Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Heads Up

IDF unloads on Syria during the Yom Kippur War, picture from PBS

In the spirit of an FYI, Stratfor's George Friedman has issued a report that compiles a long list of small warnings that might be the signal flares of a new war in the Middle East. I suggest giving it a good read.

Like Stratfor, I've been mystified as to just what the hell the Israelis were doing in their attack on Syria last year (see here, here, and a long one here).

I have no clue what is going on, but I will give you my best guess for a warning sign that the Israelis are about to go out and try to beat the holy hell out of Syria and Hezbollah - it will be some sort of big press announcement that Israeli forces brought back "proof" that Syria was building a nuclear reactor with the assistance of Iran and/or North Korea. I personally will be quite skeptical of this and assume a frame-up job for reasons I blogged about previously, but it doesn't matter what I think. That will be my personal signal that Israel is going to ratchet things up to a shooting war.

Worry Points

If that happens, start worrying about the unintended consequences, start worrying about blowback to U.S. forces in Iraq if Iran decides to show its displeasure by encouraging attacks in Baghdad and points south, and start worrying about what all this would mean for oil prices, commodity prices in general and the potential for terror attacks by Hezbollah in areas outside the Middle East.

Will Israel decide it is time for Assad to go, topple his government with a drive on Damascus and risk the chaos that would follow?

Will Israel decide to go whole hog and bomb Iran?

I wouldn't lock down the bunker just yet, but be wary. Hopefully this all blows over...

UPDATE: The plot thickens - 'Fars:' Syria arrests Saudi in Mughniyeh probe

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