and we will probably see the militias embarrass the country with "adventures" just like Mr. Nasrallah is doing now, that's of course is what nobody here wants to see; nobody but Iran.
The question is did Iran make the right calculations this time? And is the world willing to accept more of those half-solutions? I don't think so.
Trying to play the same scenario and adopt the same policies over and over again will bring undesirable outcomes for Iran this time and I can see that there's an Israeli determination to break the cycle; the thing is that Israel does not have to deal with the problem that America has to deal with; Israel does not have the political brakes that view the war in different ways. I mean to Israel this war is about existence and that's why Israel is going to go as far as it takes to secure this existence while the geographically-distant Americans view it differently and the attitude of some Americans who feel that this war is not that serious is understood.
But I do think that it is time to be decisive for one important reason; those who direct the conflict in the region do not seek a solution and even if America looks geographically far right now, one should not forget that technology will not allow her to remain so in the future and I think dealing with conventional arsenals today is better than to deal with nukes in the future and that's the threat the world is going to face as long as religion mixes with politics in the Middle East.
The hesitation of the international community can be so dangerous and the intentions of the axis of terror are so clear. That's why firm and resolute measures have to be undertaken against Syria and Iran who are directly responsible for the mess in Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine.
Mr. Fadhil, along with his brother Omar, runs Iraq the Model, a blog based in Baghdad.