Grips the Middle East
Israel last week conducted the most comprehensive war drill preparations [see story] in its history. Its intent was to test warning systems and familiarize residents with shelter locations in the event of widespread missile attacks. Reports suggest that the drill resulted in confusion and pointed out a lack of preparedness [see story] on the part of the general population.
What it has done is to “infect the entire region with war fever,” according to quoted sources within the Israeli Defense Forces. And there is evidence to that effect. One of Syria’s top military spokesmen stepped forward to announce that Syria is “prepared for war [see story].” There is a high-level military alert along Israel’s northern borders. It is estimated that tens of thousands of Iranian supplied rockets are stockpiled in Syria, Lebanon, and in Gaza.
Iran’s Ahmadinejad is once again boasting of a surge forward in Iran’s capacity to enrich uranium. It is reported that 6000 new centrifuges are being installed in underground facilities [see story], some of which Ahmadinejad claims will work up to five times faster than the 3000 centrifuges already in operation.
Ahmadinejad rarely misses an excuse to shake his fist in the face of Israel and the western world, and for that matter the UN. The UN has passed three separate “sanction” resolutions against Iran for its defiance of nuclear regulatory protocol, without effect.
In a speech before Israel’s Knesset, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Iran will become the first nuclear power in history against whom deterrence will not work. The statement was not explained. The suicidal religious convictions of radical Islam undoubtedly do explain what Mr. Netanyahu had to say.
As we’ve pointed out in articles past, the Shia brand of Islam fervently believes it must pave the way for the return of the twelfth Imam. That means destroying the little Satan (Israel) and the great Satan (the United States), or at the very least plunging the world into a state of chaos that will bring about the coming of the Islamic messiah.
U.S. General Petraeus gave congressional testimony over the past couple of days implicating Iran in rocket attacks against the fortified “green zone.” He also indicated that Iran is responsible for arming and directing militias in southern Iraq that are wreaking havoc on U.S. trained security forces trying to maintain a stable environment [see story]. In short, Iran is directly involved in undermining the U.S. military in Iraq.
There’s been some speculation, particularly in the British press, that the U.S. is prepared to launch a military assault on Iranian facilities supplying insurgents and militias in Iraq, citing recent movements of U.S. naval assets in the Gulf. There is further speculation that the U.S. may even go so far as to strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, and that Israel might simultaneously go after missile stockpiles across its northern borders at the same time. Wouldn’t that scenario throw most of the Islamic world into apoplexy?
Russia, Iran’s primary source of military supplies and nuclear assistance, has suggested that new “incentives” need to be offered Iran to bring them into compliance with the UN.
Can Israel and the U.S. afford to wait indefinitely while Iran becomes a nuclear-armed power? Or will the speculation be borne out, and with what consequences? If such moves fail to be undertaken during the remainder of the Bush presidency, will Israel be “hung out to dry” by the next U.S. administration?
urgent cries of many anxious to fan fears of “tribulation,” none of the
speculations above amount to
But they certainly do qualify as “wars and rumors of wars.”