Sunday, August 6, 2006
By Juan Cole
"It may be that that hawks are thinking this way: Destroy Lebanon, and destroy Hizbullah, and you reduce Iran's strategic depth. Destroy the Iranian nuclear program and you leave it helpless and vulnerable to having done to it what the Israelis did to Lebanon. You leave it vulnerable to regime change, and a dragooning of Iran back into the US sphere of influence, denying it to China and assuring its 500 tcf of natural gas to US corporations. You also politically reorient the entire Gulf, with both Saddam and Khamenei gone, toward the United States. Voila, you avoid peak oil problems in the US until a technological fix can be found, and you avoid a situation where China and India have special access to Iran and the Gulf.
The second American Century ensues. The "New Middle East" means the "American Middle East."
And it all starts with the destruction of Lebanon.
More wars to come, in this scenario, since hitting Lebanon was like hitting a politician's bodyguard. You don't kill a bodyguard just to kill the bodyguard. It is phase I of a bigger operation."