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By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Hezbollah
One of the heads of Hezbollah, a Lebanese terrorist group, was gunned down Wednesday just outside his house in Beirut, security agents said.
The "Joint Plan of Action" signed with Iran by the so-called "P5+1" (the U.S., Russia, China, United Kingdom and France, plus Germany) on Nov. 24 in Geneva caused Shiite Arabs to celebrate, Sunni Arabs to worry and Saudis to panic. Their response will have far-reaching and unpredictable consequences.
Following this month's breakthrough in talks on Iran's disputed nuclear program, the U.S., Russia and other world powers are now discussing whether to invite representatives from the Islamic republic to an upcoming peace conference aimed at ending Syria's civil war.
The Obama administration moved swiftly Tuesday to seize on the horrific suicide bombing of the Iranian Embassy in Beirut as an example of how Washington and Tehran share common ground as terrorist targets.
Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad have firmly seized the momentum in the country's civil war in recent weeks, capturing one rebel stronghold after another and triumphantly planting the two-starred Syrian government flag amid shattered buildings and rubble-strewn streets.
Syrian troops captured a contested suburb of Damascus on Wednesday as the government forged ahead with a punishing military offensive that already has taken four other opposition strongholds south of the capital, state media said.
A Syrian activist group says more than 120,000 people have been killed since the start of the country's civil war nearly three years ago.
Israel has conducted two airstrikes on Syrian military bases, one near the port city of Latakia and the other near the capital, Damascus.
Echoes of the Beirut Marine barracks bombing 30 years on
Rouhani is driven by the same hateful ideology
Syria's civil war has become so dire that some Islamic clerics are telling starving Syrians to eat cats and dogs.
For assorted reasons, none of which might make any sense in retrospect, neither Israel nor the United States has yet exercised an appropriate pre-emption option in Iran. In essence, such a self-defense option would have been directed against certain pertinent Iranian nuclear assets and infrastructures. At this point, at least for plainly operational reasons, launching pre-emptive strikes of this sort may have become too costly. This is because the expected retaliatory consequences of any Iranian reprisal, although nonnuclear, could now be unacceptable.
Syria has been reduced to a small blip in the corner of the radar screen, if only for a moment, but the screen of the neighborhood is as busy as always. Bashar Assad still clings to power in the Syrian civil war, with the Russians standing by to "help," as usual. Iraq continues to be a tinderbox. Egypt, an old ally, is fighting the Muslim Brotherhood without U.S. political support or military aid. Now Jordan, a steadfast American ally, faces a threat to economic stability in the form of an unusual lawsuit our own Supreme Court has been asked to consider.
Senior members of Hezbollah and Hamas announced on Monday in Lebanese press that they’ve formed a stronger pact with Iran’s government to watch out for each other’s interests in the Middle East.
"A closer look at Hezbollah" (Commentary, Sept. 12), the otherwise informative review by Joshua Sinai of "Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon's Party of God," written by Matthew Levitt, confuses one important matter.