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View Diary: BREAKING: U.S. Set to Invade Syria Any Day Now (74 comments)

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  •  Even less likely (none)
    That's even less likely.  Israel does not want to do the US's dirty work, if it means Israeli boys and girls getting killed and maimed in battle.  Israel has no strategic interest in fighting Syria -- the border with Syria has been quiet for years, and both countries are doing a pretty decent job of just ignoring each other.  Oh, every once in a while there's a flare-up, but nothing big.

    And even if Syria was behind the Tel Aviv bombing, Israel isn't going to go to war against Syria over it -- in the grand scheme of things, it was a small incident.  

    And Israel sees progress being made with the Palestinians, as well as a warming of relations with other countries in the region. Hostilities with Syria would trash all of that.

    Finally, Israel already holds the Golan Heights. It has done so for 30 years. If it wanted to build lots of settlements there, it would have started long ago.

    In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

    by Paul in Berkeley on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 08:25:01 PM PST

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    •  You assume (none)
      Two things. First, that any intervention in Syria would be distinct from an intervention in Iran. And that Sharon really wants to make progress with the Palestinians. Sharon was quoted not long after announcing his Gaza plan that this would be a mortal blow to the Palestinians. The man uttering that kind of rhetoric is a man who would consider invading Syria.
      •  No payoff (none)
        There's no payoff for Israel to invade Syria, and the mobilization required would be extremely transparent. Consider the geography.  Israel won't go through Jordan, because it has good relations with Jordan. Going through Lebanon requires a huge detour through difficult terrain, giving Syria time to take preventive measures. That leaves going through the Golan, which is a bottleneck.  And there's no political upside to an invasion.  Like many others have said, the most Syria will get is a very limited air strike.

        In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

        by Paul in Berkeley on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 08:40:11 PM PST

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        •  You raise good points (none)
          But I still think there is a payoff.

          The power structure of the Middle East is being totally restructured--that's the point of the Iraq invasion. If you're Sharon (and your party was involved in developing this strategy) you don't sit on the sidelines and let it get restructured without being a serious part of it.

          Or let me put it this way. You're absolutely correct given the paradigm of Israeli politics of the last 40 years. But BushCO and its Likudnik allies have explicitly been seeking a change of paradigm for ten years. They have worked in concert to bring it about. Therefore, it would behoove those of us who don't fancy endless imperial wars to at least consider what decisions made using that new paradigm would entail.

          •  Payoff probably not the right term (none)
            "Payoff" probably wasn't the term I was going for. Certainly there are benefits for Israel in this situation. Rather, I think the costs outweigh the benefits, from my armchair QB position.  Ugh, I invoked cost-benefits analysis, in manner of Robert McNamara!

            I also don't think it will be easy for Bush to railroad the Israelis into taking anything more than token military action (such as an airstrike).  Even if Bush threatens a suspension of aid (or something similar), Israel can leak the story; the resulting hullaballoo in places like Europe will derail the Bush pressure. And assuming for sake of argument that AIPAC is as powerful as some denizens of DailyKos are always asserting, a couple quick phone calls to AIPAC would ensure that Congress maintains aid levels.

            So all in all, a lot of theories, some tinfoil hat, some more plausible. Hindsight is 20/20.

            In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

            by Paul in Berkeley on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 04:27:28 PM PST

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    •  well the U.S. is simply parroting (none)
      the Israeli line right now:

      http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050226/ap_on_re_mi_ea/israel_west_bank_handover_6

      and a diary on dkos by londonyank just yesterday on Syria. The escalation has been remarkably swift, but it is a textbook example of how U.S. and Israeli attitudes are virtually indistinguishable. Frankly, the PNAC necons and the far rigt Likkud have been in agreement on a number of things for a while now, and this may be one of them.

      Look, I don't know if we're going to invade Syria, but how else am I to interpret this chain of events? It's starting to seem like deja vu all over again.

      •  Alternate view of blaming Syria (none)
        Actually, it's quite convenient for Israel to blame Syria for the Tel Aviv bombing, and it's good for the Palestinians too. By blaming Syria, rather than the PA, it creates some breathing room for Abbas to continue his work in reforming the PA and solidifying his control.  It gives Israel an excuse NOT to strike back in either the West Bank or Gaza, which would undercut Abbas.  The bombing could have brought the new process between Israel and the PA to a crashing halt, but it didn't.  Putting the blame on Syria may be the reason why.  

        In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

        by Paul in Berkeley on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 08:35:18 PM PST

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        •  Then all the Brandeis Award-winners... (none)
          ...get to have their cake and eat it, too: Peace with the Palestinians and more young Americans dying in a war fought on Israel's behalf.

          Just once, I'd like to see America's strategic plans based on something other than the fate of Israel, especially since the Russians left Afghanistan and no longer threaten a southward push into the heart of our oil supplies - which was the chief reason behind our escalation of strategic cooperation with Israel. But mostly I'd like them removed from our planning equation because they've been caught spying on us for the umpteenth fucking time and I'm just really sick of it. I can't imagine anything more ungrateful.

          Until we somehow rid our Pentagon and DPB of pro-Israeli hardliners, that dusty little tail on the Mediterranean will be wagging our big, dumb dog. And boy are we ever dumb if we sacrifice more of our own to make the Middle East that much safer for Israel.

    •  Are you suggesting that Israel does not want (none)

      your tax dollars? Doesn't want shiny new helicopter gunships and bomber planes and tanks?

      Do you think Israel wants to build the world's largest open-air prison without US dollars?

      Those Shin Bet torturers don't work cheap.

      Are you suggesting Israel outsource its wetwork to Syria like the US does?

      I think not!

      blog updated 3-1
      one man's conspiracy is another man's business plan

      by DuctapeFatwa on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 08:41:54 PM PST

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      •  You must not know me (none)
        I'm a strong supporter of Israel. That kind of talk doesn't sit well with me. Let's keep the discussion civil and real.

        In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

        by Paul in Berkeley on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 08:49:11 PM PST

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        •  I'm a strong supporter of Israel too (none)

          I believe the Israeli people deserve to live in a peaceful, independent, law abiding Middle Eastern country, with good and productive relations with her neighbors, and take her place as a responsible and respected member of the community of nations, a place where all the kids go to bed with full bellies.

          Sadly, the prevailing view is that all Israelis deserve is a glorified US weapons dump run by gangstas and gunrunners in Armani suits, a fat little pitbull to guard America's oil in the region.

          blog updated 3-1
          one man's conspiracy is another man's business plan

          by DuctapeFatwa on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 08:56:24 PM PST

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          •  Prevailing view? (none)
            Among whom?

            Anyway, I'm off to watch the final episode of NYPD Blue. Have a good evening!

            In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

            by Paul in Berkeley on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 08:58:30 PM PST

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