By: Michael Snyder
May 6, 2013
War is a horrible thing. Just ask anyone that has ever been in the middle of it. And in this day and age governments around the world possess weapons of such incalculable power that war should be unthinkable. In future wars, we could literally see millions of people killed on a single day. Nobody should want that or look forward to that. Unfortunately, the next major regional war in the Middle East appears to be closer than ever. But nobody should want it to actually happen. During the next major regional war in the Middle East we will likely see death on a scale that is unprecedented. It won’t be like the wars of 1967 or 1973. It will likely be a fight to the death where nothing is held back. You see, the truth is that most Americans have no idea what is really going on in the Middle East. There are ancient grudges and ancient hatreds that go back for thousands of years. There is no “peace plan” that is going to suddenly make everything okay. The Middle East is a simmering volcano of hate and resentment that could erupt at any moment. That is why what is happening in Syria right now is so important. An Israeli airstrike in Damascus that reportedly was attempting to destroy a shipment of Fateh-110 missiles that Iran was sending to Hezbollah has brought Israel and Syria to the brink of war. In fact, Syria is calling the airstrike a “declaration of war” and is vowing retaliation. The Syrian government is saying that “Israeli aggression opens the door to all possibilities“, but they have not provided any specifics about what they plan to do. Meanwhile, Israel has made it very clear that they will do whatever is necessary to keep Fateh-110 missiles from getting into the hands of Hezbollah. With those missiles, Iranian-backed Hezbollah would have the capability of striking the heart of Tel Aviv with a very high degree of accuracy. So it is definitely understandable why Israel would not want Hezbollah to have those missiles. Just think about it – would you want Russia or China to deploy highly advanced missile systems in northern Mexico which could rain down hell on Los Angeles and Dallas in less than five minutes? Unfortunately, this gives Iran the perfect way to provoke a war between Israel and Syria. All they have to do is keep rolling trucks loaded with Fateh-110 missiles through war-torn Syria toward Hezbollah bases in Lebanon. Israel will feel forced to intervene, and the rest of the Islamic world will get angrier and angrier.
The explosions that rocked northern Damascus on Sunday were absolutely massive. It is being reported that they registered about two or three on the Richter scale, and enormous balls of fire that lit up the sky could be seen from all over Damascus.
The following is how the Washington Post described the attack…
Israeli warplanes bombed the outskirts of Damascus early Sunday for the second time in recent days, according to Syrian state media and reports from activists, signaling a sharp escalation in tensions between the neighboring countries that had already been exacerbated by the conflict raging in Syria.
Videos posted on the Internet by activists showed a huge fireball erupting on Mount Qassioun, a landmark hill overlooking the capital on which the Syrian government has deployed much of the firepower it is using against rebel-controlled areas surrounding the city.
So why did Israel do this?
Despite what the anti-Israel crowd is suggesting, Israel did not do this just to be mean. As Reuters is reporting, Israel was specifically targeting Fateh-110 missiles that were on their way to Hezbollah…
Israel does not confirm such missions explicitly – a policy it says is intended to avoid provoking reprisals. But an Israeli official told Reuters on condition of anonymity that the strikes were carried out by its forces, as was a raid early on Friday that U.S. President Barack Obama said had been justified.
A Western intelligence source told Reuters: “In last night’s attack, as in the previous one, what was attacked were stores of Fateh-110 missiles that were in transit from Iran to Hezbollah.”
These missiles would significantly change the balance of power if they got into the hands of Hezbollah. According to the Times of Israel, Fateh-110 missiles would be a very serious threat not only to Tel Aviv – these missiles would also threaten cities all the way down to Beersheba…
Uzi Rubin, a missile expert and former Defense Ministry official, told the Associated Press that if the target was a consignment of Fatah-110 missiles, then such weaponry did constitute a “game-changer”: Fired from Syria or south Lebanon, these missiles, he said, could reach almost anywhere in Israel with high accuracy.
Rubin emphasized that he was speaking as a rocket expert and had no details about the reported strikes.
“If fired from southern Lebanon, they can reach Tel Aviv and even [the southern city of] Beersheba,” Rubin said. He said the rockets are much five times more accurate than the Scud missiles that Hezbollah has fired in the past. “It is a game-changer because they are a threat to Israel’s infrastructure and military installations,” he said.
So that is why Israel carried out these airstrikes. They feel like they simply cannot allow Hezbollah to have these weapons. And with Hezbollah’s track record, that is very understandable.
Unfortunately, these airstrikes have also brought the Middle East much closer to the next war.
According to the Jerusalem Post, Syria is positioning units for a potential conflict with Israel…
Syria has stationed missile batteries aimed at Israel in the aftermath of alleged Israeli air strikes in the country, the website of Lebanon’s Al Mayadeen TV, considered close to the regime of President Bashar Assad, quoted a top Syrian official as saying on Sunday.
In response, Israel has deployed two Iron Dome batteries to northern Israel, they have closed off airspace in northern Israel to commercial traffic, and Israeli embassies around the world have been put on high alert.
But Syria may choose not to retaliate against Israel directly. According to WND, Syria may decide to allow jihadist groups to carry out their vengeance for them…
The Syrian government will soon declare it is opening its borders with Israel for Palestinian and other jihad groups to carry out attacks against the Jewish state, a senior Syrian official told WND.
Separately, informed Middle Eastern security officials said the Syrian army held a meeting Sunday afternoon with the leaders of the military wing of the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad terrorist group to discuss retaliation against Israel for the recent air strikes near Damascus.
According to those officials, Islamic Jihad and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah are coordinating a possible reaction to Israel’s reported strikes.
In any event, things are definitely becoming more unstable over in the Middle East.
So what would a war between Israel and Syria do to the already fragile global economy?
Well, a war between Israel and Syria would likely paralyze the entire region. Hezbollah and Hamas would almost certainly jump into the war on the side of Syria, and there is the potential that nations such as Iran, Egypt and even Jordan could get involved as well.
In such a scenario, the flow of oil from the Middle East could become interrupted for an extended period of time, and that would have serious consequences for the global economy.
But the bigger threat to the global economy would be the fear that a regional war in the Middle East would create. Global financial markets respond very badly to fear, and right now the world economy is already teetering on the brink of disaster. Much of Europe has already descended into a full-blown economic depression, and there are signs that the greatest debt bubble in the history of the planet is starting to burst.
The next major wave of the economic collapse is rapidly approaching, and a major regional war in the Middle East would greatly accelerate our economic problems.
Unfortunately, it appears that such a conflict is inevitable.
I don’t believe that it will happen yet though. For the moment, I believe that cooler headers will prevail.
But as tensions continue to rise, I believe that we will see tempers boil over and the Middle East will descend into full-blown warfare at some point within the next several years.
Of course I could always be wrong about this. We will just have to wait and see what happens.
So what do you think?