The Middle East from Bad to Worse to Unimaginable
"The use of force alone is but temporary. It may subdue for a moment; but it does not remove the necessity of subduing again: and a nation is not governed, which is perpetually to be conquered." - Edmund Burke 1729-1797, British Political Writer, Statesman
It's a tragedy that Israel did not take the time to learn from the mistakes the United States committed in Iraq. Instead it followed the same policy of relying on faulty military intelligence at best and hoping that mass bombardment would scare Hezbollah into submission. This reminds us of the first huge bombing event that the U.S. carried in Iraq "shock and awe"; their contention was that this exhibition of firepower would put so much fear into the insurgents that there would be little or no trouble in the future. This tactic proved to be a complete waste of time other then providing an expensive landscaping service and unnecessary deaths of many innocent individuals; attacks from insurgents increased by a factor of almost a 1000. Today they are finally admitting that Iraq could be in the Midst of a civil war. We officially declared that Iraq was involved in a Civil war over 60 days ago. Anyone with a small shred of intelligence can sniff that everything is not well when dozens of people keep getting killed every week.
It seems that the world in general refuses to sit down and study the valuable lessons history so eloquently provides. Israel relied on extremely faulty intelligence to bomb the building at Qana which resulted in a whopping death toll of over 56 women and children. Now Israeli pilots themselves are deliberately missing targets because of what they call faulty intelligence.
At least two Israeli fighter pilots have deliberately missed civilian targets in Lebanon as disquiet grows in the military about flawed intelligence, The Observer has learnt. Sources say the pilots were worried that targets had been wrongly identified as Hizbollah facilities. Voices expressing concern over the armed forces' failures are getting louder. One Israeli cabinet minister said last week: 'We gave the army so much money. Why are we getting these results?' Last week saw Hizbollah's guerrilla force, dismissed by senior Israeli military officials as 'ragtag', inflict further casualties on one of the world's most powerful armies in southern Lebanon. At least 12 elite troops, the equivalent of Britain's SAS, have already been killed, and by yesterday afternoon Israel's military death toll had climbed to 45.
Israel's chief of staff, Major-General Dan Halutz, had vowed to wipe out Hizbollah's missile threat within 10 days. These claims are now being mocked as rockets rain down on Israel's north with ever greater intensity, despite an intense and highly destructive air bombardment.
As one well-connected Israeli expert put it: 'If we have such good information in Lebanon, how come we still don't know the hideout of missiles and launchers?... If we don't know the location of their weapons, why should we know which house is a Hizbollah house?' Full Story
What this campaign of indiscriminate bombing has done is simply unify all the Muslims all over the world and also now several European nations against Israel. It has also immensely increased Hezbollah's popularity and individuals who were reluctant to support them are now increasingly rallying behind them.
Another fact that most people are not paying attention to is that Iran is busy studying Israel's ability to handle Hezbollah in the field. This information is being carefully analyzed and filed away for future references. What we do know for a fact is that the Iranians must be highly pleased by Hezbollah's success at holding Israelis forces at bay.
The average Israeli was fed false information and was told that this battle would be over fast. This is the same line that was used back home in the United States and look where we are now. 3 plus years later we are still in the midst of an insurgency that is gathering strength and threatens to completely destroy the existing government. The Israelis did not take the time to find out how strongly equipped Hezbollah was and if they did they did not pass this information to their people. Hezbollah has been using sophisticated anti- tank missiles to knock out Israel's huge and incredibly strong tanks and are offering stiff resistance to Israeli soldiers. In fact most of the Arab world was surprised that Hezbollah was able to hold Israel back and offer such stiff resistance.
JERUSALEM - Hezbollah's sophisticated anti-tank missiles are perhaps the guerrilla group's deadliest weapon in Lebanon fighting, with their ability to pierce Israel's most advanced tanksExperts say this is further evidence that Israel is facing a well-equipped army in this war, not a ragtag militia.Hezbollah has fired Russian-made Metis-M anti-tank missiles and owns European-made Milan missiles, the army confirmed on Friday.
In the last two days alone, these missiles have killed seven soldiers and damaged three Israeli-made Merkava tanks - mountains of steel that are vaunted as symbols of Israel's military might, the army said. Israeli media say most of the 44 soldiers killed in four weeks of fighting were hit by anti-tank missiles. "They (Hezbollah guerrillas) have some of the most advanced anti-tank missiles in the world," said Yossi Kuperwasser, a senior military intelligence officer who retired earlier this summer. "This is not a militia, it's an infantry brigade with all the support units," Kuperwasser said. Full Story
Note the origination of these missiles; Russia wants to be a power to be reckoned with and we suspect that their wish is going to come true relatively fast. In addition remember that China and Russia have joined forces even though they dislike each other their dislike for the United States is much stronger.
The rage and anger this incursion of Lebanon has generated is huge and almost at a level never seen before. All the Major Muslim countries are calling for immediate cease fire and investigations into Israel's behaviour.
The Islamic world's largest organization of countries demanded on Thursday that the U.N. implement an immediate cease-fire in Lebanon and investigate what it called flagrant human rights violations by Israel.
The U.N. Human Rights Council should launch "a full investigation into these criminal acts perpetrated by Israel," which include the killing of civilians and destruction of homes in Lebanon, the declaration added. "We hold Israel responsible for the loss of lives and suffering ... and demand that Israel compensate (Lebanon) and its people for the losses sustained resulting from Israeli aggression," the leaders said.
Malaysia, which chairs the OIC, rallied presidents, prime ministers and policy-makers of 17 Muslim-majority nations for one-day talks to articulate their opposition to Israel's attacks in Lebanese and Palestinian territories. "This war must stop, or it will radicalize the Muslim world, even those of us who are moderate today," said Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who leads the world's most populous Muslim country. "From there, it will be just one step away to that ultimate nightmare: a clash of civilizations." Full Story
The worst part now is that radical Muslim organizations all over the world have experienced a huge increase in the rate of enrollments. Worse still is the fact that you have groups right now stating that they have dispatched suicide bombers to mount attacks in Israel and to attack Jewish Interests in countries that support Israel?
Indonesian police said they would look into a radical group's claim that hundreds of Southeast Asian suicide bombers had been sent to attack Jewish interests in countries that support Israel.
The group had already dispatched 217 suicide bombers, including 72 Indonesians as well as citizens of six other Southeast Asian nations, Didu told the newspaper.A "passing out" ceremony for more than 3,000 "jihadis" would be held Saturday in the Indonesian city of Pontianak on Kalimantan island, he said, with 200 being sent immediately to targets abroad. He could not immediately be reached for comment. Police in Indonesia, the world's most populous Islamic nation, said they were sceptical of the claims. "We first have to look into what their mission and purposes are for making the claim. We need to first study this," national police deputy spokesman Anton Bahrul Alam said. "Will anybody accept them?" Full Story
Whether the claim above turns out to be true or not is irrelevant as it goes without saying that it's just a matter of time before such radical groups attempt to launch a series of attacks.
One could go on and on about the problems that have and will be generated from Israelis attack of Lebanon but that would take forever. Things that we should remember are that the average Israeli is going to pay a heavy price for this war. Sadly many of them are already paying such a price. The old and poor have been abandoned in cities and towns where most of Hezbollah's rockets land; the reason they cannot leave is because they have no money and nowhere to go. So they sit and wait like sitting ducks hoping that their buildings do not get hit. On both sides of the fence innocent people are paying the price. It does not matter if it's an Israeli or a Lebanese that gets killed; if they are innocent it's simply one individual too many.
One can clearly see that both in Israel and Lebanon the biggest victims are the poor and these individuals already lead a rather hard life when things are normal. Now they are being asked to die for no reason simply because they do not have the resources to move away. The Middle class individuals who can move away in Israel are being put into cramped and stuffy bomb bunkers where living conditions are unbearable at best and unlivable at worst. One must remember that its summer in Israel and Lebanon right now. However one token of comfort is that the Israeli's at least have bomb bunkers to protect them, while their neighbors are left in the open and have to hope for the best.
In the end we fear that this war is going to simply make either Hezbollah or some other Radical group like Al Qaeda 10 times stronger. It will also make Iran one of the top power brokers in the region simply because two major zones are in utter chaos; Iraq and Lebanon. In 6-9 years individuals will sit back and shake their heads and ask themselves how they could have allowed something like this to occur. It goes without saying that it will be almost impossible now for there to be long term peace in the Middle East. What will happen between now and some major conflict is that there will be series of peace deals and each one will ultimately be violated.
Fast forwarding a little into the future
This attack on Lebanon has so weakened the Lebanese government that unless the United Nations takes an active stance Lebanon could descend into a civil war after Israel withdraws. If this were to happen then Iran's power increases even more. Next its just a matter of time unless some major truce is implemented between the 3 groups in Iraq before all hell breaks lose and the countries descends into anarchy which will result in the division of this country into 3 zones; one for the Sunnis, one for the Shiites and one for the Kurds. As soon this division takes place Turkey will mount a full scale attack in the north to make sure the Kurds are not in charge and we suspect no one will attempt to stop them. At this point in time total oil production in Iraq will fall to quarter of its current production (which is already down to less then half of what it was producing 3 years ago). Once again Iran will be only too happy to see this situation unfold because it will make their oil even more valuable. In addition lets not forget that they control the straits of Hormuz where over 21 million barrels of oil pass through every day.
Iran must be smiling for the United States and possibly Israel have speeded up events to a point where even if they took the strongest drugs on this planet they would not have been able to envision a few years ago.
One last thing Hezbollah has long range missiles that can reach Tel Aviv and further. Why are they not firing them? The answer is that they are waiting for the command to come from the top Ayatollah in Iran. If innocent people continue to get killed in droves in Lebanon; expect this order to come shortly.
We are tabulating the results of the Religious provocation Index and it appears that in all likelihood it's going to mount another new surge putting the red line zone of 900 within breathing distance. If the 900 level is hit before the year is over then we expect the gates of hell to be opened and total chaos will be the rule of the day; we are not there yet. There is another possibility and that is some sort of major peace deal could be brokered and the religious provocation index mounts a steep correction. It's obvious which scenario we at TI are routing for; just in case there is any doubt we would love to see this index mount a horribly steep correction.
Yesterday, Mr Rashed, 40, was lying in a hospital bed surrounded by crowds of relatives. Two weeks ago he took the family away for a break from the rockets, "just to clear our minds", he said. "But how many times can you leave? You have to come back eventually and then this happened," he said. "I don't want this war, none of us wants it. You can't solve anything by conflict, you need negotiations." Full Story
Additional foot notes
This article was written several days before the cease fire agreement and sent out to our subscribers. Since then a very delicate cease fire truce is in action which theoretically has already been violated twice by the Israelis; the main one was the failed commando raid.
One can easily see that this truce is not going to last long as none of the European nations are willing to contribute any significant number of troops. France has only contributed a paltry 200 which means the rest of the UN nations will have to make up the remaining 14800 troops needed. We sincerely doubt any nation is going to be willing to contribute a huge number of troops unless lead nations such a France start to take this matter seriously. The way the UN is dragging its feet means that no one is truly taking this matter seriously. Our religious provocation Index (the only one of its kind in the world) has so far predicted the huge increase in violence and terrorist activating in the Middle East and on a World Wide basis. We will publish this index in a follow up article.
The story below should give individuals any idea of what could happen in Lebanon if peace efforts are thwarted.
More then 3500 Iraqis were killed last month; that is more then the total number of military personnel killed in Iraq for the last 3 years. If this is not a civil war then we hate to think of what the new definition of one is. This is supposedly a country that has been saved and is on its way to democracy.
Now in its fourth year, the war has taken a toll - more than 2,600 Americans have died and many more Iraqis have been killed. Last month alone, about 3,500 Iraqis died violently, the highest monthly civilian toll so far. Bush's approval rating has slumped to the lowest point of his presidency and Republicans are concerned that they could lose control of Congress because of voters' unhappiness. Full Story
There is a huge amount of anger in Israel now because the people feel like their government lied to them; they have every right to be angry because their government did indeed lie. This is what happens when individuals with very little military experience take over; we are quite positive if Sharon was still in power he would have handled things quite differently. Olmert and his close allies continue to make rash decisions and sooner or later it appears that they will pay the price in the next elections when the Israelis decide its time for change.
They continue to anger the outside world and the U.N with blatant violations of the recently brokered peace deal. If the Israelis were surprised by a Hamas victory they are going to be shocked by the results of the next elections in Lebanon. We predict that Hezbollah will most likely win the majority of seats effectively all but sealing in their control of Lebanon. A Hezbollah win effectively means that Iran now controls Lebanon and their power goes up by a factor of at least 6.
There are some smart Israeli's in the Government who are suggesting that Israel should start to negotiate with Syria. The Syria-Iran alliance is rather weak and if the U.S and Israel offer Syria a big enough bone, they will dump Iran. Israel could offer Syria the return of the Golan Heights in exchange for peace and the U.S. could chip in with some economic incentive package. If they do this they will have scored a huge strategic victory. The billion dollar question is will they do this.
Long term as we stated before there is very little chance of a long term peace deal; violence and war are going to ravage this part of the world for years to come. We also suspect that Iran will continue to build up its arsenal with the help of Russia and China both of which have a rather strong dislike for the U.S.
Finally one must remember that every disaster brings forth new opportunity. Since there is very little likelihood of there being any form of long term peace in the Middle East a whole new range of investments other then the precious metals will provide the well positioned investor with a huge opportunity to lock in spectacular gains. However given a choice between these investments and peace we would vote for peace but our vote matters very little; violence is going to be the order of the day for years to come.
We never take sides, we are not biased and we only portray information from an observer's point of view. To us there is no such thing as a bad Jew, bad Muslim, bad Hindu or bad Catholic, Christian, etc. What we have in this world are bad people who happen to hide behind their religions. One should never globally blame an entire group for the bad deeds of a few.
"The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem; it is generally employed only by small children and large nations." - David Friedman