Brain Bush’s Blog

Influence

  • By : Brian Bush
  • October 14, 2010
  • 1:38 pm

Hi Everyone,

It's been a busy schedule for the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, currently visiting Lebanon. At this hour he is on his way done to the southern villages of Lebanon – north of Israel's border.

There, he will be greeted as a hero, for the vast amounts of Iranian financial support that went into the rebuilding of infrastructure and homes and the sustaining of the residence there after Israel's military operations against Hezbollah in 2006.

This is largely the Iranian message – that they are an influence – a welcomed influence. And while there have been plenty of anti-Israel, anti-America, anti-West statements that have been made, Ahmadinejad is making the most of saying to these people – you are not forgotten.

So as both Israeli civilians and military will have their binoculars out (he could get within half a mile of the border actually), thousands on one side of the border will be enthusiastically welcoming the Iranian President, the other side will say emphatically that Lebanon has become an Iranian proxy.

But the influence of the visit is not only crafted to elevate Iran in Lebanon, but also the Arab world.

After calling for the “disappearance” of the “Zionist entity” before an enthusiastic crowd yesterday, now the Iranian President will tour the Hezbollah strongholds where battles with Israel raged in 2006.

This will play well to the Arab masses as Ahmadinejad demonstrates that he, not Saudi Arabia, not Jordan or Egypt – has made a difference to the Muslim brothers who's lives are effected by what the Arab world sees as Israeli aggressions.

But in Lebanon, the goal of the visit is to strengthen Hezbollah, and to make it stronger and stronger – something Israel, America, the West – and least we forget – half of Lebanon itself – does not want.

This visit clearly, in and of itself, raises the point of outside interference in Lebanon's internal affairs – quite possibly for it's future demise.

Brian Bush
Middle East Correspondent
LeSEA Broadcasting

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