Abandoning One Disaster To Create Another
As Pessimist noted below, the Brits have let it leak that they are considering the regional consequences if the United States launches a surprise attack against suspected Iranian nuclear facilities. I hope that a lot of brainpower won’t be used on this meeting, because it is clear that the region will only go to hell quicker than it already has. The fact that the meeting itself was leaked to the British press should also give pause to the Bush Administration.
But before we get too involved in war-gaming an attack on Iran (for a great post on Iran, see Empty Wheel's piece from yesterday over at The Next Hurrah), can we take stock of what we’ve generated in Iraq so far? Our action to topple Saddam has in effect led to ethnic relocation and cleansing, a wave of sectarian killings that supplant terrorist killings, and the partitioning of the country. This has forced Iraqis to arm themselves to the teeth. After a couple of days where the media felt compelled to write good stories about Iraq (note that the Post buried this story back on page A16), we have seen at least 8 more American military personnel killed in Iraq just this month. Another series of attacks yesterday and today have killed at least 50 more Iraqis. At a time when we send Condi to Iraq to plead with them to uphold their commitments, the United States is abandoning our commitment to build hundreds of primary health care clinics in the country.
The United States has signaled that a new term for Prime Minister Jaafari was a nonstarter, because of his inability or unwillingness to rein in the sectarian death squads operating under his nose. But without sufficient democratic infrastructure in place in the country, we have managed to split the Shiites and lead to even more dysfunction in the attempts to forge that new government. By installing democracy at the end of a gun barrel without a commitment and readiness for democracy from the top, we have ensured that years of instability lie ahead in Iraq, as retired general Tony Zinni said yesterday in a tour-de-force appearance on Timmeh’s Meet the Press.
Which makes this new diversion into Iran all too predictable and equally disastrous. Iran, unlike Iraq, will be able to cause us much military and economic harm if we strike, and the deteriorating situation in Iraq will immediately get worse for our troops. Our intelligence community, under handpicked lackeys in Porter Goss and John Negroponte, is already telling the White House that any attack will unleash new terrorism upon our country. And yet you can be sure that the civilians at the top of the Pentagon, as well as the criminals in the White House who have never cared a wit about the grunts on the ground will not suddenly care about what happens to our men and women in Iraq when they attack Iran later this year. Besides, a new round of terrorist attacks upon the United States is just what Doctor Karl Rove ordered for the 2006 midterms.
But will the GOP be able to bamboozle people into voting for them again based on an agenda of unending war and immigrant bashing?