Saturday, February 26, 2005

Reoccupation of southern Lebanon

I'm wondering, with all the talk of an American-Israeli attack on Iran, whether we are being misdirected. After all, the Americans are hardly likely to tip their hand, if for no other reason that having insider knowledge of the next American victim gives the possessors of such knowledge a way to make money. I wouldn't be shocked to see the next attack made on a surprising and somewhat easier target, sort of a neocon palate-cleanser between feastings on the blood of innocent civilians. What about Zimbabwe? It's on the list of evildoers, it would be easy to knock over with relatively few civilian casualties, Bob Mugabe seems to have lost his marbles, no one would complain much, and the United States could gain some much-needed credibility by providing some form of 'democracy' and 'freedom'. Not to mention that the whole county is loaded with minerals for the Bush-Cheney crime syndicate to steal. The whole debacle of Mark Thatcher may have slowed them up, but Zimbabwe would be perfect while waiting for the next big target to be lined up.

So what is the next big target? Scott Ritter says Iran, in June. Ritter was right in everything he wrote about Iraq, so he has a great deal of credibility. I wonder. The Americans could certainly bomb Iran - air out some of those new bunker-busting nukes! - but even the neocons must realize that such an attack would only solidify, and enrage, the current Iranian leadership, which would seek revenge by making Iraq even more of a mess than it is today. 'Regime change' would require hundreds of thousands of troops on the ground - Iran will be a much more formidable target than the heavily weakened, and much smaller, Iraq - and the Americans simply don't got 'em. They've been quietly removing troops from Iraq, and have pulled back the tsunami troops, but in the absence of a draft they can't fight a proper war in Iran. If Iran is not the target, who is?

What if Iran is a ruse to provide an excuse for the real target? We've seen some odd things in recent weeks:

  1. Israel agreeing to move parts of the wall closer to where it should have been in the first place, and talking seriously about removing some of the more remote settlements.

  2. Israel taking steps, in clear contravention of the 'roadmap', to establish permanent ownership of the settlement blocks closest to the Green Line, and in particular around Jerusalem.

  3. Both Rice and Bush stating that Israel will have to make some concessions. Bush's European speech called on Israel to:

    "freeze settlement activity, help Palestinians build a thriving economy and ensure that a new Palestinian state is truly viable, with contiguous territory on the West Bank. A state of scattered territories will not work."

    (has hell frozen over?)

  4. Sharon musing that recent Israeli moves will require some corresponding movements of the border in favor of the Palestinians.

  5. The assassination of Hariri (this article by Patrick Seale is amazingly forthright in casting blame).

  6. The American-sponsored 'Orange Revolution' in Lebanon, part of the ongoing American plan to use manipulated calls for democracy to achieve American colonial goals.

  7. Instability in the clearly spooked Syrian leadership, who know that they've been had with the assassination of Hariri, with accompanying promises to begin to move Syrian troops out of Lebanon.

  8. A rare suicide bomber in Tel Aviv, immediately blamed on Hezbollah in Lebanon (although Hezbollah denies having anything to do with it).

Whatever can it all mean?

What if the real goal was to force Syrian troops out of Lebanon, in order to allow Israel to reoccupy southern Lebanon on the excuse that it is acting in self-defense - the usual Israeli excuse - from attacks on it from Iran-sponsored Hezbollah? The argument would be that Iran is using Hezbollah as its proxy to gain revenge on the United States and Israel for all the pressure being put on Iran over its nuclear program. Iran, itself, would be left for a later date when the Americans have more troops. Sharon, whose biggest personal embarrassment remains southern Lebanon, could go out a hero having recaptured the lands Israel had to so ignominiously abandon. Israel covets not only the land, but its water supply. The border adjustments for the Palestinians could be taken care of much more comfortably with Israel in control of all the new land in Lebanon. This land would be the treat offered by Rice to Sharon in return for the temporary concessions required to lure the Palestinians into their concentration camps, and would constitute a fine extension to the Project of building Greater Israel. As an additional bonus, relations with Syria would be so terrible that Israel would no longer have to worry about negotiations to return the Golan Heights. With this massive blow to Syrian prestige, the Syrian government may blow up on its own, and in any event would pose no immediate threat requiring another immediate American attack. That can wait for later.