Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Response to Hannity

(Excerpt) click here to read the entire article

Bush and his faithful ally, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, have been playing the same scratched CD track: "We're better off now without Saddam." That is not true. The fall of Saddam led to the rise of al-Qaeda in the Land of the Two Rivers; and even Allawi admitted that human rights in Iraq now are no better than under Saddam. Not to mention that there is no reconstruction, unemployment is at 70%, and a country which in the late 1980s had one of the highest standards of living in the Arab world has been razed to a sub-Saharan level.

Whatever the Americans do - with "Iraqification" doomed to failure, as much as "Vietnamization" - the war in Iraq now is a rampaging beast that threatens to spill all over the Middle East.

"Bring 'em on," said Bush, and they did; the result is a new, deadly generation of global jihadis. Sunni-Shi'ite antagonism will spill over to oil-rich Sunni Gulf states (including Saudi Arabia) with huge but heavily marginalized Shi'ite populations. Kurdish separatist dreams have tremendous implications for Turkey, Syria and Iran, especially if Iraq, through civil war, finally disintegrates.

So the most probable scenario for 2006 and beyond is a fragile central government in Baghdad bombarded by an intractable guerrilla movement - a chaotic and sectarian hornets' nest breeding one, 10, 100 mini (or maxi) al-Qaeda leaders able to convulse the Middle East. Maybe this is what the neo-cons meant by "creative destruction".

Al-Qaeda has a masterplan for the Middle East, and the next stages - apart from the Gulf emirates - are to be played in vulnerable Jordan, Turkey, Egypt and even Israel. As for the air war against the Sunni Arab resistance, it may buy a few votes at home but will do absolutely nothing to improve America's dreadful image in the Middle East - especially because civilian "collateral damage" will be enormous.

That bearded, vociferous guy Saddam's trial - the outcome of which is already determined - will proceed as a purely sectarian propaganda coup. If this were a real trial, Saddam would be in The Hague in front of an international panel of respected judges, experts in human rights law.

Or the United Nations would have been commissioned to organize a special tribunal in a neutral country like Switzerland. Saddam's secrets, though, are so vast - and so extremely embarrassing for the US - that he cannot possibly leave the Green Zone, where he will certainly be executed. Saddam's trial will become the sorry mirror image of the sectarian politics let loose in Iraq at large.

Bush has opened a Pandora's box with his shock and awe tactics. The ultimate quagmire will keep mutating and unleashing its deadly new powers for years on end. And there is nothing anyone - not even the "indispensable nation" - can do about it. We have all been, and will remain, shocked and awed.

Found at Left Edge North

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