Friday, November 24, 2006

Who Dunnit in Beirut

The mysterious assassination of Pierre Jumayel could have been pulled off by any number of interested parties. The nice thing about this technique of political rub-out is that anyone can use it to reinforce existing fears and suspicions. My guess is that this is a Cheney operation, performed on the basis of instructions by the Vice.

If there is any political logic to the surreptitious operation, ascribed without a shred of proof to the Syrians by Bush and the major media in the West, it is the supposition that this kind of event would prove that the Syrians really are the fourth link in the axis of evil. The murder of Jumayel by the Syrians is supposed to prove the folly of disregarding neo-conservative axioms. If indeed, it were a Syrian operation. But why in the devil would the Syrians do something that is so clearly contrary to their current interests. The Syrians are in the midst of new overtures to Damascus and on the eve of a Bakerian rehabilitation. Why would the Syrians pull off something so clearly calculated to incense and mobilize the anti-Syrian forces in Lebanon.

It is the neo-cons who fear the upcoming recommendation by Baker to stop trying to isolate the Syrians. So it is the neo-cons who are mortified by the coming Baker report. Pinning the assassination in Beirut on Damascus is designed to prove that the very idea of talking to the Syrians is ludicrous. Killing Jumayel and laying the blame on the Syrians is a clear Cheney interest. I will bet on Cheney until evidence to the contrary is on the table.

The Bush gang will fight on, even if their boss tries to appear reconciled to the will of the electorate. The assassination in Beirut can be listed as Dirty Trick #1 in the Neo-Con counter-attack. I have just as much proof for my assertion that Cheney is the logical culprit as Bush & Co. have for their charge that it was the Syrians that did it.

Everybody Wants His Blood

There is a consensus this morning in Israel–including key members in his own party - that Amir Peretz cannot remain in his job as Minister of Security. Everybody is busy settling accounts, old and new with Peretz. His role in Lebanon II was indeed sufficient grounds to send him packing, along with Olmert and the Chief of Staff, Halutz. But the typical “Peretz must go” chorus this morning, as exemplified by Ha’aretz (Editorial, November 24, 2006), is pure hawkish hogwash. Ha’aretz, divorcing the issue from its more relevant political context, wants a military figure, who will inspire the confidence of the masses. Ha’aretz smells more war, and needs a general to feel safe.

A few weeks back, Peretz was busy saving Olmert’s backside after Olmert had brought the racist, “transferist,” Lieberman into the coalition. Peretz put down a rebellion by a significant minority in his party against remaining in a government with the crypto-fascist. The immediate cause for the fury against Peretz, this week, seems to be a telephone conversation he held (or even initiated, God forbid) with the Chairmand of the Palestinian Authority, Abu Mazen, without Olmert’s approval. Thus, Peretz is receiving his just reward for forcing his party to swallow Lieberman as Minister in Charge of Strategic Issues. As the government continues to lose any vestige of prestige, despite its commanding parliamentary majority, the right, headed by Netanyahu keeps up the bluff that it has a solution for all of Israel’s urgent problems. Meanwhile, the media, encouraged by Olmert and the right are doing everything to undermine Peretz’s status and make it impossible for him to perform his duties. Though Peretz deserves little or no respect from the left, his resignation, if he is indeed forced out, will be a victory for an Olmert-Netanyahu- Lieberman war coalition in the making.

No Military Solution

The primitive home made rockets showered on Sderot are driving the military-government experts over the edge. From time to time they admit that there is no military solution to the rockets. But then, one of the experts reminds them that the most mighty military power in the region cannot admit that there is no military solution to the rockets. So they start these “secret inner cabinet” deliberations and threaten a new wide scale conquest of the Gaza strip. At this point the advocates of the massive invasion admit that even after this there will still be rockets and maybe even more of them. So even if there is no military solution, you must take action involving widespread death and destruction, because an atomic-strategic-NATO-sized army cannot admit that there is no military solution to the problem of the rockets.

Short Memory

I am not the first to notice a recent re-shift in Israel’s attitude to some key countries in Europe. When Condi Rice was busy putting together an international force for Lebanon, to establish a new reality in the region, Israel was happy that the French were coming in and the arrival of the Italians in Lebanon was a diplomatic victory. France and Italy seemed to have lost their “kashrut” stamp, last week, when they initiated along with Spain a perfectly reasonable initiative to do something about peace with the Palestinians. Europe it seems is fine for stability in Lebanon, in the north, but prone to encouraging terrorism in the south, in Gaza.