October 31, 2010

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The Chessboard is Now Set in the Middle East

MIDDLE-EASTERN POWDER KEG

by Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely (Ret.)



Who will be the one to call "checkmate"?

(Oct. 30, 2010) — It appears that our State Department and White House are still asleep at the switch while the Iranians are very busy and fastidious in resetting the chessboard in the Middle East to their liking. What has Iran been doing in addition to moving their nuclear program forward, becoming the hegemonic power of the Middle East and supporting the international jihad?  The Iranians (unlike the United States) are very clever at using proxies to do their dirty work.

Ahmadinejad and the Mullahs seem to achieve some victory on every front weekly in orchestrating the activities in Lebanon, Hezbollah, and Syria not to mention their support of Hamas, Iraqi Shiites, and the Taliban (and, oh, let us not forget Al Qaeda and the Bin Laden family).  Iran has planned a larger, bolder strategy for the demise of Israel?  Russia, somewhat remaining in the background, supplies sophisticated technology and military systems to Iran and Syria and languishes in the diminution of the United States influence in the Middle East.

Iran seems to be the puppet master now. No UN sanctions or resolutions seem to matter and the IAEA is toothless. Iran pulls the strings of the powers that matter and has effectively changed the argument. By orchestrating activities in Lebanon, even as the Saudis flood opposition to Hezbollah with money, they have changed the definition of who is and is not Lebanese. They have supported the Shiite Hezbollah to the point that even the media refers to them as Lebanese people. Lebanon’s roots are virtually gone now, replaced by Shiites who are very close to making Lebanon an Islamic State in totality. The silent 2008 coup they orchestrated on the government is almost complete now. And now, the International investigation into Rafik Hariri’s assassination is a complete farce.



Iran has been planning major preemptive actions against Israel from southern Lebanon for many years now and they are now capable of implementing multiple strikes on major Israeli commercial and military airports, facilities/installations, cities, and towns. These strikes will not be the feeble ones of 2006, but far more lethal. Hezbollah and Iran with the help of Syria have effectively set much in place, specifically, a plan that now appears ready for launch. Any invasion, attack, or even successful victory there would only embolden the Iranians, Syrians, and others to act on other unknown plans. Remember, Hezbollah declared victory the last time because any success is all they need for their propaganda machine, and if all goes well for them, surprises may abound worldwide. Iran is also the behind the scenes on the Palestinian initiative to declare statehood in 2011.

Iran, the puppet master has set the chessboard of the Middle East in such a manner that they control almost all of the attack points, and a feckless west has no power to change it. The pawns are strong and their ability to move has been changed. They are more akin to Rooks and Bishops now and they are ready to pounce. The Israelis have been effectively set into a corner, and the west is not a friend anymore. Feeble talks have been nothing less than the usual failure they have always been, and repeated trips to Damascus by non-Hezbollah Lebanese leaders have resulted in diminishing them to mere pawns. The change in the pieces on the Chess Board is virtually complete and the puppet master has won because of the weakness of the west and the political correctness of the current administration here in the US.

The chessboard has been set by Iran that now forces Israel to fight a multiple front war with little help expected from the west. If the air attack plan against Iran is launched, then the Israelis must simultaneously fight the Hezbollah forces in Southern Lebanon as well as other attacks emanating from the West Bank and Gaza. Israel understands this is the new chessboard; US authorities do not seem to understand.

Now, in Afghanistan, we learned that the Iranian Government provides sacks of cash to Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan, while he is refusing to extend a December deadline to allow private security contractors to protect international diplomats, development organizations, and supply convoys. And the Iranian Government denied it before they took credit for it later. President Karzai seemed in his press conference unabashed and viewed it as part of the balancing of the regional “game” – Iranian money and the sacrifice of American troops. “They do give us bags of money – yes, yes, it is done… We are grateful to the Iranians for this”…. In addition, Iran has been secretly supplying explosives to the Taliban for years and most recently through the western province of Nimruz where trucks labeled as Kitchen Supplies and Toys turned out to be explosives.

The Taliban previously stated that Iran was paying them for killing American soldiers and destroying U.S. military vehicles. According to the Taliban treasurer, Iran is paying bonuses of $1,000 for killing an American soldier and $6,000 for destroying a U.S. military vehicle. So Iran is financially supporting the Karzai Government and the Taliban in Afghanistan as Karzai reaches out to the Taliban for a negotiated settlement The U.S. government denies that we are directly involved with these settlement talks but confirms that we are well briefed on them. Going further, the U.S. recently allowed Iran to participate in a briefing on the region for the international contact group by General David Petraeus, which President Obama suggested in 2009 should include Iran and other neighboring countries.

According to the New York Times, “The Iranian delegate listened to General Petraeus’ PowerPoint presentation very attentively.” Iran again is pulling the strings and re-casting the Chess Board here as well.
Iran is not getting distracted by its ongoing efforts to undermine the U.S. troops and interests in Afghanistan on one side and Iraq on the other, nor in Syria and Lebanon. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently returned from his first trip to Lebanon to show support for Hezbollah, the Shia Muslim terrorist organization and political force in Lebanon, going to the border with Israel for a rally and declaring “the whole world knows that the Zionists are going to disappear.”

A few days later he welcomed Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez to Iran where according to the Associated Press they signed 11 agreements promoting cooperation in areas including oil, natural gas, textiles, trade and public housing. Iran’s state TV quoted both leaders as calling their relationship a “strategic alliance” saying that “they are united in efforts to establish a new world order that will eliminate Western dominance over global affairs.”

On October 26 Iran began loading nuclear fuel rods into the core of its first nuclear power plant with the help of Russia, bringing the facility a step closer to production. The 1,000-megawatt Bushehr plant has been under construction since before Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution.

A busy 10 days in Iran. Hopefully next week’s election will begin to focus U.S. policy toward Iran in a way that better promotes our national security interests and strengthens our resolve to face this growing threat. We must change our strategy and soon before more of our men and women die for naught.
So the chessboard is set by Iran. They have the puppet strings on all the chess pieces in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Venezuela, Lebanon; all while Russia, the USA, China, and western nations posture. Iran is adept Puppet Master now and the Chess Master.

Next move…. CHECKMATE!

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