4.8.06

Israel and the U.S. are losing the Three-Front War

Dar Al Hayat:

In a word of wise advice to pig-headed political leaders, Denis Healey, a former British Defence Secretary, used to say, 'When you're in a hole, stop digging!' The U.S. and Israel are in a deep and dangerous hole. They urgently need to 'stop digging' before the hole swallows them up.

They are fighting, and losing, on three fronts -- Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine. It seems that this is not enough for the more insane and hysterical among them who are clamouring to extend the war to Syria and Iran, and to the whole of what they like to call the 'Islamo-Fascist' world.

Israel denies it is involved in the Iraq war. But, in fact, it is as much part of that conflict as the U.S. is now part of the wars in Lebanon and Palestine. Israel participated in the strategic planning for the Iraq war, which was designed to remove any threat to it from the east. Its neocon friends in Washington egged America on to fight and fabricated the phoney intelligence which persuaded a gullible President that smashing Iraq was necessary for America's security.

Three years later, the U.S. is up to its neck in the Iraqi quagmire, squandering billions of dollars and losing men at the rate of about one a day, but without the good sense or the will to hoist itself out of the hole.
The wars in Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon are all inter-linked, with U.S. abuses in Iraq providing a model for Israel's indiscriminate violence against civilians, and its breach of international humanitarian law. Israel is merely doing what the U.S. pioneered. When the world's superpower creates conditions of international anarchy by destroying the checks and balances of the international system, lesser powers feel free to follow suit.

The pro-Israeli ideologues in Washington are still apparently driven by the fantasy that the entire Middle East can be restructured by military force to suit U.S. and Israeli interests - and the President, worried about the looming mid-term elections in November, is too stubborn and too ignorant to call a halt to this madness.

The wars in Lebanon and Palestine are U.S.-Israel wars, pre-planned jointly and waged in close strategic coordination. The Israelis do the fighting while the U.S. provides the funding, the weapons, and the political and diplomatic cover. It has delayed a ceasefire to give Israel time to 'finish the job.'

But the wars are not going their way. In both Lebanon and Gaza, Israel might achieve some tactical gains - like this week's commando raid on Baalbek -- but a strategic victory is almost certainly unattainable.

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