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WHO'S IN CHARGE HERE?
Magpie is a former journalist, attempted historian [No, you can't ask how her thesis is going], and full-time corvid of the lesbian persuasion. She keeps herself in birdseed by writing those bad computer manuals that you toss out without bothering to read them. She also blogs too much when she's not on deadline, both here and at Pacific Views.

Magpie roosts in Portland, Oregon, where she annoys her housemates (as well as her cats Medea, Whiskers, and Jane Doe) by attempting to play Irish music on the fiddle and concertina.

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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Is the war in Lebanon just a dry run for a US attack on Iran?

It's no surprise to this magpie that Larisa Alexandrovna thinks so. Over the past year at Raw Story, she's been warning about a slide toward a US-Iran war for months now. In her current AlterNet piece, Alexandrovna suggests that such a war is no longer a possibility — it's almost dead-certain:

When I was told that Israel had begun a military strike on Lebanon, for me there was no question: This was the trigger. Just prior to Israel's bombing of Lebanon, I got a call from a friend in the military who told me about two Israeli troops being kidnapped across the border into Lebanon. My first question was, "Do they say it is Hezbollah?" and of course we know now that it was. But when my friend answered that it was indeed Hezbollah, I knew that Israel -- for whatever reason -- had become a proxy U.S. war machine for Dick Cheney's madness of regime change in Iran.

My friend said not to worry, that the soldiers would be exchanged for Hezbollah prisoners in Israel. I knew this not to be the case, and I said that this will be full military action, full war, with many casualties. My friend thought I was overreacting.

Yet there is a full war and full military action, and it is not by accident. It is also exactly on time to be the trigger. But this will not be the worst of it, because Syria will be drawn in; it has to be, and then Iran. This is the strategy that was feared and that is now being played out across the Middle East.

This is a strategy long wanted by the far right and people like Dick Cheney, and this is a strategy that was long in the planning. Even as we began military operations in Iraq, Iran was the subject of all major military discussions. And yet when Israel became engaged in military operations against Lebanon, the entire world failed to understand the true nature of this conflict and the real issues behind it. Israel is a client-state of the United States and, as such, it will do as it is told.

For Israel to act so harshly and so carelessly, putting its entire nation in jeopardy and with world support failing, one can only imagine the pressure that the Cheney "cabal" used to push for such an event.

The US 'mainstream' press has consistently put little credence in warnings like Alexandrovna's. (Seymour Hersh's New Yorker articles on US plans for an attack on Iran are the notable exception.) That's why I was so surprised to this piece in Newsweek's online version, in which Michael Hirsh suggests that, as early as this fall, the proxy war between the US and Iran currently going on in Lebanon is very likely expand into a 'real' war. The excuse for a US attack on Iran, says Hirsh, is the danger to Israel's security posed by Iran's nuclear program.

[H]ardliners in both Jerusalem and Washington are increasingly skeptical that diplomacy can work. There is also an unnerving tendency in the Bush administration to identify Israel's interests with America's, which is endangering Washington's position with whatever friends among Islamic moderates it once had. Despite leeriness about a military strike option, both the Israel and American militaries have been preparing for it. Washington has been selling bunker-busting BLU-109 bombs to the Jewish state while the Pentagon updates its own target lists. Israeli officials are also galvanized by a new sense of vulnerability to the rogue missiles exposed by Hizbullah's successful evasion of the Israeli air force. "We have seen a lot of proliferation by Iran to Hizbullah," said the Israeli official. "Take the C-802 missiles, one of the best surface-to-sea missiles in the world. China sold them to Iran. Then Iran violated its contract commitments to China and transferred them to a third party. We didn't even know this weapon existed in the Third World. So what else are they transferring?"

Let's not forget that America's timetable for confronting Iran has always been driven, in part, by Israel's own. Vice President Dick Cheney declared more than 18 months ago that Iran was at the top of the list of "the world's potential trouble spots" and cited a possible Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear sites as a reason.

Are you scared yet? I am.

| | Posted by Magpie at 8:41 AM | Get permalink




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