The Accidental War?

A few months back I received some e-mail from Middle Eastern sources which argued that a military build-up on Israel's northern border meant preparations for a new war between Israel, Hezbollah/Lebanon and perhaps even Syria. At the time, the idea, after such pointless bloodletting in 2006 and the clear distaste among the Israeli public for a reoccupation in southern Lebanon, seemed completely far-fetched. Now, after a tree-cutting expedition provoked a major border incident between Israeli Defense Forces and Lebanese regulars, it seems prescient.

There is a point where such projections become self-propelling, i.e., Hezbollah prepares for an assault so much that it provokes an IDF buildup which encourages more arms-seeking across the border which compels great preparation on the Israeli side. You get the idea. After such a self-perpetuating swirl of war-prepping, it doesn't take much, a wrong turn, a small verbal confrontation that escalates into a minor firefight, to provide the spark to the tinder of a more devastating conflict. It will take adroit diplomacy from the U.N. and U.S. State Department to get everyone's finger off the trigger.


Let's hope they are up to the task.

With so much dangerous rhetoric and resentment haunting the region—and a recent spate of provocations—there is little that seems far-fetched anymore. Is it too hard to imagine a new war with Hezbollah drawing Syria and Iran into the conflict? And then is it completely deranged to imagine that Israel will turn to its only ally for more than just material and diplomatic support in such an escalating conflict? Let's trim our trees with care in the coming weeks.

Haaretz notes in an editorial today ("Restraint is not weakness"): "The government and the IDF have for several months been preparing the Israeli public for the possibility of a war in the north. They are aware of the tremendous political tension in Lebanon, of the struggle Hezbollah is waging against accusations of murdering former prime minister Rafik Hariri more than five years ago, and of the massive diplomatic effort by Saudi Arabia to steady the situation in Lebanon.

"This awareness should have led the government and the IDF to consider more carefully when to cut down a tree near the border. Operation Exposure, as the army is calling the tree cutting, may be necessary to give IDF troops a good view of what is happening in Lebanese territory, but when such an operation can trigger a war, the benefits must be weighed against the risks.... The government and the IDF must understand that not every time is right for demonstrating Israeli sovereignty right up to the last millimeter, certainly not when tension is rising on both sides of the border. Employing restraint and waiting at such a time are not an expression of weakness, but of wisdom and political sensitivity."

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Tom Maher
8 years 1 month ago
Accidental war?  The real concern is real war preparation going on by all sides in response to Iran's continued development of nuclear weapons.  This is preparation for war as real as it ever gets.  Iran continues to defy the U.N. and international sactions and devlop nuclear weapons. 

Iran having nuclear weapons which they are anout to any day is unacceptable to th eUnited States and Israel.  Among other thing the president of Iran have repeatedly declared in public speeches that they would use these weapons against Israel to wipe Israel off the face of th eearth.  Iran is a fanatic theocracy hell-bent on the unprevoked destruction of Israel.   Iran having nuclear weapons is unacceptable and as Admiral Mike Mullen the Chairment of the Joint chief of staff said last Sunday will have many unforeseen consequeces.   

Hezbollah in Lebanon is a proxy organization for Iran.  If Iran is at war with Israel, Hezbollah which gets rockets and other weapons, money and commands form Iran will also be at war with Israel.  Accordingly Israel given Iran's dire wae preparation must be prepared for Hezbollah and even Syria.   The key element is Iran is about to have nuclear weapoins which is unacceptable and untenable. 
ed gleason
8 years 1 month ago
Sure accidental war is possible, But a worse threat  is a nuclear war on purpose...  see H. Resolution 1553 by the House Republicans calling on US support of an Israeli attack on Iran. 
Encouraging an Israeli attack in order to look 'tough' to win House seats in Nov.??  Conventional weapons even bunker bombs will have no effect on Iranian nuclear facilities. These Republican Congressional wackos want nuclear war?? Give them all one way tickets to a town on the Iranian border.  
What to do about Iran?... keep up peaceful pressure and pray for regime change.  
Tom Maher
8 years 1 month ago
Last Sunday's Meet the Press program interviewed Admiral Mullen, the Chairmen of the Joint Chief of Staff.  On the topic of Iran getting muclear weapons David Gregory the NBC narrator indicated thAt President Obama  was on record that the U.S. would stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons.  When Gregory asked  Admiral Mullen if we had plans to attackl Iran he said "we do".  These plans are part of a military option which is on the table.. Everyone hopes the sactions will stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.  But so far sactions have no effect on Iran nuclear development. 

CIA director Leaon Panetta a Democrat and former adviser to President Clinton and a long time congressman said sometimes in the last month that he thought sanctions would not work to stop Iran.  

Everyone agrees Iran having nuclear weapons is just not business as ussual it is a very big deal and very big problem loaded with dire consequences, including the immeadiate threat to israel who reapeatedly has show itself to be fully able to react to any security threat but especially a nuclear threat. 

Everyone agrees that a military attack is a very poor choice loaded with consequences.   Yet they also realize that given the threat of Iran having nuclear weapons somehow mlitary action will come into play.

Keep in mind that Syria secret nuclear weapons research facility wa attacked and destroyed by Israeli air attack in 2008.  Spmehow this did not be much attention.

But everyone agrees includionmg President Abama that Iran must not have nuclear weapons.   After almost 10 years of development Iran remains as defiant as ever.  This is beginning to look like a major confrontation of opposits is in the making. 

Ao it is not surpreising at all that military planning is in place and war preparation are being implemented.   Iran will not be allowed get nuclear weapons one way or another. 
8 years 1 month ago
To think there is anything accidental in what is going on is ludicrous.  It is all planned, mainly in Tehran.  Nearly every day there are multiple provocations by various Muslim groups against Israel and Israel in return leans over backwards to placate and help the Palestinians.  The Muslim people/children are taught to hate Israel from infancy and someone thinks a tree has set this off.

I would look to other sources than Haaretz for your information and try to assess what is really happening in Israel.  There seems to be a definite trend in posts on Israel.

A new war is probably going to happen soon and Israel has no interest in fighting it but it is all being orchestrated from Iran thorough their surrogates. One of the reasons is to deflect any military attack on Iran to take out their nuclear capabilities.
Mike Evans
8 years 1 month ago
Big time sabre rattling. Small time efforts to find a way into Iran's thinking and convince them of their error. War for them will be a disaster, and one with no glory for the current leadership. Hillary as a woman representing the hated U.S. is not likely to succeed. Some back door diplomacy is badly needed. An outright bribe would be preferable to seeing a surgical nuclear strike occur.
Stanley Kopacz
8 years 1 month ago
Moral considerations aside, we can't afford these wars anymore.  Also, we are so de-industrialized, thanks to job exportation, that we really have no business playing at war anymore.  War is a capability of industrialized nations.  Why can't we just sit back, relax, and be, oh, England? 
Tom Maher
8 years 1 month ago
Famous last words: Let's sit this one out.  As if national or world security is optional or we could pause an not be concerned about the world.  Let the world take care of itself.  What could possibly go wrong?

Did the ideas of isolationism, nutraility, pacifism ever work out more poorly for America than they did in days just before WW II?  Both the Democratic and  Republican party were avowed isolationist in the 1940 presidential election.  Fortress America with the geography of the hugh expanse of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans would keep America free of war without our being involved with the world.  How wrong the country was to thinj in 1940 that the United States could be insolated from the rest world. 

How very wrong the nation was to even hope to not be involved in war when war was spreading across most of the earth.  As of 1941 technological  could bring powerful forces in the hands of our adversaries across not only the English Channell but across the vast western  Pacific ocean in a surprise attack on the United States territory that was calulated to deliver a first strike defeat for America.  

Technology of warfare is not at rest .  It is rapidly develieloping.   Iran is not only developing nuclear weapons but advanced missle deleivery systems which it has already tested.  Advances in missle technology make them msny times faster (Iran has a mach 4 speed missle) making them very hard to shot down or even detect and respond to.   This hands Iran the classic "first strike"  opportunity to  totally destroying any adversary in minutes.    Way too much power.  Way too much raw political advantage.  

Iran war preparations and potential can only be ignored at the world's peril just like WW II but far worse. 
Stanley Kopacz
8 years 1 month ago
The atomic bomb is already in the hands of North Korea and Pakistan, a Muslim country, supposedly our friend.  Why haven't the North Koreans used their bomb already?  Because they know we have bombs dozens of times more powerful, a couple thousand of them, and can deliver them in a half hour.  IF Iran gets the bomb, it will be just as useless to them.

Iran's nuclear program was inspired by the Israelis, who probably possess a couple hundred nukes.  The Iranians can't wipe out anybody.  They can only get themselves destroyed.

IF it's so critical to go to war with every Muslim nation, you better start taxing people now, a nice fat progresssive tax, too.  Munitions don't grow on trees.  ANd start up the draft again, while you're at it.

And like I said before, a country full of so-called "knowledge workers" and other hot shots shouldn't get into wars.  Of course, Wall Street could always manufacture some phoney-baloney financial products and we could drop them on the Iranians.  It worked on us.


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