Perils abound on the world scene
By Carol Devine-Molin
In these critical times, never were the words truer that America is the last, best hope of this earth. Only through US leadership will western civilization be able to prevail against the threats posed by: a) rogue states and their affiliate terror organizations, and, b) the nations of Russia and China that have been stoking the fires against the US and its allies for years. In all this discussion of "proxy wars" being bandied about, it's vital to realize that it's been the strategic goal of Russia and China to diminish and destabilize the world's only remaining superpower, America, in all ways possible. Russia and China justify their activities of aiding and abetting rogue regimes as "counterbalance" to American power. More accurately, each wishes to supplant the US as the dominant force on this planet. The Russians and Chinese refuse to acknowledge that they're playing with fire, and could very well trigger a nuclear holocaust in the Middle East by dint of the weaponry that they're selling in the region.
Even a cursory examination reveals that Russia and China have had long standing relationships with lawless regimes. Russia is thoroughly enmeshed in Iranian oil deals and, in turn, provided Iran with nuclear technologies (i.e. Iranian nuclear power plants that are ostensibly being used for "peaceful" purposes), sophisticated air defense systems and a variety of other arms. Russia also provides Syria with weaponry. Just weeks ago, Hezbollah was found in possession of Russian-made anti-tank missiles, given to Hezbollah by Syria. Not surprisingly, these same anti-tank missiles were used against Israeli soldiers in the recent war.
Now, further elaboration on Israeli troubles, which are at the forefront of international affairs: The Israeli people are well aware that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert mismanaged the war against Hezbollah in Lebanon. It's axiomatic that people learn much more from a loss than a win, and given that two thirds of Israelis are already voicing disgust with the Olmert government, it's doubtful that Olmert et al. will survive a vote. Olmert's failure to utilize abundant "boots on the ground' in a timely manner was his primary undoing, although he made numerous other misjudgments if emerging reports are accurate. Sufficient forces were only sent in as the conflict was winding down, and only because Olmert had succumbed to political pressures.
In retrospect, it makes perfect sense why President Bush and Secretary of State Rice sought a diplomatic end to the fighting. After approximately 30 days, the Israelis were still not getting the job done, and a negotiated cease-fire was a reasonable way to "save face" for the Israelis and the Bush administration, which provided plenty of leeway in the initial belief that the Israelis would prevail in their stated mission. However, Israel failed to dismantle Hezbollah, failed to stop the launch of rockets into Israel, and failed to secure their kidnapped troops. That being said, the Olmert government dithered and was ineffective during this wartime crisis. The performance by Defense Minister Amir Peretz, chairman of the Left-leaning Labor Party, was especially odious. The Likud Party will almost certainly benefit from the current political turmoil.
Make no mistake; in the aftermath of the recent war with Hezbollah, Israel's shattered mantle of invincibility represents a considerable loss, not only for Israel, but for western democracies at large that are combating radical Islam. The Israeli leadership chose to fight a "politically correct" war that was tit-for-tat and "proportional" rather than an all-out siege that would have made use of overwhelming power. In the absence of a clear-cut decisive win for Israel, the victory redounded to Hezbollah, which demonstrated great resiliency and tenacity, and continued to pummel Israel with missiles until the cease-fire took hold. Round two with Hezbollah can occur as soon as the organization is rearmed, and the Israelis must be prepared.
As predicted, the rogue nations have been thoroughly emboldened by Hezbollah's perceived triumph over Israel, and they continue to act-out aggressively. According to news reports, Iran and Syria are attempting to re-arm Hezbollah in violation of the cease-fire agreement. Moreover, a determined Iran just test fired a long range (sub-to-surface) missile from a submarine in the Persian Gulf and announced the establishment of a heavy-water plant in Arak that will aid the nation in achieving its nuclear ambitions. As to North Korea, it's exhibiting "unusual activity", with indications that it's poised to conduct nuclear testing. The bottom line is that these lawless states are thumbing their noses at the world community, and plan the continued honing of their nuclear weaponry and long range delivery systems, in addition to providing ongoing support to their allied terror groups. In essence, they refuse to halt their provocative activities. That being said, the US and Israel have every reason to fear that an outlaw regime will eventually transfer nuclear technology to terrorist surrogates.
A view toward the future: Clearly, steps must be taken to address the most worrisome threat on the international scene, Iran. Not surprisingly, both Russia and China have indicated that they're not inclined to vote for sanctions against Iran at the UN Security Council; therefore UN sanctions are a no-go. According to the Los Angeles Times, "Bush administration officials have indicated that they are prepared to form an independent coalition to freeze Iranian assets and restrict trade." If the aforesaid are ineffective and fail to bring about the desired change, then the Bush team will have to determine whether it's appropriate to utilize the military option. But one way or the other, the current Iranian regime can't be permitted the capacity to develop nuclear weaponry. The mullah-run regime, with its profound hatred of the West and close terror links, is clearly too dangerous to possess nukes.
Carol Devine-Molin is a regular contributor to several online magazines.