Ratcheting up the rhetoric coupled with martial machinations, China, Russia and Iran have the world worried
By David E. Kaplan
We are living in uncertain times and it is unsettling what the big movers are plotting.
Who knows what China is planning against Taiwan? Is it thinking about anytime soon mounting a full-scale invasion? Analysts and government figures are debating less about if and more about when.
What about Russia? Having annexed Crimea, will the “Big Bear” devour anytime soon, the rest of the Ukraine? After all, the notion that Ukraine is not a country, but a historical part of Russia, appears to be deeply ingrained in the minds of a Russian leadership who repeatedly express the narrative:
“There is no Ukraine”.
Well, there might not be in the near future with tens of thousands of Russian troops reportedly gathered at the border with Ukraine seemingly ready to pounce. The TV news networks are replete with experts fearing Russia could be about to stage a repeat of its 2014 invasion of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea.
“We all should be very worried, to be honest, I do share this assessment,” Michal Baranowski, director and senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund’s Warsaw Office told CNBC.
And if either of these bellicose giants – China and Russia – make a military move – and possibly in a coordinated manner and time – what will the US do if faced with this nightmare scenario of a two-front conflict with both China and Russia?
Yiddish has just the expression:
Following the hurried, costly and inglorious withdrawal from Afghanistan in August, the US clearly has no appetite for any future military engagements, never mind squaring off against its equals – China and Russia – in concert.
While all these potential existential conflicts are worrying for an already paranoid global community over Covid, for Israel there is the added angst over a potentially nuclear-armed IRAN that is hardly concealing its desire to destroy Israel.
So while talks about reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal resumed Monday in Vienna after a five-month break and for the first time since Iran’s new hardline President Ebrahim Raisi took office and under a caution from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson telling Israel’s President Isaac Herzog that the world “doesn’t have much time” to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, the message from Iran was clear:
“Iranian Brig.-Gen. urges destruction of Israel prior to nuke talks”
This is hardly the message to put the parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) talks at ease!
It may be bluster but Israel cannot take any chances when the spokesman for the Islamic Republic of Iran’s armed forces, Brig.-Gen. Abolfazl Shekarchi, last Saturday urged the total elimination of the Jewish state during an interview with an Iranian regime-controlled media outlet.
Telling the Iranian Students News Agency, Shekarchi said:
“We will not back off from the annihilation of Israel, even one millimeter. We want to destroy Zionism in the world.”
So this is not only a threat against Israel – the nation state of the Jews – but a threat against Jews everywhere. Not satisfied with annihilating people, Iran wants to “destroy” the very idea of Israel – Zionism.
With the clock ticking to the frightening soundtrack of Shekarchi’s genocidal antisemitic remarks, is it any wonder that Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett appealed to the international community and its leadership as negotiations resumed in Vienna on Monday:
“Don’t cave in”.
With Iran’s sole aim for the US to lift sanctions while it will do almost nothing in return, the PM warned:
“Iran won’t just keep its nuclear program: From today, they’ll be getting paid for it.”
So the fear in Israel is that the US and other world powers will ‘dance’ around and in the end, provide Tehran with economic sanctions relief, while the Iran regime will pursue the building of a nuclear weapons device. And if Brig.-Gen. Abolfazl Shekarchi is to be believed and taken seriously, the coordinates for any future Iranian nuclear ballistic missile would likely be Tel Aviv.It there is a second target, it would likely be Haifa before any other international city.
How do we know this?
Well Shekarchi said so himself in January 2021 to Tasnim News Agency that Iran’s regime can:
“level Haifa and Tel Aviv in the shortest possible time.”
Common sense dictates in a parent’s thinking not to allow their kids to play with dangerous toys. Similar common sense should similarly dictate amongst the world leaders to do all in their power – most certainly not facilitate – one of the most maniacal murderous regimes in the world to develop and possess nuclear weapons.
Venerable leaders in Vienna, adhere the message of Israel’s Prime Minister Bennett.
It is succinct and sound:
“Don’t cave in”
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