Jack Cohen – Is War Likely?
Pres. Trump’s declaration of recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has resulted in demonstrations throughout the Muslim world and in riots by the Palestinians. So far 5 Palestinians have been killed and several Israeli policemen injured. Other police forces might have been much more repressive than the Israeli police. But, these demonstrations and riots fall far short of any really serious challenge to Israel and the US.
There are two main Muslim challenges, first Turkey, led by Pres. Erdogan, acting as leader of the Sunni States, has announced that they should all recognise East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestine State. And he is spearheading a maneuver at the UN to reverse Trump’s declaration. How he proposes to do this remains to be seen. First, if the Security Council does vote on such a resolution, the US will veto it. It would put the UN and the US on a collision course, and you know who would win. But, there is an abysmal record of anti-Israel votes at the UN (UNESCO recently voted that Jews have no historic connection to Jerusalem, this is pure fantasy and totally absurd). If that fails Erdogan intends to go to the General Assembly, where he is sure to get a majority, but GA votes are not legally binding, only advisory. But note that all these possible actions are non-violent.
By contrast, Iran, the leader of the Shia world, is planning military action against Israel. It doesn’t need to declare war, because it has already done so many times, and has made no secret of its intention of wiping Israel off the map. If that means a nuclear attack then that would also kill all the Palestinians too, but they obviously don’t care about that. One indication of this policy, as described in an article by Jonathan Spyer, is that a leading Iraqi Shia militia leader, Quais al-Khazali, was seen being shown around the Israel-Lebanese border area by two high-ranking officers in Hizbollah. So this could lead to a war with Iran, the initial strikes of which have already in effect taken place when Israeli jets have attacked Iranian controlled airfields and weapons depots in Syria.
However, the war that I am referring to is more likely to be that between the US and North Korea. So far it seems that Kim Jong-un is unlikely to be deterred by counter-threats from Pres. Trump. He had gone ahead at each stage to up the ante. The latest threat is to carry out an atmospheric atom bomb test in the Pacific. The US cannot stand by and allow such a megalomaniac to develop nuclear tipped ICBMs, yet it looks as if he is about to achieve this. Kim has over the past few years gradually eliminated any rivals for power in N. Korea. Today it was reported that his second-in-command, Hwang Pyong-so, has not been seen for some time. Such a ruthless murderer, like Stalin or Saddam Hussein, cannot stop with a rational decision, they must go on killing until the end. Let’s hope he ends up like Saddam or Qaddafi or Osama bin Laden. In my view the greater possibility of a war in the near future is a between the US and N. Korea rather than between Iran and Israel.