By Alan Caruba
While Americans have been fixated on the drama of our national elections, the Syrian army has reportedly taken up battle positions in four villages around Hasbaya opposite Mt. Hermon and northern Israel.
Elements of the Syrian 10th, 12th and 14th Divisions and the Third Army are now poised opposite Israeli positions holding the disputed Shebaa Farms enclave on Mt. Harmon. At this point, too, all of Lebanon is encircled by Syrian troop emplacements.
Reportedly, too, Syria has established a military presence inside Lebanon. During the past summer, they set up radar stations on the Lebanese peaks of Mt. Sannine and Barukh in the central mountain range. Such radar provides a look at every move on Lebanese territory, in northern Israel, and on the eastern Mediterranean.
Lebanon is where the next big, Middle East war will begin and Lebanon will be the platform for a massed attack on Israel. Meanwhile, in Gaza, tons of explosives and weapons have been smuggled into this enclave of Hamas. A coordinated attack from the north and south cannot be ruled out.
In Israel, the politics of the nation has slowed progress toward selecting a new prime minister and putting together a ruling coalition. Israelis have pinned their hopes on a deal with Fatah, formerly the more powerful of the two Palestinian factions, but it has a weak leader and is largely an impotent partner for peace even if it wanted it. There is no proof of that despite U.S. efforts to facilitate an agreement.
To understand the timing of the next war it is important to know that the Israeli congress, the Knesset, will dissolve itself on November 11th and, for the next four or five months, there will be a major power vacuum; a nation essentially without a government that would be vital in the event of an attack. That is why an attack is imminent.
President-elect Obama has surrounded himself with foreign affairs advisors that are uniformly anti-Israel. Despite his protestations, he is likely to be the first U.S. President who would not take steps to assist an Israel under attack.
Indeed, even the Bush administration in its waning days has essentially signaled Syria that, if it keeps its promises to control Hezbollah within Lebanon, it would not oppose its return to control that nation.
All this suggests that a massive attack on Israel will be mounted.
In the sixty years of Israeli sovereignty, it has essentially been at war every day. This, too, is why Palestinians have been never been allowed to migrate and integrate into the other nations of the Middle East. At least two generations of Palestinians have been deliberately kept as refugees without a state.
If Israel were defeated, it would be seen as a signal that the Islamic Revolution is succeeding. It will put American and allied European troops in the region at significant risk. The British have already withdrawn theirs from southern Iraq and it explains in part why British and French generals are recommending that Afghanistan be abandoned.
More to the point, it does not matter what America and Europe do with regard to the Middle East. In the end, wise heads may conclude that it needs to be “contained” much as the former Soviet Union was for four decades. The fever of the Islamic revolution must be allowed to run its course until the people of the Middle East reject it.
In the meantime, with a President-elect who spent his formative years in Indonesia as the adopted son of a Muslim and who has Muslim relatives in Kenya, an attack on Israel is virtually guaranteed.