Steven Jonas, MD, MPH
The CheneyBush War Policy is becoming curiouser and curiouser. “Things are getting better in Iraq,” they say, when they are clearly getting worse. “We must fight on to ‘victory’ ” they say, without ever defining what they mean by “victory.” A leading member of the Privatized Ministry of Propaganda, Sean Hannity is particularly fond of this one. Of course, virtually all military authorities other than those in the CheneyBush hip pocket for one reason or another say that no matter how you define it, “victory” is impossible. Virtually all political authorities (which given their track records excludes any pro-war Republicans, neocons, or other Rightists, who cannot be characterized as “authorities” on the Iraq matter) agree. CheneyBush and their surrogates in the Congress and the Privatized Ministry of Propaganda label any critics of their policies as traitors. Yes, “aiding and abetting the enemy” is one of the components of “treason.” Some such surrogates, like Mark Levin, an attorney and President of the far-Right Wing Landmark Legal Foundation, who has a talk show on New York City’s WABC-AM (Disney Corp.) radio call liberal opponents of the Georgites “cockroaches, who need to be squashed underfoot.”
But the reality of Iraq is for most observers such that, traitors, cockroaches, left-wing, right-wing (like Paul Craig Roberts) or no, they have come to the conclusion that the Georgites and their followers are in la-la land, that they are totally delusional, that they are getting wrong intelligence, that they are Green Zone-centric, that when they talk about “achieving victory” they cannot actually believe what they are saying. Well, there is another possible explanation: things in Iraq are going exactly the way the Georgites planned them to go. I have written about this possibility before, briefly, and am revisiting the topic here in a bit more detail. Since no other explanation for their behavior and their policy makes any possible sense, by a process of elimination, it seems to me, there is only one left: what’s happening in Iraq is exactly what they have planned for all along. Let’s connect the dots.
As is very well known, they lied theU.S. into war. There were no WMD and they knew it. Hans Blix was inspecting the heck out of Saddam Hussein’sIraq and finding no evidence of WMD. He was sharing his findings with the US and asked theUS to share any contradictory intelligence that they had with him. No, niente, nada.
There was no Hussein/al-Qaeda link, and they knew it. The famous “Prague meeting” did take place between representatives of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden might well have taken place. However, if it did it is most likely that Hussein’s man told bin Laden’s man “no” very firmly (and likely in not quite so polite language). For a variety of reasons, ranging from Hussein’s secularism to his strong desire not to give the Georgites any excuse for real to invade his country that they eventually made up, Hussein would have rejected any bin Laden overtures.
There was no post-war planning, as is also well known. The U.S. State Department had a very detailed plan for Iraqi re-construction. All 2,200 pages of it were just ignored. There is the much-traveled story that Rumsfeld threatened to fire anyone on his staff who even talked about post-war planning.
The museums looting that could easily have been prevented could have part of a plan (well a different kind of plan) to develop permanent chaos: delete to the extent possible 5000 years of history which gave at least parts of Iraq an historical identity. A purposeful enterprise to destroy the civil infrastructure to the extent possible would explain the staffing of Bremer’s pro-consulate by totally unqualified, very young, Republican political operatives. Maybe it was indeed not accidental or careless, but rather “let’s do whatever we can to gum up the infrastructure even further than it is already gummed up by Saddam and our invasion.”
There have been numerous missed opportunities for declaring victory and leaving, from the holding of elections, to the forming of a government, to the swearing in of the Parliament. All opportunities were ignored.
The Iraq Study Group Report provided a perfect cover for withdrawal to begin now. CheneyBush attempted to dispose of it before the ink was dry. Bush famously did not ask one question during the 45 minutes (!) that he met with the Group, although when he went on to his next meeting, with military commanders at the Pentagon, he was full of questions, about the details of military strategy and tactics for Iraq.
Most of us on the Left thought the true goals of the invasion were oil and bases. If that were true, they were achieved, as confirmed last month with the news that the Iraqi cabinet has come to an agreement over the distribution of oil exploration and operational rights and revenues, which will most likely be approved by the Parliament. And Bush is escalating. (It happens that since the original version of this column was written; see below, parts of the ISG Report are making a comeback.)
At various times, the major Muslim countries have offered to provide cover for an American departure, especially if it were attached to a real settlement of the Palestine/Israel problem. They were not taken up on those offers.
Then comes the bombshell report by Seymour Hersh in the Feb. 28, 2007 issue of The New Yorker. As summarized by our European Editor, Michael Carmichael, on The Planetary Movement (Blog) of March 4, 2007:
“The New Yorker’s ace investigative reporter, Seymour Hersh, ha[s] done it again with his latest earth-shattering exposé. Hersh revealed Dick Cheney and his henchmen had deliberately set about inciting chain reactions of sectarian violence and civil wars across theMiddle East via a massive covert operation disguised as a shift of geopolitical strategy. . . . Now, instead of launching a war against Iran, Cheney with Bush’s complicity, has pulled the trigger on a covert war of global proportions pitting Sunnis against Shias.
“According to Hersh, Cheney’s covert plan involves massive US financial backing for militant Sunni groups that are known to be inimical to the Shia militias of the Badr Brigades, the Mahdi Army, Hamas, and Hezbollah, all of whom support the revolutionary government of Iran. The US-backed Sunnis include the Muslim Brotherhood, a vast and powerful multinational organization, who are definitely on friendly terms with Al-Qaeda and its allies, including the Taliban. . . . Hersh reveals presidential involvement in the massive covert operation to ignite a religious war in the Middle East . . . [I]nstead of rebuilding the damaged cities and broken infrastructure of Iraq, the mega-billions in US cash are now being subverted to the bank accounts of radical Sunni groups known to be in league with Al Qaeda and their patrons – the Taliban.
“Hersh quotes well-known regional authorities who are confidently predicting a US and Israel-backed confrontation between Shia and Sunni forces. The covert American-Israeli plan to expand the Iraq Civil War to engulf the entire region in a blazing arc of atrocities and ultra-violence that will extend from Lebanon to Afghanistan is the brainchild of the neoconservative cell remaining in power in the Bush White House.”
Sure sounds like a recipe for Permanent War, don’t it?
And finally there is the constant sabre-rattling onIran. As my readers already know, I think that the “Iran thing” is all about sabre-rattling and scaring the American people and nothing else. I do not think that CheneyBush are about to invade and/or bomb. They have very limited military resources, and as noted in The Sunday Times ofLondon (a Murdoch [!] newspaper) of February 25, 2007, might even face a revolt of the generals over it. The “evidence of Iranian intervention inIraq” consists primarily of some very sophisticated roadside bombs. They might be supplied by the Iranian military with full government knowledge. On the other hand, they might be forgeries. Or they might be stolen from Iranian munitions dumps and then sold on the black market. But even for CheneyBush, it is hardly likely (never say never when dealing with these guys) that they would/could use them for a justification for carpet bombingIran, perhaps with nuclear weapons. Both options would go down very well with O’RHannibaugh and their most brain-washed acolytes, but with nobody else in the world. However, CheneyBush are saber-rattling, although Cheney does most of the rattling while Bush, Gates, and Snow say “nothing to worry about.” Thus it would appear that all the Sturm und Drang is primarily for domestic political consumption.
And why do they want this? In brief, especially with a conveniently occurring terrorist attack in mid-October 2008, that is how, indeed the only way, they could achieve their ultimate goal: imposing theocratic fascism on theU.S. And just how would they do this, you might ask? As I have said before and will likely say again, by declaring a National Emergency following the “attack,” suspending the 2008 elections, putting the Congressional leadership into “protective custody, and, using Blackwater troops, a Christian militia and certain like-minded military units, and members of the very large Aryan Brotherhood currently occupying major space in US prisons, criminals true, but absolutely far-rightist, establishing martial law. Could it happen? Yes. Will it happen? Not necessarily. The chances of its happening will be significantly reduced if the restoration of Constitutional Democracy becomes Issue One for the election of 2008.
Author’s note: This column is based in part on one published on BuzzFlash on Tue, 02/27/2007 http://www.buzzflash.com/articles/jonas/051
Author’s note: I originally published this column on The Political Junkies.net on March 21, 2007. It is Column No. 142 in my TPJ series. Steven Jonas, MD, MPH.
Steven Jonas, MD, MPH is a TPJ Contributing Author. He is a Professor of Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University (NY) and author/co-author of over twenty-five books. Dr. Jonas is also: a Columnist for the webmagazine BuzzFlash (http://www.buzzflash.com/); a Contributing Editor for the Moving Planet Blog (http://www.planetarymovement.org/); a Contributing Columnist for the Project for the Old American Century, POAC (http://www.oldamericancentury.org/); a regular contributor to the weblog Thomas Paine’s Corner (http://civillibertarian.blogspot.com/); and a regular contributor to the weblog The Daily Scare (http://www.dailyscare.com/). He has his own website for short pieces entitled “Dr. J.’s Short Shots, II” (http://drjsshortshots.wordpress.com/).