Murdoc’s Israel theories – Updating

Everyone’s got their theories on exactly what is happening around Israel right now, many of them pointing the finger at Iran. While I don’t find this at all difficult to believe, there’s something else that should be considered:

Maybe this isn’t Iran’s Machiavellian scheme, but ours.

(NOTE: I’m not claiming that this is, indeed, what’s happening. Just pointing out a possibility and wondering what everyone else thinks of it.)

Prior to 9/11, we had all sorts of road maps and such to resolve the Israel/Arab conflicts peacefully. They, um, didn’t work.

Maybe we’ve agreed that Israel has the responsibility to clean up their neighborhood and now is the time to do it. Without overt interference from Iran.

Since 9/11, we’ve been busy with our own fights in the Long Global War On Terror (which I call World War 4) and we’ve not really wanted Israel to make things more difficult than they already are by stirring up the hornet nest needlessly. Publicly we’ve called for negotiation and peaceful resolution, and I don’t doubt that there’s been a fair amount of behind-the-scenes cautioning against Israel to do anything to make our work in Afghanistan and especially Iraq any harder. What if what we said was something like this:

“Keep your cool for the time being. When we’ve got a handle on Iraq, you can have your turn to clean up your block. And by then we’ll have our army and a new democratic Iraqi army between the mullahs and Syria.”

While the situation in Iraq is still a tough one, akin to a “critical but stable” patient in the ICU, with the new government in power and the new army growing in capability by leaps and bounds (and probably cleared of most of the worst trouble-makers), things are not threatening to fall apart suddenly any more.

Maybe the situation has passed some preset milestone and Israel is free to let loose the dogs, with our assurances that we’ve got their back. Maybe we’ve agreed that Israel has the responsibility to clean up their neighborhood and now is the time to do it. Without overt interference from Iran. MSNBC News thinks the Bush administration is to at least partly to blame for the war because they haven’t paid close enough attention to Israel lately:

Today, U.S. diplomat David Welch arrived in Israel, but critics say too late — 17 days after the first Israeli soldier was captured.

And Rice has not been to Israel or the Palestinian territories since last November.

“I think it’s really inexplicable,” says James Steinberg, dean of the LBJ School of Public Policy at the University of Texas. “There’s been some sense that if they get involved and fail, that somehow it will lessen American credibility. But I think the opposite is true. That American credibility has been damaged by our willingness to get involved.”

But what if no meetings and summits have been required because the arrangements had been made. When given a reason, Israel could go to it with our blessing. Better today when we have 125,000 troops in Iraq than next year when we have 75,000.

President Bush has been portrayed as a guy who must be pulling his hair out with worry and frustration over this. Perhaps this is what he’s been waiting for.

Incidentally, this theory supports the idea that we didn’t pick Iraq on a whim. Location, location, location.

My second theory isn’t quite so far out there, and it has to do with the relatively lame protest against Israel’s actions put up so far by Europe. Yeah, they called for a UN condemnation and all, but they haven’t been nearly as outspoken as I would have expected.

Maybe the reason is that they see a way to address the threat Iran poses to the Continent. There’s no way that Europe will step up and actually DO something about the Mullahs and their apparent quest for nuclear weapons and the means to use them against Europe, so maybe Europe hopes that Israel will take care of the problem for them. Like when they destroyed Iraq’s Osirak reactor in 1981.

Don’t get too uppity about Israel’s pro-activeness and maybe they’ll decide they have to bomb Iran. Or (even better) get their American allies to do it for them.

Then, after the threat is reduced and Europe has a little breathing room, they can get back to condemning with their hearts in it and rail on and on about the Israel’s propensity for violence blah blah blah.

It’s win, win as far as Europe is concerned. They don’t have to lift a finger to bomb Iran, which won’t irritate all the Muslims on their soil. And they get to blame the Jews when it’s all done, which will flatter all the Muslims on their soil.

Just a thought.

PLUS: Op-For has a good round-up of news and opinions.

Big list at Pajamas Media.

California Yankee doesn’t think three veteran UN officials are going to be able to solve the problem. Murdoc agrees.

Robert Kagan has a theory that maybe Bush isn’t pulling out his hair, either.

Glen Reynolds has some thoughts.

Jay Tea: What’s Hebrew for “mess with the bull, you’ll get the horns?”

Donald Sensing: Israel loses the initiative to Hezbollah as well as Hamas.

Expat Yank: “Israel has chosen to raise the stakes substantially“.

ACE: Who supplies Hezbollah’s rockets?. (Hint: You won’t be terribly shocked…)

Threats Watch: Getting Serious With Syria and Israel’s Enemy is America’s.

Counterterrorism Blog: Important overlooked news on latest Hezbollah attacks and Hizbollah’s War for Iran and Syria and Hezbollah escalates the war in Lebanon, launches rocket attacks in Haifa.

Gateway Pundit: Israel Warns Beirut to Evacuate!

UPDATE: More at Riehl World, Blogs of War

Allahpundit on Hot Air: Report: Israel says Haifa attack was staged … by Iran

Jay Tea rejects the “Don’t rock the boat” plea.

James Rummel has a post up on all this at Chicago Boyz. has
Crisis allows Israel to pursue strategic goals
Analysis: Kidnappings give Israel excuse to neutralize Hamas, Hezbollah


  1. Murc On first read I thought Righttt but after a little thought I think that plan is just crazy enough to work. And if you really think about it the pretty obvious thing that would be done. By that I mean in war you don’t hit your enemy’s homeland center until you round up his outer territories. This keeps you from being forced into a massive campaign across huge area committed at all points at once means if one point fails you may not be able to just reinforce when your forces are engaged else were already. Hezbollah & Hamas everyone knows full well are proxies of Iran and sure to jump when we hit Iran. So the question is why hit them all at once? Hit them one at a time then stabilize prep for the next one moving from weakest to strongest. Hamas was to powerful for Fatah to take out. Hezbollah was to powerful for Lebanon to take out. Solution is let Israel take them out but for Fatah or Lebanon to request or even tacitly instigate such action would be suicide. The solution well we are seeing it. Israel has already been quoting the UN resolution and saying that Lebanon must send forces to the border that no longer will Hezbollah sit on Israel’s border. A Hezbollah & Hamas can’t be totally eliminated by Israel but can be degraded enough for Fatah and Lebanon to take their place and then hold them in check. The Syrians being rather quite and even getting Iran to draw the redline on the Syrian border not Lebanese border would play right into this plans hand. Forcing them to sit back as their proxies are eliminated. Then under Western pressure Israeli forces are pushed to withdrawal leaving Fatah & Lebanon to fill the void. End result is when the big show comes with Iran they are pretty much limited to their immediate territory for major chaos. A bomb here and their yes but no entire cities under missile siege like N Israel is right now. Another thing the planners must have considered is US & Israeli missile defense systems are pretty good at Scud type weapons but we are totally void at the rocket barrages of Hezbollah and Hamas. Syria/Iran attempting to hit Israel with chem/bio on Scuds will be spotty at best but a Rocket barrage from Hamas/Hezbollah would have been devastating. Yesterday 100 rockets launched 100 hit cities in N Israel, imagine if Chem tipped. With Hamas/Hezbollah forced to blow their wad now that threat is reduced greatly. You may have something their Murc. Could be planned, I sure would like to believe our game is still that good. But even so depending on how things go from here it could be a boon or a bust for our cause. The major negative I saw at the outset is the PR. I personally theory it was Iran, they know War is inevitable after their meeting with the EU. So instead of letting US hit them making a US/Iran war that most of the ME street would yawn about like they did to Saddam and at the sametime Hezbollah and Hamas coming out after the start would then be seen just as what they are Iranian proxies. Instead Iran plays their proxies first, Hamas to guarantee the Palestinian’s vs Jews angle, then Hezbollah coming to the aid followed by Syria/Iran making this a Israeli/Muslim war. That PR advantage will make our allies in the region hard pressed to support US hell even hold their populations down. Iran truly will be seen as what they want to be the Leaders of the Umah. We will see. This is the big leagues and both sides are playing for keeps. The western vision is polar opposite to Islamic vision with no squishy middle to meet at like Communism found in Socialism with the west. This truly is two ideologies enter one ideology leave, Terror Dome Style. Move Counter Move could go either way right now.

  2. I see a student of WWII European history at work here… Invading French North Africa (LE) to knock Italy (SY), the weaker partner out of the war? Thus further dispursing, weakening and isolating the stronger Germany (IR)?

  3. Maybe the reason is that they see a way to address the threat Iran poses to the Continent.’ Living in Europe, there is no one here who regards Iran as a thread to this continent. That’s why Europe is reluctant to do anything against completly unproven Iranian nuclear ambitions.

  4. Oh well, I’m glad here in Australia I’m unlikely to be struck with an unproven Iranian nuclear warhead. I hear they hurt just as much as the proven ones though.

  5. b, ‘Completely unproven Iranian nuclear ambitions’? Have you not heard that for years the Iranians have been trying to develop nuclear technology, and that those efforts are the source of the current row? Or Iran’s public statements about its right to nuclear technology? Or its 25+ years of public belicosity toward the US? Or the stated foreign policy goal to destroy Israel? Iran may not be a threat to Europe. Fine. Good. But the US, Israel, and I daresay much of the Arab world does not see it as a net plus for world security for Iran to have a usable nuclear weapon.

  6. B, Yes, we know Old Europe has turned into a bunch of cowards more concerned with their unemployment benefits than freedom or democracy. We know most of Europe is unable and unwilling to help fight terrorists, communists, and fascists. Just hide under your bed while we take care of the bad guys. Then you can go back to sipping wine at the caf+

  7. b: I’m not saying that European populations feel threatened by Iran. I’m saying that European governments might feel threatened by Iran. As well they should. It’s too late to address the problem when the nuclear missiles are on the launch pad getting fueled. Much like a number of governments who send troops to Iraq have to deal with large numbers of protesters but stand fast anyway, maybe some European governments are doing what they think is right even if the common Joes and Jacques don’t see it. (Yeah, it’s a stretch…but we can always hope.)

  8. Okay, at the risk of going off-topic, a few thoughts: First of all, Europe IS concerned about Iranian missiles, for the same reason the US and Israel are: we don’t know what the Mullahs are up to when their own position in the Islamic Candystore is threatened. Desperate times, desperate acts and all that. Create a Big Bad Evil Enemy abroad to keep your own population in check is the Iranian rule-of-governing. Keep in mind guys, the Iranian population is a (booming) young one, with kids who don’t give a rats ass about ‘the Revolution’, they just want a good life no matter what the old turbanned farts may claim. However, Mullah’s-R-Us are terrified of loosing their power, so by creating a ‘them or us’ environment they keep their cushy seats. Also Tehran now sees itself surrounded with the US and its allies to the left and right. There was a big national freak-out when the US had bases in the former Soviet Union to the north of Iran, which totally freaked Iran out. Europe is, and always has been in the frontline if there is a big nuclear-bonfire in the Middle East. Fall-out anyone? Also, we’ve dealt with more Islamic terrorism than the US ever has, period. Europe is also not a single nation, there is no United States of Europe. The likeminded US and Canada sometimes quarrel over issues, so why wouldn’t over a dozen countries? We’re a union, not a federation. We also realize (which IMHO the US doesn’t enough) that any conflict will be a long one. Europe didn’t wanted to go into Iraq (though many European countries did!) because of the aftermath: the US will be there for the next ten to fifteen years – at the least. On Israel: Hamas in Gaza and Hezbolla in Lebanon are loosing their whole reason to exist: Israel simply choose to litterally box them in and throw away the key, depriving them of an available enemy. Now they actually had to run their (semi-)countries and they found out it is boring and non-heroic. Big shot terrrorist now had to actually work for a living. The Palestinian territories and to an extent Lebanon are run like gang ‘Hoods’: governing means letting factions run regions where they can collect ‘Revolutionary taxes’. Which is the prime reason Palestinian politics is such a drag because noone wants to loose their power, and more important in the Arab psyche, status. So be restarting the armed conflict, mainly by firing stovepipes from an unsuspecting civilians’ backyard, the ‘revolutionary heroes’ can claim a victory in the grand fight against the boogieman. Remember that Hamas started all this by murdering and kidnapping Israeli borderguards.

  9. I guess that was the moment history started. Nothing has ever happened before that right?’ What I meant was that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was becoming ‘managable’ (for lack of a better word), compared to what it has been for some time now. I’m not saying world peace was breaking out, but considering the long, and I do mean LONG, history between the Palestinians and Israelis, things were looking up. (Imprisoned) Fatah, and even Hamas leaders (!) signed up on a provisional treaty/paper which would recognise Israel – an absolute No-No for the Hamas movement as a whole.

  10. At this point anything short of ‘world zionist conspiracy’ is a valid theroy about what’s going on. It makes no sense for Hezbolha and Hamas to attack Israel and I think Israel is just back to square one now that they have moved large forces over the borders into Gaza and Lebenon. For those parties it seems lose lose, but for other parties it could mean advantage or leverage gained. Probably everybody had a plan and someone was trying to prempt someone and here we are.

  11. Murdoc, I could be wrong here, but: Wars usually start before true hostility breaks out. IMHO this event began as a way for Hamas to re-create a common enemy among Palestinians & maintain power… but escalated way out of control. Hamas wins the election. Fatah protests in the streets. Major funding & support is pulled by Europe & the US. Hamas can’t afford to make the payroll. Tensions between Hamas & Fatah escalate. Hamas & Fatah sporadically clash with small skirmishes. Talk of a possible civil war. Fatah threatens a referendum to recognize the existence of Israel. Hamas begins increased strikes against Israel. Israel increases retaliatory strikes. – This starts to solidify Palestinian support for Hamas against Israel & sidelines Fatah. Hamas captures & kills Israeli soldiers. Hamas hopes to trade the soldier for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. – It worked before & Hamas would be viewed as heroes. Israel mobilizes against Gaza, a concentrated front. – Hamas may have bitten off too much & could be in serious trouble. – The world sees Hamas’s actions as troubling, but does not cry out to stop Israel. Hezbola opens a second front with a well coordinated attack & capture. IMHO Hezbola (Iran & Syria) acted because of the momentum of the situation. – Maybe to take pressure off of Hamas. – Maybe they thought Israel would back down. – Maybe they were counting on the world to hold Israel back, for fear of a regional conflict. The real motives of Hezbola are probably much more simple than people think.

  12. b: Aside from that I don’t get Israels tactic here. For 50 years Israel always hits back as hard as possible. No nuance. Whatever happened, the Israeli answer was at least 10 times stronger than the attrocy. They always hoped their enemy would give up. Instead their enemy thrieved on it. I would disagree that the Israelis have ever hit the Arabs 10 times as hard. When that happens, the opposition generally doesn’t come back. Your German grandfathers hit the Jews ten times as hard as they were hit by putting 6m Jewish civilians in the ground. I would argue that Jews haven’t been a threat to Germany since. Allied air forces burned German cities to the ground with millions of their inhabitants. Although history isn’t quite at an end, it appears that the German war machine has been neutered for at least 60 years. The reality is that during the era of Israeli occupation, before the existence of a Palestine Authority, the West Bank and Gaza yielded up *less* Israeli casualties over decades than under a mere several years of Palestine Authority rule. When Israel ruled the West Bank and Gaza directly, thereby preventing the importation of light and heavy weapons, Israeli casualties were minimal, and just as likely to occur from knife attacks as from guns. Where the Germans needed gas chambers to keep the Jews down – which is the definition of hitting them ten (or more) times as hard, the Israelis only needed intrusive security services in the occupied territories to prevent large scale Israeli casualties. Until the Palestine Authority came into being. That is when hell broke loose in Israel.

  13. Fox is reporting the IDF PGG was hit by a Silkworm built in Iran. IRGN owns all Iranian Silkworms and it is doubtfull that they would let Hizbollah control one. Looks like the Revolutionary Guards have scored a hit…

  14. Now they are saying C802 hit a Saar V PGG. And that 100 IRG ‘advisors’ did the firing…

  15. A common sense (for jihadist)reason for Hamas and Hezbollah to attack Israel at this time would be to divert attention from Iran missing the deadline to address it’s nuclear program. G8 is meeting in St. Pete and Iran was certainly on the top of everyones agenda. Now a shooting war in Gaza and Lebanon is at the top of everyone’s agenda. Oh and Syria needed an excuse to move back into Lebanon. Would that result in a US invasion of Syria from Iraq? Would Iran then cross the border into Iraq?

  16. I left Israel in March (’06)after 21 months there. Though I lived in Jerusalem I worked in the West Bank near the Jordanian border with local PA security forces. As a consequence……..I got to know the ‘man on the street’ view pretty well, from both Israeli and Palestinian perspectives. I think what this latest round of violance amounts to is the logical result of rising tensions and escalating violance between to the two parties that started in Juneish of ’05. The first 6 months or so after Arafat died saw a significant lessening of tensions, and much better relations all round. That was gradually exacerbated by the inability of the PA to control their own (people). The West Bank and to a much greater degree, Gaza, are lawless entities with a menu of heavily armed groups jockying for influence & control. Further, each group can’t even control it’s own people. This left the Israeli’s (who can be very arrogant and abrasive at a personal and institutional level) with no unified government to make further progress with, despite the rapproachment after Arafat’s death. Israeli dissatisfaction with the PA, and subsequent consternation about & ostracision of HAMAS since their election in Jan ’06 has fueled Palestinian perceptions that Israel only wants to pull out of selected areas to make it’s border’s more defensible (true), bite off a big chunk of the West Bank in doing so, and keep the Palestinians down by controling access into and out of the ‘new Palestine’. All this has led to a gradual escalation of ‘tit for tat’ shootings, bombings, snipings, rocketings, and such over the last year; which have not gotten much media attention due to Iraq and the Stan crowding it out. The current state of affirs, was almost inevitable.

  17. Flanker: Israeli dissatisfaction with the PA, and subsequent consternation about & ostracision of HAMAS since their election in Jan ’06 has fueled Palestinian perceptions that Israel only wants to pull out of selected areas to make it’s border’s more defensible (true), bite off a big chunk of the West Bank in doing so, and keep the Palestinians down by controling access into and out of the ‘new Palestine’. The Pallies can fix this problem chop-chop. No terrorism, no access problems. Less than a decade ago, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were commuting back-and-forth to Israel to work and shop. But those were the good old days, before the Palestinian Authority took charge, killing more Israelis in a couple of years than were killed by terrorists since Israel became independent.