Monday, July 31, 2006

The Mother of All Quagmires

The situations in Lebanon and Iraq continue to deteriorate. The two wars have become mutually destabilizing, and threaten to expand into a full-blown regional armed conflict, and the actions of the United States seem designed to guarantee that they do.

Iraqi leaders are condemning Israels attack on Qana, Lebanon that reportedly killed at least 56 civilians. Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi, a Shia, has accused Israel of carrying out "massacres." President Jalal Talabani, a Sunni Kurd, called the Qana attack a "crime" and also called for an immediate halt to the fighting. Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh, also a Sunni Kurd, said the events in Lebanon will "undoubtedly" impact Iraq.

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq's leading cleric, called for an immediate ceasefire as well and said, "Islamic nations will not forgive the entities that hinder a ceasefire." One of those nations, of course, is the one that's currently occupying al-Sistani's country.

Though Israel promised to halt air strikes for 48 hours, it resumed bombing in southern Lebanon on Monday. Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz told his parliament that "It's forbidden to agree to an immediate cease-fire" and "Israel will expand and strengthen its activities against the Hezbollah."

Condoleeza Rice, having failed to accomplish anything of substance during her piano concert tour of the Middle East is headed for home, which is just as well. If we'd wanted to a musician to broker a peace, we should have sent Bono.

But guess who's not coming home. 3,700 troops of the 172nd Stryker Brigade have been extended in the Iraq theater of war for another 120 days. On Friday, a Pentagon spokesman confirmed that U.S. troop levels increased last week from 127,000 to 132,000. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Iraqi has "agreed" to a joint US-Iraq military operation involving 75 thousand troops to regain control of Baghdad. Apparently, it's a concern in some circles that 75 thousand troops won't be enough to get the job done.

Uncle Bunker

The promise of a stable, democratized Middle East the neoconservatives made when they seduced America into supporting an invasion of Iraq has turned into the mother of all quagmires. It's tempting to dismiss the actions of the Bush administration as the fumbling of incompetent ideologues, but there's reason to suspect that things in the Middle East are going exactly as planned. This from Stephen Lendman of the San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center:
On July 26, Aljazeerah reported a story headlined - "Israeli invasion of Lebanon planned by neocons in June (2006)." It was done at a June 17 and 18 meeting at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) conference in Beaver Creek, Colorado at which former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Likud Knesset member Natan Sharansky met with US Vice President Dick Cheney. The purpose was to discuss the planned and impending Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) invasions of Gaza, the West Bank and Lebanon. Cheney was thoroughly briefed and approved the coming assaults--before Hamas' capture of an IDF soldier on June 25 or Hezbollah's capturing of two others in an exchange first reported as occurring in Israel and now believed to have happened inside Lebanon after IDF forces illegally entered the country.

Following the Colorado meeting, Netanyahu returned to Israel for a special "Ex-Prime Ministers" meeting in which he conveyed the message of US support to carry out the "Clean Break" policy officially ending all past peace accords including Oslo. At the meeting in Israel in addition to Binyamin Netanyahu were current Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and former Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Shimon Peres.

Okay. This comes to us from a liberal U.S. publication quoting information put out by a Muslim news service. But given what we've seen of the Bush administration so far, how far-fetched does the notion of Uncle Dick giving a thumbs-up for the Israelis to expand the scope of hostilities in the Middle East really seem?

Lendman also describes how the "Clean Break" policy intends to expand the scope of Middle Eastern armed conflict to Syria and Iran, something that jibes with the overtones of the Bush administration's rhetoric over the past weeks.

This Just In

Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert just announced that "there will be no ceasefire." There's no way of knowing whether Dick Cheney blessed this statement, but Cheney and Olmert sure have a lot in common. Both of these political leaders had "better things to do" in their youths than fight in their countries' wars, but they're enthusiastic about committing their countries' youths to a never-ending war now.

And frighteningly, there seems to be no way to stop them from doing it.


Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Read his commentaries at ePluribus Media and Pen and Sword.


  1. Anonymous4:53 PM


    With a friend like Israel, who needs enemies. Their penetration of the US government and legislature isn't even called espionage anymore, just doing business. Two of their soldiers were in Lebonese territory in violation of the prior cease-fire when captured, not kidnapped as reported by NY Pravda. Target civilian areas for air strikes Then shoot up a UN observation post and call it an accident.

    I am very surprised you Navy guys don't remember Israel's unprovoked attack on the USS Libery when the Israeli's were starting the Six Day War back in 67.

    This is Israeli foreign policy. Challenge it and you are an anti-semite and Holocust denier. Ask Juan Cole about being denied a position teaching at Yale.

    Buzz Meeks

    The GOP 'Murica's Fifth Column

  2. Anonymous4:54 PM

    Sorry about the typo on USS Liberty

    Buzz Meeks

  3. Anonymous6:20 PM

    the only thing holding up the us economy is defense spending

    us tide is turning against the war

    therefore the war must be expanded so we have "no choice"

    just keep servin up those embryos (uh i mean kids) we love to kill

    that's the real reason for the war on birth control and reproductive rights....gotta keep the slave and war machines fed.

    Welcome to the new Nazi Germany

  4. Buzz,

    I remember the Liberty all right.


    Springtime for Dubya, eh?

  5. Meribeth9:01 AM

    When Israel went into Lebanon, I thought "how convenient!" Iraq is/has fallen into mayhem, we want to nuke Iran, we don't want to leave our oil behind so that the real owner of it could sell it freely to whomever they chose, the polls are falling. Humm, and what would anchor us to that area more? Israel to the rescue. And all this over some kidnapped soldiers? I thought that being a soldier there were inherent risks involved like getting shot at, killed/wounded, kidnapped.

    Is this true? Don't know. But as you pointed out, considering the history of the most corrupt admin. I can think of, well, it falls right into what they have done before. And considering the way that they are using diplomacy (Ha!) it seems as if everyone is operating according to script.


  6. Meribeth,

    The Jerusalem Post today says US is urging Israel to attack Syria.

  7. Personally, I've always thought that "Liberty" would be a great name for a carrier.

  8. Anonymous2:30 PM

    Even Hezbollah doesn't claim, as you do, that the soldiers were kidnapped in Lebanon, they crossed the Blue Line. 100% of the UNSC agreed to this. Get your facts straight.

  9. Strawman alert!

    Where exactly do I claim that the soldiers were kidnapped in Lebanon?

    Go back to your handlers and come up with some better talking points, Anonymous.