Friday, July 21, 2006

A proxy war? 

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that someone isn't really out to get you.
So it is paranoid to think that the Bush administration may be thinking it could use Israel's war on Hezbollah to provoke war against Iran?
I'm spending the day reading stuff here and there about Iran and Iraq and Shiites and Sunnis and who is doing what to whom all through the Middle East, and about the neocon eagerness for World War Three , and what Bush is doing or not doing, and the Republicans thinking they could win the midterms if they become the war party again.
And I'm starting to wonder if there isn't a scenario here, what the Washington Post describes as "not just a crisis . . . but also an opportunity".
Juan Cole writes:
. . . The Israelis warn the small town Shiites of the south to flee their own homes and go hundreds of miles away (and live on what? in what?). But then they intensely bombing them, making it impossible for them to flee. The Lebanese have awoken to find themselves cockroaches.
I repeat, this is nothing less than an ethnic cleansing of the Shiites of southern Lebanon, an assault on an entire civilian population's way of life . . .
Is the Bush administration hoping that if enough Shiite Lebanese civilians are terrorized and killed, then Arab street will be so outraged they will insist on Iran taking direct action against Israel, which would mean the US could immediately declare war on Iran?
Does the Bush Administration see this as a win-win situation, where either, if Iran attacks, the US would be "forced" to protect Israel by declaring war on Iran, or, if Iran doesn't attack, it would be discredited as a regional leader?
Or am I just a raving paranoid?

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