Jerusalem Post columnist and author Caroline Glick spoke here in Fresno yesterday. Her talk was well attended, but as often happens, many of those who most needed to hear what she had to say were not present.
She spoke for over an hour, but the main point that she made was this:
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, so often called ‘the root of the problem’ in the Middle East, is in fact a sideshow, one of the proxy wars spun off from the real root, the war that Iran has been fighting against the United States — the Great Satan — since 1979.
Glick sees Iran as a ‘revolutionary state’, like the Soviet Union and the US, which has a policy goal of exporting their revolution (communist, in the case of the Soviets, democratic in the case of the US, and Islamic for Iran). Iran, in her view, sees the US as the major obstacle to achieving this goal, and to that end has supported proxy wars and terrorist actions around the world by Hizbullah, which she calls “the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s Foreign Legion”.
The war in Iraq has become a proxy war, with the US primarily fighting Iranian-supported insurgents, both Shiite and Sunni. Iran apparently does not shrink at cooperation with Sunni groups such as Hamas and Al-Qaeda, at least insofar as they attack American interests.
Iran sees Israel as her immediate target for multiple reasons. For one thing, Israel represents an outpost of American power in the Mideast, and is standing in the way of the projection of the Iranian revolution into the Eastern Mediterranean area — not just Israel, but Lebanon, Jordan and even Egypt. For another, the presence of a Jewish state in the heart of Dar al Islam is a bone in the throat of all Islamic fundamentalists, and whoever removes it will have a real claim to leadership in the Muslim world.
Israel, the “Little Satan”, is directly in the crosshairs of the huge military machine that Iran has built with its windfall oil revenues. Iran, Glick said, has spent literally billions building up Syrian non-conventional military capability: a massive number of rockets and artillery pieces, many armed with chemical warheads, aimed at all parts of Israel.
Following the North Korean model — Seoul is presently held hostage to North Korean guns from across the DMZ — Iran chose to invest in this technology, rather than the tanks and airplanes that have been regularly destroyed by the IDF in previous wars. And all of this is entirely under the control of Teheran. Syria no longer has independent military volition.
So Israel has to worry about Syria, about the 40,000 rockets that Hizbullah has received from Iran via Syria under the nose of the UN, about the Hamas forces presently — with Iranian training, funding and supply — being converted from a terrorist militia to a real army, and of course about the soon-to-be operational nuclear capability of Iran herself.
Glick did not discuss the question of whether the US invasion of Iraq was a good idea. But she said that given the present situation, any exit from Iraq that leaves Iran in control will certainly tip the balance in the region, allowing Iranian forces to sweep through weak, unstable Jordan and fulfill Ahmadinejad’s dream of ‘liberating’ Jerusalem.
Given all this, the ‘peace process’ between Israel and the PA — which doesn’t even represent the Palestinians, who overwhelmingly voted for Hamas — is less than irrelevant, and is a distraction from the real threat to Israel and to the interests of the US.
Glick stayed away from US politics. But she did say that the Democratic Party should disassociate itself from Jimmy Carter, who has done real damage to American interests by legitimizing Hamas.
Caroline Glick presents what is generally considered a right-wing point of view in Israel. But unlike almost all politicians and most commentators anywhere on the political spectrum, she is both very well-informed and brutally honest. Pay attention to what she says.