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Is This The Summer of Pan Arab War or World War III?

by John on 04/20/2015

In Hemingway’s Farewell to Arms, a novel about World War I, the actual war only took place from spring to autumn. Winter, Mother Nature’s time of death, was the season of life in our new modern world.

I always remember that since most of the world’s recent battles happen in spring and summer, or so it seems. In the far recesses of my conspiratorial mind, I used to think Arafat and the Palestinians planned the intifada for US news networks when summer viewership was down. For decades it seemed like the time we would tune in for the next military skirmish.

Sadly, it might happen this summer. This is me looking at a crystal ball so take this with a grain of “who the hell is he and what’s he drinking?”

Things look downright like 1914 all over again in the Middle East and surrounding regions. Granted, I did not live back then but based on some histories of World War I, it feels like it too. To this day, one of my favorites is Barbara Tuchman’s The Guns of August. All the alliances throughout Europe were in place for that one moment in Sarajevo – the assassination of Ferdinand – that unleashed what was supposed to be the war to end all wars.

War doesn’t seem like it is ending today. There is a whole lot of maneuvering and side deals between countries and their tribes.

And the core is the Sunni vs. Shia proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Yet this is not a religious war. It is all about who will control the Middle East and oil revenues.

Ah yes it is all about the oil.

Yemen is exploding with tribes and militias from each side fighting it out for geographic supremacy of oil shipping lanes.

Iran wants a foothold on Saudi Arabia’s border. At the same time, they’re trying to work a nuclear arms deal with the west – that looks like it is tanking thanks to Israel’s and the US Republican Party’s worries.

But the analogy to World War I goes deeper.

We don’t have state actors there. We have ISIS and AQAP, both Sunni groups with different goals and leaders. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is waist deep in the fighting and funding in Yemen.

But here’s where the spread could be happening.

Stratfor (need subscription) offered a tidbit of info I hadn’t heard before. Israel is ready to sell fighter jets to Georgia.

How does that tie in?

Well, Russia has been threatening to sell fighter jets and a missile defense system to Iran to piss off the Israelis and undermine the so-called nuke talks that Vlad the Impaler is allegedly backing. Vlad wants backing in his region so he can control “the Stans” where there is oil and his buffer Ukraine against any Western or European incursion.

Israel’s Bibi Netanyahu is not getting passive in all this. So he is looking to arm not only Georgia but maybe Ukraine to keep Vlad at bay.

So, we have the Saudis and the Iranians arming a bunch of tribes to do their fighting while two major terrorist groups are plundering areas to gain their foothold as despots. Syrian continues to flame on with 2 different sets of fighters taking on the Assad government that is being funded by Iran, as much as it can.

Do you see what I am seeing? And when the weather heats up so do tempers.

The only bright side in all this is Pakistan. Pakistan? Yup.

The Pakistani government and military has told Saudi Arabia they are not interested in sending troops to Yemen. They did that in 1960 and it was their quagmire.

The US is acting like Pakistan in some respects too.

Granted, this is a big gamble for the Obama White House. I think in years to come they will be proven right. We don’t need the Middle East and its oil as much anymore. Thank you shale oil.

But still, a hands-off pull-back stance right now seems iffy. What if this becomes a world war and destroys the world economy? It is possible but the good news is it won’t spread to Asia where the real economy is picking up for the next century.

The big fear is nuclear weapons. Iran has the capability to make it happen in a few years – deal or no deal. Israel has them too. Saudi Arabia could easily get them from Pakistan.

What if an all-out war breaks out? What do we do?

I say we do nothing. We play defense. Keep it over there. Does that mean we can stop homegrown Islamic sympathizers? No. But do you want to send more of our troops there? I don’t.

Just realize: there are risks no matter what we do or don’t do.

Tell me what you want us to do or if I have a foggy crystal ball.

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