Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Making it our business

When Israel bombed Syrian territory it certainly makes the Mid East look that bit more dangerous, but was it right?

Well the point is surely that a fairly snug island off North Western Europe surely can't judge these things, which makes it sad that Blair has condemned this as an 'escalation'. However the fact is we do have troops not so far away and it therefore is a concern of ours. Now we don't have a load of people who think that by bringing about Israel (and a second holocaust) they can go to heaven without dying (although the new Bishop of Durham seems to be blazing a trail here) so we're going to be less worried about criticising Israel. Add in a bit of, ahem, unpleasantness between 1945 and 1948, it does trip off the tongue a bit easier from a Brit rather than a Yank politician.

Even given this, surely the Israelis must see a risk of increased Western interference? Empires mean that the metropolitan power cannot be as indulgent towards other countries. If Israel does things that mean that American spending and fatalities go up then soon enough the concerns of the Middle East start falling in the electoral calculation cauldron in the same way as Christian Zionist angst already has.

The long term Western presence in Iraq (if not in the short term) could be bad for Israel. And what's bad for any other country coul, given the innate fragility of any non-Muslim regime in that part of the world, be fatal for Israel.


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