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With Apologies To Hizballah: Victory Is Yours

As reported by the Jerusalem Post, the Lebanese government has ceded victory to Hizballah in the latest episode in the power struggle that is Lebanon.

A Lebanese minister says the Cabinet has reversed measures against Hizbullah that triggered the worst violence since the country's 15-year civil war.

Hizbullah demanded the government reverse the decisions last week to sack an airport security chief for alleged ties to the Shi'ite group and to declare the militants' private telephone network illegal.

Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah said the moves amounted to a declaration of war and shortly after, he unleashed his fighters on the streets of Beirut. The clashes left 54 dead.

Information Minister Ghazi Aridi said the Cabinet revoked the decisions "in view of the higher national interest."

Seconds after his announcement, celebratory gunfire erupted south of Beirut, a Hizbullah stronghold.

It could be said that the majority March 14 group in the Lebanese government had little choice, out-gunned by the Iranian foreign legion that is Hizballah and saddled with an army that is not only also out-gunned by the terrorist group, but at times appeared ready to fracture along Shi'a-non-Shi'a lines.

Yet with that said, with or without choice in the matter, the victory is clearly owned by Iran and Hizballah. And it is a victory that is in many ways more significant than that which it claimed for itself upon Israel's 2006 withdrawal. Likely, few in the West will recognize this quite yet. But Hizballah - at the business end of an AK-47 - has just beaten back its internal foe, a foe that is all that stands between Hizballah and yet another terrorist-run state.

And not even standing behind a wall of concealment is Iran, the terrorist puppet master, pulling the strings of jihad, just as it does with Hamas in Gaza, the Mahdi Army and terrorist cells ('Special Groups') in Iraq, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and Hamas in the West Bank. To coordinate and facilitate, Iran - as well as Hamas and others - keeps its forward management crews operating in Syria.

Iran is the nexus for terror and instability in the entire region. We can dance around this fact, but we cannot avoid it. For it is Iran's will. Yet it is American leadership, which does not lead its public in chants of "Death to Iran!" every Friday in the streets of Washington DC, which is so often portrayed as the unruly aggressor, rattling sabres and beating the drums of war.

As I wrote at The Tank on National Review Online, "If President Bush is "rattling sabres," then Iran is swinging them." This much must be recognized soberly in developing any policy going forward.