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Will Israel's New Ultra-Extremist Cabinet Spark World War III?
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Will Israel's New Ultra-Extremist Cabinet Spark World War III?

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Will nuclear World War III happen this summer? The answer, we all hope, pray, and expect, is “no.” But the odds of what would be an unprecedented global disaster are at an all-time high. The Union of Concerned Scientists’ Doomsday Clock, stuck at a record-breaking 90 seconds to midnight since last year, should have moved a few ticks closer to Armageddon in late May, after Ukraine and its US backers began striking Russian early-warning radar sites tasked with detecting a US nuclear attack.

Russia announced that it would respond symmetrically by arming US adversaries with long-range weapons. Since then a Russian nuclear-capable fleet has visited Cuba, raising the prospect of another Cuban missile crisis, and Putin has embraced North Korea in such a way as to confirm rumors that Russia has indeed given North Korea Topol M missiles, as claimed by Theodore Postol. More such gifts to various US adversaries are undoubtedly in the pipeline.

The proximate trigger for World War III’s death-spiral of uncontrollable escalation could conceivably happen in Korea, on the Russia-Ukraine front, or in the South China Sea. But it seems likelier that Armageddon will erupt from somewhere in the general vicinity of its namesake, Megiddo Hill, in northern Occupied Palestine.

That prognosis is based on rational calculation, not scriptural prophecy. There is an obvious reason why the Holy Land is the leading candidate for triggering global nuclear war: It is occupied by a doomed, fanatical messianic-millenarian death cult armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons. Since global nuclear war will make the world so much worse for everyone (except vultures, jackals, rats, and other eaters of carrion) it will inevitably be the product of extreme rashness and recklessness. In Occupied Palestine, the level of maniacal heedlessness in high places is off the charts. Even the crazed neocons running the US seem like rational actors compared to Israel’s leaders.

As my recent podcast guest Oliver Boyd-Barrett wrote this morning:

Netanyahu, following the resignation of Bennie Gantz from the war cabinet a few days ago, has dissolved the cabinet, returning direct control of the war to the full security cabinet. This development, in an already febrile combustible climate, enhances the likelihood that its more fanatical wing will push for an Israeli invasion of Southern Lebanon, plans for which have already been confirmed.

There is a reason why the US put the kibosh on Netanyahu’s plans for a major war on Lebanon shortly after the October 7 Al-Aqsa Storm concentration camp breakout. And that reason is all-too-obvious: Israel has no hope of winning such a war without dragging in the US, which would in turn drag in Iran and Russia, ultimately backed by China. Nobody could afford to let their side lose such a war, so it would likely escalate uncontrollably.

But if the American leadership is sometimes minimally rational, the same can’t be said of its Israeli counterpart. Following the resignations of Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot on June 13, the Zionist entity has been in the hands of certifiable lunatics like Smotrich and Ben Gvir. They have made no secret of their determination to avenge Hezbollah’s 2006 humiliation of Israel, at whatever cost. Netanyahu is on board, since the alternative is stepping down and going to prison. Now that the Israeli military has approved operational plans for an invasion of Lebanon, the likely trigger for World War III has been locked and loaded.

But if Israel invades Lebanon against US orders, might the American leadership finally decide to act in its own interests, rather than allowing itself to once again be hijacked by Israeli extremists?


Press TV Interviews Kevin Barrett on Israel-Lebanon Escalation

Political analyst Kevin Barrett joins us now from Saidia, Morocco, to offer us more insight on that story. Mr. Barrett, welcome to the program. First of all, I want to get your perspective on the escalation of violence and escalation of tensions between the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah and the occupying Israeli regime on the southern Lebanese border.

Well, ever since Israel launched its genocidal attack on the people of Gaza last October, Hezbollah has been supporting the Palestinian cause and pushing back against this genocide by keeping a level of activity going on the southern Lebanese border of the occupied Palestinian territories, forcing the Zionists to keep their military forces on high alert, keeping a number of those forces tied down in the north. They actually ended up having to evacuate some of those occupied territories. Some of the settlers, a large number, I believe half a million people actually, have left those occupied territories.

And currently, the Zionist regime seems to be in a crisis. They've had a cabinet member, Benny Gantz, resign. There is a question about whether they'll be able to cobble together this new government totally dominated by the ultra-extremists. And those ultra-extremists, more than anyone else in the Zionist entity, are absolutely dedicated to going after Lebanon and to fighting it out with Hezbollah. They are still licking their wounds from having been defeated in 2006. And somehow they imagine that they're going to get a better outcome this time, even though the balance of forces has shifted significantly in favor of Hezbollah.

So these provocations are designed to try to draw Hezbollah into a war in such a way that Hezbollah wouldn't have the full political support of everybody in Lebanon. And Hezbollah is not going for that. Hezbollah knows that they don't want all-out war with the Zionist entity under any conditions except conditions in which the whole world, including everybody in Lebanon, can see that the Zionists are clearly and absolutely 100% the aggressors.

So that's kind of the strategic dance that's being played out across that border. And currently, the Zionists are escalating. And how far they're going to escalate, I don't know.

Mr. Barrett, talking about the continuation of these retaliatory attacks against the Israelis, the Israeli regime is the one responsible here as the United Resistance Front in the region continues with the attacks. It has been stated many times that these attacks against the Israelis and against even U.S. interests in the region will continue as long as the Israelis carry out this genocidal onslaught and massacre against Palestinians. I want you to elaborate on that for us as well. And in the broader picture, this has all been a major failure for Israel, hasn't it? Specifically when we're looking regionally, where the Israelis have not made it safe for them at all in the region.

Yes, the Israelis are actually digging their own graves with their extremist genocidal response to the Al-Aqsa storm raid on October 7th. And currently, the Axis of Resistance is riding high with the whole region supporting it. Here in Morocco, everybody is supporting the Axis of Resistance, much more so than was the case a couple of years ago. And the same is true all across the region.

And the Axis of Resistance has been able to coordinate its activities in such a way as to caused interruptions in so-called global shipping, meaning supplying the genocidal Zionist entity with materials, including weapons, that it uses to carry out this genocide, with the Ansar Allah movement in Yemen successfully chasing the American forces out of that region and basically winning that battle. And likewise, Hezbollah in Lebanon has continued to put pressure on the Zionists.

And so the Zionists are now really surrounded, not only by an ever-increasing, ever-stronger Axis of Resistance, but by a region that's coalescing behind that Axis of Resistance. The balance of forces in the world is shifting in favor of the Axis of Resistance as the entire Global South is appalled by this genocide and appalled by the American empire's collusion in that genocide.

And we're also seeing that due to the stupidity of the managers of the U.S. empire, which of course is dominated by Zionists, that the war in Ukraine is actually playing out in favor of Palestine. As they attack Russia with long-range weapons, Russia is going to be offering similar long-range weapons to other forces, including presumably the Axis of Resistance. And there have been some reports along those lines.

So Hezbollah now has orders of magnitude more firepower than it did in 2006. And who knows whether that's being augmented even as we speak with some of the latest generation hypersonic weapons as well.

So the Zionists have bit off more than they can chew. They no longer have escalation dominance, and they no longer have the only kind of “nuclear” quote-unquote, deterrent. That is, the other side can destroy them just as much as they can destroy anybody on the other side. And they're so arrogant, they can't admit that it's time to negotiate some kind of solution. They have to try to dominate. They have to try to completely crush their opposition, but they can't. And every year, the situation gets worse for them.

So at some point, it looks like the long-range strategy of the Axis of Resistance is going to bear fruit, and the settler colonial regime is going to have to cease its genocide and pull back and ultimately leave the region, and we're going to have a free Palestine from the river to the sea.

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