Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Due to unforeseen circumstances…

Posted by Charles II on December 30, 2008

Juan Cole’s blog is the place to go for a roundup of analysis on the situation in Gaza. One link he provides to Farnaz Fassihi points out that a consequence of the bombing of Gaza is that governments across the Middle East are at elevated risk of being overthrown by radicals:

The ferocity of the Israeli attacks in Gaza — and mounting casualties, which United Nations estimated Monday at 320 dead, including 62 civilians, and more than 1,400 injured — could channel pent-up anger against Arab leaders into further support for Islamist groups. These groups are increasingly seen as the only organized movements willing to stand up to Israel.

In Iraq, Ayatollah al-Sistani has called for “[t]he Arab and Muslim worlds … to take practical steps in order to stop this continual aggression and to break this cruel blockade…”

As Juan Cole says, “Sistani’s forceful call for practical action, on the other, shows an increased militancy and self-assuredness on the part of the Shiite authorities in Iraq.”

And al-Maliki has responded. According to Zeina Karam of AP:

the political party of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki issued a statement condemning the attacks and calling on Islamic countries to cut relations with Israel and end all “secret and public talks” with it.

According to Karam, in Lebanon, Hassan Nasrullah has mobilized huge numbers (half a million?) of members of Hezbollah, and even the king Abdullah II of Jordan has donated blood for Gazans. While clearly just a symbolic gesture, it is a sign that American policymakers should consider. In Egypt, repression is too heavy for people to demonstrate openly, but that just makes it the more likely that there will be a coup. The Taliban has also joined in.

In Europe, countries with significant immigrant populations also have to be concerned. In France, Nicolas Sarkozy has condemned the attacks (Juan Cole’s translation here).

One would never have imagined that Israel would succeed in uniting Sunni radicals like Hamas with Shi’a like Iran, or that it could have succeeded in alienating its natural allies in Europe. But it has, and it is not far from bringing down the pro-western regimes that have made the job of the IDF relatively easy. I’m sure that when things spiral out of control and Israel’s continued existence is no longer a sure thing that Likud will say that these were completely unforeseen circumstances.

10 Responses to “Due to unforeseen circumstances…”

  1. jo6pac said

    Ayatollah al-Sistani has called for “[t]he Arab and Muslim worlds … to take practical steps in order to stop this continual aggression and to break this cruel blockade…”

    This says it all, I wish we would leave this area before he really get mad
    jo6pac

  2. […] Due to unforeseen circumstances… Mercury Rising ?? by Charles II […]

  3. Stormcrow said

    This is why you must sack your head of state, and the party he came to power with, after a disastrous foreign adventure.

    Yet somehow, even nearly 30 months after Israel’s catastrophically failed intervention in South Lebanon, Ehud Olmert is still Prime Minister. That’ll show you how well I predict the future: I wrote, publicly, in several places, that he would be toast within six months of the end of the South Lebanon War of 2006.

    But he’s still there. He announced his resignation almost 6 months ago, and he’s still there.

  4. Charles said

    Maybe they were saving him for a second disastrous intervention. As Jonathan Ben-Artzi, the nephew of Benjamin Netanyahu, says a lot of Israelis hate Palestinians more than they love life.

  5. Yeah. It’s pretty obvious that their idea of a “solution” to the Palestinian issue is the distressingly final one of killing them all.

  6. MEC said

    It’s pretty obvious that their idea of a “solution” to the Palestinian issue is the distressingly final one of killing them all.

    The irony is appalling.

  7. Charles said

    There is a segment of Israeli society that believes that the Palestinians need to be displaced or killed, PW. It’s hard not to view what has been done to Gaza for the last few years as that sort of thing.

    But I believe that there are relatively few Israelis (10%? 20%?) who would actually sanction ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Talk is cheap, while actually doing violence to people who are unable to resist starts to feel ugly very quickly. I also believe that Israel has imported a lot of its worst attitudes from Russian and American Jews.

  8. blair braverman said

    I am a silly little troll.
    Watch me dance.

    edited by site owner for clarity

  9. Stormcrow said

    But I believe that there are relatively few Israelis (10%? 20%?) who would actually sanction ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Talk is cheap, while actually doing violence to people who are unable to resist starts to feel ugly very quickly.

    It also turns your third-generation army into dogshit, inside of a decade or two.

    Those who make a habit of fighting the weak, become weak themselves.

    Martin Van Creveld has written a whole book on this subject.

  10. Charles said

    Dang. I have a stack of books to read, and you’ve shown me another I ought to look at.

    I wonder, though, if it’s not a general phenomenon of corruption that seems to be afflicting the Western bloc as a whole, not to mention countries that have an uninterrupted tradition of corruption. There are only a handful of countries that do anything much for the weak and the poor.

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