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02 November 2017

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jonst

While I certainly don't think this meeting is simply a routine "grip and grin" meeting, I'm not sold on the idea that Hizballah would, lightly, risk incurring causalities and possibly untold damage to their infrastructure, for Hamas. I am operating under the assumption--and it may be a mistaken one--that people involved in an ACTIVE war, give serious pause before getting in another one. The Syrian Campaign has to be taking SOME toll, anyway, on Hizballah's people.

On the other hand, I am cautious to go against the Col's hunches. Especially when it comes to Lebanon. Plus, if I were the Israelis, I might be tempted, to conclude that if I HAD to pick a time to have this fight, now, with Trump in Office, might be the time I would pick. If so, the Israelis might try and provoke something. In that case, I think Hizballah, weary or not, would be quick to respond. And the Israelis might learn a hard, hard, lesson. Depend on Trump for nothing. He is too unpredictable. He makes a lot of Thunder, but, SO FAR he produces little Rain. They might very well find themselves alone.

As an aside, the Gentlemen in the photo do seem to be eating very well, these days.

turcopolier

jonst

I did not say that Hizballah would do it "lightly." I don't do "hunches." I do analysis. Once again, the Hizballah artillerymen and Tabouleh Line defenders are not fighting in Syria and have not. The people in Syria are full time fighters in what we would call the maneuver force. Lastly IMO the Hizballah task force in Syria grows stronger with combat experience, not weaker. pl

Red Cloud

IMO Hezbollah would rather find additional ways to help Hamas fight the Israelis more effectively than to step in and start launching missiles themselves. I say this primarily because I think Nasrallah knows how important it is to NOT be viewed as the aggressor, and western mainstream media could probably spin any effort to help the Palestinians as an aggressive move.

The only way I see Hezbollah attacking Israel directly is in some scenario where Nasrallah is fully confident that the zionists have finally crossed the line in a way that clearly paints them as aggressors, hopefully keeping the US out of the conflict.

And no one has been more successful at smuggling in better weapons to Gaza than Hezbollah. More training and smuggling in better weapons might be enough as the IDF already had a hell of a time last time they invaded Gaza

Account Deleted

Colonel

IMO Hizballah are unlikely to trigger such a conflict; their power is in the ascendant and they have little reason to jeopardize this by being seen as an aggressor. However, an assortment of powers within Israel have clearly persuaded themselves (& influential powers in the US) that a resurgent Iran and Hizballah represent an existential threat which is now boiling the Israeli frog. Absent 'Hizballah-inspired' terrorism in the US homeland, they may ultimately calculate that provoking a full-blown conflict is their only way of bringing the Great Satan into the fray, before it is 'too late'.

It may be argued that this would be an irrational course of action, given the inevitable casualties. In response, I'd argue that irrational fears (the Samson Option means Israel's existence is ultimately protected by any aggressor's wish continue likewise) seldom result in rational actions.

Willybilly

The Tabbouleh line is going to be moved into Akka in the very first days of any major conflict. The gentlemen eating Tabbouleh have quite a few surprises under their wings.

ked

nothing like an intractable common enemy to bring together otherwise intractable adversaries.

turcopolier

Barbara Ann

They don't have to "trigger" it. All they need to do is wait for Israel to attack them. pl

jonst

I think they, Hizballah, definitely grow stronger, with combat experience. *Particularly*, with *successful* combat experience. I said I thought they are, or, logically, might be, 'weary' from it. Tired of the visiting the families of those who have lost soldiers. It is often the case that 'your best' suffer a high causality rate.

I also thought, not to ascribe to you, what I think, but I have always thought that "hunch' is an element in analysis. It may be the minor part of it....but I always thought it there. I call it data/pattern recognition, before the all the data is in. A rhythm, if you like. A sense....I know where this might be going.

blowback
Firebrand Saudi State Minister for Gulf Affairs Thamer al-Sabhan on Monday called for “toppling Hizbullah” and promised “astonishing” developments in “the coming days.”

“Those who believe that my tweets are a personal stance are delusional and they will see what will happen in the coming days,” al-Sabhan said in an interview with MTV.

Referring to his Sunday tweet about the Lebanese government, the minister said: “I addressed my tweet to the government because the Party of Satan (Hizbullah) is represented in it and it is a terrorist party. The issue is not about toppling the government but rather that Hizbullah should be toppled.”

“The coming developments will definitely be astonishing,” al-Sabhan added.


I don't think al-Sabhan had this meeting in mind when he referred to "“astonishing” developments" but with Sunni Hamas re-aligning with Hezbollah perhaps this portends an end to sectarianism on the Arab street. Just because the self-appointed leaders of the Sunni community, the al-Sauds are more interested in toppling the Shiite crescent, doesn't mean that the great mass of Sunnis in the Middle East are particularly interested in that when doing so would severely damage the Palestinian cause and they can see the Assad regime taking major steps towards reconciliation to bring the war in Syria to an end. Perhaps we're about to see a further realignment in the Middle East.

http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/237517-al-sabhan-calls-for-toppling-hizbullah-promises-astonishing-developments

The reconcilliation process was extended to 200 Turkish-backed fighters in north Aleppo Governorate.

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/nearly-200-militants-surrender-syrian-authorities-aleppo-russian-mod/

And then there's this:
Turkish authorities arrest three people for paying tribute to Syrian General Issam Zahreddine
It obviously worries the Turkish authorities.

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/turkish-authorities-arrest-three-people-paying-tribute-syrian-general-issam-zahreddine/

http://www.abcgazetesi.com/istanbulda-cihat-toplantisi-yapilirken-hatayda-zahreddini-ananlar-tutuklandi-68058h.htm

kooshy

I understood colonel’ analysis somewhat different than the first two commentators. I think colonel meant (as the resault of Syrian war?) there is a resistance front, a common defence front forming against Israel’ aggression on her neighbors, as of resault, it is limiting Israel’s freedom of attacking Palestinians and other Arabs. I believe colonel is spot on. Syrian war has made the resistance front stronger specially on believing and relying on themselves, which is natural for others wanting to join, and IMO, this has made Israel weaker as much if not more.

FkDahl

For the last couple of years Hamas - or at least parts of it - has been allied with the FSA/MB/jihadists in Syria, a result of Qatari $$$ as a I see it. With Qatar on the fence about that sponsorship are we seeing a return of Hamas to the Resistance axis?

Pacifica Advocate

>>> I thought they are, or, logically, might be, 'weary' from [[the combat experience of battlefield dead]].

Most people in Lebanon have experienced the crude (by American terms) phenomenon of people dying from military violence.

Those people have no power to determine whether or not they are "weary." It happens. It happens to them. It happens regardless of what they decide. This has been a fact of life for people in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen--for some of those people, a fact dealt with over three decades. For others, a fact dealt with only within the last ten.

Growing "tired" of the combat dead is a privilege only the U.S. (in terms of the region involved) currently enjoys. For the people of the region, it is a burden they suffer. It is not a product of their own creation.

Account Deleted

Quite correct, "initiate" would have been better wording.

Willybilly

Exactly, all the while eating Tabbouleh.

kooshy

Yes very interesting time, historically, when we see a “game of thrones” like what is happening in Syria and greater ME, when countries and polticians are jockeying to position themselves with whom they anticipate will become the winners, it is near the end of a war, in this case the war of west Asia. On one side of this war will be Syria, the Shia majority Iraqis, Iran, Hezbollah and tacit support of Russia, on the other side are Israel, Saudi Arabia, to some extend the ever rented Egypt and Jordan, and little PG shikhdoms. excepting Oman and now Qatar. And now we have the newly undecided Penduling countries, organizations, and political leaders including Turkey, Qatar, most of Europe specially France (who they still think of Syria as thier F* ing mandate) and Yes Hammas. Very interesting times IMO, US Borg is not willing to put up with a war over the Syria regardless of how much israelies and Saudis are pushing for one. IMO that is the main reason for the Penduling of traditional US regional and European clientele. That is a very bad news for Saudi and Israel, I agree with IZ Erdu luckily due to failed coup got the message early to swing to other side. Qatar is too small to be a force in this game, except for writing the checks when told so.

Richardstevenhack

"They have never devised a response to that since they fear to fight Hizballah again on the ground and general bombing against the Lebanese and their economy will not impress Hizballah."

True. But...

"The tighter that bond grows the more likely it will be that a renewed Israeli war against Gaza's population could trigger a massive Hizballah barrage against the northern half of Israel."

And the Israelis must know this, too. Which makes it even more likely that Israel will attack Hizballah again regardless of their fear of failure.

If, as you say, the US cannot tolerate North Korea's threat against the US, then the same applies to Israel. They cannot tolerate Hizballah haveing an arsenal that can threaten them, and worse, makes Hizballah an effective actor in a war with Iran.

I continue to believe that Israel's new plan involves getting the US and NATO to attack Hizballah in Lebanon - or at least support such an attack by Israel - under some pretext.

The airstrikes against a Syria base yesterday implies they are also still trying to provoke Syria, at which point they will get the US to attack Syria. This has failed so far because Syria has never taken the bait. So Israel is gradually ramping up the airstrikes in recent weeks.

At some point one or more of the players will have to fish or cut bait. The tit-for-tat approach isn't going anywhere.

kooshy

I forgot to add that Kirkuk was an eye opener for all doubtfuls, they saw how quick plans and perceptions can tumble. This was an eye opener not only for major board players but also the viewers.

turcopolier

richhardstevenhack

The difference is that the US could actually destroy NoKo but the Israelis cannot destroy either Hizbullah or Iran without using nukes and they fear to do that as well as to fight a conventional war in Lebanon. They are f----d and they know it. Will they eventually be driven by their crazy politicians to attack Hizbullah anyway? Could be. I am waiting to see. pl

J

Abu Azrael. The Iraqi destroyer of Daesh

https://youtu.be/0NAvTEQ9eXQ

LondonBob

That ass Pompeo is up to more nonsense trying to inflate/create? Iranian links to AQ.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-02/former-intelligence-official-cia-using-bin-laden-files-deceive-public-iran

jonst

Your braking my heart....what guilt I have as American. We're, so your argument goes, are the only ones with the "privilege", (that word again) of being weary. I stand chastised.

outthere

"The propaganda war is intense and unscrupulous with Kurdish leaders in Irbil and much of the Arab media claiming that Iran pulls the strings in Baghdad, though the US is the government’s main military ally. The PMUs are portrayed as sectarian death squads which are leading the offensive into Iraqi Kurdistan. One video posted online purports to show the Kurds blowing up a bridge over the Lesser Zaab river at Altun Kupri, where Kurdish and Iraqi forces confront each other, to block the PMUs advancing into the Kurdish heartlands. In reality, the bridge is still standing and the much-watched video is of an entirely different bridge in Topeka, Kansas being destroyed in a controlled explosion to make way for new construction."

Greatest threat to building peace in Iraq is not Isis - it’s Donald Trump picking a fight with Iran

Iraq Reborn: In the third part of his series, Patrick Cockburn reveals how ill-informed the US seems to be about 'Iranian-backed' armed groups in Iraq - and the devastating consequences it could have for rebuilding Iraq after Isis

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/iraq-reborn-isis-donald-trump-iran-hashd-shia-sunni-baghdad-patrick-cockburn-a8033501.html

outthere

How U.S.-Saudi Marriage Gave Birth to Jihad
Attempts to use Wahhabism to our advantage ultimately proved disastrous.
By Daniel Lazare • November 2, 2017
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-u-s-saudi-marriage-gave-birth-to-jihad/

outthere

this quote is from a review of 4 books about Syria

"The Syrian government has continued to pay salaries, even to civil servants in rebel-held territory. Until last year buses still ran between the Syrian capital and ISIS-held Raqqa; at the Damascus terminus in October 2015, I met an elderly woman with pale Bedouin tattoos on her face who told me she had come to Damascus to get her pension, evading an Islamic State edict forbidding government money as irreligious. A friendly doctor in Raqqa had given her a certificate saying she needed to travel for medical treatment. The bus drivers were heroes, calling out to passengers to tell them who controlled the next checkpoint, so that women who had left Raqqa in full burqa and gloves knew when they could relax and let their faces show and when they had to cover up on the way back."

War of All Against All
Lindsey Hilsum
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2017/11/23/raqqa-war-all-against-all/

outthere


Why the Kurds Are Paying for Trump’s Gift to Iran
Peter W. Galbraith


http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2017/11/02/kurds-pay-for-trumps-gift-to-iran/

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