Billmon is writing some of the most incisive analysis of the Lebanon conflict in the entire blogosphere. He’s outrageously cynical (which is unfortunately perfectly warranted), but brilliantly so. Tonight’s post, The War Party, is no exception. It covers so much ground that it’s hard to summarize briefly.
Suffice to say, he begins with Ned Lamont’s senate campaign and the presumed demise of Joe Lieberman’s political career. But he warns that while Lamont is against one war, he’s not against every war. In other words, Lamont has hitched himself to the Aipac wagon just as securely as Lieberman. Lamont will not dare take a critical view of Israel’s Lebanon war and any other war that might derive from it. So to those who plan on rejoicing when Lamont wins, saying it presages the Party coming to its senses regarding the Iraq war and other possible U.S. military misadventures, Billmon says “not so fast.”
Yes, Billmon is one of those who believes a U.S. war with Iran is not only likely, but nigh unto inevitable. In losing the Lebanon war, Israel has practically forced the U.S. to intervene against Iran. Billmon notes the very real possibility that in the event of Iraqi civil war that Iran could become the dominant outside influence there much like Syria was in Lebanon until recently. This would enable Iran to provoke even more mischief in Lebanon than it currently can since it would have practically an open border conduit from Iraq to Syria and thence to Lebanon. He believes that not only Israel, but the U.S. will find this development intolerable and go to war to roll Iranian dominance back. Billmon also throws out some deeply depressing figures about how many casualties a nuclear strike against Iran might generate.
In calling the post The War Party, he’s referring not the Republicans as you might expect, but to the Democrats. He believes that the party we hold so dear (hmmm) will go along with a war with Iran because it’s just too politically costly to oppose one. As proof, he points to the Democrats rollover on the Iraq war. Though we might like to believe that the Dems learned their lesson in not opposing Iraq, Billmon says essentially: never overestimate the Democratic party’s capacity to delude itself when it comes to national security and war.
It’s most depressing stuff, but so absolutely compelling, lucid and brilliantly argued as to be mandatory reading I’m afraid. As I read posts of his like this I find myself alternating between feelings of pleasure at the breathtaking sweep of his writing and argument; and feelings of horror at the vision of a potential World War III emanating from the Mideast conflict.