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Monday, January 29, 2007

Perpetual war is the goal

Chris Floyd agrees with me: The American-looking, American-armed, English-speaking, SUV-driving perpetrators of last-week's deadly attack on US soldiers were most likely Americans:
Has anyone considered the possibility that these gunmen dressed as Americans, speaking English, driving American-style security vehicles and carrying American weapons were, well, Americans? Given the Pentagon's never-repudiated plan to foment terrorism to achieve the Bush Regime's geopolitical objectives; given the fact that Iraq is filled with private military "contractors," some of whom are almost certainly on retainer to U.S. security organs for various bits of "wetwork" and other ops on what Dick Cheney calls "the dark side"; given that we are already being told that the people who carried out this killing were "Iranian operatives" or Iraqis funded, armed and trained by same; and given the fact that the Bush Regime is now openly seeking any half-plausible pretext to launch its long-planned attack on Iran--would it not be irresponsible of us not to speculate on the ultimate origin of this bloody strike?
Floyd goes on to point out that all of this huffing and puffing about Iran's "meddling" in Iraq and the re-demonization of Moqtada al-Sadr does nothing to improve the security situation in Iraq or to make the U.S. military's "mission," whatever that might be this week, any easier. Maliki's government depends on the support of al-Sadr, and the meager Iraqi security forces are largely composed, or at least heavily infiltrated by, al-Sadr supporters. Floyd:
One of the main thrusts of Bush's "surge" plan is that U.S. forces will soon be directly engaging the Mahdi Army. Thus American troops will be fighting against a sectarian militia that has in part been armed and trained by American troops. What's more, these "surging" Americans will be fighting alongside Mahdi Army troops that have infiltrated the official Iraqi army.

George W. Bush has put U.S. soldiers--the ones he and his sycophants claim so loudly to "support"--into a circular firing squad, where they will, in effect, be killed with their own weapons. All questions of moral equivalency aside, you would have to go back to Nazi Germany to find a major power whose leaders act in such a howlingly stupid and self-destructive fashion.
There would appear to be no conceivable benefit to Iraq, or even to US "interests" in Iraq, in pursuing this course of trying to turn the Shiites on each other with US troops caught in the middle. The only conceivable reason Bush might have, if he has one at all, is somehow to turn this chaos into his long-sought war with Iran. I see it as yet another tilt of the teeter-totter which has been rocking back and forth for decades. Until 1979, the US supported Iran (the Shah) as a supposed bulwark against possible Soviet advances in the region, including a potential Soviet client state in Iraq. After the Iranian revolution, the US switched to supporting Iraq and its willing leader Saddam Hussein, who was encouraged by the Carter and Reagan administrations to undertake a brutal war against Iran. Of course, US officials didn't really want anyone to win that war, so they proceeded to arm both sides. When the war finally ended, the Bush I administration continued to arm Saddam right up until, with US encouragement, he invaded Kuwait. Then, overnight, he became "worse than Hitler." Nevertheless, once they had him on the run after the Gulf War, the Bush I administration took steps to ensure that Saddam remain in power, even encouraging Shiite and Kurdish uprisings and then standing idly by while Saddam crushed them. Years of lying about Saddam's weapons programs, more on the part of US officials (of both major parties, of course) than on the part of Saddam, were apparently an attempt to keep Iran at bay. However, in 2003, the teeter-totter swung back in favor of Iran, as the US first demonstrated (through forcing UN inspectors in) that Iraq had no WMD's, and then by removing Saddam from power and eliminating Iraq as a military threat to Iran. But now, with a Shiite government in place (sort of) in Baghdad, it is time for the criminals in Washington to tilt the teeter-totter one more time. The goal clearly isn't "victory," whatever that might mean. The goal is perpetual war.

In a follow-up post, Floyd notes:
Let's add another plain fact here, one which we have noted before, but bears repeating: The President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, does not control Iran's armed forces. He does not control Iran's nuclear program. To be sure, he is a prating, full-of-himself religious crank like George W. Bush, but no matter how inflammatory his rhetoric (some of which has been deliberately mistranslated), even if he picked up the phone tomorrow and ordered an all-out attack on Israel or a barrage of missile strikes on American forces in Iraq or the shut-down of the Straits of Hormuz--nothing would happen. Nothing. In the Iranian system of government, he does not have the power to make any of his rhetoric regarding military and foreign policy come true. (See also: Reality and Revisionism in Iran.)

The Bush Administration knows this. The Olmert government knows this. Yet at every turn, they inflate Ahmadinejad into yet another "new Hitler" and pretend that he has dictatorial powers in Iran. But just as his predecessor, Mohammed Khatami, could not make his heartfelt rhetoric about reforming Iran come true, neither can Ahmadinejad do anything at all to actualize whatever fantasies he may mouth.