[Marxism] Dogs and tails

Marvin Gandall marvgandall at videotron.ca
Sat Jul 29 13:48:10 MDT 2006

>From the AP dispatch posted earlier by Lou Paulson:

> Rice made a fueling stop in Doha, Qatar and praised the Lebanese
> proposals,
> the first from Beirut, saying they showed the young democracy could
> function.
> "The most important thing that this does for the process is that it shows
> a
> Lebanese government that is functioning as a Lebanese government," Rice
> told
> reporters traveling with her. "That is in and of itself extremely
> important."

> Israeli Cabinet minister Avi Dichter said on Israel radio Saturday that it
> was unacceptable for Lebanon's government "to hide behind the claim that a
> terror organization is operating on their ground and they cannot stop it."
> He said Israel holds the government fully accountable for Hezbollah
> actions,
> and that "Lebanon is paying the full price these days."

*    *    *
We are going to get another opportunity to test whether the tail really wags
the dog, a la Mearsheimer and Walt.

Clearly, the Israelis want to continue pounding the Lebanese - the Lebanese
government and international opinion be damned, and notwithstanding their
military setbacks on the border, which they are explaining away as the
result of a limited deployment of their ground troops. They would like the
US to aggressively confront the Iranians and Syrians, and if necessary to
provoke a wider regional war and a decisive showdown now. This would require
a deeper commitment of US military forces. Among other things, some Israeli
analysts have suggested a US landing in the northern part of Lebanon to trap
the Hezbollah as Israeli troops and armour move up from the south. The
Israeli government has public opinion behind it. To justify its aggression,
it has had to dismiss the current Lebanese government as irrelevant and

The Bush administration, on the other hand, knows as it heads into
congressional elections that it doesn't have have the support of its own
people; most Americans want it to extricate their forces from the Middle
East, not reinforce them and get bogged down in a wider war. The US also has
strategic interests and a network of alliances which are much wider than
Israel's. So it's tone is different and the first cracks have already
appeared in relation to the legitimacy of the Lebanese government - which
the US wants to prop up and cultivate - and the government's  ceasefire
proposals, endorsed by Hezbollah, which Rice has said elsewhere contains
"positive elements" and which the Israelis have dismissed out of hand.

William Lind asserts in his otherwise fine piece published in antiwar.com
yesterday: "In no previous Israeli-Arab war has the United States revealed
itself so nakedly as a de facto political satellite of Israel."

Maybe. But now we'll get to see in practice and in real time how closely the
US "satellite" hews to the marching orders issued to it from Tel Aviv and
its agents in the "Israel lobby" in Washington.

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