As this is being written, the news is about an Israeli effort to interdict a “humanitarian” flotilla of ships that refused to dock at its port of Ashdod to have its passengers and cargo checked. When Israeli troops boarded a Turkish ship in international waters on Sunday they were met with violent resistance that led to casualties.
The Israeli navy stopped six ships ferrying 700 people and 10,000 tons of supplies toward the Hamas-run Palestinian enclave.
I don’t know what the flotilla was delivering, but it is likely that among its passengers were Hamas terrorists and that there are weapons hidden among its cargo. That is why they refused orders to proceed to the Israeli port where tons of cargo routinely docks before making its way to Gaza.
The flotilla was a deliberate provocation. Naturally, much of the world will blame Israel.
Having been in a state of war since its founding, Israel routinely has interdicted shipments of weapons to the PLO and Hamas. One of the most notable was in January 2002 when the Karine-A, a Palestinian ship, was found to have more than fifty tons of Iranian weapons and explosives.
Largely unreported are the fierce battles Egyptian Special Forces are waging in central Sinai with Bedouin tribesman smuggling weapons and fighters into Gaza on behalf of al Qaeda. As always, the Middle East is an asylum for the insane who, when not trying to kill Israelis, stay busy killing one another.
I believe that war will come again soon and will originate in Lebanon. In the end, the decision will be Iran’s, not Syria’s, its sock puppet and stalking horse. Syria has reportedly provided the Lebanon-based Hezbollah an estimated 1,000 Iranian-made rockets and missiles, all aimed at Israel.
The last time the Israelis had to deal with Hezbollah aggression from Lebanon was in 2006. The conflict lasted 34 days. It is widely agreed that the Israeli Defense Force performed poorly and, not surprisingly, the most criticism came from the Israelis themselves.
Part of the problem at the time was an indecisive Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, who has since been replaced by Benyamin Netanyahu. If “Bibi” gets any intelligence regarding a pending attack, he will not wait around for it to start. On word of the confrontation with the flotilla, he cancelled a June 1 meeting with President Obama and returned to Israel.
You may recall that in March Barack Obama accorded Netanyahu one of the nastiest receptions ever given an Israeli Prime Minister. Only the Dalai Lama fared worse, being ushered out the White House back door.
One might reasonably assume that the president is no fan of Jews after having spent twenty years in the Chicago pews of the Trinity United Church of Christ listening to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright say hateful things about them and about America.
Obama has many close ties with black nationalists and anti-Semites such as Nation of Islam’s Louis Farrakhan. One of his longtime associates is Palestinian apologist Rashid Khalidi, a Columbia University professor.
There is ample reason to believe another attack on Israel is likely. The Syrians have reportedly moved the number of their army units to the Israeli border and have been supplying arms to Hezbollah ever since the last war.
Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been saying ever more crazy things of late. He even lectured the United Nations on the coming of the Twelfth Imam, a Shiite spook whose return will require massive worldwide death and destruction. More recently Mahmoud got into a fight with the Russians over the proposed UN sanctions. Iran is running out of friends even if its oil is not.
The Israelis have been practicing war games that include long distance flights, the purpose of which may have something to do with dropping some very big bombs on places with Persian names.
While all this is going on, the United States is significantly building up its fighting strength in the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf regions. Carrier Strike Group 10, led by the USS Harry S. Truman, pulled up anchor on May 21st and headed to the Middle East. That will put two carrier groups in the area. More vessels, including guided-missile cruisers and destroyers will be there as well.
No matter how it plays out, the Middle East is going to turn into a shooting gallery again. The Iranians, Syrians, and Palestinians in Hezbollah and Hamas are living testimony to why all those people demanding that Israel make peace with them are clueless or worse.
© Alan Caruba, 2010
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