The Ghosts of Interventions Past Impede U.S. War for Israel in Syria
Maidhc Ó Cathail
The Passionate Attachment
July 23, 2013
Given the Israel lobby’s relentless efforts to induce the U.S. into another Middle East war in Syria, it’s fitting that the New York Times cites Tel Aviv’s official envoy in Washington (as opposed to all the unofficial ones) on the ghosts of interventions past holding back America’s next war for Israeli regional hegemony. In a July 14 piece entitled “No Quick Impact in U.S. Arms Plan for Syria Rebels,” Mark Mazzetti, Eric Schmitt and Erin Banco write:
Many in the administration say they are still seeking to satisfy themselves that they have taken all precautions possible to prevent weapons from falling into the hands of Islamic extremists in Syria. To them, the plan carries echoes of previous American efforts to arm rebels in Angola, Nicaragua and elsewhere, many of which backfired. There is also fear at the White House that Mr. Obama will be dragged into another war in the Middle East.
But others, particularly many in the State Department, argue that the United States must intervene to prevent a further deterioration of security in the region and to stop a humanitarian crisis that is spiraling out of control, officials said.
“In my meetings with American policy makers I often detect a conversation between ghosts,” said Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador in Washington, speaking of the debate. “The ghosts of Afghanistan and Iraq are vying with the ghosts of Rwanda and Kosovo.”
Policy makers concerned about the “unintended consequences” of intervention in Syria that General Martin Dempsey recently tried to warn the pro-intervention and reliably pro-Israel senators John McCain and Carl Levin about would do well to heed the former ghosts.
Maidhc Ó Cathail is an investigative journalist and Middle East analyst. He is also the creator and editor of The Passionate Attachment blog, which focuses primarily on the U.S.-Israeli relationship. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter @O_Cathail.