Nasty stuff, via Joshua Micah Marshall:
There's a mix of public and private communications going on between Jerusalem and Damascus. Israel is trying to assure Damascus that they don't plan or want to expand the war to include Syria. Syria is clearly worried that they will and has their troops on full alert. Israel is also warning in no uncertain terms that Syria getting involved will spark massive retaliation.From that second URL above, a Ha'aretz article:
But there are persistent signs that the US is egging Israel on to bring the war to Damascus.
Here's a clip from the end of an article today in the Jerusalem Post ...[Israeli]Defense officials told the Post last week that they were receiving indications from the United States that the US would be interested in seeing Israel attack Syria.And there are other ominous indications of the US pressing for expansion the Israelis don't seem to want.
There's more here than the US not wanting a ceasefire before meaningful changes on the ground have happened in south Lebanon. Or at least I fear there is.
In the middle of the week, a close personal friend of U.S. President George Bush, who is also a generous donor to the Republican Party, called an Israeli friend who is a senior officer in the Israel Defense Forces. "What's happening with you?" he asked, as angry as he was disappointed. "The best army in the region, one of the best armies in the world, is messing for two weeks with a terrorist organization three kilometers from the border, and the rockets keep falling on its population centers? We sent our army to bleed 6,000 miles from home after September 11. What's stopping you?"Like Josh says, the neo-cons see this whole thing as "an opportunity for a grand call of double or nothing to get out of the disaster they've created in the region":
Go into Syria, maybe Iran. Try to roll the table once and for all. No failed war that a new war can't solve.And lest you think these failed neocons and their 29% President don't have the political capital for such a bold move, it's worth noting just why the recent Doha round of world trade talk failed:
In the hotly contested congressional elections in November, the Midwestern farming states could determine whether or not the U.S. Congress will remain under Republican control, and Karl Rove was not willing to let anything get in the way of continuing GOP dominance.These ideologues still wield massive power and - unfortunately - they are foolish enough to use it. But I am having an increasingly difficult time understanding what their ultimate goal nowadays in the Middle East really is: recent history shows that, given a democratic vote, people in the region will vote for anti-US governments. So they will overthrow the governments of Syria and Iran and... what? Install Afghan/Iraq style puppet administrations? These are not faring to well, are they? On the other hand, Bush seems blind to reality and actually thinks Iraq is still going to be a model of success. So maybe that IS still their logic, ridiculous as it seems.
U.S. intransigence may well go beyond electoral considerations. It reflects Washington's unilateralist thrust since George W. Bush came to power in 2001. Like its refusal to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, the U.S. refusal to substantially cut its agricultural subsidies reflects a strategy of making others, including traditional allies, bear the costs of necessary adjustments in the global economy. Last Monday's unraveling of the Doha Round, in this view, was the death knell of multilateralism.