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Axis of evil

Terrorism: Connections between Iraq, Iran, and North Korea only grow

Issue: "Exit strategies," Aug. 5, 2006

Hezbollah's missile attacks on Israel have made clear the relationship between Hezbollah and Iran's mullahs. Those who studied Lebanon prior to the Hezbollah provocation of mid-July understood the relationship between Tehran and Nasrallah's jihadists, but large parts of world opinion were ignorant of the Iranian proxy operating in Beirut and throughout south Lebanon.

Now, when Israel's Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni declares that "Hezbollah is the long arm of Iran," no one disputes her-and clarity regarding Hezbollah should lead to clarity as to Iran, and by extension, the stakes in Iraq.

From 9/11 forward, America has faced a three-front war against al-Qaeda terror (Sunni extremism), Iranian terror and ambitions (Shia extremism), and rogue dictatorships with the capacity for great evil (Saddam's Iraq and North Korea).

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Each of these threats was and remains distinct, but each was capable of coordination with the other. All but Saddam continue to support one another, if only because the forces required to confront them draw upon America's strength.

Now, at last, America may begin to understand deeply the ambitions of Iran's mullahs, and to grasp why the letters from Iran's President Ahmadinejad to President Bush, Chancellor Merkel, and President Chirac are not the ravings of a nutter, but the expressions of fatalism of a fanatic.

Hezbollah is deeply entrenched and abundantly armed. Iran made it so.

The massacres in Baghdad are not al-Qaeda alone, but Iranian-orchestrated in part to sow more chaos and instability.

The representatives of the mullahs are said to have been in North Korea for the launching of the missiles that outraged the world.

The battles in Lebanon are just another, particularly dramatic battle in a world war that only weeks ago saw another bloody attack in Mumbai, India.

Even as the Senate Democratic leader, Harry Reid, urged again that America cut and run from Iraq, Hezbollah has driven home the lesson that the war waits for no country. It cannot be avoided by retreat, no matter how alluring a dream that might present.

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