News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Four Fronts At the Forefront of Armageddon

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Four Fronts At the Forefront of Armageddon

At the beginning of the year, I hypothesized that Israel and the US wanted to attack Iran to stop that country from developing nuclear weapons. At that time, I suggested that the Iraq war was simply a diversion from the objective to attack Iran.

As I have noted before, part of this plan was to take out Hizbullah in Lebanon. With its tens of thousands of ketyushah rockets and its close relationship to Iran, Hizbullah poses a threat to the flank of Israel should it and the US attack Iran.

Noted scholar Dr. Trita Parsi* is thinking along the same lines. He writes:

Israel has chosen to use Hezbollah’s action to launch a major sustained attack calculated to destroy or substantially weaken Hezbollah as well as much of Lebanon’s civilian infrastructure. The Israelis may have concluded that a US attack on Iranian nuclear facilities is inevitable or desirable and therefore they’ve decided to preempt an anticipated Hezbollah retaliatory attack.

When the present Israeli invasion of Lebanon, Steve Clemons hypothesized that Israel was attacking Hizbullah to do exactly this and to provoke the US into attacking Iran and Syria--perhaps from a perception that the US was dragging its feet in doing so, Given the fact that the US appears to have chosen diplomacy over war in its confrontation with Iran's nuclear program, Israel and its Neocon/Israel Lobby in the US feel that the US policy should take on more of an offensive position against Iran and Syria.

After the days that Iran trumpeted its success in producing minuscule amounts of processed plutonium, which is required for nuclear fission, the Bush administration began putting together a plan to attack this country. Because US troops are tied up in Iraq, the US is not seen as capable of a land invasion. One of the options on the table therefore, according to reporter Sy Hersh, was using nuclear weapons to disable Iranian military capabilities.

Recently, the Neocon press has become ever more vocal in pressing for expanding the so-called "war on terror" to include undermining, if not invading, Iran and Syria; that is, they have asserted that now is the time attack Iran and defeat them. Doing so will enable the US to stem the tide of what the neocons call Islamofascism and lay the groundwork for US hegemony in the region.

Now we learn that the effort to undermine Iran and Iraq might not be the quasi-conspiratorial scenario that it says it might be. That is, the US intelligence services are presently providing crucial data to the Israeli military in its invasion of Lebanon and attacks on Hizbullah.

According to a recent Salon report:
The National Security Agency is providing signal intelligence to Israel to monitor whether Syria and Iran are supplying new armaments to Hezbollah as it fires hundreds of missiles into northern Israel, according to a national security official with direct knowledge of the operation. President Bush has approved the secret program.

Inside the administration, neoconservatives on Vice President Dick Cheney's national security staff and Elliott Abrams, the neoconservative senior director for the Near East on the National Security Council, are prime movers behind sharing NSA intelligence with Israel, and they have discussed Syrian and Iranian supply activities as a potential pretext for Israeli bombing of both countries, the source privy to conversations about the program says. (Intelligence, including that gathered by the NSA, has been provided to Israel in the past for various purposes.) The neoconservatives are described as enthusiastic about the possibility of using NSA intelligence as a lever to widen the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah and Israel and Hamas into a four-front war.
Update 1 According to Daniel Levy, writing in Haaretz:
Disentangling Israeli interests from the rubble of neocon "creative destruction" in the Middle East has become an urgent challenge for Israeli policy-makers. An America that seeks to reshape the region through an unsophisticated mixture of bombs and ballots, devoid of local contextual understanding, alliance-building or redressing of grievances, ultimately undermines both itself and Israel. The sight this week of Secretary of State Rice homeward bound, unable to touch down in any Arab capital, should have a sobering effect in Washington and Jerusalem.
Update 2 Tony Karon provides more detailed analysis of this teme, following neocon Charles Krauthammer's article. Karon writes:
The U.S.-Israel relationship under the current administration, then, is a blank check only to the extent that Israel is willing to go to war to realize a neo-con Likudnik fantasy.

Israelis have typically unleashed the dogs of war while expecting the U.S. to apply the brakes and walk it away from the precipice. Instead, they have found this administration baying for more.
* According to Juan Cole, Triti is uniquely positioned to make such sweeping statements: Triti is "one of the few people in the US - if not the only one - that has traveled both to Iran and Israel and interviewed top officials in these countries on the state of Israeli-Iranian relations. He has conducted more than 110 interviews with senior Israeli, Iranian and American officials in all three countries. He is fluent in Persian/Farsi."

Related Links

No comments: