Monday, August 21, 2006

After Lebanon, Israel Looks for More War

by Jonathan Cook

"Israel regards the "home front" – its civilian population – as its Achilles' heel in the army's oppression of the Palestinians in the occupied territories, its intermittent invasions of south Lebanon, and its planned attacks further afield. The military needs the unconditional support of the country's citizenry and media to sanction its unremitting aggression against Israel's "enemies," but fears that the resolve of the home front is vulnerable to the threat posed by rockets landing in Israel, whether the homemade Qassams fired by Palestinians over the walls of their prison in Gaza or the Katyushas launched by Hezbollah from Lebanon.

Where does all this "defensive" Israeli activity leave us? Answer: on the verge of more war and carnage, whether inflicted on the Palestinians, on Lebanon, on Syria, on Iran, or on all of them. Iran's head of the army warned on Saturday that he was preparing for an attack by Israel. Probably a wise assumption on his part, especially as U.S. officials were suggesting over the weekend that the UN Security Council is about to adopt sanctions that will include military force to stop Iran's assumed nuclear ambitions.

In fact, Israel looks ready to pick a fight with just about anyone in its neighborhood whose complicity in the White House's new Middle East has not already been assured, either like Jordan and Egypt by the monthly paychecks direct from Washington, or like Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states by the cash-guzzling pipelines bringing oil to the West. The official enemies – those who refuse to prostrate themselves before Western oil interests and Israeli regional hegemony – must be brought to their knees just as Iraq already has been."

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