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Friday, June 29, 2007

Mission Accomplished

When we were protesting the impending war in Iraq back in the winter of '03, many of us pointed out that the war might engulf the entire Middle East in war. Unfortunately, it appears we were just encouraging the warmongers, because that was exactly what they wanted.

Chris Floyd quotes the London Review of Books:
The activities of the US are fundamental to the present crisis. Iraq continues to radiate instability and is exacerbating tensions between the Shia and Sunni everywhere. US and EU policy in Palestine and Lebanon is driving internal tension and polarisation, and the risk of conflict involving Iran and possibly Syria overshadows everything else in the region. In all, the Americans and Europeans are engaged in six internal conflicts in Muslim societies--in Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine--in each case providing finance and weapons for one faction to use against another. As I write, Hizbullah is preparing for the possibility of renewed conflict with Israel, and Syria and Iran have also reached the conclusion that conflict is a real and imminent prospect, and are actively preparing for it.

When all parties begin to see conflict as inevitable, then the 'inevitable' becomes self-fulfilling. Americans are fond of comparing the situation in the region to the 1930s and the rise of totalitarianism; but perhaps Europe in 1914 is a better metaphor: the situation is such that some small, unexpected autonomous event might trigger a sequence of events that even the great powers of the region could find it beyond their ability to control. In the past, after all, a car accident (in the case of the first intifada) and a cinema fire (triggering the Iranian revolution) have unleashed consequences that no one could have foreseen.
I suspect that it's even worse than the LRB says--my guess is that in many of these conflicts the US is funding and/or arming BOTH (or all) factions, as we did in the Iran-Iraq war: selling weapons directly to Iraq while selling them clandestinely to Iran through Israel (yes, we did that). And there is plenty of reason to suspect that Iran's Ahmedinajad owes his election to the US, as I discussed a year and a half ago. Pretty much all of American "enemies" in recent decades have been US creations: Osama, Saddam, Noriega.

Floyd comments on the LRB quote:
The 1914 analogy is most apt. We are standing on a knife's edge, led by witless elites on every side who are blundering headlong into a wider conflagration that could consume us all. The "War on Terror" -- the vast militarization of a political, social and economic conflict -- is a strategic mistake for which our great-grandchildren will still be paying for in blood and treasure.

Or to look at it another way: Wouldn't the world be a better place today if the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand had been dealt with as a "law enforcement matter," instead of the cause of a world-shattering war? But here we are again, almost a century later, making the same mistakes again. The First World War bred Nazi Germany, the Soviet tyranny, the Holocaust, the Gulag, and 50 years of Cold War (and proxy war) that killed millions of people. What monstrous progeny will the Terror War spawn?
Floyd left out a few things: The First World War bred the Second World War, nuclear weapons, US hegemony, and hundreds of billions of dollars for the Skull & Bones alumni and associated ilk who run the world. The end of the cold war threatened to derail their money train; the "war on terror" has it back on shiny new tracks for decades to come.