American Entropy is dedicated to the disruption and discrediting of neoconservative actions and the extreme ideals of the religious right.
Why bomb all of Lebanon?
Why did Israel bomb all of Lebanon? The problems they were facing was the launching of rockets from Southern Lebanon. So why not target that area exclusively? Juan Cole states:
I continue to maintain that if the Israelis had tried harder to target missile launching pads instead of dropping 80 percent of their bombs on non-Hezbollah areas or on infrastructure, they could have stopped these rocket attacks. Military action specifically to take out the missiles is legitimate, since they are being used in a war crime, which is the indiscriminate bombing of Haifa civilians.
It isn't a surprise to me that the air war failed, they targeted civilians and infrastructure instead of the root of the problem. Sound familiar?
Posted by Geoff
Scheuer on Israel's war
I'm a big fan of Dr. Michael Scheuer ( 22-year CIA vet. member of the bin Laden Unit at the Counterterrorist Center from 1996 to 1999 and Special Advisor to the Chief of the bin Laden unit from September 2001 to November the 2004). I had the pleasure to met him a few weeks back at an event at CAP called The Terrorism Index (full disclosure: We're losing the GWoT) where, despite saying some controversial things (he was coming from a national security standpoint and if you consider what he says, he is completely right), which you can watch or read at the link.
He's long been a critic of this administration and its policies in the Middle East and abroad. He is the author of the book Imperial Hubris which I used to write this post about the misuse of the terror frame and suggestions for dealing with our problems in a different way. He is also a conservative Republican, and you can verify that is the Q and A session in the link above.
Today he wrote an article for antiwar.com that has the right frame for the Israeli-Lebanon madness, as well as larger implications for the GWoT. Here is an excerpt:
As Lebanon burns, bin Laden's words will reinforce and harden Muslim perceptions – including the views of Muslims in Europe and North America – that the U.S.-led West is warring on Islam and its followers. Bin Laden's claims that Arab regimes cannot protect Muslims and are the West's apostate lackeys were underscored when Arab kings and dictators acted through the Arab League to condemn Hezbollah. Nothing better proves bin Laden's consistently made point than the juxtaposition of the Arab leaders' damning of Hezbollah – heretofore always a "legitimate resistance group" in their rhetoric – and their implicit acquiescence in Israel's leisurely razing of Beirut.
So bin Laden wins without lifting a finger. The G-8 leaders, their Arab allies, and Israel have behaved in a way that will burn bin Laden's words deeper into Muslim perceptions and push more to accept jihad as the only recourse. Western leaders can argue forever that they are honest brokers but, because perception is reality, it will be bin Laden's words, not theirs, that echo long and tellingly in Muslim ears.
Red it here.
Posted by Geoff
A Turkey - Kurdistan front? [UPDATE]
[UPDATE 07.21.2006] Reuters and the AFP are reporting a conflict on the Turkey-Iraq(Kurdistan) border friday that killed 4 PKK troops and one Turkish soldier. The Turk was thrown from his helicopter after it came under fire.
Let me first say three things: We should all hope this doesn't happen (unless, of course, you are a neocon). This probably won't happen. I'm posting this in a short amount of time so I'll be brief.
Zaman newspaper (Turkey) is reporting the presence of 150,000 Turkish troops on the boarder of Iraq. They are on a high state of alert and any military leave has been canceled. Given the recent attacks on Turkish soldiers by the PKK (14 dead in recent days) this pending incursion by Turkey seems to be gaining legitimacy from Israel's recent actions and American inaction.
Turkey told the US administration, which is opposed to Turkey launching a cross-border operation into northern Iraq "unilaterally," that "the US should fulfill its responsibilities as an ally of Turkey and stop pursuing double-standard policies."
...diplomatic sources said: "Turkey offered to act in cooperation with its allies to eliminate terrorism entirely. Our allies should make similar efforts also. Allies with a common vision should cooperate."
More (see the 3rd brief)
Posted by Geoff
Will v. Kristol
George Will shows unprecedented tolerance today slamming the Weekly Standard's Kristol:
The administration, justly criticized for its Iraq premises and their execution, is suddenly receiving some criticism so untethered from reality as to defy caricature. The national, ethnic and religious dynamics of the Middle East are opaque to most people, but to the Weekly Standard -- voice of a spectacularly misnamed radicalism, "neoconservatism" -- everything is crystal clear: Iran is the key to everything .
"No Islamic Republic of Iran, no Hezbollah. No Islamic Republic of Iran, no one to prop up the Assad regime in Syria. No Iranian support for Syria . . ." You get the drift. So, the Weekly Standard says:
"We might consider countering this act of Iranian aggression with a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. Why wait? Does anyone think a nuclear Iran can be contained? That the current regime will negotiate in good faith? It would be easier to act sooner rather than later. Yes, there would be repercussions -- and they would be healthy ones, showing a strong America that has rejected further appeasement."
"Why wait?" Perhaps because the U.S. military has enough on its plate in the deteriorating wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which both border Iran. And perhaps because containment, although of uncertain success, did work against Stalin and his successors, and might be preferable to a war against a nation much larger and more formidable than Iraq. And if Bashar Assad's regime does not fall after the Weekly Standard's hoped-for third war, with Iran, does the magazine hope for a fourth?
As for the "healthy" repercussions that the Weekly Standard is so eager to experience from yet another war: One envies that publication's powers of prophecy but wishes it had exercised them on the nation's behalf before all of the surprises -- all of them unpleasant -- that Iraq has inflicted. And regarding the "appeasement" that the Weekly Standard decries: Does the magazine really wish the administration had heeded its earlier (Dec. 20, 2004) editorial advocating war with yet another nation -- the bombing of Syria?
You got to pet them when they're good...
Posted by Geoff
At least that is the latest assessment from the brilliant right-wing foreign policy minds that have done such a bang-up job in the Middle East over the past half-decade.
He [Newt Gingrich] lists wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, last week's bomb attacks in India, North Korean nuclear threats, terrorist arrests and investigations in Florida, Canada and Britain, and violence in Israel and Lebanon as evidence of World War III.
He said Bush needs to deliver a speech to Congress and "connect all the dots" for Americans.
So there it is WWIII. Had William Kristol still had the respect he enjoyed in his run up to the Iraq War we would be fighting Iran, Syria, Lebanon(Hezbollah), Hamas...
What's happening in the Middle East, then, isn't just another chapter in the Arab-Israeli conflict. What's happening is an Islamist-Israeli war. You might even say this is part of the Islamist war on the West--but is India part of the West? Better to say that what's under attack is liberal democratic civilization, whose leading representative right now happens to be the United States.
So with that it's time for more war. The two-front war we struggle with today should become a half-dozen or more. We should confront these armies, armies to weak to fight conventionally, over there rather than here. As we have seen these armies fold at the first glimpse of conventional warfare and melt into bands of guerrilla fighters that our military has not been able to effectively control historically. No diplomacy , no reassessment in foreign policy, America has done nothing wrong. Slap another yellow ribbon on your SUV, spend your tax cut, and 'Get 'er done!'
November must be close. Connect the dots.
Further down the article about Newt:
Gingrich said he is "very worried" about Republican's facing fall elections and says the party must have the "nerve" to nationalize the elections and make the 2006 campaigns about a liberal Democratic agenda rather than about President Bush's record.
Dots connected. Or as Matt Stoller puts it, "It's important to start World War III, otherwise the Democrats will win the midterms in 2006...".
[UPDATE] Col. Lang on war hysteria In DC:
Otherwise sensible people are seriously suggesting that all out war to the death is the desirable "motif" of the day. In addition, neocon visionaries like Bill Kristol, Newt Gingrich and the Ledeen are howling like banshees for general war against the enemies of "freedom."
Posted by Geoff