Tuesday, January 4, 2005

Let's Go Play In The Quicksand!

Gilbert Achcar at ZNet has quite a bit to say about the upcoming Iraqi election and the Bush administration's true intent.
The hypocrisy of the Bush administration is limitless: when George W. Bush and his buddies boast about the forthcoming election in Iraq as an achievement of the civilizing mission that they supposedly took upon themselves in bringing democracy to backward Muslims, they sound like a boss boasting about having raised the wages of the workers in his factory as an illustration of his eagerness to improve their living standard, when, in reality, the raise was imposed on him by the workers going on strike.

The fact of the matter is that democracy has never been more than a subsidiary pretext for the Bush administration in its drive to seize control of the crucially strategic area stretching from the Arab-Persian Gulf to Central Asia, a pretext ranking after others such as Al-Qaida or the WMD. Most of the vectors of US influence in this area are despotic regimes, from the oldest ally of Washington and most antidemocratic of all states, the Saudi Kingdom, to the newest allies, the police states of such post-Soviet Mafia-like republics as Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan or Uzbekistan, operating through such great champions of democracy as generals Mubarak of Egypt and Musharraf of Pakistan.

Washington favors elections only if and when they are most likely to be won by its henchmen.[...]

What will Washington do after the January 30 elections? It is difficult to predict. The Bush administration has a clear strategic objective: securing control of Iraq for the long haul. But Washington does not know how to achieve this goal or how to reconcile it with the forecast result of the elections, which an anonymous senior official residing in Baghdad's Green Zone aptly described to the New York Times as a "jungle of ambiguity" (December 18, 2004). One scenario, which has been greatly facilitated by the behavior of the occupying forces, is the one that many neocons came to favor after the collapse of their illusions about securing control of Iraq "democratically": a de facto, if not de jure, carving up of the country along sectarian lines (Israel's favored scenario from the beginning).

In order to retain control of the land, Washington could very well resort to the well-tried imperial recipe of divide and rule, taking the risk of setting Iraq on the devastating fire of a civil war -- both sectarian (Shia v. Sunni) and ethnic (Arab v. Kurd). The way in which the US occupation is letting the situation deteriorate between Kurds and Arabs in the North, without trying earnestly to broker a compromise that would be satisfactory to all, as well as the way it has dealt with the issue of the elections fostering tensions between Shia and Sunnis, is very revealing in that regard.

It seems that the Mayberry Machiavellian neo-cons want to rule the world, but, beyond military power, which they mis-use horribly for all concerned, they haven't got a clue about how to go about it. They seem to think their ideology is divinely inspired and will override their incompetence and carry the day. Wrongamundo, Napoleon wannabes.

I sincerely hope the Iraqi elections come off without a hitch, but at this point it's most certainly up in the air.

Then I want the duly elected Grand Poobah , politely or not, to tell us to get the Hell out of Iraq. Screw the neo-cons who want control of Middle-East oil. We have no business being in Iraq in the first place.

Granted, Bush created the problems Iraq is suffering, and we should do what we can to help undo them. That's only right. We're not doing a very good job of it.

Perhaps, freed from Saddam, the Iraqis can solve their own leadership problems without us. I say let them try. If civil war is in the cards, so be it, but not because Bush wants it. It's enough that he will go to his grave (soon, God willing) as the person responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths that didn't have to happen.

We should realize this whole deal was a mis-guided ideological scheme by evil men who don't care about the personal tragedies, horrendous expense, or long-lasting ramifications of their actions because they will never be touched by any of it. Their criminal lust for World Domination and Imperial Power is sick and obscene, let alone being un-American. Let's cut our losses and get out of there unless we can figure out something better than killing brown people.

Go read. Take a lunch, it's a long one. What discussion of Middle-East politics is short?

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