Posted by: sean | September 5, 2006

Israeli plans for Syrian front

According to The Sunday Times and via Juan Cole, Israel is preparing for war with Syria and Iran. Of course, this plan has backers in the Pentagon, as well as Richard Perle:

While the American State Department favours engaging with President Bashar Assad of Syria in the hope of detaching him from the Iranian alliance, hawks believe Israel missed a golden opportunity to strike at Syria during the Hezbollah conflict.

“If they had acted against Syria during this last kerfuffle, the war might have ended more quickly and better,” Perle added. “Syrian military installations are sitting ducks and the Syrian air force could have been destroyed on the ground in a couple of days.” Assad set off alarm bells in Israel when he said during the war in Lebanon: “If we do not obtain the occupied Golan Heights by peaceful means, the resistance option is there.” …

Advocates of political engagement believe a war with Syria could unleash Islamic fundamentalist terror in what has hitherto been a stable dictatorship. Some voices in the Pentagon are not impressed by that argument.

“If Syria spirals into chaos, at least they?ll be taking on each other rather than heading for Jerusalem,” said one insider.

This is obviously just what we need, another toppled Middle Eastern dictator in a sectarian country with a strong Islamist opposition and no one willing or capable of picking up the pieces.



  1. Disgusting. Why are guys like Richard Perle taken so seriously? We were all biting our nails during the strikes with the heinous thought: “Is Israel crazy enough to attack Syria?” Although Hizbullah has done *that good* against Israel, the neo-cons now express *regret* that Syria was not attacked – yet our proud administration still cannot define a coherent enemy. Such dangerous naivete runs deep in our country. If anything, the last thing we need are desparate, united Syrian Sunni Fundamentalists that will feel compelled to fight against *all* factions throughout the middle east region, including Israel, Hizbullah, Iran, the US, and perhaps its own Syria. Yet, neoconservatism (via Bush Doctrine) runs so deep in this country that *any* linguistic pairing of the words “Islam”, “Terror”, and “Conflict” lead to the popular yet unsubstantiated understanding that we must automatically fight head to head this new kind of undefinable collective enemy. The underlying assumption is that it simply serves our interests that they should fight amongst themselves. Given our current political atmosphere, there’s no such thing as “grace under pressure”.

    Still, I’ve always been the one to criticize westerners for their eurocentrism. It is a fallacy to just limit one’s arguments based on western civilizational perspectives, when in fact there are other powers creeping behind the curtains – namely, China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Japan, just to name a few. But alas, before the west would ever know it, such conflicts turn out to be more global (all politically, socially, economically) than they would ever see behind such eurocentric optics. History is replete with such examples (i.e. “Pan-Asian” or “Pan-African” won’t ring bells).

    Thus, should we not only be concerned about how Western neocons ideologically construct a false reality in the Middle East, but we must go further by questioning “eurocentrism”. I won’t push the “orientalist” or “post colonialist” argument too far here, but the degree to which the west automatically -defacto- considers relations as culturally-localized, runs deeper than we would like to admit, neocon or not. As far as the middle east is concerned, the eurocentric framing throughout is ultimately conservative, and thus do we continuously beat a dead horse.


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