Obama-Gate and World War III

May 20, 2013 1:00 pm 1 comment

North Korean soldier stands guard with rocket in the background. Photo: http://www.conservativecommune.com.

Americans are the biggest losers from the slew of scandals now rocking the White House, but who are the biggest winners? Iran, North Korea, Syria, China, and Russia. If US foreign policy seemed spineless and muddled in confronting bad actors before the Benghazi-IRS-AP scandals surfaced, the US just became that much more irrelevant to its archrivals and antagonists on the world stage.

Unfortunately, the trio of scandals comes at an extremely dangerous time. The ever-unpredictable North Korea just fired three short-range guided missiles. Much more ominously, Russia is reverting to a Cold War mindset in ways far more serious than the recent arrest of alleged CIA operative Ryan Fogle. Russia is doubling-down on its strategy of backing its Syrian client, and the stakes couldn’t be higher.

Russia recently sold advanced Yakhont anti-ship cruise missiles to Syrian President Bashar Assad. These missiles, outfitted with an advanced guidance system, effectively empower Syria to thwart any attempt by international forces to help Syrian rebels with a naval embargo or no fly zone. Upping the ante even more, Russia sent at least a dozen warships to its Tartus naval base in Syria, according to a Wall Street Journal report last Thursday. Russia has also declared its intention to complete its sale of the S-300 advanced anti-aircraft missile system to Syria. The S-300 is a state-of-the-art system that can intercept fighter jets and cruise missiles at a range of about 124 miles and would therefore – if actually delivered to Assad – represent a game-changer that disturbs the current military balance of power in the Middle East. That is undoubtedly a red line for Israel, and Israel takes its red lines seriously, as it has shown with airstrikes on Syrian targets to prevent the transfer of sophisticated weapons to Hezbollah.

When the above developments are combined with the already combustible circumstances prevailing in the Middle East, the results could quickly explode into a potentially catastrophic regional conflict. The potential belligerents – Israel, on the one hand, and the Syrian-Iranian-Hezbollah axis, on the other – have decades of hostility and mistrust between them, and no open communications by which to resolve conflicts or clarify intentions. Thus, the possibility of miscalculation is dangerously high, and the short distance between Syria and Israel only accelerates the time to full-scale war.

The Golan Heights, which borders Israel, Lebanon, and Jordan, is the only buffer between Israel and Syria, and is only about 500 square miles large. Israel’s 2006 war with Lebanon, which is effectively as close as Syria is, illustrates how easily and quickly one miscalculation or attack can unexpectedly lead to something far greater. On July 16, 2006, Hezbollah terrorists fired rockets at Israeli border towns and ambushed two armored Humvees patrolling the Israeli side of the border fence, killing three Israeli soldiers. Hezbollah launched the totally unprovoked attack with the limited goal of abducting some Israeli soldiers, but that offensive sparked a month-long war with Israel that left over a thousand dead, displaced well over a million, and resulted in billions of dollars of economic damage. Without the cooperation of world powers, the conflict might have escalated into something considerably worse.

But with the two-year old conflict in Syria, and the current confluence of events, the situation is much more perilous. In Syria there are chemical weapons and the unabashed involvement of an ex-super-power (Russia), one of the world’s most dangerous terrorist organizations (Iran-backed Hezbollah), and a rogue nation that sponsors global terrorism and is aggressively pursuing a nuclear capability (Iran). Obama’s isolationist stance paved the way for an increasingly jihadist Sunni insurgency to fill the resulting vacuum in Syria and his policy has also allowed Russian designs and influence in the region to go unchecked, however disastrous the results may be.

Since the start of the Syrian conflict, Russia has sniffed Obama’s lack of resolve. But now – with so many domestic scandals plaguing Obama – Russia is even more emboldened to pursue its interests in Syria, and that sets the stage for an inflammable conflict. Israelis knows all too well that when it comes to their security, they can ultimately rely only on themselves. Indeed, no foreign soldier has ever died defending Israel in any of the major wars threatening its existence.

So if Russia ultimately delivers the S-300 missiles, New Jersey-sized Israel may be forced to destroy those batteries before they become fully operational, or even after, if its legendary air force can find ways to overcome the system. But such attacks by Israel would quickly draw in Hezbollah and Iran, vastly expanding the theater of conflict in a way that could have devastating and far-reaching consequences. Will Iran decide at some point to attack U.S. interests across the Middle East and/or Europe, with its ballistic missiles or terrorist sleeper cells? Will Iran block the Strait of Hormuz and send oil prices skyrocketing, challenging NATO military resolve to open the critical waterway by force? Will Israel decide to strike at Iran’s nuclear program?

Much potential peril lies ahead. Will the USA’s Commander-in-Chief be so distracted by three scandals that he can’t effectively respond to, much less proactively manage, the international crises that may soon emerge? Is that how World War III happens during Obama’s second term?

Noah Beck is the author of The Last Israelis, a doomsday thriller about the Iranian nuclear threat and current geopolitical issues in the Middle East.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Blogs Education Seeds of ‘Start-Up Nation’ Cultivated by Israel Sci-Tech Schools

    Seeds of ‘Start-Up Nation’ Cultivated by Israel Sci-Tech Schools

    JNS.org – Forget the dioramas. How about working on an Israeli Air Force drone? That’s exactly the kind of beyond-their-years access enjoyed by students at the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) industrial vocational high school run by Israel Sci-Tech Schools, the largest education network in the Jewish state. More than 300 students (250 on the high school level and 68 at a two-year vocational academy) get hands-on training in the disciplines of aviation mechanics, electricity and energy control, and unmanned air [...]

    Read more →
  • Beliefs and concepts Education Haredim and Bedouin: A Tale of Two Communities Transformed by Vocational Education

    Haredim and Bedouin: A Tale of Two Communities Transformed by Vocational Education

    JNS.org – Low enlistment rates in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). High rates of poverty. Communal resistance to traditional schooling. Difficulty finding employment or a lack of motivation to be employed. These conditions are shared by two sectors of the Israeli population that the casual observer likely wouldn’t group together: haredi Jews and Bedouin. Through its operation of schools for each population, however, the Israel Sci-Tech Schools Network seeks to give haredim and Bedouin a brighter future in the Jewish [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Theater US & Canada New Play Explores the ‘Arrogance’ of American Jews Critical of Israel, Playwright Says

    New Play Explores the ‘Arrogance’ of American Jews Critical of Israel, Playwright Says

    In his new play Mr. Goldberg Goes to Tel Aviv, playwright Oren Safdie tackles an issue that he has a major concern with: the relationship between Israelis and left-leaning Diaspora Jews with their “I know better” critical views. At the heart of the one-act play is Tony, a Jewish and gay Palestinian sympathizer who expresses strong anti-Israel sentiments when the play begins and at one point even sides with a Palestinian terrorist who holds his captive. Tony, who is also an [...]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Hassidic Parody of Taylor Swift Song Apes Long Jewish Holidays (VIDEO)

    Hassidic Parody of Taylor Swift Song Apes Long Jewish Holidays (VIDEO)

    A Jewish comedy troupe released a parody video on Wednesday of Taylor Swift’s hit song Shake It Off in which they joke about taking extensive time off from work for Jewish holidays. “And the goyim gonna stay, stay, stay, stay, stay. And the Jews are gonna pray, pray pray, pray, pray. I’m just gonna take, take, take, take, take. I’m taking off,” goes the chorus for I’m Taking Off. Menachem Weinstein, the video’s lead singer, is the creative director at [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Literature On 75th Anniversary, Looking at the Jewish Influence on Gone With the Wind

    On 75th Anniversary, Looking at the Jewish Influence on Gone With the Wind

    JNS.org – The 75th anniversary of the premiere of “Gone with the Wind” on Dec. 15 presents an opportunity to examine the Jewish influence on one of the most popular films of all time. That influence starts with the American Civil War epic’s famed producer, David O. Selznick. Adjusted for inflation, “Gone with the Wind” remains the highest-grossing movie ever made. It earned the 1939 Academy Award for Best Picture, the same honor another Selznick film, “Rebecca,” garnered in 1940. Selznick [...]

    Read more →
  • Featured Music US & Canada EXCLUSIVE: Matisyahu Provides Most Extensive Analysis Yet of His Religious, Musical Evolution (INTERVIEW)

    EXCLUSIVE: Matisyahu Provides Most Extensive Analysis Yet of His Religious, Musical Evolution (INTERVIEW)

    Matisyahu got candid in an exclusive interview with The Algemeiner on Monday about his religious and musical journey – after shedding his Chassidic skin, yarmulke, long beard and all – from the start of his career in 2005 when he became a reggae superstar with hits King Without a Crown and Jerusalem. The singer-songwriter embarks on his Festival of Light tour this month, an annual Hanukkah event that stops in Montreal, New York, and other cities before ending in San Juan, [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Personalities ‘Sheriff of Mars’ Unveils Endearing Life of Jewish Music Star Hidden in the Fields of France

    ‘Sheriff of Mars’ Unveils Endearing Life of Jewish Music Star Hidden in the Fields of France

    JNS.org – It was an era of steel strings, guitar heroes, and storytellers—high on heroin, rebellious. Outlaw country music, the hallmark of Nashville’s powerful and angry music scene of the 1970s, was the brew of greats such as Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Townes Van Zandt. But there is another, little-known music hero of that era: Daniel Antopolsky. A Jewish lad from Augusta, Ga.—the son of immigrants who settled in the south and ran a hardware store on Main Street—the [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Iranian Actress Replaces Israel’s Gal Gadot for ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

    Iranian Actress Replaces Israel’s Gal Gadot for ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

    Iranian actress Nazanin Boniadi replaced Israeli star Gal Gadot as the female lead in the new Ben-Hur remake, Hollywood.com reported on Tuesday. The Homeland actress will play Esther, a slave that Ben-Hur sets free and falls in love with. Gadot quit the movie when it became clear that filming conflicted with her schedule for the Man of Steel sequel. The Israeli actress plays Wonder Woman in the superhero film Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Actor Jack Huston takes on the [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.