Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Tony. Tony! Toe-nnneee!!

The cravenly named "Long War" is at a critical juncture, and the consequences of Israel's "difficulties" in Lebanon have been almost immediate. There are numerous signs the Europeans are carefully backing away from the US stance viz disarming Lebanese Hezbollah. Which indicates they don't want Iran attacked, nor yet even encircled, despite being subjected to constant, daily variations on the neo-twit theme of "Do you want to be cut in on the oil, or not?" European history doesn't seem overly replete with moral qualms on resource extraction through violence, so the lack of enthusiasm is probably due to serious doubts over Israel's ability to successfully take on Syria as the last gap in the chain encircling Iran. Add to that even bigger fears of getting dragged into the losing end of a larger conflict if they put troops on the ground in Lebanon, whether via the UN or NATO.

I've been hanging out a lot at retired DIA Colonel Pat Lang's excellent defense intelligence blog "Sic Semper Tyrannis" (turcopolier.typepad.com), and this morning a commenter named Altoid observed in a discussion how "if that's right," i.e., if the Europeans have truly decided to withhold political cover from the US & Israel, "there will be unbelievable pressure over the next month or so to get rid of Blair." Altoid's flash of insight seems dead-on. Note to self: Watch Blair. Lots of people want to make him pay for his support of Bush, and his political status is a good barometer of how the Long War will go forward. If Blair goes down in the next month or two, it may be a sign Europe as a whole (as in including British Petroleum) may begin to engage in more active rapprochement with Russia and China. And it's certainly a sign that European support for the Long War, which depends a great deal on the US ability to execute its schemes, will go from being a tough sell to losing key accounts.

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