Iran sets up Lebanon, Syria to start war with Israel?

Charles Krauthammer:

"They (the United States and Israel) have decided to attack at least two countries in the region in the next three months." Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,

Iranian president, July 26

President Ahmadinejad has a penchant for the somewhat loony, as when last weekend he denounced Paul the Octopus, omniscient predictor of eight consecutive World Cup matches, as a symbol of decadence and purveyor of "Western propaganda and superstition."

But for all his clownishness, Ahmadinejad is nonetheless calculating and dangerous. What "two countries" was he talking about? They seem logically to be Lebanon and Syria.

Hezbollah in Lebanon has armed itself with 50,000 rockets and made clear that it is in a position to start a war at any time. Fighting on this scale would immediately bring in Syria, which would in turn invite Iranian intervention in defense of its major Arab clients — and of the first Persian beachhead on the Mediterranean in 1,400 years.

The idea that Israel, let alone the U.S., has the slightest interest in starting a war on Israel's north is crazy. But claims about imminent attacks are serious business in that region.

In May 1967, the Soviet Union falsely told its client, Egypt, that Israel was preparing to attack Syria. These rumors set off a train of events — the mobilization of Arab armies, the southern blockade of Israel, the hasty signing of an inter-Arab military pact — that led to the Six-Day War.

Ahmadinejad's claim is not supported by a shred of evidence. So what is he up to?

It is a sign that he is under serious pressure. Passage of weak U.N. sanctions was followed by unilateral sanctions by the United States, Canada, Australia and the European Union. Already, reports Reuters, Iran is experiencing a sharp drop in gasoline imports as Lloyd's of London refuses to insure the ships delivering them.

Second, the Arab states are no longer just whispering their desire for the U.S. to militarily take out Iranian nuclear facilities. The United Arab Emirates' ambassador to Washington said so openly at a conference three weeks ago.

...
I suspect his statement signals that Hezballah has finished its rearmament following the 2006 Hezballah war with Israel. I think that the current attempts to break the Gaza blockade are aimed at opening the door to send missiles to Hamas to attack Israel with. Both of these proxies would then be set to respond to an Israeli attack on Iran's nukes.

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