Is the Iran bloc arming for war?

Rick Moran
Michael Totten in Commentary Magazine:

If Obama's squishy policies are misguided, as I think they are, it's less obvious. The Middle East isn't on fire as it was circa 2005. But it should be apparent that, at some point, all the pressure that's building up will have to go somewhere. When and how is anyone's guess, but there's little chance it's just going to dissipate or be slowly released during peace talks.The Iranian-led resistance bloc is becoming better armed and more belligerent by the month. And the next round of conflict could tear up as many as six regions at the same time if everyone pulls out the stops. A missile war sparked between Hezbollah and Israel, for instance, could easily spread to Gaza, Syria, Iran, and even Iraq.

Even if it's only half as bad as all that, we should still brace ourselves for more mayhem and bloodshed than we saw during the recent wars in Gaza and Lebanon. Israelis may show a lot less restraint if skyscrapers in Tel Aviv are exploding. Iran might even fire off some of its own if the leadership thinks Israel lacks the resources or strength to fight on too many fronts. The United States could be drawn in kicking and screaming, but resistance-bloc leaders have every reason to believe it won't happen, that the U.S. is more likely to zip flex cuffs on Jerusalem.

I'm speculating, of course. The future is forever unknowable, and none of this is inevitable. An unexpected event - such as the overthrow of Ali Khamenei in Tehran - could change everything. A real-world conflict would take on a life of its own anyway that no one could predict or control.

Syria just passed on Scud missiles to Hezb'allah, increasing the range of their rockets from about 100 miles to more than 400. The Scuds can carry a 500 pound warhead - 500 pounds of high explosives targeting Tel Aviv and other major Israeli cities.

Hezb'allah is sitting pretty in Lebanon, despite losing the election last year. They have maneuvered successfully to change Lebanese foreign policy from wary friendship with the west to almost outright hostility with Israel. Blame Obama for that, as his Syrian outreach has left Lebanon hanging out to dry and isolated the Sunni-Christian coalition of democrats who wanted to distance themselves from Syria. No chance of that now, as we witnessed the queasy spectacle of Said Hariri visiting Damascus a few weeks ago and paying obeisance to the murderers of his father.

Everyone thinks another war is just a matter of time. And it won't take much to set it off.




Michael Totten in Commentary Magazine:

If Obama's squishy policies are misguided, as I think they are, it's less obvious. The Middle East isn't on fire as it was circa 2005. But it should be apparent that, at some point, all the pressure that's building up will have to go somewhere. When and how is anyone's guess, but there's little chance it's just going to dissipate or be slowly released during peace talks.

The Iranian-led resistance bloc is becoming better armed and more belligerent by the month. And the next round of conflict could tear up as many as six regions at the same time if everyone pulls out the stops. A missile war sparked between Hezbollah and Israel, for instance, could easily spread to Gaza, Syria, Iran, and even Iraq.

Even if it's only half as bad as all that, we should still brace ourselves for more mayhem and bloodshed than we saw during the recent wars in Gaza and Lebanon. Israelis may show a lot less restraint if skyscrapers in Tel Aviv are exploding. Iran might even fire off some of its own if the leadership thinks Israel lacks the resources or strength to fight on too many fronts. The United States could be drawn in kicking and screaming, but resistance-bloc leaders have every reason to believe it won't happen, that the U.S. is more likely to zip flex cuffs on Jerusalem.

I'm speculating, of course. The future is forever unknowable, and none of this is inevitable. An unexpected event - such as the overthrow of Ali Khamenei in Tehran - could change everything. A real-world conflict would take on a life of its own anyway that no one could predict or control.

Syria just passed on Scud missiles to Hezb'allah, increasing the range of their rockets from about 100 miles to more than 400. The Scuds can carry a 500 pound warhead - 500 pounds of high explosives targeting Tel Aviv and other major Israeli cities.

Hezb'allah is sitting pretty in Lebanon, despite losing the election last year. They have maneuvered successfully to change Lebanese foreign policy from wary friendship with the west to almost outright hostility with Israel. Blame Obama for that, as his Syrian outreach has left Lebanon hanging out to dry and isolated the Sunni-Christian coalition of democrats who wanted to distance themselves from Syria. No chance of that now, as we witnessed the queasy spectacle of Said Hariri visiting Damascus a few weeks ago and paying obeisance to the murderers of his father.

Everyone thinks another war is just a matter of time. And it won't take much to set it off.