Friday :: Jan 13, 2006

Worr On Terrah Update


by pessimist

Just wanted to keep everyone up to date on the war that isn't happening inside the Beltway. The one that doesn't involve Sneaky Sam Alito.

Over in Afghanistan, HUNDREDS of foreign Islamic fighters are gathering in Afghanistan ahead of the deployment of 4,000 British troops to the country in the spring. Islamic radicals sympathetic to al-Qaeda see Afghanistan as their new frontline and are starting to shift the focus of their anti-western campaign from Iraq. "Attacks in Afghanistan are now running at more than 500 a month - it's getting as dangerous for westerners as Iraq in some places," said a British officer involved in planning the NATO peacekeeping mission in the south-west of the country.

And in Shi'astan - er, Iraq, "The increase in attacks across Iraq this past week clearly indicates that al-Qaida and others terrorists still have the capability to surge," U.S. Brig. Gen. Donald Alston said.

This will become very significant because:

Shiite politician Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, leader of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, warned on Wednesday that the governing religious bloc would not allow substantive changes to the constitution... Sunni Arabs were promised they could propose amendments to the constitution in the first four months of the new parliament. "If they do not accept key amendments to the country's new constitution, including the regions issue, then let them work alone and divide the country, as for us we do not accept this," al-Mutlaq told the AP by phone from Amman, Jordan.

Can you say 'Civil War' boys and girls? I KNEW you could!

In addition, the American Roman Catholic Bishops finally opened their bocae and took a moral stance on Iraq:

Roman Catholic bishops said Thursday the time had come to withdraw U.S. troops as fast as responsibly possible and to hand control of the country to Iraqis. "Our nation cannot afford a shrill and shallow debate that distorts reality and reduces the options to 'cut and run' versus 'stay the course,' " Bishop Thomas G. Wenski of Orlando, Fla. wrote, speaking for the bishops conference.

The bishops said they remained "highly skeptical" of Bush's doctrine of "preventive war." They said that as the U.S. pursued the war on terrorism and the rebuilding of Iraq, it should not forget pressing concerns at home and abroad, particularly caring for the poor.

Catholic bishops forcefully restated their abhorrence to torture and said the U.S. must live up to constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishment, and abide by international accords outlawing torture.

Traitors, every one of them, right Yore Hindni$$?

Good thing you got FAUX News! They are agreeing with Bill Buckley's National Review that "Iran Situation Similar to Iraq In 2002 & 2003" and that Hans Blix says Iran has nuclear intentions. But, while Israel has refused to rule out a possible pre-emptive military strike on Iran, some analysts said it was a mistake by the Europeans and the Bush administration in recent days to use threatening language that could force Iran into even more extreme positions. Too often, the right is stuck in one gear in their approach to foreign policy: ultra-macho war mongering.

RED LINES IN THE IRANIAN SAND

"In fact," said Hari Vasudevan, professor of international relations at Calcutta University, "Iran enjoys a unique strategic advantage because of the highly troubled situation in Iraq, which the US has failed to quell." He added: "Sixty percent of Iraq's population is Shi'ite, and Iran wields enormous influence in Iraq. It has so far desisted from fomenting further trouble in Iraq, but could do so if cornered and provoked by the US and its allies."

Iran has two more advantages in its favor. It has been working closely with Russia in its civilian nuclear program. Russia is helping it build a power reactor at Bushehr, due to be commissioned this year.

It also enjoys a degree of support and sympathy from the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and China. The bulk of the NAM group at the IAEA, barring India and a handful of small countries, abstained from or voted against the US-sponsored September 24 resolution against Iran. As did China and Russia.

"All this might only frustrate US efforts to diplomatically isolate Iran," said Qamar Agha, a Middle East expert at the Center for West and Central Asian Studies at the Jamia Millia Islamia university in New Delhi. "Western Europe is far too dependent upon Iran's oil and gas to go to extreme lengths in sustaining sanctions that cripple Iran's energy generation. Therefore, the US might be tempted to use military force, jointly with Israel, to bomb select facilities in Iran."

Yippee! Whee!! World War Three!!!

To preempt retaliation, the US might use tactical nuclear weapons against Iran's underground facilities. Any such attack would break the 60-year-old, very welcome, taboo against the use of nuclear weapons - with extraordinarily negative consequences for global peace and security.

Such an outcome can only be prevented if the West moves away from coercive diplomacy to isolate Iran and opens serious talks with it, and if the nuclear weapons states rethink their own policies.

As the West accuses Iran of nursing nuclear ambitions, it has itself no intention of reducing nuclear arms. The US has embarked on a plan to expand its nuclear capability both upward, through "Star Wars", and downward, through bunker-buster bombs.

Somehow, Owwer Leedur will have to take time away from trimming his weeds in Crawford and deal with the world's other 'nukuler' face-off in North Korea:

[E]xperts in Seoul appear worried over U.S. policy toward North Korea ... considering the recent harsh remarks made by U.S. administration officials toward North Korea.

Jeong Se-hyun, who served as South Korea's unification minister from 2002 to 2004, said "We cannot but question whether the United States has a 'real intention' that is quite different from its 'proclaimed policy' of resolving the North Korean nuclear issue.''

"Washington seems to want to keep North Korea as its 'necessary enemy' to maintain its control and interests in the Northeast Asian region," Jeong said.

He gets some agreement from another South Korean government official:

Sun Joun-yung, former South Korean ambassador to the United Nations, voiced a similar view, by saying that the United States' ... core interests lie in how to maintain Pax Americana.

Good thing we haven't scrapped that Two Ocean Navy yet! Russia and Japan will hold joint naval exercises while China has become South Korea's biggest customer. Pretty soon, with talk of a single Asian currency intended to emulate the Euro, business concerns will cause Asia to invite King George to go sit on the sidelines while they take care of things.

Considering the messes George already can't clean up, I suspect that the world will see things Asia's way. Especially considering the wonderful job John Bolton is doing to the UN!


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