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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 06:38 PM
Original message
Allow me to freak you out, part II
In this thread:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

...I describe one possible timeline of actions that would lead to total conflagration. The kick-off, I said, was Syrian involement:

"The military build-up on the border between Israel and Lebanon is ostensibly aimed at Hezbollah guerillas, but it isn't too long of a drive between that build-up and the Syrian border. If enough people get nervous on either side, or if Syria decides to flex its muscles on behalf of its proxy fighters in Lebanon, or if Israel decides to strike the root instead of the stalk, then all of a sudden we have a firefight between two serious powers."

I just got this report:

http://www.zeenews.com/znnew/articles.asp?aid=311049&si...

Syria to enter conflict if Lebanon invaded: Minister

Madrid, July 23: A Syrian Minister warned Israel in an interview published today that a major ground incursion into Lebanon would draw his country into the Middle East conflict.

"If Israel makes a land entry into Lebanon, they can get to within 20 kilometres of Damascus," Information Minister Moshen Bilal told a Spanish newspaper.

"What will we do? Stand by with our arms folded? Absolutely not. Without any doubt, Syria will intervene in the conflict."

Bilal said Syria wanted above all a ceasefire "as soon as possible" combined with a prisoner exchange and indicated he was working to that end with Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, whom he met in recent days in Madrid.

But he added, "I repeat, if Israel makes a land invasion of Lebanon and gets near US, Syria will not stand by with arms folded. It will enter the conflict."

...more...

So.
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bobthedrummer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 06:40 PM
Response to Original message
1. IDF is in Syria, but not in force. On edit: small teams.
Edited on Sun Jul-23-06 06:54 PM by bobthedrummer
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everythingsxen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-25-06 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #1
44. Link? (NT)
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 06:44 PM
Response to Original message
2. Well, Syria had better mount up, then...because the Israelis are already
there.

Israel, though, has no intention of engaging in adventurism, and Syria knows it. This is simply childish sabre-rattling and tension-racheting at the behest of their lords and masters in Iran.

All Israel wants to do is roust those Hizb'Allah murderers, set up a sterile zone, and turn it over to a competent international peacekeeping force--a peacekeeping force with rules of engagement that allow them shoot any asshole trying to fire over the border from the sterile zone.
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Arkham House Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. I think you're being too rational here...
...once something like this gets started, what was originally your objective can quickly get lost in events--see 1914...I don't know at all, in the midst of the changing events and ancient hatreds, what Syria, for instance, "knows" or doesn't know, and I don't think anyone can say for certin. I *hope* everyone in the Middle East is as reasonable as you seem to think--but I also think things could go very bad, very quick, without anyone "intending" for them to...
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Spazito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. You're mentioning 1914 is where my thoughts have been...
"Two bullets fired on a Sarajevo street on a sunny June morning in 1914 set in motion a series of events that shaped the world we live in today. World War One, World War Two, the Cold War and its conclusion all trace their origins to the gunshots that interrupted that summer day."

http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/duke.htm

What may look incidental can erupt in ways no one could have imagined.
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #14
25. my thought exactly
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 09:01 PM
Response to Reply #9
28. I agree - peacekeeping forces don't go into volatile areas
Not while the war is still going on.

Typically ,peacekeeping forces go in after a conflict has been diplomatically resolved. Their job is to prevent any incidents into flaring up into new fights that trigger the resumption of a war.

But without the diplomatic resolution, no international troops.
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vickitulsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-25-06 10:14 AM
Response to Reply #9
39. Your reply also points up something important -- the UNPREDICTABILITY
of any developments in the Middle East. Which is why, ultimately, I try to stay away from "nightmare predictions" and other duties of prophets and fearmongers.

I know Will Pitt isn't a fearmonger -- so maybe he really IS a prophet? But then, according to the manual on validating prophets, if they're wrong even ONCE, they're not a genuine prophet. ;)

And has no one noticed yet that even though the near-all-out fighting and shelling has gone on for two weeks now, with beaucoup opportunities for other nations (both in the ME and elsewhere) to be drawn into combat, that has not happened?

It seems worthwhile to me to stop and think about it, think BACK a ways through history to the end of WWII. Seems to me that ever since then, every time events in the world have come to a tipping point or powder-keg-blast state, the powers involved have cooled off and backed away at least enough to avert ultimate catastrophe, permit negotiations or peace talks, and re-establish stability if not true agreement and lasting peace. This has happened repeatedly and in a variety of situations, such as when a couple of nations with "superpower" status and massive nuclear arsenals on constant hairtrigger alert squared off (Cuban missile crisis), or when war among two or three nations in recurrent "hot spots" erupted one more time and raged so fiercely the entire world grew very nervous.

I remember life in 1962, during the Cuban missile crisis -- I was 13 and in the eighth grade. Like most of my peers, I was increasingly anxious as I watched the crisis building. Even though the public didn't learn until later just how close to global thermonuclear war we came then, still the reality of the result of nuclear bombing was very clear to us and we knew that our spyplanes had photographed missiles with nuclear warheads ready to fire at us from Cuba.

Thank the fates that we had a brilliant Democrat in the White House -- one who proved he could also be very, VERY tough when it came to American security! With that shoe-banging nutcase Kruschev in power in the U.S.S.R., it's a miracle the whole thing didn't blow then, and I credit JFK with pulling off that miracle, though not without considerable help.

Because there had to be other sane minds out there also for any sensible solution to emerge and prevail, right? And isn't that also the case in any situation? We know without a doubt that there are plenty of delusional and power-greedy mental cases making some critical decisions, yes. But they don't operate in a vacuum; nor do any of them -- even the U.S. pResident -- have the ability to worsen the conflict without constraint by their own inner circles or parliament or whatever instruments are used in the many nations of the world.

The ultimate source of my skepticism about all-out global or even massive regional war erupting and drawing in nations with nuclear capability and the apparent willingness to use it is something several posters have mentioned in these threads: Self-preservation!

Not mine, but that of the individuals with their fingers on the buttons. Some claim that those at the top and their staff and families have luxurious and well-stocked bunkers where they'd be safe indefinitely. I agree such persons may well HAVE their hardened bunkers, but I cannot imagine that they would be willing to make a decision that would not only slaughter billions but also condemn themselves to bunker living conditions for the remainder of their lives....

Whenever there is serious talk of nations or even terrorists, individuals, actually using nuclear weapons, I, like so many others who are old enough or who have studied modern history with a modicum of diligence, cannot hear such threats without their producing instant images in my head. Images from still photos and videotapes made at Ground Zero, called "Trinity," where the first U.S. nuclear bomb was tested successfully. Images from Hiroshima a week or so after it was obliterated. Vivid, graphic, very human tragedy on such a massive and cruel scale as to shock and horrify absolutely anyone.

Of all those images, the one that lingers longest is a short bit of live video shot by that journalist who was the first Westerner allowed into the devastation that had been a major Japanese city, Hiroshima. He was himself in shock, he has said, and almost on auto-pilot as he filmed what he saw -- actually avoiding some of the worst scenes, if you can believe it! But at one point as he walked along the remains of a road, he saw a very small Japanese child, maybe two, at most four years of age. Its gender is not easily discernible, so I'll refer to the child as "she." She was clearly so traumatized that she could not even react to the Western photographer so near her -- a sight which no doubt would have elicited quite a response in other circumstances.

I see her now. She is sitting, either on a rock or the roadside dirt, and she is swaying slightly at times and trembling so hard she is SHAKING, not just trembling. Continuously shaking. Her eyes are fixed on nothing. Her clothing is in tatters and filthy, and her entire body is covered with blotchy layers of dust and soot. She is one of hundreds of thousands of the Living Dead.

And she could be me. Or you.

What I believe is that such images, perhaps even that very same image of one tiny child, appear also in the minds of those in power when a "flare-up" in a troubled region on our planet erupts and the potential for ultimate escalation is obvious to even a moron or madman. They too remember the images of cities not just blasted to rubble by conventional weapons but completely leveled by nuclear warheads. They, like me, can't help but recall the near- AND long-term danger of FALLOUT -- that word we seldom hear nowadays. Seldom hear it, but haven't forgotten about it.

Why do we think there have been NO subsequent uses of nuclear bombs? Many "conventional" wars have been fought since then -- desperately fierce ones and long-drawn-out ones like Vietnam -- where the devastation was massive. Yet no nuclear nation has used even ONE of its ultimate weapons in warfare, right? Not since the first ones 60 years ago have nukes been used.

Those "leaders" KNOW that fallout can blow back on THEM! They know if others respond in kind the entire earth could become a wasteland, a cemetery of the unburied, rendered unhabitable for decades or centuries.

In a region like the Middle East, the very oilfields that the world depends on could easily be impossible to put back into operation -- even if enough of the world remained intact or salvageable to make getting the oil an urgent necessity for rebuilding and continuing humanity's existence.

The ultimate kind of "blowback"!

No, I don't think this "flare-up" of violence in the Middle East, like any of those before it, will draw in other nations to the point of instigating World War Three or even a major regional war that could wreak more havoc and lasting devastation than we've seen since WWII or Korea or Vietnam ... or Bosnia or Chechnya or Iraq.

What WILL happen for certain is that yet another generation of children and adolescents will grow up with memories like mine ... memories of a very realistic impending disaster of war and carnage and fallout that burns flesh off bones, renders soil useless for crops, produces birth deformities and early deaths and suffering -- and doesn't go away for several lifetimes.

The anxiety they will feel throughout their individual lives will impair and reduce them in a thousand ways. It becomes a way of life, and they will adjust; but they will never be the same, never know a carefree day, a truly peaceful inner life.

Could it be that many of us anticipate and prophesy cataclysmic conflagrations developing from a localized "flare-up" like the one now in Israel and Lebanon because we have lived lives of anxiety due to previous dangers from events we recall all too well?

Sorry for the ramble, but I felt someone needed to say these things....


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Arkham House Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-25-06 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. Excellent post!
Thanks for a really good "ramble"...a lot of food for thought. I *hope* you're right about the nuclear issue, in particular...we have come close to the abyss several times since 1945, but have never quite fallen off...may this continue. I ven suspect that we will manage to blunder along thru this particular crisis without any major catastrophes...but Pakistan, in particular, is very precarious. We'd best be praying hard these next few years...
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #2
11. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #11
17. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #17
26. "your terrorist heroes"
I call bullshit.
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Vinnie From Indy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 08:28 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. I agree that is BS
That is just silly to write something like that.

If I am not mistaken, Hezbollah was initailly formed in response to the Israeli's 1982 invasion of Lebanon.
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Skidmore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 06:45 PM
Response to Original message
3. Man, Will, we're all going to stroke out with all this
anxiety. I need to find a good horror flick to watch tonight--something I know that is not real.
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rzemanfl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. I think Masters of Horror "Homecoming" episode is out on DVD
you know it's not real, except it mostly is.
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Skidmore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 06:55 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Seriously, it's really terrible when a horror flick
can be seen as an escape.
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rzemanfl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #8
22. "Homecoming" is about soldier zombies who arise from the
dead to vote against *. An absolute must see.
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mcscajun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 07:40 PM
Response to Reply #8
23. They always were about escape; it is in the darkest times that horror
Edited on Sun Jul-23-06 07:44 PM by mcscajun
flourishes.

The classic 'creature' films were products of the Great Depression; the later 'creature features' were products of the post-Hiroshima atomic age. Light and fluffy times don't drive people to the darkness; only darkness does that effectively. The "slasher" films of the 90s were another thing entirely, and were mostly good to drive adolescent boys to possible breast sightings, and their dates into their waiting arms.

Escape is a relative term; if the reality is worse than the horror, then escapism takes many forms.
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kitkat65 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-25-06 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #3
42. I recommend Shaun of the Dead
You'll scream AND laugh.
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Marie26 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 06:47 PM
Response to Original message
4. Zee news?
Why is this the only newspaper w/this quote?
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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. It isn't
but I don't read Spanish very well.
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Marie26 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #5
16. I do
Edited on Sun Jul-23-06 07:13 PM by Marie26
Here is the original source. This quote was from an interview Moshe Bilal gave to the Spanish newspaper ABC.

"Israel ha movilizado 5.000 soldados reservistas y parece estar en marcha una incursin por tierra en el Lbano. Sigue siendo la postura de Siria la de no participar en el conflicto?

-Si Israel entra en el Lbano por va terrestre, pueden llegar a situarse a veinte kilmetros de Damasco, qu vamos a hacer, quedarnos de brazos cruzados? Absolutamente no. Sin duda, Siria intervendr en el conflicto. Esto no significa que Siria est dando la bienvenida al conflicto; trabajamos con Espaa para conseguir un alto el fuego. Pero si las tropas israeles nos provocan, Damasco actuar para garantizar la seguridad nacional del territorio sirio."

http://www.abc.es/20060723/internacional-oriente-medio/...


"If Israel enters Lebanon over the ground, they could arrive 20 kilometers away from Damascus. What would we do, stand w/arms crossed? Absolutely not. Without doubt, Syria would intervene in the conflict. This doesn't mean that Syria welcomes the conflict; we are working with Spain to obtain a cease-fire. But if the Israeli troops provoke us, Damascus will act to guarantee the national security of the Syrian territory."

So, the quote isn't wrong, but it's a little better in context. Syria is threatening that it could enter the conflict if Israeli troops provoke them by coming too close to Damascus. He's putting it in the context of a threat to Syria's territory, not an alliance w/Lebanon. It seems like a warning to Israel not to come to close to Syria, rather than a flat promise to fight if Israeli troops enter Lebanon. Israel has already had ground incursions into Lebanon, & bombed roads at the Syrian border, w/o Syria doing much of anything. I think they're scared of Israel & really don't want a war w/it. This was already posted here before & someone else pointed out that the quote had been slightly mistranslated - http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. Good find, Marie, well done NT
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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Additionally, they aren't the only paper
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HysteryDiagnosis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #4
12. Canada.....
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/World/2006/07/23/1699023-ap...

Damascus is one of the Arab world's strongest opponents of Israel, which captured the Golan from Syria in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and annexed the plateau in 1981. Israel has said it had no plans to target Syria or Iran in the current conflict, but fears of an invasion abound.

"If Israel invades Lebanon and enters it by land . . . then we will not stand with our hands tied," Bilal said in Madrid after talks with Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos.

Syria and Iran are considered the major backers of the militant group Hezbollah, which captured two Israeli soldiers July 12, sparking the latest round of Mideast violence.
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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. Actually, that's an Associated Press report
Thanks.
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HysteryDiagnosis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 07:10 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. Welcome Will... n/t
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Emit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 07:00 PM
Response to Reply #4
13. And there have been a couple of posts on it already here at DU
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catmandu57 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 06:57 PM
Response to Original message
10. Well, it hasn't been such a great life anyway
I hate to see things go to hell like this, I hope someone turns the damn lights on before we go up in thermonuclear war.
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mcscajun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #10
24. Channeling Douglas Adams...
Edited on Sun Jul-23-06 07:44 PM by mcscajun
The Book: "What to do if you find yourself stuck with no hope of rescue: Consider yourself lucky that life has been good to you so far. Alternatively, if life hasn't been good to you so far, which given your present circumstances seems more likely, consider yourself lucky that it won't be troubling you much longer."

Odd comfort, that.

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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 07:10 PM
Response to Original message
18. Partition?
I sense a partition of Lebanon (again) in the works.

Neither Syria nor Israel can afford to let the other station troops on the Lebanese border facing them. The problem is, Syrian sympathy is in the south of Lebanon, near Israel, and Syrian antipathy is in the north of Lebanon, near Syria. I sense two bloody occupations coming :(
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #18
29. Two words: Golan Heights
Edited on Sun Jul-23-06 09:29 PM by TahitiNut
There's already a lot of straw on the camel's back.

Israel continues to be in violation of the unanimous UN Security Council Resolution 497 stating that "the Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights is null and void and without international legal effect."

Of course, at the northern end of the Golan Heights is a little area called Shebaa Farms, which supposedly (arguably Syria) belongs to Lebanon, but is under Israeli occupation. (Then, of course, we get into the wrangling of the Blue Line vs. the Green Line vs. the Purple Line ... arghhh!)




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TallahasseeGrannie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-23-06 07:14 PM
Response to Original message
21. la la la la la la la
oh, I'm sorry. Did you say something? I had my fingers in my ears.
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 03:57 AM
Response to Original message
30. In case you're interested...

Here's a report that says, according to UK government sources, a war with Iran is confirmed by the end of the year:

http://www.opednews.com/articles/genera_nafeez_m_060723...

PNAC seems to be alive and well.
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radfringe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 04:10 AM
Response to Original message
31. something mentioned and not
mentioned:
Although the bushies deny it - it's been pointed out many times that our military strength is in trouble. We have it predominantly tied up in Iraq and to a slightly lesser degree in Afghanistan.

not mentioned:
we're in a pickle should we invade Syria/Iran as our forces are divided. We do have Iran "boxed in" between our forces in Afghanistan/Iraq - but conversely our forces in Iraq are 'boxed in' by Syria and Iran....



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highnooner Donating Member (373 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 05:42 AM
Response to Original message
32. Wanna Bet they'll use those WMD's shipped from Saddam...
prior to the US occupation of Iraq?
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Jazzgirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 07:59 AM
Response to Reply #32
34. You don't make any sense.
n/t
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lectrobyte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 08:11 AM
Response to Reply #34
36. You don't remember all the news reports on Fox about Saddam
shipping his WMDs out of the country after they couldn't be found in Iraq?
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 07:30 AM
Response to Original message
33. White House press release calls for Israel to hit Syria (Meet the Press)

http://www.alternet.org/blogs/video/39374 /

On Meet the Press, Tim Russert points out a stunning press release from the White House Communications Office. The release, titled Setting The Record Straight, calls for Israel to attack Syria:

"It's time to let the Israelis take off the gloves. Israel needs to hit the Assas regime. Hard."

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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 08:03 AM
Response to Reply #33
35. "the Assas regime"
Seriously? They spelled it like that?
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Imperialism Inc. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 03:35 PM
Response to Reply #33
37. I'm hardly surprised.
Most astute Duer's have been saying the attack on Syria and Iran will come through our friends in Israel for a couple years now.

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Snivi Yllom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-24-06 04:10 PM
Response to Original message
38. As opposed to the current Syrian involvement?
Edited on Mon Jul-24-06 04:25 PM by Snivi Yllom
"What will we do? Stand by with our arms folded? Absolutely not. Without any doubt, Syria will intervene in the conflict."

Iran and Syria are already involved knee deep in Lebanon. Who do you think fired the cruise missile at the Israeli corvette? The Iranian Special Forces operating in Lebanon. Who do you think smuggled the cruise missileinto Lebanon? Syrian agents.

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David Zephyr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-25-06 06:38 PM
Response to Original message
41. Here's the map.
Well, the November elections are around the corner.

Newt Gingrich says the only way for the GOP to keep the Senate and House is to proclaim we are in World War III and to, essentially, scare the shit out of the American people once more to win still another election.

The U.S. certainly has its military might sitting right at Syria's border and Bush is now saying he's going to put more troops into Iraq.

The White House doesn't have the Color Codes to scare Americans anymore. And so, maybe a War with Syria begun by Israel that the GOP can call "World War III" just in time for the November elections is not that far fetched after all, is it?

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helderheid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-25-06 06:40 PM
Response to Original message
43. So.... AAACCK!!!!
:scared:
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