PERSONS OF THE YEAR 2006
Leader of Hezbollah
President of Syria
President of Iran
In the year 2006, the world saw the emergence of a new axis of evil. The triad of Iraq, Iran, and North Korea was never a true axis - each acted independently of the others. That is not the case with Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah. These three are not pursuing separate ends, they are working together toward an ominous and sinister goal. Together, they are making the Middle East more dangerous than it has ever been by threatening Israel, dismantling Lebanon's shaky democracy, and building the world's most destructive weapons. For that, the three leaders this axis of terror share the title of "Person of the Year."
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran is an obvious choice. His open desire to annihilate Israel has sent shockwaves through the international community, and his recent conference for Holocaust deniers caused almost every sane person to turn up his nose in disgust. However, it is his nuclear program that is really frightening, even to other Islamic states.
That said, Ahmadinejad has not actually attacked anyone yet. That job was done by his allies and fellow Shi'ite, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. Hezbollah wrecked havoc in two nations this year. First, they rained Katyusha rockets into Northern Israel, forcing the Israelis to invade Southern Lebanon in order to stop them. After Israel's withdrawal, Nasrallah declared victory and set about making trouble in his own country. In Lebanon, Hezbollah is a full fledged political party, with many members elected to Parliament and allies in the cabinet. In the last month, it launched massive protests aimed at ousting the elected government of Prime Minister Fouad Seniora. An agreement was forged to form a new unity government, giving Islamofacists a major voice in the Lebanese government.
The final recipient of this award may come as a surprise to many of you. In fact, I was rather surprised when I found myself considering him. However, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad has quietly made a huge impact on the Middle East in 2006. Unlike Ahmadinejad and Nasrallah, he is a Sunni Muslim; and he leads a Saddam-esque Baathist dictatorship, not an Islamo-Nazi theocracy. He is, however, a friend of both Hezbollah and Iran. He once wielded power over a puppet regime in Lebanon, and he wants that power back. Hence, most of Hezbollah's weapons (often of Iranian manufacture) are delivered via Syria.
So, the biggest story of 2006 went basically like this: Ahmadenijad made the guns, al-Assad then smuggled some of them into Lebanon, where Nasrallah and his people fired them at Israel. The actions of Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah are so intertwined that they sometimes seem to operate as a single unit. They seem to share everything else, so it is only fitting that Hezbollah's Hassan Nasrallah, Syria's Bashar al-Assad, and Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad share the title of Person of the Year.
Tags: Person of theYear, Ahmadenijad, Bashar al-Assad, Hassan Nasrallah, Iran, Syria, Mahmoud Ahmadenijad, Hezbollah, Islamofascism, War on Terror, Terrorism, President Tom