America Digs Its Own Afghan Grave - Afghanistan has long been called the “graveyard of empires,” the site of failed invasions. But the U.S. – in its 15-plus-year endeavor – seems determined t...
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Uprooted Palestinians are at the heart of the conflict in the M.E Palestinians uprooted by force of arms. Yet faced immense difficulties have survived, kept alive their history and culture, passed keys of family homes in occupied Palestine from one generation to the next.
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“…many Israeli leaders and thinkers seizing on the chaos in Syria to solidify Israel’s hold on Golan.”
“The 400-plus square miles of the Israeli-controlled Golan on the northeast border with Syria is both strategic plateau and lush agricultural terrain yielding prize apples, cherries and beef. It is also a vast playground that drew 3 million tourist visits last year.”
“With Syria ‘disintegrating’ after years of civil war, they argue, it is hard to imagine a stable state to which the territory could be returned.”
“We need places to build, and the world doesn’t want us to build in the West Bank. I don’t think anyone in the world can come at us and say we’re building on land that’s going to be part of a peace deal if we build on the Golan Heights.”
“The prize itself is more powerful than any of the neighbors that covet it. Iraq, a nation of 18 million, occupies some of the most strategically important and well-endowed territories of the Middle East.”Wurmser called for the West and Israel to help the Hashemite monarch of Jordan win this game of thrones by enthroning one of his kin as king of Iraq. He advanced what he termed Jordan’s “Hashemite option for Iraq” as a far superior alternative to a Syrian-dominated continuation of Baathist Arab nationalism. The former, he averred, is “more solid and traditional,” and:
“The Hashemites alone are adept enough in forging strong tribal, familial and clan alliances to create viable nations in the Levant.”Of course Wurmser’s amateur sociological analysis is poppycock, and the real advantage the neocons saw in the “Hashemite option” was that the royal house of Jordan is obedient to Israel because it is a wholly-owned western client completely dependent on the hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid the US feeds it every year.
“…then Syria would be isolated and surrounded by a new pro-western Jordanian-Israeli-Iraqi-Turkish bloc…”Thus isolated, Baathist Syria’s own inevitable “chaotic collapse” could then be “expedited.” And the expanded pro-western bloc could:
“…contain and manage… the scope of the coming chaos in Iraq and most probably in Syria.”This was the “balance of power strategy” Wurmser proposed for the West and Israel, to replace the despised:
“…quest for ‘comprehensive peace — including its ‘land for peace’ provision, with Syria.”Nineteen years later, Wurmser must now be elated that the Golan Heights are, as discussed above, being taken off the table for any future “land for peace” deals thanks to his hoped-for chaotic collapse in Syria.
“Given the nature of the regime in Damascus, it is both natural and moral that Israel abandon the slogan ‘comprehensive peace’ and move to contain Syria, drawing attention to its weapons of mass destruction program, and rejecting ‘land for peace’ deals on the Golan Heights.”Wurmser wrote this in the infamous policy paper “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” which was addressed, not to Washington, but to Tel Aviv (indicating his true loyalties).
“…pro-Jordan Iraq Shiites as Ahmed Chalabi… would define the Iraqi Shiite community after Saddam’s removal.”By the Iraq War, the neocons had given up on outright enthroning a Hashemite in Baghdad. It’s one thing to coordinate something like that from behind the scenes, but installing a royal despot through a high-profile American war would have made for unacceptably bad press for Washington.
“Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, an Israeli military spokesman, said in a statement that Israel holds the Syrian military ‘responsible and accountable for any aggression emanating from Syria.’”Israel’s self-righteously sociopathic behavior toward Syria and the Golan Heights beggars belief. It’s like some wealthy homeowner taking over his poor neighbor’s backyard and then sending a gang of crazed ruffians to invade his home. Then in the ensuing brawl, when something crashes through the neighbor’s window onto the seized yard, the land thief yells from a balcony, “Why can’t you get your house in order!” and fires at him with a shotgun. Then the thief walks back to his room muttering to himself, “What a hopeless basket case! How I’m definitely not giving him back his yard.”
“…anchored to the belief that [secular-Arab nationalism] can be “reformed” enough to be resurrected as a bulwark against Islamic fundamentalism. Yet, one of the main strategic objectives of the peace process is to perpetuate Levantine secular-Arab nationalist regimes. Indeed, the previous Israeli government believed that, “[Israel’s] role is to protect the existingregimes, to prevent or halt theprocess of radicalization, and to block the expansion of fundamental religious zealotry.”
But the present study… shows that the pursuit of comprehensive peace and the effort to harness secular-Arab nationalist regimes such as Syria’s in the battle to stem the fundamentalist tide is not only futile. It is also a dangerous strategic misstep.”Wurmser argued that US support for secular Arab-nationalist Iraq in its brutal invasion of fundamentalist Iran in the 1980s was “an explosive mistake,” as Iraq’s subsequent “rogue” invasion of Kuwait demonstrated. And so:
“The same lesson should now be applied to Syria. It is in both Israel’s and the West’s interest to expedite the demise of secular-Arab nationalism. (…) The pursuit of the peace process is preventing this.”Secular-Arab nationalism, Wurmser insisted, is nothing but an “obstacle” to introducing better defenses against and alternatives to fundamentalism, and to “more healthy future” for the Arab world.
“The West and its local friends must engage fundamentalism with better associates than Baathists.”Such thinking would seem to explain the otherwise baffling tendency of today’s policy makers in Washington and Tel Aviv to stubbornly insist on the overthrow of one secular-Arab nationalist regime after another — Saddam in Iraq, Gaddafi in Libya, and now Assad in Syria — even though it invariably leads to explosive growth for extreme Islamist groups in membership, might, and conquests.
“‘The initial message about the Syrian issue was that we always wanted [President] Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran,’ he said.
This was the case, he said, even if the other ‘bad guys’ were affiliated to al-Qaida.
‘We understand that they are pretty bad guys,’ he said, adding that this designation did not apply to everyone in the Syrian opposition. “Still, the greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to Damascus to Beirut. And we saw the Assad regime as the keystone in that arc. That is a position we had well before the outbreak of hostilities in Syria. With the outbreak of hostilities we continued to want Assad to go.’”Then in 2014, Oren said this regarding the conflict between the Shiite-led government of Syria and the Sunni extremists overruning eastern Syria and western Iraq:
“From Israel’s perspective, if there’s got to be an evil that’s got to prevail, let the Sunni evil prevail.”Lest he be misunderstood, by “Sunni evil” Oren is here specifically referring to ISIS. This is clear, because seconds before, he conveyed his recognition of the fact that they are indeed “bad guys” by referring to a specific mass-execution that ISIS had just committed.
“…will still not get peace. Instead it will look beyond Israel’s borders at secular-Arab nationalism’s final legacy: a chaotic sea… (which will painfully intrude on the West)…”The West has indeed adopted the neocon/Israeli strategy, precipitating the “chaotic collapse” of secular-Arab nationalism in Iraq, Libya, and Syria. But the chaos has not been “contained and managed” as Wurmser anticipated. Neither has it cleared the way for “a more healthy future” as he promised.
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