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Israel Does Not Have Cold War Status in Middle Eastern Crisis - Not While On Receiving End of Rocket and Other Attacks

Reader comment on item: The Middle Eastern Cold War

Submitted by M. Tovey (United States), Jun 16, 2009 at 17:53

The easy identification of the crisis in the Middle East as a cold war does have certain similarities to the super-power cold war of the previous generation; yet there are dissimilarities as well. It is in the dissimilarities that we can be certain of the more dangerous aspects of the potential hostilities ready to be unleashed to vent the ideological differences.

In the Soviet venue, there was a more cold and calculating methodology in the Soviet camp when engaging the west, viv-a-vis the United States. In that, there was a way to deal with the issues just short of full-blown military action, which everyone acknowledged enhanced their fear of a nuclear retaliatory strike. It is different than what is seen in the Middle East.

The use of nuclear forces in the Middle East takes on a starkly different reality when coupled with the radical Islamic ideology that will make use of such force if it serves a purpose that exceeds the human comprehension of futility. The reservation or the reluctance to employ a nuclear capability in the same way the American President Truman did to end the Second World War is not found in the rhetoric being used by the president of the Iranian Islamic Republic. It is therefore a greater plausibility to be apprehensive of such a deployment to advance the ideology of the expansionist mentality of the Iranian president and his mentors, as can be seen in the influences they have in Hizbollah and their ties with other exported political groups.

In this tenuous Middle Eastern situation, continuing to make application of the term cold war does have limitations, for the tensions mounted against Israel are not political only, but the antagonistic nature of the factions that fire on Israel on a repetitive, near daily basis are more involved than a bumping or close encounter, such as a sub and ship connecting, or a jet fighter nudging another aircraft.

The last thing to be mentioned here is that there was the near perennial relationship of the Soviet Union and the United States, in mutual recognition of the other's national existence, both conducting that relationship with respect to each other's abilities and capabilities. Conversely, Israel stands pretty much alone, not having such respect from many of the nations aligned against her. Even a recognition of the right to exist is reason for her enemies to engage in hostilities so that they do not have to concede Israel's place in the land. To that end, Israel is not in a cold war, but is involved in actual battle every day her enemies feel the need to exhibit their intentions for her destruction.
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