Sunday, March 02, 2008

Heads Up: Israel / Gaza / Hamas / Lebanon / Eek

While the United States political bandwagon plays on, there's other things going on in the world, and believe me, they aren't pretty. I, along with a lot of others, have been lulled by the Presidential battle currently on display here. I will admit that at times my brain has turned off what is happening outside of the realm of the US elections. That's probably because I want a new president badly and truthfully, the world is continuing on its spiral Crazytown loop and I have consciously taken a needed breather from the rest of the world. Sorry dudes, sometimes, you're on your own.

However, I do believe that the next month is going to bring about additional and serious fighting in the Middle East that has nothing to do with Iraq and only minimally with our elections. Since the border wall that held economically strapped (and that's putting it lightly) Palestinians, was broken between Egypt and Gaza and millions of desperate and hungry folks came rushing over the border, new attacks in Israel from Gaza has locked Israel and Hamas into yet another battle of the Qassams. This cannot be good. The death toll in Gaza stands between 60-100 people now and it's bound to go higher if both sides insist on the current facedown.

I really don't see either side backing down at the moment.

Laura Rozen at War and Piece predicts (as noted by an article in the Israeli paper Ha'aretz) that a ground operation by Israel into Gaza is possibly coming this month.

Meanwhile back in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia is urging its citizens to leave that country. According to MSNBC, Saudi Arabia issued this statement after one of the cars driving an SA diplomat was grazed by possible "celebratory" gunfire, though the article also mentions that the appearance of "U.S. deployed warships off the Lebanese a time of increasing international frustration at the political deadlock in Lebanon" may have something to do with it, too. The assassination of a Hezbollah senior member in Syria might mean an escalation of torment through both Hezbollah and Syria with Lebanon squarely in the middle. Accusations of his killing are pointing to the Syrian government on one hand to the Israeli Mossad on the other hand. No matter who killed him, he's still dead.

I understand how we sharply focus on the current Presidential race in order to change our leadership and hopefully make some positive action in the world. But you and I both need to keep our observing eye open. With this situation in particular, something bad this way comes.

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