By William Bowles
08 October, 2003
attack on Syria this past weekend revives an aspect of the Cold War
period that most thought a thing of the past, namely utilising a third
party to do your fighting for you war by proxy a tactic
used so effectively by the US in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Afghanistan,
Angola and elsewhere in the 1970s and 1980s.
Given the USs
current inability to wage war on several fronts plus rising opposition
on the domestic front to any expansion of its war on terrorism,
using Israel to open a second front against Syria and in
the fullnes of time, elsewhere, makes perfect sense, especially as Israel
can use the war on terrorism as a pretext for the removal
of what it believes to be the last obstacle to its final solution
to the Palestinian question.
But is the attack
on Syria the opening shot in the next stage of the US imperiums
strategy to make the Middle East safe for its ally Israel and at the
same time, remove what it believes to be the last obstacle to guarantee
its access to oil and open the way for further moves eastward?
The statements by
John Negroponte, US ambassador to the UN and by Bush the smaller that
effectively support the Israeli attack, would appear to confirm this
view. And we can be sure that Israel makes no controversial move without
first clearing it with Washington.
contravention of international law is not only a dangerous escalation
of an already drastically destabilised situation, it also opens up a
Pandoras Box, as having been given carte blanche by the US, Israel
is now free to extend its operations against Syria and ultimately, anywhere
else in the Middle East. At least thats the theory.
Driven by the fact
that its terror tactics in occupied Palestine are futile and leading
to increasingly desperate acts on the part of the Palestinian resistance
that can only continue, the attack on Syria represents the actions of
a bankrupt Sharon government, that has boxed itself into a corner.
With no place left
to go, short of recognising the rights of the Palestinian people
something it has no intention of doing it can only seek to widen
its war knowing that the US, now firmly entrenched in the region, can
in theory be used as a lever.
The UN Security
Council, dominated as it is by by the US has proved to be totally ineffective
in curbing the ambitions of an imperialist Israel, let alone the imperial
ambitions of the US, as the statement it issued clearly illustrates,
so as things stand, the UN is an impotent force.
From bluff to
So where to now?
Is the attack merely a diversion for Israeli domestic consumption?
For short of actually invading and occupying Syria, something that for
purely economic reasons let alone how the rest of the states in the
region would react, Israel is incapable of carrying out and sustaining
such a massive operation (that is, without direct US involvement).
Some opponents of
Israels expansionist strategy are commenting that this will be
the next step, but I beg to differ. Israels economy is all but
bankrupt. Unemployment is rife and inflation is rising. The burden of
supporting such a vast arms bill without massive US support, already
running into tens of billions of dollars a year, is simply unsustainable.
The cost of occupation would be the final straw that would break Israels
economy and would undoubtedly lead to the downfall of the Sharon government.
And with 250,000
troops tied down in Iraq, the US is in a real bind. The Rumsfeld strategy
has turned out to be a total disaster, both strategically, politically
and economically. With every passing day, resistance to the occupation
grows. Delusions of empire are, like Napoleons march on Moscow
foundering, not in the snows of the steppes but in the sands of the
desert. This is a reality that no amount of bluster or propaganda can
alter. And the US presidential election draws ever nearer.
on Syria is a sign of weakness, not strength, for without direct US
participation in an attack and occupation of Syria, its difficult
to see what options beyond intimidation and bluff, Sharon has to offer.
It is I suppose
possible that borne out of sheer desperation, the US/Israel axis could
commit the even greater blunder of over-extending itself even further,
but is this likely? Its already clear that there are serious divisions
emerging within the US administration over the conduct of the war and
the failure of the occupation to achieve even the most minimal pacification
of Iraq. And its difficult to see what appointing Condoleeza Rice
as some kind of administrator will do to alter the situation
aside from appeasing those within the State Department who see a total
disaster looming on the horizon.
Ye reap what
I contend that Israel
has run out of road, for the Intifada, far from being broken, has been
left no other option but to continue to resist, whether for a two- or
single state solution. As I pointed out even as the road-map
was published, it was dead in the water.
The US is in a parallel
bind in Iraq. Leaving now opens up a power vacuum that would in all
likelyhood permit just the wrong people taking power and
staying on just drags the US even deeper into a quagmire of its own
It must surely be
apparent to any thinking person from the Beltway to Baghdad, that aside
from anything else, the nature of the invasion and occupation was ill
conceived and on every level. It beggars belief just what the planners
in Washington DC thought they were doing in allowing the total physical
destruction of the state apparatus, even in their own interests as the
new owners. They have, in effect, created a Middle Eastern
Somalia, a failed state of their own creation.
One need only look
at the people who have been put in charge of the occupation
such as pro-consul Bremer, marching about in a suit and combat boots
or Ahmed Chalabi, convicted felon and the USs hand-picked puppet.
These are not the stuff colonial administrators are made of, they are
not equipped even nominally to perform the functions they have been
assigned. They are at best, simply Bush and cos cronies, what
used to be called carpetbaggers. There has been absolutely no attempt
to create even the most nominal of administrations and finding local
quislings to do the job for them is becoming increasingly difficult,
its just too dangerous.
As I pointed out
in 'David Kay and the CIA', the 'crony factor' even extends to what
passes for a goverment in benighted Iraq, with the 'interim governing
council' no more than mere employees of a San Diego-based defence corporation,
SAIC, who live out their lives behind concrete walls, sandbags and US
armour, not daring to set foot outside without being ferried around
armoured convoys. This is an occupation under siege from the population.
With no room left
for the US and Israel to manouver in, can it be too long before the
world community wakes up and demands international intervention of some
kind, although what form it would take is as yet unknown. But its
obvious that the current situation is simply unsustainable and can only
lead to further instability that threatens to spin completely out of
One looks for some
kind of sign that the USUK power elite are worried, but so complete
is their state of self-delusion, that one gets the feeling that like
the captain of the Titanic, theyll go down with their respective
ships, saluting as they disappear beneath the chaotic waters they have
churned up in their manic quest for domination.