The Cold War II?

I realized tonight that there exists a tenuous but disturbing parallel between the early years of the Cold War and the current situation in the Middle East.

Although there was never any direct (“hot”) military conflict between the United States and the then-USSR, there were two significant “hot” conflicts– the Korean War and the Vietnam War– which could be described as “puppet conflicts” (there’s another term the history books use, but it eludes me at the moment), in which the two competing world super powers engaged each other, by proximity rather than directly.

At the end of World War II, Korea was divided in to Northern and Southern zones: the north occupied by Soviet powers and the south by the United States. In 1949 both forces withdrew.

The Korean War began in June 1950, as a civil war between the northern provisional Communist government and the southern provisional Nationalist government. North Korea’s military was advised and supplied by the USSR. Similarly, (erroneoulsy) viewing North Korea as a Soviet Pawn, the United States provided the South with military equipment and advice. After the North’s invasion, President Truman sent American troops into South Korea, who narrowly prevented the success of the North in their drive to re-unite subcontinent.

Moving back to the present, tensions between Iran and the United States have been escalating (not to mention that the situation with North Korea is still a mess, although primarily dormant at the moment) since the War in Iraq. The Western powers have just recently decided to refer Iran to the UN Security Council due to concerns about Iran’s development of a nuclear programme.

Still pending Iran’s actual referral, Israel schizes and invades Hezbollah-controlled southern Lebanon.

But here’s the kicker: Israel is American “eqipped and advised.” Israel’s current military offensive would be largely impossible without the support of American money and military equipment. Although America hasn’t openly sanctioned the invasion (how could they?) they certainly haven’t condemned it, nor has America stopped the influx of American money and military technology into Israel.

Meanwhile, the general speculation seems to be that Hezbollah receives significant support and amounts of military equipment from Iran. The rockets being fired in to Israel (over 3,000 since the war began) by Hezbollah are primarily Iranian rockets (or at least, so I read) (just as the Israeli jets pounding Beirut are American made).

So the question becomes: Israel being a blatantly American sponsored military power, and Hezbollah being Iranian backed, it is entirely improbable that the invasion of Lebanon actually takes the form of a “puppet war” between America and Iran?

About Mark Egge

Two truths and a lie: Mark Egge is an outdoor enthusiast, opera singer, and a transportation data scientist. He lives in Bozeman, Montana.
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2 Responses to The Cold War II?

  1. markegge says:

    Or, here’s another question: is Israel using its invasion of Lebanon to draw media attention away from genocide being committed in the Gaza Strip?

  2. carter says:

    Sure, this conflict could be considered a puppet war, but I think most wars are going to involve puppets in some way or another. In our global world everyone has vested interests in one another and through aid many countries will act as puppets to secure these interests.

    The big difference between this war and Korea is that we don’t have a vested interest in what is being fought over…religion.

    I don’t think Israel is invading Lebanon to detract attention from what’s going on in Gaza. I think its just another front on the war against Palestine. The US media has put Gaza on the backburner because its basically constantly enveloped with violence. At first the media talked about Gaza as another front that Israel is fighting at but it seems as though they’ve ignored that as of late.

    In terms of distraction, if anything, the US is taking its sweet time in forcing any sort of diplomatic solution because there isn’t near the amount of coverage on Iraq as there is on the Israel/Lebanon. While this is going on Iraq is on the verge of a full fledged civil war and many are saying its coming close to genocide between the Muslim sects as well as the Kurds. Iraq is definitely at its worst and its coming up very close to election time. Its really a great time for media attention to be shifted so the Republicans can have a better chance of being elected.