Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: Hidden Agendas

Monday, July 31, 2006

Hidden Agendas

Josh Marshall has an extremely distressing post up today (actually, I suppose it's technically yesterday by now). He's concerned that the Bush administration, instead of wanting to cool things off, may actually desire to expand the Isreali-Hezbollah conflict into Syria. Let's let him explain:

As I said a couple days ago, the thing about this region is that things can always get worse, much worse.

And along those lines, I wanted to finish this post by flagging something ominous that keeps coming up in the Israeli press. There's a mix of public and private communications going on between Jerusalem and Damascus. Israel is trying to assure Damascus that they don't plan or want to expand the war to include Syria. Syria is clearly worried that they will and has their troops on full alert. Israel is also warning in no uncertain terms that Syria getting involved will spark massive retaliation.

But there are persistent signs that the US is egging Israel on to bring the war to Damascus.

Here's a clip from the end of an article today in the Jerusalem Post ...

[Israeli]Defense officials told the Post last week that they were receiving indications from the United States that the US would be interested in seeing Israel attack Syria.

And there are other ominous indications of the US pressing for expansion the Israelis don't seem to want.

There's more here than the US not wanting a ceasefire before meaningful changes on the ground have happened in south Lebanon. Or at least I fear there is.

As I've noted before, the Prez's high spirits about all this seem just a bit to incongruous for what we know is going on, and he demonstrated that again in his radio address this week.

This moment of conflict in the Middle East is painful and tragic. Yet it is also a moment of opportunity for broader change in the region. Transforming countries that have suffered decades of tyranny and violence is difficult, and it will take time to achieve. But the consequences will be profound -- for our country and the world. When the Middle East grows in liberty and democracy, it will also grow in peace, and that will make America and all free nations more secure.

So it's no more than growing pains. What a relief!


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