Feb 9, 2007

Current US strategy and why an attack on Iran is likely

This is a very interesting strategy paper that was written in the 80s by Israeli journalist Oded Yinon, who had close links to the Foreign Ministry there.

A lot of people have been touting this as proof of an Israeli/US conspiracy to divide and conquer the Middle East, based on this paper. However, I am not so certain this is the case.

While no doubt both the USA and Israel have had far from exemplary records in recent history in that region, to present them as acting in concert, based on this plan is just not plausible. The USA, riding on the back of a wave of anti-Arab sentiment and successful campaign, decided to go into Iraq, for a myriad of reasons, most of which were never truly explained to the public.

Israel, on the other hand, apart from the continuing problems of the Palestinian territories, has only undertaken a limited campaign in Lebanon, one which was not successful and has in fact undermined the leadership there and played into the hands of Syria, who may well be welcomed back into Beirut soon, by an official, Hezb'allah dominated government.

Now, both of those can be read in the context of the paper. But Israel refusing to attack Syria, despite been given a green light by the USA (as well as several pieces of dubious evidence pointing to Syrian-backed terrorist groups working in Lebanon), yet they have refused.

Israel is quite unstable, in terms of its political parties who take control of government. In the last 11 years, they have gone from Left, to Centre, to Right back to Centre again, with all these parties dependent on coalitions to maintain a hold on power. As such a strategy as this would come from and be backed by the right wing Israeli politicians (Likud, for example), it would require a right wing party to have a secure grip on their government, as such a strategy would have to take place over the long term.

The US political system, on the other hand, is the very epitome of stability. Democrat, or Republican, regular elections, the Executive only removable by crime, mental illness or end of term.

And its the USA who invaded Iraq, is talking of attacking Iran and tried to push Israel into attacking Syria. Its very possible that political institutions or individuals with strong links in the USA passed on this paper on to their American counterparts. But, unfortunately for the anti-semitic fringe out there, its going to be quite hard to blame "teh evil J00s" for this one.

The USA would benefit from a stable Iraq, as would everyone. The idea that the USA would purposefully go in and destabilize such a strategically vital region of the world is madness. I can certainly see them having this as a back up plan, however. Should violence spill over into Jordan and Saudi Arabia, the voices calling for setting the entire region on fire before leaving will get louder. But that wont benefit Israel, certainly not in the mid-term. Those fanatical Islamic groups have become much more powerful since that paper was written. There's no telling if the violence would spill over into Israeli territory and if it could be stopped or not. Thats the problem with anarchy on such a scale, it becomes very messy and lots of people end up being hit in unexpected ways.

Stability is in Israel's interest, for now certainly. Anti-Israeli sentiment is at its highest point ever, currently. Doing this now would be suicidal, for them. Not for the USA, however.

See how simple these things are, when you think them through?

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