Israel, with U.S. support, intends to resist calls for a cease-fire and continue a longer-term strategy of punishing Hezbollah, which is likely to include several weeks of precision bombing in Lebanon, according to senior Israeli and U.S. officials.How much clearer can our supervisors make it that anything like an American "national interest" is unambiguously renounced in favor of the Israeli national interest? Every bomb, artillery shell, and bullet flying into the miserable remains of Lebanon and Gaza now has a perfectly-official "Greetings from the USA!" painted on its nose.
For Israel, the goal is to eliminate Hezbollah as a security threat -- or altogether, the sources said. A senior Israeli official confirmed that Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah is a target, on the calculation that the Shiite movement would be far less dynamic without him.
For the United States, the broader goal is to strangle the axis of Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria and Iran, which the Bush administration believes is pooling resources to change the strategic playing field in the Middle East, U.S. officials say.
Whatever the outrage on the Arab streets, Washington believes it has strong behind-the-scenes support among key Arab leaders also nervous about the populist militants -- with a tacit agreement that the timing is right to strike.
"What is out there is concern among conservative Arab allies that there is a hegemonic Persian threat [running] through Damascus, through the southern suburbs of Beirut and to the Palestinians in Hamas," said a senior U.S. official who requested anonymity because of sensitive diplomacy. "Regional leaders want to find a way to navigate unease on their streets and deal with the strategic threats to take down Hezbollah and Hamas, to come out of the crisis where they are not as ascendant."
Ah, but we're also standing up for those "key Arab leaders:" meaning the long-term doomed. You know, the house of Saud, the Egyptian torturers, the emirs of this and the sultans of that ... in years past we could well have added the Shah of Iran and our former employee Saddam Hussein. The folks whose petro-involvement with the global corporate structure outweighs any ties they have with "the Arab streets."
When the next 9-11 happens, please remember this week. I know that essentially no one will, but I have to ask anyway. We're allowing ourselves to be represented by a true "axis of evil," defined (as all lines in geometry are) by two points: DC and Jerusalem. It won't matter to our supervisors how much American blood might be spilled; after all, they personally have those secure undisclosed locations, and they have "broader goals:" the strangling of rival axes.
I guess that's just life -- and death -- in Murderville.