The Israeli-Hezbollah War is
By Elias Bejjani*
Most Middle East analysts and political observers are more than sure that the war between Israel and the West on one side, and Hezbollah, Syria, Hamas and Iran on the other front is inevitable. Its occurrence has become just a matter of time. The Middle East is in the eye of the storm and, apparently, no one can avert the confrontation that has become necessary for the agendas of all parties involved.
According to observers, the predisposing factors that build for a war are precipitating in the Middle East. Ali Hmade, the renowned Lebanese political analyst, shed light on some of these factors in his last Tuesday's column published in An Nahar Beirut Daily. Meanwhile, other American, European, Arab and Israeli analysts have written extensively on these tensions and added other pivotal factors to the Israeli-Hezbollah war formula. Below are some of these factors:
The recent fiercest border clashes since 2006 on the Lebanese - Israeli border in which three Lebanese soldiers, a Lebanese journalist ,and an Israeli officer were killed accompanied by the loud threats made by Hezbollah's General Secretary Hassan Nasrallah a few hours after the end of the clashes.
The serious internal conflict amongst Lebanese sparked by Hezbollah's bold attacks against the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL). Hezbollah is threatening to retaliate against Lebanon and its people with a possible coup in case the unlawful and terrorist dictates of Hassan Nasrallah are not fulfilled by Lebanese PM Saad Hariri, Saudi Arabia, and the United Nations (UN). Nasrallah is demanding that the tribunal be totally abolished. He alleges it is a tool of the Israeli-American conspiracy set to target his organization through indicting a score of its members and leaders in the 2005 assassination of Lebanese PM Rafiq Hariri.
The statement made by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on his country's Army Day in which he said: "The specter of real peace in the region is disappearing and the possibility of war is increasing."
Assad and the Saudi King made a joint visit to Beirut on July 30th 2010. Both officials held extensive meetings with the country's leadership in a bid to calm down the war rhetoric of Hezbollah in face of the STL. Meanwhile, Assad seems to be playing on many ropes and appears even more scared of the STL than Hezbollah. Reliable American sources unveiled this week that Syria is behind the so-called "STL leaks" and not Israel or other Arab countries.
Hamas' resumption of firing rockets from Gaza into Israel, and the retaliation of Israeli warplanes by bombing Palestinian refugee camps in Gaza and the targeted killings of Hamas militants. In response, Hamas is threatening to reignite the cycle of violence.
Hamas' opposition to the direct negotiations between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Israelis brokered by the United States, the Arab League, and the majority of the Arab countries. Hamas seems well -prepared to ignite a war against both Israel and President Mahmoud Abbas in a bid to abort the negotiations.
The firing of rockets from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, where Islamic militants have operated in the past, hitting the Israeli and Jordanian Red Sea port resorts of Eilat and Aqaba. These attacks killed one Jordanian civilian and injured three others. Israel claimed the rockets used were made in Iran.
The mysterious terrorist explosion aboard a Japanese oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz.
The renewal of skirmishes in Yemen between government forces and the pro-Iranian Houthis after a series of cease-fire violations and exchanges of accusations.
The increasingly loud calls on the US administration to be more decisive in its Middle East policies and the numerous recommendations for a pre-emptive war against Iran and Hezbollah. "The US should work to avoid another Hezbollah-Israel conflict, but could benefit from pre-emptive military action in Lebanon..." according to Israel’s former Ambassador to Washington. A report authored by Daniel Kurtzer, written for the US Council on Foreign Relations, warns that Hezbollah's proliferating weapons stockpile could bring Israeli aggression to far outweigh the bombardment of Beirut and southern areas during the 2006 summer war. “Hizbullah has steadily rearmed in contravention of UN Security Council Resolution 1701,” Kurtzer wrote. “Israel could decide the security threat posed by Hezbollah has reached intolerable levels and take pre-emptive military action.”
President Obama's approval of recommendations for a European missile shield made by US military leaders to shift focus to defending Europe against Iran's short and medium-range missiles. "This new approach will provide capabilities sooner, build on proven systems, and offer greater defenses against the threat of missile attack." Under the new plan the U.S. would initially deploy ships with missile interceptors and in a second phase, would field land-based defense systems. The confirmation made by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen to the NBC network: "The United States has a viable military plan to attack Iran and its nuclear facilities, though, such a strike was probably a bad idea." Mullen has often warned that a strike against Iran would have serious and unpredictable ripple effects around the Middle East. At the same time, he has said that Iran developing a nuclear weapon is unacceptable.
The International Crisis Group (ICG) warnings of a devastating Middle East war. A new Israel-Lebanon conflict is likely to be far more violent, inflict greater damage to civilian and government infrastructure, and lead to the direct embroilment of other regional actors warned a new report released by the ICG. "A new conflict will also likely affect greater parts of the country, especially the Bekaa Valley, and will not be isolated to the south or the Shiite areas of Beirut which were systematically targeted in 2006," said the report entitled Drums of War: Israel and the ‘Axis of Resistance.’ The Lebanese Government is advised to take immediate steps to significantly increase troop numbers in the south and to improve the range and quality of military training and equipment available to its troops as a bulwark against a slide to war. Although conflict is far from imminent and many inhibiting factors continue to prevent the escalation of menacing rhetoric on both sides, the political roots which led to the outbreak of the 2006 war remain unaddressed and the regional situation could prove explosive. “Today, no party can soberly contemplate the prospect of a war that would be uncontrolled, unprecedented and unscripted,” said the Project Director Peter Harling of Crisis Group Iraq, Lebanon and Syria, “but the underlying dynamics of the logic of deterrence carry the seeds of possible breakdown.”
The alarming information leaked from high-level sources in Europe reporting that a number of prominent EU and Arab leaders foresee in the horizon a destructive regional war in the Middle East between Israel and "Axis of Evil" countries and organizations.
The ongoing Iranian threats to burn Israel and set the whole Middle East ablaze if Iran's nuclear facilities are attacked by either the US or Israel. "If the Americans make the slightest mistake, the security of the region will be endangered. Security in the Persian Gulf should be for all or none," threatened the deputy head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Yadollah Javani. "Tehran will burn down Tel Aviv" in response to any attack, said Mohammed Khazaee, Iran's ambassador to the United Nations.
Based on all of the above facts, and on many other factors, another devastating war between Israel and Hezbollah that could also involve Hamas, Syria and Iran seems to be inevitable. Sadly, Lebanon is again going to be a battlefield in this coming war.
Hopefully, this time Israel backed by the Western and moderate Arab countries will push Hezbollah out of Lebanon as it did in 1982 with the PLO. The region deserves a lasting peace that cannot be achieved while Hezbollah holds the Lebanese people hostage, Syria breeds and exports terrorists while oppressing its own people, Hamas enslaves the residents of Gaza residents by aborting all peace initiatives with Israel, and Iran endeavors to own a nuclear bomb with dreams of reviving the Persian Empire by terrorism and mass destruction.
History tells us that peace prevails only in the aftermath of wars. This is what happened after the World Wars. Once again, peace will be the fruit of the coming Middle East war if Israel, the West, and moderate Arab countries stand tall and courageously execute a well planned war to defeat the "Axis of Evil" countries and their terrorist proxies.
*Canadian-Lebanese Human Rights activist, journalist and political commentator
*Web sites http://www.10452lccc.com & http://www.clhrf.com
*Mailing phoenicia group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Phoenicia/.