Those with even the slightest grasp of realpolitik saw in an instant the potential of the chain of events catalysed by the Hamas attacks of October 7 to go regional, and by that fact global.
Provided we remember that it cannot entirely be trusted on matters – Syria for instance – in which its Qatari patron has an axe to grind, Al-Jazeera 1 is a useful source on the Middle East and beyond. Yesterday it posted in its eighty-one minute entirety the first public statement by Hezbollah chief, Hassan Nasrallah, on the Gaza crisis:
I haven’t yet listened in full – just serendipitous bites – but do know a chap who has. That would be Andrew Korybko, of whom I’ll be writing much more when I get the time and headspace to pen Part 2 of A way forward for Palestine?
His post today bears the title, Nasrallah’s Speech Confirms That “MAD” Has Been Reached Between Israel-US & The Resistance Axis. Its kicker notes that:
Some observers have been surprised by the self-restraint exercised by the Israeli-US duopoly and the Resistance Axis, which has averted an all-out regional war at least for now and thus contradicted their expectations of the other’s approach to this conflict. Neither side has proven themselves to be the “rabid psychotic warmongers” that their opponents’ public took for granted that they were, and this should prompt a rethinking from both about the true state of military-strategic affairs between them.
Mr Korybko (here lightly edited) continues:
… the speech is a tacit acknowledgement of “Mutually Assured Destruction” (MAD) between Israel-US and the Resistance Axis. The following points gleaned from the preceding hyperlinked reviews form the basis of this assessment:
- Hezbollah defied US threats not to join the fray and has been fighting Israel since 8 October
- These operations diverted some of Israel’s military focus away from Gaza
- Hezbollah’s Iraqi and Yemeni allies have contributed to this strategy.
- US bases in Iraq and Syria have also been targeted to punish the US for orchestrating this conflict.
- The US has so far not carried out airstrikes on Hezbollah, as it had threatened.
- Hezbollah has plans to counter US naval assets in that event.
- All options remain on the table should the Gaza War worsen, or Israel attack Lebanon.
- Hezbollah’s formidable missile stockpile, has likely deterred that so far.
- A rapid ceasefire in Gaza is needed, in order to avoid a larger war. 2
- There should be an Arab energy embargo on Israel, and severing of diplomatic ties.
- Arabs should pressure Egypt to open the Rafah crossing for civilians. 3
Andrew Korybko is well to the right of me on this as on other matters. He nevertheless has my ear, as do other “political realists” like John Mearsheimer, as a voice of sober reason. Given its subject matter, this latest piece, no gargantuan read, merits a wide airing.
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- Youtube’s obligatory reminder, on any Al-Jazeera post, of that organ being “funded in whole or in part by the Qatari government” – while issuing no such reminder of ABC, BBC or PBS funding – is a small but telling example of how unwittingly propagandised the West truly is.
- An Economist Leader piece, dissected in my second post yesterday, draws the opposite conclusion: “a ceasefire is the enemy of peace …
- Egypt should open Rafah? Beyond invoking “Cairo’s political-security calculations”, Mr Korybko does not identify those calculations but I summarised them in my first post yesterday: “Accommodating 2.3 million refugees would come with a raft of headaches, including domestic opposition and jihadist infiltration, crowned by the certainty of Israel never allowing their return.“