Why Did Israel Attack Syria?

Israel’s air strike on northern Syria earlier this month should be understood in the context of events unfolding since its assault last summer on neighbouring Lebanon. Although little more than rumours have been offered about what took place, one strategic forecasting group, Stratfor, still concluded: “Something important happened.”

From the leaks so far, it seems that more than half a dozen Israeli warplanes violated Syrian airspace to drop munitions on a site close to the border with Turkey. We also know from the US media that the “something” occurred in close coordination with the White House. But what was the purpose and significance of the attack?

It is worth recalling that, in the wake of Israel’s month-long war against Lebanon a year ago, a prominent American neoconservative, Meyrav Wurmser, wife of Vice-President Dick Cheney’s recently departed Middle East adviser, explained that the war had dragged on because the White House delayed in imposing a ceasefire. The neocons, she said, wanted to give Israel the time and space to expand the attack to Damascus.

The reasoning was simple: before an attack on Iran could be countenanced, Hizbullah in Lebanon had to be destroyed and Syria at the very least cowed. The plan was to isolate Tehran on these two other hostile fronts before going in for the kill.

But faced with constant rocket fire from Hizbullah last summer, Israel’s public and military nerves frayed at the first hurdle. Instead Israel and the US were forced to settle for a Security Council resolution rather than a decisive military victory.

The immediate fallout of the failed attack was an apparent waning of neocon influence. The group’s programme of “creative destruction” in the Middle East — the encouragement of regional civil war and the partition of large states that threaten Israel — was at risk of being shunted aside.

Instead the “pragmatists” in the Bush Administration, led by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the new Defence Secretary Robert Gates, demanded a change of tack. The standoff reached a head in late 2006 when oilman James Baker and his Iraq Study Group began lobbying for a gradual withdrawal from Iraq — presumably only after a dictator, this one more reliable, had again been installed in Baghdad. It looked as if the neocons’ day in the sun had finally passed.

Israel’s leadership understood the gravity of the moment. In January 2007 the Herzliya conference, an annual festival of strategy-making, invited no less than 40 Washington opinion-formers to join the usual throng of Israeli politicians, generals, journalists and academics. For a week the Israeli and American delegates spoke as one: Iran and its presumed proxy, Hizbullah, were bent on the genocidal destruction of Israel. Tehran’s development of a nuclear programme — whether for civilian use, as Iran argues, or for military use, as the US and Israel claim — had to be stopped at all costs.

While the White House turned uncharacteristically quiet all spring and summer about what it planned to do next, rumours that Israel was pondering a go-it-alone strike against Iran grew noisier by the day. Ex-Mossad officers warned of an inevitable third world war, Israeli military intelligence advised that Iran was only months away from the point of no return on developing a nuclear warhead, prominent leaks in sympathetic media revealed bombing runs to Gibraltar, and Israel started upping the pressure on several tens of thousands of Jews in Tehran to flee their homes and come to Israel.

While Western analysts opined that an attack on Iran was growing unlikely, Israel’s neighbours watched nervously through the first half of the year as the vague impression of a regional war came ever more sharply into focus. In particular Syria, after witnessing the whirlwind of savagery unleashed against Lebanon last summer, feared it was next in line in the US-Israeli campaign to break Tehran’s network of regional alliances. It deduced, probably correctly, that neither the US nor Israel would dare attack Iran without first clobbering Hizbullah and Damascus.

For some time Syria had been left in no doubt of the mood in Washington. It failed to end its pariah status in the post-9/11 period, despite helping the CIA with intelligence on al-Qaeda and secretly trying to make peace with Israel over the running sore of the occupied Golan Heights. It was rebuffed at every turn.

So as the clouds of war grew darker in the spring, Syria responded as might be expected. It went to the arms market in Moscow and bought up the displays of anti-aircraft missiles as well as anti-tank weapons of the kind Hizbullah demonstrated last summer were so effective at repelling Israel’s planned ground invasion of south Lebanon.

As the renowned Israeli military historian Martin van Creveld reluctantly conceded earlier this year, US policy was forcing Damascus to remain within Iran’s uncomfortable embrace: “Syrian President Bashar al-Assad finds himself more dependent on his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, than perhaps he would like.”

Israel, never missing an opportunity to wilfully misrepresent the behaviour of an enemy, called the Syrian military build-up proof of Damascus’ appetite for war. Apparently fearful that Syria might initiate a war by mistaking the signals from Israel as evidence of aggressive intentions, the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, urged Syria to avoid a “miscalculation”. The Israeli public spent the summer braced for a far more dangerous repeat of last summer’s war along the northern border.

It was at this point — with tensions simmeringly hot — that Israel launched its strike, sending several fighter planes into Syria on a lightning mission to hit a site near Dayr a-Zawr. As Syria itself broke the news of the attack, Israeli generals were shown on TV toasting in the Jewish new year but refusing to comment.

Details have remained thin on the ground ever since: Israel imposed a news blackout that has been strictly enforced by the country’s military censor. Instead it has been left to the Western media to speculate on what occurred.

One point that none of the pundits and analysts have noted was that, in attacking Syria, Israel committed a blatant act of aggression against its northern neighbour of the kind denounced as the “supreme international crime” by the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal.

Also, no one pointed out the obvious double standard applied to Israel’s attack on Syria compared to the far less significant violation of Israeli sovereignty by Hizbullah a year earlier, when the Shia militia captured two Israel soldiers at a border post and killed three more. Hizbullah’s act was widely accepted as justification for the bombardment and destruction of much of Lebanon, even if a few sensitive souls agonised over whether Israel’s response was “disproportionate”. Would these commentators now approve of similar retaliation by Syria?

The question was doubtless considered unimportant because it was clear from Western coverage that no one — including the Israeli leadership — believed Syria was in a position to respond militarily to Israel’s attack. Olmert’s fear of a Syrian “miscalculation” evaporated the moment Israel did the maths for Damascus.

So what did Israel hope to achieve with its aerial strike?

The stories emerging from the less gagged American media suggest two scenarios. The first is that Israel targeted Iranian supplies passing through Syria on their way to Hizbullah; the second that Israel struck at a fledgling Syrian nuclear plant where materials from North Korea were being offloaded, possibly as part of a joint nuclear effort by Damascus and Tehran.

(Speculation that Israel was testing Syria’s anti-aircraft defences in preparation for an attack on Iran ignores the fact that the Israeli air force would almost certainly choose a flightpath through friendlier Jordanian airspace.)

How credible are these two scenarios?

The nuclear claims against Damascus were discounted so quickly by experts of the region that Washington was soon downgrading the accusation to claims that Syria was only hiding the material on North Korea’s behalf. But why would Syria, already hounded by Israel and the US, provide such a readymade pretext for still harsher treatment? Why, equally, would North Korea undermine its hard-won disarmament deal with the US? And why, if Syria were covertly engaging in nuclear mischief, did it alert the world to the fact by revealing the Israeli air strike?

The other justification for the attack was at least based in a more credible reality: Damascus, Hizbullah and Iran undoubtedly do share some military resources. But their alliance should be seen as the kind of defensive pact needed by vulnerable actors in a Sunni-dominated region where the US wants unlimited control of Gulf oil and supports only those repressive regimes that cooperate on its terms. All three are keenly aware that it is Israel’s job to threaten and punish any regimes that fail to toe the line.

Contrary to the impression being created in the West, genocidal hatred of Israel and Jews, however often Ahmadinejad’s speeches are mistranslated, is not the engine of these countries’ alliance.

Nonetheless, the political significance of the justifications for the Israeli air strike is that both neatly tie together various strands of an argument needed by the neocons and Israel in making their case for an attack on Iran before Bush leaves office in early 2009. Each scenario suggests a Shia “axis of evil”, coordinated by Iran, that is actively plotting Israel’s destruction. And each story offers the pretext for an attack on Syria as a prelude to a pre-emptive strike against Tehran — launched either by Washington or Tel Aviv — to save Israel.

That these stories appear to have been planted in the American media by neocon masters of spin like John Bolton is warning enough — as is the admission that the only evidence for Syrian malfeasance is Israeli “intelligence”, the basis of which cannot be questioned as Israel is not officially admitting the attack.

It should hardly need pointing out that we are again in a hall of mirrors, as we were during the period leading up to America’s invasion of Iraq and have been during its subsequent occupation.

Bush’s “war on terror” was originally justified with the convenient and manufactured links between Iraq and al-Qaeda, as well as, of course, those WMDs that, it later turned out, had been destroyed more than a decade earlier. But ever since Tehran has invariably been the ultimate target of these improbable confections.

There were the forged documents proving both that Iraq had imported enriched uranium from Niger to manufacture nuclear warheads and that it was sharing its nuclear know-how with Iran. And as Iraq fell apart, neocon ideologues like Michael Ledeen lost no time in spreading rumours that the missing nuclear arsenal could still be accounted for: Iranian agents had simply smuggled it out of Iraq during the chaos of the US invasion.

Since then our media have proved that they have no less of an appetite for such preposterous tales. If Iran’s involvement in stirring up its fellow Shia in Iraq against the US occupation is at least possible, the same cannot be said of the regular White House claims that Tehran is behind the Sunni-led insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan. A few months ago the news media served up “revelations” that Iran was secretly conspiring with al-Qaeda and Iraq’s Sunni militias to oust the US occupiers.

So what purpose does the constant innuendo against Tehran serve?

The latest accusations should be seen as an example of Israel and the neocons “creating their own reality”, as one Bush adviser famously observed of the neocon philosophy of power. The more that Hizbullah, Syria and Iran are menaced by Israel, the more they are forced to huddle together and behave in ways to protect themselves — such as arming — that can be portrayed as a “genocidal” threat to Israel and world order.

Van Creveld once observed that Tehran would be “crazy” not to develop nuclear weapons given the clear trajectory of Israeli and US machinations to overthrow the regime. So equally Syria cannot afford to jettison its alliance with Iran or its involvement with Hizbullah. In the current reality, these connections are the only power it has to deter an attack or force the US and Israel to negotiate.

But they are also the evidence needed by Israel and the neocons to convict Syria and Iran in the court of Washington opinion. The attack on Syria is part of a clever hustle, one designed to vanquish or bypass the doubters in the Bush Administration, both by proving Syria’s culpability and by provoking it to respond.

Condoleezza Rice, it emerged at the weekend, wants to invite Syria to attend the regional peace conference that has been called by President Bush for November. There can be no doubt that such an act of détente is deeply opposed by both Israel and the neocons. It reverses their strategy of implicating Damascus in the “Shia arc of extremism” and of paving the way to an attack on the real target: Iran.

Syria, meanwhile, is fighting back, as it has been for some time, with the only means available: the diplomatic offensive. For two years Bashar al-Assad has been offering a generous peace deal to Israel on the Golan Heights that Tel Aviv has refused to consider. This week, Syria made a further gesture towards peace with an offer on another piece of territory occupied by Israel, the Shebaa Farms. Under the plan, the Farms — which the United Nations now agrees belongs to Lebanon, but which Israel still claims is Syrian and cannot be returned until there is a deal on the Golan Heights — would be transferred to UN custody until the dispute over its sovereignty can be resolved.

Were either of Damascus’ initiatives to be pursued, the region might be looking forward to a period of relative calm and security. Which is reason enough why Israel and the neocons are so bitterly opposed. Instead they must establish a new reality — one in which the forces of “creative destruction” so beloved of the neocons engulf yet more of the region. For the rest of us, a simpler vocabulary suffices. What is being sold is catastrophe.

Jonathan Cook, based in Nazareth, Israel is a winner of the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East (Pluto Press) and Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair (Zed Books). Read other articles by Jonathan, or visit Jonathan's website.

26 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. gerald spezio said on September 28th, 2007 at 5:59am #

    Jonathan Cook is our very best source for truth in this horrible wind up to a new UN-reality through “creative destruction.”
    What a magnificent man!

    Here is a magnificent Arab Lady named Layla Anwar speaking directly and forcibly about Zionism, Sysiphus, and the love of Jesus and Abraham delivered through “creative destruction. ”

    “Is there anything in Iraq that the Americans have not destroyed ?
    Anything at all ?
    And you dare wonder why I detest you so much…And you have the audacity to come to my blog to question me about my origins, my location, my ideas, my roots, my sense of belonging…
    What kind of a race are you ? What kind of a people are you ?
    Yes, I said people not government. I am not politically correct. Your government is part of you and you are part of it. Like it or not.
    And don’t come and tell me in your sheepish ways that I know all too well : ” Oh, but I did not vote for this one. ”
    I don’t give a fuck whom you voted for or did not vote for. It is not my problem.
    My problem is you. Your culture, your behavior, your mentality, your character, your haughtiness, your arrogance, your false pride, your denial, your collective stupidity and ignorance, your way of life which I find boring, empty and distasteful, your accent which is an affront to my ears…and to my senses.
    I do not like you. Full stop.

    I know, I know, some of you are good people…
    I know, I know, America is not a homogenous group… I know all that shit.
    It does not make one iota of difference in my life and that of other Iraqis.
    I no longer give a damn about your nuances, your political leanings, how good or how bad you are…It is meaningless to me and to countless others.
    Our lives have been ruined, totally ruined…We do not give a fuck about your nuances.
    And all I know if that you have destroyed my country. Beyond repair.”

  2. jaime said on September 28th, 2007 at 10:29am #

    “…when the Shia militia captured two Israel soldiers at a border post and killed three more. Hizbullah’s act was widely accepted as justification for the bombardment and destruction of much of Lebanon…”

    At least get your basic facts right. The Hizbullah attack caused the bombardment of Lebanon by Isarel. You’ve got it the other way around. Pretty poor revisionism.

  3. Deadbeat said on September 28th, 2007 at 10:41am #

    You are one revising history. Israel had a number of board incursion into Lebanon as documented by the UN. Hezbullah was not the cause of Israel illegal attack and destruction of Lebanon. Zionism was the cause and Israeli desire for expansion and theft.

  4. Deadbeat said on September 28th, 2007 at 10:48am #

    I don’t give a fuck whom you voted for or did not vote for. It is not my problem.
    My problem is you. Your culture, your behavior, your mentality, your character, your haughtiness, your arrogance, your false pride, your denial, your collective stupidity and ignorance, your way of life which I find boring, empty and distasteful, your accent which is an affront to my ears…and to my senses.
    I do not like you. Full stop.

    Sentiment like the ones gerald posted is why the left MUST start to deal with the racist ideology of Zionism as it exist in the United States. The U.S need dialogs on racism and Zionism (which is grounded in racism and supremacist notions).

    It appears that white racism can be discussed but ironically some “leftist” are using white racism as way to avoid the discussion of Zionism and its effect on U.S. culture. Also racism has enabled Zionist to cover their own tracks. They’ve used white racism to scapegoat blacks and brown people to conceal Zionism within the U.S. as well. Anti-Arab racism is quite acceptable in the U.S. Anytime the word “terrorist” is used you pretty much know the image of the person they are referring to.

  5. gerald spezio said on September 28th, 2007 at 11:32am #

    Deadbeat, I read Layla Anwar’s no nonsense words everyday to keep my eyes on the ball. I post her disgust with me and my country where ever I can.

  6. jaime said on September 28th, 2007 at 12:00pm #

    So what’s your big problem with Zionism Deadbeat? (Great name!)
    Jews are indigenous to the Middle East. So numbers of them returned after a couple of thousand years of exile. What’s it to you?

  7. Deadbeat said on September 28th, 2007 at 6:27pm #

    Jaime,

    Injustice is what is it to me.

    DEADBEAT! Get use to it!

  8. Deadbeat said on September 28th, 2007 at 9:08pm #

    A more serious answer is that Zionism is or has become a racist ideology that has pervaded the American culture and psyche. There is virtually no discussion about Zionism’s perversion especially on the left. In fact members of the “left” goes to a great extent to confuse, conflate and distract from the issue. Zionism is the racism of the 21st century that must be confronted.

  9. jaime said on September 28th, 2007 at 9:16pm #

    OK, then let’s hear more about Zionist perversion on the left. What is it exactly?

  10. Deadbeat said on September 28th, 2007 at 10:39pm #

    http://www.counterpunch.org/christison09272007.html

    It remains open to question whether Greenspan in addition intended to divert attention from the clear evidence that Israel and its U.S. supporters, both among Jewish American organizations and among neocon policymakers inside the administration, pushed hard for the war, among other reasons to guarantee Israel’s security in the Middle East and its regional domination. But whatever his intent, this has been the effect of his concentration on oil. It reinforces the assumptions of those, primarily on the left, who have always contended that the war was “all about oil,” and only about oil. The left’s refusal to acknowledge that a desire to secure Israel in the region had anything to do with the Bush neocons’ war planning is difficult to fathom, since many on the left are notable critics of Israeli policy. But, again, whatever their intent in quashing discussion of the Israeli link, the effect has been to contribute to silencing domestic debate on a critical U.S. policy issue.

  11. hp said on September 29th, 2007 at 5:35pm #

    Jaime you are a completely dishonest pseudo-semite.
    Neither you nor any of your ancestors ever in history stepped one foot in the ME. 90% of you miscreants are Russian or Polish or some Asiatic ethnic group. What complete crap! “Numbers of them returned after a couple of thousand years exile.” Utter lies and nonsense. Everyone wishes you would return to from where ever it is you racist cretins come from but I’m positive where ever that is they don’t want you either.
    You’re from the ME just like Ben Gurion (Green) was, like Golda Meir (Meyerson) was, etc., etc., etc. A bunch of pseudo-semite criminals.
    And you know what? 95% of the people in this world agree with me.

  12. jaime said on September 30th, 2007 at 1:12am #

    hp, you know nothing about me and you’re spouting hateful nonsense.

  13. gerald spezio said on September 30th, 2007 at 6:37am #

    Twenty years of schooling; “And you dare wonder why I detest you so much…”

    You profess to love and seek the truth; “And you dare wonder why I detest you so much…”

    You suffer from anti-semitism… oh, how you suffer…

    You call yourself a writer…write about what?

    You love your children, your religion, your ethics, your spirituality, your Democratic political process…

    Please tell me more about freedom and your love… your spirituality…

  14. Max Shields said on September 30th, 2007 at 10:51am #

    Deadbeat,

    You’re johnny one note confines your thinking to a single cause for war and hegemony.

    I am no friend to the apartheid of Israel nor the zionist racism – here we agree. But then you proceed to take the heart felt burning words of an Iraqi woman and turn it into a anti-zionist diatribe.

    So, American preditory, pathological capitalism which was launched before the existence, gets off the hook. It’s all about zionism.

    Again, you are taking a serious problem and undermining it by overstating its place in the world.

    Layla Anwar knows the enemy of Iraq – YOU AND ME! We live in the belly of the beast and it’s time we STOP looking else where. That does not let the zionist off the hook, but keeps them square on the one they own not the own without name tags in place. (and this looking to a fictious left to “do” something is the biggest red herring since Bush identified his axis of evil.)

  15. gerald spezio said on September 30th, 2007 at 12:57pm #

    Max, Deadbeat is clearly saying that Zionism is the pre-eminent variable in the causal chain leading to the murder and genocide in Palestine and the ME.
    I must consider that you may be “undermining ” the MOST IMPORTANT AND INESCAPABLE ISSUE CONFRONTING anybody searching for an end to the murder.

    Why would you or anybody want to do that, Max?

  16. hp said on September 30th, 2007 at 2:32pm #

    Jaime,
    I know you are not a Semite.
    I know you tell lies.
    I know you accuse people of hate when they call you on your lies.
    I know you are a Zionist.

  17. Max Shields said on September 30th, 2007 at 5:33pm #

    gerald spezio said, “Max, Deadbeat is clearly saying that Zionism is the pre-eminent variable in the causal chain leading to the murder and genocide in Palestine and the ME.
    I must consider that you may be “undermining ” the MOST IMPORTANT AND INESCAPABLE ISSUE CONFRONTING anybody searching for an end to the murder.”

    Uh? Does Deadbeat post under two monikers? You’re obviously saying the same thing and adding nothing to the point I made (or is it that you’re missing the point I made?).

  18. Deadbeat said on September 30th, 2007 at 11:13pm #

    Deadbeat, You’re johnny one note confines your thinking to a single cause for war and hegemony.

    Max, if there is anyone who is “johnny-one-note” in this discussion it is those like yourself who believe the only reason for the incursion in Iraq was “WAR FOR OIL”. Any other complexities are not to be analyzed. What I have said is that oil is AMONG the one of the reasons but not the only reason for the U.S to have invaded militarily in Iraq. Among others who are shining a light on Zionism are James Petras, Jeffrey Blankfort, Lenni Brenner, Joel Kovel and the Christensons who are former CIA Mid East analysts who recently wrote an excellent article on this very same topic for Counterpunch.

    The problem Max with your position is that you attempt to ridicule and quash anything discussion that bring U.S. Zionism to the forefront. Those on the left has who quash U.S. Zionism do not want to broach the issue for reasons that are either racist or fear of a backlash. However to ignore U.S. Zionism is to ignore issues of race and power and its effects on U.S. culture as well as political and economic policies.

    Those like Ron Jacobs, seek to use strawman arguments to sweep the issue of U.S. Zionism under the rug such as “Tel Aviv pulling U.S. strings”. Whether that is true or not is irrelevant however the Christenson have provided evidence that it works both ways. Regardless what IS true is that Zionism has a profound effect on U.S. culture. Even Joe Biden openly admits that he is a Zionist and he is running for President of the United States!

    The latest tactic now being used by the left to quash discussion on Zionism in the U.S. is the Chomsky approach that it’s all “imperialism”. However we know that if “oil” was the main reason for the “war” that Venezuela or Latin American or Caribbean would be the most likely and natural target for military occupation.

    However the goal in Iraq was destruction and capitulation. There are those on the left still calling the “war” a “mistake” or a “failure”. However from the standpoint if Israeli hegemony it was a complete success. Clearly Israel is the major beneficiary of yet another weaken Arab state. It is profoundly anti-Marxist to ignore any and all aspects. So if you profess to being a leftist; if you profess to seek justice; you would not seek to quash any analysis; you would seek to test all theories.

    Also Max I absolute detest and am disgusted with your distortions of my position. I NEVER once stated that It’s all about Zionism. Those ARE YOUR WORDS AND YOUR STRAWMAN and you’ve consistently engage in distortion to ridicule my position that Zionism definitely played a role and contributes deleteriously to U.S culture. You have chosen to argue that Zionism has no role to play whatsoever and offer not an iota of evidence to support your claims. What you are doing Max has the effect of advancing the very thing you claim to oppose — Zionism itself.

    Max you better start to face reality and stop the denial otherwise reality will have a nasty way of biting you and the rest of us in the ASS.

  19. Deadbeat said on September 30th, 2007 at 11:22pm #

    Be an ostrich Max. You can contribute to Zionism or fight it. The choice is yours:

    EXCLUSIVE NETWORK INTERVIEW OF SENATOR JOE BIDEN

    Presidential hopeful calls Israel “the single greatest strength America has in the Middle East”

    Says Jonathan Pollard deserves leniency but not a pardon

    In an exclusive Shalom TV interview, US Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-DE) emphatically stated his commitment to the State of Israel, calling the country “the single greatest strength America has in the Middle East.”

    Senator Biden further stressed that without Israel, one could only imagine how many battleships and troops America would have to station in the Middle East.

    Meeting with Shalom TV President Rabbi Mark S. Golub in Washington, DC, the candidate for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination said that it’s insulting for any American to suggest that Israel is somehow the cause of the war in Iraq.

    “If, tomorrow, peace broke out between Israelis and Palestinians, does anybody think there wouldn’t be a full-blown war in Iraq? And, conversely, if Iraq were transported to Mars, does anyone think there would not be terrorism visited upon the Israelis every day?

    “So let’s get it straight. Israel is not the cause of Iraq. Iraq being settled or not settled has nothing to do with Israel’s conduct.”

    The Senator also expressed a sensitivity and empathy for Israelis who have had to live with terrorism.

    “[From 9/11], Americans can taste what it must feel like for every Israeli mother and father when they send their kid out to school with their lunch to put them on a bus, on a bicycle or to walk; and they pray to God that cell phone doesn’t ring.”

    “I am a Zionist,” stated Senator Biden. “You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist.”

  20. Max Shields said on October 1st, 2007 at 5:59am #

    Deadbeat said, “Max, if there is anyone who is “johnny-one-note” in this discussion it is those like yourself who believe the only reason for the incursion in Iraq was “WAR FOR OIL”. Any other complexities are not to be analyzed. What I have said is that oil is AMONG the one of the reasons but not the only reason for the U.S to have invaded militarily in Iraq. ”

    Well, this is interesting. Of course I agree. I’ve never disagreed. The comments I’ve made to your posts have always been your constant contention that US world policy is first and foremost a zionist cabal.

    Do I think there is confluence between Israel and US policy in the ME? Yes, very much. Does the neocon cabal reflect the zionist voice in America. Yes, indeed. I’ve tried to be clear on this.

    But until this quote above, I have never read anything by you that would indicate that you could even imagine US policy as anything but zionist derived.

    US history is replete with hegemony, imperialism, invasion, occupation which is all about geopolicitical and resource control of one form or another (oil is but one). But Israel, I contend is more the pit bull than the master. The dog can agree with the master, and give the impression that it is talking for (or even is) the master. But the reality, when you step back and look at the total historical and current context of policies is that it is clearly the US policy which rules. And that policy precedes the history of Israel and has much broader implications than the Middle East.

    Has the US policy reached its zenith – YES! It is pathological. It has destroyed the lives of millions, while we sit back here disconnected from the terror our war machine thrusts on the world (and yes, Israel, in pit bull fashion, does the same in its corner of the world).

    As for Hugo Chavez, the US has been in Venezuela and has made efforts to foment a coup. But it is bogged down in the ME and so South America has been able to create a new socioeconomic and political paradigm. While we refer to it as socialism it isn’t Marxism. It is more closer aligned to Henry George and sustainable economic models then Marxism which was just as destructive (with a slightly different bent) as capitalism.

    Chavez knows that oil cannot be the basis of a sustainable economy. It is not a question of whether Venezuela has reached peak oil, it’s a question of when. Chavez is no fool and neither are the Venezuelan people who understand this in a deep way – unlike seemingly most Americans.

    I’d suggest a closer and broader look at our history. It provides more than simple ephemeral partnership with a client state.

    Best regards,
    Max

  21. Deadbeat said on October 1st, 2007 at 9:49am #

    But until this quote above, I have never read anything by you that would indicate that you could even imagine US policy as anything but zionist derived.

    Well, this is interesting. Of course I agree. I’ve never disagreed. The comments I’ve made to your posts have always been your constant contention that US world policy is first and foremost a zionist cabal.

    Your remarks are disingenuous and false and part of your own pattern of distortion and clearly demonstrates how you work your rhetoric. You’ve been on DV for months attempting to label and ridicule anyone who challenges the “WAR FOR OIL” mantra that is now morphing into the line that “it is all about imperialism”. Any consideration of Zionism’s contribution is turned by you into a “zionist cabal”. Those are your ugly words and thought you’ve used as part of your smear campaign. My position has been very clear and very consistent throughout. It is you Max that has altered your position — from “WAR FOR OIL” to “imperialism”. As you yourself pointed out Max, racism plays a role in imperialism.

    As for Hugo Chavez, the US has been in Venezuela and has made efforts to foment a coup. But it is bogged down in the ME and so South America has been able to create a new socioeconomic and political paradigm. While we refer to it as socialism it isn’t Marxism. It is more closer aligned to Henry George and sustainable economic models then Marxism which was just as destructive (with a slightly different bent) as capitalism.

    Chavez knows that oil cannot be the basis of a sustainable economy. It is not a question of whether Venezuela has reached peak oil, it’s a question of when. Chavez is no fool and neither are the Venezuelan people who understand this in a deep way – unlike seemingly most Americans.

    As I’ve consistently pointed out to challenge the”it’s only about oil” and the “it’s all about imperialism” rhetoric now being deployed by you and others to quash any discussion of the role of Zionism is that the U.S. IS NOT ENGAGED MILITARILY in Venezuela yet Venezuela is much more important strategically to U.S. oil needs. From the 1950′s throughout the 1970′s the the U.S. paid clients overthrow nation from Iran and Iraq without U.S. military interventions. The U.S. is now engage is a very costly engagement in Iraq and now is on the cusp of invading Iran.

    But Max, I already discussed this very point with you or do you just have selective amnesia? Your tactic Max is to either IGNORE any point you cannot rebut and to twist and to distort and when that doesn’t work — smear.

    Chavez challenges the PEEK OIL rhetoric which as spezio points out may be a rhetorical device to weaken OPEC of which Venezuela is a member along with the Arab states. Chavez knows that the current rate of consumption especially by the U.S. is unsustainable however he also knows that their is plenty of oil in reserves to meet demand for the next 200 years.

    [U.S. imperialist] policy precedes the history of Israel and has much broader implications than the Middle East.

    This is the key your to rhetorical alteration is to ignore Zionism. That rhetorical fallacy implies that white racism in the U.S. and that the challenge to racism, in the form of the Civil Rights movement, should not have occurred since the movement didn’t end U.S. imperialism. Your rhetoric implies that racism is not a factor in U.S. imperialism and its society. There should no analysis of how racism effect domestic and international policy since imperialism is only about the appropriation of resources and NEVER about destruction for racist and hegemonic purposes.

    One thing for sure Max is that throughout my time here on DV I never had to distort your position for me to make my point.

    Regards,
    Deadbeat

  22. gerald spezio said on October 1st, 2007 at 10:49am #

    Deadbeat, your brain is too valuable to waste on Max or Jaime.
    It’s highly probable that they are just whoring for the Lobby.
    Such stupidity takes a lot of effort and has to be contrived and engineered.

    Exposing Russ Wellen too easy. It was only a crumb, but who knows what the bastards are contriving next. The Zionists want it all.

  23. gerald spezio said on October 1st, 2007 at 10:50am #

    Deadbeat, your brain is too valuable to waste on Max or Jaime.
    It’s highly probable that they are just whoring for the Lobby.
    Such stupidity takes a lot of effort and has to be contrived and engineered.

    Exposing Russ Wellen was too easy. It was only a crumb, but who knows what the bastards are contriving next. The Zionists want it all.

  24. Max Shields said on October 1st, 2007 at 12:35pm #

    Deadbeat said: “Your remarks are disingenuous and false and part of your own pattern of distortion and clearly demonstrates how you work your rhetoric. You’ve been on DV for months attempting to label and ridicule anyone who challenges the “WAR FOR OIL” mantra that is now morphing into the line that “it is all about imperialism”. ”

    I don’t think you get what I’m saying. You say here that you challenge the “war for oil mantra”. And then you say I’m morphing that into imperialism. Well imperialism is about resource control (oil). A little history would do you good.

    I am very supportive of what I see in Venezuela and elsewhere in South America. And if you read what is going on there you would know that it is not about oil as a sustainable cash “crop”. There is a whole sustainable people’s economics in progress.

    You have twisted the whole idea of imperialism, Chavez’s comments, and mine to suit your one track answer to the whole problem which from all I can tell is – zionism. I am not an apologist for zionism (and I resent you respresenting what I’ve said in this way).

    But ill-defined problems, make for dangerous solutions. And I think that’s the track you’re on. You and your buddy gerald spezio seem to have a zionism mantra. Spezio started this off with what I thought was a great quote from Layla Anwar and acknowledged it. Ms Anwar is very clear about what she thinks is the problem: US of America.

    You have both found one answer and so, anything short of that single point does not fit in your worldview frame.

    Good day.
    Max Shields

  25. Max Shields said on October 1st, 2007 at 3:13pm #

    Your use of Venezuela to make a case for why Iraq is not about oil appears rather flimsy. First, Iraq is not exclusively about US obtaining oil, it is control over all ME oil.

    US policy is not monolithic in the sense that East, West, North and South or Middle are not treated the same. How the US deals with South America or Africa is very different than how it’s policies of world dominance works in the Middle East or various places in the Far East.

    So, Venezuela and Iraq policies are not the same, even if both have oil.

    Also, let’s not get stuck on oil, there are other resources of central interest to corporate globalists which have and will have increased value worth sending American soldiers to die for and to kill (in their destructive 5,000 year continuation of conquest).

    If Israel is central to this, it is to the extent that it figures into the ME strategy/policy. This does not discount immense pressure influence when such policies are confluent. But again, I don’t see a strong case for the client state controlling the situation without the green light from the US government. A case for neoconservative control is in play, but their role is granted by the administration in power. Bush I kept them (neocons) at bay, but invaded Iraq to push them out of Kuait because of…you guessed it – oil.) But again, it is not oil per se it is dominance where interests are identified. It is brute hegemonic force at work.

  26. hp said on October 2nd, 2007 at 1:07pm #

    Max,
    It’s not just the USA, but also that tick which is attached to it.