Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Great Israeli Sucker Punch

The current unpleasantness in the Middle East has little to do with the rivalry between the Arabs and the Jews, and everything to do with the political position of Hamas and Hezbollah. It has more to do with the ancient rivalry between the Arabs and Persians than the modern rivalry between Arabs and Jews. It has more to do with the rivalry between Shiites and Sunnis.

Compared to Europe, Jews always had it better in Arab countries than anywhere else. It was only after Israel became a state and Palestine cease to exit, that the hatred began. And it was the use of that hate when Hamas grabbed an Israeli soldier.

Palestinians were about to vote on Israel's right to exists. However, that is diametrically opposite to Hamas' reason for being. Hamas finally got position, finally became the majority party in government, finally could transfer from being a terrorist organization to a responsible political party as many had done before them, but it could not allow the Palestinians to vote on recognizing Israel. The strategists of Hamas must have known they would loose that election.

Had the Palestinians showed the rest of the world how democracy would work in the Middle East and recognize Israel, Israel would have to do the same for the Palestinians. You cannot argue Israel's right to exist without doing the same for the Palestinians. People as a group have a right to exist or they don't. You can't have it both ways. The world would have demanded sovereignty for Palestine from Israel. What would this new century be like if that vote had occurred? It was oh so close.

Using the excuse of fighting Israel, the Shiites have been making inroads to power in the Middle East. Once the step-child of Islam, the Shiites have become a power with which all must contend. A greater struggle has been going on in the Middle East right under our collective noses, and now that one side is becoming significantly stronger than they have ever been before, we must confront what will probably be the great war in the Middle East. Many in the Arab world already know this.

The U.S. contributed considerably to the Shiite cause by overthrowing Saddam and putting the Shiites in charge of Iraq. We just went in and handed it to them. Did the Iranians plan this or did it just fall in their lap? Ideology should have a very small office in U.S. foreign policy. Rather than introducing democracy and freedom in the Middle East, the Neocons may none the less have done something that will change everything.

Notice how little to no aide came from the Arab countries to the Palestinians after Hamas took over. Notice how the Israelis response to the latest kidnapping of their soldiers had little condemnation from Arab countries. In fact the major denunciation came from Iran, Shiite friendly nations, and guess where?…the new Iraqi government. Notice how we invaded Iraq and currently have control of it, and yet, the Iraqis hate each other more than they hate the Americans who dominate them.

Hezbollah was loosing power in Lebanon. The Lebanese were taking back their country. The Syrian army had been forced to leave. No matter how many Lebanese leaders they assassinated, they were loosing power and influence. Hezbollah was being marginalized as a power. A Lebanese phoenix was rising from the ashes, but Hezbollah had a strategy to get the Israelis to shoot it down.

They sucker punched Israel and Israel responded better than Hezbollah could ever hope. Sucker punched not in catching someone off guard and delivering a knock out blow, but in delivering a punch only to start a fight. Saddam had tried that trick during the First Gulf War, but Israel did not respond. What role did Washington plan in that, and where are they now? Is it leadership? Hezbollah may be knocked back but its position in Lebanon in no longer being marginalized. They cannot win this battle but will it truly reduce their overall effectiveness in the greater struggle.

For the Shiites' plan to work, they must keep all the focus on Israel. Shiites feel they have suffered greatly at the hands of Sunni Arabs and they can out maneuver the Sunnis by keeping up the campaign that Israelis is the primary enemy – and the Americans too. As soon as the Shiites have consolidated their position in Iraq, they will turn on the Americans so fast it will make our heads spin – literally.

Of all the peoples of the world the Arabs have most to fear from the Iranians getting atomic weapons. They will have to get nuc's of their own.

Of the conflicts among the Jews, Arabs, Christians, Europeans, and Americans we have not seen anything compared to what is coming within the Islam itself.
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