Thursday, January 3, 2008

Kissinger to al-Hakim: Stay the course

By Abbas J. Ali
Online Journal Contributing Writer

"......Kissinger’s recent meeting (Dec.3, 2007) in Washington with Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, the head of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC), arouses anxiety among Middle East experts as to what neoconservatives have planned next for Iraq. Though, at least since 2002, the neoconservatives have maintained close consultation with al-Hakim, this is probably the first time that a neoconservative elder has had a private session with him. It is possible that al-Hakim’s meeting with Kissinger is meant to reaffirm neoconservatives’ confidence in him and to convey to the outside world that the Iraqi venture is still their own.

As a neoconservative patriarch and strategist, Kissinger’s vision constitutes a blueprint for neoconservative design and action. Kissinger’s focus on the Middle East is not a mere political curiosity but more likely a fulfillment of neoconservatives’ perception of Biblical prophecies. Though Iraq was mostly a secular state with a strong liberal tradition, Kissinger, in the Washington Post (August 14, 2001), called for the Bush administration to initiate an alliance with India, China, and Russia against “Muslim radicals” for the sake of Israel. A year later he wrote in the Post that there was “no possibility of a negotiation between Washington and Baghdad.” And in 2005, he was adamant that the invasion of Iraq was essential to fight “radical Islam,” stating the Iraq war was intended to send a larger message “in order to make a point that we're not going to live in this world that they want for us.”.....

On December 23, 2007, the New York Times magazine reported that Kissinger “did things that were very damaging to human beings.” In that light, his meeting with al-Hakim should not be underestimated. Middle East experts may argue that Kissinger simply briefed al-Hakim on how Washington views the situation in Iraq and the region. More plausibly, however, is that Kissinger in meeting al-Hakim has offered the neoconservatives’ blessings and reaffirmed their approval and support for his strategy and action in Iraq."

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