A little over a week ago, I came up with a theory to explain why Iran believed it was in its interests to order Hezbollah to attack Israel at this point in time. Here’s the whole post, which is pretty short, and here’s the short version of that: Hezbollah’s offensive is a counter-attack to the US-led drive to democratize the Middle East. Say what you will about bringing democracy to the region, a move that at least in the short term has put Hamas in charge of the Palestinian Authority and has enshrined sharia law in the constitutions of Afghanistan and Iraq, but to the mullahs of Iran and the regional despots that have aligned themselves against us, democracy is a threat. It already moved Lebanon from Syria’s column and closer to ours, for instance. At least, it did until the Hezbollah offensive began on July 12.

David Horowitz seems to be thinking along the same lines I am. He’s looking forward into the next few weeks to see how the counter-offensive might play out.

The appeasers of Islamofascism, who have been calling for a ceasefire and bewailing “civilian casualties” in Lebanon and Gaza, will succeed. Hezbollah will agree to turn over its arms to the pro-Hezbollah Lebanese army. The pro-Hezbollah UN will establish a security zone on Lebanon’s southern border to keep the area clear of non-government militias, of which the Hezbollah “militia” is the only one. The credulous in the Western camp will greet this as a victory for the peacemakers. But exactly the opposite will be the case.

According to a recent poll in Lebanon eighty percent of the Lebanese Arabs support Hezbollah. In other words, just as Hamas, which was created by the same Muslim Brotherhood that spawned al-Qaeda, is now the Palestinian government, so Hezbollah will emerge as the government of Lebanon. The Lebanese army will become the new Hezbollah “militia.” Only it won’t be a militia. It will be the terrorist army of a sovereign power, with the right to openly negotiate its arms deals with Syria and Iran. The next battle with Iran, in other words, will be World War III.

For the record, I doubt the validity of any poll conducted as hundreds of thousands try to flee a war zone. A scientific poll can’t be conducted in that environment. The press should state that clearly whenever it cites any of these polls of Lebanese attitudes.

Nevertheless, Horowitz is probably right. If Israel isn’t allowed to finish Hezbollah off as a military force, Hezbollah will emerge as the next government of Lebanon. Some form of democracy may even put it into that role, once the shooting stops. Likewise, if Nasrallah survives this clash with Israel, he’s likely to become the next Nasser-like rallying figure. Iran will have seen our bet in Iraq and raised it by taking over Lebanon via proxy.

(h/t Chris)