Of all the potential flashpoints existing in the world, we would like to compare and contrast two separate potential conflicts; the possible intervention in the political unrest in the Ukraine by Russia and the possibility that Israel might intervene to attempt to address and mute the several threats across numerous fronts including Hezballah, Hamas and their sponsor Iran. Where any Israeli action against the growing threats made out of Iran would also require that Israel to take into consideration how they would address the additional arms that Iran has direct influence and could turn loose to attack Israel utilizing the tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of rockets and missiles ranging through the gamut from Katyusha and Grad rockets to Scud, Fajr and Zelzal-2s. The questions in each case run the full range from what would be the reactions of the United Nations to reactions from the major powers and other significant groups and entities.
Starting with the possibility of a Russian intervention in the Ukraine, what are the various scenarios and resultant ramifications. It is very possible that the Russians will be able to claim that their intervention is in response to requests from the people of the Ukraine who saw the overthrow of the government as a direct threat to their interests and safety. Such a request could easily be made by the majority Russian citizens living in the eastern and southern provinces of the Ukraine who have made clear their preference for the Ukraine to align with Russia over aligning with the European Union. There are reports that the Russians have placed a large force on their border with the Ukraine including fighter and other aircraft wings which would be necessary to assist with any military intervention. United States President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry and Secretary of Defense Hagel have all made statements warning the Russians that the United States Administration is opposed and demands that they not enter or otherwise interfere with the political process currently occurring in the Ukraine. The odds that Russian President Putin will heed such a warning and have it influence his decisions are basically nil. Much of this has to do with the complete lack of the United States to back earlier warnings given to Syria when American President Obama announced his red-line and serious consequences on Syrian President al-Assad against his deploying chemical weapons. The complete ineffectiveness of the American threat of serious consequences resulting in dithering and equivocation by President Obama leading to inaction and a stalemate which was almost painful to witness and was thankfully brought to a definitive end when President Putin intervened proposing the confiscation and destruction of al-Assad’s chemical weapons arsenal granting President Obama a way to climb down from the embarrassment of being caught on his own petard.
Should the Russians intervene in the Ukraine the world is most likely to sit on their hands and not offer even the mildest rebuke. The truth is that the Russians, especially under President Putin’s leadership, are sufficiently feared and retain sufficient threat to cause any sane and reasoned person or nation to carefully consider if the Ukraine is really worth their potentially confronting the Russians and challenging President Putin. Furthermore, as the Russians are one of the permanent nations on the Security Council and possess a full right of vetoing any actions or proposals presented for consideration by that body, there is absolutely no possibility to condemn any Russian actions in the Security Council. The possibility of Russia being rebuked by the General Assembly is one of the most laughable proposals anybody could ever make. The General Assembly often appears like it exists for denouncing the United States, Israel and even the European nations while forgiving any transgressions by the entirety of the non-free and third world nations. The end result of a Russian intervention in the Ukraine would likely be very similar to the results decades ago when the Soviet Union rolled tanks and troops into the rebellious republic of Czechoslovakia on August 21, 1968, bringing the reforms and attempt to move out from under the Soviet thumb by Czechoslovakia with nary a significantly effective complaint from the entire world. Putting it succinctly, Russia could walk into the Ukraine and annex the entire nation reestablishing Russian control of the entirety of the Ukraine and outside of any demonstrations by Ukrainians there would be little effective protest. The resistance by any Ukrainians would be short lived and ended with whatever brutality was deemed necessary as that is the Putin way.
In the other situation, the cacophony of denunciations and demands for the world to completely condemn Israel would be deafening and seemingly universal. There would be a race between the different nations to bring condemnations of Israel before the General Assembly and the Security Council would be in emergency session before the sun set and possibly before the jets returned from a strike on Iran. There would be claims upon claims quoting International Law as requiring the condemnation of Israel for their wanton assault on another United Nations member nation. The justification which Israel could offer would never be given the slightest consideration in the rush to condemnation. But is such condemnation appropriate or would Israel have a right and justifiable reasoning behind such an attack that would be backed by International Law? Surprisingly to most, the answer is a definitive yes. The Iranian leadership including Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini, numerous Imams, many of the Ministers from the Iranian Parliament and numerous other members of the leadership both political and religious have publically called repeatedly for the annihilation of Israel. There have been large assemblies of Iranians, often weekly on Friday after services where the Imam likely gave a sermon demonizing Israel and calling for Jihad to reclaim Islamic lands, who chanted in unison repeating the chant often spoken from the podium by a high government or religious official calling out, “Death to Israel” as well as religious chants proclaiming the supremacy of Allah and their dedication to serve Allah often by actions to destroy the Jewish State. Speeches given by leading government leaders at parades and other events which almost always include martial demonstrations such as parading missiles on launchers in parades these leaders claim that the military strength displayed will soon be loosed on Israel destroying the Zionist Entity. These provocations, if they can be believed as actual statements of intent and the probability of their being a true forecast of actions exists, then Israel would have sufficient cause to attack Iran to destroy the Iranian ability to make war upon Israel under International Law. That is the crux of the argument behind the threats to strike the Iranian nuclear sites and the same arguments would also hold for an Israeli strike on Iranian military targets.
Where Israel would face a series of severe threats would be from the terror forces which are available to carry out any Iranian calls for attacks on Israel. These include minimally Hezballah and Hamas and could also include terror forces in the areas under the control of the Palestinian Authority, Judea and Samaria, also called the West Bank. This very likely was one of the subjects which was discussed when Palestinian Authority Chairman Abbas visited Tehran, Iran recently. Such would most definitely have come up if Chairman Abbas was requesting any funding or other assistance from the Iranians, something which is very likely as Abbas appears to be incapable of visiting anywhere and not begging for funding. Where Israel would be hard-pressed in making an argument for attacking the Palestinian Authority areas, they would easily be able to make a convincing argument concerning both Hezballah and Hamas as both have left no doubt that their intent is the destruction of Israel and the genocidal slaughter of every Jew, often referred to as Zionists, residing in Israel no matter their political persuasions. The reality of any Israeli attack is that you would be able to count the number of nations that would actively support the Israelis would likely be countable on your two hands. Bless United States, the Czech Republic, Panama, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and especially Canada (with a salute to Prime Minister Harper). These were the only nations which found the nerve and good conscience to vote against recognition of the Palestinian Authority as a non-member state. Israel would face a boycott from the European Union and the Arab League would be red-faced in angry denouncements. Israel might not even be able to count on having the United States defend them with their veto in the Security Council. It might even be prudent for Israel to resign their membership in the United Nations which for the vast majority of its recent history has been the place Israel could go to be denigrated and denounced for her audacity to exist. The differences between a Russian military intervention in the Ukraine and Israel acting in her own self-interest and defense would be diametrically opposite in act and reasoning. Some things are only remarkable in their obvious predictability as in their lack of moral conscience and convictions.