Sunday, July 30, 2006

Countdown to $200-a-barrel oil

First the micro picture, as painted by Juan Cole, summing up Israel's attack on the Lebanese village of Qana:

In other words, the Israelis are engaged in collective punishment on a vast scale. They maintain that rocket launching sites are embedded in these villages. But since Hizbullah keeps firing large numbers of rockets, it does not actually appear to be the case that the Israelis are hitting the rocket launchers.

Perhaps the Qana attack is a case of helpless fury. As Josh Marshall points out, yesterday brought the highest number of Hezbollah rocket attacks since this current conflict began. Then again, he says there are ominous indicators in the Israeli press that U.S. leaders are actually prodding the Israelis to keep up the attacks as a prelude to an attempt at regime change in Syria -- and maybe Iran, too.

Eric Margolis seconds that scenario in the Toronto Sun:

Israel's attempted destruction of Hezbollah is the first step in a long-planned bid to strip away Iran's allies and effectively turn Lebanon into a joint U.S.-Israeli protectorate. The second step will no doubt be an assault on Syria. Step three: Isolating and crippling Iran by a massive bombing campaign accompanied by renewed efforts to overthrow its government.

Not that the Iran plot is something that just came out of nowhere; as James Bamford details, it goes back to just after 9/11, and a fateful meeting in Rome. Bamford doesn't break a whole lot of new ground with this Rolling Stone article, but it's a good summation of how we got from there to here. $200-a-barrel oil, anyone?


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