The Biden administration is trying everything to better the situation for the Israeli government except by withdrawing its financial and munition support which are the only two measures that could bring Israel to its senses.
There are now several small wars in the Middle East which may soon accumulate into a big one. Israel is fighting Hamas and the Islamic Jihad in Gaza. It is fighting a silent resistance in the West Bank. On its norther borders it is involved in daily clashes with Hizbullah and various Palestinian resistance groups.
Israel is also bombing Syria and killing Iranian envoys to that country. Iraqi and Syrian resistance groups are attacking U.S. bases in Syria and Iraq. The U.S. is bombing these groups for more or less therapeutic purposes while trying to not hurt them too much. In the Red Sea the Ansarullah government of Yemen is blocking sea traffic related to Israel, the U.S. and UK. The U.S. and UK are bombing Ansarullah positions even as they know that no amount of bombing will change its position.
People in other Arab countries, while seemingly calm, are enraged over Israel’s genocidal behavior in Gaza. Their leaders try to keep their distances from the wars but at some point may well be forced to take sides in it.
Meanwhile the U.S., the alleged superpower, is hapless and helplessly trying to achieve results that are way beyond its abilities.
See for one example the last attempt by a U.S. envoy to prevent a further escalation with Lebanon:
US presents new blueprint to push Hezbollah away from Israeli border – Ynetnews, Feb 4 2024
U.S. President Joe Biden’s Middle East envoy Amos Hochstein outlined the key elements of a political settlement to deescalate tensions between Israel and Hezbollah during his visit to the Jewish state on Sunday.
The plan consists of two phases: In the first, Hezbollah would cease hostilities actions along the border with Israel and will retreat between eight to ten kilometers north from the border.
Israeli residents will return to their homes, and a significant deployment of the Lebanese army and UNIFIL peacekeeping forces will maintain stability in southern Lebanon and along the border.
In the second phase, Israel and Lebanon will begin negotiations to demarcate the land border, including discussions on 13 points on disputes along their shared boundaries. Simultaneously, the U.S. and the international community will explore offering “economic incentives” to Lebanon.
Hochstein received the green light from the Lebanese government for his proposal, though it remains unclear whether Hezbollah agrees with the arrangement.
The envoy, who recently met with President Isaac Herzog, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Minister Benny Gantz urged Israel to give his plan a chance.
Nice plan. But what can you do to implement it?
How in hell will the U.S. be able to make Hezbollah to cease hostilities actions along the border with Israel and to retreat between eight to ten kilometers from the border?
Hizbullah fighters at the border are living in the border towns. They were born there. They want to die there. How the f*** does the U.S. think they can be pushed out? And why would Hizbullah agree to a ceasefire when the murdering of Palestinians in Gaza continues to be the major project of Israel?
The U.S. has no means, none, to press Hizbullah into a ceasefire or to push it to retreat from the border line.
The Lebanese government supports that move? Sure, verbally, as long as you cough up some money. But Hizbullah is part of that government. It is also the superior military power in Lebanon. Neither the Lebanese army nor the U.N. forces have the ability to fight it.
Step one is thereby meaningless. Step two, a promise for negotiations between Israel and Lebanon, makes likewise no sense as Israel is notoriously unwilling to make any concessions.
If baseless fantasies like the above are all the U.S. can come up with it is truly at the end of its abilities.
A chance of a war between Israel and Hizbullah in Lebanon is increasing daily. While there are already daily clashes these are limited by certain red lines and targets. Both sides still avoid to cross those.
But Israel’s government needs a victory. Its war aims in Gaza are clearly not achievable. Losses are mounting. Its population, especially the settlers from the north who had to flee their homes, are unruly.
Alastair Crooke thinks (vid) that Israel will start a full out war with Hizbullah simply because the Israeli government needs a victory. He thinks that Netanyahoo still thinks he can achieve one. Others though have their doubts. Hizbullah today is far better equipped and trained than it had been during the 2006 war with Israel. That war ended in a draw or, as some see it, with a defeat of Israel. I know of no expert in that area who thinks that Israel today would fare any better than that.
I’d say let them try. The may well learn from it.
But why the Biden administration even thinks that it can stop such a clash by presenting plans it has no means to press for is beyond me.