Iran, Iran, and Iran--and the West
It's becoming more and more clear that Iran is the prime mover right now in the Middle East. As columnist Mark Steyn points out:
...these territories [Gaza and Lebanon] are now in effect Iran's land borders with the Zionist Entity. They're "occupied territories" but it's not the Jews doing the occupying. So you've got a choice between talking with proxies or going to the source: Tehran. And, as the unending talks with the EU have demonstrated, the ayatollahs use negotiations with the civilized world as comedy relief...
Once upon a time, it would have been Egypt and Jordan threatening the Zionist usurpers. But these countries have been, militarily, a big flop against the Zionist Entity since King Hussein fired Sir John Glubb as head of the Arab Legion. So after '73 they put their money on terrorism, and schoolgirl suicide bombers -- the kind of "popular resistance" that buys you better publicity in the salons of the West. And one result of that has been to deliver Palestinian pseudo-"nationalism" away from Arab influence and into hard-core Iranian Islamist hands.
Omar at Iraq the Model connects the Iranian dots between what's been going on in Iraq and the current crisis in Lebanon, as well as the ways in which the international community has been "played"--and will continue to be played--by Iran:
The key point in this strategy is to keep the half-solution alive. This method proved successful in keeping the despotic regimes in power for decades and these regimes think this strategy is still valid. What makes them this way is their interpretation of international comments which came almost exactly as they always do; calls for restraint and urging a cease-fire which they (Iran and her allies) think will mean eventually going back to negotiations which they know very well how to keep moving in an empty circle.
The common denominater here is not just Iran. It's Iran and the cooperation of the "useful idiots" of the West--some of them well-meaning--who mysteriously fail to recognize the nature and goals of the Iranian regime.