The Hezbollah is basically a state within a state, within Lebanon. To be more precise, it is a terror state within a weak state on Israel’s northern border. They have consistently built up a massive arsenal of missiles – many thousands – most estimate, tens of thousands of missiles. So, is Israel’s northern border a powder keg waiting to explode? The answer is hopefully not – and thanks to President Trump’s policy on Iran.
Appeasement vs. Iran
The Obama policy versus Iran was based on appeasement and kicking the can down the road. Everyone knew that Iran was busy building a bomb in order to threaten and blackmail Israel. But the Obama administration’s attitude was not one of exertion of power. They believed in the magical value of diplomacy. But this attitude followed the model of Neville Chamberlain who appeased Adolf Hitler and did not build a wall of defense with other countries against Adolf Hitler.
One of the most important lessons of World War II is that appeasement against dictators accomplishes precisely the opposite of what the intention of the appeaser is. It only whets the appetite of the dictator to be more aggressive as they see that they are able to get away with more and more each time. One would think this would be self-evident. But to many leaders, they simply do not understand the mindset of power-hungry dictators sufficiently. And the common mistake of thinking that in a sit-down meeting, everything can be worked out is simply wrong. Some people only understand force and an empty bank account.
The Hizbullah is one of Iran’s proxies on Israel’s borders. Hamas in the south has been the more noisy proxy over the last few years. But the Hizbullah poses a much more lethal threat. Israel did not deliver a knockout punch to the Hizbullah in the last conflagration in the North. One day, Israel will need to clear out the threat in the North with overwhelming force. The question is whether or not economic sanctions against Iran will so weaken their proxies and lead to the crumbling of the Hezbollah from within.