Israel's Iron Dome rounds off the day

I am quite glad when my gloomier fears and the consequences of a sometimes passive logic are overturned.

For example, it seemed earlier this week and last that a determined effort was being made to bring out 'the guns of August'. War parties in Iran and America seemed geared to an ineluctable confrontation. Such was the state of the Middle East that a tinder might set it alight.

It may well have been that imagery and mood carried away my logic, not for the first time, and that some of the things also embedded in my thinking were more useful indicators of what was going to happen.

For instance, I tried to point out in my post that simple caricatures did not work. Iran is internally split, and nothing anyone says need be taken at face value in the light of the potentially deadly games being played in that country before next year's election. I also noted that Iran, because of the oil crisis, was becoming richer on the back of the oil crisis. I noted that, but didn't follow it through.

Such growth is not an unusual occurrence in countries that produce oil and commodities these days. It represents part of the epochal change in the energy lines of the world economy inherited from the twentieth century that is also being partly effected by the return after two hundred years of China and India.

Growing, rich countries don't have much of an interest in destroying all around them. Especially given the growth of urban groups. Iran is a little different given the prominence of religious nutters in its governance, but not necessarily exceptional.

An Iran wrapped up in itself and a Syria allied to it but scared of being seen as destructive rebounds to the benefit of Israel. This month, the possibility that little Israel might be dragged into another Lebanon war by the Katyusha rockets of their fascist enemies declined a little because of their political security provided by their clever Iron Dome kinetic interceptors.

Kinetic interceptors are chunks of metal guided in a very sophisticated way that smack incoming missiles out of the sky. Israel is now anticipating the whole of its southern region coming under the protection of Iron Dome by 2010. Some Israelis, motivated by perfectly noble feelings for the inhabitants of Sderot and elsewhere, doubt that Iron Dome will work.

However, even if it doesn't, if people think it does that will calm panic and calm rushes to war until it, or an integrated nautilus system, can be perfected, and ultimately until a political solution to the Islamofascist challenge can be found. All that needs to happen is that Iron Dome is seen to be useful enough to provide a chance of shooting the majority of rockets down. That will make people feel safer. Making people feel and seem safe will make the whole political community safer from a disastrous war with Iran.

It follows that if the excuses for an Iran war are taken away, on both sides, then whoever starts the next one will stand clearly in the dock, and they ought to know that right now. At the moment, Iran has been offered nuclear help by Europe and Russia, engagement by every major power on the security council, and can become seriously rich in the next few years. America has been shown, and its joint chiefs have been reminded as if they needed it, of just how pointless most wars are.

It must be obvious to everyone that diplomatic games, technological and economic detente and a little righteous hypocrisy are better than killing lots of fairly blameless people. It should also become progressively obvious to the European left that many of the people in Palestine are to blame for their condition.

I say 'should' since what passes for a left in Europe these days, and I probably don't belong in it, is basically either stupid or malicious with a few old-fashioned and marginalised exceptions in the mainstream. Never mind; decency and sense will be back in fashion sometime. The important thing is that Palestinians themselves start asking who causes their condition.

Ordinary Palestinians may soon get a helping hand anyway. Enmeshed in trans-Mediterranean maneuverings, Egypt and Syria will have every reason to dispose of, or neuter, Hamas and Hizbollah. If I were a leader of either of those two groups, I think that I'd take to driving, if at all, in convertibles with flameproof seats and parachutes attached.

And the traditional Washington power network--the men and women distinguished from the crazy neoconservatives--seem to have won a victory by moving American diplomacy back into play in Switzerland, with US-Iran ties in the open, rather than in the inevitable back channel, being reintroduced.

All quite nice. Have a look at these two sites-- silobreaker and Fabius Maximus-- if you can. They are such a great alternative to the hysteria and filtering of the mainstream media, and they may even allow you to construct patterns that please your soul on a July night, as they did for me. A third site, not connected with these two but which you might like that I came across today is Heresy Corner.

The picture at the top of this blog is of Hope Cherishing Love, by Harry Mileham, who has recently been rediscovered. It reminds me of George frederick Watt's Hope, which I've referred to before.