Thursday :: Apr 21, 2005

Sometimes A Vision Is Just A Mirage


by pessimist

I just love how conservatives crow about the 'vision' of Owwer Leedur, the C-Average Sovereign himself, King George. He's been so prescient about so many things - tax cuts will stimulate the economy, lower oil prices thanks to the generousity of Iraqis grateful not to be dominated by Mean Ol' Saddam any longer, the privatisation of Social Security will provide munificence for all retirees, ...

With this in mind, I was thinking that it's time to review Bush's Middle East Vision [PDF] and how well he's doing in his "determination to use America’s unprecedented power to reshape the Middle East supporting America’s friends in the region".

Let's just take one specific example to begin with - Lebanon.

Lebanon has long been occupied, in part by US ally Israel and in part by 'terror-supporting' Syria, who has been ordered by self-appointed Sheriff George to get out of Beirut Town by sundown on April 30 - or else. This action was intended to provide the excuse the BFEE/PNAC Petroleum Pirate Posse sought to re-open by military means a direct pipeline from Iraqi oil fields through Syria to Israel.

But a funny thing is happening. The Lebanese aren't cooperating according to Bu$hCo plan.

Since the assassination of former prime minister Hariri, Bu$hCo has been claiming that the Lebanese strongly desired the removal of Syrian forces from Lebanon. But maybe he should have asked the Lebanese what they want before he opens his yapper.

Lebanon has a new Cabinet, which met for the first time yesterday (4/20/05) and is working on setting up the elections Bu$hCo so desires. It is expected that anti-Syrians are going to win the Lebanese vote, but one has to wonder if that is really going to come about.

For example, new Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Miqati, chosen by the Lebanese Parliament after Prime Minister Omar Karame resigned following Hariri's assassination, has been an ally of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad - a person not high on the White House invitation list. Such an action fits right in with the assessment of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (doesn't that name just scream 'neocon'?) that 'Syria may "try to postpone or trump the elections" by appointing a loyalist minister of the interior able to interfere in the election process'. But as this article points out, Miqati was selected with the support of the anti-Syrian faction (and they might also join his government if their demands to remove pro-Syrians from the government are met), so he can't be all that distasteful to them if they allowed him to set up next month's elections.

Miqati's connections to Syria aren't just political - they are also economic. His telecom business has close ties to the Syrian business community. Thus, Miqati is more likely to be a pragmatist than a radical reformer, making any concession necessary to allow business to continue profitably - and a war in the region can only cost him money.

And just how bad can Syria be if that government is setting up deals with Bu$hCo's Iraqi puppet government anyway? If they were really as vile as Bu$hCo likes to present them, would the Crawford Kid allow such a deal to complete? I doubt it. So there is more here than we are being told, and it isn't all going the Way of the Bu$hido.

Not Just Lebanon

In other nations in the region, Bu$hCo isn't doing too well, either. In Iraq alone, two major events occured there since yesterday (4/20/05) to display that Bu$hCo isn't tuned in to the same world the rest of us are. For instance, the new Iraqi puppet government is audaciously demanding an apology from the US over the way US soldiers manhandled an Iraqi MP at a checkpoint:

"When I told the translator with the soldier that I was a member of the National Assembly, he answered: To hell with you and the National Assembly," said Fatah al-Shaikh, a follower of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and member of the dominant United Iraqi Alliance (UIA) bloc.

Al-Shaikh said the fracas started when he was on his way to parliament and had lined up in his car with other deputies to enter the Green Zone, the seat of the transitional government and home to the US embassy, foreign advisers and contractors. "While I was on my way this morning to the National Assembly, US forces surprised me by kicking my car several times in the presence of a group of my colleagues from the assembly while my car was among 15 other cars waiting to be admitted into the Green Zone," he said.

The Iraqi lawmaker said one particular US soldier targeted his car more, seemingly angered by the posters of Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr that his vehicle displayed. "One US soldier appeared to be designated to my car in particular, as it carried the picture of Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr. As though he was antagonised by the picture, the US soldier began to utter some words in English which I did not understand. When I handed out my MP badge and showed it to him, he threw it at my face, opened the car door and pulled me out."

Al-Shaikh said the US soldier continued to beat him even after he told them that he was an elected MP. "The soldier twisted my hands to the back in an effort to handcuff me. The soldier began to beat me and squeezed me by putting his arm firmly around my neck. Then they pulled me off to a nearby room 10m away in their headquarters."

This was seen by other Iraqi MPs:

At least three other deputies said they witnessed the mistreatment of al-Shaikh. "I saw the whole thing and adding insult to injury was when Iraqi soldiers drew their rifles at brother Fatah as he was being mistreated by the Americans," Ali Yushaa, an independent Shia MP, said.

One of the major mistakes made by Bu$hCo in Iraq was to allow these puppets to actually think that they deserve respect and proper treatment. After all, aren't they supposed to be so grateful for the removal of Saddam that the US can do pretty much anything it wants - like putting uppity Iraqi supporters of anti-American clerics in their place?

The puppets don't think so! In fact, they are getting close to revolt themselves:

Deputies took turns to speak for almost two hours about the many indignities that they and the Iraqi population suffer when coming in contact with US troops. "According to the Geneva conventions, an occupying force must respect the occupied nation. This offending soldier must be thrown out of our country," Abd al-Khaliq Zanganah, a Kurdish MP said.

A Sunni MP, Mudhar Shawkat, handed in the green VIP badge issued by the US military authorising him and other deputies to enter the Green Zone and said he would only attend parliament if sessions were moved to another location. "They should be put on notice and given two months - no more - to leave the Green Zone," he said, before walking out.

Another unidentified MP shouted: "Yes, the end of occupation begins here. The Green Zone must be liberated from occupation."

Strong words from a guy playing against someone with all the aces tucked up his sleeve!

Speaker Hajim al-Hasani said he would suspend sessions altogether unless they moved within a week to a building on the fringes of the Green Zone that has its own entrance and would be guarded by Iraqi soldiers.
"Enough is enough" he said before adjourning parliament until Sunday.

This is an idea which might be spreading among those Iraqis who have chosen to cooperate with US forces of Occupation, especially when their own people are attacking them for doing so. US-selected temporary PM Iyad Allawi was an assassination target, but escaped unharmed. He might be rethinking his desire to run for office after the Iraqi 'Consititution' is sent over from Washington for ratification.

He may not be in favor with Bu$hCo anyway. The Council on Foreign Relations is promoting Hussein Shahrastani for Prime Minister even though Iyad Allawi was chosen over him to run the interim government, maybe because Shahrastani was the UN choice for the position, and that isn't acceptible to a (mis)Administration who would promote John Bolton to be their representative to that body.

But I digress.

The CFR endorsement of Shahrastani alone constitutes an interesting change in American political conservative position on Iraq - but that's the topic of another post.

So to wrap up, Bu$hCo plans once again aren't going the way they are intended, as the locals have their own ideas of what is to be their fate. The actions Bu$hCo intends aren't being followed, and the Middle Eastern future can only grow more contentious for them - and we hardly touched on the 'War on Terra'!

Sometimes a vision really is only a mirage. Just don't try to drink that cool water you see floating on the desert horizon before you reach it, George.


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pessimist :: 12:39 AM :: Comments (0) :: Digg It!