Israel, Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran

Worldview Item of the Day

Unfortunately, I do not have time to give this subject proper treatment, but I think that everyone who cares about the future of this nation and the world needs to be paying close attention to what is going on in Israel right now.

Today, Hezbollah launched at least three rockets from southern Lebanon into Israel, a clear escalation of the fight for survival against Iran that nation finds itself in the middle of. Why blame Iran? Because Hamas and Hezbollah are and always have been Iranian proxies against Israel.

I have maintained for months now that Israel is waiting until the end of the current administration to take action against Iran. The Olmert government respects George Bush too much–mostly because Bush has given it a free hand to deal with its own problems–to allow him to be beaten up that much more by an Israeli preemptive strike. Instead, I believe Olmert will wait until Obama–whose relationship with Israel is both tenuous and undeveloped–takes office with the hope of sparing the United States a great deal of the blame for what Israel is morally compelled to to for its own continued existence.

The fight with Hamas was Israel’s first dress rehearsal for that operation, designed, I believe, to toughen up its current crop of conscripts (it’s been a year and a half since the Lebanon debacle) and to toughen up the population for what will inevitably be a brutal fight once it bombs Iran.

Iran has now upped the ante by bringing Hezbollah–emboldened by its successes in 2006 and in recent Lebanese politics–into the fight now rather than later. With the fight now on two fronts, Israel will be hard pressed to wait long if it plans to take action against Iran before Obama gets his diplomatic and military feet under him.

My belief is that one of two things is destined to happen from here: either Iran will attack Israel or Israel will attack Iran.

If Iran attacks Israel, it will likely be through a terrorist attack against Israeli interests either on the Israeli coast (think about he Iranian ship captured by Somali pirates that likely had dirty nuclear material on board, which made the pirates sick) or through a coordinated set of attacks on Israelis in places outside direct Israeli protection. Iran will wait to launch these attacks until international pressure against Israel is at its highest, but before Iranian elections that I believe are scheduled for this summer.

If Israel attacks Iran, it will be within 90 days of Obama’s inauguration, so between January 20 and the middle of April. Israel cannot afford to wait longer because, after the middle of April, Obama will be comfortable enough in his position as president to respond to Israel in a rational way, including threatening Israel with sanctions to dissuade it from acting.

The result is an extremely dangerous time for us all, and how we respond as a nation will be as important as how our government responds.


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