With focus on Gaza, what about Iran?

With focus on Gaza, what about Iran?

Iranian student groups have asked the Iranian government to authorize them to become suicide bombers in Israel.

The Iranian government has not responded in the past to similar requests, reportedly, but this is still very disturbing. That these people are in the mindset that their government would authorize such a thing (and Iran is certainly responsible for its share of terrorism) is sign that there is something seriously wrong with the government.

Iran should be breathing a sigh of relief at this point. While Israel is tied up with Hamas in Gaza it becomes less likely that Israel will launch a strike against Iran’s nuclear sites. The Israel Air Force appears to be a bit busy right now, although Defense Minister Ehud Barak is known for making surprise moves, so maybe this is a distraction from an impending operation in Iran. Although can Israel really handle a war on two fronts like that?

Of course Israel has fought wars on more than two fronts in the past. But those were against traditional armies. Hamas is a different creature altogether and that changes the rules of the conflict. The constant rocket attacks on Israel’s south are crude but effective in sowing terror, and Israel cannot just ignore them anymore. Now that Israel has finally struck back against them it must stand up and do what its leaders have said, change the reality in the South. The politicians have suspended their campaigns but this conflict will determine the winner of February’s election.

Olmert is out no matter what, but this will determine the fate of Livni, the current head of Kadima. She and Barak have used strong language about the goals of the conflict and if they pull an Olmert and acquiesce to a “ceasefire” while the South is still under threat of rockets then both parties will be wiped out in the elections. Right now Kadima is polling neck and neck with Likud. This is Kadima’s chance to show that it can be stronger than it was during the Second Lebanon War and it is more than just tough words and that its leaders know how to accomplish its goals.

Rejecting France’s proposal for a 48-hour ceasefire was a good step. President Bush has said that any ceasefire must be respected by both sides and Hamas has given no indication that it would have honored France’s proposal. Israel began this mission in a position of power and it must end the mission in a position of power, not with its tail between its legs.

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