Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Evil Iran, the new al-Qaeda

By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

".....As for the bread-and-butter daily horror in Iraq, nothing will change. No significant "troop withdrawals in the months ahead", and no "political timeline". But then Lieberman-Graham soar to unparalleled brotherhood heights when they write that "thanks to the surge, Iraq today is looking increasingly like Osama bin Laden's worst nightmare: an Arab country, in the heart of the Middle East, in which hundreds of thousands of Muslims - both Sunni and Shi'ite - are rising up and fighting, shoulder to shoulder with American soldiers, against al-Qaeda and its hateful ideology".

Bin Laden is patient - he knows the occupation itself will continue to be a magnet to thousands of aspiring jihadis. Sunni Arab guerrillas have learned to be patient; they'd rather breathe now, paid by US cash, and then relaunch their offensive, at the right time, to recapture Baghdad. As for those "hundreds of thousands of Muslims" - in fact millions - their main battle cry is not al-Qaeda, but rather "Occupation out", as in the Million Man March called by Muqtada al-Sadr for this Wednesday in Baghdad and then canceled.

Why the abrupt cancelation? Because the immense Sadr City slum, as well as other Sadrist bases, have been totally encircled by Maliki's and Petraeus' "surge" troops. In a press conference at Firdous Square - where exactly five years ago today the marines staged the toppling of the statue of Saddam Hussein, with the help of a few Baghdad locals - Sadrist spokesman Salah al-Obaidi said Muqtada would not risk the safety of his millions of supporters.

Asia Times Online sources confirm Iraqi "security" - in fact Badr Organization commandos - have been detaining every single young Shi'ite male from 15 to 35 and preventing them from entering the city center. This is also what the "surge" is about - massive popular repression, although no one will hear it from Lieberman-Graham.

The war on Iraq ended five years ago today. No: the war on Iraq actually started five years ago today. For those who still live under the spell of a Bush "we create our own reality" administration, the Lieberman-Graham piece is soothing. For McCain supporters, it's confirmation of the road map ahead - The Hundred Year War plus "bomb, bomb, Iran". As for the majority of the American public, which has had enough of an endless war that has torn the country apart, it's nothing but an insult to their collective intelligence."

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