[Israeli] Defense officials told the Post last week that they were receiving indications from the US that America would be interested in seeing Israel attack Syria.
Did they get those indications before or after Condoleezza Rice gave her piano recital at the annual Association of Southeast Asian Nations dinner in Kuala Lumpur? If this is true, it sure goes a long way in explaining why the U.S. refuses to call for an immediate cease-fire.
Last week, at a press conference with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, young Mister Bush said, "My message to Syria is: Become an active participant in the neighborhood for peace."
What kind of game is being played here?
In recent years, The Jerusalem Post has been considered a conservative paper and has supported Israel's right-wing Likud party. It's not unimaginable that Israeli Defense officials would use a conservative leaning media outlet to sound an "official unofficial" leak. And the leak could be a piece of disinformation, or it could be true. Given the Bush administration's tactical track record, this could have been a Rovewellian caper designed to put a scare on Syria.
Whatever the case, the word is out, and if it's in The Jerusalem Post it's on the Muslim street. Whether the assertion is true or not, it's highly believable, and the reaction is what anyone might expect.
English Aljazeera reports that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad announced Monday that his army has taken an increased state of readiness.
As Steven Leser of OpEdNews.com says, "The game of brinksmanship going on in the Middle East right now defies any semblance of logic." For all appearances, the aim of U.S. "diplomatic" efforts is to goad Syria and Iran into a full-scale regional war, and the Bush administration is doing nothing to change that perception to the contrary. Weekly Standard publisher and founder of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) Bill Kristol has called for the U.S. to use the Israel-Hezbollah conflict as an excuse to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities. Two weeks ago on Fox News, Kristol predicted that the people of Iran would embrace "the right use of targeted military force." This sounds eerily like Kristol's crony and fellow PNACer Dick Cheney said about the Iraqis greeting us as "liberators."
James Zogby, founder and president of the Arab American Institute, describes the administration's present handling of the Middle East situation as "criminal negligence." I'll agree with the "criminal" part. I'm not so sure the administration is being "negligent" though.
Despite the background chatter about a falling out within the neoconservative cabal, the core group is still hanging together. The likes of Newt Gingrich, Richard Perle and Dick Cheney still wield power and influence over the Bush administration, and there's little question that they'd like to see the U.S. take military action against Iran.
Rumors continue to spread that Cheney "approved" Israel's operation against Lebanon in a mid-June meeting with former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Likud Knesset member Natan Sharansky at an American Enterprise Institute conference in Colorado. The source of this story appears to have been a July 26 Aljazeera story titled "Israeli invasion of Lebanon planned by neocons in June (2006)," but that story seems to have been removed from the Aljazeera web site.
This Just In
Javad Zarif, Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, has rejected the Security Council resolution calling for Iran to suspend its nuclear activities. Zarif continued to insist that Iran only wants nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. "Mr President, the people and the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran are determined to exercise the inalienable right to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, and to build on their own scientific advances in developing various peaceful aspects of this technology," he said.
To date, no one has produced a shred of tangible evidence that Zarif isn't telling the truth about his country's peaceful nuclear intentions, or tried to refute his assertion that Iran has an "inalienable right" to develop its own nuclear energy program (it's guaranteed in Article IV of the UN Nonproliferation Treaty).
But that makes no never mind to the likes of Bill Kristol, Dick Cheney, Richard Perle, John Bolton, and the rest of the crowd that suckered us into invading Iraq. Incredibly, they're pulling the same neocon job on us again, most of us can see it coming, and none of us can do a whole lot about it.
Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Read his commentaries at ePluribus Media and Pen and Sword.