A Countdown to Upcoming Showdown: The Cold War Is Heating in the Middle East

“Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth. By simply not mentioning certain subjects… totalitarian propagandists have influenced opinion much more effectively than they could have by the most eloquent denunciations.” (Aldous Huxley).

“Telling lies in politics is dangerous, but sometimes the truth is worse” (The Economist 18 Sept. 2008)

Just after Christmas 2008 the Israeli Air Force started ongoing bombardments of the Gaza Strip in response to long-lasting rocket attacks on Israel by Iran-supported Hamas. An Israeli ground offensive seems to be impending. Will this end as so often before with a ceasefire brokered by the “international community” – read the New World Order´s world governance – and then things will go on as before? Hardly. On dec. 29 the Israeli defence minister declared an all-out war on Hamas – and Israel is refusing a new ceasefire. Could this bring about an all-out war in the Middle East between Israel and Iranian proxies: the Hezbollah? The Middle east Times thinks so (Dec. 29, 2008) And Syria? – and the showdown between Israel and Iran over the nuclear programme of the latter – drawing the USA and Russia into it – as suggested by Joe Biden and Colin Powell in Oct. 2008?

Former US ambassador, John Bolton thinks so. See this Fox News video-interview.

This blog has previously (June 24, 2008 and Sept. 1, 2008) reported on preparations for war between Israel and Iran over Irans nuclear  programme – the Israeli government apparently having decided long ago that this nuclear programme must be stopped by the end of President Bush´s office.
This is a follow up on the latest developments – the Middle East apparently having been agreed upon being the stage of a new East-West Cold War.

Why does this matter to us ?
For 2 reasons: 1. Oil 2. Since July 13, 2008 Israel is in the same Union as we: The Union for the Mediterranean.
Like the events described here on June 24 our media have remained  totally silent on this.

The Middle East times 22 Dec. 2008: The French National Assembly states to be assured that Iran will have the nuclear bomb in 2009. “The news that Russia has begun delivering S-300 air defense systems to Iran seems to indicate that everyone in the region is getting ready for war.”

Debkafile Dec. 29, 2008: On Monday, Dec. 29, Day 3 of Israel’s Gaza operation, a foreign ministerial  spokesman in Teheran said Iran had embarked on preparations for operations against Israel in line with the directives laid down by supreme ruler Ayatollah Ali Khameini in his speech Sunday.

And Russias stand?

Debkafile Sept. 23, 2008: Israeli military and naval commanders were taken by surprise by Rear Adm. Andrei Baranov’s disclosure that 10 Russian warships are already anchored at the Syrian port of Tartus, DEBKAfile’s military sources report. Moscow and Damascus have worked fast to put in place the agreement reached in Moscow on Sept. 12 by Russian navy commander, Adm. Vladimir Wysotsky and Syrian naval commander Gen. Taleb al-Barri to provide the Russian fleet with a long-term base at Syrian ports, possibly for aircraft carriers or guided missile cruisers.The Russians are making no secret of their intention of using their naval presence in Syrian ports as a deterrent to a possible Israeli air strike against Syria.

The Times Sept. 19, 2008: Russia has already delivered 29 Tor-M1 missile systems in 2005. Reports have circulated for some time that the Kremlin is preparing to sell its S300 surface-to-air missile system to Iran, offering greater protection against a possible US or Israeli attack on the Islamic republic’s nuclear facilities.
The Kremlin is furious about plans to site an antimissile shield in Eastern Europe.

The Rubel is rapidly losing value, and Russia´s leading stock index has lost 57% as of Sept. 26, deteriorating day by day as oil prices decline, according The the Council on Foreign Relations: So, a war in the Middle east could have a favourable influence on oil prices – and so Russian economy!!

Debkafile dec. 18, 2008: Russian SS-300 anti-air missiles were delivered to Iran 2 weeks ago – and will soon be delivered to Syria as well. This “means that air or missile attacks on Iranian sites will henceforth be extremely difficult and carry a high price.”

Debkafile Dec. 23, 2008: An American military intelligence official said: “The US believes it is taking place. “This is a decision-point” for Israel.”

Israels´s stand?
Debkafile Sept. 21, 2008: The director of research at Israeli military intelligence (AMAN), Brig. Yossi Baidatz, surprised the Israeli cabinet Sunday Sept. 21, with a new appreciation of Iran’s nuclear timetable. Tehran, he disclosed, has already stocked one-third or even half the quantity of enriched uranium needed for a nuclear bomb.
He warned the ministers that Iran is dashing at top speed towards a nuclear weapons capability and nothing stands in the way of its headlong advance, including international sanctions. Separately, former Israeli army chief Lt. Gen (Res.) Moshe Yaalon said in a radio interview that an Israel-Iranian war is unavoidable.

The Independent Jan. 3, 2008:
Iran’s open support for Hamas, coupled with US and Israeli accusations that Tehran has supplied it with weapons, could harden Israeli public opinion in favour of military strikes against Iran whose nuclear programme is seen as an “existential” threat to the Jewish state.

Syria´s stand
Debkafile Oct. 6, 2008:Two brigades of the 4th Syrian Mechanized Division, numbering up to 10,000 men have been poised on the Lebanese border since last month, as DEBKAfile revealed on Sept. 20, and are now on combat readiness. This is confirmed by the Middle East Times on Oct. 6, 2008.

Debkafile Oct. 25, 2008:Complete deployment – from the Syrian 4th Division along Lebanon’s northern border and the 10th, 12th and 14th Divisions on Lebanon’s eastern frontier opposite the Hermil mountains and the Beqaa Valley, and down to the Hermon Mountains facing South Lebanon and northern Israel.

Debkafile Oct. 6, 2008: Damascus is plotting a large-scale terror attack or the assassination of a Lebanese figure to drum up another pretext for invading northern Lebanon, according to Lebanese prime minister Fouad Siniora.

Debkafile, Oct. 6, 2008:”Don´t Invade Northern Lebanon” Washington issued this warning to Damascus, DEBKAfile has learned, with its first explicit threat of military intervention to aid Lebanon should Syria go through with its planned incursion of the North.

USA´s stand This spring Pres. Bush vetoed an Israeli attack on Iran, according to the Guardian 25 Sept. 2008.
3 weeks later Israel held a large scale aircragt drill in the mediterranean on bombing Iran. Some think that Vice-Pres. Dick Cheney will carry out a US attack on Iran in the last weeks of his office.
Debkafile Jan. 3, 2008: Pres. Bush OKs Israeli ground invasion of the Gaza Strip. At the same time the chairman of Iran´s  National Security Council and nuclear negotiatoe,Said Jalili, arrived for urgent negotiations in Damascus with Pres. Assad and leaders of the Hamas and the  Jihad Islami .

The Middle East Times reported on 11 Aug. 2008, that a giant armada of British, US and French warships were heading for the Persian Gulf -and that Quwait declared a state of war. Since then, big naval units have gathered to fight pirates – and to observe the conflict between India and Pakistan – right off the Iranian coasts.

UN´s stand

“When it comes to Iran, there’s no time to waste”
The International Herald Tribune 23 Sept, 2008. Even Mohamed ElBaradei´s and his UN nuclear inspectors´ patience is running out. In a report last week, the International Atomic Energy Agency declared that it had reached an impasse over Tehran’s refusal to answer questions about its past nuclear activities.
The report also said that Iran had substantially improved its ability to produce nuclear fuel in direct defiance of a Security Council ban.
Tehran’s scientists are getting ever closer to mastering the skills that are the hardest part of building a nuclear weapon.

This is not a problem that can be shunted off to the next president.
We don’t know if any mix of sanctions and rewards can persuade Iran’s leaders to abandon their nuclear program. But without such an effort, we are certain that Tehran will keep pressing ahead, while the voices in the United States and Israel arguing for military action will only get louder.

Left: Iranians celebrate their coming nuclear bomb

New York Times Nov. 20, 2008: Iran now has enough enriched plutonium to make a nuclear bomb within months – according to UN´s IAEA.
Debkafile Sept. 27, 2008
: Friday, Sept. 26, 2008
was the day the policy pursued by Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni and Shimon Peres, of reliance on the international community to stop Iran developing a nuclear bomb, sank without a trace. The international community declined to adopt fresh economic sanctions to rein in an increasingly defiant Tehran.
Israel’s foreign policy, lame and defensive at the best of times since Livni took over, appears as oblivious as ever to the disastrous developments pressing down on the Jewish state.

EU´s stand
AP VIENNA, Austria, Sept. 24, 2008: Iran is nearing the ability to arm a nuclear warhead even if it insists its atomic activities are peaceful, the European Union warned Wednesday.

An IAEA report drawn up for Wednesday’s meeting says Iran has increased the number of centrifuges used to process uranium to nearly 4,000 from 3,000 just a few months ago.
But David Albright of the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security: To date, Iran has produced nearly 1,000 pounds of low-enriched uranium, said the report – close to what Albright says is the 1,500-pound minimum needed to produce the 45-60 pounds needed for a simple nuclear bomb under optimal conditions.
And with Iran’s centrifuges running ever more smoothly, it “is progressing toward this capability and can be expected to reach it in six months to two years”.

Comment
As things now stand, Israel has 3 options: 1. To make a preemptive strike on its own against the widespread Iranian nuclear  plants now, which the US-military considers impossible to achieve, because Israel simply does not have the resources to do it. 2. Wait for Iran to have its nuclear bomb next year, probably – and hope that what Ayatollah Khomeiny and Ahmedinejad have said time and time again: That Iran will wipe Israel off the land map, was empty propaganda! 3. Letting the Hamas-crisis esscalate into a confrontation with Hezbollah and Syria – and hope for Iranian and US intervention in order to have a pretext to destroy the Iranian nuclear plants with US assistance?
Could the ongoing Gaza-conflict be the ouverture of the showdown with Iran – possibly even between the USA and Russia?

Advertisements

About this entry