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Robert Fisk and Conn Hallinan Articles: Israel and Hizbollah Preparing For War?

March 9, 2010

(updated March 29, 2010)

A New Middle East War

Hizbollah and Israel: The Coming Clash

Robert Fisk: Israel and Hizbollah Preparing For War

Haaretz: Israel War Looming In Gaza?


A recent ad from Gush Shalom, Israeli peace group, which sums up the situation well:

The War can be prevented –

In spite of the threats!

The readiness to make peace

And to leave

The occupied territories

Will make it possible

To reach agreement

With the Syrians

And the Palestinians,

Thus depriving the Iranians

Of any pretext for an attack.

If war breaks out –

It will be again

For territories and settlements


Three pieces… one from January 12, suggesting that Israel is preparing for war with Gaza again, the second more recent, from a few days ago, by British journalist Robert Fisk who was visiting S. Lebanon, suggesting that, Israel will not to to war to its south but possibly to its north, in Lebanon against Hizbollah. It might also seek to hit both Syria and Iran with a triple devastating strike. While none of this is written in stone, the situation appears more and more ominous. At the same time, Israel has been consulting intensively with both NATO and the US military and there is at least one report of the US stockpiling weapons in Israel that came out a few weeks ago (I am updating this on March 9,2010). The third comes in early March, from the website `Open Democracy’ which only re-enforces the concerns of the other two, but this time, from the Hizbollah-Syria-Iran side

A few thoughts as you read these pieces

1. The overall impression is that Israel IS preparing for war, either to the north, the south or both. And so are Hizbollah, Syria and Iran

2. Fisk is suggesting more of a regional scenario that includes some kind of attack on Iran, some kind of single, double or even possibly triple whammy this time

3. If – and it is a big `if’ Israel does to the war, already the questions/assumptions that must be asked… what is the role of the United States in this? My starting point is always, always that Israel will not go to war without the permission of – and close cooperation with – the United States, in this case the Obama Administration. What role would the U.S. play? Behind the scenes political and logistical support? Or a more open form of cooperation in such an effort?

4. Neither the US nor Israel go to war without pretexts. Rule No. 1 of going to war… gotta have pretexts. Pretexts always hide the deeper strategic reasoning and goals. They can be flimsy, as those prior to the US invasion of Iraq or Israel’s recent assault on Gaza. It hardly seems to matter here in the US and in Israel. Any excuse will do. What pretexts will it be this time?

5. There is a growing media build up taking place right now between Israel and Hizbollah – the war of words is heating up as Fisk notes. I take the war of words dead seriously as a preload to the war of bombs, death and destruction. ..sooner or later. Hizbollah, Hamas and Iran have all been sufficiently vilified so that at least in the US and Israel, an attack will not only be justified but perhaps even welcomed. Sickening but true.

6. Finally, my own rule of thumb – Prince’s Rule – if you will… if a country is not preparing for peace, it is, unfortunately almost always preparing for war. You cannot prepare for peace and war at the same time. Now that I think of it, I stole that line from somewhere. An old bumper sticker I do believe? And the slogan comes back to me now.

There is no momentum for peace between Israel and Palestine right now, no progress on lifting the blockade of Gaza, no improvement of relations between Israel and Lebanon, and no U.S. pressure on Israel (where it needs to be) to facilitate a peace process.  None whatsoever. Furthermore, given the February 10, 2010 meeting in Damascus between Ahmadinejad, Bechir Assad and Hasan Nasrallah of Hizbollah, it appears that `the other side’ is also getting ready. The war of words has intensified.

Thus I take these three newspaper opinion pieces – more suggestive than they are definitive – as a dark sign of things to come.

My conclusion: Israel probably is preparing for war. I don’t know when or where or whether it will be on one, two or three fronts or what the lame excuses will be this time, nor why the Obama Administration and the U.S. Congress (and even the Colorado Legislature) will, as they have done in the past,  blindly support Israel, defend its aggression.

So more and more it is starting once again not to be a question of `if’ …but `when’ and `where’ …and with what new weapons systems and bombs this time?


Rob P.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. steven permalink
    March 25, 2010 3:36 pm


    Yes, I think you are right -war is eminent. Especially concerning where it will start – Gaza. However, it will not be on three fronts. United States has already positioned itself for this war–Iraq (one of the reason why we are there) and because of our overwhelming presence in Afghanistan, we have a gun to Syria, Southern Lebanon and Iran’s head. There will be one front -the Palestinian front and the world will only see what the US and Israel wants us them see.

  2. October 3, 2010 9:21 am

    All what I have seen in Lebanon, especialy in the Beqaa Valley is a vibrant expectation tro crush Israel; most of the people agree with Hizbollah and rejoyce already in advance of futur victories…but I would say, they have no glue what they are up to, what terrible force awaits them if they go to far…ore do they know?

    • October 3, 2010 11:21 am

      interesting comment shaanan…

      what i make out of it is the following:

      1. tensions remain high and the danger of war remains real
      2. given the balance of military force, the notion of `crushing Israel’ is hallucinagenic in form… although israel would have a tough battle in Lebanon and it knows it.Such a war, if it comes would be punishing on both sides…hopefully it can be avoided

      cheers. thanks for comments… rjp

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