Sowing the Seeds for the Next War
Talk of the United States changing its policy toward the Middle East has been met with applause from Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran.
Al Qaeda's leader in Iraq, Abu Ayyub al-Masri released a communiqué saying, "The American people have taken a step in the right path to come out of their predicament, they voted for a level of reason." Now, when Al Qaeda is actually praising American voters it is definitely not a good sign.
In the same trend, high profile Iranian leaders have made worrisome public statements that can only help expand the region's pandemonium.
Ahmad Khatami, a member of the Iranian Assembly of Experts said in a sermon, "They [the U.S. president and the secretary of state] are trying to make the Islamic world lose sight of its true enemies — America and the Zionists."
While the congregation chanted, "Allahu Akbar, Khamenei is the leader, death to America, death to England, death to Israel."
Yahya Safavi, the general commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, said that not only did Iran develop its military capacities, but also had thousands of would-be suicide bombers eager to die attacking American and Israeli targets.
Further more, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad predicted that very soon Israel would disappear. The man must either have a plan to do just that, or possess amazing powers of prediction.
All this time, Hamas party leaders openly and publicly repeated that they categorically refuse to recognize Israel's legitimacy. In the words of Mahmoud Zahar, the best Hamas can and will do is to offer a hudna (truce) to Israel, but not a long lasting, mutually agreed peace. The Palestinians do not sympathize with the idea of two states, they want one state, with Jerusalem as capital, and the right for all Palestinians to return to what is today known as Israel. The new Palestinian state may just tolerate the Jewish minority out of its magnanimity, under certain rules.
Mufti Mohamed Sheik, a cleric from the Gaza Strip, recently explained his position in an interview with The Media Line:
"It is the religious duty of every Palestinian man, woman, and child to carry out jihad against Israel. Suicide bombing is a legitimate form of defense and [Osama] bin Laden and [Abu Musab] al-Zarqawi were chosen by God to protect the Muslims in the Middle East from the aggression of America and Israel."
All of the Palestinian factions regardless of whether they are considered moderate or extremists have employed terror and militia attacks against Israel. This only shows that violence against Israel is perceived as a mean to political victory.
Hamas vowed to minimize corruption and provide jobs, health care, education, and infrastructure, but once elected, it proved to have a very distinct agenda, with the destruction of Israel its top priority.
Meanwhile, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah in Lebanon told the Shiias gathered in the southern suburbs of Haret Hreik that the government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora had to go, and added that the country belonged to Hezbollah:
"The country is ours. We sacrificed tens of thousands of martyrs, wounded, prisoners, and disabled for the sake of safeguarding it as well as protecting its dignity and glory; and we will not give up [these sacrifices]" (As-Safir, Nov. 14).
Sheik Nasrallah seems to forget that Lebanon belongs to all sects, and thus all Lebanese must work together for the benefit of their country.
Protecting Lebanon was not and is not a prerogative only of the Shiias. Hezbollah's threats to bring down the current government because in its opinion it respects the will of the Americans and the Zionists are ludicrous. Syria and Iran heavily interfered in Lebanon's affairs for decades, yet they do not complain about Hezbollah being there.
The U.S. strategy in the war on terror changed from containment and unilateral sanctions to pre-emptive war in order to promote freedom, democracy, and respect for human rights. Iraq's oil supplies were an advantage, but not the core reason for taking down Saddam Hussein's regime.
Since its birth, the United States and its revolutionary new way of thinking has shown the world many good things. The world would be worse off without the United States' support and protection. It is also true that it did not always do what it should have. Still, sooner or later it reacts. And that in itself is much more than what most of the world's nations do. That is precisely why the United States has to address the problem of sectarian strife in Iraq, as well as Iran's and Syria's incessant support of terror networks.
The fact that both Iran and Syria agreed to convene for negotiations with the United States and the EU, does not mean that Syrian President Bashar Assad and President Ahmadinejad (under the direct order of Ayatollah Ali Khomeini) are heading toward a peaceful resolution.
Taking into consideration their actions, this may very well be just a cover for a new round in the preparation for war.
Peace has to be vigorously pursued and war has to be considered a last resort as long as such a path ensures that Western society at large is not a sitting duck for the terrorists.