Dominoes anyone?

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Russia's invasion of Georgia is exposing many aspects of the international system that the US-led West has studiously ignored since the fall of the Soviet Union. One old truth that deserves attention is that the domino-theory of international relations remains true. That theory asserts that events in one arena will foment similar events in other arenas.

Great powers are not the only ones that can cause dominoes to fall. Small states can as well. Israel's actions make this point clearly.

This week the Olmert-Livni-Barak government voted to release another 199 terrorists from prison. Israel's leaders claimed that after releasing terrorist murderers to Hizbullah last month, we have no excuse for not releasing terrorist murderers to Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas now. If Abbas cannot match Hizbullah's achievements, they argue that he will be discredited.

But as The Jerusalem Post's Khaled Abu Toameh explained Monday, there is virtually no one in the Palestinian Authority who believes that Israel will be strengthening pro-peace forces in Palestinian society by releasing Fatah terrorists from jail. Those terrorists will merely strengthen the more radical elements in Palestinian society that are generally allied with Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Previous Israeli releases of terrorists have shown that untold numbers of Israelis will pay with our lives for the government's idiocy. But it isn't just Israel that is impacted by Israel's mistakes. Jordan too is harmed.

Just after the government announced its decision, Jordan announced that it was releasing four jihadist murderers from its prisons. The four terrorists, who killed two Israeli soldiers in 1990, had been sentenced to life in prison in Israel. Last summer, in a "confidence-building-measure" towards King Abdullah, Israel transferred them to Jordan to complete their prison terms.

If Israel cannot deny to Fatah what it granted to Hizbullah, so Jordan cannot deny to Hamas what Israel granted to Fatah and Hizbullah. Jordan cannot be stricter with murderers of Israelis than Israel is.

Jordan's recent rapprochement with Hamas follows the same pattern. According to the Saudi Al-Watan newspaper, Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal is scheduled to visit Jordan in the coming days as part of a general Jordanian policy to rebuild its cooperative ties with the Iranian-controlled jihadist group. Amman severed those ties in 2006.

There can be no doubt that Hamas and its sister Muslim Brotherhood organization in Jordan constitute threats to the Hashemite regime. The Jordanian government would no doubt prefer not to have anything to do with Hamas. Indeed, it would doubtlessly be pleased if the terror group was destroyed. But Jordan cannot act against Hamas on its own. Only Israel can do that.

But Israel has refused to take any action against Hamas as it has solidified its control over Gaza and has increased its influence over Judea and Samaria. Israel's inaction has compelled Jordan to appease the Iranian-controlled terror group.

ISRAEL'S REFUSAL to acknowledge the interconnectedness of international events impacts events throughout the region. The US's strategic myopia affects events throughout the world. Recent occurrences in Pakistan bear this out.

Since the September 11, 2001 attacks the US has ignored the domestic situation in Pakistan. First it placed all its faith in Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to act as its ally. Washington ignored Musharraf's refusal to purge the Pakistani military and powerful Inter Service Intelligence agency of its strong jihadist elements that collaborated with al-Qaida and the Taliban and provided them safe haven and allowed them to take control over the provinces bordering Afghanistan.

Then, in an about face, last year Washington attempted to advance its program of democratization of the Islamic world by pressuring Musharraf to allow open elections to Pakistan's parliament. Unfortunately, the US failed to notice that the supposedly democratic contending parties all hate America and oppose taking any action against the Taliban and al-Qaida.

Now that the anti-Western, "democratic" forces that the US has unleashed have forced Musharraf from power, the US has no allies at all in Pakistan's political and military-intelligence power structures with whom to collaborate in fighting the Taliban and al-Qaida. Even more disturbingly, the US has no one it can trust to ensure that jihadist forces do not gain access to Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.

This latter point was made clear on Tuesday when The New York Times quoted a senior Bush administration official who noted that jihadist agents have made "steadfast efforts" to infiltrate Pakistan's nuclear laboratories. Beyond that, even Musharraf never gave the US full assurance that he was securing his country's nuclear arsenal. Musharraf steadfastly refused to give an accounting of how he spent much of the $100 million the US transferred to him for the purpose of securing his 50-100 nuclear warheads.

Although during his first term in office President George W. Bush often warned of the danger of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of terrorist groups or transferred to them by state sponsors, this issue has been largely ignored in recent years. Administration officials have downplayed the significance of overt cooperation between the Taliban and al- Qaida and the Pakistani military and intelligence agencies. And today, Washington's refusal to contend with that cooperation is coming back to haunt it. Now the US has no easy options for preventing the rapidly collapsing nuclear-armed Pakistani governing apparatuses from falling under the influence of the Taliban and al-Qaida.

A similar situation is playing out in Lebanon. Just as the US ignored the ties between the Pakistani regime and al-Qaida/Taliban, so it has ignored the significance of Iran's control of Hizbullah and Hizbullah's control of the Lebanese government.

Since the Western-allied March 14 movement forced Syria to remove its forces from Lebanon in 2005, the US has treated its leaders as reliable strategic allies. As a consequence the US refused to understand that when Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora allowed Hizbullah to join his government in 2005, he effectively placed his government at Hizbullah's mercy and so became a proxy of Iran.

The US continued to ignore Saniora's subservience to Hizbullah during the Israel-Hizbullah war in 2006. Hoping to strengthen him, the US barred Israel from attacking Lebanese infrastructures serving Hizbullah's war machine. That US decision made it much more difficult for Israel to prevail in the conflict. And Israel's failure to defeat Hizbullah/Iran in 2006 paved the way for Hizbullah's seizure of power in May.

Just as the Taliban and al-Qaida have taken advantage of the US's refusal to acknowledge the significance of their ties to Pakistan's military and intelligence services, so Hizbullah, Iran and Syria have exploited the US's refusal to acknowledge their control over Lebanon.

One of the ways Iran, Syria and Hizbullah exploit the US's refusal to come to terms with their control over Lebanon is by making that control uncontestable. To this end, Hizbullah has forged alliances with disparate groups in Lebanon and so further isolated the remaining pro-Western voices in the country.

This week Hizbullah signed a cooperation agreement with Syrian-backed al-Qaida-linked Salafists in Tripoli. This move has shocked many Western observers who have insistently argued that an alliance between Shi'ite and Sunni jihadists is unthinkable. These observers have ignored the fact that Shi'ites and Sunnis have strategic alliances throughout the region. Iran has a strategic alliance with Sunni-majority Syria. It controls Hamas. It has hosted al-Qaida commanders on its soil since at least late 2001.

< p>To a degree, these blind observers' fiction of Sunni-Shi'ite antipathy has been abetted by the Sunnis and Shi'ites themselves. Understanding the West's interest in ignoring the threat they pose both separately and together, until this week they never made their alliances explicit. What Hizbullah's accord with the al-Qaida-linked Salafists in Tripoli shows is that both forces are now so convinced of the West's weakness that they believe they have nothing to fear from openly collaborating.

UNLIKE EVENTS in Pakistan, which are the consequence of the nature of Pakistani society and the US's failure to acknowledge the nature of that society, the latest events in Lebanon are at least in part the consequence of Washington's impotent response to their ally Russia's invasion of the US's ally Georgia.

It is often argued that Russia fears Islamic domination no less than the West. And while Russia certainly has good reason to be concerned about jihadists, its concern has not led it to act as an ally to the West in the West's fight against the forces of global jihad. To the contrary, like Iran and Syria and their affiliated terror groups, Russia views the US as its true enemy. Like them it seeks to exploit US weaknesses to advance its own position.

Russia understands that Iran's ideological foundations make it impossible for Teheran to ever reach an accord with the US. And it exploits the situation to its benefit.

Moscow built Iran a nuclear reactor. It supplies Iran and Syria with advanced weapons systems. Russia's alliance with Iran and Syria advances its interests in two ways: It weakens the US and it ensures that Russia will not be the target of an Iranian nuclear bomb.

Just as the US's failure to back Israel's bid to destroy Hizbullah in Lebanon two years ago paved the way for this week's Hizbullah-al-Qaida pact, so the US's weak response to Russia's rape of Georgia has emboldened the Russians, Iranians and Syrians to expose their long-standing strategic alliance. Wednesday Iran condemned Georgia as a "Zionist" state due to its close ties with Israel. Russia returned the favor by defending Iran's satellite launch, and backing Iran's announced intention to build another six nuclear reactors.

Syrian President Bashar Assad capitalized on Russia's anti-US posture by visiting Moscow on Wednesday. Russia set the tone of his visit by condemning Israel for supplying Georgia with military assistance. It then allowed Assad to announce Moscow's intention to supply Syria with the sophisticated Iskander theater defense missile system which Syria has long sought.

Russia's exploitation of points of US weakness to advance its own position leaves the US with two options. Washington can try to give Russia a better offer than its enemies can. Or the US can work to weaken its enemies by confronting them while strengthening its allies and so force Russia into a cooperative posture. Today there is no deal that the US can offer Russia which can compete with what Russia receives from its alliances with America's enemies. So the first option is moot.

This brings us to option two which is simply the Cold War model of containment, based upon the domino theory of world affairs. Seeing as it already worked once, there is little reason not to return to it now. The US's decision to sign a strategic alliance with Poland was s first small step in the right direction. Diplomatic moves against Russia, like ending Moscow's membership in the G-7 and its association agreement with NATO, should already have been carried out.

But most importantly, looking ahead, both the US and Israel should take a lesson from their enemies. They must acknowledge that when they are strong and victorious, their allies are strengthened throughout the world. And when they are weak and dissolute, their allies also pay the price of their irresponsibility.

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.

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5 Comments

  • Marcel Cousineau 08/22/2008 at 20:35

    ‘This brings us to option two which is simply the Cold War model of containment ‘
    Caroline,
    I wish it were so ,but we’re all out of options and not going back for a repeat of the cold war.
    We’re looking in the past whle Russia and her allie’s look ahead.
    Instead, a real RED HOT WAR in on the immediate horizon.
    Where the dominoe’s began to fall for the U.S. was with their deceitful policy of carving up Israel for an impossible and unworkable two state solution
    According to God’s very old and in FORCE promise to His friend Abraham ;
    And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.Genesis 12 :2-3
    The U.S. has brought a sure curse upon herself as I am sure we can all agree that the Road Map has been an unmitigated curse on Israel,nothing less.
    In fact ,if you look closely at America you can see the curse in effect in every area ,from the homes to the field’s to Wall Street to the defenseless borders to the inept and blind leadership. The rot is no longer reversible.
    In fact it is the God of Israel who is raising up a slew of enemies to remove America from it’s incessant meddling in restraining Israel from defeating her enemies.He ALONE will get the adulation and the glory when Israel’s enemies are no more,not the decadent perverted,corrupt U.S.
    The fatal cancer to the U.S. was when the globalist elite placed His war club,Israel on the shelf to appease the ArabLeague.
    For this treacherous betrayal He shall place the cursed Empire in the garbage heap where all past arrogant empires can be found.
    The U.S. has made sure Israel no longer defeats her enemies as with the Palestinians,Hamas,Fatah and Hezbollah.
    Russia and her allies see what the Visigoths and the Vandals saw and know their time has come as God puts it in Putin’s heart to remove Israel’s stumblingblock,her restrainer ,her false ally from her high perch.It is God who is moving these stage hand’s in His blockbuster of all blockbusters preformances now before us.
    He says to America ;
    Behold, I have made thee small among the heathen: thou art greatly despised.The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?
    Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD.
    Obadiah 1
    The ever tightening U.S. yoke will be removed from Israel’s neck.
    Israel is about to come off of the shelf and do what God has called her to do.
    ‘All mankind is stupid, devoid of knowledge; Every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols, For his molten images are deceitful, And there is no breath in them. They are worthless, a work of mockery; In the time of their punishment they will perish. The portion of Jacob is not like these; For the Maker of all is He, And of the tribe of His inheritance; The LORD of hosts is His name. He says, “You are My war-club, My weapon of war; And with you I shatter nations, And with you I destroy kingdoms. “With you I shatter the horse and his rider, And with you I shatter the chariot and its rider’…
    Jeremiah 51:17-21

    Reply
  • Hartmut Pilch 08/23/2008 at 0:30

    The US has a lot to offer to Russia. The situation has profoundly changed. Russia is basically an open, democratic society, but it has certain interests that must be understood and taken account of. You seem to be seeking Israel’s salvation in an Armaggedon-like conflict between good and evil which pushes US policy to extremes. That’s a very risky gamble which I’d say is more and more likely to lose.
    See an article written by a fan of Israel from a strategic perspective below:
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/JH19Ag04.html

    Reply
  • Marc Handelsman, USA 08/23/2008 at 2:33

    The containment policy of the Cold War cannot be resurrected for several reasons. First of all, it was used to restrain the spread of Soviet Communism by economic and military strangulation. Currently, Russia has a burgeoning economy due to its oil and military industries, and it won’t stop. Secondly, Iran wants nuclear capability for regional hegemony, and to establish a global caliphate, and sanctions have not worked. Finally, reviving a Cold War strategy to stop the spread of Islam and imperialist Russia would be ineffective. Military force is the best containment policy.

    Reply
  • Marcel Cousineau 08/23/2008 at 16:13

    Disproportionate force ?
    This is one of the primary ways the U.S. uses to rein in Israel by the guilt card.
    It only works on Israel and no one else.
    I will bet you $20 bucks this news story will never be reported in the Israeli lap dog government/media.
    Why does everyone turn a blind eye to the never ending U.S. double standard used only against Israel ?
    How is it that the U.S. is so quick to jump all over Israel when they are defending themselves against Islamic terrorists attacking their cities when a on rare occasion a few of the terrorists family are accidently killed while the U.S. far away from home, on a regular basis has been killing civilians on a much larger scale for a long time with impunity ?
    Why do so many of the blind supporters of Israel cover up this evil double standard ?
    These same Islamic terrorists who always hide behind their women and children or in mosques and schools while fireing their rockets and mortars into Israeli cities and yet the hypocrite Bush with his massive double standard always find’s a way of pressuring and restraining Israel while they themselves kill innocent civilians with extreme disproportionate force far away from American cities ?
    To Israel, fearful of calling their master on this grand hypocrisy I say ;get a spine and stand up or remain slaves !
    Israel ,you are foolish to allow the U.S. to manipulate,restrain and intimidate you when it comes to defending yourselves against an intractable foe as we can see that the dubious president and his secretary always comes to the rescue of your enemies.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7578152.stm
    Afghanistan’s president has criticised US forces for “unilateral operations” in the west which, the government says, killed at least 70 civilians.

    Reply
  • Timothy Kriete FOR ISRAEL FOREVER MORE AMEN 08/26/2008 at 12:22

    Dear Caroline Glick My Precious Sister FOR
    ZION’S SAKE (GENESIS 12:1-3,ISAIAH 62 AMEN);
    AMEN Sis You Are TRULY A Daughter Of Zion In
    Every Sense Of The Word Caroline Glick, I Thank
    The LORD God Of ALL Flesh (Jeremiah 32:26-27)
    For Your Courage, Strength, And BOLDNESS To
    Declare The TRUTH And To RELENTLESSLY SOUND
    THE SHOFAR FOR ZION’S SAKE AMEN. I Am Heart
    Broken That Israel CONTINUES To Release The
    SWORN ENEMIES OF ISRAEL FROM JAIL, I Could Care
    Less WHY, I Just Cannot Stand The COWARDICE The
    Olmert-Livni-Barak-Peres Government Of CLOWNS!
    What On ELOHIM’s Green Earth Do They Even Dare
    Hope To Accomplish By Releasing These MURDERING
    ANIMALS FROM THE JAILS??? ALL Have Sworn To Do
    MORE OF THE SAME, Or WORSE And We ALL Know They
    Mean To At The 1ST Opportunity Given Them By
    ABU MAZEN THE FATAH TERROR CHIEF! The Only TRUE
    Difference Between Abu Mazen And ARAFAT Is Abu
    Mazen Wears A Suit Not A Rag On His Head, Same
    Is True Of Ismail Haniyeh The Hamas Terror Chief
    Sis, YOU KNOW And So Does Everyone Living In The
    Land Of Israel The LORD Our God PROMISED BY
    ETERNAL COVENANT TO THE SEED OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC,
    AND JACOB (NOT ABU MAZEN) Genesis 12:1-3 AMEN.
    I Call It Like It Is, His Name Is Abu Mazen The
    Terrorist! His Heart Has NOT Changed Nor Shall
    It Change! Please Forgive Me If I Seem BITTER
    But The Truth Is I AM HEART-BROKEN FOR ZION’S
    SAKE SIS! Exodus 18:19-23 Declares What Moses’
    Father In Law Jethro’s Counseled To Moses, I
    Truly Believe If ANY Nation, Not Just ISRAEL
    The ETERNAL APPLE OF JEHOVAH EL SHADDAI’S EYES,
    Would Follow The WORD Of God (Psalm 119:105
    AMEN) THEN God Would Surely Subdue The Enemies
    Of That Nation Or Nations Caroline. It Is My
    ETERNAL PRAYER THAT VERY VERY VERY SOON ISRAEL
    REVEALS TO THE REST OF WORLD, “WE THE ISRAELIS
    HAVE OIL, WATER, FOOD, SO EVERYONE ELSE GO FLY
    A KITE, KISS OUR BEHINDS, AND LEAVE ISRAEL
    ALONE!” HERE IS BIBLICAL TRUTH FOR EVERYONE:
    AS THE NATIONS DO TO ISRAEL, SO THE LORD OUR
    GOD DOES MUCH, MUCH WORSE TO THE NATIONS OF THE
    WORLD (AS IT SHOULD BE BY THE WAY) BOO IF YOU
    WANT! I Am TRULY Glad NOT To Be In ANY Form Of
    Government Right Now, We Shall ALL Have To
    Stand Before JEHOVAH EL SHADDAI And Give An
    Account Of ALL The Foolish Things We Have Done
    As Nations AND AS PEOPLE, I WOULD NOT WANT TO
    BE ANYONE IN A POSITION OF AUTHORITY RIGHT NOW
    ON THIS EARTH ESPECIALLY ALL THE CAMEL DUNG
    THAT IS BEING SHOVED DOWN THE THROATS OF THE
    PEOPLE OF ISRAEL!!! Exodus 19:4-6 Declares
    The WORD Of God Given To Moses For The CHILDREN
    OF ISRAEL, I Shall Continue To Pray The LORD
    Our God To Be Merciful To The People For ZION’S
    SAKE ISAIAH 53-63 AMEN. “Heavenly Father In The
    Name Of Yeshua The HEBREW Rabbi I Eternally
    Pray For Peace Of Jerusalem (Psalm 122) The
    ETERNAL UN-DIVIDED CAPITAL OF THY COVENANT
    PEOPLE ISRAEL THY ETERNAL COVENANT PEOPLE. I
    Lift Them ALL Up To You ELOHIM, All The Seed
    Of Abraham, Isaac, And Jacob WORLD WIDE. LORD
    Gather The LOST SHEEP Of The House Of Israel
    Unto Thy COVENANT Land You Promised Them LORD.
    Thy Servant The Hebrew Prophet Jeremiah
    Declared YOUR WORDS LORD God, Let Them Be
    Manifested Now And Forever More On Earth AS IT
    IS IN HEAVEN LORD. Smite, Confuse, Confound,
    Defeat, And TOTALLY BANKRUPT ALL ENEMIES OF
    ISRAEL LORD. ALL People That TRULY AGAPE’ LOVE
    Israel And The Jewish People World Wide, Both
    Jew And Gentile, Man And Woman, Free And
    Slave, Manifest Your Shakina Glory Through Them
    So They Can HELP YOUR PEOPLE ISRAEL LORD GOD.
    Please LORD Our God, I Beg You, Forgive Thy
    People, Sanctify Them, Save Their Souls, Gather
    Them From The Ends Of The Earth (Jeremiah 31)
    And Show Them Your Great Love, Mercy, And Grace
    By Subduing Their Enemies, Healing The Land,
    And Blessing Your Covenant People With The Dew
    Of The Heavens, Send Water To Overflow But NOT
    Flood The Sea Of Galilee, Teach Thy People To
    Sow Seeds And Reap Harvests Of The Earth You
    Created, Send Forth Your Blessings Upon Thy
    People, Upon The Children, Upon The Parents,
    Upon The Land Of Israel So That The World Knows
    That JEHOVAH EL SHADDAI LIVES FOREVER ON THE
    THRONE OF GLORY IN HEAVEN WATCHING OVER HIS
    COVENANT PEOPLE ISRAEL THE APPLE OF HIS EYES.
    Fill Thy People With Thy Holy Spirit, Give Them
    All Wise And Discerning Hearts LORD, Thy Will
    Be Done On Earth As It Is IN HEAVEN In The Name
    Of Thy Only Begotten Son THE TRUEST LOVER Of ALL
    Women’s Soul The Hebrew Rabbi YESHUA The ONLY
    Messiah Of ALL Flesh I Eternally Pray AMEN”.
    Numbers 6:24-27, Habakkuk 2:1-3, Haggai 2:8,
    Amos 3:7, Malachi 3:1-12 Praise Ye The LORD 🙂

    Reply

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