September 20, 2004


Bush, Marshal Foch and Iran (Spengler, 9/21/04, Asia Times)

Washington's strategic position in the Middle East is stronger than it has ever been, contrary to superficial interpretation. With much of central Iraq out of US control and a record level of close to 100 attacks a day against US forces, President George W Bush appears on the defensive. The moment recalls French Marshal Ferdinand Foch's 1914 dispatch from the Marne: "My center is giving way, my right is in retreat; situation excellent. I shall attack." To be specific, the United States will in some form or other attack Iran while it arranges the division of Iraq.

That Sunni diehards and Shi'ite adventurers would prevent the pacification of Iraq never was in question. Leaks of a National Intelligence Estimate warning last week of impending Iraqi civil war suggest that Washington is thinking past the loser's game of occupation. The phony war between reluctant Iraqi recruits and rebels will persist past November, but something deadly and different will follow on Bush's re-election. Russian paratroops will be busy in the Caucasus after the Beslan atrocity, making a Russian presence in Iraq unlikely, contrary to my earlier forecast. (That may have been the intended outcome of the incident.) Nonetheless, Washington has a winning card to play, and the decibel level of protests from Tehran as well as from the US opposition suggests that it is well anticipated.

If Washington chooses to dismember Iraq rather than pacify it, who will win and who will lose? Washington always has had the option of breaking up the Mesopotamian monstrosity drawn by British cartographers in 1921. The only surprise is that it has taken US intelligence so long to reach this conclusion. Whether America's policymakers are slow learners, or whether Bush chose to perpetuate the farce of Iraqi nation-building until the November elections, we may never know.

The thing to keep in mind is that this was a no lose proposition for us. Kurdistan was always going gain its independence, but at least a possibility exists that the Sunni of central Iraq could remain in a Shi'a dominated state. If not, then the Arab Sunni rump is surrounded by enemies on all sides and will be easy enough to crush in a civil war.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 20, 2004 10:42 AM

One of the more interesting aspects of the mainstream media and those it purports to inform is that not only does the MSM lie, spin, prevaricate and invent (we know that, of course); but that it does so with a definite purpose in mind.

The question is the why; the answer: to help Bush win a second term and America the WOT.


That's right. The left seems not to have yet figured out that their earnest and principled opposition to war---and the MSM's earnest and principled reporting of that opposition, as well as some spectacular creativity of its own in the field---helped convince Saddam that he was invulnerable (though it would not be fair if the French and Russian diplomatic corps, as well, were not given credit for their roles, well played--hats off, fellows!).

Similarly, the jihadis don't quite get it, as the MSM, valianty trying to scoop Al Jazeera, but never quite succeeding, continues to emphasize the former's consistently spectacular successes side by side with America's grimly abysmal failures.

(But this is all very purposeful: working by indirection as one unbearded bard might muse.)

For like the left and like Saddam, the jihadis are being set up. The MSM is quite obviously (though I guess not obviously enough) in the pocket of the Americans and that malevolent coalition of neocons, Zionists and fundies.

And Michael Moore is in fact owned by Karl Rove. So that the only really important remaining question is whether that talented agent provocateur will have to give back his Palme d'Or...

Posted by: Barry Meislin at September 20, 2004 12:49 PM

barry, either that is a brilliant bit of parody you wrote there, or you've got black helicopters fluoridating your water big time!

Posted by: Mike Morley at September 20, 2004 5:15 PM

Barry, I'm with Mike Morley: Nicely written, but seemingly too clever for the real world.

After all, America couldn't even manage to assassinate Castro, count Soviet military equipment with any accuracy, or predict the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Warsaw Pact, and the USSR itself.

There was the 1962 Pentagon plan "Operation Northwoods", a way to provide justification for war with Cuba.
In the plan, US operatives would hijack American aircraft, bomb US ships, and commit other acts of sabotage, with the blame going to Cuba.

Anything's possible, I suppose, and bin Laden seems eager enough to take credit for 9/11 - Or, someone who looks like him is...
Whatever the real story behind 9/11 and Operation Iraqi Freedom, the end result, ridding the world of the Taliban and Saddam, seem positive enough.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at September 20, 2004 11:29 PM