Iran has been at war with the United States since 1979. We have only occasionally bothered to notice. Recent events have gone to long way toward strengthening Iran in the Middle East; again, few besides Caroline Glick have been playing attention:
Over the past week Lebanon capitulated to the Iranian axis. Turkey solidified its full membership in the axis. And Egypt began to make its peace with the notion of Iran becoming the strongest state in the region.
Less than five years after former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri was assassinated by Syria, his son Prime Minister Saad Hariri paid a visit to Damascus to express his fealty to Syrian President Bashar Assad. Days later, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki visited Beirut and began giving the Lebanese government its new marching orders.
On Wednesday, Hizbullah forces deployed openly to the border with Israel under the permissive eye of the US-armed Lebanese army. Lebanon announced that it was no longer bound by binding UN Security Council Resolution 1559 that requires Hizbullah to disarm. And Hariri announced that he will soon visit Teheran.
While Defense Minister Ehud Barak and his media echo chamber insist that Turkey has buried its hatchet with Israel, on Wednesday Prime Minister Recip Erdogan led a delegation with 10 cabinet ministers to Damascus. There, according to the Syrian and Turkish Foreign Ministries, they signed 47 trade agreements.
This Turkish-Syrian rapprochement is not limited to economic issues. It is a strategic realignment. As Assad’s spokeswoman Buthaina Shaaban explained to Iran’s Arabic-language al-Alam television channel, “We are working to establish close ties between Syria, Turkey, Iran and Iraq so these countries can act as one regional bloc in order to promote peace, security and stability in the Middle East, while keeping the West’s dictates and lust for the region’s natural and oil resources at bay.”
This is dire for Israel, and bad news for the United States. That gives the unrest going on now in Iran critical significance. There are reports of massive protests, widespread clashes with police, and large numbers of arrests. The Bush administration hoped for regime change in Iran, but did little to bring it about; why aren’t those protestors armed with AK-47s, mortars, and rocket launchers? The Obama administration, characteristically, says nothing, and appears to be on the side of the mullahs. (Why support democracy and human rights when there are tyrants with whom to “engage”?) Is there a strategy here? Or does Obama welcome a strengthened, soon-to-be-nuclear Iran? It’s hard to square such a preference with America’s interests or security.