Jul 17 2006
10:15 pm

It is commonly held that "those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it."

Or "insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results."

Despite this received wisdom, the fix is apparently in regarding resolution of tensions in the Middle East. Following the "flimsy pretext" model of prosecuting "pre-emptive conflict resolution," in order to teach the uppity Lebanese militia a lesson, it's time to "shock and awe" the nation of Syria.

Or so says the buzz among some of the GOP's most breathless defenders, anyway:

I have long thought that maybe the U.S. should have gone after Syria's Baathist regime before Iraq's. Maybe history is giving us a second chance to do the right thing. No, we don' t need to invade and occupy Syria. Just help Israel destroy Assad's military with massive air power, and let his regime fall.

Because that worked out so well for us in Iraq???

(Note the use of the phrase, "history is giving us a second chance." Does this mean that we blew our first chance to do the the right thing? In common usage, "second chance" often means what happens when you get off of a wayward path in life -- addiction, crime, infidelity, e.g. -- and start living in sobriety. Or maybe this is code for the sort of body armor that our troops have had to supply for themselves.)

(rant continued on the flip...)

Setting that aside for the moment... If we're going to evaluate our chances for success in a wider war in the Middle East using our current experience as a yardstick, I'd say that this assessment goes somewhere past "sunny optimism" on the confidence meter, right smack into the range of "hyper-realistic delusion." The American people were promised a prompt end to the conflict in Iraq, a mission accomplished, and we weren't let in on the idea (at least early on) that occupation would be an eventuality.

So let's just assume that this comes to pass. The Hobbs-ian joint US-Israeli effort destroys Assad's military. What's Israel going to do then? Occupy Syria? You see how well that Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank has gone as a matter of policy. And talk about repercussions -- if anyone thinks the insurgency in Iraq is a tough nut to crack, wait until Israel starts cracking down on Arab populations in and adjacent to the Golan Heights getting restive because of the nearby bloodshed among their brethren. Or did it not occur to anyone that the Golan Heights is still a disputed border region between Syria and Israel (not to mention the three-way dispute over Shebaa involving Israel, Lebanon, and Syria)?

And if the government in Damascus falls as a result of this action, what then? UN occupation? Joint US-Israeli "nation building" exercises? In just what universe would this outcome be welcomed? Who's throwing the roses and chocolates this time, greeting the US as liberators?

I think the outcome here would be more than predictable. Wider conflict. Insurgency. Counter-insurgency. Suicide bombs. Civil war. No end in sight.

On to Iran. (And beyond! Whee!)

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Brian A.'s picture


Yesterday I heard someone saying we could take out the government in Iran without a lot of ground troops, too.   Just a healthy dose of shock and awe, the regime tumbles, and peace and freedom begin to flourish.

Sounds strangely familiar . . . . 

Brian A.
I'd rather be cycling.

R. Neal's picture

Perhaps in November of 2006

Perhaps in November of 2006 and 2008 we can replace our government, too, with a healthy dose of shock and awe that will tumble the regime of career dumbasses, so peace and freedom can flourish right here in America without any violence or bloodshed required.

Anonymous's picture

Contradiction in terms

So goes the old adage: Military intelligence, a contradiction in terms.

rikki's picture

Kellogg's Feathered Flakes

In just what universe would this outcome be welcomed?

The I-own-stock-in-Halliburton-and-Bechtel universe? Like Charlie Chickenhawk says, "Thhhhhey'rrrrre GREAT!"

Sven's picture

It could be that skewed by

It could be that watching Our President's extended psychotic episode in Yurp has skewed my outlook, but it sure feels like we're finally about to throw a rod.

R. Neal's picture

Indeed. I was beginning to

Indeed. I was beginning to wonder when he would finally become a TFE* for our country. I thought we passed that mark long ago. Perhaps others might finally catch on after this? Nah, I doubt it.

*Total F**king Embarrassment

Factchecker's picture

"Wouldn't you rather talk

"Wouldn't you rather talk about that Kraut-pig I carved up the other night!?" 

a-ehh a-ehh a-ehh a-ehh [ Laughing ]


RedDog's picture

I'm not sure who you have

I'm not sure who you have linked to the described US or IDF policy???? Is this a crazy like may post on the Daily Kos? Hummm - a breathless defender of the GOP. This description could well be used to describe you regarding the "progressives"

But, it is time that Israel put an end to the ceaseless attacks on their people. I can't sit here safety in the US and judge what is appropriate for a response. But it is obvious that appeasement of those who only want to wipe-out Israel is not going to work. It is also evident that Syria and Iran are behind or are supporting the attacks on Israel. Are you suggesting that their accomplishment should be ignored? What do you propose?

Andy Axel's picture

It is also evident that

Is this a crazy like may post on the Daily Kos?

I don't know if he'd ever post on Kos... it's Bill Hobbs suggestion (and widely parroted elsewhere on the GOP fantasyland as well as among those eagerly awaiting fulfillment of Ezekiel). If you bothered to follow links, you'd know that.

It is also evident that Syria and Iran are behind or are supporting the attacks on Israel.

No, it isn't "evident." There is no evidence, only innuendo.

No one has given any proof that or Syria Iran has urged this attack, only conjecture. It's not "common knowledge." And no one has proven that the Iranians launched any missles or are participating at all with Hezbollah.

This is the same friggin' thing as "everyone knows that Saddam has weapons of mass destruction."

There has been no independent verification of these damned rumors, and it makes no sense to go on like there has been.

The US has already cocked up one situation in the Middle East based on manufactured evidence; to commit US resources to another, potentially more dangerous situation (both Iran and Israel have nuclear programs) would be idiotic.

I can't sit here safety in the US and judge what is appropriate for a response.

Oh, but you can sit here safely in the US and judge that invading Iraq was a good idea and that imposed "democracy" is in the best interests of the Iraqis and the world.

I call bullshit.

What do you propose?

I propose not going into another foreign misadventure without an actual plan. And "bombing the hell out of Syria" is not a plan. It's stupidity.


"The iPod was not developed by Baptists in Waco." -- G.K.

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