August 13, 2006


WATCHING LEBANON: Washington’s interests in Israel’s war. (SEYMOUR M. HERSH, 2006-08-21, The New Yorker)

According to a Middle East expert with knowledge of the current thinking of both the Israeli and the U.S. governments, Israel had devised a plan for attacking Hezbollah—and shared it with Bush Administration officials—well before the July 12th kidnappings. “It’s not that the Israelis had a trap that Hezbollah walked into,” he said, “but there was a strong feeling in the White House that sooner or later the Israelis were going to do it.”

The Middle East expert said that the Administration had several reasons for supporting the Israeli bombing campaign. Within the State Department, it was seen as a way to strengthen the Lebanese government so that it could assert its authority over the south of the country, much of which is controlled by Hezbollah. He went on, “The White House was more focussed on stripping Hezbollah of its missiles, because, if there was to be a military option against Iran’s nuclear facilities, it had to get rid of the weapons that Hezbollah could use in a potential retaliation at Israel. Bush wanted both. Bush was going after Iran, as part of the Axis of Evil, and its nuclear sites, and he was interested in going after Hezbollah as part of his interest in democratization, with Lebanon as one of the crown jewels of Middle East democracy.”

Administration officials denied that they knew of Israel’s plan for the air war.

It's always possible that the Administration preferred to have Israel trigger the Hezbollah attacks rather than have them come in response to our attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, but that seems an overly bloody way to avoid a minor political issue and a nearly insignificant military one.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 13, 2006 7:13 PM

"a Middle East expert with knowledge of the current thinking of both the Israeli and the U.S. governments" an unnamed source aka SEYMOUR M. HERSH. Can anyone still believe the MSM and their unknown sources? I could have written the same story using an unknown source, IC, a Middle East expert: the UN resolution was devised by the Israelis and Bush to call the Hizbo's bluff, ...
I believe Hersh as much as I believe Reuters' fauxtographs and AP's Green Helmet.

Posted by: ic at August 14, 2006 12:42 AM

Do you ever feel like Henry the whatever (II, I think) and wish someone would rid us of this pesky guy? Hersh has not written an article in favor of the US in so long that I am surprised he even remembers that he is a citizen. He seems, as the previous commenter says, to be able to find an unnamed source who is an expert on whatever will get him a headline whenever he has been out of print for more than 15 minutes. Whether the guy really is an expert seems up for grabs. I am reminded of the saying of an old boss that an expert is a guy from out of town.

Hersh, from what I have been able to find out, wrote the Mai Lai story and has been trying to get back there ever since. He took a story that the Defense Department had released 4 months before and recycled it along with photos supplied by the uncle of the master mind of the Abu Ghraib to get a Pulitzer. That the story and the photos had been rejected by over 20 democratic senators and congress critters before they were shopped to him seemed not to matter nor did the fact that this minor frat party hijinks matter would end up costing us a major PR debacle and also probably cause a lot of deaths for our young men and women in Irap. That would have gotten in between Hersh and publicity so it did not matter.

The man is a true sleaze and I really wish someone would throw him off the ship or out of the plane somewhere. Maybe we can get him a job as an embed in a war zone and the soldiers can go left after getting him to go right.

Posted by: dick at August 14, 2006 9:38 AM

I've been pretty sure that the images and reporting out of Vietnam were lies and spin and now I'm very sure.

Posted by: erp at August 14, 2006 1:51 PM

Yes dick, it was Henry II. It was one of my ancestors that carried out the king's wishes.

Posted by: Jayson at August 14, 2006 4:23 PM
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