Sunday :: Jan 28, 2007

Iraq: The Surge is a Success! But How?

by soccerdad

The Surge is clearly a success. While the media and Congress debate, which of the many nonbinding resolutions should be the one to be ignored by President Bush, relatively little attention is being paid to upcoming war with Iran. I’m guessing that the average person is thinking “well if the Congress doesn’t want the surge then of course they don’t want us attacking Iran”.

Let’s back up for a second. The Surge is based on a plan put forth by Kagan and Keane. Gregory Djerejian over at The Belgravia Dispatch has documented that the current plan is far different from the original plan in great detail here and here
It seems pretty clear that from a military point of view that the surge cannot achieve its stated goals. It is also likely that the number of troops being sent to Baghdad is limited by the supply of available troops. None the less, the surge has provided news material and discussion to divert America’s attention from the upcoming attack on Iran.

As Paul Craig Roberts asks Why Can’t Americans See It.

Rather than winding down one war, Bush is starting another. The entire world knows this and is discussing Bush's planned attack on Iran in many forums. It is only Americans who haven't caught on. A few senators have said that Bush must not attack Iran without the approval of Congress, and postings on the Internet demonstrate world wide awareness that Iran is in the Bush Regime's cross hairs. But Congress and the Media – and the demonstration in Washington – are focused on Iraq.

Sam Gardiner pointed out yesterday below how the media machine has already started. General Leonid Ivashov, vice president of the Academy on Geopolitical Affairs and former Joint Chief of Staff of the Russian Armies pointed out here:

"Within weeks from now, we will see the informational warfare machine start working. The public opinion is already under pressure. There will be a growing anti-Iranian militaristic hysteria, new information leaks, disinformation, etc.... The probability of a US aggression against Iran is extremely high. It does remain unclear, though, whether the US Congress is going to authorize the war. It may take a provocation to eliminate this obstacle (an attack on Israel or the US targets including military bases). The scale of the provocation may be comparable to the 9/11 attack in NY. Then the Congress will certainly say 'Yes' to the US president."

Many of people have said to me “well how could they attack Iran given the mess in Iraq”. What such a statement points out to me is a fundamental lack of understanding of why we are in Iraq and will attack Iran. One must understand completely that the fundamental driving motivation for our actions in Iraq and the Middle East is to secure the supply of energy, i.e. oil and gas. It is also important to understand that in addition to the resources themselves, the geopolitical power that is derived from their control is also extremely important to the Bush administration. For those who still doubt I suggest the recent series in the Independent here here here , here , here and here Michael Klare’s book Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America’s Growing Dependency on Imported Petroleum or his other writings a partial list is here
And to really put all of this into perspective what we are seeing today is just the Carter Doctrine on steroids. So in fact, this is not just a Republican doctrine but is a bipartisan doctrine. As Michael Klare has written:

George W. Bush's Iraq War, while duplicitous in many respects, is actually the culmination of twenty-five years of U.S. policy to ensure continued domination of the Persian Gulf and its prolific oil fields. In fact, it was a natural expression of the Carter Doctrine. Enunciated by then-President Jimmy Carter in his State of the Union speech in January 1980, the doctrine defines Persian Gulf oil as a "vital interest" of the United States that must be defended "by any means necessary, including military force." Seen in this light, Bush Jr. was merely applying the doctrine when he invaded Iraq in 2003. He's not the first. President Reagan cited it to justify U.S. intervention in the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-1988 to help ensure the defeat of Iran. President Bush Sr. invoked it to authorize military action against Iraq in 1991, during the first Gulf War. And Bill Clinton, though not explicitly citing the doctrine, adhered to its tenets.
So the use of force to ensure U.S. access to Persian Gulf oil is not a Bush II policy or a Republican policy, but a bipartisan, American policy.

But I think there is a fundamental difference between this Bush/Cheney cabal and previous administrations whether Republican or Democrat. This administration has absolutely no regard for the human cost that have already been incurred in Iraq and those that will be incurred with an expansion of the war. There are over 3000 American soldiers dead. We know that upwards of 600,000 Iraqis have been killed as a result of the war with over a million having left the country. Any attack on Iran will almost certainly involve the use of nuclear weapons. Although called “bunker busters” to make them sound more palatable, there will be significant amounts of fallout and deaths. Bush has been working hard to divide the Middle east see Lebanon and the Palestinian situation, pitting Shia versus Sunni and trying to draw other countries such as Saudi Arabia into the conflict. The whole process could easily spiral out of control ending a complete conflagration of the Middle East.

I submit in all seriousness that Bush/Cheney does not see this as a problem but rather see this as an inevitable process that must run its course in order for the US to seize control of the most energy rich region in the world. Dead Iraqis, Iranians, or even American soldiers have no weight in the cost-benefit analysis. Any policy that keeps the energy in the ground and away from China and other non-European/American users is a success, if not a final one.

So lets strip away all the BS and get to the core facts. The United States is willing to kill millions of innocent men, women and children to insure its supply of energy and exert its geopolitical supremacy throughout Eurasia. That’s it. Its that simple. All the rest is after the fact justification and relative moralizing. And its not the first time America has been willing to kill people to further its economic and/or geopolitical goals. As Bury my Heart at Bended Knee makes clear the genocide of the American Indian was carried out to further the business interest of the large ranchers among others. Stephen Kinzer in his book Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change From Hawaii to Iraq (Times Books, April 2006)documents over a century of intervention in the cause of American Business interests. And America has been the only country to use atomic weapons on civilian populations. So, I don’t want to hear “This is not America” or “America would never do this”.

But is this the America we want or dream of. I think most of us had higher expectations for America. Having grown up in the 60’s I developed an optimism that America, despite problems, was moving in the right direction; e.g. the civil rights movement. That sense of optimism is now gone. Not only are we not making progress we are going backwards. If Bush/Cheney goes ahead with an attack on Iran, it is difficult to image that the death toll won’t be in the millions before a relative peace develops.

It is the realization that people could try and justify this whole debacle that sent me into a rage followed by a depression last Friday. I think that this has bothered me on an even deeper level. I have always believed that there is a thread that ties all people on the earth together. For a want of a better way of putting it, I think of it as being human. Despite racial, social and other differences, there is a commonality that is more important. All peoples love their children, want to be happy, etc. In other words there are many things that we all have in common. For some reason this gives me a sense of hope and helps me make sense of life itself. It’s hard to describe. So when we are willing to kill millions of people to keep the SUVs on the road and insure our economy is healthy, my whole foundation is destroyed. So if the lives of Iraqis and Iranians are literally worthless, what gives us American lives value. Is the value of our life only determined by the power of our government and the size of its military or by the size of the SUV we drive? Is the value of American lives also ultimately meaningless to those who wield power over us, i.e. the governing elite? Or is life itself ultimately meaningless?

soccerdad :: 5:45 AM :: Comments (13) :: Digg It!