Monday, August 07, 2006

Welcome to Regional War!

The defiant declaration of the Syrian Foreign Minster, Walid al-Moallem, which he made during his brief visit to Beirut, especially the “welcome with regional war” part should begin to raise certain eyebrows in Tel Aviv, in Washington, in Paris, and all across the world. People really need to ask themselves now whether we are not indeed heading towards such a war. For even if Israel and the US are not exactly interested in having things go that far, the possibility remains that the more trouble Israel has in Lebanon and the US in Iraq, and the more beatable the two powers appear, the more tempting the push for war will be by the other side of the equation, namely the alliance that was formed not too long ago, by Syria, Iran, Hezbollah and the radical wing in Hamas, among other Palestinian groups.

Indeed, when one observes the current war preparation in Syria, the calling of the reserves, the spreading of army units across the borders with Lebanon and the digging of trenches around the country, and when one observes how the Syrian public opinion is being prepared for the possibility, nay, the inevitability of war, through constant reminders of the Friday sermons, and the various statements and declarations issued by nationalist and communist groups, one is tempted to think that an actual decision to get involved in war might actually be formulating in the minds of the Assads and the Mullahs, especially if they convinced themselves that this could prove to be a war of attrition and that the more patient side, the side that will not care much for the human and a material costs involved is bound to emerge as the victor.

For in the final analysis, what better way for troubled regimes to consolidate their hold on power than to have the relevant societies destroyed by proxy, but still manage to produce victory at the end of the day – victory in the form of an actual recapture of the occupied land or of reaching an agreement that is signed under fire? And let's not forget here that we are dealing with military regimes. We are dealing with the people whose heads and hearts are still stuck in the eighties. We are dealing with people always susceptible to wishful thinking, always thirsty for glory, always hungry to prove themselves worthy and good, albeit they are not and they will never be.

Psychologically speaking then, we do have all the necessary ingredients for disaster, and slowly but surely we seem to be developing the necessary political ingredients as well.

Are we passed the point of no return?