Wednesday, September 5, 2007
The Iraq War is Political Plutonium
By STAN GOFF
"This is the way the world ends,
not with a bang but a whimper.
-T. S. Eliot
So President of the United States George W. Bush "diverted" a flight to Australia to a desert base in Anbar Province, Iraq (Sure he did.). Anbar Province is now being effectively run not by US occupation forces, but by the armed Iraqi nationalist forces that fought the US to a standstill there -- with the cooperation of the same US forces. This is being spun as a successful "counter-insurgency" campaign.
Many who opposed the war in Iraq, and the many more who just disliked the Bush administration, certainly had different expectations of what forms the end of that war might take. And this is certainly the beginning of some kind of end. That is not a call to complacency. Fight against this warlike lives depend on it. They still do. I just feel compelled to counter-spin it.
With El Presidente on this "surprise" trip, as it happened, were the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense. Meeting them on this remote base between Baghdad and the Syrian border was none other than Bagwan Petraeus, the current Vivekananda of counter-insurgency doctrine and the latest in a long line of Generals who will be dragged into historical ignominy by this Commander-in-Chief.
The Ba'athists of Anbar seem to bear no grudges, even for the genocidal revenge that was visted on Fallujah. This bespeaks a political sophistication (or Realpolitik, choose your term) that is miles ahead of the power curve in Washington DC. Only lately, it seems, as the mad mandarins of The Project for a New American Century chirp with bellicosity at Persia, has it occurred to the administration that the raison d'etre of US policy in the region since 1979 -- containing the surprise independence of Iran -- has been judo-flipped into an Iranian Era, in the same moment that the privatized Islamist militias of the Afghanistan operation (also cranked up courtesy of the CIA circa 1979) have metastasized into a popular movement that threatens the US-obedient rulers of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, and Pakistan......
Now the whole US National Command Authority is sitting together with former enemies surrounded by the sands of Anbar.
Someone is cutting deals.
Someone else is preparing to spin a victory, just as they are spinning the surrender of Anbar as the success story of the invasion and occupation......."