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Wednesday, February 16, 2005


a clean break

events in lebanon continue to unfold, but the vitriolic american response is perhaps best contextualized by reading some recent history -- a paper called "a clean break: a new strategy for securing the realm".

authored in 1996 by a neoconservative group including richard perle, douglas feith and others, it is an outline for an israeli foreign policy of militarism against its neighbors as a means of insuring israeli domination of its environment. the focal point of the paper: syria.

Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq — an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right — as a means of foiling Syria’s regional ambitions.
raimondo warns:

Syria was seen by these Likudniks as the main target of the Israeli advance. However, Israel could not invade Iraq and outflank the Syrians. Only Washington could change the strategic environment for the Israelis – and that is certainly what has happened. The theme of the "Clean Break" scenario is that the road to Damascus runs through Baghdad, and phase one of the Likudnik mission has been accomplished. We are now entering phase two – the Syrian phase – of the "Clean Break" strategy. Get ready for "shock and awe" over Damascus.
it is this context that makes the american response to harari's assassination so menacing. trial balloons had already been floated in syria's direction. the event provides some justification to employ the army we already have in the region, just as it is "relieved" of its responsibilities in iraq thanks to a much-trumpeted election.

will that justification be enough to sell another war on the home front? or will a renewed propaganda assault be undertaken to deceive the american people of the necessity of invading syria?

or will the imperial presidency simply ignore opinion and congress?

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