Ross Mackenzie

Is this how Armageddon begins — with the snatching of an Israeli soldier by Hamas, and of two by Hezbollah?

Israel has responded by retaliating against the kidnappers’ privileged sanctuaries in Gaza and Lebanon. Hamas and Hezbollah play by their own dread rules, and work out of compounds in civilian areas — in effect hiding behind civilians and using them as shields. Citing high civilian casualties, the European Union, the Arab League, the United Nations and anti-Semites everywhere are begging Israel to call off the dogs of war.

“What there needs to be now is a cessation of hostilities,” says a U.N. deputy secretary general, adding: “The Middle East is littered with the results of people believing there are military solutions to political problems in the region. . . . (Civilians are) very unfairly bearing the greatest brunt of the conflict.”

As if all this were Israel’s fault. As if prior to hostilities — indeed, since Israel’s 1948 creation in the aftermath of the Holocaust — Israel somehow had offended in ways other than just, well, being.

Truth is. Variations on it are either half-truths or lies.

Among the many truths regarding what is going on in the Mideast are these....

Iran is the principal culprit. It detests the West — notably as represented in Israel and the United States. Iran funds Hamas and, through Syria, makes Hezbollah possible. The raison d’etre of both Hamas and Hezbollah is to destroy both Israel and the U.S.

Islamofascist Hezbollah began building its power base in Lebanon with the 1976 Syrian incursion into Lebanon — where Syrian expeditionary forces remained until last year. (Israel went into southern Lebanon in 1982 and remained until 2000.) Syrian and Hezbollah influence in Lebanon runs high. Hezbollah controls 20 percent of the seats in the Lebanese parliament and three cabinet posts. Syria, even without its troops, wields extensive political power — and Syria’s Assad regime probably arranged or carried out the assassination of pro-Western Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Prior to 9/11, Hezbollah caused the death of more Americans than any other terror group. Now al-Qaida holds that enviable distinction. Hamas and its sister goon groups have targeted and killed more Israelis than any other. All — Hezbollah, al-Qaida, Hamas, et al. — are of the same malign ilk. To begin what may be Armageddon, Hezbollah launched at or into Israel (1) Russian-made Katyusha rockets (oddly, Russia does not define Hezbollah as a terrorist entity), (2) Iranian C-802 missiles and (3) missiles of Syrian manufacture.

Ross Mackenzie

Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.

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