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Is Geneva of 2013 the new Munich of 1938? Why Israel Has Reason to be Worried.

Is Geneva of 2013 the new Munich of 1938?


Hitler and Chamberlain at Munich 1938

Hitler and Chamberlain at Munich 1938

The news that the “Great Powers” of the United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Germany have reached an agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran over Iran’s controversial nuclear program has been greeted with immense skepticism among Iran’s foes.

Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the other Gulf States are very concerned about the potential for Iran to develop nuclear weapons.  They do not trust the Iranians, and increasingly, they do not trust the Obama Adminstration to follow through with either enforcing the agreement (which they believe is too weak anyway), or to follow through with punishing Iran if Tehran violates the agreement.


Critics of agreement reached in Geneva point to several factors to justify their concerns.  The U.S. made a lot of noise over North Korea’s nuclear  development, yet did nothing to halt the North Koreans from growing their nuclear capabilities.  Today, North Korea is a nuclear-armed state.  While that is not Obama’s fault, critics point the the use of chemical weapons by Syria and the “red-line” threat made by President Obama.  Syria crossed that red line by using chemical weapons to kill Syrian civilians.  Despite rather explicit warnings, the Obama Administration did nothing substantive to punish the Assad regime.  An agreement was reached whereby Syria said they would divest themselves of the chemical weapons, but many critics, including the Israelis, expect Syria to not follow through and surrender all of their weapons.  With this example, it is no wonder that those that know the Iranians best, the Israelis and Saudis, do not believe that the U.S. will do anything to enforce the Geneva agreement if/when Iran cheats on their end of the bargain.

Geneva 2013 Negotiators

Geneva 2013 Negotiators

While President Obama and his Secretary of State, John Kerry, believe they have averted war, as they did with the Syrian crisis earlier this year, what they have really done is made an attack on Iran by Israel, with possible aid from the Saudis and others, much more likely.  Israelis often use the lessons of history related to the Nazi regime, the Holocaust, and World War Two to explain their extreme reluctance to trust others, and especially not to trust those who constantly threaten them with destruction.  In 1938, Hitler wanted to annex part of Czechoslovakia, and was threatening war to get what he wanted.  The Great Powers of that time, Britain, France, and Italy, gathered with Hitler in Munich to discuss the crisis.  Wary of war, the British and French agreed to a deal with Hitler that literally gave away part of Czechoslovakia to the Nazis.  The Czechoslovaks had not been invited to the Munich conference.  Their fate was decided by others.  By the time the actual shooting war in Europe began in September, 1939, Hitler had already reneged on the Munich Agreement and had seized the rest of Czechoslovakia, in partnership with other Czech neighbors.  Britain and France did nothing to aid the Czechs and Slovaks from being dismembered.  With the annexation and occupation of Czechoslovakia, the Holocaust began in that sad country.  With lessons like this in their memory, Israel has good reason to neither trust the intentions of the Iranians, nor to trust the promises of the “Great Powers.”


Similar to the appeasement of Hitler by the British and French in Munich in 1938, the appeasement of the Iranians at Geneva in 2013 will lead to a greater chance of war in the near future.  Israel looks to the lessons of history and to the lessons of believing President Obama at his word.  Neither of these examples provides Israel any reason to expect a good outcome.  The engines of war are warming up.  This will not end well for anyone.

Iran War and the Birth of an Israeli-Saudi Alliance

The world watches as Iran and the Western powers negotiate their way to a deal that would enable Iran to pursue her nuclear ambitions, quite a bit of noise is in the news about how Israel says they will not allow Iran to get the bomb.  That in itself is nothing new, but along with those reports, are rumors of an informal Isaeli-Saudi alliance targeting Iran.  On the face of it, this is nuts.  Saudi Arabia is one of the original enemies of the State of Israel.  The Saudis contributed to the original anti-Jewish alliance in the 1948-1949 war, and has funded anti-Israel operations and regimes ever since.  However if one digs deeper, this odd alliance makes sense, given that both Jerusalem and Riyadh fear the growing power of Shia Iran.

Israel and Iran have been involve in an underground war for decades, with Iran directly involved in arming and aiding Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon.  Saudi Arabia and Iran have engaged in bloody proxy wars from Iraq to Yemen,  to Syria, to Lebanon and in the internal politics of the Palestinians and the Egyptians.  Both Israel and the Saudi monarchy see Iran as an existential enemy.  If the enemy of my enemy is my friend, then the Israelis and Saudis may very well become very good friends indeed…

With the Obama administration rushing headlong into a deal that many in the Middle East see as benefiting Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the likelihood of an Israeli attack on Iran, with Saudi support in some fashion, is increasingly more likely with each passing day.  The War and Conflict Journal sees war breaking out very soon if an Iran agreement is reached.

Syrian Conflict is now a Regional War

Syrian Rebel

Syrian Rebel


Is the Syrian Civil War Becoming a Regional War?

According to the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Myers, the three-year old Syrian War is now a “Regional War,” having drawn in other nations and non-state actors as belligerents in the conflict.

Here is a quick look at the facts of this nasty civil war back up the General’s analysis.  The war in Syria began as a protest movement against the dictatorship of Bashar Assad.  Having inherited his power from his father, the late Hafez al-Assad, the current Syrian president is the head of the Ba’ath Party, and a member of the Alawite religious minority in Syria.  The Assads have long been allied to the Islamic Republic of Iran, and, in turn, have been key sponsors of the Shi’ite militias of Lebanon, in particular, the powerful Hezbollah terrorist group. 

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As the violence in Syria has escalated, and the Assad regime has lost more territory to the rebels, other actors have entered the fray.  Pro-Western Muslim nations in the neighborhood, including Turkey and Jordan, are openly giving sanctuary and aid to the Free Syrian Army rebels.  Saudi Arabia and other rich Gulf States are providing economic and moral support to the rebels as well.  The NATO allies are also providing support for the defense of Turkey and Jordan, while also aiding the rebels.

On the opposite side, Hezbollah is now sending its military forces into Syria to fight for the Assad regime, while Iran supplies the government forces with weapons, training, and financial support.  Some reports claim that Iranian military personnel are also involved in the fighting.  Shi’ite militias from Iraq are also reportedly in Syria helping the regime. 

The 800-pound gorilla, so to speak, in the neighborhood is Israel.  Still technically at war with Syria since the first Arab-Israeli War in 1948, Israel is very worried about the transfer of advanced weapons from Assad to Hezbollah.  In particular, Israel is worried about long-range Iranian and Russian-supplied missile transfers and the potential for Syria’s stock of chemical weapons falling into Hezbollah’s hands.  To this end, Israel has launched at least three air strikes in recent months to prevent such transfers.  All this while also responding to shots and rounds falling into the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights.  Israel has provided medical assistance to Syrian rebels in the border region, and speculation has arisen as to whether Israeli Special Forces have been inside Syria lately.

With the ongoing tensions between Israel, Turkey, Jordan and the Western Allies on one side, and the Syrian Assad regime, Hezbollah, and Iran on the other (as well as the ongoing tension and terrorism in neighboring Iraq), it is safe to say that General Myers is correct in that the Syrian Civil War has now evolved into a true regional conflict with the potential to erupt into a major Middle East War.

Syrian rebel fighter in Aleppo

Syrian rebel fighter in Aleppo

Bahrain Violence Growing Concern for U.S. and Potential Gain for Iran

Apparantly learning from the fall of long-ruling regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, Bahrain’s military took control of the capital Thursday, February 17, 2011, only hours after riot police firing birdshot, rubber bullets and teargas stormed an anti-government protest camp, killing at least five people and wounding more than 230. The Bahrain government, dominated by the minority Sunnis, moved swiftly to crush the nascent, largely Shiite-led protests against the government. The implications for the United States if Bahrain falls to the Shiites, or falls into violent chaos, are very serious. Bahrain serves as the “home port” for the United States Navy’s 5th Fleet, and is therefore a bulwark for the whole Sunni-dominated Arabian Peninsula against influence and power from Shiite-ruled Iran.

Israel-Iran War Draws Closer

On August 21, 2010, Iran, with Russian aid, began inserting the fuel rods into the Bushehr reactor. Some analysts believed that Israel would not risk an attack after August 21 for because of the risk of serious nuclear contamination throughout the Gulf region if the reactor were to be destroyed. However, other analysts see evidence of war preparations by Israel, Syria, and Iran. Clues these analysts see include:
–Ongoing publicity and concern in Israel over the Gallant Scandal, which some Arab sources see as a smokescreen to deflect attention away from war preparations by Israel.
–The presence of Iranian Revolutionary Guards chief Gen. Mohamed Ali Jafari in Damascus, apparantly for discussions on coordinating Syrian, Hezbollah, and Iranian military responses to an Israeli strike.
–Statements made by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas saying that direct peace talks with Israel were not in the likely because “a big military surprise awaits the Middle East.”

See also: http://www.historyguy.com/iranwar.htm

Iran Reactor: Will Israel Attack the Bushehr Reactor?

Russian sources associated with that nation’s assistance program with Iran’s nuclear program announced that by August 21, 2010, the fuel rods necessary to power the Bushehr nuclear reactor will be installed. Some analysts, such as John Bolton, former
U.S. ambassador to the U.N., believe that announcement creates a deadline by which Israel will attack the
Bushehr reactor. According to Bolton, an Israeli strike at the Iranian reactor must come before the nuclear
material is installed, otherwise, an attack could spread radioactive material throughout parts of the Middle East.

Also, in August, 2010, an article was published by The Atlantic magazine which presents facts and opinions on the possibility of an Israeli strike at Iran. The Atlantic article concludes that there is a 50 percent likelihood that Israel will strike the Iranian nuclear program by July, 2011.

See also:  http://www.historyguy.com/iranwar.htm

Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah may be preparing for a summer, 2010 war against Israel

A new article at Debka.com relates concerns that Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah may be preparing for a summer, 2010 war against Israel.  See the article at Debka.com’s site: http://www.debka.com/article/8745/

And the History Guy page at http://www.historyguy.com/iranwar.htm

Iran War Creeping Upon Us

The world is slowly creeping toward the long-awaited and long-feared Iran War.  What is this ‘Iran War?”  At some point, Iran will be attacked, most likely by Israel, perhaps less likely by the United States or some coalition of Western powers.  But the ongoing concerns regarding Iran’s continued nuclear weapons development and the collapse of any reasonable diplomatic scenarios will lead Israel’s leadership with the belief that they have no choice but to strike the Islamic Republic of Iran before they can attack Israel with the nuclear weapons Iran is developing.

Two recent developments in particular shows that Israel is growing increasingly concerned.  First, the Israeli cabinet decided to fund a program to provide gas masks to all Israelis.  This is an obvious preparation for the possibility of missile attacks on Israel from Iran and/or Iranian allies Hamas, Hezbollah, and Syria.

Second, on January 12, 2010, a leading Iranian nuclear scientist was assassinated by a remote-controlled bomb in Tehran.  It is widely assumed that Israel is behind this killing in an apparent attempt to delay the Iranian nuclear program. 

See also: http://www.historyguy.com/iranwar.htm

Saudi Air and Artillery Strikes in Aid of Yemen

The Sa’dah insurgency in northern Yemen began in June of 2004 with a rebellion led by the Shiite cleric Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, head of the Shi‘a Zaidiyyah sect. Most of the fighting has taken place in Sa’dah Governorate (province) in northwesternmost Yemen.

In November of 2009, the Sa’ada insurgency took on an alarming new dimension, as Saudi Arabia openly intervened to aid the Yemeni government with air strikes and artillery barrages on the Shiite rebels.  Analysts see the Saudi participation partly as a pre-emptive strike to prevent the war from actually spreading into Saudi territory, but also as a move against Iran, which is believed to be aiding the rebels. Saudi Arabia and Iran have engaged in a long-running proxy conflict in the Gulf region, in the Iraqi civil war, and also in Lebanon, where Iran backs Hezbollah, and the Saudis support the Lebanese government.

Of interest is the fact that Saudi Arabia is aiding Yemen at all, given the fact they have a long history of dislike toward each other,  but the mutual threat from both Iran and al-Qaida (and their mutual alliance with the U.S.) appears to trump past history.

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