Israel Disappoints the Neo-cons in Lebanon Proxy War

Hear, Oh Israel! Charles Krauthammer is disappointed. Very disapppointed. And he clearly speaks for the rest of the neo-conservative fraternity that has worked so hard to destroy any distinction between U.S. interests and Israeli interests. That’s because, as we pointed out a couple of days ago, the Bush administration sees Israel’s war in Lebanon as its own war, by proxy, against Iran. And Israel is quite simply failing to deliver the knockout blow against Hizballah that Washington is demanding — it can’t be done, of course, but reality has never restrained the neocons from pursuing their fantasies, at the expense of thousands of lives. Krauthammer offers candid confirmation of what many, including Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah, have suspected all along:

Israel’s leaders do not seem to understand how ruinous a military failure in Lebanon would be to its relationship with America, Israel’s most vital lifeline… America’s green light for Israel to defend itself is seen as a favor to Israel. But that is a tendentious, misleadingly partial analysis. The green light — indeed, the encouragement — is also an act of clear self-interest. America wants, America needs, a decisive Hezbollah defeat.

He explains, as we’ve done, that the U.S. sees Hizballah as nothing more than a cat’s paw for Iran, which it sees as its major strategic competitor in the Middle East. It therefore saw the Hizballah provocation as a golden opportunity to strike a blow, by proxy, at an organization deemed an important part of Iran’s own deterrent capability. It is also mindful of the power of the challenge offered by Hizballah to further destabilize the decrepit autocracies in Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia on which its influence in the Arab world rests.

Hence Israel’s rare opportunity to demonstrate what it can do for its great American patron. The defeat of Hezbollah would be a huge loss for Iran, both psychologically and strategically. Iran would lose its foothold in Lebanon. It would lose its major means to destabilize and inject itself into the heart of the Middle East. It would be shown to have vastly overreached in trying to establish itself as the regional superpower.

The United States has gone far out on a limb to allow Israel to win and for all this to happen. It has counted on Israel’s ability to do the job. It has been disappointed… (Olmert’s) search for victory on the cheap has jeopardized not just the Lebanon operation but America’s confidence in Israel as well. That confidence — and the relationship it reinforces — is as important to Israel’s survival as its own army.

From the horse’s mouth.

Much of the debate over the influence of the Israel lobby in the U.S. focuses on the question of whether the relationship advances or compromises U.S. interests. My own thinking has long been that it doesn’t help to try and examine this question viewing either Israel or the U.S. in monolithic terms. In fact, what Krauthammer’s comments reveal is the fact that there’s an extremist ideological element at work both in Washington and in Israeli political circles (although there it is concentrated in the more hardline Likud minority of Bibi Netanyahu), whose common purpose is a (misguided) revolutionary drive to forcefully remake the whole Middle East on terms more favorable to the U.S. and Israel — essentially, to crush all challengers to either.

Their enemies were not simply the realist custodians in Washington of a policy to pursue U.S. interests by balancing those of Israel and its Arab neighbors — most importantly by pressing Israel to conclude a peace with its neighbors based on UN Resolution 242 — but also the Israeli peace camp. Today, Sharon’s propagandists may have convinced much of the U.S. media that the reason there was no peace was that Arafat wouldn’t make a deal, but it’s conveniently forgotten that Sharon himself opposed the deal offered by Barak at Camp David far more vehemently than Arafat ever did. More importantly, it’s also ignored that the neocons who have guided so much of the Bush Administration’s Middle East policy — Paul Wolfowitz, Elliot Abrahams, Douglas Feith, Richard Perle (and even others who are not neocons, just ignorant ultra-nationalists like Dick Cheney) — were as vehemently opposed to the Oslo Peace process. And just as they set out to overturn the U.S. involvement in pressing Israel to conclude a two-state peace based on the 1967 borders, they also set out to overturn the Israeli electorate’s preference for governments committed to the same principle.

Perle, in fact, led a study group that included Feith and which compiled a strategic guideline for the incoming Netanyahu government in 1996, titled A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm, which amounted to a manifesto to reverse the prevailing “Land for Peace” logic and instead pursue tough action to remak the Middle East, including Iraq — which they (as if to illustrate the almost psychedelic giddiness of their fantasies) envisaged turning into another kingdom under the rule of the Jordanian royal house.

Thoughtful Israeli voices are beginning to count the cost of the “friendship” from the U.S. to Israel orchestrated by this crowd. Daniel Levy writes in Haaretz, that in the case of Lebanon, “Israel was actually in need of an early exit strategy, had its diplomatic options narrowed by American weakness and marginalization in the region, and found itself ratcheting up aerial and ground operations in ways that largely worked to Hezbollah’s advantage.” This, says Levy, is symptomatic of a deeper problem, which is the hegemony in Washington’s Middle East decision making of the neo-cons’ fabulist narrative:

The key neocon protagonists, their think tanks and publications may be unfamiliar to many Israelis, but they are redefining the region we live in. This tight-knit group of “defense intellectuals” – centered around Bill Kristol, Michael Ledeen, Elliott Abrams, Perle, Feith and others – were considered somewhat off-beat until they teamed up with hawkish well-connected Republicans like Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Newt Gingrich, and with the emerging powerhouse of the Christian right. Their agenda was an aggressive unilateralist U.S. global supremacy, a radical vision of transformative regime-change democratization, with a fixation on the Middle East, an obsession with Iraq and an affinity to “old Likud” politics in Israel. Their extended moment in the sun arrived after 9/11.

Finding themselves somewhat bogged down in the Iraqi quagmire, the neoconservatives are reveling in the latest crisis, displaying their customary hubris in re-seizing the initiative. The U.S. press and blogosphere is awash with neocon-inspired calls for indefinite shooting, no talking and extension of hostilities to Syria and Iran, with Gingrich calling this a third world war to “defend civilization.”

Disentangling Israeli interests from the rubble of neocon “creative destruction” in the Middle East has become an urgent challenge for Israeli policy-makers. An America that seeks to reshape the region through an unsophisticated mixture of bombs and ballots, devoid of local contextual understanding, alliance-building or redressing of grievances, ultimately undermines both itself and Israel. The sight this week of Secretary of State Rice homeward bound, unable to touch down in any Arab capital, should have a sobering effect in Washington and Jerusalem.

Elsewhere, Sidney Blumenthal provides fascinating insights into the neocons’ operations within the administration, suggesting that Rice is actually marginalized by the neo-cons, which accounts for the skittishness that has characterized her interventions throughout the crisis — and that the U.S. is extending Israel’s target range by supplying NSA intelligence supposedly showing the movement of weapons from Syria and Iran to Hizballah, creating conditions and pretexts for an expansion of the conflict. Blumenthal adds:

Having failed in the Middle East, the administration is attempting to salvage its credibility by equating Israel’s predicament with the U.S. quagmire in Iraq. Neoconservatives, for their part, see the latest risk to Israel’s national security as a chance to scuttle U.S. negotiations with Iran, perhaps the last opportunity to realize the fantasies of “A Clean Break.”

By using NSA intelligence to set an invisible tripwire, the Bush administration is laying the condition for regional conflagration with untold consequences — from Pakistan to Afghanistan, from Iraq to Israel. Secretly devising a scheme that might thrust Israel into a ring of fire cannot be construed as a blunder. It is a deliberate, calculated and methodical plot. ”

This is far more serious than lunatic but influential televangelists lobbying for an attack on Iran to hasten Armageddon and “rapture”, this is a case of geopolitical berserkers with all the sobriety of a bunch of teenage Maoists on crack — but who are taken far too seriously for our collective good in Washington and in the U.S. national media — trying to start a war, with Israel at its epicenter.

The U.S.-Israel relationship under the current administration, then, is a blank check only to the extent that Israel is willing to go to war to realize a neo-con Likudnik fantasy.

Israelis have typically unleashed the dogs of war while expecting the U.S. to apply the brakes and walk it away from the precipice. Instead, they have found this administration baying for more. Tom Segev, my favorite of all Israel’s historian-journalists, puts it eloquently:

Over time, we have grown accustomed to the Americans saving us, not only from the Arabs, but from ourselves too. Not in this war. It is still unclear whether this war was coordinated with the United States; only the release of government records of the past three weeks will shed light on this. Whatever the case may be, the impression is that the Americans are linking the events in Lebanon to their failing adventure in Iraq…

…If Europe had some say in the region, Israel may have started negotiations with Hezbollah on the release of the soldiers it abducted – and hopefully, it still will do so – instead of getting mixed up in war. For some years now, more Middle East-related wisdom emanates from Europe than from the United States. It wasn’t Europe but the United States that invented the diplomatic fable called the road map; it wasn’t Europe but the United States that encouraged unilateral disengagement and is allowing Israel to continue oppressing the population in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The United States is not engaged with Syria; Europe is. Syria is relevant not only for settling the situation in Lebanon, but also in managing relations with the Palestinians. This is the real problem. Because, even if the United States conquers Tehran, we will still have to live with the Palestinians. In Europe, they already understand this.

This entry was posted in Featured Analysis, Situation Report. Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to Israel Disappoints the Neo-cons in Lebanon Proxy War

  1. markus says:

    This is hilarious:,,31200-galloway_060806,00.html#

  2. Patrick Cummins says:

    Thanks for the incisive analysis. It looks even more apropos now as Robert Parry of Consortium News as well as the Christian Science Monitor have reported that the White House has been urging Israel to extend the war and attack Syria. The Israelis balked and thought this was ‘nuts’. This according to senior Israeli officials.

    Here are the links:

  3. Qwerty says:

    Thank you for an excellent analysis, AGAIN. I hope more Israelis (and Americans) will understand that the Neo-Cons are great at fighting epic wars from their think tanks, where they don’t have to risk anything more than carpal tunnel syndrome. Sharon, the cold-blooded hawk, would know how to keep the dry drunk in the White House at bay. Olmert drops the ball, and will pay for this.

  4. Tony says:

    Yeah, like we said. Although the bizarre thing is that it’s been such a failure… I still don’t believe an attack on Iran is imminent, or considered within the realm of the possible by the military — and they’d probably find a way to stop it this time

  5. Pingback: Wa Salaam

  6. jordan capri says:

    Useful site. Thanks.

  7. Best class 10 memory card reviews

  8. you bangs says:

    thank, good information.

  9. gaian says:

    where’s your “like” button? c’mon – at least for your fellow wordpressers!

    excerpting parts of this for background on lebanon. just what i needed…awesome!

  10. Pingback: EU Balks At Arming Syrian Terrorists | we are not afraid of ruins

  11. Pingback: EU Balks At Arming Syrian Terrorists | End Times News

  12. Good replies in return of this query with firm arguments and describing the whole thing about that.

  13. My brother recommended I might like this web site.
    He was entirely right. This post actually made my day.
    You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info!

  14. Instead of instantly running for these products you can try and create some
    of your own using organic products. As for intact females, they usually don’t
    spray, but there have been instances where they leave a marker for
    a tom letting him know they are in heat. They are safe for pet’s teeth, hair,
    and skin, and no tools are required for assembly.

  15. Spot on with this write-up, I actually assume this web site needs far more consideration.
    I?ll probably be once more to learn rather more, thanks for that info.

    Feel free to visit my site zumba dumbbells weight

  16. ?OW just what I waas looking for. Came her? b?
    ?earching for delegate

  17. torrent says:

    Thanks for sharing your info. I truly appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your next post thanks once again.

  18. WOW just what I was looking for. Came here by searching for featured analysis

  19. I got this web site from my pal who informed me concerning this website and at the moment this time I am visiting this
    website and reading very informative articles or reviews at this place.

  20. What’s up to all, the contents existing at this website are actually remarkable
    for people knowledge, well, keep up the good work fellows.

    My site: bittorrent spartan wars hack for android

  21. Twinlab manufactures a number of good products containing chondroitin sulfate.
    However, heart problems are among the most prevalent genetic problems
    that a family might have to face. First, you have to know that even guys who seem to have everything such as looks,
    experience and confidence get dumped after a first

    Take a look at my web site: hungry shark Evolution hack tool

  22. Superb blog site listed here! And your web page considerably upward rapidly! What hosting company do you think you’re the use of? May i get the internet marketer web page link for your variety? My partner and i wish this site rich as speedy when your own property ; )

  23. all the time i used to read smaller articles which
    as well clear their motive, and that is also happening with this
    post which I am reading here.

  24. shemale sex says:

    If you’d like to obtain the complete functions of your web-site, then you must
    turn out to be on the list of quite a few members
    that they’ve. You can use plucking, but it is one of the most painful methods of eliminating
    hairs. It truly is the most effective site where you can discover the top
    selection of transsexuals which might be confident to give you the satisfaction that you just are on the lookout for with someone without the need of hanging out of
    the room.

  25. IDM Terbaru says:

    i dont like israel

  26. thanks mr.. but idont like israel

  27. pikavippi says:

    Yksikkö kari toveri avauserä korottaminen metrinen askarruttaa salaatti
    vieminen, kehu koolle osaaja istutus öcalan väistää kohdalleen romani ammattioppilaitos kuvernööri varkaus

  28. Eduardo could be the name people use to call him and he loves things.

    Production and planning is a few things i do.
    Montana has been my living place but now I’m considering
    other alternatives. What me and my family love is cycling however i haven’t produced dime with this you will.
    I’ve been working on my small website for a few years now.
    Look it over here: pandora jewellery

  29. Fait le area des spiders vapeur pour votre bebe et vous
    choisir celui qui vous le en fonction de besoins.

  30. What i don’t understood is if truth be told how you are no longer really
    much more smartly-appreciated than you might be right now.
    You’re very intelligent. You understand thus considerably in the case of
    this topic, produced me in my view imagine it from so many
    numerous angles. Its like women and men don’t seem to
    be involved until it is one thing to do with Lady gaga! Your
    individual stuffs excellent. At all times handle it up!

  31. Carlota says:

    Make the effort to learn more regarding varying psychics just before you send out free
    of charge questions.

    My page (Carlota)

  32. A motivating discussion is definitely worth comment.
    I think that you need to write more on this subject, it may not be a taboo subject but
    typically people don’t talk about these subjects. To the next!
    Kind regards!!

  33. This is chiefly due to the fact that Android offers operating systems for tablets too.
    You step into the shoees of an enterprising woman who wantss to teach a lesson to her cheater husband.

    You should link your website to your social media site to get
    more exposure.

  34. Usted ha hecho algunos puntos allí. Me miró
    en la red para saber más para obtener información adicional sobre
    el tema y encontró la mayoría de los individuos irán junto con sus puntos de vista sobre este sitio web .


  35. If some one needs to be updated with most recent technologies afterward he must be
    go to see this site and be up to date every day.

  36. Hwa says:

    It’s not good to sit doing the same thing for long
    periods of time. Some video game titles are geared towards education.
    When considering overhead costs, you need to make
    sure that you can pay the rent, utility bills,
    employees, and other expenses on time each month.

  37. Tinder says:

    Very shortly this website will be famous amid all blog users, due to it’s
    pleasant content

  38. I read this paragraph completely concerning the resemblance of most up-to-date and earlier technologies, it’s awesome article.

  39. I must thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this website.
    I’m hoping to check out the same high-grade content by you in the future as well.
    In truth, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own,
    personal blog now 😉

  40. Me pueden ayudar en una cosilla? Alguien sabría
    decir algunos trucos para ahorrar un poco de dinero a la hora de contratar
    un catering para bodas?

  41. hey says:

    It’s really a cool and helpful piece of information. I am happy that you shared this useful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.|

  42. This is the right webpage for anybody who wants to understand this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a brand new spin on a subject which has been discussed for years. Excellent stuff, just excellent!|

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *