July 28, 2006

What A Great Game! Which Country Should We Bomb Next?

Syria. No, Iran. No, Syria. Oh, what the hell. Bomb them both:
Intelligence reports indicate the leader of Hezbollah is hiding in a foreign mission in Beirut, possibly the Iranian Embassy, according to U.S. and Israeli officials.

Israeli military and intelligence forces are continuing to hunt for Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's secretary-general, who fled his headquarters in Beirut shortly before Israeli jets bombed the building last week.

"We think he is in an embassy," said one U.S. official with access to the intelligence reports, while Israeli intelligence speculates Sheik Nasrallah is hiding in the Iranian Embassy.

If confirmed, the reports could lead to an Israeli air strike on the embassy, possibly leading to a widening of the conflict, said officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Foreign embassies are sovereign territory and an attack on an embassy could be considered an act of war.

But other reports from the region indicate Sheik Nasrallah may be in Damascus. A Kuwaiti newspaper, Al-Seyassah, reported from the Syrian capital yesterday that Sheik Nasrallah was seen moving through the city with Syrian guards in an intelligence agency car, Associated Press reported. He was dressed in civilian clothes, not his normal clerical robe.
As I and others have been saying for some time, they want a wider war. The major supporters of our current foreign policy and those who implement it have been very explicit about their aims. Since Israel has now announced that it has the blessing of "the world" to continue its military assault, they just might get that regional war and possibly much more, and very soon.

In any case, everyone in Syria and Iran has had plenty of warning. If they were truly innocent, they would have left by now. So it can't be disputed that "[a]ll those now in [Syria and Iran] are terrorists." Let the slaughter increase! All patriotic Americans know that a genuine and lasting peace cannot be achieved in any other way.

From Wilfred Owen, one of the most distinguished of the World War One poets:
The Parable of the Old Man and the Young

So Abram rose, and clave the wood, and went,
And took the fire with him, and a knife.
And as they sojourned both of them together,
Isaac the first-born spake and said, My Father,
Behold the preparations, fire and iron,
But where the lamb, for this burnt-offering?
Then Abram bound the youth with belts and straps,
And builded parapets and trenches there,
And stretch├Ęd forth the knife to slay his son.
When lo! an Angel called him out of heaven,
Saying, Lay not they hand upon the lad,
Neither do anything to him, thy son.
Behold! Caught in a thicket by its horns,
A Ram. Offer the Ram of Pride instead.

But the old man would not so, but slew his son,
And half the seed of Europe, one by one.

P.S. I discussed the story of Abraham and Isaac and its deeper meaning as part of my series of essays based on the work of Alice Miller. An excerpt from Miller's book, The Untouched Key:
In the fact of mobilization for war--even a conventional one, a nonnuclear war--the questions of the younger generation are silenced. To doubt the wisdom of the state is regarded as treason. Any discussion or consideration of alternative possibilities is eliminated at a single stroke. Only practical questions remain: How do we win the war? How do we survive it? Once the point of asking these questions has been reached, the young forget that prosperous and prominent old men have been preparing for war for a long time. The younger generation will march, sing songs, kill and be killed, and they will be under the impression that they are carrying out an extremely important mission. The state will indeed regard highly what they are doing and will reward them with medals of honor, but their souls--the childlike, living, feeling part of their personality--will be condemned to the utmost passivity. They will resemble Isaac as he is always depicted in the sacrificial scene: hands tied, eyes bound, as if it were the most natural thing in the world to wait unquestioningly in this position to be slaughtered by one's father. (In my German translation of the Bible the verb used in this passage is schlacten, which refers to the butchering of animals.)