Firstly, an arab background article on Hezbolla and Iran. No wonder then that most Sunni arab governments less than ardent support for Hezbolla against Israel. Once again, this only serve to remind us that the whole War on Terror is really a regional Middle East war between moderate and radical muslims, secular and islamist, as well as between Shia and Sunni, for domination in the Middle East. The west was caught in the crossfire for inadvertantly supporting the status quo of the region trying to evolve.
During the student uprising in July 1999 and the violent confrontations that followed between Arab residents of the Iranian city of Ahvaz and the security services, many student leaders and Arab officials in the city spoke about the presence of hundreds of Arab troops within the ranks of the Iranian security forces and the Revolutionary Guards units quelled the protests.
At the time, it was thought these Arab troops were members of the Badr Brigade, the military wing of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq . Yet, many who encountered these foreign soldiers commented on their Lebanese and Syrian accents.
The issue remained a mystery until this week, when Ali Akbar Mohatashemi, the former Iranian ambassador to Syria and the founding father of Hezbollah, revealed that members of the Party of God participated in the Iran-Iraq war side by side with the Revolutionary Guards. He described the relationship between Hezbollah and the Iranian regime as much more than the one linking a revolutionary regime with a foreign organization. Hezbollah, he indicated, is one of the institutions of the ruling regime in Tehran and a main element of its military.
Secondly is this piece on how the Muslims, like their secular "neocons" polars in the west, have come to see the uselessness of the UN.
Last week Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi spoke of growing Muslim contempt for the UN because of its failure to condemn Israel for the attack on Qana or the killing of UN observers at Khiam. At that time, little did he or anyone else realize how fast that contempt would spread. The way the UN draft resolution on Lebanon has been handled has all but finished the UN in the eyes of Arabs, Muslims and many other fair-minded individuals who belong to neither of those two groups. There should have been — could have been — a UN cease-fire resolution at least a week ago. There still isn’t one. Hundreds of Lebanese have died, victims as much of UN dithering as of Israeli bombs or Hezbollah missiles.
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The UN’s political impotence has tainted it in Arab eyes. For 58 years it has been unable to protect the Palestinians; it failed the Iraqis and now it has failed the Lebanese. US vetoes to protect Israel along with the Jewish state’s unpunished refusals to comply with resolutions as well as Washington’s unpunished illegal invasion of Iraq have robbed the Arabs of any enthusiasm for, or faith in, the world body. This belated and crafty resolution — good only in that it may stop the killing — changes nothing.