Friday, January 27, 2006

With Hamas Victory; Iran Opens New Front

With the Hamas victory in the Palestinian Authority Elections, an Iranian-style Islamic theocracy comes to power in the West Bank and Gaza. Indeed, for years Iran has funded Hamas and now it expects to reap the rewards of that investment. As in Lebanon, where Iran helped create and fund Hezbollah as a vehicle to confront Israel indirectly, (since it shares no boarder with Israel), Hamas offers an even greater strategic asset for Iran than does Hezbollah to the north.

The fact is that an Iranian backed Hamas regime will now control land and assets within yards of the heart of Israel, something that Hezbollah cannot. Territory overlooking Israel’s main airport, territory within a short drive to the Israeli Parliament in Jerusalem, and West Bank territory that is only 12 Kilometers from the Mediterranean Sea through the very center of Israel.

At the moment, Hamas does not have the military assets to fully take advantage of this new reality, but that may only be a matter of time.

The West and Israel are currently exploring the possibility of taming Hamas with the same corrupt carrots that were extended to Arafat’s Fatah in the 1990’s. There will be intense efforts behind the scenes to lure Hamas away for the Iranian grip, and it is not at all clear how successful those efforts will be. With Iran rapidly moving towards nuclear armaments and achieving substantial strategic objectives in the Palestinian-Israeli Theater, the countdown to total confrontation has moved forward substantially. We are currently placing all our hopes in an Iranian-Russian agreement on uranium enrichment outside of Iran, and co-opting Hamas with financial and other carrots. The Neocon at this point tends to believe that these are all band-aids on a growing cancer, a rearrangement of deck-chairs on the Titanic, a postponement of the inevitable, and all the other fitting metaphors.
Joe Gelman

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Iran's Gaza Front
Iran trumpets Hamas victory in Palestinian elections
Hamas now on collision course with the West
“We Have No Peace Process”

Hamas, the Mussolini Test and Iran

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