Tag Archives: Hezbollah

ISRAEL

The Helen Thomas Incident

by Ehsan Ahrari on June 8, 2010, 1 Comment

Helen Thomas, the veteran journalist who covered the White House for fifty years, and who was serving as a columnist for the Hearst newspapers, was forced to resign from her job for saying on camera that the Israelis should "get the hell out of Palestine" and go back to where they came from: Germany, Poland, and America. She apologized for saying that and rightly so. She was wrong in her opinion, but being wrong should not be a deadly offense. (more…)
AFGHANISTAN IRAQ ISLAM ISRAEL LEBANON NORTH AFRICA NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION PAKISTAN UNITED STATES

Iran: The Next Crisis

by Ehsan Ahrari on March 18, 2010, 2 Comments

The United States has become well accustomed to imposing economic sanctions against any state that defies it. Such actions are taken without regard to how badly they affect the quality of life of the people in the sanctioned country. The cruel rationale in Washington is that, if people suffered the terrible consequences emanating from those sanctions, they would overthrow the existing government. When that did not happen, as in Iraq for instance, the administration of George W. Bush decided to topple the regime of Saddam Hussein through a military invasion. (more…)
AFGHANISTAN HOT GLOBAL ISSUES FROM OTHER SOURCES IRAN IRAQ ISLAM ISRAEL LEBANON MIDDLE EAST PAKISTAN UNITED STATES

“National” and “Global” Political Islam: A Response to Hroub’s Review of Roy’s Books

by Ehsan Ahrari on October 12, 2009, No Comments

Professor Khaled Hroub's review of Olivier Roy's three books–The Failure of Political Islam; Globalized Islam: The Search for a New Ummah; and The Politics of Chaos in the Middle East–published in your Journal, New Global Studies (Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2009, Article 6), is interesting but leaves the reader wanting more analysis. (more…)
UNITED STATES

Dealing with Iran’s Exercise of “Smart Power”

by Ehsan Ahrari on June 17, 2009, No Comments

.!.The Financial Times, a right of center but highly respected newspaper, could not resist about coming up with a sensational headline: "Hizbollah confirms broad aid for Hamas."  The Hizbollah-Hamas connection is not exactly an unknown variable, only its specifics are.  Even after the admission of Hezbollah's deputy leader that his organization is providing military assistance to Hamas, the issue still remains murky and unconfirmed by other sources.  Why, then, is there so much hoopla about Hezbollah's admission of support for Hamas? Because that reality only underscores the effective exercise of "smart power" on the part of Iran–Hezbollah's chief backer–in the Sunni Middle East.  That is also worrying the United States, which, under the Obama administration, is relearning to come up with its own smart power-related maneuvers towards Iran. (more…)
UNITED STATES

The Shia-Sunni Power Play in the Middle East

by Ehsan Ahrari on May 25, 2009, 1 Comment

The continuing public spat between Hezbollah and Arab states is a mixture of old and new styles of power play.  The "old" part implicitly involves Iran--the chief supporter of Hezbollah--while the new aspect of this power play is between the antiquated monarchies and the nexus between Iran and Hezbollah.  Iran is the "rising power" of the Middle East, while the Sunni Arab states belong to the category of "declining" powers.  Hezbollah's status will be determined most significantly after the impending elections in Lebanon.  As an example of how the U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East is more of an expression of continuity than change (despite President Barack H. Obama's rhetoric of "change') Vice President Biden was dispatched to Lebanon to influence the outcome of the Lebanese elections, an action that is likely to backfire and, in the process, only enhance the political clout of Hezbollah.    (more…)
UNITED STATES

Thinking about Israel’s Unthinkable Image in Palestine

by Ehsan Ahrari on March 1, 2009, No Comments

A London Times dispatch reads:  "Tony Blair makes his first trip to the Gaza Strip."  In the growing global economic meltdown, the world has forgotten the suffering of the Palestinians who became victims of Israel's "war" against Hamas.  How can there be a war between the most well equipped military of the Middle East and a state which does not even have an armed force of any credibility.  But this is the era of asymmetric war, and Hamas did launch rockets or missiles on Israel.  Those terror weapons did not cause much damage, but they provided a "justification" for Israel to let loose its military wrath on the civilian Palestinians. (more…)
TIDBITS AND MORSELS

Tidibits and Morsels (4)

by Ehsan Ahrari on January 13, 2009, No Comments

MAY BE DECLINING, BUT STILL THE UBERPOWER   Regardless of whether you are among those who are baffled about the economic problems that continue to ail the U.S. with no end in sight, or among those who are cheering the noisy fall of the mightiest among nations, here is one of the most cogent explanations that Nathan Gardels provides in the Fall 2008 issue of the New Perspectives Quarterly about the grim situation that the lone uberpower faces.  He writes: In the space of a few short months, we have morphed from the citadel of free-market capitalism and freewheeling consumerism -- from a land of high-flying hedge funds, Hummers and homes that doubled as ATMs -- to a system in which the banks, insurance companies, mortgage industry and auto manufacturers are quasi-socialized (more…)
UNITED STATES

“Hell” Must be Where Extremism Mushrooms

by Ehsan Ahrari on January 12, 2009, No Comments

Looking at the tepid global reaction to the massacre of the civilians in Gaza, one wonders whether the conscience of the international community is half asleep or is suffering from something called sympathy fatigue.  Hundreds of civilian casualties, incessantly escalating human misery, and with no end in the Israeli military action in sight, even God seems to have abandoned them.  At the same time, it should be said unequivocally that Hamas' indiscriminate firing of missiles on Israeli cities is a repulsive act.  One U.N. official involved in rescue attempts stated that Gaza has turned into hell.  That, alas, seems to be the fate of Muslims in many places.    (more…)
UNITED STATES

Impasse-Oriented Conventional Politics Only Empowers Militants

by Ehsan Ahrari on January 2, 2009, 1 Comment

The United States never understood one feral rule of the Arab Middle East and Muslim South Asia: there is little hope left that the conventional politics will resolve the Muslim misery or problems of liberty either from domestic tyrants or from the tyranny of occupiers.  That leaves only those who despise the U.S. and all it stands for in the Middle East and South Asia to attempt to resolve things their way.  They are known as Islamists and terrorists in the West.  But they appear to be doing their utmost to destroy the status quo.  It seems that the conventional way of doing business or resolving conflict holds little promise in the aforementioned areas.  It has been happening in the occupied Palestine, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.  The same types of actors appear to challenge whatever political order exists in Lebanon.  North Africa may not remain peaceful or stable for too long.  Gaza has emerged as the most recent place of acute turbulence, and a place where the militants'
HOT GLOBAL ISSUES FROM OTHER SOURCES

Will the Levant Experience a New Power Realignment?

by Ehsan Ahrari on September 1, 2008, 3 Comments

Imad Mughniyeh was assassinated on February 12, 2008.  He was the alleged mastermind of the massive attacks on the U.S. and French Marines in Lebanon in 1983.  His cohorts were allegedly involved in bombing Jewish targets in Argentina and for terrorist attacks in France in the early 1990s, resulting in more than 100 deaths.  Borzou Daragahi and Sebastian Rotella of the Los Angeles Times wrote an intriguing piece on August 31, 2008, several months after Mughniyah's assassination.    The most interesting part of Mughniyah's assassination question–which will never be answered–is who killed him.  He was one of the most sought-after persons by American as well as Israeli intelligence.  However, since he successfully defied both of those countries, one possibility is that he was murdered by Syrian intelligence–with whom he was working closely–as a favor to the Americans.  The United States has been determined to push for the indictment of Syria's President Bishara Assad by t