Friday, July 06, 2007

War against Syria and Lebanon.

I've been observing with some concern the variety of reports we are getting about what is happening in the region. One thing I have to get out of the way before talking about anything else is the sham "carrot" dangled in front of Syria earlier this year regarding talks about the return of the Jolan Heights from Israeli occupation. One minute we heard Israel was willing but the United States was against, the next minute we heard Syria was willing to discuss. It's highly unlikely that any of this was ever anything more than diplomatic posturing and one-upmanship, I thought so then and still do, but what are interesting are the events on the ground.

In Lebanon, it is almost impossible to hire any heavy digging machinery from what I hear. Many have been hired by Hezbullah, ostensibly to prepare fortifications and defensive lines. The price of small arms in Lebanon has also risen considerably, again in preparation for the next Israeli attack. Meanwhile in Syria, we hear stories of units moving closer to the border with Israel, accusations of regular shipments to Hezbullah over the border and according to Joshua Landis, a request for all Syrian students in Lebanon to return by July the 15th. Apparently the Brammertz report is also due on that very same day and Landis quite rightly wonders, is this a coincidence? On that note, the entire media attention concerning the tired Hariri investigation has blown over, reinforcing my view that the whole saga we saw was a part of the 'old' New Middle East plan and it's usefulness is for now diminished. At the time, the purpose was simply to oust Syria from Lebanon and pave the way for a crushing of Hezbullah with the emergence of a 'moderate' Lebanon firmly in the pro-American camp. This did not work as we later saw and the struggle for Lebanon's soul continues.

The spy games between Iran and the United States are heating up considerably; spies, scientists and former military officials getting kidnapped, assassinated or 'disappeared' while accusations of increasing Iranian involvement with resistance operations within Iraq are increasing in frequency. This really isn't news, though it was a surprise to see the Americans parading what they claimed was a Hezbullah operative involved with training and logistics for Shia groups in the south of Iraq. Though some claimed it was unlikely Hezbullah needed to be involved, I think it's quite possible that the wealth of experience gained fighting America's proxy last year would be most useful for any Shia groups fighting the Americans this summer or in the future. The American attache in Cyprus found 'dead' earlier this week appears to have been the latest casualty of this low intensity spy game. Another interesting development is the British embassy's decision to close for the time being in Damascus. Unusual and, as of yet, with no valid reason that holds up to scrutiny.

Now, what is going on? Patrick Lang offers an interesting explanation which is well worth a read. Hezbullah certainly believes the next Israeli attacks are imminent and Israel itself has recently finished the biggest and most intensive training exercise in years within the occupied Jolan Heights. Lang argues that Israel will attempt to smash through Syria's border, inflict a decisive blow there and then swing West, attacking Hezbullah from the rear. This argument does indeed make sense but it is highly unlikely that this possibility has not been considered by strategists in Hezbullah or Damascus. If anything, locking a massive Israeli attack force between a hammer and anvil disguised as a weak point makes perfect sense. If that is, one would hope, what is indeed what they have prepared for. My only concern is that there is still no effective and reliable way to shield civilians from Israeli airstrikes and the result last year was truly devastating for Lebanon.

Israel has never recovered from the blow to its 'prestige' last summer and it seems that much of the Israeli population is firmly behind going in and 'finishing the job', ie. try to destroy Hezbullah. The jingoism and enthusiasm for war remains strong with Haaretz hosting a now permanent section referring to the "Iranian threat" presumably part of a concerted media effort to keep the Israeli population tuned to the 'next big threat' to them after Saddam Hussein. Also, the American "Cheneites" Lang refers to in his blog probably realise it is now or never for that final push to reshape the Middle East, otherwise all their attempts to conquer and subjugate the region fully will have been lost. I think the 'phony war phase' we are seeing in the region is coming to a close, it will be a very hot summer this year.


Puppeteer said...

There is no background to your claims. It's just a heaping of rumors and contradictory statements, most likely picked up from 14 of the month newspapers and afiliates. The Syria News released an official statement dismissing all the rumosrs regarding the return of workers (students in your version).
It's just a silent war to destroy the touristic season, led by both Lebanonia and it's lover Israel, because since they've ruined their countries both, nobody feels like visiting anymore.
As for Hezb and the excavators, I think it's another silly rumor. Most likely you'll find them up north, where there are Palestinian camps to be cleaned.
Please, don't spread more rumors. If Jushua Badmouth is a paranoid conspiracy fan, then let him be, don't get influenced by their kind. The more suspence and CGI, the better the American news will sell.

Wassim said...

I hope you are right.