The great philosopher Mike Tyson famously said, “Everyone has a plan until I punch them in the face.” He was, of course, paraphrasing the great Prussian field marshal, Helmuth von Moltke, who said, “No plan survives contact with the enemy.” That is an abbreviated version of the original. Some version of this expression no doubt exists in most languages, as it is an essential part of human existence. All plans suffer from the faults of the people making the plans.
We may be seeing this unfold in the Levant, where the Israeli plan to exterminate Hamas and anyone near them is running into trouble. The narrative unleashed on the public was that the attack on the drug rave near Gaza, in which an undetermined number of people were killed, was the red line. The Israelis were now justified in taking any and all necessary steps to eradicate this threat. All media nodes were activated to whip up support for maximum vengeance against Gaza,
Curiously, it was not just Israel whipping support. The Washington regime swung into action with more than just words of support. Every administration official was sent out to cry in public while demanding blood. Word was leaked to regime media that Washington told Tel Aviv they had a green light for anything. They sent two carrier groups the eastern Mediterranean in support of the project. Top diplomats were sent to Israel to express their unwavering loyalty to Israel.
As an aside, the dispatching of two carrier groups to the eastern Mediterranean only makes sense if Washington expects to be in an air war. Given that Hamas lacks an air force, it must mean they are thinking about a neighboring country. There has also been talk about moving another attack group to the northern part of the Indian Ocean, within reach of Iran. You do not need these assets to launch a rescue mission into Gaza and they are not needed to supply Israel with weapons.
You do not have to be a suspicious person to think that maybe there was something else going on here rather than just a response to a terrorist attack. Israel and the Palestinians have been at this for half a century. This Hamas attack was an unusually successful action on their part, but it was not that unusual. They stage these raids all the time, which is why Israel spends enormous amounts of American tax dollars on the world’s most advanced border security.
One possibility is that this Hamas attack was catalyst for a larger narrative developed in Washington for when the time was right. Israel would be seen as pushed into a corner with no choice but to preemptively strike at its enemies. These enemies would be aligned with Iran, which would then come to the aid of them. This would trigger a wider war with Iran, which would be when the United States joined in to attack the nuclear, missile and drone facilities in Iran.
That skeleton of a narrative was quickly filled in with the Hamas attack. Note that regime media was filled with claims about Hamas being an Iranian proxy and that this attack had to be planned by Iran. In reality, Hamas gets its support from Qatar and was a creation of Washington and Tel Aviv. Iran has provided support over the years, but they have little control over Hamas. Few people know this, so these details could be bulldozed by the wave of claims to the contrary.
Israel immediately went to work dropping bombs on Gaza, while saying quite plainly that the intent was to drive the people out of Gaza. According to the pro-Israel media complex, the Palestinians have forfeited their right to exist by their ongoing support of Hamas, so Israel had the right to use any means necessary on them. The rhetoric and immediate actions were over the top, but most likely intended to elicit a response from Iran in support of the Palestinians.
Looking at the rhetoric, Washington must have been thinking that Iran would greenlight Hezbollah to launch cross border attacks from Lebanon. They spent a couple of days warning against such an act. Israel launched some attacks into Lebanon, probably on the same assumption. They also launched an air raid on the Damascus airport, probably for the same reason. The script said Hezbollah would attack so Israel just assumed it would happen and acted accordingly.
Outpacing the script is something we have seen with Ukraine. Washington created a narrative for the Ukrainian offensive last spring, which said that they would burst through Russian defenses and reach the Sea of Azov in a few weeks. This would set off a crisis in Moscow, maybe even topple Putin. They were so sure this would happen they even planned a peace conference in Saudi Arabia, without inviting Russia, in order to determine the terms that would be imposed on Russia.
The great Ukrainian offensive was a disaster, complete with images of burning Western tanks and video of Ukrainian soldiers trapped in mine fields. Instead of marching to the Sea of Azov, the Ukrainians marched into thick minefields without air cover and were destroyed by Russian air power and artillery. It took months for this reality to sink into Washington, so they continued on as if the script was reality. Only recently have they abandoned the script they created last winter.
That is something to keep in mind with this new script. Iran did not take the bait and has instead called for negotiations. Hezbollah has stayed quiet, despite the Israel attacks on their facilities in Lebanon. Instead of offering an excuse for the regime to launch attacks on Iran, the Iranians are backing the play of Russia and China to find a diplomatic solution to the Gaza problem. Washington remains committed to their bit, but it is clear that the Middle East is not playing its part.
Where things go from here is hard to say. The Arab world is slowly figuring out that they are being gas lit by Washington. Biden’s trip to the region was scaled back to just a goodwill visit to Israel. This is happening as the world debates who dropped a missile on a hospital in Gaza, killing hundreds of civilians. Israel says Hamas bombed themselves, while everyone else says it was Israel. Odds are it was Israel, and it was simply a mistake, which happens in war.
Then you have the fact that the IDF does not want to enter Gaza. A ground campaign would be a bloody and expensive project. There is no guarantee of success, given the history of such efforts. There are up to half a million fighting age men in Gaza, which is one of the most densely populated places on earth. Imagine a guerilla war in Manhattan and you have a good idea. It took the Russians six month to take Mariupol and that is a city a quarter of the size of Gaza.
Instead of an excuse to bomb Iran and maybe Syria, the narrative writers are slowly getting boxed in by the diplomatic efforts of Russia and China. Putin has had one-on-one talks with all of the players, including Israel. China is coming in with promises of financial support for the peacemakers. Meanwhile, Washington is saber rattling and carrying on as if their script for this project is reality. It is not a good look and probably why Arab leaders refused to meet with Biden today.
Washington now finds itself on the wrong side of a war that no one really wants, especially the Israelis. As is the case with all of the narratives dreamed up by Washington, this one does not come with an exit ramp. A week of fiery rhetoric in favor of righteous retribution and threats to anyone saying otherwise has left the administration with few options. As with the Ukraine offensive, they may be forced to pretend everything is going according to the script.
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