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imperialism & war

Israel's destruction part of Bush Iraq war plan?

Thought I'd throw this out there for comment, since I haven't seen it discussed anywhere.
It is widely recognized by Middle East experts and anyone who has stopped to think about it that war on Iraq will destabilize the entire region and focus the Muslim world's hatred of Israeli policy into a white hot flame against that country as a whole. As the conflict escalates, states will get involved - either by taking some form of direct action or by providing financial aid, logistical support and materiel for any group ready to carry out punitive action against Israel. The modus operandi of the Sharon government in dealing with such attacks has always been to counter them with brutal and overwhelming force; Ariel Sharon has on more than one occasion suggested Israel would not hesitate to strike Iraq with nuclear weapons if attacked with any sort of "weapons of mass destruction" (I too am beginning to despise that tired term, but please bear with me).

If that were to happen, Muslim states would not rest until they were able to secure nuclear weapons with which to punish Israel. There is plenty of nuclear material (not to mention actual weapons) available across the old Soviet republics, and the only thing keeping it out of the hands of radical elements is the sanity and/or humanity of those who presently control it. This will erode with a war on Iraq that many feel is being instigated by Israel, and is likely to disappear altogether once Israel gets involved. It is therefore virtually certain that at some point some Muslim state will retaliate against Israel with nuclear weapons, and as at least one prominent Israeli dissenter has pointed out, Israel cannot survive more than one or two nuclear hits - even "small" ones by modern standards.

The so-called Christian Right in the US has been historically anti-semitic, and the movement only began to use the term "Judeo-Christian" in its public relations a scant ten or twelve years ago. By seeming to embrace the Jewish community by including it under its tent, the fundamentalist Christian movement accomplished two things: 1) It broadened its appeal among those who saw the movement as a bunch of bigots, and 2) it swelled its ranks - and political power - by attracting the support of ordinary jews as well as powerful right-wing and/or reactionary Jewish groups. It was this alliance, I believe, that greatly helped "elevate" the movement from its previous position as part of the "lunatic fringe" into the mainstream of modern American politics, and it was this elevation that has allowed some of its most malignant proponents access to the corridors of real power.

This apparent "maturing" of the fundamentalist Christian movement in the US hasn't changed its objectives, however, as the rantings of its leaders and almost two years of the Bush administration's scorched-earth implementation of its agenda clearly demonstrates. It stretches the imagination to think that the Conservative Christian Right's historical hatred of the Jews ended ten years ago when it launched its "Judeo-Christian" public relations gambit (which, it should be noted, hasn't mitigated the rather openly expressed and virulent anti-semitic sentiment among the movement's more candid factions).

This raises the question of whether it is a goal of the Bush administration to insure Israel's destruction, perhaps not as a primary objective, but as an acceptable or even desirable bonus of war with Iraq. Surely the Bush team's policy analysts must have sketched this scenario. By encouraging the policies of the Sharon government, discouraging a just resolution of the Palestinian issue, and essentially declaring war on the entire Muslim world, Bush sets up a grand contest in which the US will ultimately prevail given its military and technological might. Israel, however, cannot survive such a contest despite its impressive arsenal. While America can absorb a limited nuclear attack (as unlikely as that might be), Israel cannot. The US will survive, but Israel ceases to exist if even two nuclear warheads reach their targets.

Is this in the Bush cabinet's war plan? Will the US consider this an unfortunate example of "collateral damage"? Do they just not give a damn? Or would they consider it a serendipitous bonus, a poetic payback for Christ's crucifixion? This, after all, has been the central tenet of anti-semitism in the world for almost two thousand years, and continues to be a centerpiece of extreme fundamentalist Christian ideology.

While seeming to "support" Israel and encouraging its campaign of military oppression, is the US not just setting the stage for Israel's destruction? And if that were to occur, wouldn't that provide the pretext for destroying the entire muslim world? Haven't these in fact been parallel goals since the rise of "Christianity"? Has the leopard changed its spots?
funny, i was thinking just the opposite 10.Oct.2002 02:26

sacred chao

I was thinking that the Bush clan might be hoping to instigate a larger Middle East conflict in which they would back up Israel against its enemies, with the results that:

1) Israel could get some new territory and a better strategic position from which to serve as a forward base for western interests

2) all those borders drawn up when the British and French empires dismembered the Ottoman empire could be redrawn to benefit the American empire (ain't borders funny like that, tho)

3) some "unfriendly" Arab governments could find themselves victims of "regime change"

I think you make a mistake in treating the entire Christian right as a monolithic entity. Some elements are quite anti-Semitic, while others are just sort of smarmy and condescending. OK, OK, I'm sure some of them are even quite nice people.

But regardless of who they like or don't like, they need Israel in place if Armageddon is going to happen, which (come to think of it) might just be on some of their devious little minds.....sigh. Millenialism is sooo 1990's. Anyway, they need more than Israel for that. They need an annointed one.

Hey, Rocky, watch me pull a messiah outta my hat!

I thought I was going to stop spewing my paranoid delusions across the web at 2 in the morning. So maybe I'm backsliding. So sue me.

the sacred chao says
muuuuuuuuuu

Just thinking ... 10.Oct.2002 09:35

G. Bush

Since the product of war on Iraq will be the need to subdue and probably occupy most of the Middle East, why should the US share power in the region with Israel? Israel has been a useful foothold for the US, during a time when America's designs on that part of the world weren't well-defined or overtly expressed. Now that America's aims are clear for the world to see, why does it need Israel, particularly when the strength of the Israeli lobby in the US threatens to eclipse the political system in that country?

The United States has a time-honored tradition of getting rid of its former allies after they are no longer of immediate benefit, either by cutting their throats or abandoning them to destruction by others. What makes Israel anything more than a liability to the US once the US controls the rest of the region? When countries enter into protective alliances with hungry wolves they are bound to get eaten eventually.

interesting 10.Oct.2002 09:41

gary

Both the original post and the follow-up are interesting. I agree that anti-Semitism has been little discussed as a driving force of late, especially with the Left excoriating Israel over its treatment of the Palestinians (even if much/most of the criticism is warranted).

I don't see the coming war with Iraq as benefitting Israel, and I can't imagine that Israel is doing any behind-the-scenes manipulations to bring it about. It seems both writers recognize the dangers war will bring to this tiny country that indeed could not survive two nuclear hits on its major population centers of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

While the previous two posts both present plausible, if opposite, scenarios, I wonder whether anti-Semitism could provide enough of a motive to bring about events that do not inure to the interest of the corporate capitalists. I think that's the bottom line, despite the millions here and abroad who'd like nothing better than Israel's destruction.

Nevertheless, I fear that whatever the primary motive(s) for the coming war and America's descent into fascism at home and imperialism abroad, Israel is in deep shit.

Israel's destruction part of Bush Iraq war pl 10.Oct.2002 09:42

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Israel's destruction part of Bush Iraq war plan?

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Probably not, but we can dream, can't we?