On December 15, an Israeli jeep was driving along the Israel-Lebanese border near the coast, in a quiet area which hadn’t seen war for decades. Suddenly, a shot — and a warrant officer fell dead.
He wasn’t killed by a “terrorist.” Apparently he was shot by a uniformed soldier of the Lebanese army.
Let’s consider this situation under America’s supposed security protection of Israel. Is Lebanon going to court martial this soldier? Is the United States going to demand that he be punished? Will the United States do anything? Remember that the U.S. will be subsidizing Iran, and who knows what else, and that the Obama administration has attempted to restrain any Israeli actions in the past.
This Lebanese soldier is going to get away with murder. No one will criticize him; rather, he will receive compliments.
This incident and the U.S. response are going to pose daily questions of U.S. policy going forward (this was a Lebanese soldier, not a Palestinian, but the principle is the same).
What if the soldiers had been a few dozen miles away? The United States is obviously going to regret such an action, but is not going to do anything, and will try to restrain Israel. Lebanon, Syria, and other countries are going to behave like they are at war with Israel, but the United States will not allow Israel to behave like it is at war with them.
What if Hizballah had shot the soldier? This would mean that an Israeli soldier was murdered by a de facto ally of the United States. After all, the United States has likely provided Iran with some $20 billion, has cut sanctions, and so will not do anything about the situation. What do Israelis gain? A “frequent friar” (Hebrew for “sucker”) card.
Does the United States want to enter into this situation, an Arab-Israeli conflict that has continued for 66 years? As I have pointed out many times, this would be a disaster. With the current stage of peace negotiations, the U.S. has offered an American troop presence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip for 10 years. But how many soldiers? What is their designated mission? Do you really think the U.S. will have thousands of soldiers in Israel and Palestine for a decade? I don’t believe this will happen, and this will be a disaster if it does.
An interesting option: suppose the Obama administration draws negotiations out to the end of 2014?
Certainly the parties involved would like to do that; they are in no hurry. Then negotiations would be drawn-out during a U.S. political campaign, the inevitable collapse in negotiations postponed until the day after voting. Wouldn’t the Democratic Party achieve a great voter turnout, considering the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Iran conflicts are “solved”? Then Obama could announce that U.S. interests cannot force the concessions to create peace. In other words, he would get the value of the campaign slogans, and then not need to deliver — which he can’t.
In other words: if you want this conflict, you can keep this conflict. Don’t be surprised if this happens.