The Unraveling Middle East, Part II


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To this should be added Iran’s proxies and allies. In Lebanon, Hezbollah has amassed thousands of rockets and battlefield missiles targeting Israel. It also has a large force of trained guerrillas that can invade northern Israel and seize key areas to forestall an Israeli drive into Lebanon. Hamas can similarly strike from Gaza, as recent attacks with Grad missiles on Beersheba show. Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), backed by Iran and Syria, carried out major exercises in Gaza in February, which showed its enhanced ability to wage guerrilla war. Syria, with chemical weapons, a nuclear program, armed forces nearly 300,000 strong, 5,000 tanks, 555 combat aircraft, and over 850 surface-to-surface missiles (soon to include the Russian-made Yakhont supersonic anti-ship cruise missile) presents a serious threat to the Golan Heights, and can send large forces into southern Lebanon in support of Hezbollah.

The presence of large Shia populations in Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain and other Gulf states simplifies Iranian efforts to destabilize these countries, paving the way for overt Iranian action. Teheran’s tactical alliance with the Taliban means that Allied forces could see a western front open in Afghanistan, with greater pressure in Pakistan. Somali pirates, supported by Islamist groups, have expanded their activities into the Indian Ocean, increasing the threat to Western shipping in the event of general war.

In other regions, Iran has useful allies. North Korea, with its enormous conventional forces and WMD, presents a continuing danger, particularly through its growing ballistic missile capabilities. Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela, engaged in a major military buildup, can threaten Colombia and the Caribbean Basin, while its alliance with Iran has seen a sizeable Hezbollah presence emerge in the Western Hemisphere. Most alarmingly, according to Germany’s Die Welt newspaper, Tehran and Caracas signed an agreement in November 2010 to establish an Iranian military base in Venezuela. Jointly manned, this will house Iranian ballistic missiles like the Shahab 3, in range of the U.S. Iran has reportedly given permission for the use of these weapons by Venezuela in case of an “emergency.” If such weapons are deployed, they would give Iran the ability to mount a military strike on American soil.

There is also the matter of mass terror attacks against the West. Hezbollah has long engaged in such actions, and al-Qaeda could be counted on to take advantage of a global conflict to do the same. Given both groups’ presence in North America and Western Europe (as well as in vital oil producers like Mexico and Nigeria), attacks on political, economic and military targets are likely.

 

David Walsh has a Ph.D from the London School of Economics and is the author of book, “The Military Balance in the Cold War: US Perceptions and Policy, 1976-85.”

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  • Sriram Iyer

    pertinent comments!

  • http://www.ezracanada.org Rev. Roy Trepanier

    ….., when he ariseth to shake terrible the earth…… for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terrible the earth. (Isaiah 2:17-21)
    Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger. (Isaiah 13:13)
    Well, I guess that pretty well says it all. Not a whole lot that I can add except to suggest that you get ready.
    God bless,
    Rev. Roy….<><

  • David

    As an Iranian citizen it is very disturbing to see Iran become the number one terrorist country in the world. It has become far worse than Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Iran 2011 looks like Germany 1938. I blame this situation not only on the wild, mad and rabid Islamonazi mullahs but also on the West that has lost its will and courage to defend its freedom and civilization. I blame gutless, coward and corrupt Western politicians, mainstream media and academia for failing their duty to stand up against evil. The opposition forces in Iran (Karrubi, Mosavi, communists, monarchists,…) are not better than the present wild regime. Iran consists of multiple nationalities and the best way to eradicate the threat is a partition of Iran.

  • barnsey

    Completely ignorant. I suggest you study some more.

  • MixMChess

    "different roads for jews and gentiles? true or false?"

    FALSE. There are no different roads for Jews and Gentiles in Israel. In the W. Bank there are separate roads for Israeli citizens (not necessarily Jews) that lead to the settlements that Israel governs. And just the same, there separate roads for Palestinians that lead to areas governed by the Palestinian Authority. Nice try though…

  • MixMChess

    "Marriage Laws based on race/? true or fase."

    FALSE. Marriages in Israel can only be performed under the authority of the religious community to which the couple belong. Marriages in each community are under the jurisdiction of their own religious authorities. Thus, if you are Muslim, you can only get married in Israel if the Muslim religious authorities give you authorization under Sharia. The Israeli Interior Ministry registers marriages on presentation of proper documentation from the appropriate religious authorities.

  • MixMChess

    "Citizenship based on race/ religion? true or fase."

    FALSE. Anyone can apply for citizenship in Israel regardless of race or religion. Since Israel is the homeland to the Jewish people, Jews are given an automatic right to immigrate to Israel, but that does not guaranty/secure citizenship – they still have to apply like everyone else.

  • DOV

    you are a usefull idiot of the suicidal coward lefties and islamofascist nazia. HASHEM will protect Israel a great nation and destroy its rabid jealous 7th centurt barbariansssss.

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