I tripped over this Donald Sensing post tonight and it's chillingly riveting:
My Israeli blogging colleague, Daniel Jackson, wrote that the belief in Israel is widespread that this summer will bring the "Summer Games," open warfare between Israel and its three existential enemies of Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah. The opening gambit is a "two by two table."Either Israel takes the first round or strikes first. Either Tel Aviv gets the first BIG hit or Jerusalem. While the obvious scenerio is with Tel Aviv, the market center getting hit, there is far more potency for Iran to strike Jerusalem hard. I'll come back to this later. No one here has any doubt that Iran has a big weapon and that they will use it. To play the American Game (like in 1991) will mean that Israel will have to wait for Iran to fire first. The longer that time plays out, the greater the risk that the first strike will be atomic. A Hiroshima sized weapon will hurt.
For Israel to attack first will immediately set off rocket bombardments from Syria and Hizbullah. The lunatics in Hamastan will also join in but they will be the first to feel the IDF fist. There will be no pulling punches this time. The question is whether the West Bankers will also open fire. The general Israeli feeling, given their training, is that the expectation is that all hell will break loose. ...
This will not be an IAF war. The IDF is prepared. After the missiles, expect the Israelis response to be strong.
In 2006 Israel made war against Hezbollah in southern Lebanon and in late 2008 against Hamas in Gaza. Both operations were very violent. Yet if the Summer Games are indeed held, those two short wars will seem like patty-cake.
Hezbollah and Hamas are both Iranian clients. So is Syria. The question is just how much destruction either Hezbollah or Hamas are willing to suffer without Iran getting into the fight. In my assessment, neither terrorist outfit will be willing to fight Israel on its own, or even in a coordinated attack, because they know that Israel will retaliate furiously. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu won't be reluctant to destroy his country's enemies and will do so much more competently than PM Ehud Olmert handled things in 2006. Hezbollah and Hamas probably realize that in the next war they have to win because losing will be final.
But Israel knows the same thing. And it has to consider that if the two "H's" start launching rockets into Israel then Iran will likely not be far behind (and indeed Iran's offensive may be simultaneous). So Israel will have to go all in from the beginning.
The priority will be Iran. Submarines that Israel has recently stationed in the Persian Gulf will strike. Israel's air force will overfly Iraq without interference from the US - by the time the somnolent Obama administration has figured out what's going on, Israeli planes will be clear. (Update, June 12: "Saudi Arabia gives Israel clear skies to attack Iranian nuclear sites." This is no surprise to students of Middle East politics. Remembers the Arab proverb, “Me against my brother, but my brother and me against our cousin.” Saudi Arabia and Israel are not exactly brothers, but Iran is definitely the cousin here since it is Israel's enemy and the Saudis' foe. )
Hamas and Hezbollah will be invaded quickly by the Israeli army while the IAF attacks Iran. But then IAF planes will join the fight and the two H's will draw the full weight of Israel's military. Israel will not hold back this time. They will strike hard and quick with the aim of destroying both entities once for all. Casualties among Gazans and Lebanese will be very high but this will not deter Israel this time for they know that their actual survival as a nation is at stake.
As for Israel's civilians, they will suffer in great numbers, too. Hezbollah's and Hamas's rockets are much larger, more accurate and more sophisticated now that two or four years ago. Almost every populated part of Israel is already in range of terrorist rockets.
This battle is brewing, the only question is when. Will it be this summer? Israel will take the first hit this year, but next year probably will hit first. And as Daniel pointed out, the US will not be able to sit it out. Our troops and naval vessels are targets for Iran if the balloon goes up at all.
Does the Obama administration foresee any of this and is it taking actions to reduce the likelihood? No and no. For this is a president of ceremony, not substance. For the first time, the United States has a chief of state but not a head of government. There's a dark cloud forming in the East and a blood moon is coming.
Donald Sensing was an accomplished military man and is now a pastor in Tennessee.
I believe him also to be prophetic... in every sense of that word.
Crossposted at Wizbang.