If you read history, you’ll discover that national and international conflicts appear to be cyclic. Take a look at the 20th Century. The Spanish-American War ended just before the start of the 20th Century. The Boxer Rebellion in China climaxed in June, 1900.
In June 1900 Boxer fighters, lightly armed or unarmed, gathered in Beijing to besiege the foreign embassies. On 21 June the conservative faction of the Imperial Court induced the Empress Dowager Cixi, who ruled in the emperor’s name, to declare war on the foreign powers that had diplomatic representation in Beijing. Diplomats, foreign civilians, soldiers and some Chinese Christians retreated to the Legation Quarter where they stayed for 55 days until the Eight-Nation Alliance brought 20,000 armed troops, to take out the Boxers. — Wikepedia
World War I started with the assassination of ArchDuke Franz Ferdinand and his wife on June 28, 1914. World War II started twenty-five years later. The Korean War started on June 25th, 1950 and the 60th Anniversary of that war will occur on Friday of this week.
Korea was followed by other conflicts around the globe. For the US, there was the intervention in the Dominican Republic in 1965 and the gradual buildup in Southeast Asia. History documents the War in Southeast Asia covers the period from 1955 with the French through 1975 with the fall of Saigon.
The next military operation was the invasion of Grenada in 1983 follow by the invasion of Panama at the end of that decade in 1989. Panama was quickly followed by Gulf War I with the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.
The point of all this is that there were few periods in the last 100 years when the United States was not in some military activity. Even the period between WW1 and WW2 was not totally peaceful. The US Marines were involved in suppressing “bandits” in Nicaragua in the 1920s.
The United States military faced armed opponents in every decade of the 20th Century. And, looking at the beginning of the 21st Century, that trend appears to be continuing.
As I stated above, the 60th Anniversary will occur this coming Friday, June 25, 2010. It is prudent to remember that conflict is NOT over. We have been in a period of armistice since the cease-fire in1953. Recent actions by North Korea, such as the torpedoing of the South Korean Patrol Boat Cheonan by the North Koreans indicates that conflict may resume. The South Korean Navy has retrieved fragments of a older Soviet designed torpedo that sank the ship. Those torpedoes are only used by North Korea.
As a blatant warning to the North, South Korea with the US, will conduct a reenactment commemorating the 60th anniversary this coming Friday.
Seoul – The Korean War is now referred to as the ‘The Forgotten War’ 60 years after it began, but some South Koreans are hoping to change that as they prepare to re-enact one of its early battles this week.
As the country commemorates the 60th anniversary of the June 25, 1950, start of the war, which ravaged the Korean Peninsula, the government, military and civilians are working together to re-enact the conflict’s first naval engagement in the port city of Pusan, about 450 kilometres south-east of Seoul.
‘This is the very first victory that South Korea achieved in the war, so we want to shed light on what happened in the past,’ said Park June Su, head of public affairs at the Pusan office of the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs.
Called the Korea Strait victory celebration, the event commemorates South Korea’s sinking of an armed North Korean steamer carrying 600 Korean People’s Army troops about 29 kilometers off Pusan’s coast, Park said.
But Korea is not the only hotspot. Israel has intercepted smugglers attempting to breach the quarantine of Gaza. Hezbollah has been attempting to bring in additional arms and rockets to the militants controlling Gaza in the guise of humanitarian aid. The initial incident used Turkish ships. The militants hoped that using ships from a NATO member would cause Israel to allow them to proceed.
That didn’t happen. Of the six ships, five allowed peaceful boarding and inspection. The sixth, however, attacked the Israelis. That ship was the one containing contraband. Ten of the militants were killed when they attacked the Israeli boarding party.
It appears the International humanitarian aid ship stopped by the Israeli Navy had contraband used to build rockets and harden bunkers.
The Islamic militants used this event as propaganda fuel. Iran was the hidden sponsor and revealed itself by proclaiming they were provide a military escort for the next smuggling attempt. A futile boast since Iran has almost no Navy and of those, most of the vessels are made up of coastal patrol boats.
However, Iran’s boasting is not being taken likely. Drudge contained this headline over the weekend printed in red.
Tammuz 8, 5770, 20 June 10 06:08
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
(Israelnationalnews.com) Egypt allowed at least one Israeli and 11 American warships to pass through the Suez Canal as an Iranian flotilla approaches Gaza. Egypt closed the canal to protect the ships with thousands of soldiers, according to the British-based Arabic language newspaper Al Quds al-Arabi.
One day prior to the report on Saturday, Voice of Israel government radio reported that the Egyptian government denied an Israeli request not to allow the Iranian flotilla to use the Suez Canal to reach Gaza, in violation of the Israeli sea embargo on the Hamas-controlled area.
International agreements require Egypt to keep the Suez open even for warships, but the armada, led by the USS Truman with 5,000 sailors and marines, was the largest in years. Egypt closed the canal to fishing and other boats as the armada moved through the strategic passageway that connects the Red and Mediterranean Seas.
Despite Egypt’s reported refusal to block the canal to Iranian boats, the clearance for the American-Israeli fleet may be a warning to Iran it may face military opposition if the Iranian Red Crescent ship continues on course to Gaza.
The warships may exercise the right to inspect the Iranian boat for the illegal transport or weapons. Newsweek reported that Egyptian authorities could stop the ship for weeks, using technicalities such as requiring that any official documents be translated from Farsi into Arabic.
The magazine’s website also reported that the Iranian navy is the weakest part of its armed forces. Tehran has already backed down from announced intentions to escort the Iranian ships with “volunteer marines” from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
The Iranian news site Hamsayeh.net reported, “The move might be in connection to U.S. self-inflicted embargo against Iran aimed at inspecting Iran bound ships for suspected goods related to the country’s nuclear program.”
Another battle on the high seas may involve one, and possibly two, Lebanese vessels that are aimed at challenging Israel’s sovereignty over the Gaza coastal waters. Hizbullah, gearing up for a reaction to a possible clash between the Israeli Navy (pictured) and the Lebanese boats, has deployed rocket units near Lebanese ports, according to unofficial military sources.
Israel has warned U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that Israel will use force, if necessary, to stop the boats, one of which is carrying approximately 70 women passengers and crew organized by Hizbullah supporter Samar al-Hajj. Her husband is one of several jailed suspects involved in the assassination of former Lebanese anti-Syrian Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
Hizbullah has denied it is connected with the Lebanese flotilla, but it has been reported that Al Hajj met with Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah last month.
I’m not sure what constitutes an “armada.” Eleven ships is about the size of a Carrier Battle Group. It’s obviously a show of force. Whether Iran and Hezbollah heed the warning is another issue. Past actions have shown that militant Islamics are not sane using the definition of doing the same thing over and over and expecting different result.
Iran thinks that developing nuclear weapons will make them the leader of the Islamic world. More likely, if Iran uses or threatens to use those weapons, Iran will become a radioactive wasteland along with other locales in the mid-east.
It’s not hard to foresee the coming conflict with Israel remembering the holocaust of WW2 and the Islamics who think they are impervious. Whatever happens, we will be dragged into the conflict whether we wish it or not.