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Who will fire the first shot to ignite a Middle East War?

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Message Michael Payne

Three nations, Israel, the U.S. and Iran are playing a deadly game of chicken in the extremely volatile Middle East. The never ending inflammatory rhetoric, the threats and counter threats, and the total inability of these nations to use rational, responsible thinking and diplomacy to address their differences is bringing the Middle East ever closer to a potential catastrophic event.

This region of the world has, for many years, been a tinderbox where one wayward spark could set off a Middle East inferno. But even with that fact before them, not one of these nations is offering any constructive ideas to cool down the tensions. This situation cries out for real attempts at diplomacy.

President Obama, who once made positive statements about direct diplomacy and discussions with Iran has, most recently, taken a more militant position. He and others in his administration, including our globe circling Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, continue to stress that all options are still on the table, including possible attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. A great example of diplomacy, is it not?

Israel, America's #1 client state, finds diplomacy to be a useless exercise as it has rejected its use many times in the past. Israel has a long history of relying on military force rather than diplomacy to deal with any threat, real or imagined. Other nations such as Syria and Lebanon and the militant political movements, Hamas and Hezbollah, have felt the wrath of Israel over the years. Palestine continues to be under extreme, pervasive military domination and isolation.

The nation of Israel continues to live in a state of paranoia, ready to strike out at any Middle East nation that it even thinks may be a threat. That's why Israel has, over the years, covertly developed a nuclear arsenal of its own. They, of course, do not acknowledge that such an arsenal exists even though the world knows that it is true. It's really amazing why there is no demand by the world community of nations, the U.N., or anyone that they open their facilities to inspection; no calls for any kind of sanctions; apparently a free pass.

Iran: now there's a nation with a leader that's brilliant at playing a game of cat and mouse. Only one problem for Iran, though; it is the mouse and there are two cats, Israel and the U.S., ready to pounce. Iran also likes to play mind games. No one knows for sure if it is actually using its nuclear facilities to develop nuclear power for energy purposes or if they are in the early stages of a nuclear bomb. If they are being totally truthful that only energy is involved then there are plenty of ways that they could prove it to other nations.

A CNN poll just taken indicates that 71% of Americans believe that Iran has nuclear weapons. They believe what? This apparent majority of Americans is not privy to any concrete evidence that Iranian nuclear weapons exist so the poll is not relevant. Therefore, we have to conclude that what they "believe" is what the Obama administration and the national media lapdogs are once again selling; that's exactly what happened prior to the attack on Iraq. Are we going to fall for that same ruse again?

Iran's outspoken leader, Mahmoud Amadinejad, is a master at keeping his adversaries off balance. He must know that by his constant, taunting rhetoric he is just increasing the chances that either Israel, the U.S. or both, will go off the deep end and launch a pre-emptive attack, also referred to as "shock and awe", on Iran's nuclear facilities. To continue baiting and being a huge irritant to military minded countries is not very smart, Mr. Amadinejad.

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