Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Perspectives on the Middle East
The US Will Become Further Embroiled in the Middle East Soon.
My perspective is the following:
1. The concept of "Land Exchanged for Peace" by Israel is a dead issue, as is the so-called "Roadmap for Peace" supported by the US and others. This has come about because of the actions of Hezbollah and Hamas in employing short-range 122mm rockets for months prior to and during the latest major reaction by Israel.
2. Israel will defend itself as always. The IDF will make any attacks very costly for the Islamic Jihadists. "World Opinion" will not deflect Israel from pursuing its survival, and in the extreme case, Israel will use its nuclear weapons to thwart its enemies.
3. The US will stand by Israel, and will act to defend her if the provocation is great enough.
4. The US military forces need to be brought up to the strength it had prior to the cuts imposed on it by Clinton, where the force reduction was on the order of 40%. As the events in Iraq, Iran, Palestine, and Lebanon have shown, and the rattling of nuclear sabers in both Iran and North Korea have shown, the US may well have to fight in multiple theaters of war in the near future. While diplomacy have been underway for years throughout the ME and in Korea, there has been a continuing escalation of tensions, and the US ability to fight as a last resort has been severely hampered by its relative lack of strength and readiness. It is obvious that talking from a position of strength has a far better chance of success than otherwise.
5. The probability of a wider ME war is growing daily. Immediately affected beyond the current Israeli-Lebanese conflict is Syria and Syria's ally Iran. With Iran feverishly pursuing nuclear weapons and missile capabilities, some action will have to be taken soon, perhaps within the year, and almost certainly by the Spring of 2008. Israel cannot afford for Iran to have a valid nuclear threat to its existence, and thus neither can the US stand by and let Israel be destroyed.
6. The Europeans are not to be counted upon in this conflict in any substantial way for several reasons: their passivity in the face of threats; their preoccupation with economic and political integration into the EU; their lack of serious military capabilities for foreign intervention; their internal threat of Muslim political intervention or insurrection (there will be a majority of Muslims in Europe by 2050, which is illustrative of Islamic power there.); their tensions with Russia; and their ever- growing dependence on ME oil. They have become divided, weak, ex-powers in the world, but are very, very reluctant to admit it.
7. Islamic Jihadists ( the so-called "lesser jihadists") must be viewed as an existential threat to Israel, the nations of Europe, and ultimately the US. The avowed goal of Islamic Fundamentalist jihadists who are fueling the current wars is domination of the world, and the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate over all nations. Thus, peace in the Middle East will not be possible without the substantial degredation or virtual elimination of Islamic Jihadists in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, along with the capture and regulation of their oil resources both to stop their use of petrodollars for terrorism, and to ensure fair distribution of oil worldwide in these days of dwindling supplies.
8. The strategic importance of Israel to the US in this growing conflict is clear. It is an island base in the midst of potential enemy countries: Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine. The importance of Iraq is similar as it faces Iran, Syria, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, the prime sources for jihadists, weapons, and funds.
9. We can never let our guard down in the US either, since we have a Muslim population of at least 6 million people, of which many are very likely Jihadists or firm sympathizers.
It is devoutly to be wished that this perspective does not come true, and lasting peace can be found for the Middle East without bloodshed. I am not optimistic.