February 8, 2012

The Neocons' Ultimate Enemy

Back to the well for one more college football analogy ...

Charles Krauthammer and some guy who used to run Mossad have been trumpeting in the Washington Post and the New York Times, respectively, how crucial it is for the U.S. to overthrow the Alawite minority regime in Syria in order to throw a spanner in the works of the Iranian juggernaut, which would be good for America, the whole world, and all intelligent life forms in the galaxy (plus Israel).

But would regime change in Syria bringing the Sunni majority to power actually be good for Israel?

Now, the Assad dynasty in Syria are from the weird quasi-Shi'ite (and perhaps crypto-Christian) Alawite sect. Being surrounded, both in their own country and in the Arab world, by Sunnis, the Assads have taken multiple steps to stay in power and keep their necks attached to their heads: they run a nasty secular Baathist police state, they insist that Alawites are Shi'ites, they've formed an alliance with the Shi'ites in Iran, they've transformed Alawite worship into an imitation of Sunni orthodoxy, and they tried to get some kind of secret nuclear facility, which the Israelis blew up in '07 in an incident that neither side wants to talk about.

They got beat by Israel in '67 and '73, losing the well-watered Golan Heights, and have since maintained a hostile but largely quiescent posture toward the dominant Israelis ever since. They know Israel can crush them like a bug, and so they try not to provoke Israel, and don't let anybody within their police state provoke them either. All in all, not as good a neighbor for Israel as Egypt was under Mubarak, but things could be a lot worse for Israel. Syria has been less trouble for Israel for the last 38 years than, say, chaotic Lebanon.

As a weak minority-run regime concerned only with staying in power at home and out of favor with other Arab regimes for sectarian reasons, Syria has hardly been one to make a lot of trouble for the regional superpower. But, unlike Lebanon, the Syrian regime has been strong enough to keep aggrieved locals from firing missiles into Israel, which would provoke Israel to come smash up the Assad family's shiny military weapons that it uses to keep the Sunnis down. 

Now, with the overthrow of Mubarak's secular regime and the rise of democratic ideology in Egypt, which, not surprisingly, has turned out to mean the rise of Sunni fundamentalists, why would Krauthammer and Mr. Mossad want to risk the rise of another Sunni regime on the opposite direction of Israel's suddenly worrisome border with Egypt? As you may recall if you were a stamp collector as a kid, back in Nasser's day in the 1960s, Egypt and Syria were briefly united into one country called the United Arab Republic. Not surprisingly, that didn't last long, but it was more worrisome for Israel than Syria being on the outs with the Sunni Arabs. Compared to Syria being allied against Israel with Egypt, Syria being allied against Israel with far-off Iran is a piece of cake for Israel. Moreover, the main complaint Israel has had against Syria is being a conduit for weapons for anti-Israeli forces in Lebanon and the West Bank, but we've seen the Arab Spring in Egypt bring more enthusiasm in Egypt for helping Gaza Strippers get missiles to fire off in the general direction of Israel, so it's not clear that bringing the majority to power in Syria will help even with that.

So, why can't the neocons leave well enough alone? Why the urge to meddle, to play the great game even when the risks for Israel seemingly outweigh the rewards? 

Because that's what neocons do. It's like asking a college football fan if they want their team to go to a bowl game. Of course they do! They want more action, they want something to look forward to. 

For example, my neighbor gave me a ticket to a UCLA game at the Rose Bowl last fall. It was immediately obvious that the Bruins were a terrible football team. They fumbled the ball, they had a hard time getting plays off before the clock ran out, their defensive backs fell down a lot: just a bad team. But that night, everything happened to bounce right for them and they somehow beat a much better Arizona St. team by a point. 

This was very exciting to Bruins fans because it put the team in position to go to not one but two postseason games. Now, rational bystanders might have said, "Oh, no, please, dear God, don't make UCLA play any extra games this season. Twelve is enough." 

But that's not how college football fans think. They want their team to keep playing. Since USC, which then beat UCLA 50-0, was ineligible for the post-season for flagrant USCishness, UCLA wound up in the Pac-12 championship against Phil Knight of Nike's Oregon, where they only lost by about 20. And then, their 6-7 record somehow or other got them into the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl against another woeful team. And they lost, which made them the first 6-8 team in the history of college football. Woo-hoo.

Because UCLA qualified for two additional games, probably one or two players got seriously injured and, no doubt, a few flunked classes because they had to practice rather than study. But, from the perspective of the general welfare of the human race, war games like football are an improvement over war. A few crippling injuries and some concussions are a pretty small price to pay to give us non-lethal outlets for male combativeness.

Much like college football fans, just vastly more expensively in terms of lives and money (as the absurd Iraq Attaq demonstrated), for the neocons, banging the war drums and scheming, no matter how stupidly, are all part of the fun of being an Israel fan. 

For neocons in 2012, the true foe is not Iran or Syria or whomever. 

Their ultimate enemy is boredom.

63 comments:

Anonymous said...

The neocons are smarter than you think. Replacing a relatively well organized state and military with disorganized gangs and militias is not necessarily bad in their eyes. The former can marshal much more organized power and thus ultimately is a greater threat in the long run. Especially if they can get help from others including Russia, China, etc.

Sam said...

I believe you've hit the nail on the head. All this meddling will have a hideous pay back. It will amuse me if we can stay out of it.

Anonymous said...

..."why would Krauthammer and Mr. Mossad want to risk the rise of another Sunni regime..."

Reflexive dislike of Arabs. Assad is an Arab, he's highly visible, so they want bad things to happen to him. There's probably no strategy. What did the War Nerd say about the motivation behind most wars? Our guys yeah, their guys boo? Eventually they'll start plotting against whoever takes Assad's place.

I don't think it's boredom exactly or even a conscious desire to keep the other side occupied with internal squabbling. It's simpler. He's an Arab, they hear about him in the news all the time, so they wish for things to go badly for him.

In interviews Assad seems much less macho/theatrical than Kaddafy did. If the neocons do help topple him, he'll probably just pick up his family and flee.

Anonymous said...

Zionists are not afraid of Syria as a power, whoever runs it. They just don't like Syria as a conduit between Iran and Hamas/Hezbollah.
If the regime falls with the help of the West(controlled by Zionists), the new Syrian regime may be chummy with the West(if only out of gratitude), and therefore with Zionists as well.

gummiria said...

Maybe Kraut is thinking fall of Syrian regime will force Iran's hand at the table. Or Iranians will be emboldened to rise up again too.

Whiskey said...

I have no idea why Krauthammer thinks getting rid of Assad is a good idea. I certainly don't. And I'm possibly the most hawkish guy here. I think most Israelis and certainly the Netanyahu government would prefer Assad to the inevitable Islamist regime after him.

Besides, Syria is not the threat to Israel that Iran is. Syria's nuke program was taken out in one raid. Iran's is much bigger, more protected, more distant, and has aims that Assad does not.

It MIGHT have made sense to get rid of Assad in 2003, if we were going to stay and run Iraq for our benefit. Blood for oil, which makes sense. But we lacked the will to do that. Now, it makes no sense at all, unless we are certain that Assad is a goner and we have a client we are pretty certain we can back to win, giving us access to intel and perhaps bases. That's pretty unlikely.

Morality however has nothing to do with it. Payback is a meaningless term. Did the Poles or Czechs get "payback" from Hitler in WWII? Nope. You're strong or weak and the weak to quote Putin get beaten.

Krauthammer and the rest are likely frustrated that since Korea, because of the Cold War, the US was not allowed to "win" wars because it might lead to nuclear ones. And that pattern persists to this day. Operating in PC boundaries and with all those constraints, they express whatever nationalism remains.

Anonymous said...

Steve,

You are very good at making your points. I love the way you wrote 'Israel' in the opening paragraph in extremely small font. That was about as powerful a statement as one could make and you did with a simple selection of font size.

damned if you do or dont said...

Those Jews! Smart or stupid, pro or opposed, right or left, it's all - it's ALWAYS - about throwing the world of the goyim into tumult for their own tribal aims...

Stevey, y'ever wonder if you just might not see straight on the subject.

Also, you mentioned being an adoptee who used to fantasize that he descended from Jews (who you no doubt resented for being so tribal yet gathering together in council to reject YOU). Any news on the subject? A fella as fascinated by race as you are must have some personal interest in his own foggy story. Shouldn't your worshipful readers know that story?

I'm personally a big fan of yours Steve but the sort of antisemitism that festers among some of your more prominent commentaters feeds deeply from your less dangerous mild distaste for our volk - and it's the same sort of antisemitism that caused the murder of my close relatives not too long ago. Reductio ad holocaustum is repulsively overdone by the Foxmans of the world but it takes no stretch at all to see holocaust inducing hatred in the alternate right.

fondatori said...

Well, if it doesn't work out well, everyone in the middle east can just come and live in America

Anonymous said...

Krauthammer and the rest are likely frustrated that since Korea, because of the Cold War, the US was not allowed to "win" wars because it might lead to nuclear ones.

Well, the US did win the cold war without firing a single shot or nuke; nor did anyone nuke them in return.

Whiskey said...

Yes Anon but the frustration of basically "losing" in: Vietnam, the Gulf War, Iraq, and now Afghanistan (according to a Lt. Col who is basically throwing away his career, a total disaster and nothing but lies by the top brass) must rankle.

I have no idea who benefits at all from intervening against Assad. Israel no doubt would prefer to deal with their source problem: Iran, and keep the status quo with Assad. Who is rational because he has something to lose. At this point I'm worried about Obama.

He seems to decide on whoever visits him last, is easily swayed by female bullying, has no clue on anything, and can't keep his eye on the ball. Assad is a problem for Turkey, and Russia, and Iran to deal with (the Israelis would prefer Iran get bogged down there rather than zoom along on Nuke City). Our concerns ought to be Chavez leasing out missile sites to Iran. That's a laugh city now, when Iran is nuclear, a low-rent but still deadly re-run of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Even a bad nuke can kill you.

But there is no question we've penalized normal, natural military success. Not even a parade for Iraq/Afghan vets, but one for the GIANTS? I mean Eli is great, but come on.

Anonymous said...

As to the reasoning - Israel can't take out Iran's program on its own because there are too many sites. If they could have done it on their own they would have already.

Their options are
1) US help from the get go
2) Provoke Iran into doing something which gets US help
3) Tonkin incident and get US help

(1) seems to be out while Obama is Prez. I'm expecting (3) if Obama wins, (1) if the Reps win. In the meantime (2) seems to be the present hope.

So i'd see an atack on Syria in that context i.e. hoping it might provoke Iran into doing smething that would force Obama's hand.

Pete said...

ie Whiskey's comment basically = d-fence! d-fence! d-fence!

DaveinHackensack said...

"Not even a parade for Iraq/Afghan vets, but one for the GIANTS? I mean Eli is great, but come on."

They waited until the Super Bowl was over (and the Giants had won) to hold a parade for them.

Similarly, the parade for Gulf War vets was held after the war was over, and won (based on that war's stated objective -- ejecting Saddam from Kuwait -- it was a clear victory. That Saddam survived it and the subsequent revolts against him failed doesn't change that).

International Jew said...

Without the overland route through Syria there's no way for Hizbullah to bring in the high-power Iranian missiles that could do a lot of damage in Israel. Thousands dead (probably in collapsing high-rise apartment towers) is now a real possibility. Of course those missiles are already in Lebanon. But without Syrian cooperation at least they won't get replaced and being irreplaceable they're less likely to be launched in the first place.

Your football analogy is amusing but it also makes you come across as unaware that your condition behind the safety of your two oceans is not Israel's condition. Israelis would very much prefer to drink beer and watch sports, too, rather than go to war.

Anonymous said...

"Israelis would very much prefer to drink beer and watch sports, too, rather than go to war."

You mean get other people to go to war on Israel's behalf.

Drunk Idiot said...

The Assad regime's closeness with Iran and support for Hezbollah nearly guarantee that If Israel takes action in Iran, Hezbollah will retaliate via Syria. That's probably why Krauthammer and company want to take Assad out.

And maybe Kruathammer is just pissed at the mere fact that Assad has let Hezbollah hang around.

I do remember conservatives banging the war drums against Syria back around 2003 & 2004. Rush Limbaugh, in particular, said "Syria's next" in '04. Obviously, nothing came of it. And from what I've heard of him, 8 years of Bush and three of Obama seem to have left Limbaugh a bit less hawkish as of late (unlike some other prominent conservative talkers).

Assad's Alawite regime has been hanging on by a thread for years. They play the same game that most Middle Eastern regimes play (Pakistan plays the game too, but they're not exactly Middle Eastern): play ball with anybody who can help you stay in power and pit as many of your potential enemies against each other as possible.

If Assad falls, there's a high likelihood that we (and maybe even Israel) won't like whatever Sunni government replaces him. All those Middle Eastern Christians who've recently fled to Syria for its religious tolerance -- Chaldeans and Copts in particular -- probably won't find it to their liking either.

Anonymous said...

"The neocons are smarter than you think. Replacing a relatively well organized state and military with disorganized gangs and militias is not necessarily bad in their eyes."

Does Lebanon ring a bell? There is no threat of a successful invasion from Lebanon, but Israel doesn't do so well against the disorganized gangs and militias inside Lebanon.

It seems that Israel will only be happy when the whole region is reduced to chaotic states that have been bombed by the U.S.

If some force within the military or the government could muster the strength to maintain neutrality, payback would be fun to watch. The Israeli strategy can't work forever.

Drunk Idiot said...

UCLA had quite the recruiting bonanza on signing day last Wednesday. Very few programs can fire a head coach, and pull together an all new coaching staff and a stellar recruiting class in two months time. But UCLA pulled it off.

That's pretty impressive for a program that had recently become something of a laughingstock (petitioning to get into the bowl game despite having a losing record and all). And to top it off, the Rick Neuheisel-less Bruins let the Ron Zook-less Illinois Fighting Zookers get the best of them in the Whatever-It-Was-Called-Bowl.

The only thing worse is the fact that yours truly actually watched most of that game.

And I wasn't drunk.

morleysafer said...

These recent Syria/Egypt/whatever posts remind me of 2001 when the local talk-radio concern in Los Angeles featured Afghanistan-themed reports from hard-left cartoonist/punk rock columnist Ted Rall. The guy knew next to nothing about the assorted 'stans, MENA, Wahhabism, opium traffic, you name it (probably he'd concede as much) but was just egotistical & mouthy enough to fill the daily quotum of cool, cynical war commentary for KFI programming needs. It didn't matter how hackneyed and unedifying it became so long as it met some standard of vaguely entertaining banter.

JG said...

Pakistan next?:

"Perhaps we should even consider support for a Balochistan carved out of Pakistan to diminish radical power there also." Reps. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)

Is there no limit?

Propeller Island said...

Wow, for a guy who supposedly doesn't like to think about Middle East you surely write a lot about it.

It's funny to observe you struggle with this irreconcilable contradiction -- the neocons pushing for something that's against the Israeli interest! How can it be? Aren't they supposed to be Israeli puppets? How can we square this circle? Even football analogies don't help much here.

Well, to understand what is really going on you need to throw out the Unified Paleocon Theory on American foreign policy and think (to use a hoary cliche) outside the box.

Drunk Idiot said...

Morleysafer said...

"These recent Syria/Egypt/whatever posts remind me of 2001 when the local talk-radio concern in Los Angeles featured Afghanistan-themed reports from hard-left cartoonist/punk rock columnist Ted Rall. The guy knew next to nothing about the assorted 'stans, MENA, Wahhabism, opium traffic, you name it (probably he'd concede as much) but was just egotistical & mouthy enough to fill the daily quotum of cool, cynical war commentary for KFI programming needs."

Ah yes, that must've been in the little-remembered period of time right after Sept. 11. Back then, polite liberals were warning against the dangers of "rushing into war," and decrying the evils of American Imperialism and what they saw as a bloodthirsty nation of emotional reactionaries in search of revenge (led, of course, by the illegitimate right wing warmongers Bush, Cheney & Rumsfeld). Warnings against getting "bogged down like in Vietnam" were as plentiful as references to Kipling's "White Man's Burden."

But then nothing happened. And before long, the same polite liberals were lambasting Bush for dragging his feet. Almost overnight, many of the same peeps who'd been warning against getting "bogged down," Vietnam-style in a war ... were demanding that Bush hurry up and DO SOMETHING in Afghanistan. But not to worry, once Bush actually did start bombing Afghanistan, everybody went back to being "anti-war."

Then Iraq came around, and the polite liberal "anti-war" crowd devised the "Afghanistan = The Good War, Iraq = The Bad War" narrative.

Throughout it all, though, Ted Rall remained consistent. He kept saying things like "we're going to war because dumb white rednecks want to kill brown-skinned Arab people of color." And if I recall correctly, at one point, he was publicly rooting for the brown-skinned men of color to kill the stupid redneck American soldiers.

So props to Ted Rall for at least being consistently "anti-war", or something.

Of course, after the Republicans recaptured Congress in 2010, Mr. Rall went on MSNBC and called for an armed revolution in America. So perhaps he's not completely "anti-war" after all.

Anonymous said...

Does Lebanon ring a bell? There is no threat of a successful invasion from Lebanon, but Israel doesn't do so well against the disorganized gangs and militias inside Lebanon.

Like another poster mentioned, groups in Lebanon like Hezbollah are backed by organized state power like Iran which supplies them with arms, missiles, etc.

Anonymous said...

"Like another poster mentioned, groups in Lebanon like Hezbollah are backed by organized state power like Iran which supplies them with arms, missiles, etc."

And? There will always be some state willing to supply groups like Hezbullah--better Iran than a major power.

Hunsdon said...

Sam said: It will amuse me if we can stay out of it.

Hunsdon replied: Figure the odds, Sam. I'd be much more sanguine about the whole thing if I didn't have a conviction that the US would be dragged in.

Hunsdon said...

morleysafer said: These recent Syria/Egypt/whatever posts remind me of 2001 when the local talk-radio concern in Los Angeles featured Afghanistan-themed reports from hard-left cartoonist/punk rock columnist Ted Rall.

Hunsdon replied: is this what they call "shaming language"?

Hunsdon said...

Propellerhead said: It's funny to observe you struggle with this irreconcilable contradiction -- the neocons pushing for something that's against the Israeli interest! How can it be? Aren't they supposed to be Israeli puppets? How can we square this circle?

Hunsdon replied: The neocons aren't really that smart? Maybe they are blinded by ideology? Having only a hammer, they see every problem as a nail?

Perhaps, living relatively sheltered lives here in the US, they feel emboldened, nay, impelled to push for a hard-line Likudist policy? Perhaps it is shame for not having carried a rifle in defense of their country?

(Say what you will about Bibi Netanyahu, but he has more time under arms than, so far as I can tell, the entire neocon movement in the United States.)

ribock said...

I really don’t understand any of your foot-the-ball metaphors. Please stop.

Anonymous said...

No no no.

They want to surround Israel with Enemies...the more hostile the better!

Assad is being overthrown because he Doesn't Hate Israel Enough.

Israel wants the worst of the worst to come into power in these countries so that...

Israel has an excuse to wipe all the people off the map and colonize all of these countries with Jews.

Bye bye Muslims!

This is Israel's one chance in the History of the World to create an Israeli state consisting of all of North Africa....Imagine a country with 300 million Jews like the U.S.! Imagine! It would be complete domination and this is it. The time is here! Go for it!

Anonymous said...

I think it's weird that you guys actually think Israel is happy occupying the current itty bitty titty sized piece of land they currently have.

The Jews want to live in a place the size of the U.S. or Europe. The Orthodox do have 7 kids a family.

opiniated said...

The positive side of the fall of Assad Alawite regime is return of majority rule by the sunni muslims in their country, with no minority lording over-them.

gumm said...

"Compared to Syria being allied against Israel with Egypt, Syria being allied against Israel with far-off Iran is a piece of cake for Israel. Moreover, the main complaint Israel has had against Syria is being a conduit for weapons for anti-Israeli forces in Lebanon and the West Bank, but we've seen the Arab Spring in Egypt bring more enthusiasm in Egypt for helping Gaza Strippers get missiles to fire off in the general direction of Israel, so it's not clear that bringing the majority to power in Syria will help even with that."

But neocons only grudgingly accepted the downfall of Mubarack, whom they appreciated as a 'friend of Israel.' Neocons didn't want Mubarack to fall; not even liberal Zionists wanted him to fall, which is why Obama was silent on the issue for some time. (It made him look hypocritical, which is one reason he made such a big deal about 'saving Libyans from oppressive violence'.)
Syria's current regime, unlike Mubarack's regime, is anti-Israel and has been working closely with Iran.
It could be the fall of the pro-Israel Mubarack regime is one of the key reasons why neocons' want regime change in Syria. If Israel now faces a possibly anti-Israel nation to its south and if Syria remains anti-Israel, Israel will be caught between two major anti-Israel nations.
(On the other hand, Egypt is still ruled by the military, and democracy may weaken all sides from infighting.)
Also, if regime change happens in Syria, it's gonna take a decade for a new order to finally settle in. If it's more democratic, various tribes of Syria--as in Libya--will be bickering too much among themselves to form into a unified force. Anyway, it buys time for Israel. Libya, Egypt, and Syria will be too busy under new regimes and new systems to formulate any kind of major policy for yrs to come.

Shouting Thomas said...

That other woeful team that UCLA played was my alma mater, the University of Illinois Fighting Illini, formerly represented by the heroic Chief Illiniwek, now deposed as un-PC.

We beat some UCLA ass!

Now, we just need one of those wealthy donors to pump a quarter of a billion into our program!

Anonymous said...

Christians who were purged out of Iraq by the chaos fled to Syria.. now they will have no where to go and Christianity's presence in the middle east will come to an end.

You may think that's an unintended consequence, but if you know the neocons, it's you'll understand that they see it as a benefit.

Glaivester said...

People here seem to be confusing Israel with its self-appointed partisans in the U.S.

Steve isn't saying that the Middle East is like football for Israelis, but for some of Israel's fans in the U.S.

It is not clear to me that Israel wants Syria taken down, but that a lot of U.S. people think that doing so is good for Israel.

Israel probably tends more to "the devil you know," whereas U.S. supporters often tend toward "these are your enemies, let's get 'em!" And probably the U.S.-based commentators are more convinced that we can overcome the problems of a radical regime in Syria by simply putting our man on the throne (and if it takes mass murder to keep him there, well then those are mass murders for good, not for evil).

I find it ironic that they criticize Assad for doing what they wanted to do in Fallujah.

JSM said...

'Israelis would very much prefer to drink beer and watch sports, too, rather than go to war."

I buy this.

Which is why I scratch my head, wondering, WHY, when they went about getting themselves a country for themselves, did they choose to move in with their sworn enemies of 10,000 generations; as opposed, to, say, I dunno, Madagascar?

Anonymous said...

Peter Berger bemoans the politics of blasphemy in the Third World. But isn't what happened to James Watson and Jared Taylor similar to what happened to Salman Rushdie? Political Correctness is the new blasphemy. I dare any public figure to say anything even mildly critical of MLK and see what happens to his or her career. I dare any politician not to stand up and clap like a Southern Baptist looney when Netanhayu gives a speech before the US Congress. Cuz if you don't, you won't merely be criticized but burned at the stake.

Glaivester said...

Of course, non-Jewish Americans are also capable of promoting Middle Eastern policy for their ethnic interests.

Joseph Farah's constant war-drums against Muslim regimes, and in particular his push a few years back for us to take out Syria, are driven by his status as a Lebanese Christian.

Reading between the lines, he refuses to accept that the end of the power-sharing arrangement in Lebanon was largely due to internal demographic factors (the arrnagement reflected that a plurality of Lebanese were Christian, and birth rates and emigration changed that). As a result, he sees the demographic dominance of Muslims as evidence that Lebanon was being settled by foreigners.

In a piece a few years back, he more or less suggested that the "invaders" be sent back home.

My translation is that he wanted to have the U.S. take over Syria, isolate Lebanon completely, then determine how many Muslims had to be removed from Lebanon to give the Christians dominance, and then declare these Muslims "non-Lebanese" and deport all of them.

Jacob Roberson said...

International Jew said...
Israelis would very much prefer to drink beer and watch sports, too, rather than go to war.


Take away the religious absurdity and you'll see the obvious third option: Live somewhere which isn't a dangerous mess. Watch sitcoms no one cares about while your kids smoke pot and play RPGs. I've seen it done.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

This thread has me convinced that there is a strong theme of nihilism in modern Jewish thought. Ultimately, I don't think they'll be happy until they've plunged the entire Middle East into a gotterdammerung of bombed-out cities and roving militias. Then the survivors will emigrate to Brooklyn and drag themselves by their elbows to Junior's Bakery where they'll collapse in a tearful heap, "It vas a Holocaust, I'm telling you!"

Speaking of rash action, have the Jews ever wondered about the growing number of wealthy (and often Republican) Syro-Lebanese and Palestinians in the US? I don't see that group just doing nothing while neo-con meddling wrecks their mother countries. The Anglo paleo-right already gives a lot of Jews fits, and they are a natural ally with these refined, determined people and their ancient Christian faith.

Chicago said...

Throwing the Arab states into chaos weakens them. Secular regimes that try to create a sense of national identity pose too much of a threat of becoming developed and thus stronger, therefore must be destabilized with sectarian strife that breaks the country down. Exacerbating the Sunni-Shite split could bring them to fight each other as they did in Iraq except on a grander scale, weakening and bleeding them all.
The Christians of the East are expendable, no one in the West will try to protect them. This old community going back to the early days of Christianity will disappear eventually with no one taking up the issue of their human rights.
A large war to knock down Iran appears to be the end game. This war would give the Israelis the once-in-a lifetime opportunity to do what they have been looking to do all along, and that is to expel all Arabs from within their country. They've been a demographic time-bomb within Israel and it's been recognized that something would have to be done, sooner or later. The tumult of an Iranian war would be the perfect time to do so. Sabotage and terror attacks, real or staged, would provide a pretext to send the Arabs to flight into the other parts of the Arab world, now too weak to resist.

Anonymous said...

Libya spiraling into stone age. Maybe same will happen to Syria when Assad falls.

Anonymous said...

" .... they express whatever nationalism remains." For Kraut, Whiskey and their ilk, this of course means Israeli nationalism, not American.

Anonymous said...

Mebbe neocons and lib zionists are in a hurry to see Syria fall cuz as time passes, Egypt and Libya might look worse and worse socially and economically, and that might convince most Syrians that status quo is actually better and preferable. Then 'Arab Spring' will have lost its momentum.

Anonymous said...

KUUUUUUUU DOSSSSSSSS!!!


When did isolationism and peace become such a bad thing? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills lately when I watch Fox News.

When the rest of the world is pounding the snot out of each other--stay out of the way and keep making money!

Svigor said...

which would be good for America, the whole world, and all intelligent life forms in the galaxy (plus Israel).

Nice one. Even fonts can be political.

Svigor said...

Krauthammer and the rest are likely frustrated that since Korea, because of the Cold War, the US was not allowed to "win" wars because it might lead to nuclear ones. And that pattern persists to this day. Operating in PC boundaries and with all those constraints, they express whatever nationalism remains.

And we all know which nationalism "remains" in Krauthammer and the rest.

corvinus said...

Neocons love chaos. Even more than Israel.

David said...

"Their ultimate enemy is boredom."

Inner emptiness explains the basic thrust of American history. Read Morris Berman.

S said...

Steve, where did you stand on Mutually Assured Dectruction in, say, 1985?

Steve Sailer said...

As Glaivester says, echoing Fukuyama's rejoinder to Krauthammer, a lot of American neocon agitation is driven less by careful calculation of what's in Israel's best interest and more in a sort of emotional emulation: If we were tough sabras, what would we do? I know, we'd kick some butt!

The Iraq Attaq was a good example. Iraq was well down the Israelis' list of enemies, but the American neocons got all worked up over Iraq in emulation of the right wing Israeli style.

Svigor said...

People here seem to be confusing Israel with its self-appointed partisans in the U.S.

Lol. To paraphrase the old commercial, we learned it by watching Jews. Israel is the State and the Diaspora, according to Jewish Law, and a great many Jews (even though it usually serves "is it good for the Jews?" purposes to deny this, rather than admit it).

Anonymous said...

"As Glaivester says, echoing Fukuyama's rejoinder to Krauthammer, a lot of American neocon agitation is driven less by careful calculation of what's in Israel's best interest and more in a sort of emotional emulation: If we were tough sabras, what would we do? I know, we'd kick some butt!"

From 'don't fix what isn't broken' to 'break what can't be fixed'.

freudianslip said...

"The neocons are smarter than you think. Replacing a relatively well organized state and military with disorganized gangs and militias is not necessarily bad in their eyes. The former can marshal much more organized power and thus ultimately is a greater threat in the long run. Especially if they can get help from others including Russia, China, etc."

Right. The former also have fixed assets to protect, and are likely to go to great lengths to avoid engaging the IDF in pitched battle. The latter, on the other hand, have far less to lose engaging the IDF in asymmetrical warfare (See Hezbollah v IDF, circa 2006.) I say we stick with Steve's original hypothesis, and that Neocons are certainly not "smarter than we think they are."

Anonymous said...

No war for Israel.

Metternich said...

Steve S: Your question is smarter than your answer.

Hillary Clinton is all for taking down Assad, but are you calling her a neocon?

My first reaction was to check a neocon website, Frontpagemag.com, to see if they take the position you describe. They're classical neocon: Conservatives who used to be US "New Leftists" in the 1960's. I found they are more worried about the Muslim Brotherhood among the "Syrian people" rising up than about Assad. See for yourselves.

I think it's simply that the primary enemy nowadays is Iran and its nuclear weapons, and the Muslim Brotherhood isn't yet feared so much. And Assad is allied with Iran (and Hezbollah).

Baloo said...

Yes, the more chaos the better in the Arab/Muslim world. Any leader who manages to get his ducks halfway in a row becomes an "Existential threat." And again, Steve, you and your commenters have inspired a cartoon. Special thanks to Hunsdon. You can see it
HERE on my Stand-Up Guy site.

gummy said...

"Hillary Clinton is all for taking down Assad, but are you calling her a neocon?"

She follows the liberal Zionist line, but liberal Zionism is essentially 'neoconism with a human face'.

Anonymous said...

JG
"Pakistan next?...Is there no limit?"

The only reason western soldiers are still being killed and maimed in Afghanisatan is because neocons hope one day to use it as a springboard to attack Pakistan.

David Davenport said...

Right. The former also have fixed assets to protect, and are likely to go to great lengths to avoid engaging the IDF in pitched battle. The latter, on the other hand, have far less to lose engaging the IDF in asymmetrical warfare (See Hezbollah v IDF, circa 2006.)

But how asymmetrical was the 2006 "war" with the Party of God ( Hez b'Allah ) in Lebanon?

... Many of Israel's casualties in the 2006 Lebanon War were Merkava tank crews.

[21]Only the minority of the tanks used during the war were Merkava Mark IVs, as by 2006 they had still only entered service in limited numbers. Hezbollah antitank missiles penetrated the armor in five Merkava Mark IV tanks killing 10. The penetrations were caused by tandem warhead missiles. Hezbollah weaponry was believed to include advanced Russian RPG-29 'Vampir', AT-5 'Konkurs', AT-13 'Metis-M', and laser-guided AT-14 'Kornet' HEAT missiles. The IDF reported finding the state-of-the-art Kornet ... ATGMs on Hezbollah positions in the village of Ghandouriyeh.[22] Several months after the cease-fire, reports have provided detailed photographic evidence that Kornet ATGMs were indeed both in possession of, and used by, Hezbollah in this area.[23][24] Another Merkava IV tank crewman was killed when a tank ran over an improvised explosive device (IED). This tank had additional V-shaped underside armor, limiting casualties to just one of the seven personnel (four crewmen and three infantrymen) onboard. In total, 50 Merkava tanks (predominantly Merkava IIs and IIIs) were damaged, eight of which remained serviceable on the battlefield. Two Merkava Mark IVs were damaged beyond repair, one by powerful IEDs, and another, it is believed, by Russian AT-14 'Kornet' missiles. All but two Merkava Mark IV tanks damaged during the war were repaired and returned to the IDF. The Israeli military said that it was satisfied with the Merkava Mark IV's performance, and attributed problems to insufficient training before the war.[25][26]

...


In December 2010, Hamas in Gaza fired an AT-14 Kornet anti-tank missile at a Merkava Mark III tank stationed on the Israel-Gaza border near Al-Bureij. It had hitherto not been suspected that Hamas possessed such a sophisticated missile. The missile penetrated the tank's armour, but in this instance it didn't explode, caused no injuries among its crew . As a result of the attack, Israel decided to deploy, along the Gaza border, its first Merkava Mark IV battalion equipped with the Trophy active protection system.[35]

On 1 March 2011, a Merkava MK IV stationed near the Gaza border, equipped with the Trophy active protection system, successfully foiled a missile attack aimed towards it and became the first operational success of the system.[36]


Merkava tanks

Contra Steve, Israel might not have an easy time knocking over Syria on the ground. The IDF army ain't what it used to be. A younger generation of latter-day Israelites who would rather go to grad school at UCLA or Stanford, etc.

Anonymous said...

I'm personally a big fan of yours Steve but the sort of antisemitism that festers among some of your more prominent commentaters feeds deeply from your less dangerous mild distaste for our volk - and it's the same sort of antisemitism that caused the murder of my close relatives not too long ago.




Reading this sort of inane gibberish, I have to wonder how Jews ever got the reputation for being unusually intelligent.

morleysafer said...

Drunk Idiot: that particular commentator did not sell himself as a Carnegie fellow in the first place, so one could call that honest. On the other hand he lacked any expertise so his thoughts were useless to know. Along with every CNN booking and the daily "foreign policy view" column in the Wall Street Journal it was a 3-4 year feast of noise. But when CIA is using a Burger King part-timer in Germany for nerve gas info it becomes hard for anyone to get caught looking bad.

Hnudson: Shaming whom? Ted Rall? Your ideas intrigue me & I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.