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Just a one off? « Previous | |Next »
October 6, 2003

I caught up on the news today about Israeli bombing bombed a target inside Syria that it claimed was an Islamic Jihad training base as a retaliation for a suicide bombing on Saturday that killed 19 Israelis. That Israel could do that with impunity indicates that it is the hegemonic power in the region. Syria must be pretty weak to allow Israeli jets to fly into its sovereign territory.

Is this an escalation of the war by Israel? It breaks with the normal practice of the past three years of the Palestinian intifada, when Israel its reprisals to the assassinations of the leaders and military commanders of Islamic Jihad and Hamas to the West Bank and Gaza.

The Bush administration has singled Syria out for hostile attention for some time. They see Syria as an obstacle to the hegmony of US/Israel power in the region, have identified Syria as suitable for an American-engineered regime change and told Syria to stop supporting terrorist Publicly the Bush administration offered no criticism of the attack. organizations. Is the Israeli air attack an indication that Syria is now the battleground in the US neo-con Middle East policy conflicts? Is the Israel-Palestinian conflict flowing over into a war between Israel and its Arab neighbours?

Or is the Israeli airstrike a one off as Billmon over at Whisky Bar argues.

It appears to me that it is a continuation of the vicious circle of reprisal and counter-reprisal that increases the casualty toll and escalates the conflict. At some moment in the conflict a point from which there can be no return will be reached.
Update
This article is of interest. It indicates that America's support of Israels pre-emptive strike confirms the view that the US is aligned with Israel in the Middle East; and that Israel is now utilizing its strategic 'gains' from the American occupation of Iraq by initiating a game of expanding the confrontation in the region.

Some more commentary can be found here. A regional red line has been crossed. What next? Impending American sanctions followed up by other measures to “tighten the noose” against Syria and push the country into a corner?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:37 PM | | Comments (4)
Comments

Comments

"Is the Israel-Palestinian conflict flowing over into a war between Israel and its Arab neighbours?"

The Arab-Isreali war began in 1948 and has never ended, thanks to Arab fanaticism.

Syria took a well-deserved pounding. May they continue until the Baathists are out.

I have to admit, I was somewhat surprised that the Syrian airforce didn't react to an incursion on Syrian airspace, but that could have been their best defense. Then again, I was relieved that the Israeli reaction was restrained and possibly the best one - bombing a disused camp in Syria, as opposed to just taking out Arafat, sent the message that Israeli patience has run out and also gave them the chance to test the world's reaction. Now that the U.S. has tacitly endorsed Israel's response (it would be hard for them -and us -to condemn Israel given our own actions towards Iraq), I would expect more: we have definitely entered a new phase in the ongoing Israeli-Arab conflict.

Point of no return? Hmm, as Kevin said, did we ever leave home base in the first place?

P.S. Nice to see another South Aussie online.

Saint,
I suspect that we have entered a new phrase. But maybe the Israeli airstrike was just a symbolic political gesture.

yes symbolic...for now.