14 August, 2006

Whose War Was It Really?

Seymour M. Hersh, The New Yorker, issue of 2006-08-21, posted 2006-08-14:

The Bush Administration, however, was closely involved in the planning of Israel’s retaliatory attacks. President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney were convinced, current and former intelligence and diplomatic officials told me, that a successful Israeli Air Force bombing campaign against Hezbollah’s heavily fortified underground-missile and command-and-control complexes in Lebanon could ease Israel’s security concerns and also serve as a prelude to a potential American preëmptive attack to destroy Iran’s nuclear installations, some of which are also buried deep underground.

Some interesting revelations in a new article by Hersh, Watching Lebanon: Washington’s Interest in Israel’s War.


B.D. said...

Excellent and very informative article. Great find, Bandicoot. Very long also, but worth it. How does one begin to comment? It seems to put a lot into perspective regarding the conflict and raises interesting questions. Foremost, the notion that the war in Lebanon was sort of a practice run for Washington's designs on Iran. It makes it clear--if one is to accept the articles suppositions--that the war in Lebanon was both Washington's and Israels--a joint effort in every sense of the word. What a tragedy, if this is true, and creates even more worry about what George Bush and his co-horts will try next.

bandicoot said...

I know bd, and that's what's really scary about this whole thing (again assuming Hersh’s theory is tenable). The thing is, all the outward signs about this war since it started and the peculiar position of the Bush admin seem to point in this direction. Now on top of that you have Hersh, a master of getting and putting together insider sources, who is saying basically, yes, that's the first phase in a well-rehearsed scenario for a greater war where Iran and its nuclear facilities will be neutralized. I just wonder now that Israel really wasn’t that successful (unless Hizbollah is disarmed by other means) what Bush and his advisors think they should do next!

Brn said...

Hersh may be right, but you also need to remember that he has a history of coming up with "scoops" that turn out to be baseless or less than they first appeared. Of course he has also been spectacularly right in the past too, most famously about My Lai. For what it is worth.

bandicoot said...

Brn – Hersh wasn’t always right and some of his scoops turned out to be tall tales (but even then, they make a good read!); yet he’s been right or close enough times to justify his Pulitzer and reputation as the bad boy of the journalism pack. The following are examples of his most recent relatively successful stories:

On Abu Ghraib

On Bushies fixation on Iran

On the forged evidence re/ Niger’s uranium and Iraq’s WMD

Finally, I stumbled on this lively

portrait of Hersh in the Washington Post; a bit old, but very animated and well-written.

Anonymous said...

BD says it best:

"...the notion that...if one is to accept the... suppositions...if this is true...

(For those who don't know Hersh it's a good introduction.)

Heehee: today's word verification--qikofx

bandicoot said...

mangy dog – All the comments so far share that skepticism. I personally would be skeptical and critical about other journalists, especially the darlings of the main stream media. But keep in perspective that Hersh is a top-notch journalist and if he doesn't get it right all the time, he still occupies a relatively decent spot on the often impoverished and one-dimensional journalism sphere we have today.

John B. Chilton said...

It was Iran's war through its proxy Hezbollah. Israel and Washington were reacting, and that's an unfortunate position to be in.

Brn said...


Thanks for the links. As I said, he can be very right, but he can also be very wrong. If I recall correctly, the usual explaination for when he gets things wrong is that people within the government "leak" false information to attack someone else. He certainly isn't known for just making things up though.

I think that one of the links that you provide, about the Iraq-Niger uranium story, is one of the cases where he is wrong. Not that the documents that he talks of haven't been proven to be a forgery. However, that is far from the only proof of the connections. You can read about the other evidence and draw your own conclusions, but it seems pretty convincing to me.

bandicoot said...

John - Without downplaying the Iran-Hizbollah connections or exaggerating the Israel-US relationship, I don't believe that HA was acting simply on orders from Tehran. At some level, HA is not a tool in Iranian hands and truly proceeds fro its won Shia-Lebanese priorities. I also don't believe that HA was planning to go to war. They might have expected and prepared for an extensive retaliation, but not for a war. Also, do you really think that the guys who came up with the preemtive war doctrine and New Middle East vision are simply "reacting" to things (in the usual sense of reaction)?

brn – Yeah, he's been wrong before; in some case it's the sources and other times the analysis or hypothesis doesn't add up. Thanks fro the link on the Niger thing; I'll check it out to see if it throws new light on this most interesting scandal.

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