Batten down the hatches, Re: Iran warships sail through Suez, BBC News Website, February 22, 2011

Two Iranian warships just sailed through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean Sea on their way to Syria, ostensibly for training purposes. That of course was not their purpose at all. Their purpose was to see whether or not Egypt would give them permission to sail through the canal in the first place and to see how Israel and the United States would react in the second. Israel has rightly called this a provocation and expressed its concern in no uncertain terms and the U.S. has failed to react on an official basis at all.

While the warships were not supposed to be carrying military equipment, nuclear materials or chemicals their transit has established a precedent and warships that go through the canal in the future may do so. This is particularly worrisome because once they exit into the Mediterranean they can wreak all kinds of mischief and cause all sorts of damage. They could deliver a wide variety of weaponry to Hezbollah and Hamas through Syria and Lebanon for use against Israel. They could fire ship based missiles at Israeli or American vessels, at Israeli vessels which enforce Israel’s maritime blockade of Gaza and American vessels that protect free trade in the Mediterranean and beyond for example. They could combine militarily with Turkey and/or Syria, two other Islamic countries that have no love for Israel and could easily go to war with her. Whatever the scenario, more Iranian warships in the Mediterranean pose a real threat to Israel and the United States which neither country will be able to ignore because Iran won’t allow them to. 

These provocations will continue and escalate until war does come or until President Obama is replaced by a President who is firmly committed to Israel’s defense and who re-establishes America’s deterrent credibility in the Middle East. Right now no one believes that the United States will use its military might should Israel be attacked or should other vital U.S. interests be threatened. Right now America is seen as weak and leaderless because in fact it is. No one in the Middle East respects weakness and the United States is seen as weak indeed…put another way, weakness is seen as something to take advantage of and Iran is doing just that and will continue to do so until it is stopped. Who can stop her? For the moment Israel might be able to win a war by itself but it cannot stop one. That leaves the U.S.

America can but it won’t with Obama in office.

One way or the other Iran is going to have a war before the next Presidential election because it knows Obama could very well be tossed out of office then and its window of opportunity would close. Either Israel will be forced into launching a preemptive attack or Iran or one of its proxies will manufacture some excuse and launch an attack of its own.

Batten down the hatches as they say.

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