Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Start of World War IV?

The last week or so you may have seen various television pundits debating if we are at the beginning of a world war. I would definitely say a regional war, I am not sure of a world war, though. However, what number are we on in regards to world wars?

Numbers one and two were clearly defined. But I believe that World War III was already fought and won as a result of communism being defeated. Conservative estimates put the number of fatalities under the rule of communism at just under 100 million. Defining what exactly constitutes a "world war" can be subjective. I do believe that the involvement of many countries and the deaths of 100 million should be considered a "world war" by most. Were there not wars throughout the world fought against communism? Yes, of course. The United States and the U.S.S.R. fought several wars by proxy against one another, most notably Vietnam and Afghanistan.

So this brings us to the present. North Korea decided to shoot off some missiles on our Independence Day. The ones fired were duds, however, how do we know that this was not a ploy to make the U.S. think the arsenal of Pyongyang is impotent, when in reality they saved their "real" missiles for a later date. There is no question in my mind that China is behind this. With the G8 summit getting under way in St. Petersburg, Russia, China wants to distract President Bush from dealing with trade issues and would like to force the Bush Administration to deal with North Korea's nuclear ambitions. Make no mistake, either, that we are in a fierce competitive battle for oil as China and India continue to become more industrial.

So now that brings us to everyone's favorite region on the planet. The place where the three major religions were born. Where civilization essentially began. A place of great ruins and a rich history. Yes, the Middle East.

Israel has responded decisively and are in a "we've had enough of your b.s." mode. I applaud their response and the way they are doing it. Terrorism can not be tolerated. The kidnapping and murdering of soldiers can not be tolerated. Thus, Israel is doing the right thing. They have every right to defend themselves and to hell with the feeble United Nations.

Israel initially started with their onslaught against Hamas in Gaza. Then Hezbollah began firing rockets from their bases in southern Lebanon. So Israel is fighting a two-front war. According to FOX News, a senior Israeli intelligence official said 100 Iranian troops are in Lebanon and helped Hezbollah fire a missile that damaged an Israeli warship off the Lebanese coast Friday night.

So, let's examine this situation:

We all know the rhetoric that has been coming from Iran about wanting to wipe "Israel off the map" once they are able to acquire the "Islamic" bomb. According to WABC Radio's John Batchelor back in December, Israel planned on "giving the Iranian situation until May" before they themselves took out the sites where the development of nukes is alleged to be taking place.

I believe, this is the reason for such a strong response by Israel. They see America tied up with Iraq and Afghanistan. They see North Korea being a country that the U.S. will have to deal with immediately. Because let's say one of those long-ranged missiles fired did hit the intended target: Hawaii.

With all of that on the plate of the United States, it would appear impossible for America to militarily deal with the Iranians.

Given the fact that tough-talking France probably will not be the ones to take out the nuke sites in Iran and that the United Nations will drag their feet; throw in the fact that Israel has been directly threatened by a head of state, namely Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; and what you have is the Israelis now in the process of dealing with this issue once and for all.

They know that Iran will get involved. Probably after Israel hits Damascus, Syria, where the top leadership of Hezbollah is holed up. So, let's say that Israel hits Damascus then Iran, who pulls the strings of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, will get directly involved, giving Israel reason to hit the alleged sites where nuclear development is taking place. According to the Associated Press, those sites include Arak, Natanz and the port of Bushehr where American intelligence analysts say the mullahcratic regime intends to develop weapons-grade plutonium.

Syria is a regime made up of Baathists, much like the now-deposed one in Iraq. So will that lead to the Baathists insurgency in Iraq now storming Israel? Al-Qaeda is also rumored to have set up camp in Gaza after Israeli withdrawal a year ago. Does that mean that bin Laden and the gang will become involved? I would bet they would since they always seem to be intent on staying on the front page.

The other scary part is the question of how many countries will decide to line up against the Israelis, which occurred during the six-nation war of 1967.

All of this plus Iraq seems to be teetering on the brink of civil war.

Will their be a domino effect?

Either way this is a very scary scenario for the Middle East which will have dire implications for the entire world. The safety of our troops in Iraq becomes more of an issue depending on the level of fighting. Hezbollah boss Sheik Sayyad Hassan Nasrallah has vowed to increase the fighting, according to today's New York Post.

Of course, what type of impact will this have on the world economy. Is $4.50 per gallon of gas imminent?

The Middle East is a very dangerous neighborhood that is never quiet. This is one which requires us all to stay tuned.

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