Saturday, December 16, 2006

Bre'er Bush and the Tar Baby

From the “New York Times” online:

“Military planners and White House budget analysts have been asked to provide President Bush with options for increasing American forces in Iraq by 20,000 or more. The request indicates that the option of a major ‘surge’ in troop strength is gaining ground as part of a White House strategy review.”

The “surge” will be aimed at “reversing the deteriorating security situation in Baghdad,” which implies, to me, that the Bush government has given up on establishing “security” in the rest of Iraq and is concentrating on a parting show of success in Baghdad.

By any standard, the U.S. has lost its Iraq war. It was a war which never had a constructive aim. Its purpose was entirely destructive: To liquidate Iraq’s leader and government, to destroy Iraq’s military capacity, to reduce Iraq from a major power in “Israel’s part of the world” to a feeble noncompetitor. That has been achieved. The only problem is that Br’er Bush, like Br’er Rabbit in the Uncle Remus tales, cannot let go of the Tar Baby now that he is wrestling with it. Br’er Bush is (believe it or not) human, and his main concern is probably (as with the departing Donald Rumsfeld) to be seen as something better than a complete loser.

I don’t know about you, but I think that the idea of sending a “surge” of American troops into Iraq to precede a withdrawal is entirely a face-saving measure. Its purpose is no more than to generate some positive headlines to cover a retreat.

What could be more despicable than to murder more Iraqis, put more American men and women into the meat grinder and run up military casualties, only in order for a few politicians to be able to lie, “We were succeeding when we turned things over to the Iraqis”?

When does a war end whose only aim is destruction?

Rome ended its long conflict with Carthage by eliminating Carthage completely and rendering the city's site uninhabitable by sowing salt in the fields. The end of that war was clear to all. The Morgenthau Plan for Germany after the Second World War sought a similar result but fortunately was thwarted to some extent. (Link here to a comprehensive history of the Morgenthau Plan. It was a history professor's suggestion that I write a term paper on the Morgenthau Plan which first awakened my interest in Jewish influences.) The main reason that Morgenthau's desire to reduce Germany permanently to a primitive condition was blocked was the realization that in the closely intertwined world of nation states and international trade, a vacuum will be filled. The same consideration will apply to Iraq.

Were the invaders of Iraq so naïve as to really believe that with the defeat of Iraq's military that complex land would settle quietly into the status of a tidy U.S. puppet "democracy" from which the U.S. could milk profits and which would contribute to the campaign to legitimize Israel?

Iraq fought back, and there is no sign that it will not continue fighting back. The working unity which Saddam Hussein achieved shows no sign of being re-established. Civil war and ethnic/religious/regional fragmentation seem more likely. Such a situation suits Israel fine, but then there is the question of Iraq’s neighbors. Without a strong Iraq next door, what does the future hold as far as Iran and Syria are concerned?

Israel wants an impotent Iran and Syria almost as much as it wanted an impotent Iraq. Will Israel’s pressure groups once again push the U.S. into fighting new wars for "the Jewish state" – at a time when almost any reference to the U.S. military is accompanied by the word “overstretched”.

Who is going to manage the situation in Iraq after the Americans have shrunk into a few military bases and Iran and Syria and Turkey assert themselves as evolving circumstances permit?

We don’t yet know the answers, but the situation supports the conclusion suggested by Abu Nicola al Yunani in his Tehran speech, and which is often on my mind, that we are watching a tipping point in U.S. fortunes which will be seen by future historians as hastening the end of American domination of the world. There is not going to be any happy end to this story as far as the United States is concerned. I predict that the American Empire is going to come out of its current misadventures and their complications as the British Empire came out of the aftermath of the Second World War.

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