Nasrallah: Israeli War Unlikely in the Short-term


A Million Stories about the Zionist Rape of This World – in pictures


An Israeli war could put remaining American and European interests in the region in real jeopardy. An adventure of this kind would also undermine the surviving friendly pro-Western Arab regimes, subjecting them to a test that could inadvertently hasten their downfall. (Photo: REUTERS – Amir Cohen)

Ibrahim al-Amin | Thursday, October 27, 2011| Al Akhbar

In his talk on al-Manar TV earlier this week, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah deemed it unlikely there would be an imminent Israeli attack on Lebanon, or on the Gaza Strip in Palestine. He implied that an Israeli war on Syria was unlikely too, and suggested that an American assault on Iran was also much less likely than it was a few years ago. As usual, however, Nasrallah allowed room for all eventualities, and stressed he could not be sure there would be no attack. The Hezbollah secretary-general has been saying the same to thousands of party cadres who he has met in groups over the past two weeks. But he cautioned his audiences (members of the military wing whose lives are devoted to training to deter Israeli aggression) not to let their guard down irrespective of the political outlook.

Nasrallah did not elaborate at length on the reasons why he does not believe an attack is imminent or likely in the short-term — a view shared by the leadership of Iran and Syria as well as Hezbollah. ‘Short-term’ here can be taken to mean a matter of months, rather than days or weeks. His assessment was based in part on current political conditions in the region. But it also reflected his reading of the enemy’s logistical, financial, psychological, operational, intelligence, and public preparedness and capabilities. Nasrallah was saying, in effect, that while Israel does not lack incentives to launch a war in the region – indeed, more than one war – it is unable to make such a decision at present.

The decline of US influence in the Arab world, on both the popular and official levels, is seen by the resistance as a major factor in this regard. The Arab uprisings may not yet have come to full fruition in effecting regime change in the region. But they have made clear that the Arab peoples – in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen, as well as Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and a number of other Arab countries – are a force to be reckoned with. In the past, pro-American Arab governments succeeded in containing popular action aimed at countering Israeli aggression and supporting resistance against it. This is no longer possible. The US’ capacity to dictate these governments’ political, security, or diplomatic responses to benefit Israel – as we have seen it do for at least the past 30 years – has become severely restricted. In the wake of the Arab uprisings, very different responses should be anticipated by Israel, and the US alongside it, if any Arab country is attacked.

A second factor relates to the considerations of the US and Europe, which are smarting from successive Middle East policy failures and the resulting military, security, and financial losses. An Israeli war could put remaining American and European interests in the region in real jeopardy. An adventure of this kind would also undermine the surviving friendly pro-Western Arab regimes, subjecting them to a test that could inadvertently hasten their downfall. Any erosion in Arab public support for the pro-resistance alliance, especially over Syria, would cease to be an issue. In the event of an Israeli attack, this alliance would enjoy overwhelming popular backing for steps that might go beyond engaging in the military confrontation

Battlefield calculations are a third factor. The leadership of the pro-resistance alliance has been sounding very self-confident in this regard. It has signalled that it has the capacity to inflict serious harm on Israel itself – not only its military forces – and that it is poised to turn any Israeli attack into a resounding defeat that leads to a change in the balance of power in the region. This confidence stems largely from a conviction that the enemy is in no position to launch a quick and clean war that can achieve assured results. That, in turn, is partly due to Israel’s failings on the intelligence front, despite the unprecedented efforts it has made – in close and effective cooperation with US, European, and even Arab intelligence agencies – to infiltrate the resistance. It is unsure of the resistance’s capabilities and plans if it attacks. More importantly, it cannot tell how broad a confrontation it will trigger, nor its nature, duration, or geographical extent.

But the harder questions remain. If the enemy is incapable of waging war now for the above reasons, will it stand idly by watching its deterrent power erode while its enemies – in an axis extending from Iran to Gaza – become stronger and more resolute by the day, their sphere of influence widening, and their popular, political, and operational clout growing? The obvious and far-reaching conclusion one could draw is that the Arabs are now in a position to begin preparing to overcome an enemy that has lost the initiative, lost its deterrent power, and even lost its ability to go insane. Is that the reality, or a fantasy?

Ibrahim al-Amin is al-Akhbar’s Editor in Chief.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

Source and more at the website of Al Akhbar English.





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