The Third Lebanon War

The decision-maker is trying to kill two birds with one war. The first is neutralizing the threat from the north and the second – returning Iran to its proper place in the East, vulnerable to pressure.

Salman Masalha || The Third Lebanon War

Once again the gears of war are turning and the pressure is ratcheting up, as everyone knows that every seven to 10 years, as though in obedience to some law of nature, a new-old war breaks out in this battered region. And the land is in ferment.

This is the impression created by the flood of reports and news items about the progress of the Iranian nuclear project, about the “immunity space” and about the national fortitude needed in these fateful times. It appears that a war is at the gates. It is hard not to smell the fumes of jet fuel in the air.

However, since no one has real information about what is truly happening behind the scenes, all the commentaries that are being published are just speculations or commentaries on someone’s behalf.

So allow me, too, to present a speculative commentary, one that is somewhat different.

Israel is not a major power. Israel is not the United States, which can declare so publicly its intention to use military might against a distant country. Certainly Israel cannot name dates when such an attack will take place. When the Iraqi reactor was destroyed, that became known after the fact. This was also the case with the Syrian reactor. This being so, only incorrigible, messianic and megalomaniac true believers – and total idiots – can make belligerent statements of the sort we have been witnessing of late.

Therefore, it is more reasonable to assume that all the talk about Iran is aimed achieving two goals. The one is to increase the pressure on Tehran and the other is to serve as a distraction maneuver, from the school of “the decision maker,” aimed at lulling another, closer arena to sleep. That is, the aim hiding behind such talks is to arrive at a different “war of compromise.”

The next war of compromise is not the First Iran War but rather the Third Lebanon War. On the one hand, the belligerent discourse on the Iranian issue is aimed at obtaining firm guarantees from the United States that it will deal with the Iranian atom. On the other hand, it is aimed at causing the United States to give Israel a green light to deal with Hezbollah.

Thus, it is not to the east that we should be looking, but rather to the north. Only a fool – with respect to strategy – would rush into a war move of such magnitude against targets that are located far to the east. This would require around-the-clock deployment of the Israeli air force, leaving the civilian home front vulnerable to that distant countr’s minions who have an arsenal of tens of thousands of missiles and rockets.

The conditions for dealing with Hezbollah are riper than ever. The collapse of the Syrian regime is bringing the moment closer. The pretext for such an attack in Lebanon is ready and waiting; in recent months there has been much talk of Syrian chemical weapons trickling into the hands of various elements as a red line that must not be crossed.

When the final moment of collapse comes for the Syrian regime, which is supported by Hezbollah and Nasrallah as faithful emissaries of the ayatollahs, every blow Israel inflicts on the Shi’ite organization in Lebanon will be greeted with rejoicing by many Sunnis, in Syria and elsewhere. It is possible many Syrians will dance on whatever remains of the rooftops of Homs and Deraa and maybe they will even hand out sweets to celebrate the misfortune of those who collaborated with the murderous Ba’ath regime and destroyed their cities, slaughtered their old people, raped their women and mercilessly killed their children.

The decision-maker is trying to kill two birds with one war. The first is neutralizing the threat from the north and the second – returning Iran to its proper place in the East, vulnerable to pressure.
Published in Hebrew: Opinions-Haaretz, August 20, 2012

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