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Two weeks ago, a loose coalition of neoconservatives, military enthusiasts, asshole media lightweights, the Saudis, the Israel lobby, and others was trying to convince the United States to go launch a proxy war with Iran in Syria.

The case was so laughably weak and insulting, the ulterior motives and attempted manipulation so transparent, one had to wonder how this floated to the top of the US agenda.

Why did so many push so hard with such weak justification now?

Well, maybe it was because Western intelligence had determined that Iran was planning diplomatic overtures around their reputed nuclear weapons program and ending sanctions.

Neocons, military enthusiasts, asshole media lightweights, Israel and Saudi Arabia, et al desperately want the US to attack Iran.  You know, start with bombs, see what flows from there.

Iranian diplomatic overtures, possibly worth engaging and likely to be popular with the rest of the world, are a disaster if you’re trying to suck the US into a proxy war.

If the laughably-weak-case coalition had conned the US into bombing Syria, it would likely have precluded Iran being able to undertake these overtures.
They did, of course, have a related objective of trying to topple Assad (historically an ally of Iran) and hurt Hezbollah (an ally of Assad and Iran).  All consistent with the basic agenda.

In retrospect, building up to a Syria attack was probably a significant part of what “Bengaaaaaaazzzzzzzzziiiiiiii!!!!!!!” was all about, too: ginning up background fear and retaliatory energy to go blow up some Arabs.  (The other part was just keeping the unibrow Koch-suckers awake and howling like wounded water buffalos in hopes the display might derail Democrats, more generally.)

The other group that wanted us to take out Assad, of course, was the jihadi rebels in Syria, itself.  The poetry in their eyes of having the US take out Assad – long a stalwart US partner in abducting, torturing, and killing jihadis – must have been unbearably beautiful.  And it was so close they could taste it.

So when new civilian slaughter happened yesterday in Nairobi, it would not surprise for a second if this was also partly aimed at goading more US intervention in the Middle East (maybe Syria, maybe just Yemen or the horn of Africa).

Recall that the jihadi strategy is not to see the United States ejected from the Middle East, but rather to suck the United States into permanent ineffectual engagement.  

There’s a lot of win-win there for Jihadis – it bolsters the recruiting rolls, and gins up the fund-raising for the Jihadis themselves.  Saudis and lesser dictators (many of whom effectively fund religious extremism) don’t mind these events so much because it means more vast flow of US financial resources to them for “intelligence” and purchase of cool American weapons, and the prospect of new propaganda campaigns to rally poor, stifled Arabs against those evil Uncle Sam imperialists.  

(Military agencies and the ever-expanding, vast black-budget crowd also love themselves a good, scary terrorist attack on foreign soil – especially during budget season.  You can bet your bottom tax dollar that a dozen agencies in the greater Washington DC MSA were burning the midnight oil last night to come up with just the right “interpretation” of yesterday’s events.)

The point is, US foreign policy has been stuck in the same basic quagmire of cons for 30 years now.  The con men are so comfortable in their routine that they were basically caught striding around with no clothes in their attempted Syria venture.

The point is that the impulse for the US to step back and try something different in the Middle East does not represent some chicken (“Bawk! Bawk!, Bawk!”) retreat to isolationism (“Munich moment! Hitler in a thawb!”), as most of the media asshole lightweights keep trying to suggest.

Rather, it represents, instead, the “mark” in all these cons – the American public – recognizing the pattern and refusing to keep getting played again, and again, and again.

By the way, with the recent Syria shenanigans, Obama did not “botch” the politics as those in “the coalition” keep sneering.  In fact, the whole thing probably played out about as Obama expected.  He knows its stupid to go bombing Syria with little rhyme or reason.  He’s just reluctant too much of a political genius to stand up openly to the Israel lobby (in particular).

In any case, in the next couple weeks, the Middle East con coalition is really going to panic and pull out all the stops to try to suck us into Syria and prevent talks with Iran – a vast shit-sandwich buffet of cooked intelligence and tortured logic -- maybe with a little “yellow cake” for desert.  

We should resolutely resist.  It is time to liberate US foreign policy from their deadly, cynical grip.

Originally posted to Minerva on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 07:06 AM PDT.

Also republished by Group W: Resisting War.

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