The summer is past and cooler temperatures prevail throughout the Middle East. What a season for a good fight.
Syria, for decades, has been in Russia’s pocket because of her naval facilities at Tartus. Although that is Russia’s only Mediterranean fueling location, there has been a noted cooling in the Russia/Syria relationship, presumedly because of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s bungling of his internal conflicts.
One may wonder why Russia cares -- she never has before. Perhaps the distancing is to lure a certain foreign policy neophyte, President Barack Obama, into lowering U.S. defenses in the area.
It may also be that Russia is willing to hand Syria over to the Muslim Brotherhood, at least for a while, so that Israel may continue being encircled. It wouldn’t surprise several foreign policy experts if, once Israel is subdued, the Muslim Brotherhood would welcome Russian ships back into the area. Of course, Israel will not be
With America’s stressful money woes, and a dire need for funds to grow domestic, malignant, socialistic programs, military funding/forces will definitely be reduced. Here we have a lovely Russian gift to Obama, a grand excuse to cut military readiness in the Middle East to the bone.
Right next door, in Jordan, turmoil is also growing. King Abdullah II would be wise to abdicate and vacate the country, but memories die hard in the Middle East. Fundamentalist Muslim extremists remember his father’s heavy hand against them during his Black September movement in 1970-71. In Abdullah’s neighborhood, paybacks mean assassinations. He would be wise to remember that his
grandfather was shot to death on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount in 1951.
With Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan falling, or already in Muslim Brotherhood hands, and with an emboldened, pro-Palestinian Obama in control of U.S. foreign policy for four more years, Netanyahu has no choice but to strike, and strike hard. The Israelis understand that their unilateral actions may lead to further military escalation, but this way, at least, the activity will be on their terms.
It would be wise, and I think comforting, for Israelis to review Psalm 83. Written 3,000 years ago, we find Israel’s nearest enemies conspiring together. Verse 4 says: “They have said, ‘Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more.’”
Later, in Ezekiel 38, we see Russia, Iran, Turkey and others attacking a regathered Jewish state. But Israel’s closest enemies are missing. Where did they go? Egypt, Syria and Jordan have been at the forefront of every war against Israel since her rebirth in 1948. In the Ezekiel 38 war, however, not one of them can be seen.
This author believes the Muslim Brotherhood will somehow overplay their cards in Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. The Israeli military will smush them like a bug on a windshield, and by the time of the Ezekiel 38 conflict, the Muslim Brotherhood, along with all three former enemies, will not longer be a threat.
Let’s all just see what transpires while Israel, as they have always done, fights on to victory -- alone.
Walt Osterman is the author of "Not Home Yet: A Tale Concerning Israel's Rebirth." He served in Vietnam and is a Bronze Star recipient. He lives in Wyoming.