Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Who Will Dictate the Terms of the Coming War?

According to the IDF briefing last week, Hizbollah forces have some 40,000 short- and medium-range missiles at their disposal.
Those missiles have been augmented by hundreds of guided long-range missiles north of the Litani with warheads capable of bringing down skyscrapers in Tel Aviv. Moreover, they are further augmented by Syria’s massive Scud missile and artillery arsenals and by a frightening potential fifth column among Israeli Arabs in the Galilee. Sunday’s assault on police forces operating in the Syrian-allied Druse village of Majdal Shams on the Golan Heights is a mild indicator of what is liable to transpire in Israeli Arab villages in the North in the next war.
For its part, the IDF is seeking to deter such an attack. Wednesday’s briefing, in which the IDF made clear that it knows where Hizbullah has hidden its missiles, was aimed at deterring war.
Unfortunately, the IDF’s warnings will likely have no effect on Hizbullah. If Hizbullah goes to war, it will do so not to advance its own interests, but to protect Iran. Here of course, there is nothing new.
Four years ago this week Hizbullah launched its war against Israel and not because doing so served its interests. Hizbullah launched its war against Israel because Iran ordered it to do so. Then as now, Iran sought a war with Israel in Lebanon to divert international attention from its nuclear weapons program. And now, with the Iranian regime besieged by its own people as never before, and with just a short period required for it to cross the nuclear threshold, Iran has more reason than ever to seek a distraction in Lebanon to buy time for itself.
Four years ago, Israel was taken in by Iran’s Lebanese proxy war. Rather than keeping its eye on Teheran, it swallowed Hizbullah’s bait and waged a war against hapless Lebanon while leaving Iran and its Syrian toady immune from attack. The results were predictably poor and strategically disastrous.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak has given Iran every reason to believe that Israel will respond in an identical manner if Hizbullah strikes again today. In repeated statements over the past several months, he has maintained that Israel will blame Lebanon – not Iran or Syria – for any Hizbullah action against it.
Four years ago, Israel was reined in by the Bush administration. Secretary of state Condoleezza Rice ordered Israel not to attack Syria despite the fact that without Syrian support for Hizbullah, there could have been no war. Israel obliged her both because its leaders lacked the strategic sense to recognize the folly of Rice’s demands and because the Bush administration was Israel’s firm ally.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu just returned from yet another visit with US President Barack Obama. Although the background music was cheerful, from statements by both men it is clear that Obama is not a credible ally. He does not understand or accept the strategic logic behind the US alliance with Israel and will not support Israel in future armed conflicts. Indeed, in the face of the growing Iranian menace, Obama insists on limiting his interests to the irrelevant faux peace process with Fatah while allowing Iran and its proxies to run wild.
What this means is that for better or for worse, under Obama the US is far less relevant than it was four years ago. And this frees Netanyahu to fight the coming war on Israel’s terms. Iran’s domestic troubles and the Arab world’s genuine fear of a nuclear armed Iran provide Israel with a rare opportunity to radically shift the balance of power in the region for the better. It is time for Netanyahu to lead.
Carolyn Glick
Jerusalem Post

I have an entirely different perspective. God will be dictating the next war, and in it, the Hezbollah will cease to exist. (Read yesterday's post.)

Jimmy Root Jr
Author: DISTANT THUNDER Book One of the Lightning Chronicles
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