Thursday, August 03, 2006

Why Iran Matters

Posted by Jabawacefti

Amir Taheri regarding the latest Middle East fighting:

"Hezbollah has fought Israel longer than all the major Arab armies combined ever did," President Ahmadinejad told a crowd in Tehran this week. He also promised that Muslims would soon hear "very good news" about the jihad against the United States.

The idea of Shia leadership for the jihad was further boosted this year when Iran took Hamas under its wings. As a branch of the global Muslim Brotherhood movement, a Sunni outfit, Hamas has exerted its influence to win wider support for Iranian leadership at least as a tactical choice. Many in the Middle East are alarmed by these shifts of power and dread the prospect of the region entering a new dark age under radical Islamist regimes.

For this reason, there seems to be much less hostility towards Israel in the wider Arab world than we might expect in the West. There may be no sympathy for Israel as such but many Arabs realise that the current war is over something bigger than a Jewish state with a tiny territory of 10,000 square miles, less than 1 per cent of Saudi Arabia's land mass.

This war is one of many battles to be fought between those who wish to join the modern world, warts and all, and those who think they have an alternative. This is a war between the West and what one might describe as "The Rest", this time represented by radical Islamism. All the talk of a ceasefire, all the diplomatic gesticulations may ultimately mean little in what is an existential conflict.

It makes a lot of sense to learn about the regional context of the fighting because when the President of Iran, the backers of Hezbollah, claim that their final solution to this war is the destruction of Israel, we cannot be surprised when they take affirmative steps to accomplish the same.


At 9:08 AM, Blogger codemorse said...

I'm still waiting for someone (anyone! I'm not picky!) to explain to me why Iraq matters.

At 10:17 AM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

I feel like we discussed this at length a long time ago, and in so doing, I feel like I explained why Iraq matters.

Now, apparently, it was not that persuasive. In which case, it may be better to wait for someone who can explain to you why Iraq matters so that you'll believe Iraq matters.

At 10:25 AM, Blogger codemorse said...

We've discussed the rationales for war in person, a very long time ago, but you've never (to the best of my swiss-cheese recollection) told me why you think Iraq matters.

At least, not since it's been confirmed that nothing went as they said it would.

So if you're up for it, I invite you to give it a go. If you're not, I totally understand.

At 10:59 AM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

Oh, it would take way too long. But I'll search back for some of the older posts. Most of them are still somewhat pertinent.


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