Friday, July 28, 2006

Hezbollah's Hate, Made in Iran
For the last two weeks, innocent Israelis have been killed in missile barrages from Lebanese-based Hezbollah terrorists and militia. On the other side of the border, more than 300 Lebanese civilians have been accidentally killed by Israeli bombs aimed at Hezbollah assets. Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers have engaged with Hezbollah gunmen in ground combat, with both sides taking heavy casualties. All this loss of life was caused by Hezbollah's decision to stage an unprovoked act of war on uncontested, sovereign Israeli soil two weeks ago.

But why did Hezbollah do it? Since the government of Lebanon and most ordinary Lebanese people plainly didn't want this war, who did? Who is pulling Hezbollah's strings?


- The Shiite terrorist group receives US$120-million in annual financing from Tehran, where it operates an office on a central downtown street.

- Hezbollah was created by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Several hundred IRGC officers are operating in Lebanon to this day, assisting Hezbollah's war effort.

- According to Western intelligence sources, over the last six months, the IRGC has been teaching Hezbollah how to operate its massive stock of rockets, many of which are from Iran. These include Zelzal missiles, which can reach Tel Aviv and beyond.

- On Wednesday, more than 60 Iranian self-declared suicide bombers, bedecked in Hezbollah paraphernalia, set off from Tehran in a "holy war" against Israeli forces in Lebanon.

- Yesterday, a Kuwaiti newspaper broke the news that Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah is travelling to Damascus for secret meetings with Iranian Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Larijani.

- During fighting in Lebanon, Israeli soldiers have seized weaponry marked with the logo of Iranian military manufacturers.

- Earlier this month, Iranian troops assisted Hezbollah in firing a C-802 radar-guided missile at an Israeli warship, killing several crew members and nearly sinking the craft.

- Iranian officials met with Hezbollah leaders in Damascus on July 12, the very day this conflict started and -- as David Frum has noted on these pages -- the same day Western nations announced a threat of economic sanctions against Iran if the Islamic Republic refused to curtail its nuclear program.

Get the picture? As despicable and murderous as Hezbollah's own jihadist ideology may be, the group is very much a creature of Iran, which is seeking to flex its muscle against the West without actually attacking Western targets directly. Whether or not one thinks Israel is exercising "disproportionate" force in the prosecution of this war, there is no doubt about who is behind it: The people dying in Haifa and Beirut are the victims of a proxy conflict funded and planned by warmongers in Tehran.

All of this is well-known. Yet Iran persists in the claim that it has nothing to do with the current war -- even as it cheers Hezbollah on from the sidelines and looks for ways to keep the weapons flowing into Lebanon.

In today's Post, for instance, there appears a letter by Hormoz Ghahremani, press attache at the Iranian embassy in Ottawa. He cynically alleges that Iran "has absolutely no role in the current tragedy." He also complains of "an anti-Muslim, anti-Iran mindset" in the media, and then goes on to make the ludicrous charge that Israel is guilty of "ethnic cleansing of the Muslims of Lebanon."

These accusations of "ethnic cleansing," readers will note, have been issued on behalf of a regime whose President denies the Holocaust, and who openly rhapsodizes about annihilating Israel, which he calls a "stain on the Islamic world."

If there is any regime that can be called a stain on the human race, it is Iran's. And it is a testament to the civilized norms of Israel and the United States -- which have the ability to immolate Iran several times over -- that they have not done to Tehran what the mullahs would like to do to Tel Aviv.

Iran's diplomats are free to emit their demagoguery and morally perverse bluster. But Canada and the rest of the civilized world should recognize it for the propaganda it is.

We certainly do.