Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The EU, Gearing Up for War ?

Both DEBKA and the Brussels Journal seem pretty sure that the military buildup going on in and around Lebanon by EU forces are not to enforce the infamous U.N. Resolution 1701 (the cease-fire between Hezbollah and Israel), but instead are there as a precurser to a preemptive strike by the West against Iran.

First, we'll report from the belly of the EU beast, via the Brussels Journal:

On 3rd September, London’s Sunday Times speculated that Israel has been planning a war against Iran and Syria, following the recent bout of conflict with Hezbollah in Lebanon...
Tel Aviv can be guaranteed to find confident partners in both America and Europe, if a pre-emptive defence strategy were to be initiated against Tehran....

If the tensions do rise against Iran, Israel can be confident to find support of its military actions through a variety of independent nations, whether they move with or without the UN. Since Tehran appears to not be declaring its intentions for nuclear enrichment, Europe, the US and the UN must go by the rule of past experience: assume the worst case scenario. Israel can justify its actions simply by demonstrating that Iran has directly declared to wipe Zionist Israel clean off the map on more than one occasion and “we all know” that it is covertly brewing nuclear weapon capabilities behind the backs of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Although Europe would back Israel, through the channels of the EU, it could only offer a retarded defence force, likely to be accompanied by a major domestic interest in preventing further aggravation of a Euro-born Arab electorate.

I simply cannot agree with the B-Journal; after all, didn't European support for Israel's battle against Hezbollah deteriorate within the first15 minutes? If I recall, as soon as the first Israeli shells crashed into enemy bunkers, the European leadership was whining about "disproportionate response"; while the anti-Semitic press on the Continent was more than happy to file as many false stories of Israeli atrocities that could be fit within the day's margins. How could they endorse a pre-emptive military strike against Iran, who have done nothing except employ their Allah-given right to nuclear energy?

And yet, the Israeli military/intelligence blog DEBKA endorses much of the above, and claims that the EU is already on war footing:

The extraordinary buildup of European naval and military strength in and around Lebanon’s shores is way out of proportion for the task the European contingents of expanded UNIFIL have undertaken: to create a buffer between Israel and Hizballah.
Close investigation by DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources discloses that “Lebanese security” and peacemaking is not the object of the exercise. It is linked to the general anticipation of a military clash between the United States and Israel, on one side, and Iran and possibly Syria on the other, some time from now until November .

This expectation has brought together the greatest sea and air armada Europe has ever assembled at any point on earth since World War II: two carriers with 75 fighter-bombers, spy planes and helicopters on their decks; 15 warships of various types – 7 French, 5 Italian, 2-3 Green, 3-5 German, and five American; thousands of Marines – French, Italian and German, as well as 1,800 US Marines.
It is improbably billed as support for a mere 7,000 European soldiers who are deployed in Lebanon...

DEBKA claims the logistical equiptment is alreay in place:

From France’s nuclear-powered 38,000-ton Charles De Gaulle carrier, 40 Rafale M fighter craft whose range is 3,340 km can take off at intervals of 30 seconds. The ship also carries three E-2C Hawkeye surveillance craft. The combat control center of the French carrier can handle 2,000 simultaneous targets. The carrier leads a task fore of 7 warships carrying 2,800 French Marines.

Charles De Gaulle is also a floating logistics center operating water desalination plants for 15,000 men and enough food to feed an army for 90 days.

I still don't buy it. Why not send the De Gaulle; it's not as if the French navy may be urgently called to battle elsewhere...and who's to say that France is not intending to more forcefully step into a possible renewed Israeli-Lebanese conflict, given their longstanding colonial roots in that nation? Could their final dhimmitude be achieved by deploying the French armed forces against Israel?

As much as I wish that the United States and Europe could come together again to fight a common foe, I cannot see the picture that the Brussels Journal and DEBKA are painting. Wishful thinking can make one see things that are not there; alas, it is more likely that one would see the De Gaulle turning astern and steaming back to France at the first sign of combat, as opposed to actually entering the fray...

UPDATE: I don't know if this adds anything to the debate, but here goes:

Most French and Americans would support military action against Iran as a last resort if other means fail to stop it acquiring nuclear weapons, a major transatlantic opinion survey showed on Wednesday.

...when asked what should happen if non-military measures failed to stop Tehran acquiring atomic weapons, 53 percent of Americans and 43 percent of Europeans supported taking military action rather than accepting a nuclear Iran.
In France, the figure was 54 percent . In Germany, 40 percent supported military action but 46 percent said it would be better to let Iran acquire nuclear arms.

1 comment:

Debbie said...

Good coverage. I love DEBKA and they are usually right on target.

I'm tired today. Blogging is getting too much like WORK, ha

I'll add a link to your article in mine.