AUSTRALIANS AT WAR

AUSTRALIANS AT WAR
THE NEW AMERICAN CENTURY is a compelling factual history of neoconservatism and its influence on US Foreign Policy in the Middle East during the first decade of the twenty-first century. Click on image above for details.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

IS THE MIDDLE EAST ABOUT TO BLOW?

The situation in the Middle East has become extremely volatile over the last few days what with the Israelis killing Palestinians by the score in the Gaza and the US provocatively placing their warships just outside of territorial waters off Lebanon. After months of festering, the Israelis and the US seem set to bring the entire Middle East to a head with the ultimate endgame being the final confrontation between Iran and the US and Israel.

Israel has already launched a murderous onslaught against the Gazan people that has killed scores of civilians and which seems to be a prelude for a full-on invasion of the Gaza that will inevitably cause even more death and misery for the already badly suffering Gazan people. Hundreds, if not thousands, are likely to be killed if the Israelis invade the Gaza.

Meanwhile, the US has placed the USS Cole and other support vessels off shore of Lebanon. The Israelis and the US are clearly anticipating Hezbollah to launch some kind of action against Israel in support of the Palestine fighters in the Gaza and in retaliation of the recent Israeli-orchestrated killing of Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh. Israel is likely to respond with yet another massive attack against Hezbollah and the Lebanese people just as they did in July and August of 2006. Already Israel are accusing Hamas in the Gaza of using Iranian supplied missiles against Ashkelon in Israel and no doubt, if Hezbollah do enjoin the fight against Israel, similar accusations will be laid against Hezbollah who, as the Israelis did during the last war, will accuse the Iranians of supplying weapons via Syria, thus providing the excuse the Israelis need to attack Syria. The hope then will be that Iran will come to the aid of Syria thus providing casus belli for the US to attack Iran.

In the event of such a war developing and escalating to this level it may well be that Abbas in the West Bank may loose control over Fatah fighters there who might forget their differences with Hamas and join the fight against Israel in support of their fellow Palestinians in the Gaza and their fellow Arabs fighting in Lebanon against a common enemy.

And all this will happen while the rest of world just sits and lets it happen without a murmur of protest.

14 comments:

David G said...

We live in perilous times, Damian! Perhaps the end of the world is not too far away?

Damian Lataan said...

Perhaps David, the Gazan people may be thinking their world has already come to an end.

Anonymous said...

http://dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/3/1/154735/0588/864/466950

Anonymous said...

Almost...The current regime in Syria is the best thing that ever happened to Israel. They will stand by and watch Lebanon get destroyed.

Irish Eyes said...

Two points:

1) I do not believe Israel will launch a major ground offensive in Gaza. They lack both the courage and - as displayed by their pitiful performance in Lebanon - the competence to engage in any kind of warfare which does not involve firing into refugee camps from thousands of meters.

2) I also don't believe that the events in Gaza portend any wider escalation. I think we are too quick to assume that the Israelis behave the way they do because they are concocting some rational master plan. It seems to me rather that they are motivated by a primitive, emotional desire for easy revenge, and a pathetic need to always appear 'tough'. After all, one Israeli man died - naturally that means that 100 Palestinians will have to die in order to make the Israelis feel manly again. Oh wait, 100 Palestinians already have died. And it seems Israeli pride has not yet been restored...

mike hesslein said...

Israel is a menace to the entire world. It is the deadlies enemy of America. It uses us and our armed forces to carry out their murderous, genocidal policies. They robbed us of trillions of dollars in their pursuit of their genocidal policies. They will attack Lebanon. The US is their big gun. They need no courage to attack. The US is there with the big guns.

Arnold Cafe said...

There are untoward happenings in the middle east that keeps going on that we can opt is only to speculate but one thing is sure that lasting peace in Palestine is improbable, not until Palestinian rights are fully restored, it is the only solution that can bring peace to the middle east.I don't want to sound as an alarmist nor a pessimist but the people behind the scene particularly the US who is the key player of this tragic event know this. This is a guarded secret they had been keeping, truth to the matter they don't want total peace to happen in the middle east because this is one way to make their presence felt in every nook of the middle east and be in control strategically through Israel. The US by all means has to protect their vested interests there to stay in 'business'.

michael said...

Arnold Cafe is doing a bit of shill type misdirection.

Would he care to comment on Ariel Sharon's comment on Israel Army Radio on 3 Oct 01,". . . don't worry about American pressure, we the Jewish people control America.".

This was in response to Shimon Peres expressing concern at what America might do if Israel continues to disregard requests for a ceasefire with the Palestinians.

Arnold Cafe would know this ?

truthseeker said...

Blood-thirsty ISRAEL seeks "clean break" to ensnare Iran/Syria into the war after "shoah" attacks on Gaza & Lebanon(check out the comments section at the bottom there as well)

'A Clean Break/war for Israel agenda

Anonymous said...

Israeli troops withdraw from Gaza
By IBRAHIM BARZAK, Associated Press Writer 29 minutes ago


Israeli ground troops pulled out of northern Gaza before daybreak Monday, following the first extended sweep in an offensive against Palestinian rocket squads that has left more than 100 dead and led the Palestinian president to call off peace talks.

Israeli infantry started withdrawing from the town of Jebalya after midnight following several days of fighting, the military said, but the government vowed it would continue its offensive against rocket squads. Overnight airstrikes targeting weapons manufacturing and storage facilities, a Hamas headquarters and groups of gunmen killed five Palestinians, all of them Hamas militants, Hamas said.

Yet despite days of fierce Israeli assaults, Gaza militants continued launching rocket barrages at areas in southern Israel, including Ashkelon, a city of 120,000. Three rockets hit Ashkelon on Monday morning, Israeli rescue services said, with one scoring a direct hit on an apartment building. No casualties were reported.

Palestinian medical teams found three more bodies in Jebalya after the Israeli troops left. At least one of them was a militant, they said. Residents who had been trapped in their houses for days began emerging, and some collected equipment left behind by the Israelis: ammunition clips, food cans, two bloody stretchers and a helmet with a bullet hole in it.

Jebalya resident Ahmed Dardouna said he and his nine children had been confined to one room of their house by soldiers who occupied it for three days.

"We couldn't distinguish day from night," he said. "The sounds of shooting and explosions, mixed with the screaming of soldiers and the screaming of my children who were asking to go to bathroom and for food is still in my ears."

In all, 117 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since the fighting erupted last Wednesday, according to militants and medical officials. Roughly half the dead were civilians, the officials said. One Israeli civilian was killed by a rocket, and two Israeli soldiers were killed in the Jebalya fighting.

The moderate Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, put peace talks with Israel on hold, clouding an upcoming peace mission by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The Israeli offensive also drew a chorus of international condemnation, with the EU, Turkey and U.N. chief Ban Ki-Moon accusing Israel of using excessive force in Gaza.

Despite the lopsided death toll, Hamas sent a message to reporters calling the pullout a retreat by the "cowardly" Israeli military. But Israel said the withdrawal didn't signal it was scaling back its Gaza operations.

"Our efforts against the rocket launchers and those who operate them will continue unabated until Israeli children will no longer be attacked while sitting in their own classrooms, and until their families can sit in their own homes without fear of a rocket crashing through their roof," government spokesman David Baker said.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said a full-scale invasion was still possible, and Israel might try to bring down the regime of the militant Islamic Hamas. "We will use force to change the situation," Barak said at a meeting late Sunday of security commanders, according to a statement from his office.

In the early hours of Monday, Palestinians counted nine separate Israeli airstrikes all over Gaza, one of them near the office of Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, who was not in the area at the time.

Vice Premier Haim Ramon said Israel should consider returning fire at the rocket launchers, even if it means shelling populated areas. "In the end, this will save lives on both sides," he said, since Palestinian civilians would either force the rocket squads from their neighborhoods or flee themselves. He told Israel Radio early Monday that "no reasonable country" would object to Israeli efforts to defend itself.

Damian Lataan said...

The only reason there hasn’t been a full-on invasion just yet is because Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice will be arriving in Israel tomorrow for talks with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert – hence today’s pull-out from the Gaza. Depending on what transpires from these talks, and if the Palestinian fighters continue to launch rockets into Israel, one can expect the onslaught to continue after Rice has gone.

Anonymous said...

Syria is not a major threat to anyone in the region. Its Army uses mostly old(some dating back to WW2) weapons and equipment and they have not won a battle in decades. Saudi Arabia and Egypt would be real effective opponents to Israel if they ever fired a shot in anger at Israelis.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Israel and Hezbollah are going to go at it again which would be right in accordance with the rest of the 'A Clean Break'/war for Israel agenda:


'A Clean Break'/war for Israel:

http://neoconzionistthreat.blogspot.com/2008/02/clean-break.html

The youtube of the call is also linked at the following wakeupfromyourslumber URL:

Blood-thirsty ISRAEL seeks "clean break" to ensnare Iran/Syria into the war after "shoah" attacks on Gaza & Lebanon (be sure to take a look at the comments at the bottom of the following URL)

http://www.wakeupfromyourslumber.com/node/5890

See the additional posts on both pages of the following URL:

http://NEOCONZIONISTTHREAT.BLOGSPOT.COM



Subject: Israel, Hezbollah: Gearing Up for Another War?



Strategic Forecasting, Inc.
---------------------------

ISRAEL, HEZBOLLAH: GEARING UP FOR ANOTHER WAR?

Summary
A number of indications suggest that Israel and Hezbollah could be
readying themselves for a military confrontation in Lebanon in the near
future. Israel's operations in Gaza could be an attempt to ensure it only
has to fight on one front, and Stratfor sources report Hezbollah is
gearing up for a battle.

Analysis
With Palestinian rocket barrages continuing and Israel threatening to
reoccupy the Gaza Strip, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is
visiting Cairo, Ramallah and Jerusalem on March 4 with the ill-fated goal
of reviving Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. While the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict is bound to flare up every now and then, there appears to
be a bigger issue in play. Israel's current focus on degrading the
Palestinians' rocket-launching ability could in fact be tied to possible
Israeli intentions to wage war against Hezbollah in the near future.

Israel launched a major offensive into the Gaza Strip on Feb. 29 after
Palestinian militants lobbed around 20 Soviet-designed Grad rockets (a
step up from the usual homemade Qassam rockets) into the coastal
Israeli city of Ashkelon, 11 miles north of Gaza. These rockets are more
disruptive than deadly, but they inflict a heavy psychological toll on
Israel. The Israeli government came under heavy pressure to respond in
force, particularly after a Qassam attack killed a civilian in the southern
Israeli town of Sderot.

Despite international condemnation, Israel has made clear that its
operations in Gaza are not over. Haaretz reported March 4 that Israeli
Defense Minister Ehud Barak said this is not a quick operation, but
rather a long process that will involve more intense offensives. Israeli
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni even threatened that Israel would reoccupy
the Gaza Strip if necessary.

Israel's big push on Gaza might be driven by concerns larger than just
its conflict with the Palestinians, however. There are a number of
indications that Israel could be readying itself for a military
confrontation with Hezbollah in Lebanon in the summer. The Israelis have been
extending unusual carrot and stick offers to Syria as a warning to stay out
of their fight with Hezbollah; U.S. warships are sitting off the coast
of Lebanon, signaling possible U.S. intervention; and Hezbollah --
along with its Syrian and Iranian patrons -- appears to be making
preparations for a coming war.

According to a Stratfor source in Lebanon, a large contingent of
Iranian foreign intelligence officers, military officials and security
experts have recently arrived in Beirut. Iranian missile and tactical support
experts are allegedly in control of several military operations rooms
recently set up by Hezbollah in the southern Lebanese town of Nabatiye
and the Bekaa Valley towns of Mashghara and Al Hirmil. Stratfor has
discussed before the Iranian intent to secure its grip over Hezbollah
ahead of any major confrontation with Israel.

Hezbollah, according to a Stratfor source, also is transporting a
large number of Zelzal missiles to the heights of the West Bekaa valley.
These unguided rockets are large and difficult to transport or hide. They
did not make an appearance in the 2006 conflict; however, if Hezbollah
has managed to acquire several Zelzals, these long-range rockets could
send a large warhead deep into Israeli territory. And Hezbollah is
digging out tunnels and underground shelters, reorganizing its command
structure in the western Bekaa Valley and training under Iranian military
commanders in Tehran. Moreover, Stratfor has received reports that
Hezbollah is installing explosive devices in Iranian-built Mohajer unmanned
aerial vehicles and has acquired new antitank guided missiles.

While Hezbollah appears to be digging in for a fight, Israel is
focusing on diminishing the threat it faces on the Palestinian front. Embedded
in a section on manpower requirements and reserve mobilization in the
final Winograd report on Israel's performance in the 2006 conflict,
several points were made on the difficulties Israel faced due to slow
decision-making in fighting Hezbollah in Lebanon while simultaneously
conducting operations against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The difficulty during
that conflict was not in fighting the Palestinians per se, but in
having enough manpower to cover both fronts. If Israel can manage to
degrade a fair amount of Hamas' rocket-launching capability in Gaza ahead of
a military confrontation with Hezbollah, it can clear its plate a bit
and focus more intently on the issue of allocating enough forces to
impose a military defeat on Hezbollah.

Copyright 2008 Strategic Forecasting, Inc.

truthseeker said...

Mar 4, 2008
Egypt leaks information about an American military action against Syria:

http://www.roadstoiraq.com/2008/03/04/egypt-leaks-information-about-an-american-military-campaign-against-syria/