Juan Cole theorizes that the war in Lebanon is simply the
first second act in an elaborate remaking of the Middle East.
Here’s a sample:
It may be that that hawks are thinking this way: Destroy Lebanon, and destroy Hizbullah, and you reduce Iran’s strategic depth. Destroy the Iranian nuclear program and you leave it helpless and vulnerable to having done to it what the Israelis did to Lebanon. You leave it vulnerable to regime change, and a dragooning of Iran back into the US sphere of influence, denying it to China and assuring its 500 tcf of natural gas to US corporations. You also politically reorient the entire Gulf, with both Saddam and Khamenei gone, toward the United States. Voila, you avoid peak oil problems in the US until a technological fix can be found, and you avoid a situation where China and India have special access to Iran and the Gulf.
I don’t know if this is true or not. It sounds plausible, but then again, the theory that the Israelis simply overreacted, that Olmert was too insecure domestically vis-a-vis Bibi Netanyahu and that Halutz was too enamoured of “transformation” is also quite plausible. It still nags, however, that they would just utterly wreck all of Lebanon, even the Christian parts. (Not that Christian life is any less valuable than Muslim, just the alignment of politics of the region.) Either option is plausible and the former is a bit more elaborate . . . but you know what they say about the truth and fiction, right?
Regardless, this graf from Juan poses a stark choice that is very real, whether you have a conspiratorial bent or not:
If the theory is even remotely correct, then global warming is not the only danger in continuing to rely so heavily on hydrocarbons for energy. Green energy–wind, sun, geothermal– is all around us and does not require any wars to obtain it. Indeed, if we had spent as much on alternative energy research as we have already spent on the Iraq War, we’d be much closer to affordable solar. A choice lies ahead: hydrocarbons, a 20 foot rise in sea level, and a praetorian state. Or we could go green and maybe keep our republic and tame militarism.
The choice is ours. We’re supposed to be the leaders, a people of vision with the courage to make it happen. When are we going to start doing so, instead of taking the easier, softer way?
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