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Topic: We're Letting Crackpots Lead Us Right Toward Armegeddon

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  1. #1
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    We're Letting Crackpots Lead Us Right Toward Armegeddon

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    Published on Tuesday, July 18, 2006 by the Inter Press Service
    Energised Neo-Cons Say Israel's Fight is Washington's
    by Jim Lobe

    WASHINGTON - Seeing a major opportunity to regain influence lost as a result of setbacks in Iraq, prominent neo-conservatives are calling for unconditional U.S. support for Israel's military offensives in Gaza and Lebanon and "regime change" in Syria and Iran, as well as possible U.S. attacks on Tehran's nuclear facilities in retaliation for its support of Hezbollah.

    In a Weekly Standard column entitled "Our War", editor William Kristol Sunday called Iran "the prime mover behind the terrorist groups who have started this war" which, he argued, should be considered part of "the global struggle against radical Islamism."

    He complained that Washington recently has done a "poor job of standing up and weakening Syria and Iran" and called on President George W. Bush himself to fly directly from the "silly (Group of Eight) summit in St. Petersburg... to Jerusalem, the capital of a nation that stands with us, and is willing to fight with us, against our common enemies."

    "This is our war, too," according to Kristol, who is also a founder and co-chairman of the recently lapsed Project for the New American Century (PNAC).

    "All of us in the free world owe Israel an enormous thank-you for defending freedom, democracy, and security against the Iranian cat's-paw wholly-owned terrorist subsidiaries Hezbollah and Hamas," echoed Larry Kudlow, a neo-conservative commentator, at the Standard's right-wing competitor, The National Review.

    "They are defending their own homeland and very existence, but they are also defending America's homeland as our frontline democratic ally in the Middle East," according to Kudlow who, like Kristol and other like-minded polemicists, also named Syria, "which is also directed by Iran", as a promising target as the conflict expands.

    The two columns are just the latest examples of a slew of commentaries that have appeared in U.S. print and broadcast media since Israel began bombing targets in Lebanon in retaliation for Hezbollah's fatal cross-border attack last Wednesday. They appear to be part of a deliberate campaign by neo-conservatives and some of their right-wing supporters to depict the current conflict as part of global struggle pitting Israel, as the forward base of western civilisation, against Islamist extremism organised and directed by Iran and its junior partner, Syria.

    This view was perhaps most dramatically expressed by former Republican Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, in an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday when he described the conflict as "the early stages of... the Third World War."

    The effort to frame the current round of violence as part of a much larger struggle -- and Israel's role as Washington's most loyal front-line ally -- recalls the neo-conservatives' early reaction to the Sep. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon.

    Just nine days after 9/11, Kristol and PNAC -- whose charter members included Vice President Dick Cheney, Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld, and half a dozen other senior Bush administration officials -- released an open letter to Bush that called for the U.S. to retaliate not only against al Qaeda and Afghanistan, but also against Israel's main regional foes, beginning with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) chairman Yassir Arafat.

    In addition, the letter advised, "any war against terrorism must target Hezbollah. We believe that the administration should demand that Iran and Syria immediately cease all military, financial, and political support for Hezbollah and its operations. Should Iran and Syria refuse to comply, the administration should consider appropriate measures of retaliation against these state sponsors of terrorism."

    "Israel has been and remains America's staunchest ally against international terrorism, especially in the Middle East," the letter asserted. "The United States should fully support our fellow democracy in its fight against terrorism."

    While the Iraqi and Palestinian components of PNAC's agenda were soon adopted as policy and essentially achieved, neo-conservative hopes that Bush would move on Hezbollah -- as well as Syria and Iran -- eventually stalled as U.S. military forces became bogged down in an increasingly bloody and costly counter-insurgency war in Iraq.

    As the situation in Iraq worsened, neo-conservative influence in and on the administration also declined to the benefit of "realists" based primarily in the State Department who favoured a less aggressive policy designed to secure Damascus' and Tehran's cooperation in stabilising Iraq and strengthen the elected Lebanese government of which Hezbollah was made a part.

    In that context, the current conflict represents a golden opportunity for the neo-conservatives to reassert their influence and reactivate their Israel-centred agenda against Hezbollah and its two state sponsors.

    "Iran's Proxy War" blazed the cover of this week's Standard, which also featured no less than three other articles, besides Kristol's editorial, underlining Iran's sponsorship of Hezbollah and Hamas and the necessity of the U.S. standing with Israel, if not taking independent action against Tehran and/or Damascus as recommended by Kristol himself.

    A major theme of the new campaign is that the more-conciliatory "realist" policies toward Syria and Iran pursued by the State Department have actually backfired by making Washington look weak.

    "They are now testing us more boldly than one would have thought possible a few years ago," wrote Kristol. "Weakness is provocative. We have been too weak, and have allowed ourselves to be perceived as weak," he went on, adding that, "(T)he right response is renewed strength," notably "in pursuing regime change in Syria and Iran (and) consider(ing) countering this act of Iranian aggression with a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities."

    The notion that U.S. policy in the region has become far too flaccid and accommodating is echoed by a number of other neo-conservatives, particularly Michael Rubin, a prolific analyst at the hard-line American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and protégé of Cheney confidante, former Defence Policy Board chairman Richard Perle.

    In a companion Standard article, Rubin qualified recent State Department policy as "All talk and no strategy" that had emboldened enemies, especially Iran, to challenge Washington and its allies.

    In another article for the National Review Monday, bluntly titled "Eradication First", elaborated on that theme, arguing diplomacy in the current crisis will only be successful "if it commences both after the eradication of Hezbollah and Hamas, and after their paymasters pay a terrible cost for their support."

    "If... peace is the aim, it is imperative to punish the Syrian and Iranian leadership," he wrote.

    Above all, according to the neo-conservatives, the U.S. position in the region is now inextricably tied to the success or failure of Israel's military campaign.

    In yet another Standard article, titled "The Rogues Strike Back: Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah vs. Israel", Robert Satloff, executive director of the hawkish, pro-Israel Washington Institute for Near East Policy, argued that "defeat for Israel -- either on the battlefield or via coerced compromises to achieve flawed ceasefires -- is a defeat for U.S. interests; it will inspire radicals of every stripe, release Iran and Syria to spread more mayhem inside Iraq, and make more likely our own eventual confrontation with this emboldened alliance of extremists."
    Copyright © 2006 IPS-Inter Press Service

  2. #2

    Re: We're Letting Crackpots Lead Us Right Toward Armegeddon

    As long as the U.S. can still have its reality TV and fast food, I think most people will pretty much ignore WW III anyway.
    "They get what they vote for." PaulR

  3. #3

    Re: We're Letting Crackpots Lead Us Right Toward Armegeddon

    Quote Originally Posted by Danimal
    As long as the U.S. can still have its reality TV and fast food, I think most people will pretty much ignore WW III anyway.
    LOL at first... then i say sade but true. And i think it says a lot about our scociaty.

    Thanks for posting runamuck, i wish i could say I'm surprise, but I'm not . These neocons are...

    Let's see...hummm? who's gonna win that fight? And let's not forget that in this case ''the price is right? takes a all new meaning... I mean Iran has the biggest oil reserve in the world right?(If i remember correctly). Oup! There it is again ''oil'' hummm, is it just me or...Naaah!! But i wonder who's gonna get those oil drilling contract? hummm, my money is on the guy who shut the old man in the face 70% and what? 25% Brithish petrolium BP, and maybe 5% to the canadians this time?..NaaaH the canadians will be just as happy sitting there watching the price of gasoline go up, because we have plenty of oil in our country and 250 000 000 Americans willing to buy it so there's no need to conquer other country... And you know what the guy says ''if your not with us, you're against us''. But I'm sure that my country ''Canada'' will be part of the war effort because we have a new conservative goverment now, that's right. And he speaks the bush language fluently...he says things like: We approve Israel mesured response to the 2 soldier who were kidnap.., Things like: when a Canadian soldier dies we no longuer lower the flag..., the media can no longer show pictures of Dead soldier killed in Afganistan. And he also like to be seen weiring millitary uniform surrounded by soldiers...And he's from the ouest connected to the oil industry. Oup! there it is again. And like George, he looks like a ''little'' boy who wants to play tough.

    Back to topic, i wonder if they would be so willing to pick up a fight against...let say China! of corse it's much easyer whent you can pickup your opponent and when you ''know'' you're gonna win . because let's face it, those country don't stand a chance in that conflict.

    I wonder how many casualties we are facing this time? Let's see, we have about 200 000 iraky dead in Irak...I'd say we're facing at least 500 000 dead in Iran and what? 500 allies? WOW! That sounds like a good deal! Let's do it!
    Of course those number will go up, because we all know that occupying a country is much harder than conqering it. But let's not worry about these little things. Let's keep it light, we wouldn't want to see that thread deleted for at least a couple of pages, right?

    Geronimo.

  4. #4
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    Re: We're Letting Crackpots Lead Us Right Toward Armegeddon

    Quote Originally Posted by Danimal
    As long as the U.S. can still have its reality TV and fast food, I think most people will pretty much ignore WW III anyway.
    I doubt it. WWIII will come home to you. Remember a recent attack on some towers in Manhattan, anyone?

  5. #5
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    Re: We're Letting Crackpots Lead Us Right Toward Armegeddon

    I'm not sure that too many people take William Kristol seriously (surely).
    But I read Newt Ginrich’s comments today. I’m really shocked. I thought he would have picked up some clues from how the failure of their naive Iraq policy to spread democracy in the ME, and how it has affected the risk to us all from terrorism. And now he is talking about regime change in Iran and Syria.

    There appears to be a fundamental ignorance or blind spot in what he is saying. He talks about the terrorists as if they are a nation that can be attacked and defeated, like Cuba if they started firing missiles across the water.

    First of all, the idea of the US precipitating regime change in Iran is bonkers. Furthermore, this is a huge nation, huge, full of motivated fanatics and others open to fanaticisisation (is that a word?); changing the Government is not going to eliminate support for Hezbollah, and may well increase it.

    Secondly, neo-cons don’t seem to understand the terrorist’s MO. The primary objectives of terrorist attacks is not to kill a few people in a shopping mall, or even to pressurise their enemy into meeting their demands: they know Israel is never going to give in to terrorism. No, the object of each action is to provoke a military reaction, the bigger the better, causing plenty of collateral damage, in order to swing the public behind them: that’s what makes them powerful, that is how they established themselves as relevant bodies in the first place, as I said in the other thread. It’s a battle for the hearts and minds of their compatriots and Arabs and Muslims everywhere. Ordinary people are turned into terrorists. With a bit of extra bloody slaughter from the enemy they can even swing opinion amongst the public in the West. Israel is playing right into their hands.

    When, does Ginrich think, was the last time terrorism was defeated by military action instead of making it worse?

  6. #6

    Re: We're Letting Crackpots Lead Us Right Toward Armegeddon

    I'm not sure that too many people take William Kristol seriously (surely).
    Well, compare the list of people who were in the PNAC to the list of people making foreign policy decisions in our current administration. I know that Kristol spoke out against Rumsfeld fairly recently (not knowing that our president is The Decider), but in general I think a lot of people take Kristol very seriously.

    As I've said many times, the voting public is blissfully unaware of how radical the administration they've put in is (voting fraud questions notwithstanding).

  7. #7
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    Re: We're Letting Crackpots Lead Us Right Toward Armegeddon

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Batzdorf
    As I've said many times, the voting public is blissfully unaware of how radical the administration they've put in is (voting fraud questions notwithstanding).
    Yah but "radical" in Western Government is still kinda sissy compared to Islam Fundamentalist types. But Kristol's rhetoric is no less radical than that of Iran and Hizbullah

  8. #8

    Re: We're Letting Crackpots Lead Us Right Toward Armegeddon

    Quote Originally Posted by Ernstinen
    I heard a real smart political scientist the other day say that this policy is really a "reverse domino effect."
    "Real smart", eh? Wuz hiz grammer az real good az yorn?

  9. #9

    Re: We're Letting Crackpots Lead Us Right Toward Armegeddon

    The PNAC's rhetoric was just as radical as that, Beckers! Every bit as radical!

    And it's all government policy now.

    Whether his latest is the same as the current thinking I don't know, but it wouldn't surprise me.

  10. #10

    Re: We're Letting Crackpots Lead Us Right Toward Armegeddon

    Quote Originally Posted by Beckers
    I doubt it. WWIII will come home to you. Remember a recent attack on some towers in Manhattan, anyone?
    Well regarding this, see my last thread tittle ''just a little slip...'' and tell me what you think....and tell me if it's radical enought for you.

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