Friday, April 11, 2008
israel sinking toward war?
In truth, all of this may dissolve into nothing much. In intelligence analysis, however, sometimes a set of not-fully-coherent facts must be reported, and that is what we are doing now. There is no clear pattern; there is no obvious direction this is taking. Nevertheless, when we string together events from February until now, we see a persistently escalating pattern of behavior. In fact, what we can say most clearly is that there is escalation, without being able to say what is the clear direction of the escalation or the purpose.
We would like to wrap this up with a crystal clear explanation and forecast. But we can't. The motives of the various actors are opaque; and taken separately, the individual events all have quite innocent explanations. We are not prepared to say war is imminent, nor even what sort of war there would be. We are simply prepared to say that the course of events since February — and really since the September 2007 attack on Syria — have been startling, and they appear to be reaching some sort of hard-to-understand crescendo.
The bombing of Syria symbolizes our confusion. Why would Syria want a nuclear reactor and why put it on the border of Turkey, a country the Syrians aren't particularly friendly with? If the Syrians had a nuclear reactor, why would the Israelis be coy about it? Why would the Americans? Having said nothing for months apart from careful leaks, why are the Israelis going to speak publicly now? And if what they are going to say is simply that the North Koreans provided the equipment, what's the big deal? That was leaked months ago.
The events of September 2007 make no sense and have never made any sense. The events we have seen since February make no sense either. That is noteworthy, and we bring it to your attention. We are not saying that the events are meaningless. We are saying that we do not know their meaning. But we can't help but regard them as ominous.
dr. steenbarger further links to local and very informed opinion that war is imminent.
Claude Salhani: What is your perception of the current situation in the Middle East?
Dory Chamoun: The situation in the Middle East is not going to remain as it is. There is a peace process going on between Syria and Israel, which is on track. How to achieve it remains the question. It is a fact that the Golan Heights is to be divided. Israel wants part of the Golan Heights. This is something the old [former President Hafez] Assad refused.
Now, to achieve that part; they will not be able to achieve it through peace, because Mr. Assad who represents a minority regime cannot say, 'okay, I will give what my father did not give.'
There will be a mock-up war between Syria and Israel. And at the same time Israel will take the advantage to beat up Hezbollah. This time they will fight in the Bekaa Valley. This is a scenario that I see unfolding.