"A country that exists in a permanent state of war, cannot exist as a democracy"
---Steven Kinzer journalist and author
What does the Assad regime and the Israeli occupation have in common? They are both tyrannical governments hated by the people they claim to govern, and symbolic of lawlessness which respects neither international conventions or human rights. [http://publicintelligence.net/purported-list-of-israeli-war-criminals-names-and-information/]
Both regimes are symbolic of everything that is wrong with many Middle Eastern regimes, and are potential targets of a new movement to bring down brutal governments with outdated modes of ruling those they claim to govern.
Only one however has the potential to start regional war that could conceivably morph into a world wide conflagration. The pugnacious and nuclear bomb wielding nation of Israel.
Israel Not Immune To The "Arab Spring"
In light of the recent developments resulting from the "Arab Spring" the creation of homegrown militias like those based in Libya, Iraq, Somalia, Lebanon, and now Syria lends hope to the possibility that the world may potentially witness the rise of a "Free Palestine Army" based not only in the Palestinian territories, but also surrounding areas which have become ungovernable in the face of recently deceased and ailing regimes throughout the region. If history is any indication the Israeli government may very well find itself subject to insurrections from within and without its borders.
As conflict consumes the region like wildfire spreading through dry brush the potential for a new front inspired by the Arab spring becomes more realistic with the fall of each city, town, state and government. This fact has not escaped the Israeli government who sees the interference, and support of Iran, to these militias as an even bigger threat than any "potential nuclear capabilities" it may develop in the next decade.
In other words Israel is panicking; not for what may happen the next few years, but for what may very well happen in the foreseeable future, particularly upon the fall of the Assad regime. Essentially the staging of a sustained offense from multiple fronts into the Israeli territories, destroying the economy and dislodging, weakening, or eradicating the Israeli regime.
I emphasize the word "regime" as it is not the Israeli people that are calling for war (as they are the ones to suffer), but rather their politicians who garner public support through brash and emotional diatribes much in the same way the Nazi's emphasized how much the German people supported them.
Jewish Holocaust: a backdrop to the "Final Solution" in the Palestinian territories
It has only been through years of constant fear mongering, racial apartheid, militarization and religious zealotry that politicians like Netanyahu have been able to brow beat their populations into supporting their insanity, or simply remaining silent.
This is a familiar tactic with which Israeli leaders are uniquely familiar, as the Nazis used these very same methods in 1930's. Masters of the media the Nazis were obsessive in their use of this technique creating a polished and rational public image which hid the reality of their intentions. This public image masked the truth of what history now calls: Hitler's "final solution".
This final solution was simplistic in form, but insane in nature: complete genocide, we now call this 'the Holocaust' which the Jews vow to "never forget". Certainly the Palestinian occupation and eradication has its analogies, in spite of what apologists would have us think.
Nazis were not alone as Stalin, Pol Pot, Japan and other fascist democracies had some form of "house cleaning" method use to remove a competing ethnic groups. In fact Hitler often argued that his methods were modeled on those used by the US to pacify the indigenous Native Americans, and colonized African slaves.
Put simpler Israels attempt to ethnically cleans the Palestinians rather than creating a truly inclusive democracy, follows a familiar pattern, unknown only to those who have no desire, or stomach to consider TRUE HISTORICAL FACTS. While the form may vary, the outcome is the same: removal and exclusion of the indigenous.
Unlike Hitler who was impatient seeking to eradicate the majority of Jews before anyone could or would respond. The Israeli's on the other hand have dug in for the long haul and so use:
economic sanctions on medicine, food, chemicals, cleansers, machines, and even the control (denial) of electricity and water as their choice of WMD's, the new Auschwitz is Gaza, the West Bank, the Golan Heights and other small islands on which walls have been built to confine, control and conduct the Palestinian people. The moves toward a military strike against Iran are the more recent in a long history of crying wolf. http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/09/29-7
One thing both the Nazis and history have proven is that there is never a lack of people willing to justify a bad idea, no matter how much it may ultimately be against their long term interest, or conflict with ethics, morality or international laws, when fear and self interest are used as primary motivators the crowd mentality takes over.
Ideas bizarre and irrational as attacking a nation of 70,000,000 people without legal basis and embarking on a campaign of ethnic cleansing and wars of aggression actually do garner some public support, at least this is the face the Israeli power structure emphasizes.
Two years ago it was unthinkable that the governments currently besieged could fall, yet history has born out that reality. Certainly Israel is no different. By many accounts (particularly within the IDF itself) this is a "possibility" which could reach fruition much sooner than any "Iranian bomb" which is still only a "potential" threat.
The gathering storm of a guerrilla offense against Israeli occupation
A far more CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER would be the unleashing of a sustained guerrilla war on several fronts, combined with a conventional war against Iran and possibly another regional power (Turkey, Egypt, and Saudi all raise significant military threats).
This is more than a "nightmare" scenario, it is in fact exactly the kind of scenario which could result in a long term regional solution. In other words a solution that benefits the ENTIRE REGION, rather than one particular ethnic group(nationality). The following elements would necessarily make up a significant rebalancing of the regional order:
- The curtailment of disproportionate Israeli influence in the US Congress, Executive Branch and Europe, (in other words unwavering support for Israel would have to have political consequences in the voters booth)
- The declawing of its military by placing its nukes under UN oversight (would require significant US and UN backing, but could become viable under a "war crimes" scenario wherein Israel become the central antagonist)
- The trying of various leaders past and present for crimes against humanity, or a Truth and Reconciliation joint tribunal similar to that which came after Apartheid in South Africa (incidentally one of the wolds strongest economies today),
- The removal of physical barriers which bisect the nation and create a state of sustained and prison like apartheid,
- The integration of Israel with a representational government inclusive of Palestinians and other minorities (South Africa is a model for this type of change, without massive killing, expulsion, or invasion)
Not surprisingly only Israelis (much like white South Africans) find this inconceivable and quite unreasonable, for the rest of the civilized world we call this: modern democracy. Israel is the only modern western style democracy allowed to flaunt international laws, and norms of human decency, while invoking these very laws on others, including against the Palestinians to whom they deny the right to statehood.
In light of these facts Israel's threats for a "nuclear final solution" to the Iranian threat makes more sense, as it scrambles to create a diversion from the real problem: the Arab Spring and its potential to undermine the entrenched, and fanatic Jewish zionism which has taken over in Tel Aviv.
The problem with Zionism is not so much its promotion of Jewish interest, but its exclusion of all other human concerns. This ideological system was constructed in an environment of intense nationalism, and arose in reaction to centuries of ant-Semitism in Europe.
Today Zionism as an ideology finds itself much antiquated in a world where civilization has become integrated, interdependent and globally inclusive. US politicians which offer their unqualified support do so, not out of conscience but out of fear of reprisals from powerful US based Jewish lobbies such as: AIPAC and the ADL.
Unable to prepare against an intangible threat, the IDF and Israeli Knesset have created a diversion which will allow them to essentially invade their neighbors as this will become necessary in the event of a strike on Iran.
Certainly Jordan, Saudi, Syria, Turkey, and Iraq will not grant clearance to Israel to cross its airspace. This act alone (invading sovereign air space of its neighbors) is considered an act of war and will have a regional domino effect as military responses will become inevitable.
The Arab Spring Foments Regional Jihad
The fundamental problem, at its core is: regional Jihaad. Recent billboards posted online and through out Israel decry "Jihaad" and generally make no sense in context of the Iranian problem as Iran's intentions are hardly to wage a Jihad, but rather to warn off any attempt to infringe on its sovereignty or erode its regional influence.
Essentially Iran does not seek any right not currently invoked by modern Western nations, the difference being that Iran is a Muslim nation and globally Muslim nations have been denied the right to possess or seek nuclear technology, in spite of conventions and treaties guaranteeing them the right to do so.
Most critics have noted that while Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hurls verbal diatribes against the Israeli state, its clerics and it's people have hardly echoed this same desire for war.
Thus in spite of any legitimate (or illegitimate) nuclear ambitions, its saber rattling is just that 'saber rattling' as there has been no substantial evidence provided by any administration, in Israel, or the US, or by any agency including the IAEA that Iran is developing nuclear technology for military purposes or that it is on the verge of a breakthrough. [http://amircarr2000.newsvine.com/_news/2012/10/01/14162095-8-reasons-why-iran-is-not-a-threat]
Regional Jihad, Not Nukes: The Reestablishment of Israeli Hegemony
On the other hand the pan-Arab, Islamist militant movement throughout the region has gained a level of success undreamt of by any military planners since the first Afghan/Soviet conflict. As the saying goes "all roads to peace in the region lead back to Israel", by analogy, certainly all roads to war will lead back to Israel as in light of its atrocious system of Apartheid in the Palestinian territories it will not remain immune.
Thus the clear potential for a grass roots uprising on the level of that in Syria, Lebanon,Yemen and Libya may potentially be supported by the new governments of the nations which have, contrary to public opinion, traditionally guaranteed Israels border security, and sustained its economy through trade.
These states are not alone, as a war weary US public, more emotionally detached from the original conflicts and increasingly impoverished has demonstrated an appetite for cutting its unlimited funding the the militant state, and withdrawing the political support for its endless stream of atrocities in the region against the indigenous Palestinian population. Essentially America (itself a debtor nation) is tired of supporting the welfare state of Israel, which snub its nose at peace and rejects all efforts for a long term solution, to its own loss.
Traditional Pillars of Israels Security Begin To Crack
Reflecting on the status of recent geo-politics one may note that from the end of the Six Day War of 1967 and the conclusion of its treaty with Egypt, Israel held several pillars as sacred to its internal security which made it virtually unassailable:
a) Egyptian cooperation in controlling its Southern border (controlled by an Alawite monarchy/dictatorship until 2010);
b)Syrian cooperation in controlling its North Eastern border (controlled by marshal law under a dictator until 2012);
c) Jordan's cooperation in controlling its South Eastern border (controlled by a monarchy/dictator);
d) Its ability to fight Hezbollah to a stalemate, and Lebanon's internal instability preventing it from creating a clear and present danger in the North (controlled by competing interests unable to form a majority);
e) US complicity in controlling, influencing, invading and ultimately dismembering its greatest potential enemy: Iraq (controlled by a Ba'athist dictator until 2003);
f) NATO's complicity in controlling, influencing and precluding any potential Turkish threat (controlled by a secular anti-Islamist military government until 2010);
g) Extensive and long term, and unlimited financial and military aid from the US which would enable it to subjugate the native inhabitants of Palestine, creating an apartheid style state which has successfully existed for the last 50 years;
h) The inability of any world body to exercise any level of control or influence over Israel, precluding any indictment for war crimes, genocide, or crimes against humanity;
i) Preventing the Palestinians from forming a nation with contiguous borders thereby maintaining its system of "divide and conquer" wherein the Palestinians would ultimately have no ability to defend themselves, organize, control their internal politics, or elicit international or regional support through alliances or treaties;
j) US and UN complicity in controlling, subjugating, and potentially invading and dismembering its greatest regional threat: Iran;
k) The militarization and psychological brainwashing of its internal population creating a 'bunker mentality' wherein the citizens live in a constant state of siege, and fear of their neighbors;
i) Last but not least the Jewish Bomb, a "final solution" in the form of an illegal and undeclared nuclear arsenal which potentially threatens every life on the planet and with which Israelis plan to use in a "Masada" style apocalyptic showdown if and when any nation, or global organization attempts to enforce international rules of law and order through the use of force.
Nuclear Insanity Threatens Humanity
For decades these pillars stood as unassailable geopolitical fortress which essentially ensured its survival in a region where it is seen not only as an interloping neo colonial power, but as a war criminal, and rogue state who does not respect the very law it invokes upon its neighbors. While pointing at regional states as "potential" threats, it stands itself as a clear and present danger to every human being on the planet as in recent days, it is the only confirmed nuclear nation which has threatened unequivocally to initiate a nuclear strike, on a nation which admittedly does not have nuclear capabilities.
Its logic can be noted in the words of its Prime Minister Netanyahu: "So I think we should stay focused on the real problem in the Middle East. It's not Israel. It's these dictatorships that are developing nuclear weapons with the specific goal of wiping Israel away."
Thus its rationale is not based on facts (that Iran threatens to initiate a nuclear strike), but rather on fear. That a nation which it sees as a threat: MAY DEVELOP nuclear capabilities. This is fundamentally a perceptional problem, and applies the same fear mongering methodology used by the Bush administration in initiating its war of aggression against Iraq in 2003.
The difference being that (to their credit) neither George Bush, Dick Cheney, nor Donald Rumsfeld advocated (publicly) using a nuclear strike against a non-nuclear nation. In addition to the fundamental illegality of nuclear wars of aggression, in spite of their hawkishness they understood one well known principle of modern warfare: M.A.D. (Mutually Assured Destruction).
How has this escaped the minds of the Israeli public? One can only surmise, as even the most extreme elements of the US right have not endorsed this insane idea, knowing that any nuclear strike against any nation in the sphere of Russia or China will most assuredly elicit a nuclear response.
As the fallout alone will kill, contaminate and make unlivable huge swaths of the region outside of Iranian borders, potentially close the Strait of Hormuz, create a global economic crash, and invite other regional powers to prosecute Israel and its main ally, the US as criminals of war similar to FDR's declaration to the world after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Therefore not only are Netanyahu's comments reckless, they are strategically unsound, as they invite folly and have little hope for any positive outcome for any regional power whatsoever. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dys3Isas0rQ&feature=related]
The Wild Card
What the Israeli government did not count on however was the recent political upheavals which have shaken the regional powers to the core. Frantically the leaders of Israel have scrambled for a solution to the possibility that it may be the next regime besieged by a home grown militia far more effective than Hezbollah, Hamas or the PLO at the height of their power. In this event they would be unable to use their nuclear arsenal and condemned to fight a conventional war on their own territory, with little hope for aid from the surrounding neighbors who would in all likelihood be the staging ground for the infiltration of fighters into the Palestinian territories.
With the increasing strength of the Arab Spring this reality has crept inexorably closer to the walls of Jericho and has not gone unnoticed by the subjugated inhabitants of Palestine, many of which are known to be aiding in the Syrian and Lebanese conflicts. In the face of a pan-Arab Jihad style guerrilla war the leaders of Israel have struggled for a solution which would ward off any thought of creating, supporting and encouraging the formation of a "Free Palestine Army".
The Widening Geopolitical Net of US Regional Operations
The IDF solution to this strategic threat is the initiation of a pre-emptive strike against Iran. By striking Iran, Israel would potentially draw the US and NATO into a larger regional conflict (as Iran would most assuredly respond). This would require NATO to occupy another country adding to a growing US military "footprint" in the Middle Eastern and Asian region as some notables on the list would include:
(those noted with the question mark have an "unofficial" but well known presence such as countries which host "black sites", or remote logistical air bases which are "multi purpose" in the 'war on terror')
Yemen (CIA, DoD "covert" drone war)
Iraq (CIA, Iraqi Army, Mercenary Private Security Forces)
Libya (NATO, CIA, European Special Forces)
Syria (Free Syrian Army)
Turkey (Free Syrian Army, Militias supported by NATO, and
Iraqi Kurdistan (US and Western European Oil industries, protected by significant Mercenary Armies)
The Med (5th Fleet, CENTCOM)
The Red Sea, Arabian Sea (5th Fleet)
The Indian Ocean (5th Fleet, CENTCOM, AFRICOM)
Djibouti (AFRICOM, Camp Lemonnier)
Morocco (Camp Lemonnier)
Qatar (US Air Base which was used to recruit, train, organize and offer logistical planning to the Libyan and more recently Syrian malitias)
Oman (staunch US ally)
Saudi Arabia (staunch US ally)
Kuwait (Major US airbase)
Bahrain (Major US airbase)
UAE (staunch US ally, the former Black Water (currently named ?), under the leadership of Eric Prince is training a mercenary army to suppress dissent among the local population, demonstrating the level of fear which pervades the regions authoritarian governments)
The Straight of Hormuz (5th Fleet, CENTCOM, 10 warships from the UK)
Afghanistan (occupied by NATO and US)
Pakistan (targeted assassinations and drone war, in addition to CIA presence, and logistical hub for war in Afghanistan)
Uzbekistan (location of CIA black site)
Turkmenistan (Logistical hub)
Kyrgyzstan (Manas air base, primarily a logistical hub, but known to have "dual use purposes")
Somalia (US drone targeted assissinations and drone war, CIA presence, AFRICOM, recently delegated to Ethiopia to take lead in supressing Al Shabab, with mixed success)
Sudan (target of US and Israeli bombing operations)
Uganda (AFRICOM, CIA training camps for anti-terror Africa campaigns)
Rwanda (AFRICOM, traditionally delegated to the Ugandan Army, and African Union army)
Nigeria (AFRICOM, Delta Force to combat Al Qaeda offshoot Boko Haram threat growing in the Maghreb)
Mali (AFRICOM, northern region recently taken over by elements of native malitias, Boko Haram, Al Shabab, rebels from Libya, the target of recent Delta Force counterterror operations) [http://www.chron.com/news/article/White-House-widening-covert-war-in-North-Africa-3913022.php]
(Note: Palestine is absent from this list as there are no known US military actions taking place, as this area traditionally falls under the Israeli monopoly. Reason? Plausible denial of war crimes, apartheid, and crimes against humanity taking place within the territory ceded to Isreal under past treaties.)
(Note: Iran is absent from this list, as Iran refuses to cooperate with long term colonial objectives since the overthrow of its democratically elected government in 1953 by combined efforts of US and Britain starting decades of civil unrest and several revolutions. The CIA however is known to operate in Iran in the capacity of arming, training and directing anti government Jihadi groups which infiltrate from the Afghani border regions.)
The above references are found in open source data and do not include any truly current "covert" programs which are not already publicly known. In addition the level of "involvement" is a relative term which in some cases ranges from small offices and remote bases, to full size battalion strength operations.
A recent occurrence supporting the contentions in this article are the bombing of an alleged weapons depot deep within Sudanese territory by Israel. This act of war, while mysterious in its intent, is largely believed to be aimed at stemming the flow of arms and materiel support to Hamas and other resistance groups fighting in the Sinai. This act in and of itself may draw the North African states into a direct confrontation with Israel who, conversely seeks to draw in the US and NATO. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2012/10/30/why-would-israel-bomb-sudan-theories-cite-iran-hamas-even-the-u-s/
These countries were named in order to give context to the content and demonstrate the extent, breadth and width of the potential battle zone: peripheral, medial and central. The reader may note that two players are missing from the list, as these countries have essentially been able to suppress (with mixed results) all significant public display of discontent, and thus militarily are currently only two dead zones which do not have 'hot wars', a fomenting revolution, or widening displays of public dissent: Israel and Iran. Two nations equally oppressive to various "unprivileged" segments of the population, and also the subject of this analysis.
As a country with increasing financial problems, the US is hardly ready to pay for another occupation, which is a requisite to any attempt to replace the Iranian regime, which would incidentally be ILLEGAL under current international laws. I emphasize REPLACING THE REGIME, as any attack would necessarily fall short unless its ultimate goal was to replace the regime. The folly of not doing this can be seen in George Bush Sr. first war against Iraq (where he stopped short of toppling the dictator), and his sons subsequent second invasion (for which we are still militarily engaged).http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/31/us-warns-israel-strike-iran
Another land war could conceivably last for decades if fought conventionally. By many accounts such a war would not be fought conventionally however, as the IDF has threatened to use its nuclear arsenal, contrary to international laws, treaties and rules of war (which to its discredit it has not signed in spite of constantly invoking against Iran).
This would most certainly exacerbate the current regional grievances and reinforce the perception of the US as an occupier. Consequently however the IDF would be free to use its traditionally heavy handed tactics, not only against targets in Iran, but also in Gaza, Egypt, Syria Lebanon and the Palestinian territories, engaging any guerrilla movements with the highest level of prejudice, ie. total eradication.
The political, theological and strategic background of Israel's 'Pre-Preemptive Strike on Iran'
Ultimately it would potentially fulfill one of its long standing strategic goals which has been to unilaterally seize the entire territory of Jerusalem (particularly the Dome of the Rock), (and more recently the renewed possibility of taking back the Golan Heights) as its leaders have promised to do on numerous occasions, fulfilling Jewish, Christian and Islamic apocalyptic predictions that the final world war would take place over the destruction of Aqsa Mosque by ultra-Orthodox Jews seeking to rebuild the temple of Solomon. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4_jmLzlKAg
Contrary to the opinion of many Western critics this could significantly affect the outcome of any potential conflict as the religious significance to the Jewish and Muslim people have profound cultural, symbolic and ultimately political symbolism. Traditionally the ground of Jerusalem has been the most hotly contested piece of earth known to history. Any move on Jerusalem would most assuredly instigate an all out Pan-Arab/Muslim response as several apocalyptic predictions in Islamic theology connect such an action by the Jews with the end of the world.
Incidentally these predictions also include: the entry of a Christian army into Syria, the appearance of a "Mahdi" which will lead the Muslims to into battle against a combined Jewish and Christian army, and the destruction of Jerusalem itself accompanied by a conflagration which will consume the world, one reference states "the sun will set in the East, and rise in the West"... possible allusions to a nuclear war.
Whether or not one takes these predictions as real or literal is of no consequence as certainly the adherents to these beliefs find them quite compelling. One analogy would be the various Jewish rebellions wherein multiple "messiah" like figures led their people in a guerilla war against the Roman legions, which ultimately had disastrous results (in spite of conventional wisdom).
Therefore the historical psychology and culture of this region are significant indicators of the current attitudes... consider for example if the Jews trapped at the Roman siege of Masada had nuclear bombs as a final recourse rather than the knives with which they killed themselves, history would have told a much different story.
These religiously inspired wars resulted in the total annihilation and exile of the Jewish nation by the Roman King Herod for the 'umpth-teenth' time in history as the history of blood runs deep in this region. This is only one example of how religion, zealotry, and apocalyptic views can affect the outcome of history, and ultimately the lives of millions.
The current situation in the middle east is no different in the sense of national attitude, as only secular Western societies attempt to view the conflict through the narrow and often foggy lense of secularism, which at its extreme can be as misleading as its ideological cousin "religious fundamentalism".
For the people of Israel this war is being packaged as a "life or death" struggle for survival which will result in their destruction if they don't fight it to the end. In other words the stark "mushroom cloud over Tel Aviv" imagery is being invoked, which in itself is nothing new as Israeli politicians have used this imagery since 1993.
Why? A strategic strike on Iran would advance the aims of many in the Israeli power structure (regardless of the potentially devastating and foreseeable consequences). Therefore in a rapidly changing environment, rather than hunker down and wait out these upheavals, the IDF and Israel leaders have skipped to the bottom of their options list and in a desperate effort to ward off any potential uprising of the local Arabs, have begun to threaten the world with the initiation of a nuclear strike on Iran, with a simultaneous strike in Lebanon, and possibly an attempt to seize contested territory in the Golan heights in the ensuing chaos caused by the dissolution of the Assad regime.
Not one to be outdone and also having significant interests in Syria the Iranian government has matched Israel word for word on its willingness to fight to the death, dragging the entire region into a war that could conceivably stretch from the Southern borders of Europe, and Russia, the Western borders of China, and India, and the Northern states of the African continent including: the Saudi Peninsula, Egypt, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Algeria, Nigeria, Morocco, and Mali. In essence Israel could conceivably set off WWIII.
A Fundamentally Flawed Plan
Past achievements do not guarantee future success. Historically Israel has been successful at fending off guerilla attacks into its stolen territory granted to it upon termination of hostilities after 1967. The world however is a much different place, and regional powers have certainly changed in the interim decades. By initiating a regional conflict Israel may achieve exactly what the US invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq achieved: unification and hardening of an opposition which will wage a guerrilla war for decades into the future.
The fundamental flaw in Western planning has always been their inability to understand the thinking of radical Islamists, Arabs and Muslims in general. There is a saying in Islamic traditions which states that the Muslim "loves death" MORE THAN the non-Muslim "loves life". This tradition is the foundation for all acts which entail Jihad, that by letting go of this world one frees himself to engage in battle at the highest levels of courage and sacrifice, while the enemy himself is fighting to hold on to his life and is material possessions.
A brief reflection on the nature of the Afghan, Iraqi, and Libyan conflicts lends commentary to the fact that any war initiated by Israel will play right into the hands of the Jihadist which for decades have attempted to lure the fledgingly state out of its fortress, traditionally arrogance is one of the greatest flaws in strategies of war.
In fact by striking out at Iran and initiating a regional conflict, which most certainly will take place, Israel may achieve for the Muslim world what radical Islamists like Bin Laden, Shamil Basayev, and the Mullah Muhammad Umar could only dream of: a pan-Islamic Jihad which would unite the Muslim world and re-instate the Islaamic Caliphate under a unified system of government similar to that in North America and currently developing in South America.
While this ideal may be more romance than reality, the recent migrations of trained and tested Jihadis from one battle zone to another suggests that their idea may not be quite so far fetched. Incidentally Mullah Muhammad Umar is still alive and well, after more than a decade of fighting a guerrilla war against the US and NATO allies, who recently have made overtures to Taliban contacts for negotiating peace preceding the planned US withdrawal in 2013.
A Plausible Scenario Where The Walls Of Jericho Would Crumble
Several events have occurred in recent years which have enhanced the potential for a regional Jihaad that will shift the balance of power away from Israel and would conceivably include the cooperation of an amalgam of ethnic and non-sectarian groups from throughout the Muslim world. Some of these elements include:
a) The fall of Mubarak opening the Sinai Peninsula to occupation by radical Islamic groups, the continued presence of Al Qaeda elements, as well as Palestinian insurgents aiding, training and arming militias, in addition to Hamas itself in the Gaza strip. While this has traditionally been seen as a pin prick, the economic consequences would be devastating and in the long term Israel would bleed out slowly from constant attacks on its southern borders, as Gaza is essentially a war zone already. In addition were the Israelis to enter into the Sinai this most certainly would elicit a military response from the Egyptian army. [Ref. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/08/21/al-qaeda-s-newest-front-in-sinai-could-deepen-arab-israeli-conflict.html]
b) The failure of Somalia to produce any real political solution or stability and in addition to Al-Shabab and other elements of Al Qaeda provide migrating Jihad's which have fought in numerous regions of the African Maghreb In a region flush with weapons a free hand from local governments in Sudan, Somalia, Egypt and Libya would provide huge amounts of man power to the conflict. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7gcVHMHvtg
c) The fall of Qaddafi by internal guerrilla forces, aided by the CIA, and known to be associated with Al Qaeda, and also to have infiltrated into Syria through Turkey. This element is quite significant as these fighters have been trained, vetted, and battle tested representing the special forces of guerrilla movements in the region. Known to be training fighters in Syria, Turkey and possibly Kurdistan these fighters when finished in Syria may enter Lebanon or other parts of the region to aid in other local conflicts. Many of these fighters are known to be Palestinian as Syria and Lebanon share a combined population of several hundred thousand displaced Palestinians. If they are successful in dislodging the Syrian regime the symbolic and political consequence could resonate throughout the region, as what was perceptually IMPOSSIBLE AND IMPROBABLE, will become reality. Certainly this model will be applicable to all governments with large dissatisfied and disenfranchised populations, Israel included.
d) The partition of Iraq into Sunni, Shia' and Kurdish regions, all of which have historical links to Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon, and Turkey. This quasi partition has created a power vacuum in which guerilla groups have been allowed to move almost without challenge since the withdrawal of US forces in 2011. Southern Iraq has stabilized but is well within the Iranian sphere of influence which has flooded the region with weapons and technical adviser and trainers from its elite Al Quds force. In fact Iran has threatened to destabilize the region with these fighters in the event of an Israeli strike, and the odd are that they would immediately attack Israel via Lebanon and Syria with a combined Hezbollah/ Al Quds force.
e) The radicalization of the Saudi Peninsula wherein the populations have resisted their US supported dictatorships in Yemen, Qatar, Oman, and the UAE. While the Monarchs struggle to keep the Arab Spring in check the condition of their authority is in question as some have gone so far as to hire mercenary armies to subjugate their people (ie. UAE has hired the former Black Water CEO to build a brigade of mercenaries, Qatar has allowed the US to build an air force base, and Oman also has a US base in its territory). In spite of these measures the fact that these countries see Israel as a common enemy complicates the situation as they train the very rebels being sent into the conflict zones named above to destabilized former allies (ie. Mubarak, Qaddafi, and Asaad). In addition the Arab states are known to be providing vast amounts of cash to aid in the causes of these uprising, while suppressing dissent in their own countries.
f) The destabilization of Syria and infiltration of unknown elements trained in Turkey, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Kurdistan, and possibly other war zones such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Chechnya, Dagestan, Georgia, Kashmir and India, evolving into an all out civil war which has already began to spill over into the surrounding regions. Syrian although a traditional enemy to Israel has essentially acted like a cork in the bottle when it came to maintaining regional stability. Notwithstanding a flare up from time to time the Assad regime generally maintained peaceful borders. This guarantee has evaporated leaving Israels Syrian border ripe for funneling aid, arms and personnel into the Golan Heights and West Bank. With the fall of the regime the region will become an area of anarchy absent a UN, or US military presence in the region. On the other hand however flooding the region with a US/UN ground force carries huge risk, yet in light of Syrias known WMD's this may soon become the only recourse left to Western powers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ns-wuZhCZ2Q
g) The destabilization of Lebanon which consists of several diverse groups that have historical grievances and have began to fight one another with the potential for an all out meltdown similar to the civil war of 1970's. A civil war in Lebanon will most certainly spell disaster for Israel. As government control dissolves so too do the guarantees of cease fire. In the ensuing chaos it is conceivable that Hezbollah would retaliate on behalf of Iran, and in the deteriorating security environment exercise a free hand in attacking Israeli northern borders and settlements. Unlike in past conflicts where its Western and Southern borders were secure, the IDF would be forced to fight on several fronts simultaneously. http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/international/08-Oct-2012/syria-turkey-trade-fire-as-clashes-rage
h) The recent alienation of the Turkish government, which has aided the FSA and the infiltration of Syria, acting as a staging ground for guerrilla attacks against the Assad regime. As recent years have witnessed a marked friction with Turkey any long term uprising on multiple fronts would involve the aid of Turkey as a staging ground, a financier and haven. Israeli retaliation would elicit a possible ground and air attack with conventional arms. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ho6mDNEKP9E The use of its nuclear arsenal would become obsolete as to bomb Turkey would be the same as bombing Europe itself, effectively cutting off support from what remains of its European allies, thus it would be forced to fight a conventional war with a fully intact and modern army. [http://info.publicintelligence.net/UN-GazaFlotilla.pdf]
i) The continued destabilization of Yemen by Al Qaeda which has successfully waged a guerrilla style war against the regime for the last decade, with increasing effectiveness almost toppling the government itself. This ongoing conflict has been secretly (and not so secretly) kept at bay by US forces using drone strikes, special forces operations and financial and military aid to the established government. In spite of these efforts Al Qaeda in Yemen has gained a significant foothold and claims huge swathes of territory totally out of government control. While the potential in an Israeli conflict is an unknown variable in context of the aforementioned environment Yemen could offer safe haven, training and potential recruits for any sustained Palestinian uprising, possibly with US and Saudi complicity.
j) The instigation of Iran who has and will continue to aid, arm and train elements of Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Shia militias in Iraq and the Assad regime, which even if they are removed from power in all likely hood will continue to fight a guerrilla style war against any newly established order. Guerillas thrive in a chaotic environment and ultimately what happens in Syria will have far reaching consequences for the future of Israel. A pre-emptive incursion into Iran would conceivably give Israel the foothold needed to deal with the fallout however due to the reasons mentioned above this most certainly would backfire as the potential for failure is tremendous.
k) Substantial alienation of major world powers who traditionally supported the regional order such as: Russia, China, Pakistan, Turkey, and several European nations. This is a given as any destabilization of the region will most certainly affect the world economy in a negative way. In this event the populations of these nations already financially stressed would have little sympathy for an economic crash caused by a nation viewed as an aggressor and criminal, cutting off financial and political support, and possibly aiding the efforts of local militia groups to battle the IDF. There is little reason to believe the EU would support sustained military operations in the region, especially in context of their own economic and political problems.
l) The failure of NATO and US forces to degrade, dismantle and defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan, many of whom have in fact infiltrated the ASF and have extensive training, and willingness to aid in operations against traditional enemies in Israel, Iraq, Pakistan, Kashmir and India. This is another unknown variable which will most certainly be affected by any war against, in or with Iran. Many Afghan groups have significant ties to the Iranian government and in light of Israels crimes would most certainly aid in a sustained action against Israel. Infiltration of these elements into the region in any case would not have good consequences for Israel.
m) The radicalization of Pakistani civilian population against occupation, drone strikes, and civilian deaths. If you think a video denigrating the Prophet Muhammad was bad, most certainly a strike whether nuclear or conventional would shake the region galvanizing public opinion and against Israel and her allies. The fallout would be disastrous and possibly could instigate a war between Pakistan and India both of which are nuclear powers, and both of which are currently engaged over Kashmir. As significant element of the Taliban and Al Qaeda are known to exist in Pakistan in spite of its distance from Israel the Pakistani problem could degenerate into a US, India, China problem. While the exact potential is hard to discern given mixed and conflicting alliances, Pakistan most certainly would be involved particularly in the event of a nuclear strike by Israel. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-700oZDTsq4
n) The continued support of some Pakistani elements for guerrilla operations in the region in order to offset the rise of Afghanistan as a regional power; As the Pakistani situation is still unstable the potential for an all out war would be aggravated by a regional war, and most certainly result in further radicalization and alienation pushing Pakistan further into the sphere of China and Russia in order to gain leverage over India in Kashmir and distance itself from a rapidly declining world power viewed as hypocritical in its application of law and order;
o) The alienation of the world wide Muslim public opinion. In light of decades of war against Muslim nations, a litany of unpunished and well documented war crimes, (particularly against civilians) and the continued occupation of Muslim lands creating the perception that the US sees Muslims and the religion of Islam as a global threat (in spite of its statements to the contrary), any pre-preemptive attack and subsequent economic fallout would create a huge rift between Washington and its historical regional allies already under siege by their domestic populations. Any support they could or would lend to the US would be significantly degraded by an internal backlash of public dissent threatening to destabilize already shaky regimes. Pakistan is only one example, as other examples would include: Turkey, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, India (Muslim population), Indonesia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Algeria, and possibly parts of the Phillipines, as well as Western minority Muslim populations in Europe, the US and South America.
p) The continued support for regimes which practice torture and deny basic human rights, while on the other hand invading, undermining and essentially overthrowing regimes seen as problematic and uncooperative. While this is a classic complaint of not only Muslims, but also the UN, and many global human rights organizations, in context of the aforementioned points it would merely serve as icing on the cake, acting as fodder for nations seeking to indict Israel and its aggressive allies in a scenario where a combined preemptive attack was made, nuclear or otherwise. In addition if an outcome similar to that in Iraq were the result (ie. Iran was found to not have any plan or potential for a nuclear weapon) Israel may not get off as easy as the US as in this scenario the fallout (both literal and figurative) would be global, as would be cries for military action against Israel an her belligerent allies.
q) The continued and growing reliance of regional natural resources which are rapidly dwindling creating increased severity of the global economic crisis and desperation of global and regional powers. The shortages which would result from a war in this region would most certainly create a huge sense of desperation in the countries most at risk of economic collapse (particularly those in Europe). This combined with current competition for resources could conceivably result in a global catastrophe initiating a larger conflict between world powers ultimately dragging the world into a third and final war, as is consistent with the apocalyptic musings of Jewish theology (ie that Israel would be at the center of the final war of humanity).
r) As the Syrian regime crumbles, so goes regional stability. As the Syrian regime fights for survival the Syria as a country will take on a more and more nebulous shape. Internal security will be limited to urban 'fiefdoms' wherein control is concentrated in the hands of traditional majorities.
Ethnic genocide which has already began will increase, and refugees will continue migrating into surrounding areas, creating a state of confusion fomenting elements for a larger war as borders become porous. This will ultimately threaten the security of Israels entire Northern half much in the same way the Southern border with Egypt has become its most recent security threat. It will only be a matter of time before there is a territorial dispute launched by Israel or another regional power. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443768804578034372539783626.html#project%3DSYRIAPKG0512%26articleTabs%]3Dinteractive
As the Israeli strategic position becomes increasingly perilous so too will the regional security which has guaranteed its territorial integrity for decades. This will have a domino effect compounded by the insurgence of foreign elements into the region fomenting anarchy and war. For Israel to escape unscathed is neither realistic or probable as current developments between its stronger neighbor Turkey in the north have demonstrated. Each day foreign elements including world powers become closer and closer to declaring all out war as tensions and rhetoric rise.
The list of contenders includes notables from around the globe: the US and Western European allies, Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, as well as several other regional contenders. All see the future of this region as vital to their long term strategic interests, much in the way Germany, Russia, France and Great Britain saw the partition of Prussia and Poland during the 17th and 18th centuries leading to decades of war between constantly shifting allied powers. The difference here is only in the fact that today many of these powers have the ability to initiate a thermonuclear war with global consequences.
"The enemy of my enemy..."
While religion, ethnicity, nationality, ideology and geography have traditionally prevented the unification of many competing groups mentioned above, recent events have changed this equation. Essentially Israel has relied on the divisions in the Muslim world as a key to its long term security. In the face of the Arab spring and a pan-Islamic movement to bring down despotic regimes this dynamic has shifted in favor of the Palestinians and regional players such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kurdistan, Egypt, and recently liberated Libya.
With this change any potential strike against the Shia nation of Iran could conceivable weld the Sunni and Shia (at least temporarily) into a united front which would have severe and far reaching consequences. Israels intransigence at the peace table may very well become its undoing as by attempting to erode the traditional boundaries of current Palestinian territories it could very well unleash the same avalanche of upheaval witnessed throughout the region. From this writers point of view, this is a question of 'when', and not 'if'.
Ironically these changes have been substantially aided by its greatest ally, the United States, who has set to work supporting various groups which it sees as at least temporarily in its interest to (unofficially) provide substantial support, least of which being the FSA (Free Syrian Army), NLA (National Liberation Army), Liwaa al-Umma (Banner of the Nation), and a hodgepodge of many other guerrilla groups fighting its enemies in the region.
History is replete with examples of the US penchant to turn its back on former allies, and allow other more "hated" elements to do the dirty work which may strategically be in its long term interests, while a short term political consequence. Many politicians will only say privately what is quite well known throughout the government: Israel has become a long term and potentially deadly strategic liability.
History demonstrates that victory does not mean the Jihadis go home, but rather they tend to find the next war. As stated above, all roads to peace lead to Israel, and in this case it may be very well true that the world will see the IDF embattled not only with Hamas in the south, and Hezbollah in the North, but a new more dynamic and far dangerous threat, a Free Palestine Army staging multi pronged attacks from a litany of positions both within and without the Israeli state, supported by US tax dollars and world wide public approval.
While the American public may naively send its wealth and legacy to this small warlike welfare state, and therefore not have the heart to reign it in, secretly (and at times not so secretly) our leaders have, and continue to foster a military force that may very well do the dirty work it lacks the will to do itself as recent events have demonstrated a huge rift in the long term strategic interest of the US/Israeli partnership. http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/international/09-Oct-2012/israel-versus-america-versus-iran
Will the US turn its back on Israel in a scenario where Israel is seen as setting off a global catastrophe? Only time will tell... if anyone is left on earth to follow this dark chapter in human history.
Lawrence Wilkerson: Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are far more important than Israel to US strategic interests from view of US military