2006-08-13

Lebanon: Prelude to Iran?

Democracy for the Middle East has returned to regular posting recently, for which we can be very grateful. Looking at the recent conflict in Lebanon, DFME has this to say:
According to the Seymour Hersh, our analysis wasn't too far off:

The US government was closely involved in planning the Israeli campaign in Lebanon, even before Hizbullah seized two Israeli soldiers in a cross border raids in July. American and Israeli officials met in the spring, discussing plans on how to tackle Hizbullah, according to a report published yesterday.
The veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh writes in the current issue of the New Yorker magazine that Israeli government officials travelled to the US in May to share plans for attacking Hizbullah.

Quoting a US government consultant, Hersh said: "Earlier this summer ... several Israeli officials visited Washington, separately, 'to get a green light for the bombing operation and to find out how much the United States would bear'."
The Israeli action, current and former government officials told Hersh, chimed with the Bush administration's desire to reduce the threat of possible Hizbullah retaliation against Israel should the US launch a military strike against Iran.

"A successful Israeli Air Force bombing campaign ... could ease Israel's security concerns and also serve as a prelude to a potential American pre-emptive attack to destroy Iran's nuclear installations," sources told Hersh.

Read the rest at the link. Here's YNet:
The New Yorker weekly claims that the Bush Administration was closely involved in the planning of Israel’s retaliatory attacks in Lebanon following the kidnapping of two IDF soldiers by Hizbullah terrorist just over a month ago.

“President (George W.) Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney were convinced, current and former intelligence and diplomatic officials told

me, that a successful Israeli Air Force bombing campaign against Hizbullah’s heavily fortified underground-missile and command-and-control complexes in Lebanon could ease Israel’s security concerns and also serve as a prelude to a potential American preemptive attack to destroy Iran’s nuclear installations, some of which are also buried deep underground,” investigative reporter Seymour Hersh said in his article. ...

We'll see.