Justifying The “Surge”.

The argument whether or not to endorse George W Bush’s plan and send more troops to Iraq, hinges on the idea – extolled this morning by Cheney on Fox, and McCain on NBC – that any phased withdrawal from Iraq would be catastrophic because it would increase Iranian influence in the region and support bin Laden’s view that Americans had no stomach for the fight.

Such a notion is only viable if a) increased Iranian influence in the region will lead to more instability, and aggression towards the West, and b) if anyone gives a tinker’s cuss what bin Laden really believes.

The issue of Iran has been hyped beyond belief by this administration. Certainly, Ahmadinejad is no friend of America, but then if he were he would hardly be welcome in his own country, given the long-standing, aggressive, US stance towards that nation. Post 9/11 rumors of a link between Iran and the al Qaeda terrorists responsible for the attacks resulted from confessions we now know to have been extracted under torture and are implausible, given that neither (Shia) Iran and (Shia) Hezbollah have ever indicated any open support for al Qaeda. Though this present administration would have us think otherwise.

Certainly, the (Sunni) Saudis are concerned about a more influential Iran, to the extent they have threatened to support the Sunni insurgency in Iraq if the US were to begin withdrawing troops. It begs the question: is George W Bush defying his people and the majority of his government over this issue because he is convinced his troop “surge” is in America’s interests, or those of his mentor, Saudi Arabia.

From an article in the Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram recently, Salah Hemeid writes:

“Earlier this month more than 30 prominent Saudi Islamic clerics called on Sunni Muslims around the Middle East to support their brethren in Iraq against Shias. The clerics said: “what has been taken by force can only be regained by force,” a clear reference to increasing Shia control of Iraq.”

While Hemeid points out at some length the possibility of a Shia uprising throughout the Middle East if Iran achieves key-player status in Iraq, one gets the impression of a somewhat premature Sunni nervousness. Egypt is a Sunni nation but with strong Shia leanings, having been founded on a Shia base. Hemeid may be overly cautious.

Certainly a (Shia) Iraq banded with (Shia) Iran and Syria could be construed as a threat on (Sunni) Saudi’s borders, but this was bound to happen one day, anyway. Saddam would not have ruled forever, and on his demise the infighting would likely have proved as bad as it is today – even without the interference of the United States and Britain.

So why then is George W Bush defying his people and his government to increase troop numbers, rather than withdrawing and leaving the region to sort out its own problems? What is so important that he is prepared to risk more American lives in order to gain further control in Baghdad?

There can be only two answers: Israel – and oil.

If a stable future for the region was at the forefront of George W Bush’s mind, he would instigate the proposals of the Iraq Study Group by beginning political dialogue with Iran and Syria, phasing in a gradual withdrawal of US troops, and turning his attention to solving the Israeli/Palestinian issue once and for all. By those actions, he would be seen as a mentor in the region rather than an aggressor. It would involve squaring up to the strong Jewish lobby in Washington who have no wish to see an Israeli/Palestinian settlement, but even if he was not totally successful, history and the Arabs might well forgive him for his previous Iraqi blunders.

Of course, that’s not going to happen. The reason, apart from subjugation to the Israel lobby, is Iraqi oil.

Sparrow Chat reported recently that behind the back’s of ordinary Iraqis, Maliki’s government is pushing through a US-drafted bill that will effectively hand over control of the Iraqi oilfields to US interests. Those interests need a stable Iraq, or at least one so militarily strangled that any insurgency can be effectively stifled.

If the Iranians gain control of Iraq they are unlikely to allow the US to walk away with the oil, and more Iranian influence in the region is seen as directly against Israel’s interests. Ahmadinejad has already proclaimed he will wipe that nation from the face of the earth. Although such political utterances can seem drastic and sweeping, in reality the Iranian president’s statement was nothing more than a counter to George W Bush’s declaration of his “Axis of Evil”.

An upsurge in Iranian influence would undoubtedly pressure Israel to settle the Palestinian issue if it ever wishes to have any peace within its own, still unresolved, boundaries. Admittedly, Palestinians are Sunni in the majority – Hamas and the PLO are both Sunni organizations – but as was shown only recently in Israel’s abortive war with Lebanon over (Shia) Hezbollah, when it comes to a crunch – they are all Arabs together.

That is one fact George W Bush would do well to remember.

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3 Replies to “Justifying The “Surge”.”

  1. Unfortunately it is not possible for Bush to remember anything; however, I am beginning to believe his entire administration is under the influence of bin Laden. Bush and Cheney are certainly supporting bin Laden’s famous speech that indicated all he had to do was to drag America into a long and costly war and the country would collapse or implode from within. If Bush and Cheney keep this up, the enemy will send them the candy and flowers they keep dreaming of.

  2. And i am reminded of another ibn Ladeen speech, this time an authentic one, where he repeatedly denied that he had anything to do with 911. (Surely an odd approach for a terrorist. One would expect boasts and demands if he actually HAD knocked a hole in the White House.)

    Of course, Americans had no access to that video, because their media blackballed any communications from ibn Ladeen for a full year, stating that he was using the media to send ‘coded messages to secret cells within America’. I’ve noticed that most Americans don’t even seem to know what he looks like, most convenient when trying to fob off fake videos of negro or ancient men uttering complete nonsense to terrify the paying public.

    I suspect that ibn Ladeen, an American citizen, raised in Texas, with a Western education, was as horrified as anyone else at the atrocities on that fateful day. It is true that he headed al Qaeda, an organization American intelligence freely admits it started up to push the Russians out of Afghanistan.

    They also freely admit that ibn Ladeen was their boy there; at least, he was until he learned that the money he was taking from Pakistan was, in fact, from America and he became a ‘wildcard’ (their words) who refused to kill people for oil. Gee, all along he thought he’d been fighting for religious freedom for his fellow co-religionists in Afghanistan, and then it turns out that he was actually just helping his family’s business ties with the Bushies. It must have been a very bad day for Osama.

    So he refused to play, and left his post in Afghanistan, much to the dismay of his covert employers. But bad things happen to pesky upstart people like ibn Ladeen. Especially when they start quoting inflammatory stuff like the actual laws for jihad at the US, laws which do not in any way allow for terrorism. Doesn’t anyone find it amazing that fundamentalist Muslims (that would be about 97% of the world’s Muslims, Shi’a of all sects aside) who have such a deep adherence to the Shariah (Islamic law) would play fast and loose with their faith to become violent and unpredictable beserkers? NOT!

    It seems that many times in recent history, random acts of aggression and societal de-stabilization have been committed in the name of al Qaeda but later found to have different authors. No matter; the event was first published with the keywords ‘Islamic terrorists’, and the real results buried on some back page, months later. Islamic litigants can’t even keep up with the defamation in court, because it happens every ten minutes on the news. The real terrorists are never held accountable.

    Even better is the keyword ‘Arab’. Now, anyone with about 3 watts between their ears knows that not just Muslims speak arabic; in fact, Jews, Christians, and anyone of any belief who happens to live in the middle east speak arabic and so are, in fact, Arabs. They call their god ‘Allah’, since this is the arabic name for God. Many of these people have Muslim names, just as in America, people can have names like David or Chris but may not necessarily be Jewish or Christian. These people are about as Muslim as pork pie flambee.

    So keep in mind that the ‘Arabs’ from the middle east who go about blowing things up and shouting ‘Allah hu Akbar’ to the cameras may not necessarily be Muslims. In fact, given the level of devotion we are required to pay to the laws of peace, it is highly unlikely to be so. Ok, read: IMPOSSIBLE. Who are they? Gee. Who would want to discredit us?

    My brother, who works for Homeland Security, calls me a ‘conspiracy theorist’ (and what exactly does THAT mean? I don’t believe the news??); but, given the massive slander thrown at Muslims from day to day and minute to minute, i think i might be more justified to call the media portrayal of Muslims a ‘conspiracy’ which is far from theoretical.

    Sorry for such a long post.

  3. PM – George Bush finds it convenient to forget. Like every other half-wit bully with a swagger, he’ll never believe anyone is capable of knocking him down – until someone finally does.

    Anan – one of the saddest truths of our times is that we can no longer believe anything we hear or see. Our leaders are liars; our media their mouthpiece. Every “fact” they dish out has to be weighed against ulterior motives and hidden agendas. Consequently, defining the “enemy” has become impossible. Often “al Qaeda” is no more than a resistance to outside aggression, as in Iraq. In such a climate of distrust and dishonesty, conspiracy theories abound. Indeed, why shouldn’t they, when those we elect to high office (or, those we don’t) spin their own conspiracy theories, deliberately deluding the people and scapegoating innocents – all to forward their own devious agendas.

    If their is one fact we must hang on to, it is that there are those we choose to classify as “good” in all walks of life, and there are those society judges as “bad”, also. No one religion, nation, or society has the right to judge themselves as better than another.

    I enjoyed your comment. They can never be “too long”.

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