Thursday :: Jul 13, 2006

As Bush Postures And Dawdles, Middle East About To Spin Into War


by Steve

MSNBC image

From the moment Hezbollah kidnapped two Israeli soldiers earlier this week, both Israel and the United States seemed intent on expanding their anger and blame beyond those who actually took the soldiers to Iran and Syria. The Bush Administration went to the Bolton/Cheney default position of "blame Iran/Syria" very quickly yesterday, and Israel decided immediately to attack Lebanon in order to keep Hezbollah from taking the soldiers out of the southern part of the country to Iran, which is what Israel is claiming will happen. Such a claim and the ratcheting up in force seems a little too convenient and ready to go, as if this is what Prime Minister Olmert and Bush talked about weeks ago when Olmert visited Bush in Washington and talked with him about Iran. The Israeli military has now not only crossed the border, but has also launched air attacks in civilian areas, attacked Beirut airport and bombed its runways, and has warned the national government that it is being held responsible and is subject to attack. Israel has just attacked the Lebanese army, is implementing a naval blockade of the country, and plans to cut off the main highway in and out of the capital to isolate the city.

However, it needs to be pointed out that what Israel is rightly concerned about is an apparent linkage and coordination of activities between Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, of which Hezbollah is an elected part of that government, and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, which now is the elected governing faction of the Palestinians. Israel doesn’t like and can’t see a way to deal with the elected representatives of both of these governments, again due to decades of bloodshed and the support of these groups by Syria and Iran. So the default position for Israel, with the full tacit support of the Cheney/Bolton cabal, is to instigate a war against Lebanon and Hezbollah after punishing Hamas in the Gaza Strip. But make no mistake, this is really an effort by Israel to draw Syria and Iran into the conflict in support of their proxies, whereupon the cabal will have the pretext for what they really want, which is the next war against these two countries. When you hear Israel say that “nothing is safe” inside Lebanon, and talk about a “long” war inside a sovereign state next door, you know Israel is really after the expulsion of Hezbollah from Lebanon, by trying to achieve something militarily that they cannot achieve in other ways. But in doing this, they will drag neighboring states into this against them and us, at a time when we have 130,000 targets inside Iraq as sitting ducks. The Bush Administration’s five-year abandonment of being actively engaged in the region is now about to haunt us. Bush may come out of this mess looking impotent, as he has few power cards to play and can't wield the same influence that Clinton did back in the 90's in defusing the tensions.

And who could be happy about the dissolving situation in the Middle East? Oil companies, which saw the price of their increasing inventories climb to over $76 per barrel today due to the unrest in the Middle East.

Steve :: 8:56 AM :: Comments (26) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!