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Strife continues -- does it ever let up? -- in the Middle East.

From the BBC:

At least 22 people are reported to have been killed in two explosions that hit the Iranian embassy in the Lebanese capital Beirut in quick succession.

The Iranian cultural attache Ebrahim Ansari was among the dead.

Iran is a major backer of the Lebanese Shia militant group Hezbollah, which has sent fighters to Syria to back the government of Bashar al-Assad.

The usual finger-pointing has begun. The Iranian ambassador to Lebanon and pro-Iranian groups are blaming Israel, which seems unlikely given the method of the attack. Other culprits could include anti-Shiite groups in Lebanon, anti-Assad groups from Syria, various al-Qaeda-related groups sponsored by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, or pretty much anyone else in the region with a grudge and access to some explosives.

Another day, another blow against Middle East stability.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Speculation points to FSA (0+ / 0-)

    They post videos railing against Hezbollah involvement all the time.

    While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 04:42:21 AM PST

  •  The hubris of trying to project power (0+ / 0-)

    For me, at least, the parallels to the Marine barracks bombing and the Nairobi (and Dar es Salaam) embassy bombings are stark and unavoidable.

    The US never really got over the hubris we have, trying to sort out the world as we think it should be. I'd say our motivations are more generous, than the Iranians' efforts, but we also picked sides. And, in the Middle East at least, this is what comes of picking sides.

    Iran is getting a taste of that today. It may be that they will also come to feel the pain of an attack that hits more directly at the homeland. The question is whether they will learn the lessons we have never learned.

    I doubt it. Even as I write this, I have to admit that with each new crisis, I wonder what we could do to solve it -- how we can advance the cause of (secular, Western) modernism. The Iranians may think differently in that they look at how they can advance the shiite cause, but they are afflicted with the same basic instinct to go beyond their borders and do something.

    I know the world would be a better place if the Iranians would get past that. When they get past the notion that they need to project power and influence events beyond their own borders, they might even feel less motivation to pursue their nuclear weapons development. I just don't see that happening any time soon. They are as evangelical about heir own beliefs as are.

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you:

    by FischFry on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 05:12:44 AM PST

    •  Maybe they think it's better... (0+ / 0-) fight 'em OVER THERE as opposed to fightin them OVER HERE?

      No idea where they would have gotten THAT idea....

      "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

      by leftykook on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 05:31:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  the best way that the US can advance secular (0+ / 0-)

      modernism is to stop overthrowing elected leaders and invading countries. the direct and indirect consequences of these actions have undermined democracy and secularism in the middle east for well over a century, going all the way back to muhammad ali in egypt. hell, we carefully sponsored the religious fanatics back in the 70s and 80s, because at that time secular modernist nationalism was generally expressed in socialist/communist terms.

      iran having diplomatic and military ties to its neighbors in the region is a lot more defensible than america playing risk from around the globe, IMO.

  •  Al Qaeda vs Iran (0+ / 0-)

    Best let them fight it out over there. But yeah, Syrian conflict spilling into Lebanon...

  •  There's history. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    In 1982 it was Israel under Sharon deciding that they could sent IDF north and lay waste to the PLO and Arafat.

    Then July 16th - 19th, after a UN Peacekeeping operation had stabilized the situation in Bierut and then left the area, some 3,500 Palestinians were slaughtered at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps. The menfolk had included PLO fighters who had departed Beirut by boat a couple weeks earlier. Reagan sent Marines back in a couple weeks later.

    One problem for Reagan was that he had already gotten in on a war against the Iranians. He supplier war materials to Saddam Hussein. Helped him kill tens of thousands of Iranians.

    Come winter of 1983, Ronald Reagan took sides with the Christians who had slaughtered the Palestinians. He started using the guns on Navy ships to loose barrages on Druze and Shia areas uphill from the city. Then on April 18th a conventional truck bomb pancaked the front of the American embassy on Rue de la Paris. For local Muslims, that was "just retaliation."

    They weren't going to be allow to sink a ship. Then Reagan ordered the battleship New Jersey to Lebanon from Long Beach, California. It arrived in time to hear the blast from the Marine BLT Barracks getting leveled from a thermobaric explosion.

    Hoaxes 101: Reagan Losing 241 at Beirut in 1983 Didn't Happen No More

    Thousands of Republican talking heads have given their immortal souls to Satan, hoping to erase those deaths from living memory.

    Of course, Reagan ran away. Tucked tail and ran away. He did leave the ships in place for another 6 months, blasting away mostly at civilians. "Teach them a lesson."

    Between the Iranians and Shia militants, driving out Reagan gave them grounds to found Hizb Allah, a.k.a. the Party of God, also Hezbollah. Big time blow back -- kinda permanent in the case of Hizb Allah.

    Hoaxes 101: Reagan Used Naval Guns to Kill 1,500 Lebanese. Now Those Murders Didn't Happen No More

    Use naval guns for most of two years. Kill 1,500. Ally yourself with gangsters who killed 3,500 unarmed Palestinians. Kiss up to Christians, no matter which Christians.

    Now all the Reagan-worshipers can do is denial. Their idea of a Perfect Man doesn't do all that well on the facts.

    He was in over his head. Always a risk when we elect a dunce to high office -- a man mostly good at getting himself popular.

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