Middle East Moves Closer to Brink: Israel Postures for Potential Expansion of Conflict to Syria and Iran

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ABC News is reporting that Palestinian Gunmen have blown a hole through an Egypt border wall and a flood of people crossed into Gaza. One can only speculate why anyone would rush into Gaza unless preparing to fight the Israeli incursion. My own speculation is that this may be a bunch of Muslim Brotherhood empathizers. Not good.
Yesterday, Israel Ambassador to the U.S. Daniel Ayalon said that the “masterminds” behind the Hezbollah attacks from Lebanon are in Damascus and Tehran, but refused to provide details of potential Iranian or Syrian involvement. But the mention of these two capital cities may reflect posturing for a serious broadening of Israel’s engagement against states in the region. Not good.
Israel today has stated that the rockets that Hezbollah fired from Lebanon were made in Iran.
More later.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

66 comments on “Middle East Moves Closer to Brink: Israel Postures for Potential Expansion of Conflict to Syria and Iran

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    Reply

  3. Carol Moore says:

    If we want to counter the neocon and Israel Lobbies’ power, we have to protest and confront them nonviolently at their offices and where they live. This includes the media. Both groups DRUM UP BUSINESS by promoting war to protect Israel’s 60 year history of stealing Arab land and to creata big profits for well connected government contractors.
    See list at http://stopthewarnow.net/warlobbies/

    Reply

  4. Pissed Off American says:

    Steve, you would do us all a favor by exposing those that post under multible screen names.

    Reply

  5. brian says:

    karenk:
    the US gives israel $2 billion in foreign aid because it is in her interest to do so. this is not welfare or a handout. america is not in the business of giving away money for no reason. say what you will, but israel and the US have always had a VERY symbiotic and cooperative relationship… more so than any of us will ever know. who do you think brought our leaders and military “up to speed” on arab terrorism? where do you think all of our early and much of our current intelligence in the middle east come from?
    there is NO doubt that america would be MUCH worse off without her strategic partnership with israel.
    …and hisstirectummy: nice language. way to present yourself and your (lack of) ideas. it’s funny how the internet makes small, powerless people feel like tough guys. i have a sneaking suspicion that you wouldn’t be so rude to my face.
    kudos to your parents for raising such ignoramous. i’m sure that they’d be proud.

    Reply

  6. elementary teacher says:

    MNPundit,
    In response to your question, here are a couple of sites you might want to check out.
    http://www.aipac.org/about/
    http://ksgnotes1.harvard.edu/Research/wpaper.nsf/rwp/RWP06-011

    Reply

  7. karenk says:

    If the Israeli’s can take care of themselves then they should. Why are we giving them $2+billion of our hard earned tax money in military aid?
    The welfare of AMERICA is my primary interest as it should be for all Americans. NOTHING should be placed before that. And if it’s in our best interest to cut off Israel from military aid, then so be it. Israel puts itself first and doesn’t worry about America. We should do the same.

    Reply

  8. anon says:

    The Bushbot dittoheads have spammed this thread. What are an ignorant and pathetic lot !
    And oh BTW you are going to get you asses kicked in 2oo6 and 2008

    Reply

  9. harlequin says:

    It is too bad that a whole country has to pay a great price for allowing terrorists to use their country, but that is how it is today. Too bad from them people over there and we should all draw a great lesson from what is coming to pass and pray for those who must suffer because of the indiscretions of others of their nation. Let’s hope and pray that pride does not get in the way of those responsible for having outsiders cleanse their land of evil. Let’s pray that they see the light, turn over a new leaf and become good citizens of the world in our fight against terror.

    Reply

  10. hisstirectummy says:

    Brian,
    I would not want batman for President; I abhor batman, and his boy Robin, and would not want to have them as President, thank you. As a matter of fact, I cannot think of a single superhero who could get my support in 2008. I ust don’t think in those terms. And if the Israelis don’t need you or me; israelis will take care of themselves; then shut the fuck up!, and spend your time doing something more constructive.

    Reply

  11. margaret says:

    brian has pushed well the correct buttons on my sense of being an American.
    i had forgotten that hezbolla bombed the marine barracks and now they should pay, especially after having humiliated us back in 1982 by the murders of our soldiers sent as peacekeepers. destroy hezbolla.
    and we never did much to stop the wholesale attempt to exterminate the jewish people by the nazis and for our ambivalence at that time I am ashamed of my country and know why we must forever support israel in their fight for surival after how we treated the jews , not only in the ’30s and ’40s, but throughout the rise of christianity in europe.
    thank you brian for reminding us of who our enemies are and who we are obliged to be fast friends with.
    god bless you brian.

    Reply

  12. Nikon says:

    FF,
    I think you have forgotten that everything has changed since 9/11. Before then we were soft on terrorists like the IRA. After 9/11 reality changed, and anyone who harbors terrorists must pay the ultimate price, all in good time They say they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity, and now, through a fatal mistake, which we were waiting for and knew would surely come, they will be utterly destroyed for their terrorist ways. What don’t you get about GWOT? This is part and parcel of it and you’re either with US or against us. Haven’t you been paying attention? Being spot on in your sore losers world may seem pathetic as the reality slaps you in the face, and thanks for the correction on my mis-spelling of obliterate.

    Reply

  13. brian says:

    hisstirectummy:
    i’m not trying to con anyone into supporting israel. she doesn’t need you or me. israelis will take care of themselves.
    i just presented a fact: that jews have been demonized and victimized for thousands of years. that’s all. not trying to manipulate you or anyone else into doing anything.
    and NO , regan did NOT killed 241 marines in beirut. hezbollah did that.
    maybe you can get batman elected in 2008.

    Reply

  14. joel says:

    Its going to be a much nicer world when Hamas and Hizbollah are exterminated from the world. You’ll see you doubting Thomasina hand wringing effeminates.
    Freedom’s On the March !!

    Reply

  15. hisstirectummy says:

    Hezzbollah, thee Party Of God, killed over 200 Marines because big bad Reagan put them there in somebody elses country. Then Reagan ran away and attacked Grenada. Don’t blame The Party of God for defending their lands from invaders. Blame Reagan for the death of over 200 marines, oh so righteous one.
    Brian tries to con us into thinking we should support Israel because The Party of God killed over 200 US marines. Oh the Emotion – Hate!
    Brian tries to con us into thinking we should support Israel because jews over a millenia have been persecuted. Oh the Emotion – Guilt!
    Brian thinks Americans are stupid and easilyemotionally manipulated. That’s where he is absolutely correct, but NOT here on Steve Clemons site, by God! No not here buddy! Go peddle your weeping reasoning somewhere else, tough guy!

    Reply

  16. Friendly Fire says:

    Nikon, what a fucking pathetic rant!
    By your logic Britain should have obliterated Ireland when the IRA were bombing London and killing British troops in NI.
    That said I am sure you are aware that the biggest funders of the IRA during the troubles were US citizens?
    Learn how to spell obliterate by the way. Then you can be a true Nazi.

    Reply

  17. Nikon says:

    Brian is very astute and quite correct in his informing us that Israel is well within their rights to obliderate Lebanon since that is where the terrorists are. Any county that harbors terrorists deserves elimination, which Our President was most vocal about. Did you guys ever hear of the Global War on Terror? The destruction of Lebanon is part of that War and will serve as an example to other nations NOT to harbor terrorists. Syria is next if they don’t heed the message booming on their borders. These matters all must be resolved before victory can be declared in GWOT. We should be all thankful to Israel for what they are doing in supporting GWOT.
    God Blesses Israel and America!

    Reply

  18. brian says:

    karenk:
    the bottom line is that hezbollah killed 241 US troops in a suicide bombing.
    in my opinion, hezbollah is TOTALLY undeserving of any sympathy in this latest crisis or any other.
    i agree with you about arguing the point and not the person, but it’s hard to idly take the cursing and inflammatory rhetoric of “pissed off american”
    also, i didn’t “ignore” the point raised by “anti zioprop.” i’ve never heard of victor ostrovsky or read his allegations. further, whether or not the israeli’s had some warning about the beirut bombing isn’t as pertinent to me as the fact that HEZBOLLAH KILLED 241 US MARINES!

    Reply

  19. karenk says:

    “wow. what an uninformed bunch….
    does anyone remember the fact that hezbollah killed over 200 hundred marines when they blew up the u.s. embassy in beirut?”
    Posted by brian
    Brian,
    I believe that was a marine barracks(housing) not an embassy. YOu might have been a little quick to call others uninformed.
    You also seemed to ignore the comment by Anti Zioprop_
    “Did Israel deliberately allow 241 American Marines to die?
    by Joseph Sobran
    Yes, says Victor Ostrovsky, a former Israeli secret agent. In a new book, By Way of Deception: A Devastating Insider’s Portrait of the Mossad, Mr. Ostrovsky says the Israelis had advance notice of the suicide attack that killed 241 Marines in Beirut in October 1983 but withheld the information from the United States in the hope that the attack would poison American Arab relations.”
    Read it and inform yourself….
    You should not speak ill of people simply because you don’t agree with them. That goes for everyone. Argue the point, not the person…
    The author of this website and some commenters here are,for the most part, very well informed.
    That’s why I like to read this blog…

    Reply

  20. TS says:

    brian is right
    the jews have been persecuted by people all over the world for millenia.
    And thus they have every right to totally kick the ass of peoples who do them any degree of harm, any degree whatsoever, to remind them
    Oh We’re Not Gonna Take It
    no, We Ain’t Gonna Take It
    oh We’re Not Gonna Take It Anymore
    we’ve Got The Right To Choose And
    there Ain’t No Way We’ll Lose It
    this Is Our Life, This Is Our Song
    we’ll Fight The Powers That Be Just
    don’t Pick Our Destiny ’cause
    you Don’t Know Us, You Don’t Belong
    oh We’re Not Gonna Take It
    no, We Ain’t Gonna Take It
    oh We’re Not Gonna Take It Anymore
    oh You’re So Condescending
    your Gall Is Never Ending
    we Don’t Want Nothin’, Not A Thing From You
    your Life Is Trite And Jaded
    boring And Confiscated
    if That’s Your Best, Your Best Won’t Do
    oh…………………
    oh…………………
    we’re Right/yeah
    we’re Free/yeah
    we’ll Fight/yeah
    you’ll See/yeah
    oh We’re Not Gonna Take It
    no, We Ain’t Gonna Take It
    oh We’re Not Gonna Take It Anymore
    oh We’re Not Gonna Take It
    no, We Ain’t Gonna Take It
    oh We’re Not Gonna Take It Anymore
    no Way!
    oh…………………
    oh…………………
    we’re Right/yeah
    we’re Free/yeah
    we’ll Fight/yeah
    you’ll See/yeah
    we’re Not Gonna Take It
    no, We Ain’t Gonna Take It
    we’re Not Gonna Take It Anymore
    we’re Not Gonna Take It, No!
    no, We Ain’t Gonna Take It
    we’re Not Gonna Take It Anymore
    just You Try And Make Us
    we’re Not Gonna Take It
    come On
    no, We Ain’t Gonna Take It
    you’re All Worthless And Weak
    we’re Not Gonna Take It Anymore
    now Drop And Give Me Twenty
    we’re Not Gonna Take It
    oh Crinch Pin
    no, We Ain’t Gonna Take It
    oh You And Your Uniform
    we’re Not Gonna Take It Anymore

    Reply

  21. brian says:

    POA:
    you need some serious psychotherapy and probably a good kick in the behind. i never accused you of anything other than stupidity and inflammatory rhetoric. before you unleash your tirades against others, complete with references to your “ass,” “crap,” and “horseshit,” you might want to stop looking in the mirror. put down your gun, tough guy.
    Carol:
    while i respect and support your desire to end the misery and suffering that has been taking place for millenia in the middle east, i think that your geopolitical sense and historical understanding is even more askew than the bushies.

    Reply

  22. NSA says:

    Carroll, Look what happened to JFK……… he wanted observers in Dimona.
    Don’t run.

    Reply

  23. Pissed Off American says:

    POA:
    in your opinion “historical context” is “your ass?” i’m not surprised. your tirades read as such.
    and anti-semitism is “crap?”
    open a history book. open your eyes. wake up.
    the jews have been persecuted by people all over the world for millenia.
    Posted by brian
    Please point out to us the EXACT statements here that are “anti-semitic”.
    Can’t, can you?
    Your argument, and your accusations, are horseshit.

    Reply

  24. Mary says:

    Carrol’s main aim is to ruin Armageddon and the Second Coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ!
    If you were the world leader, Carrol, who brokered such a deal, you would be the Anti- Christ!
    No deal, for the Kingdom of the Lord in nigh at hand!

    Reply

  25. Carroll says:

    I can’t think of anything intelligent to say that hasn’t already been said about the current esculation.
    This is when I actually wish I were President of the US..
    Because I would:
    Move Israel back behind their original UN borders and let their Wall conform to those borders.
    Get up an International force, fully loaded, to put between Israel-Palestine and all other neighbors. And any agressor from either side or any country would be dead the minute they reared their trouble making head. Period.
    No $$$$$ aid to anyone, Palestine 0, until both sides sign off on the once and for all borders as the legal borders according to the UN.
    And this would last until both sides realized this is how it is going to be forever and forever. Amen. If it had to last until everyone died out and no one remembered what it was about then that’s how long it would last.
    The Palestine’s would get their property in Israel back or compensation the same way the Jews did after WWII.
    The Israelis would have the right to do business the old fashioned way to aquire whatever access to Palestine or resources they might need…by buying it or trading for it. The Palestines would have to right to bargin for their access to and thru Israel for their needs in the same way…buy and trade.
    If Israel wants to keep it’s nukes then Iran can have nukes too so we can have an eternal stalemate and the world can rest easy they will never obliterate each other or will obliterate each other, in which case both problems solved.
    And don’t tell me I couldn’t do this, as head of the world’s superpower I could do anything I please and I please to settle this once and for all. It could have been settled this way 37 years,1.2 trillion dollars +, 800,000 refugees and umpteen thousand dead people ago.
    And don’t bother me with the ally and regional bullshit, if I did this I would have so many allies I could rule the world on goodwill alone.

    Reply

  26. brian says:

    POA:
    in your opinion “historical context” is “your ass?” i’m not surprised. your tirades read as such.
    and anti-semitism is “crap?”
    open a history book. open your eyes. wake up.
    the jews have been persecuted by people all over the world for millenia.

    Reply

  27. Anti Zioprop says:

    Did Israel deliberately allow 241 American Marines to die?
    by Joseph Sobran
    Yes, says Victor Ostrovsky, a former Israeli secret agent. In a new book, By Way of Deception: A Devastating Insider’s Portrait of the Mossad, Mr. Ostrovsky says the Israelis had advance notice of the suicide attack that killed 241 Marines in Beirut in October 1983 but withheld the information from the United States in the hope that the attack would poison American Arab relations.
    The Israeli government is desperately trying to block publication of the book, which also says the Israelis are “actively spying, recruiting, organizing and carrying out covert activities mainly in New York and Washington, which they refer to as their playground.”Although it can hardly succeed and will probably back fire, the censorship attempt enjoyed initial success in both the U.S. and Canada.
    Obliging courts in both countries have ordered that the book be at least temporarily suppressed When it comes to Israel, freedom of speech and of the press is considerably less than total, even in America.Mr.
    Ostrovsky says Israeli agents heard he had written the book and tried to bribe and threaten him to dissuade him from going into print. He is now in hiding.More than 17,000 copies of By Way of Deception are in print, and many reviewers have already received copies. If the book divulges sensitive information, as the Israelis’ lawyers say, it’s too late to stop other governments from getting it.
    The only purpose of the censorship is to stop Americans from reading Mr. Ostrovsky’s account of how Israel allowed U.S. Marines to be slaughtered
    Books are rarely suppressed in America (at least not by direct government intervention), and by the time you read this, By Way of Deception will almost certainly be unshackled.
    Then the Israelis will have to either discredit the author or argue, as they did in the case of the spy Jonathan Pollard, that the decision to let the Marines be killed was a “rogue” action.Mr. Ostrovsky’s allegations should be shocking.
    Letting the troops of a benefactor nation be blown up in their own compound is hardly the act of a “reliable ally,” as Israel is said to be.But you have to wonder whether anyone will really be shocked. The act would be consistent with a long pattern of reprehensible Israeli behavior toward the U.S. Some of it has been widely publicized; no doubt the largest part of it has never been discovered.If anyone ought to be stunned, it’s the many pundits who echo Israeli propaganda to the effect that Israel is America’s only valuable and trustworthy ally in the Middle East. If they mean what they say, they should be publicly changing their minds, or at least demanding a thorough investigation into Israeli conduct toward this country.
    Congress ought to be shocked, too, to the extent that its all-out support for Israel has been sincere rather than venal and cowardly. But how many of our elected representatives will dare, or care, to ask tough questions about whether our ties to Israel have done serious damage to this country’s interests?Such questions are not only long overdue, they are especially urgent right now, when the United States may be on the verge of a full-scale war in the Middle East, and the Israel lobby is eager to see America launch hostilities against Israel’s chief enemy, Iraq.
    The path of least resistance is to say nothing, to go on pretending that the interests of the U.S. and of Israel are virtually identical, to keep repeating that Israel is our “reliable ally” and “strategic asset.” Any politician or journalist who says otherwise, even for the good of America, does so at risk to his career. That’s why there is so little open debate on these matters.
    Even our press isn’t fully free.And now the Israeli government has mounted a direct attack on press freedom in America itself. It will be instructive to see whether the press corps goes on acting unshocked.Joseph Sobran is a nationally syndicated columnist who now maintains a Website at http://www.sobran.com.

    Reply

  28. Pissed Off American says:

    wow. what an uninformed bunch.
    i find it humorous and more than a bit disturbing that people who know next to NOTHING about the historical context of the current situation in the middle east are so steadfast and strident in their opinions.
    …and i am not surprised that the knee jerk reaction of many people is to demonize the israelis. people have demonized the jews for millenia. after all, didn’t they bake their passover matzah with the blood of christian children?
    does anyone remember the fact that hezbollah killed over 200 hundred marines when they blew up the u.s. embassy in beirut?
    i’ll tell you what, the far left of the democratic party, as represented by some on this blog, are as bad, if not worse than the republicans.
    Posted by brian
    What a load of unmitigated horseshit. Notice how he uses the “anti-semitic” CRAP without actually saying “anti-semitic”.
    “Historical context”, MY ASS.

    Reply

  29. brian says:

    wow. what an uninformed bunch.
    i find it humorous and more than a bit disturbing that people who know next to NOTHING about the historical context of the current situation in the middle east are so steadfast and strident in their opinions.
    …and i am not surprised that the knee jerk reaction of many people is to demonize the israelis. people have demonized the jews for millenia. after all, didn’t they bake their passover matzah with the blood of christian children?
    does anyone remember the fact that hezbollah killed over 200 hundred marines when they blew up the u.s. embassy in beirut?
    i’ll tell you what, the far left of the democratic party, as represented by some on this blog, are as bad, if not worse than the republicans.

    Reply

  30. elementary teacher says:

    MNPundit,
    In response to your question, here are a couple of sites you might want to check out:
    http://www.aipac.org/about/
    http://ksgnotes1.harvard.edu/Research/wpaper.nsf/rwp/RWP06-011

    Reply

  31. mangels says:

    susan:
    To give some historical context on pro-Israel PAC, consider this….
    Hitler’s number one financial backers during his 1930s rise to power were European Zionist organizations.
    Does anybody know why that is?

    Reply

  32. Concerned American says:

    This organization is dangerous. Note the shamelessly biased account with short shrift given to the 54+ civilians killed in the bombardment of Lebanon.
    http://www.defenddemocracy.org/in_the_media/in_the_media_show.htm?doc_id=383766
    Have a look at Clifford May’s bio.

    Reply

  33. NeilS says:

    Unfortunately this poem is once again relevant.
    The Second Coming by WB Yeats
    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all convictions, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.
    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all around it
    Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
    The darkness drops again; but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

    Reply

  34. MNPundit says:

    What’s a pro-Israel PAC?
    Names.

    Reply

  35. Station Chief says:

    “Don’t expect the Democrats to adopt a more “even handed” approach any time soon.”
    you got that right.
    it’s all about the money.
    and israel and america lead in that department.
    the business of america is business.
    enron, halliburton, bechtel, the carlyle group.
    america now has the best congress money can buy.
    bush, cheney, rummy, and rice — all oil/gas barrons.
    the military industrial complex.
    the war is about oil.
    the oil is about money.
    it’s all about the money.

    Reply

  36. susan says:

    Don’t expect the Democrats to adopt a more “even handed” approach any time soon.
    Nancy Pelosi, $57,000 from pro-Israel PACs.
    Steny Hoyer, $92,000 from pro-Israel PACs.
    Harry Reid, $318,000 from pro-Israel PACs.
    Alcee Hastings, $23,000 from pro-Israel PACs.
    Robert Wexler, $11,000 from pro-Israel PACs.

    Reply

  37. anon says:

    Weldon, Casey, etc. — thanks for additional input about flood of entrants from Egypt into Gaza. Interesting that the demand would be so high to get in among those previously blocked — but could be the case. Thanks, steve
    Posted by Steve Clemons at July 14, 2006 03:13 PM
    Why do you think this is especially unusual? I don’t have your expertise in foreign affairs, but I would guess the Palestinians stranded in Egypt weren’t exactly going to be welcomed back there for an extended stay given the current conflageration. No matter how bad the conditions, Gaza is where their homes are.

    Reply

  38. Rose says:

    Here’s what I think the next week is going to bring.
    Israel will enter Iran, Iran will fire Scud missiles into Israel. The United States will have no choice but to do a massive bombing campaign against Iran to come to the rescue of poor, helpless little Israel. This all will of course be completely unplanned and spontaneous.
    Laissez les bon temps roulez!

    Reply

  39. km4 says:

    Do you not think it hypocritical for Republicans or anyone to criticize Democrats use of a picture of flag draped coffins in a campaign video, given the fact that the Republicans have expliciting politicized the war and use it to win elections?
    “Yes, it is hypocritical. It was the Republican’s bad policies, and Bush’s misguided leadership that created the circumstances in which our soldiers and Marines are dying. These pictures are not disrespectful – at least, not of the men and women who sacrificed. They simply remind the viewers of the cost of Bush’s mistaken policies. And hopefully, they help voters understand that the Administration which bungled all this should be held accountable!”
    – General Wesley Clark

    Reply

  40. mangels says:

    No matter how hard our media and government covers for Israel, the American people are finally seeing who the real fanatics are…..Israel. The only difference with that of radical Islamists is that Israel institutionalized their fanaticism and covered it in a vail they call “Democracy.”
    The other thing we all need to come to terms with is that Israel poccesses nuclear weapons and the existentialists mind set to use them against anyone they see has a threat. What does one have to do for Israel to pull the nuclear trigger? Let the last three weeks be your guide.

    Reply

  41. ckrantz says:

    For those interested I suggest this article from haaretz. Gives an interesting perspective on both the IDF general and the new inexperienced olmert goverment. Also interesting is the reference to Imad Mughniyeh for those who remember the beirut truck bombings. His old controller is supposed to the current defence minister of Iran.
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=738680&contrassID=1&subContrassID=0&sbSubContrassID=0

    Reply

  42. Aunt Deb says:

    CNN was reporting Israeli helicopter gunships firing on the people trying to enter Gaza.

    Reply

  43. Station Chief says:

    ————————————————–
    I wonder whether the current escalation is calculated to draw Syria and Iran into the fight.
    PRECISELY!
    ———-
    “Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New Century”
    A white paper written in 2000 by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC)
    The white paper calls for unprecedented hikes in military spending, American military bases in Central Asia and Middle East, toppling of non-complying regimes, abrogation of international treaties, control of the world’s energy sources, militarization of outer space, total control of cyberspace, and the willingness to use nuclear weapons to achieve American goals.
    Phase 1 — Iraq
    Phase 2 — Lebanon
    Phase 3 — Syria
    Phase 4 — Iran
    Phase 5 — Saudi Arabia
    And who are the members of PNAC?
    Dick Cheney Vice President
    Donald Rumsfeld Secretary of Defense
    Douglas J. Feith (former) Undersecretary of Defense
    I. Lewis Libby VP`s former Chief of Staff
    Aaron Friedberg VP`s deputy National Security advisor
    Robert Zoelick US Deputy Secretary of State
    Paula Dobriansky Undersecretary of State
    Elliott Abrams Deputy National Security Adviser
    Frank Gaffney Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board
    Fred C. Ikle Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board
    Eliot A. Cohen Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board
    Henry S. Rowen Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board
    William J. Bennett Presidential speech writer
    Jeb Bush Governor of Florida
    Paul Wolfowitz World Bank President
    John Bolton Ambassador to the U.N.
    Zalmay Khalilzad U.S. ambassador to Iraq
    ————————————————–

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  44. Grand Moff Texan says:

    OK, so can’t we just make like Big Daddy and bomb the shit out of both sides? That might get their attention.
    .

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  45. Chris says:

    I wonder whether the current escalation is calculated to draw Syria and Iran into the fight. This would give either the Bush administration or Israel the needed political cover to attack the Iranian nuclear sites at Natanz and elsewhere. Certianly Bush’s statements do not sound like somone trying to calm the situation.

    Reply

  46. Steve Clemons says:

    Weldon, Casey, etc. — thanks for additional input about flood of entrants from Egypt into Gaza. Interesting that the demand would be so high to get in among those previously blocked — but could be the case. Thanks, steve

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  47. weldon berger says:

    POA, I believe you’re misreading the pulsating desires expressed by Ann.
    Steve, what CaseyL said: The Beeb ran a story to the effect that most of those coming in to Gaza were travelers stranded in Egypt, in abysmal conditions, when the border was closed.

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  48. vachon says:

    Robert Fisk is pointing his finger at Syria. He doesn’t have a lot of confidence in Assad Jr.’s instincts.
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article13975.htm

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  49. Matthew says:

    Posts like Ann’s make me feel that our culture is doomed. It’s easy to laugh at her; it’s frustrating to know she is cancelling out my vote.

    Reply

  50. Pissed Off American says:

    I am filled with so much love for Jesus in these throbbing times that I sincerely believe He is Coming.
    Posted by Ann
    Yeah sister?? Is he coming back to help Cheney torture Muslims, or is he more interested in blowing up them nasty little ehrab
    pickanninnies????

    Reply

  51. alex says:

    relax everyone. you act like war is something new in the middle east.
    the sky is not falling.

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  52. km4 says:

    Bushco, perpetual war, and the elite class
    The elite class are content to have perpetual war if their tax rates approach zero. They don’t care if innocent people get killed, they don’t care if the United States becomes a pariah, they don’t care if terrorism here is the result, they don’t even care about the huge budget and trade deficits that he Bush admin has created and that the national debt won’t be paid off for generations. They don’t care about class warfare and the shrinking middle class in this country.
    They put an amoral, arrogrant, ignorant, monkey in the White House because the elite financial, corporate, media class of the United States are making out better than ever before !

    Reply

  53. zorro says:

    “Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother.We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under.”
    — General Moshe Dayan

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  54. Ann says:

    I am filled with so much love for Jesus in these throbbing times that I sincerely believe He is Coming.

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  55. Woo Wooooo, Woo Wooooo says:

    I am soooo anti-Semite right now! Hope all them Semites over there kill each other but good. Them Semites are crazy wild nasty bastards all.
    Noooo….. the Persians did it ! And then ther’s them A-rabs!
    Where’s that Pig, gotta eat that Pig!
    Oh, my gawd, pocket fulla posies, ashes ashes …
    Escalate unto Armageddon !
    Ain’t we so lucky to live in these Times.
    Here comes Jesus!
    Whoopee, and Bwahahaha!

    Reply

  56. anon says:

    The ABC story reports that many of Palestinians recrossing into Gaza already lived there but have been unable to return since Egypt closed that crossing after the capture/killing of the IDF soldiers. Seems to me similar to Americans abroad anxious to get back to the US after 9/11.
    Meanwhile Bush is twiddling his thumbs and telling the Israelis not to try not to kill too many Lebanese civilians.

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  57. CaseyL says:

    Steve, the news I read was that Palestinians had blown a whole in the wall to escape *from* Gaza *into* Egypt. That makes a lot more sense, as Gaza has become practically uninhabitable.

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  58. John B. says:

    hey stinkbomb, that was a joke.

    Reply

  59. memekiller says:

    It will be a long time before we digest all the damage that has been done by this administration. Kick over an ant hill, and whatever gets rebuilt has to be better, right?
    Right?
    Transforming the Middle East is the one promise Bush has kept.

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  60. Matthew says:

    Two points: (1) if manufacturing weapons makes you responsible for their use, then clearly the 5 permanent members of the security council would be guilty of rampant war crimes; and (2) I wonder if Syria will use Saddam’s WMD against Israel since the ever-reliable Fox News has claimed for three years that’s where they ended up. For being a highly competent people, it seems strange the Israelis aren’t afraid of Syria using WMD, unless they know, unlike the Fox Parrots, that those weapons are a myth.

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  61. km4 says:

    “Then you have the Israeli ambassador to the UN droning on about the missile attacks coming out of Lebanon being “acts of terror”.
    “He who fights terrorists for any period of time is likely to become one himself”.
    Israeli historian Martin van Creveld
    The Transformation of War
    1991

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  62. Friendly Fire says:

    And Isreali weapons are stamped
    “Made in the USA”
    This is fucking out of control, I listened to BBC interview with ex-US ambassador to Egypt and Israel in the last hour.
    Iran and Syria are responsible he says…… well fucking attack them instead of killing innocents in Lebanon and screwing the only business they have. ie Tourism that employs 500K individuals.

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  63. Steambomb says:

    ~~~Four horsemen would be disarming as well as a certain lady in red riding a dragon…but what do I know…~~~
    Frankly. I have grown sick and tired of religous dogma. Israel doesn’t hold the fate of the world in its hands unless of course we all believe that bullshit. Then perhaps we empower them to do so.

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  64. Pissed Off American says:

    Yeah, and McCain was drooling about Syria and Iran today too. The whole thing stinks, and our lives are about to become even MORE fucked up by this administration’s crimes and ineptitude. Anyone want to hazard a guess as to how much gas will cost three months from now? Heating oil??
    Then you have the Israeli ambassador to the UN droning on about the missile attacks coming out of Lebanon being “acts of terror”. I guess Israel thinks being “at war” means “we shoot at you, but you don’t shoot back”, and if you DO shoot back, it is “an act of terrorism”.
    And remember, almost EVERY bomb, almost EVERY artillery shell, almost EVERY missile, was paid for by YOUR TAX DOLLAR. And it is about to get FAR MORE EXPENSIVE.
    Meanwhile, our schools are in the crapper, we have just told the blacks in New Orleans to go fuck themselves, the repukes are thoroughly engaged in a war against gays, Hillary is saving our flag from the occassional fanatic, Reid is getting a royal ass reaming from Roberts, Kerry’s balls are fossilizing in Kenneth Blackwell’s trophy case, nd John Bolton is having wet dreams about incinerated Muslims. (So is Cheney, but his incinerated Muslims are only wearing electrodes).
    And Bush???? He’s looking at mountain bike magazines and trying to remember the story line of “My Pet Goat”.

    Reply

  65. John B. says:

    Four horsemen would be disarming as well as a certain lady in red riding a dragon…but what do I know…

    Reply

  66. steve duncan says:

    Dobson, Falwell and Robertson have certainly broken out the champagne by now. All that’s needed is for someone to trot out the red calf………

    Reply

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