Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Endless Summer

Israpundit asks whether the rumored 'Summer War' has begun after Syria blew up a Lebanese MP and Hamas continued to consolidate its hold on Gaza. "Israel so far is standing aside. The US strategy is in shambles. It is losing everywhere." Even Robert Fisk seems afraid that Lebanon is heading for the abyss. And he has curiously few bad words for America and Israel, besides a reflexive snarkiness.

Each assassination - of a communist politician, of a journalist, of a Christian MP - each outbreak of guerrilla violence - 61 soldiers have now been killed fighting Fatah al-Islam in the north - quick-marches Lebanon faster towards the abyss.

The "Summer War" has its Iraqi component too. The new attack on the Golden Mosque is so serious that President Bush has issued a public appeal for calm.

President George W. Bush condemned a bomb attack on a Shiite holy site in Iraq yesterday as an effort by al-Qaeda to fuel sectarian tensions in the country.

The attack at the Golden Mosque in Samarra is part of "al- Qaeda's scheme to sow hatred among the Iraqi people," Bush said, according to an e-mailed statement from the White House late yesterday. "I join Iraq's leaders in calling on all Iraqis to refrain from acts of vengeance."

The U.S.-led coalition dispatched a Rapid Reaction Force to Samarra, 96 kilometers (60 miles) north of the capital, Baghdad, to assist Iraqi forces guarding the mosque, Bush said. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki imposed a curfew on Baghdad yesterday, the Associated Press reported.

In an Iraq now in the grip of sectarian tensions it is probably ironic that the single most neutral voice is probably that of the American President. The obvious threat is this: 1) Syria will make a play for Lebanon; 2) Hamas will consolidate in Gaza and maybe make a move on Fatah in the West Bank; 3) al-Qaeda will make a final attempt to push Iraq into a full-blown regional conflict. Maybe it isn't the Summer War, but it is a push of some sort.

Imagine if you can that a timetable for the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq by fall were in effect as Congressional Democrats had demanded. The War on Terror isn't the same thing as combat operations in Iraq. It rages apace in Afghanistan and Levant. There is no walking away from it. There can only be a determination to win it, or else it will burn out many Muslim countries and much else besides.


Blogger NahnCee said...

There is no walking away from it. There can only be a determination to win it, or else it will burn out many Muslim countries and much else besides.

I wish you would explain how Muslims killing Muslims and Arabs killing Arabs is a bad thing from our point of view. Won't that just save us the cost of a nuclear bomb in a year or so, if we should decide that the whole region is un-civilizable?

And isn't that the ultimate goal of the "fly paper" strategy? To draw them all into Iraq (or the Middle East) to be killed, so they won't be killing us here in the west?

Why would "burning out" Saudi Arabia, Iran, or Syria not be something devoutly to be desired?

6/13/2007 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

From one point of view it takes very little force to destroy every Arab country in the region. The whole place is a tinderbox of hatreds and fanaticisms ready to cook off at the slightest provocation.

But it is not that case that the world can be indifferent to it. The Middle East isn't Central Africa. It has oil. And if you count Israel, it has nuclear weapons. Time and again the world has been stood on a knife-edge for that very reason: 1967, 1973, the Gulf War, OIF.

So given that it is important and that America is already involved, one is better off winning it than losing it.

6/13/2007 06:53:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

That is all well and good Wretchard. But Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have said that the Surge has failed and are demanding a withdrawal.

They have the votes and are likely to get it too.

So, it's a done deal. Withdraw from Iraq. Probably also withdraw from Afghanistan. Dems are already demanding we "talk" to Iran and have floated noises about "understanding" if Ahmadinejad performs a second Holocaust. Israel for Dems is quite dispensible.

So a withdrawal to the US and appeasement is the policy. It's a done deal. ONLY a nuclear attack on the US will change that, and even then it's chancy. Dem Presidential hopefuls ruled out any counterattack except Clinton and we all know she'd just fire off a few impotent missiles that would blow up sand dunes.

Meanwhile ordinary people know that Islam intends to wipe them out or make them slaves, and fume with appeasement and surrender to the enemy.

6/13/2007 07:27:00 PM  
Blogger Starko said...


There would also exist a vacuum from which AQ and like-minded groups could operate.

Recall Afghanistan after the Russians left. Lots of Muslim vs. Muslim fighting. As a country we took little interest in the outcome, but the Taliban got the upper hand and created an operational base for AQ.

Or think about the conflict between AQ and the [relatively] moderate tribesman in Pakistan. Again, no economic (oil) reason for us to worry, but if AQ wins, we might be left with another area that they can use to openly train and build a strike capability (I only say might because the Pakistani government might intervene).
Besides which, as much as these conflicts of religious intolerance frustrate me, letting genocide run unchecked will result in many more generations of hatred and conflict- think about how offended many Arabs were when GW Bush used the term "crusade". It was like there was still an open wound there, whereas that word is almost completely devoid of its historical context when used in the West. Keep in mind that the original crusades ended over 700 years ago.

6/14/2007 04:43:00 AM  
Blogger JoseyWales said...

Fisk sounds almost sympathetic to the (pro-Western) Lebanese gvmnt and army??

Something very scary must be up.

And/or perhaps, seeing the penultimate conclusion of his demented politics (Hamas executing Fatah people) is scaring even the old fool himself.

6/14/2007 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger JoseyWales said...

A parenthesis:

I heard reports the policemen guarding the (now twice) blown up Samarra Shiite Mosque were mostly Sunnis. And those were responsible for the inside job.

A child of 5 knows these are NOT the people to be put in charge. If that's the level of security competence in Iraq, it's even worse than anyone thinks.

6/14/2007 12:36:00 PM  

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