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The Middle East has been quiet of late, mostly due to the fighting in the Ukraine and the economic war being waged against Russia by the West. The endless squabbles in the Levant have had to take a backseat to events in Europe. That may be about to change as the looming war between Iran and Israel inches closer to reality. Some see Biden’s trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia as a prelude the coming conflict as both countries have been allies with the United States against Iran.
The main reason to suspect war is closer now than ever is a leaked document about Israel’s plan to attack Iran. There is a great deal of mystery around who leaked it and why, but the assumption is that it is real. The main reason for this is the Israelis have been actively practicing for an attack on Iran. They have demonstrated that they have the technical ability to operate long distance missions deep into Iran to conduct attacks on targets related to the nuclear program.
Another clue is that the Saudis have started to allow Israeli commercial aircraft to operate over their airspace. If you look at a map, the best way for Israel to attack Iran is through Saudi airspace. The other route is through Syria and Iraq. One reason the IDF keeps attacking Syria is to test their air defense systems. Syria uses the same Russian SAM systems as Iran. Ideally, the Israelis would bypass those systems and only have to deal with the Iranian air defense system.
Of course, the Israelis have been trying to get the United States to attack Iran since the launch of the crusades against Islam in the Bush era. Long forgotten, but the scheme advanced by the neoconservatives was to use Iraq as a staging area to launch a full-scale invasion of Iran. This made a lot of sense as the United States had a huge army right there looking for work. The trouble is that army was losing the war with Iraqi insurgents so the scheme collapsed.
Even since the Israelis have mostly been working to prevent the United States from cutting a deal with Iran over their nuclear program. They strongly opposed the deal made by the Obama administration. Most of the foreign policy establishment opposed it as well, which is why they had Trump cancel the deal. Biden tried to revive it but his efforts have been stalled by incompetence. With negotiations off the table, the other options to stop the Iran nuclear programs are back in play.
This is where events in the Ukraine may play to the advantage of Israel. It is clear that the Russians will eliminate the Ukrainian army in the east. It is also clear that the economic war with Russia is a disaster. The Biden administration could use a change of scenery with regards to foreign policy. They are looking for some way to put pressure on the Russians and an attack on her client states in the Middle East could do that and shift attention away from the Ukrainian debacle.
From the Israeli perspective, an attack on Iran is not cost free, but the benefits clearly outweigh the liabilities, assuming it works. If they can destroy Iranian nuclear facilities, the response from Iran will be worth it. The Iranians could launch missiles into Israel and unleash their militias in Lebanon and Syria, but they have no way to inflict corresponding damage to Israel. They would eventually run out of missiles and the net effect would be a big win for the Israelis.
Washington would most likely use this as a way to pry the Saudis away from any deal to join BRICS. Iran would know that the Saudis let Israel “violate their airspace” to conduct the attack so any rapprochement would come to an end. Washington has used the threat of Iran to keep the Saudis onboard. An Israeli attack would force the kingdom to renew cordial relations with America, which would require them to get onboard the sanctions regime against the Russians.
This may sound like 4-D chess but recall how every TV news anchor was chanting “Keev” and wearing a Ukrainian flag on their costume in February. The neocons think long term and they never give up on a project. They probably have a disinformation campaign ready with claims about how Iran plans to close the Persian Gulf and attack Saudi oil supplies. Even if it does not lead to war with Iran, it would shift the focus from Ukraine and justify the economic war against Russia.
To a normal mind, this is crazy but the people running American foreign policy thought staring a war with Russia was a good idea. The people who were sure Russia would run out of missiles after a week are sure an attack on Iran can work. They are the same people who thought occupying a place called “the graveyard of empires” for a quarter of a century was a great idea. In American foreign policy, the more ridiculous the idea the more likely it is to be embraced.
The other piece of the puzzle is the fact that the United States has emptied out the warehouses for the Ukrainians. A war involving Israel would spur Congress to throw billions at the military to restock the shelves. War is big business and the business of the Global American Empire is war. It is not hard to imagine a consensus forming around letting Israel attack Iran when all the people in the room think they can get rich from the fallout of such an attack.
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