Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Israel’s new war

Yossi Halevi writes a good article in The New Republic about the current military actions of Israel. (http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=w060710&s=halevi071206) I support the current Israel policy of unilateral disengagement and this article talks about very solid arguments in support of such policy.

Hamas and Hezbollah clearly want war with Israel and Israel is working on what they want. But as this article and many media stories have reported, the real enemy this time is Iran. The end game of this new war is likely to be in terms of confrontation of Israel with Iran. High oil prices have emboldened Iran to pursue now aggressive policies and attacks of Hamas and Hezbollah are likely to have complete backing from Iran.

The key question is what would America do to contain Iran. As of now, America’s pre-occupation with Iraq war and unwillingness of Russia and China to help in any way to evolve consensus to deal with Iran; chances are dim. This mean Israel will eventually act on its own. But it is not clear whether strategic balance is there in today’s world where Israel can pull off victory like 1967 in today’s world. In other words, comparatively Israel does not seem to have enough military power to take on Hamas, Hezbollah and destruction of Iranian nuclear weapons program and their active help. This means decks are lot against Israel this time and there will be no other option for USA than to get involved in this conflict eventually possibly to face Iran head on. The problem will be that participation of USA will be more of forced one at late stage rather than pre planned involvement to drive maximum resolution of the conflict. Hence, neglect of USA involvement and lack of explicit backing to Israel will eventually cost USA and the world lot. It is imperative that USA gets involved in this conflict decisively and quickly.

Umesh Patil
San Jose, CA 95111
July 12, 2006.

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