Iran’s incremental takeover of Lebanon shows how long-term a strategic player Iran is and it is also clear that not only has Lebanon become a failed state but Lebanon is clearly beyond redemption by the Lebanese themselves. Only Israel can save Lebanon from eventually becoming a Twelver Shia Islamist totalitarian state on the model of Iran because that’s where Lebanon no doubt is heading. Sadly can Lebanon only be saved through defensive war, a final and conclusive war that will once and for all redraw boundaries in the region and establish a Christian Aramean “smaller” Lebanon which would be officially bilingual in Arabic and Aramaic, the traditional language of the Maronite church and formerly the natively spoken language throughout the Levant, Syria and Mesopotamia. Elderly Maronites in the northern Israeli village of Jish still speak Western Aramaic and the language has recently been successfully revived among Maronite children in Jish. The same process could be replicated throughout an independent Aram, the intended Christian successor state to Lebanon.
Hezbollah is already stronger than the LAF (Lebanese Armed Forces) which it partially already controls. Half-measures in the style of the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war will not help; this time will it be necessary to completely eradicate all direct and indirect Iranian control in the northern Levant by means of a joint IDF-SDF liberation of Syria-Lebanon. Eliminating the proxies of Iran will as a military campaign require several months, yet is certainly not an insurmountable challenge.
Halting the expansion and entrenchment of the Khomeinist empire is wholly insufficient, it has to be decolonized and dissolved. Furthermore, the colonial-era boundaries between Beirut, Jerusalem and Damascus need to be redrawn by treaty following the war of liberation, including Israeli retention of Golan and Median Jewish (Druze and Alawite) regions of Syria and Lebanon as well as Syrian annexation of remaining areas of Lebanon.