Monday, July 24, 2006

Bedtime Story For Grown Ups

The following was grabbed as part of a goosebump inducing article by historian Juan Cole on his Informed Consent website. Read it under the covers with a flashlight and your teddy bear.
"...The Israeli military proceeded methodically and systematically to destroy Lebanon's infrastructure, and clearly had been casing targets for some time. The vast majority of these targets were unrelated to Hizbullah. But since the northern Sunni port of Tripoli could theoretically be used by Syria or Iran to offload replacement rockets that could be transported by truck down south to Hizbullah, the Israelis hit it. And then they hit some trucks to let truck drivers know to stay home for a while.

That is why I was so shaken by George W. Bush's overheard conversation with Tony Blair about the war. He clearly thought that it broke out because Syria used Hizbullah to create a provocation. The President of the United States did not know that this war was a long-planned Israeli war of choice.

Why is that scary? Because the Israeli planning had to have been done in conjunction with Donald Rumsfeld at the US Department of Defense. The US Department of Defense is committed to rapidly re-arming Israel and providing it precision laser-guided weaponry, and to giving it time to substantially degrade Hizbullah's missile capabilities. The two are partners in the war effort.

For the Bush administration, Iran and Hizbullah are not existential threats. They are proximate threats. Iran is hostile to US corporate investment in the oil-rich Gulf,, and so is a big obstacle to American profit-making in the region. Rumsfeld is worried about Iran's admission as an observer to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which is to say, that he is worried about a budding Chinese-Islamic axis that might lock up petroleum reserves and block US investments. If Chinese economic and military growth make it the most significant potential challenger to the Sole Superpower in the coming century, a Chinese alliance with the oil-rich Muslim regions, including Iran, would be even more formidable. The Shanghai group has already pulled off one coup against Rumsfeld, successfully convincing Uzbekistan to end US basing rights in that country.

Rumsfeld also believes, contrary to all available evidence, that Iran is actively destabilizing Iraq and is conniving with Syria and Hezbollah to do so.

[snip]...Clearly, if one could get rid of Iran and Hezbollah, in Rumsfeld World, Iraq is much more likely to turn out a delayed success than an absolute disaster. And then the stalled-out rush to Bush's vision of "democracy" (i.e. Big Private Property) in the region could proceed. In fact, the instability in Iraq mainly comes from Sunni Arab guerrillas, who hate Iran and it is mutual.

The Bush administration's perceived economic and geopolitical interests thus overlap strongly with Israel's perceived security interests, with both benefitting from an Israeli destruction of Hizbullah. It is not impossible that the US Pentagon urged the Israelis on in this endeavor. They certainly knew about and approved of the plan..."

Read the entire artice.


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