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Israel Says Iranian Ships to Pass Through Suez

Would be first such transit since 1979

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According to Israel, two Iranian warships are planning to pass through the Suez Canal tonight on their way to Syria, which Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman described as a “provocation.” According to Yediot Ahronot, no Iranian naval vessel has gone through the strategic strait since the 1979 Revolution, which would, well, yes, make this indeed provocative. Defense Minister Ehud Barak confirmed, “Israel is closely following the movements of the Iranian ships and has updated friendly states on the issue.” The head of the Egyptian authority that administers the canal, by contrast, said he had not yet received an Iranian request for passage.

Unrelatedly, Israel just allowed an additional 700 Egyptian troops into the Sinai to quell a Bedouin uprising, where they join the 800 which Israel permitted there a few weeks ago; under the 1979 peace treaty, the peninsula (where Suez is) is supposed to be demilitarized.

Israel: Iran Sending Warships Through Canal [WSJ]
Israeli FM Says Iran Sending 2 Warships to Suez Canal; Egypt Denies Claim [Laura Rozen/AP]
Israel Allowing More Troops in Sinai [JTA]

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Is Iran challenging Israel, yes. But peek behind the curtain and the real challenge Iran’s arms supplier and diplomatic protector, Russia. So the game afoot is not Iran/Israel, but Russia/America. While the Russian challenge cannot yet be called a “juggernaut,” and the US can still, at least for the moment, recoup the initiative, that is not how things are evolving.

America’s limitations are not necessarily military, although since Viet Nam, via American support of the “democracy” movement that ousted our long-time strategic ally the shah of Iran in 1979 and continuing to mindlessly removing the only obstacle to Iranian ambitions in the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq (in service again of creating a “democracy”) to the recent support shown the Egyptian “democracy” protesters and the disposal of America’s long-time ally, President Mubarak ideology, not real world considerations, has driven US policy. And the result is that America’s long-time rival for Middle East control, Russia, is about to replace the more moral, but naïve United States.

How can the US recoup its position in the region? After all, the region includes important global oil reserves; the Suez Canal which Iranian warships are now transiting for the first time; and just happens to be the geographic center of Europe, Asia and Africa. A heck of a strategic loss/gain to take into consideration. So what options are available to recoup the loss? I suppose taking leadership of previous allies in confronting the Iranian threat might just be a start point. Turkey would not be pulling out of the US orbit if they had faith in the US Defense Shield (which Bush tattered); the Saudis, who in WikiLeaks are described as advocating decapitating the Iranian snake, would not have allowed that Iranian flotilla to dock had they any faith in the US contra Iran. But Bush had no heart for war with Iran, not even to stop the nuclear threat. And his successor apparently has even less heart for that. And the reasons are obvious:

two lost wars are enough.

Enter the Russians. Three days ago, “Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said … that the US and Western allies should not stir up pro-democracy protests in the Middle East following the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia… Lavrov warned against any attempts by other nations to fuel public dissent.” Of course Lavrov means, “Iran” and, taken in context to the Iranian navy visiting the Saudis, the Egyptians and Lebanon/Syria, the challenge to the US could not be more diplomatically blatant. Short of ordering the US out.

Since Israel cannot order the US to take on its responsibilities to its own interests, to say nothing of its obligations to the region and the world as “the only remaining superpower,” Israel should be rethinking its own place in the American non-world view, and perhaps seeking out another alliance; perhaps with the emerging superpower?

We,in Israel, are watching very attentively the Egyptian news. In this passed month we are living the beginning of a new era in the Middle East.We hope that it will be for the best ,and more and more wearing jews (Zionist-religious) wil lgo to the wall to pray for the best.

I’ve said that least 117645 times. The problem this like that is they are just too compilcated for the average bird, if you know what I mean

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Israel Says Iranian Ships to Pass Through Suez

Would be first such transit since 1979

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