Should this be read at face value as
“diplomatic process,” or a process towards something else? Is he
talking about a real or fake (propaganda) process? More
importantly here, some sort of “offer” has been made between
Blair and the US, and Rice is aware of it. What is it?
Blair: Well, it's only if it's -- I mean, you know, if
she's gotta -- or if she needs the ground prepared, as it were.
Obviously, if she goes out, she's got to succeed, as it were,
whereas I can just go out and talk.
She (Rice) needs the
ground prepared to “succeed” doing what? “Whereas I can just go
out and talk” suggests that Blair intends for him and the UK to
take a back seat, and let the US and Rice lead the way --
towards what? Peace, or more war? A ceasefire, or an
opportunistic maneuver of some kind?
Bush: See, the irony is what they need to do is get Syria
to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit, and it's over.
This is a key passage. What is
“ironic”? Is the irony that they must ask for Syrian cooperation
-- or is it ironic that they are setting up Syria to take the
blame (for “Hezbollah’s shit”)? What is “over” -- the current
violence, or any remaining obstacle to a full-blown Middle East
Blair : Who, Syria?
Blair: I think this is all part of the same thing. What
does he think? He thinks if Lebanon turns out fine, if we get a
solution in Israel and Palestine, Iraq goes in the right way,
he's [inaudible ] . That's what this whole thing's
about. It's the same with Iran.
The inaudible word is critical.
Without the word, the passage is hard to interpret. Blair seems
to be characterizing Syrian president Bashar Assad as somewhat
naive (a “solution in Israel and Palestine,” and happy endings
in Iraq, as well as Iran are far fetched), as well as a dupe who
is willing to play along with Anglo-American and Israeli plans.
Note: some media reports, including the San Francisco
Chronicle, have the last line of this passage as “It’s the same
with Iraq.” An error, or an intentional lie?
Bush: I felt like telling Kofi to get on the phone with
Assad and make something happen. We're not blaming Israel. We're
not blaming the Lebanese government."
What does Bush want the UN to “make
Is Bush talking about an
Anglo-American diplomatic stance (don’t blame Israel or Lebanon)
towards a ceasefire, or he is talking about the creation of a
political cover by which a larger “anti-terror” war targeting
Hamas and Hezbollah, and their alleged masterminds in Syria and
Iran, will be conducted?
Is Assad complicit, or is he being set
As noted by William Arkin, in his Washington Post
analysis of the Bush-Blair exchange,
I've been watching the latest Middle East saga unfold, I've been
struck by the almost universal insights being offered by pundits
and talking heads that Iran or Syria planned the Hamas and
Hezbollah kidnappings of Israeli soldiers and also control what
this narrative, Iran is trying to divert attention from its
nuclear weapons program; Syria is seeking revenge against
American isolation and seeking to enlarge its power base. The
two countries provide missiles and supply lines and sanctuary
for Hezbollah and Hamas. Iranian ‘soldiers’ are even secretly
in Lebanon, aiding Hezbollah in its Friday attack on the Israeli
naval vessel, an attack that Hezbollah could not have otherwise
“In this telling, Hamas and Hezbollah are reduced to almost
unimportant terrorist dupes of Iran and Syria, Lebanon is just a
poor victimized country, and Israel is only defending itself.
The United States and the international community are also
absolved of any responsibility for their failures of diplomacy
because what is unfolding is part of a grand conspiracy that no
amount of intervention could have an impact on.
this version of history, Iran and Syria can also just snap their
fingers and ‘stop’ the fighting. Even if this is a false
characterization, their failure to do so confirms that the Bush
administration's approach towards them is the only option. The
two are thus confirmed as rogue nations and new axis of evil.”
this world, various leaders and factions plot their next moves,
plan covert operations, undertake assassinations, decide on who
to support and how based upon inside information.
“The danger of this type of intelligence, and of leaders
obsessed with gossip and the lurid details of world events, is
that pretty soon the geopolitical double dealing crowds out any
true picture and any sense of State responsibility.”
With all due respect, there is not simply “double dealing.”
There is also blackmail and extortion, with violent military
ramifications. Outright thuggery is the basis of much imperial
It remains to be seen what Bush, Blair, and the brutal Israeli
government have in store. The gates of hell have already been
opened. Only the na´ve would think they have any desire to close