Sharon demands US get Syria and Iran next...

Unless this is a ploy to aggravate Muslims into further attacks on Israel, this pompous display of “pulling the strings” is going to have a serious backlash. I am not talking about physical attacks per se, but rather the growing global sentiment that the state of Israel (not Jews in general) is using the US to incapacitate Israel’s enemies.

In fact the "U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton…said in meetings with Israeli officials that he had no doubt America would attack Iraq, and that it would be necessary thereafter to deal with threats from Syria, Iran and North Korea.

Demand? I didn’t see any demands - just some friendly advice between allies. After all, Iran is already part of the “Axis of Evil”, Lybia is still, I believe, under U.S. embargo, and Syria is a major sponsor of world terrorism (as well as a close ally of Iran, and a major conduit for oil and weapons coming in and out, respectively, of Iraq).

Can’t say that I see your point. What string pulling?

Israeli leaders state the obvious: Iran, Libya, and Syria are percieved by Israel to be major risks … not only to Israeli interests but to the world’s (and especially America’s).

The US representative in effect responds that his perception of the US’s interests is a little different. He sees that Syria may be able to show that they will not share resources with Al Quaeda or other terrorist groups intent on doing harm to the US, that North Korea will be dealt with in time, and that the plan for Iran is via a resolution forthcoming in the UN and that such a plan is aggressive enough, thank you very much. He apparently declined comment on Libya. This does not smack of Israeli manipulation but of common perceptions (or misperceptions depending on your POV) that Syria, Iran, and Libya have a record of supporting terrorist groups that may indeed target both American and Israeli interests.

It is a surprise that an Israeli leader would want to emphasize common goals to an American representative? I think not.

This of course is a different discussion than whether or not the planned approaches to deal with these somewhat shared risks are the most likely to have the desired outcomes.

My point is that Iraq only poses a threat to one country in the world and that country is Israel.

There is no perceivable way an intelligent person could (or ever will) make a solid case for Iraq’s imminent threat to the US.

That leads everyone back to why Iraq is being “taken care of.”

As for Iran, it is a sovereign nation that has no links to terrorism. Now I will add that if you try to assign guilt by association (as in Iran’s military and financial aid to certain freedom fighter/terrorist groups) then you must also find guilt in the US for financially and militarily supporting Israel. The same argument could be extrapolated to the United States’ actions during the early 1980s when the US supplied chemical and biological weapons to Iraq and provided support on how to use them against Iran.

Name one Iranian terrorist in the past 20 years. I will save you the time. There are none.

Finally, what you fail to realize is that this is a Israeli newspaper. of course it will not overtly identify Sharon’s “pep-talk” to US members of Congress as pulling strings. It will disguise it in the air of strategic alliances.

So you’re big into conspiracy theories? Just out of curiosity, who bankrolls Hezbollah, 2Thick?

Who bankrolls the IDF, Neurotik

IDF |= terrorists.

What do you call bulldozing the home of the family? No matter what one member did, punishing the whole family of suspected terorrists is purely and simply instilling terror in the heart of civilians. That is from a textbook definition of terrorism.


HaAretz is often very critical of the Israeli government … your comment makes as much sense as saying that all American papers are mouthpieces of the administration.

I am not convinced that Iran is an imminent threat to the US, but I know lots of intelligent people who are convinced of that. The supposition is that the technology to delivery biological or chemical weapons effectively would be shared with a terrorist group. If one believes the evidence that such is likely then one believes that the threat to the US is imminent.

1)Iranian-backed Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq
(SCIRI). SCIRI has been stepping up its attacks on Iraqi forces
in the past month, and reports of unrest in southern Iraq
continue to pour in. Iraq has blamed SCIRI for the deaths of
Shiite clerics in Iraq, a charge the group ahs both denied and
denounced as an attempt to divide Iraq’s Shiite opposition.

2)Iraqi security announced Tuesday that it arrested two terrorists linked to Iran, saying the pair would make public confessions.
3)Since Khomeini’s rise to power in 1979, Iran has maintained aspirations to lead the radical Islamic camp and continues to deepen its ties to extremist states and terrorist groups throughout the Middle East (Hizbullah in Lebanon, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad in the West Bank and Gaza).
Surely some of these people involved have names. I don’t have time to find actual names right now.

Actually, no. Randomly bombing Palestinian homes in order to make a political point would be a textbook example of terrorism. Please try again.

I think it’s becoming clear that Israel’s enemies are their own. Iraq, Syria, Iran…those countries can pose no direct threat to the U.S., and the indirect threat via terrorism could be carried out regardless of who is heading the state there. I continue to have trouble seeing any benefit to the present alliance with Israel. Is it a one-way street? Sure, they held back while Iraq hit 'em so that we could finish off the Gulf War and hold together the international alliance. Result? The Arab nations we were allied with ended up spawning terrorists that were so upset at our presence there that they flew commuter airplanes into skyscrapers. If we’d just let Saddam well enough alone in the first place, we wouldn’t have needed the “help” of the Israelis.

Israel has proven that it can fend pretty well for itself. It took what, a week or so, for them to beat Egypt, Jordan, and Syria? They’re good fighters, they can fight the battles they’ve picked with their neighbors on their own. Let’s allow them to do so.

And taking the “advice” of Ariel Sharon, a cohort of Begin and his Irgun Zvai Leumi buddies…I just don’t see it. If Israel had a more progressive leader, maybe something could be done, but I don’t see allying with such a reactionary.

Besides the fact that this came from Iraqi sources (which dilutes its legitimacy to nearly nil), there is no proof that these people are terrorists in the pre-9/11 definition as opposed to the post-9/11 definition that uses the term as a catch all for any and all opposing groups.

Leading groups or helping them is nothing new in geopolitics. The British taught the Iranians everything and the US is the current leader in supporting terrorist groups around the globe. One quick example would be most of S. America’s politics in the past 15-30 years.

Splitting hair is no very becoming.

If bulldozing homes of innocent family members is not terrorism, then what is?

I generally agree with you Alessan, but I would nitpick that Syria is no friend of Iran, or even Iraq. Allies of convenience is probably a better a descriptor and even that is a bit uneasy and wary. There are too many differences between Iran on the one hand and Syria and Iraq on the other in terms of ideology, for that particular set of relationships to be considered close.

By comparison Iraq and Syria have a many more historical ties and similarities. But they are also regional rivals and have been quite awhile ( at least since the Assad and Hussein regimes have been in power ). Far as I can tell their relationship seems more economic than anything else ( both sides are getting something cheap from their joint oil smuggling ).

Pretty minor nitpick, I guess. But I think it is important to keep such things in mind, especially given the tendency of some to worry about apocalyptic scenarios of Arab nations rallying to Iraq’s side in some massive war. It may not be that difficult to isolate Syria from Iraq in event of hostilities for instance - When it comes right down to it, I sincerely doubt they’ll stick out their necks for their “friends” ( of which, in truth, they have none ).

I do still quibble with the pressure on Iran being of the wrong sort, but that’s a different argument entirely ( and they certainly do support some terrorists, though perhaps a wee bit less than they used to, with the reduction of their influence over Hezbollah since Khomeini’s death ).

  • Tamerlane

And Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, and Jordan…

And there is no perceivable way an intelligent person could (or ever will) make the conclusion that the only time a country should go to war is when they’re under imminent threat.

Because they violated their sanctions.

Planting a bomb on a bus that kills and maims dozens of men, women and children is terrorism. Bulldozing the perpetrator’s house is remarkably mild punishment for mass murder.

Oops, you said close ally, not friend. But my argument is the same, really ( which is why I was motivated to respond ;). Syria is not close allies with anybody, any more that they are friends.

Sorry for the word substituition, I somehow transposed the two terms in my head :).

  • Tamerlane

The perpetrators of such acts are usually dead after committing them. So who’s being punished?

I was not aware of that. With that fact in mind, the story that I cited was not overtly critical, so in all fairness, it should stand on its own merits.