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Hezbollah, Israel and Difficult U.S. Allies

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Hezbollah, Israel and Difficult U.S. Allies

After three weeks, Israel, War on Terror, Iraq and US Diplomacy Show Little Progress

By John E. Carey
August 1, 2006

After three weeks of fighting between Israel and Hezbollah, the clear winner is Hezbollah.

The Arab world seem more united than ever against Israel, the United States and the United Kingdom.

The bombing at Qana proved both a public relations nightmare for Israel and annealing agent for Arab unity.

Even the fledgling democratically elected Iraqi government couldn't get behind Israel, a slap in the face to the US.


Overshadowed after three weeks of Israeli incursion into Lebanon is the fact that the bloodshed continues unabated in Iraq. And the U.S. Army announced troop movements in Iraq: not, as we expected just a month or so ago, a scaling down of U.S. troops in Iraq but a "redeployment" of troops into Baghdad from areas outside the Iraqi capitol to the center of the city.

Some US troops had their in-country rotation dates extended as the US tries to slightly raise troop levels in Iraq by not sending troops home as soon as normally expected.

The US military death toll in Iraq ell for a third straight month in July to one of the lower levels of the 3-year-old war despite the rising violence, indicating that the Iraqis are doing more of the fighting and dying in their own country.

Meanwhile, twelve Congressional Democrats urged the president to make just the opposite move. In a letter to the president dated July 30, the Democrats said, "In the interests of American national security, our troops, and our taxpayers, the open-ended commitment in Iraq that you have embraced cannot and should not be sustained." It was signed by a dozen Democratic leaders, including Harry Reid of Nevada, the Senate minority leader, and Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader.

Insurgent bombings in Baghdad continue to take a heavy toll on Iraq civilians, coalition troops, and the prospects for an early U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. And, in Baghdad, protests against Israel's fighting in Lebanon meant that TV images transmitted around the world featured the poster child of US efforts to bring democracy to the Middle East, Iraq, firmly in agreement with Arab terrorists.

Even the visit of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to the US was clouded by controversey. Democrats resisted Maliki's address to a joint session of the US Congress and the media seemed to gasp when Maliki refused to side with the US against Hezbollah.

Finally on Iraq, the Washington Post reported that a project to build a critical oil pipeline in northern Iraq has fallen more than two years behind schedule.


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John E. Carey is the former president of International Defense Consultants, Inc.
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