Sunday, May 16, 2010

Distant Thunder

I've been travelling up and down Israel the last several weeks talking with the young men and women who are either in service or recently out of service. They are an incredible group. They are bright, fit, clear, and incredibly pleasant company. They are also very sober with how things are shaping up. They will be the ones in Harm's Way.

There's a place where I go to look at stars where the Israel Trail cuts through.

On any given night, I will run into four to six young people eager to play with telescopes, share some tea and food around a campfire, and talk about things to come.

The coming war is on everyone's mind.
I cannot comment on the veracity of Mr. Jackson's comments, but there is a building tension in the Middle East as the United States and Europe wallow in their self-inflicted misery and turn their focus ever-more myopically inward.

Rumors of moves and counters, of Israeli plans and Iranian initiatives, of Hezbollah rockets and Syrian chemical weapons. Israel views Iran as an existential threat; Iran views Israel as the paramount obstacle to its Arabian ambitions. Israel is said to be considering a preemptive strike to slow Iran's nuclar program; Iran is now rumored to be planning a strike of is own to forestall that, figuring it better to take the initiative while its nuclear capabilities are an open question.

I've been reading too much about World War One of late, so these rumors cannot help but invite comparisons to the various crises that lead to that horrible war. Much like the summer of 1914, I feel that we are in for a long, tense summer of diplomatic initiatives that ultimately fail to prevent a horrible war. And regardless of your feelings about it, Americans will be caught in the crossfire, in Israel, in the Persian Gulf and in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It's going to be a long, hot summer.

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