Thursday :: Jul 20, 2006

When The Blog Lord's Away, ...

by pessimist

Steve is off on business, and I was asked to post a response to this email from a reader.

I edited this email to bring Mr Vetter's main points to the fore. The items I took out dealt with the fact that he has read many things on the Internet, and questions their veracity [which is why I added links for that which remains], and I combined a few disparate comments with other sections because they fit so well. Any errors in presenting the reader's intentions are thus all mine.

Tue, 18 Jul 2006
Subject: Israel/Lebanon

Hey Steve,

I just felt the need to e-mail you about one of your articles Israel Claims Iran Has Inserted Longer-Range Missiles Into Lebanon, and the e-mails you posted in that article from Colonel Gardiner. ["emails I received from retired Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner over the weekend about Iran's role in the Hezbollah kidnapping."] I agree with the statement in Gardiner's e-mail about this war between Israel and the Hezbollah being about the Iranian nuclear program. But, it's also about a much larger picture that includes Syria.

It seems to me, that there is something going on here that we know nothing about.

Now consider some things for a moment.

* [T]he Bush administration has accused Iran and Syria of fueling the insurgency in Iraq. I also agree with this assumption.

* When Bush named his axis of evil at the start of the Iraq conflict, you'll remember that Iran was one of [the countries]. I've been of the opinion for a couple of years now that because of the "axis of evil" statement, Iran felt threatened right from the start. They probably figured that if the war in Iraq went very quickly, that they would be next.

How do you suppose you would react, if you were a leader of a country that had been named on the Bush hit list? Would you do everything you could to make sure that didn't happen? Would you fuel the insurgency in the country right next to yours to prolong that war as long as possible?

Yea, I think you would. And, I think Syria feels the same way.

The reader goes on to examine the Israeli response to this strategy.

On this evening's ABC news coverage of the Israel/Lebanon situation, Charles Gibson interviewed a Colonel in Israel's Air Force. I wish I had recorded this exchange so I could quote exactly what was said, but I didn't. It was something similar to the following. The question concerned how the Colonel felt about intentionally targeting civilians. His answer? He felt really good about it. Now wait a minute, how could anyone feel good about targeting civilians?

It appears that our reader heard this interview between Gibson and Iraeli Air force Brigadier General Ino Nehushtan, during which Nehushtan said that 'Israel has been tracking Hezbollah attacks and hitting the sources from which the attacks were launched' and 'We are targeting the entire process of this missile launching — where the missiles [are being] stored, in houses, in villages; where they are being launched from, in the vicinity of the villages...'

I also saw this interview, and if I hadn't seen the whole thing, I might also conclude that Israel may well be satisfied that hitting civilians while going after Hezbollah is a welcome side benefit.

Allow me to state here in Red State 'Mer'kan that the Israeli did not make any such statement.

It thus may be well that our reader is harboring doubts about what he's gleaned from the Internet. While I believe that Israel isn't too worried about the fate of Arab civilians, they have not (yet) made it official war policy.

This Nehushtan interview is very similar in delivery to that of the Israeli Air Force General who, during the Gulf War, answered a CNN question as to whether Israel would resort to the use of atomic weapons should Saddam attack Israel with WMD with a long pause - and a terse "Perhaps." [If anyone knows the link to this interview, please post it in the comments.]

His demeanor during the questioning told me everything that I needed to know back then, just as the demeanor of Gen. Nehushtan told me everything I needed to know now - Israel will do what it feels necessary to accomplish their goal.

Certainly, the obvious Israeli goal is to neutralize the threat that Hezbollah represents toward Israel. Even a Red Stater could figure that one out.

But our reader takes the concept of "What ARE Israel's goals?" a step further. What is of clear interest is his evaluation of the larger situation:

Israel is obviously trying to piss people off in this conflict.

It's a lot bigger than getting two of their soldiers back. ... Israel is doing it's best to draw Iran and Syria into this conflict.

Once that happens, the U.S. military will instantly become involved. Bush will then have his war with Iran and Syria that he's wanted right from the start.

Is shit being made up again so this conflict can be expanded? I think so. I think the real instigator of this Israel/Lebanon situation is George W. Bush.

Remember the WMD's.

I disagree that Bush is the instigator any more than he was the instigator for the 9-11 attacks. But just like 9-11, it suits his purposes to allow the situation to continue to develop in the manner that our reader - along with the Boston Globe - sees:

From the Globe:

Hezbollah's aggressive move was aimed at showing that Arabs can still deal military blows to Israel and indirectly to the United States by staging such a brazen raid, as well as help its state backers, Syria and Iran ... Israel, on the other hand, wants to win international support for its newly aggressive stance against Hamas and Hezbollah, and paint its enemies as part of a larger anti-Western coalition led by a nuclear-hungry Iran.

It is no secret that many countries seek to destroy Israel as a nation, so I'm not about to suggest that Israel is afraid of ghosts. Even our 'friends', the Saudis, openly fund groups which espouse that desire - one of the reasons Osama attacked the United States was to make it possible to launch such a war by showing the US was nothing to fear, and could not militarily back Israel if it was itself attacked.

Under Bush, I can't say that Osama's wrong about America.

But I digress.

The Globe continues:

US, Arab, and Israeli analysts say that both Israel and its foes are taking big gambles that could end in disaster.

Edward Walker, a former US ambassador to Israel and Egypt, [says] Hezbollah is seeking through its attack Wednesday to provoke a new Israeli occupation in order to renew its popularity. By launching broad attacks on Lebanon's airport, bridges, and parts of Beirut, he said, Israel is playing into that strategy.

However, Hezbollah, too, could see its strategy backfire.
"The Lebanese people are paying a very high price. It's not some small thing to be attacked in tourist season and for infrastructure to be destroyed," said Ahmad Moussalli, a political science professor at the American University of Beirut. "The powers of Lebanon may decide that Hezbollah shouldn't have the power to go to war on its own."

Just like any Old West high-stakes poker game, all of the participants are taking big gambles - and a slip up by one of them, no matter how innocent (if it is innocent) could mean disaster for everyone involved:

Iran, said Walker, wants to show the United States and its allies that it can hit hard if pushed into a corner over its suspected nuclear weapons program. Iran's case has been referred to the Security Council, which could impose sanctions.

Analysts see still different goals for Syria. Some say Syria wants to use the crisis to discredit Lebanon's anti-Syrian government in order to get its troops back into Lebanon and head off Arab support for a full UN investigation into the car-bomb slaying of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in February 2005, in which Syrian officials are suspected.

And some Mideast experts say the United States has its own agenda in the current conflict: to win tough international action against Iran and Syria by highlighting what the United States considers dangerous fomenting of violence by their surrogates, Hezbollah and Hamas.

It should be clear that one misjudgement by any of these parties, and the worst will happen. The problem is, that the person most likely to perform that incredible faux pas is none other than Owwer Leedur, based on past misperformances:

* [A]s Rami Khoury, editor of the Beirut Daily Star, wrote in a commentary yesterday [anyone have the link???], the close US alliance with Israel makes the United States vulnerable to the effects of Israel's choices. "Every Israeli action against Arabs feeds Arab anger against the US," making it harder to win Arab support to investigate Syria, he wrote.

"The world's sole superpower is peculiarly powerless
in the current crisis in the Middle East."

* Walker pointed out that the United States is in a bind. Overly tough Israeli action could hurt the new Lebanese government, one of the few recent American foreign policy successes in the Middle East.

* Many argue that the US invasion of Iraq has also hamstrung the United States because countries like Syria and Iran believe the US military will not take strong action against them while bogged down in Iraq.

The one problem with these analyses is that they are trying to measure Bu$hCo against a logical standard. Anyone who has been following Bu$hCo since its illegitimate inception knows that 'logic' is a bad word, especially as it insinuates the polar opposite of 'faith'. Any implication that 'logic' is good implies that, in the Manichean world inhabited by Bu$hCo, 'faith' is bad - an interpretation that cannot be allowed to take root lest the American Teleban desert the sinking ship.

Considering the amount of information available to those who aren't drunk on kool-aid, I agree with our reader's assessment that something bigger than eliminating Hezbollah is going on right now, and that 'something' is a war with either Syria or Iran - or both.

The logistics of fighting such a war while not abandoning any of the other Halliburton cash cow herds grazing in Iraq and Afghanistan is not the concern of Bu$hCo. Based on ISO standards, the purveyors to Bu$hCo (Halliburton and Blackwater, to name just two) are tasked with that worry. All Bu$hCo needs to do, according to the theory, is let their corporate servants do what they are getting paid VERY handsomely to do - ignite the Third World War, which will then allow the destroyed nations to be remade Marshall Plan-style in the New World Order image planned for them by the corporofascists who are Bu$hCo.

And they'll all live happily ever after, blissfully ignorant of all the misery they caused to reach that position of Olympian luxury.

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pessimist :: 8:45 PM :: Comments (20) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!