John Batchelor has a radio program on in the evenings, and seems to have a lot of sources in the ME. This scenario makes sense to me, and reinforces my own idea that this war is not an accidental engagement that Hezbollah did not expect, but part of a multi-step plan put in motion by Ahmadinejad. (See today's American Thinker article by Amil Imani that I posted below.) Only by creating worldwide misery and chaos do the mullahs in Iran believe they can force the Mahdi to re-emerge from his well and rule the world. They aren't going to be cajoled with baskets of goodies designed to entice them into giving up their nuke program. And, in a way, they used that program to lull the West into believing there was still time -- that Iran wouldn't move until it had the nuke. They either already have one, or don't feel they need it to make their move. Either way, this is not going to be over soon.
Green Light - July 28, 2006 - The New York Sun
By JOHN BATCHELOR
President Ahmadinejad has returned from his oil-weapon meetings in Central Asia to his bunker in Tehran and has given the green light to Damascus to escalate the Lebanon front by launching long-range missiles into Tel Aviv. Syria and Hezbollah have been told they are to fight on with the certain expectation that Israel will respond to the escalation by bombing Syria's strategic sites and its supply lines into Lebanon. Iran has also told Syria that it expects — hopes — this phase of the campaign will draw in the American warplanes and logistics.
In Beirut, the spiritual leader of Hezbollah, Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, has issued a fatwa forbidding the entry of international troops or authorities into Lebanon. This means that the prospect of an imposed ceasefire from the United Nations Security Council or from NATO is now minimal or impossible, since any blue helmets or peacekeepers, Muslim or not, will be resisted as if they were Israeli or American occupiers.
In Damascus, the Assad regime has prepared itself for an epochal war that will transform the Syrian culture into a martial cult such as was achieved under the current president's father, the late Hafez al-Assad. President Bashar al-Assad; his brother Mahor, of the presidential guard; his brother-in-law, Assef Shawqat, head of the intelligence forces; and most especially the steely, pharmacist sister, Dr. Bushra al-Assad, all want the coming fight with Israel and America to create a band of brothers that will lead Syria for another two generations. The Assads recall 1967 and 1973 not as strategic defeats but as spiritually liberating events that empowered the Assad regime in the ummah. Syria is resolved, well armed, fatalistic, and inspired by the wealth of Iran, the allegiance of the Iraqi Baathists, the strategic support of Kurdistan, Turkey, Lebanon.
What this all means right now is that Iran can and will continue to resupply Hezbollah on the Lebanon front with arms, ammunition, special forces, sophisticated logistics, an intelligence apparatus, and the long-range Katyushas and missiles that pepper Israel. The supply routes from Iran to Syria are not only air lanes but also overland trucking on tribal routes through Turkey and Kurdistan. Turkey knows this and knows this is tacit support of the Hizbollah and Syria. More striking is that the Kurds in northern Iraq, ostensibly America's strongest ally in the liberation and democratization of Iraq, are openly cooperating with the Iranian military convoys. The Kurds have made a deal with Tehran that looks to the future and the establishment of an independent, oil-rich Kurdistan.
The Kurds aim to drive out or massacre the minority Turkmen in their territory, and they know this will be a casus belli for Turkey. The Kurds will need Iran for an ally and also for a transportation route to get their oil to market.
The Russians must certainly know that Iran is using Turkey and Kurdistan in their war effort, and the Russians have presumably made a decision not to interfere in any fashion with their Caspian Sea neighbor and commercial partner Iran. More puzzling is how al-Maliki and the Shia/Kurd dominated government in Baghdad might not know of the resupply. Did Maliki stand next to President Bush in a joint news conference knowing that the Shia of Iraq are not only cheering the Hezbollah in Lebanon but also that Iraq is an ally of Iran and Syria in the fight?
The resupply from Iran is profound because Hezbollah could not have sustained the fight past the first days without the certainty of endless weaponry and ammunition. The Lebanon war plan is to escalate a step at a time, and this requires the discipline of a confident, well-led, well-connected force.
Iran will not turn off the flow. And the rearming of Lebanon through Syria also includes the very latest, best Russian and Chinese origin equipment, including the SA-18 shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile, Sagger and Kornet antitank missiles, at least one battery of Silkworm anti-ship missiles, and multiple combinations of Zelzal-2 missiles and Fajr-3,5 rockets that can easily reach Tel Aviv and, with smaller warheads, much farther, to Jerusalem. A decision to strike Jerusalem has not been announced. Nonetheless, high-explosive warheads are poised to strike civilian populations: at least one Scud-type missile has already been found underwater in Haifa harbor.
Iran is committed to its war aim to draw America directly into the fighting. At present, Israel has no plan to bomb beyond Syria. But the logic of the supply lines points to interdiction in Iraq and Turkey and in Iran, itself. Iran believes that when America comes into the fighting, Iran can use the American troops in Iraq as tactical targets and strategic hostages. Iran wants America to strike in force at Tehran and the strategic sites on the southern coast. Iran is desperate to give battle. It believes that America cannot manage a crisis in an election year (e.g., 1980), and that the United Nations Security Council will impose a ceasefire quickly. At that point, Ahmadinejad and the Partisans of the Mahdi will emerge from their deep and hard sites to survey their empire, smoldering, famished, grieving, but victorious over the American crusaders, stretching from the Hindu Kush to the Mediterranean and the ruins of Israel.