As you probably know by now, a resolution condemning the tyranny of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was introduced into the Security Council of the United Nations this weekend. It had the backing of the United States and European Union but more important, the strong endorsement of the Arab League.
It was immediately vetoed by the Russians and Chinese. A curious development to be sure: Syria is not a thriving economy like Iran and does not make large purchases of arms from the Russians and Chinese like Iran.
What it is, however, is Iran's closest...some would say only...friend in the region.
What we have here, my friends, is the next Vietnam. We have a war by proxy, so to speak. In many ways, I'm kind of surprised that the US didn't veto the resolution, given this situation.
See, Syria does most of its arms purchases from Iran, who in turn has to buy them from either Pakistan, North Korea or Russia and China directly. There's a chain of mark-ups there; I'm guessing a lot of this trade is done with oil.
In turn, the rebel alliance (not often I get to use a Star Wars allusion) is funded and armed by the Saudis, among other oil-producing nations, and very possibly Israel. And guess who they get their arms from?
I lay all the pieces out on the chess board to use them to illustrate a very severe danger in this game.
This is now, I think, the most likely scenario for World War III. Syria could be Armageddon's first battle.
It's not a leap to imagine Assad, in an act of desperation, provoking Israel into a conflict (possibly through action in the Golan or directly from Lebanon) to deter it from attacking Iran directly in order to eliminate it's nuclear weapons threat. Or even to open a second front in that cold war (which has seen Iranian nuclear scientists assassinated, along with Israeli diplomats in nations like Kyrgistan.)
Or maybe simply as an act of desperation to get Iran to openly fight Syria's battles for her. I have little doubt that the US support for the Syrian insurgency is less an attack on Assad-- after all, there were plenty of opportunities to do that in the wake of the turmoil following the death of his father-- than an attack on Ahmadinejad and an attempt to persuade Iranian moderates to stir up internal trouble.
Or it could be Israel who decides that, since the US would have a problem with Israel directly attacking Iran (despite Obama's assurances to Netanyahu) that Syria would make a good demonstration of Israeli military capability. You know, just to remind Iran who they are dealing with.
And it's not even that far a leap to imagine NATO piling troops onto the Syrian border (Turkey is a likely candidate, except they have their own Russian-Chinese issues, but hey, Jordan might make room and surely Iraq still has our bases available) and provoking Russia and China to respond in some fashion.
There's not a tightrope here to be walked. There are many tightwires, and they intersect, cross over and touch, and one false step by anyone will cause everyone to fall into the abyss. Human nature being what it is, I cannot imagine how this doesn't come to pass.
Better start your prepping now.