Recently an article appeared on the online journal ‘Foreign Policy’. I would invite readers to read it before reading my response below.
The article appears to be a reasonable account of the current state of affairs; however, it falls short of facing up to the long-term endgame agenda of the Israelis.
War between Israel and Hezbollah is always 'imminent'. It might not happen today, in which case it will be 'imminent' tomorrow. And, if not then, then it will be 'imminent' the next day, and so on. The reality is; it is as ‘imminent’ today as it was on 11 July 2006, the day before the Second Lebanon War started.
Whether or not one accepts war between Israel and Hezbollah is ‘imminent’ is beside the point; what does need to be understood is that war between Israel and Hezbollah is all but inevitable. But such a war will not be just between Israel and Hezbollah.
Hezbollah have significantly strengthened both its weapons arsenal and its powerbase in Lebanon and enjoys considerable popular support particularly after their performance during and immediately after the Second Lebanon War. In light of this, Israel is not likely to underestimate the tenacity and ability of Hezbollah to resist another war against Israel. That’s not say, though, that Israel will not attempt again to destroy Hezbollah; it simply means that a future war against Hezbollah by Israel will be far more concerted and, therefore, much more devastating then any of their other wars. It will not be a war that the Israelis can afford to lose again.
Hezbollah is supported heavily by Iran. Without Iran Hezbollah would not be able to resist Israeli attacks. No debate or discussion about the prospects of war between Israel and Hezbollah can be reasonably take place without consideration to Iran’s role in such a conflict. Since a war with Hezbollah is likely to be part of a significant do or die ‘final confrontation’, Israel will not only need to take on Hezbollah and attempt to deal it a death blow, but, in attempting to do so, will also need to eliminate Iran from the equation; hence the rhetoric and propaganda about Iran’s purported ‘nuclear weapons program’.
The ‘Iran has a nuclear weapons program’ meme is designed solely for the purpose of influencing public opinion to ultimately support an attack against Iran. Despite Israeli, US and their Western allies insistence that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons, there is no evidence whatsoever to support such claims.
The article notes that “any Israeli strike would require at least American acquiescence, which does not seem to be in the offing”. An Israeli strike would indeed require American acquiescence, but there is no evidence to support that it would not be ‘in the offing’. US and Israeli relations today may seem to be drifting apart over Israeli settlements in Jerusalem but when push comes to shove, and as Hillary Clinton has already stated, the US will continue with its unrelenting support of Israel.
The US cannot be seen to be favouring Israel in the face of such obvious intransigence from the Israelis over the West Bank settlements and Israeli housing in East Jerusalem and, hence, the apparent disagreement on the issue. But this should not cloud ones view of America’s commitment to, not just ensuring Iran remains without nuclear arms, but – and far more to the point – regime change in Iran. With Iran removed from the equation, which would also effectively remove Syria as well, Israel will feel far more confident about taking on both Hezbollah and Hamas which they would probably attempt simultaneously.
The upshot will be a final confrontation whereby Israel likely will initiate an attack with the covert collaboration of the US against Iran which the US will then join in openly exclaiming they have little choice in order to support their close ally Israel, while Israel at the same time pre-emptively attacks simultaneously Hezbollah and Hamas in order, so they will say, to prevent retaliatory action from Hezbollah and Hamas over Israel’s attack against Iran.
There are, of course, a number of permutations to this scenario with regard to how such a ‘final confrontation’ might start but the endgame agenda for Israel will be the same regardless of how it starts – the neutering of Iran and Syria, the destruction Hezbollah and Hamas and a compliant Palestinian people that will capitulate to any and all Israeli demands that may include annexation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank and the permanent occupation of south Lebanon up to the Litani River and its eventual annexation into a Greater Israel.
All this naturally takes a great deal of planning and such a final confrontation is hardly likely to be spontaneous, though both the Israelis and the US will be anxious for it to seem as though it is. For this reason the Israelis and the US have created the illusion of ‘imminence’. Up until when such a final confrontation does occur, the ‘on again, off again’ appearance of the situation will have served its purpose inasmuch that such a final confrontation will no longer come as any surprise to anyone.
One should take little notice of the propaganda and the rhetoric that the media reports as news. The geopolitical realities are that, at the same time as America is chastising Israel over the settlements and building issues, they are still busy shipping massive amounts of military jet fuel, military diesel fuel together with bombs, rockets and other ordnance to Israeli military depots and bases. Nothing has changed at all.
While the Zionists control Israel, war will always be ‘imminent’. And war between Israel and its enemies Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas will be inevitable.