‘It has to come to this in Damascus: Wednesday’s rebel bomb attack on a meeting of Bashar al-Assad’s top lieutenants, killing at least three. The war has come to the House of Assad itself. Syria’s dictatorship had rested on a dynasty, and the terror had to be visited on the dynasty. There could be no airtight security for the rulers.’
The Economist has more here. This could be a lengthy process, and a primary concern is the potential this situation has to devolve into a protracted Civil War. Lebanon sits next door.
‘First, the ideology. Whether they call themselves “principlists” or “reformists,” Iran’s leaders are Khomeinists before anything else. They are still burning the initial reserve of revolutionary fuel tapped by the regime’s founder, the Ayatollah Khomeini.’
‘It is this catastrophe that stares back at Khomeinism’s standard-bearers today—including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad—as they survey the regime’s moral and historical legacy. Their domestic repression and defiance abroad have left them isolated on both fronts. The circle of loyal citizens gets smaller by day. “It is an undeniable privilege of every man to prove himself right in the thesis that the world is his enemy,” Kennan wrote of Soviet leaders’ paranoia. “For if he reiterates it frequently enough and makes it the background of his conduct he is bound eventually to be right.” The observation applies equally well to Tehran, where paranoia and messianic fervor combine to create a dangerously neurotic leadership class.’
Some more of that Cold War analysis proving useful.
‘The United States has quietly moved significant military reinforcements into the Persian Gulf to deter the Iranian military from any possible attempt to shut the Strait of Hormuz and to increase the number of fighter jets capable of striking deep into Iran if the standoff over its nuclear program escalates.’
The U.S. position is to not allow Iran to get a delivery system for its nuclear program.