The Sitzkrieg: The Mullahs Bring War AND Peace

A strange paradox is gripping the Middle East during this suspenseful year of the Sitzkrieg  -- the war of sitting and waiting. It is literally the best of times and the worst of times.

The biggest threat is well-known: Iranian nukes. The mullah regime is now sounding raving paranoid, because they know that the peak danger to their supreme gamble --- their quest for nukes --- will come in the next 24 monthsAfter that, they can disperse enough nuclear materiel to be safe from a conventional attack. But for now their nuke program is tied down to a small number of factories in Natanz, Arak, and Isfahan. A major air and sabotage campaign can still knock out their nuclear industry. 

Therefore the peak danger to Tehran is now going up and up; if they win their mad gamble, the mullahs think they will be unassailable. They are therefore desperate to get over that dangerous hump, which is why they are arresting their own people, supporting meatgrinder attacks against every group in Iraq, feverishly re-arming Hezbollah in Lebanon, and buying a whole new Russian-built air force for themselves and Syria.

If war comes before Tehran obtains its nukes, they will try to ignite the whole Middle East, using Syria, Hezbullah and Hamas to attack Israel, and possibly trying to block the flow of oil through the GulfThey are quite capable of attacking US Navy vessels in the Gulf with cruise missiles, but that would signal their own doom. Any Iranian blockade would also turn all the oil producers and consumers against them 

To avoid such self-destructive results, Tehran always attacks through proxies and the El Quds Brigade infiltrators. American and British Soldiers have been fighting them more and more openly in Iraq.


Meanwhile, Ahmadi-Nejad is doing remarkably neurotic and self-destructive things He is quarreling with the Russians, who are still selling him advanced armaments, state-of-the-art fighter jets and nuclear technology; he has successful scared the daylights out of the wobbly Europeans by threatening them repeatedly with his shiny new strategic weapons (which he doesn't have yet), and by his mad obsession with Holocaust denial; and now he has publicly insulted and threatened Egypt, Jordan, the Saudis, Kuwait, Iraq, and most recently Bahrain, accusing them of being "traitors" to Allah, and even laying claim to their territory.

As a result, Ahmadi-Nejad has now divided the Arab world into a majority of nations which see him as a threat to their existence and well-being, and a minority that is pretending to go along with him --- but which may bug out in a crunch.

Syria is happy to accept Iran's purchase of Russian jet fighters for its air force, for example. But when push comes to shove, Syria's Assad could jump either way, and damn the mullahs. If Assad walks away from Ahmadi-Nejad, the major transport route between Tehran and its Lebanese proxy Hezb'allah will be cut. Syria is now holding the aces, and it's not signalling its moves. Because Assad a shrewd survivor, there is a good chance that he just will sit on his hands if push comes to shove.

The biggest Sitzkrieg paradox is that the mullahs are forcing clear moves toward peace between the Arab states and Israel. According to MEMRI, the Kuwait Arab Times just published a call to arms -- not against Israel but Tehran:

"Arab Countries Must Join Forces to Counter Iranian Threat."

"The entire Arab world is in danger, after becoming the epicenter of Iran's policies. Iranian dictator Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's aggressive policies confirm our fears. Many issues which concern only Arabs have now fallen into the hands of Iran. ..."

"Currently, Iran is trying to extend its aggressive policies to all the Gulf countries and to Egypt ... . This raises the question: Why are Arab countries not taking any steps or holding a summit to wrest control of these issues, which essentially belong to them? They should tell Tehran to focus on its internal affairs instead of interfering in the affairs of other countries.

"We cannot forget the three islands which rightfully belong to the United Arab Emirates; the recent assault on a Kuwaiti diplomat in Tehran; or (those) who made the Palestinians die twice - once at the hands of the Israelis and a second time at the hands of their own brothers. Are these not reasons enough to hold an Arab summit, and hit the head of the snake in Tehran without any fear?" 
It seems that the Arab countries are now so badly frightened by resurgent Khomeini imperialism that they are hoping that Israel will help defang the mad mullahs; or at least that peace moves will strengthen a working US-NATO-Israel-Arab coalition designed to keep the mullahs locked up in their cage. 

Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon (except for Hezb'allah) have been in a de facto state of peace with Israel for decades. Today they are joined by Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Morocco, and even the Arab League as a whole. After seventy years of fierce hostility, most Arab countries are signalling a willingness to accept Israel's right to exist. That is unprecedented.

Arab countries are not threatened by Israel. No Israeli citizens' army is going to invade its neighbors just for the sheer love of bloody war and glory. Israelis just don't think that way. If Arab countries ever believed such paranoid fantasies they have pretty much gotten over them (though their propaganda organs still run massive anti-Semitic campaigns). The Arabs may not love the Jewish State, but they are human enough to care more about their own safety and security.  A far more dangerous enemy compels a working peace between lesser foes.

Each of the Arab nations is also fighting internal zealots of the Sunni variety -- the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Al Qaeda in Saudi and Iraq. But Tehran represents a much more dangerous external threat: A war-like Shi'ite martyrdom regime, combined with traditional Persian imperialism.

This is good news of a kind --- with all the usual caveats. Unfortunately, it also involves the unavoidable problem of a mad nuke state in Tehran.  If the mullahs and their nukes can be overcome, a new and more reasonable Middle East could emerge.

James Lewis blogs at http://www.dangeroustimes.wordpress.com/
A strange paradox is gripping the Middle East during this suspenseful year of the Sitzkrieg  -- the war of sitting and waiting. It is literally the best of times and the worst of times.

The biggest threat is well-known: Iranian nukes. The mullah regime is now sounding raving paranoid, because they know that the peak danger to their supreme gamble --- their quest for nukes --- will come in the next 24 monthsAfter that, they can disperse enough nuclear materiel to be safe from a conventional attack. But for now their nuke program is tied down to a small number of factories in Natanz, Arak, and Isfahan. A major air and sabotage campaign can still knock out their nuclear industry. 

Therefore the peak danger to Tehran is now going up and up; if they win their mad gamble, the mullahs think they will be unassailable. They are therefore desperate to get over that dangerous hump, which is why they are arresting their own people, supporting meatgrinder attacks against every group in Iraq, feverishly re-arming Hezbollah in Lebanon, and buying a whole new Russian-built air force for themselves and Syria.

If war comes before Tehran obtains its nukes, they will try to ignite the whole Middle East, using Syria, Hezbullah and Hamas to attack Israel, and possibly trying to block the flow of oil through the GulfThey are quite capable of attacking US Navy vessels in the Gulf with cruise missiles, but that would signal their own doom. Any Iranian blockade would also turn all the oil producers and consumers against them 

To avoid such self-destructive results, Tehran always attacks through proxies and the El Quds Brigade infiltrators. American and British Soldiers have been fighting them more and more openly in Iraq.


Meanwhile, Ahmadi-Nejad is doing remarkably neurotic and self-destructive things He is quarreling with the Russians, who are still selling him advanced armaments, state-of-the-art fighter jets and nuclear technology; he has successful scared the daylights out of the wobbly Europeans by threatening them repeatedly with his shiny new strategic weapons (which he doesn't have yet), and by his mad obsession with Holocaust denial; and now he has publicly insulted and threatened Egypt, Jordan, the Saudis, Kuwait, Iraq, and most recently Bahrain, accusing them of being "traitors" to Allah, and even laying claim to their territory.

As a result, Ahmadi-Nejad has now divided the Arab world into a majority of nations which see him as a threat to their existence and well-being, and a minority that is pretending to go along with him --- but which may bug out in a crunch.

Syria is happy to accept Iran's purchase of Russian jet fighters for its air force, for example. But when push comes to shove, Syria's Assad could jump either way, and damn the mullahs. If Assad walks away from Ahmadi-Nejad, the major transport route between Tehran and its Lebanese proxy Hezb'allah will be cut. Syria is now holding the aces, and it's not signalling its moves. Because Assad a shrewd survivor, there is a good chance that he just will sit on his hands if push comes to shove.

The biggest Sitzkrieg paradox is that the mullahs are forcing clear moves toward peace between the Arab states and Israel. According to MEMRI, the Kuwait Arab Times just published a call to arms -- not against Israel but Tehran:

"Arab Countries Must Join Forces to Counter Iranian Threat."

"The entire Arab world is in danger, after becoming the epicenter of Iran's policies. Iranian dictator Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's aggressive policies confirm our fears. Many issues which concern only Arabs have now fallen into the hands of Iran. ..."

"Currently, Iran is trying to extend its aggressive policies to all the Gulf countries and to Egypt ... . This raises the question: Why are Arab countries not taking any steps or holding a summit to wrest control of these issues, which essentially belong to them? They should tell Tehran to focus on its internal affairs instead of interfering in the affairs of other countries.

"We cannot forget the three islands which rightfully belong to the United Arab Emirates; the recent assault on a Kuwaiti diplomat in Tehran; or (those) who made the Palestinians die twice - once at the hands of the Israelis and a second time at the hands of their own brothers. Are these not reasons enough to hold an Arab summit, and hit the head of the snake in Tehran without any fear?" 
It seems that the Arab countries are now so badly frightened by resurgent Khomeini imperialism that they are hoping that Israel will help defang the mad mullahs; or at least that peace moves will strengthen a working US-NATO-Israel-Arab coalition designed to keep the mullahs locked up in their cage. 

Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon (except for Hezb'allah) have been in a de facto state of peace with Israel for decades. Today they are joined by Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Morocco, and even the Arab League as a whole. After seventy years of fierce hostility, most Arab countries are signalling a willingness to accept Israel's right to exist. That is unprecedented.

Arab countries are not threatened by Israel. No Israeli citizens' army is going to invade its neighbors just for the sheer love of bloody war and glory. Israelis just don't think that way. If Arab countries ever believed such paranoid fantasies they have pretty much gotten over them (though their propaganda organs still run massive anti-Semitic campaigns). The Arabs may not love the Jewish State, but they are human enough to care more about their own safety and security.  A far more dangerous enemy compels a working peace between lesser foes.

Each of the Arab nations is also fighting internal zealots of the Sunni variety -- the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Al Qaeda in Saudi and Iraq. But Tehran represents a much more dangerous external threat: A war-like Shi'ite martyrdom regime, combined with traditional Persian imperialism.

This is good news of a kind --- with all the usual caveats. Unfortunately, it also involves the unavoidable problem of a mad nuke state in Tehran.  If the mullahs and their nukes can be overcome, a new and more reasonable Middle East could emerge.

James Lewis blogs at http://www.dangeroustimes.wordpress.com/