Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ahmadinejad: Large and in Charge in Southern Lebanon

Ahmadinejad’s coming to Lebanon. He’ll give a speech in a village, Bint Jbail, within eyeshot of the border. His speech will be rabble rousing and confrontational, menacing to Israel in the extreme. A Lebanese journalist said:

“The message is that Iran is at the border with Israel... Ahmadinejad, through this visit, is saying that Beirut is under Iranian influence and that Lebanon is an Iranian base on the Mediterranean... The Iranian president is here to say that Lebanon is a land of resistance and to reaffirm his project of a continuous war with Israel.”

The border area has seen Iranian-financed civil and military construction over the last four years, the Lebanese Armed Forces and UNIFIL notwithstanding. For some Israelis, as they see it, the Ahmadinejad is the effective shot caller in these precincts through Hezbollah. Ahmadinejad coming pumps up Hezbollah making the Iranian Hezbollah intimate and potent nexus concretely visible. That’ll be a dire warning to those against opponents of that connection.

Iran as the sponsor of “resistance” is a big part of Ahmadinejad’s area strategy. Its Hezbollah and Hamasian proxies, financed, armed and maintained by Iran is a key to Ahmadinejad’s bid for regional leadership. His visit therefore, as general matter, punctuates with a excamation mark that in the border area Iran is large and in charge.

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