Youssef Ibrahim writes in the NY Sun:
… A coalition of Arabian Muslim jihadists has set the trap.
Using Israeli soldiers as hostages, the Iranian, Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood, and Syrian jihadists are enveloping the region, opening a two-front war with Israel, delivering Lebanon into Hezbollah’s grip, checkmating vital American interests, and bringing Iraq to the brink of civil war.
The crucial test is whether they can bag Prime Minister Olmert and his dovish defense minister, Amir Peretz, thereby eliminating the only players left who can make a difference.
Though it is hard to believe, to many Arabs Israel has emerged as a white knight that may save the day. Hobbled by fifth columns of Muslim fundamentalists within, the Arabs themselves cannot take on Syria or Iran. Neither, it seems, will the politically correct Europeans, who show more deference to their Muslim fundamentalist communities than to their liberal value system, as witnessed by the Danish cartoons incident.
America, too, has chosen eclipse, removing itself from robust policy-making in one of the world’s most strategic regions, even though it has direct bearing on American energy interests. Where is the administration that once promised to stand behind democratic reforms and those seeking freedom in the Middle East? And what is it going to do about this fierce assault from the jihadists’ coalition?
On Wednesday, the Washington Post quoted the White House as saying it was holding Iran and Syria responsible for the flare-up, which was “deliberately timed to exacerbate already high tensions in the region and sow further violence.” Duh!
Any 10-year-old on a Beirut street could have told us that. There was no need for such a statement from the White House.
Thus, the burden now falls to Israel — for its own sake, as well as that of the Arabs. As the Israeli military analyst Zeev Schiff warned on Wednesday, if Israel fails to act now, it may in time face a third front, made up of Syria and Iran. So far, the indications have been anemic but not hopeless.
The right address for Israel’s wrath was and remains Damascus. The right targets are Syria’s civilian and military airports, Syria’s missile system — as well as Hezbollah’s missile network, supplied by Syria and Iran over the past six years — Syria’s limp air force, and the summer and winter palaces of President Assad, for good measure.
Hitting Lebanon and stopping there is like beating the Lebanese messenger for a package put together by Iran and sent from Syria, with Mr. Assad as facilitator. …
If Israel goes for this Syrian jugular, Iraq will get a break from the unending stream of insurgents from the Syrian border, and Lebanon could stand up to Hezbollah.
Lebanon could stand up to Hezbollah.