The Chessboard is Now Set In the Middle East

by MAJ. GEN. PAUL E. VALLELY, US ARMY (RET) September 30, 2010
It appears while our State Department and White House are asleep at the switch; the Iranians have been 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 has been planning major preemptive actions against Israel from southern Lebanon for several years now and they are now capable of implementing multiple strikes on major Israeli commercial and military airports, facilities/installations, cities, and towns. 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.
Just within the past few days an Iranian aircraft full of Iranian Revolutionary Guards and security forces have landed at Beirut airport covertly to secure the periphery of Lebanon’s airport and prepare Beirut Airport for the landing of Iran’s President Ahmadinejad next week. Iran’s president is due to visit Beirut to secure the Lebanese state in security agreements and a defense pact similar to the ones signed with Syria previously with unprecedented support for Hezbollah. Ahmadinejad also plans to visit Southern Lebanon and issue threats to Israel from the Israel/Lebanese border.
There is a section of Beirut Port where Hezbollah operates with impunity, with the silent knowledge of Lebanese Authorities. The freightliners enter the port fully loaded with containers, offload, and depart without challenge.
The chessboard has been set by Iran that makes Israel now fight a multiple front war. 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.
This Iranian regime is fueled by Islamic extreme fundamentalism and doctrine. The struggle against this fanaticism does not pit faith against faith, nor civilization against civilization. It pits civilization against barbarism; the 21st century against the 9th century; those who sanctify life against those who glorify death.  So the chessboard is set by Iran.    
Next move….CHECKMATE! Contributing Editor Paul E. Vallely, Major General (USA/Ret.) is an author, military strategist and Chairman of Stand Up America and Save Our Democracy Projects.

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