Hard Rain Journal 7-19-06: Neo-Con Fingerprints on the Israeli Offensive in Lebanon, Meanwhile in Afghanistan...
By Richard Power
Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, bemoans the fact that Salman Rushdie was not killed. I have no problem undersanding the danger of Hezbollah. But it is Canadians that are being killed in Lebanon now, as well as many innocent Lebanese who had been busy building a true democracy worthy of their beautiful country. Israel has a right to defend itself. But how will Israel defend itself against the enemy within -- i.e., against the neo-con cabal? Those who try to understand the terrible turn of events in the Middle East without looking at it within the framework of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) (i.e., the Bush-Cheney neo-con cabal's published aim to launch serial military adventures throughout the Middle East) are deluding themselves. Those news analysts and reporters who do not raise the issue of the PNAC agenda in their commentary and reporting on the unfolding events are doing a great disservice to the US electorate, to the Israelis, and to the people of the world. The PNAC aims, although wholly ignored in White House press briefings and on network and cabal newscasts, are publicly available and ascribed to by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Woefullwits, Gingrich and the others.
Here is some important analysis from Robert Dreyfus, posted at www.tompaine.com:
The key question: Is the Israeli offensive designed as a calculated effort to catapult the hard-right, neoconservative ideologues back to power in Washington?....For the past year or so, the Pollyannas amid the chattering classes have told us that the neoconservatives’ moment has passed, and that the adults are back in control in the nation’s capital. What they forgot—and what Israel’s criminal attacks on Gaza and Lebanon have reminded us—is that the neoconservative war party is global, not domestic. Outflanked, temporarily, in the United States, the neocons are now flexing their muscle outside the United States in a way that can give them added new leverage at home.
Let’s analyze the current crisis, piece by piece.
First, Israel’s actions in no way can be seen as a legitimate response to the small-scale attacks from Hamas and Hezbollah. Instead, what Israel has done has used the pretext of those pin-prick attacks—a couple of border raids and a handful of errant rockets—to launch a strategic attack whose goals are to crush Hamas and the remaining institutions of Palestinian self-rule and decapitate and destroy Hezbollah politically and militarily in Lebanon.
Second, it’s clear that Israel would never have launched this war without having made the calculation that it would win the support of the United States. The rest of the world is solidly aligned against Israel’s outrageously disproportionate attacks, but none of that matters....
Third, by invading and bombing Lebanon and acting brutally to crush the Palestinian Authority, Israel has created a unified field theory of the Middle East’s crises, uniting the escalating world showdown with Iran, the unraveling civil war in Iraq, the crisis over Syria’s role in Lebanon, and the Arab-Israeli conflict itself into one big tangle....
A sane U.S. policy would (1) exert backbreaking pressure on Israel to halt its attacks; (2) open a dialogue with Iran and Syria about containing Hezbollah and Hamas; (3) take drastic steps to stop the Iraqi civil war by making across-the-board concessions to Iraq’s Sunnis and forcing the Shiites to swallow it, while starting a phased U.S. withdrawal; and (4) get the White House directly involved in the Israel-Palestine peace process as if their lives depended on it.
But Israel, and its neoconservative allies, are counting on none of that to happen. Instead, they’ve gambled that in each case President Bush will fall back under the spell of Dick Cheney and the neocons, and do precisely the opposite....
Make no mistake: Until last week, before Israel went to war, the neoconservatives were losing across the board. They watched in horror as the war in Iraq faltered, and they were appalled by President Bush’s Condi-led opening to Iran. Indeed, to many it seemed as if the entire post-9/11 project to remake the Middle East and build American hegemony on that cornerstone was in jeopardy.
Robert Dreyfuss, Neocons Rise From Mideast Ashes, Tom Paine, 7-17-08
Meanwhile, in Afghanistan...
A sudden lull in the Taliban's activities has surprised the thousands of coalition forces that were sent to Kandahar and other parts of southwestern Afghanistan to patrol the deserts and the populated areas in the scorching heat...A Taliban contact told Asia Times Online that the development was a "break" as commanders had been told to call off their forces until further orders. The thinking is that the unrest in the Middle East will generate a new wave of fury among Afghans against Israel and its backer, the United States. The Taliban will then renew their efforts, bolstered by increased support on the ground among the Afghan population....
Political and religious rhetoric apart, there are other reasons to turn popular sentiment in Afghanistan against the alliance between President Hamid Karzai and the US. Foremost is the drought in southwestern Afghanistan....The drought has caused a massive displacement of people to areas where they can find food and water. The issue is generally perceived as mismanagement on the part of the government, which has failed to meet the food requirements of the masses. Taliban sources anticipate that this discontent can be harnessed once the "break" is over in a few weeks, and the offensive will be resumed, including suicide attacks in Kabul against US forces. "At this time the Taliban will awaken their network of over 300,000 men who were part of their army and police during their rule [1996-2001], and a mass mobilization movement should be in place in the urban centers of Afghanistan....
"The storm after the lull will be stronger than all previous Taliban military campaigns and Afghanistan will soon again be the center of world attention," the sources said.
Syed Saleem Shahzad, Taliban pause for fresh breath, Asia Times, 7-19-06
Hard Rain Journal 7-17-06: Middle East Update -- Voices of Reason From Within The Whirlwind
Hard Rain Journal 6-15-06: Foreign Affairs survey of 100 US policy leaders grades Bush-Cheney "failed" at 1.8 out of 10
Hard Rain Journal 6-14-06: Wrongly Premised “War on Terrorism” has Increased Danger from Terrorism, and Ignored Greater Risks
Words of Power #23: A Reality Check, What A Real World War on Terrorism Would Look Like, and a US Mid-Term Election Strategy
Words of Power #21: Judith Miller, Ken Lay, Florida, 9/11 and The Return of The Forbidden Truths?
GS3 Intelligence Special Supplement (2-4-06): Iran, Hamas, Islamic Fundamentalism, Terrorism, Geopolitical Hegemony, The Great Game & Danish Cartoons
Richard Power is the founder of GS(3) Intelligence and http://www.wordsofpower.net. His work focuses on the inter-related issues of security, sustainability and spirit, and how to overcome the challenges of terrorism, cyber crime, global warming, health emergencies, natural disasters, etc. You can reach him via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, go to www.wordsofpower.net
Robert Dreyfus, Israel, Lebanon, Bush, Newt Gingrich, Hezbollah, Geopolitics, Middle East, Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, Taliban, Terrorism, PNAC, Project for New American Century, Canada,