The new war
Geov Parrish –

01.16.07 – Historians will differ as to when, exactly, we climbed into this particular Hell-bound handbasket. November 8, 2000, the first stolen election. September 11, 2001. March 20, 2003, the illegal invasion. November 2, 2004, the second stolen election.

Or January 10, 2006. The evening when, with a casualness only the Idiot King could muster, the United States also declared war on Iran and Syria.

Congress — both parties — had better hop a clue train, and fast. Same for corporate media and the American public. The so-called “surge” (i.e., escalation) in Iraq is a militarily useless smokescreen; sure, more American soldiers and lots more Iraqis will die for no particular reason, but that wasn’t the big news from Bush’s speech and actions. Bush, as they say in the news business, buried the lead, because to come right out and present Armageddon as a fait accompli would have invited a domestic political firestorm.

So to speak.

Instead, the conflagration is elsewhere. What Bush did last week is to start a region-wide Middle East war that will inevitably involve the United States, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and any combination of the Gulf States. And don’t forget Afghanistan, with the rapidly advancing Taliban, and Pakistan, where a global anti-West jihad will be just the thing to topple Musharraf and give Islamists the nuclear bomb.

Hundreds of thousands have already died in a war involving only two of these countries. Think of what adding another 12 or 13, plus nuclear weaponry, can achieve.

Do you suppose that if he puts on a fake bushy mustache and beard, George W. Bush is Osama bin Laden?

They certainly seem to have the same vision of a global war of Islam vs. Judeo-Christianity. Bin Laden, of course, couldn’t make it come true in his wildest dreams. But Bush could. And, now, has.

From Bush’s Jan. 10 speech:

…Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity and stabilizing the region in the face of the extremist challenge.

This begins with addressing Iran and Syria. These two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq. Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We will interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.”

In other words, we will go into Iran and Syria. And for the most transparently false reason imaginable: to interdict weapons (specifically, IEDs) supposedly coming from Shiite Iran to arm the Sunni insurgency –- which is then using them to blow up not just Americans, but the Iranian-backed Iraqi Shiites in our Bush-caused (civil war/ethnic cleansing/genocide/pick three).

Did you follow that? Bush is invading Iran because he’s claiming Iran is arming its own enemies. Seriously. He really thinks we’re that stupid. Rather than lie his way into an illegal invasion with absurdities, as he did in 2003, Bush is now lying his way into an illegal invasion by invoking the fantastical.

That wasn’t all:

“…We are also taking other steps to bolster the security of Iraq and protect American interests in the Middle East. I recently ordered the deployment of an additional carrier strike group to the region.

We will expand intelligence sharing, and deploy Patriot air defense systems to reassure our friends and allies.”

Patriot air defense systems? Against IEDs and car bombs? Of course not, no more than Bush’s second carrier strike group is there to fight a counter-insurgency war in the desert. Iraqi Sunnis and Shiites aren’t using missile systems. But Iran might. And nothing says “don’t retaliate” after a military strike like a spare nuclear warship or two. These American moves, like many others, are all about war with Iran. Which, thanks to their mutual defense pact, automatically also means war with Syria, which has never made peace with Israel and is closely allied with the Hezbollah forces on the verge of triggering civil war in Lebanon.

Speaking of Israel, the London Times reported last week that the Israeli armed forces are actively training to drop a tactical nuclear bomb on a suspected Iranian nuclear facility.

The story was datelined Washington, D.C.

As if to celebrate his casual declaration of Rapture-Here-We-Come, within hours of Bush’s speech, American forces launched a pre-dawn raid on an Iranian consulate in a Kurdish city in northern Iraq, in the process “detaining” six Iranian diplomats in contravention of every known diplomatic law. It was, essentially, the first shot after the declaration of war. (The diplomats are undoubtedly now at some permanent U.S. base in Iraq, being waterboarded and held in stress positions.)

Two days later, Condoleezza Rice confirmed that the consulate raid was on Bush’s specific orders, and done under the authority of a secret executive order Bush signed months ago.

That’s no surprise. This has been coming for a long, long time. Neocons have been openly talking for decades, as has the Bush administration, of their desire to “remake” the entire Middle East, not just Iraq. Seymour Hersh of the New Yorker reported two years ago that the U.S. military had already begun covert operations in Iran in preparation for a military strike or invasion there. Scott Ritter claimed impeccable sources told him the invasion was planned for June 2005. Hersh kept pumping out articles on Iran war preparations last year, revealing, among other things, that the neocons around Bush (in favor) were battling the Joint Chiefs of Staff (opposed) over the prospect of nuking Iran. While Democrats continued to watch poll numbers and dither on the desirability of attacking Iran, Bush made a number of military moves in late September suggesting a possible strike in time for the midterms. And his whole “rollout” strategy of executing Saddam just before the new year (“Morning in Iraq!”) and reshuffling his military leadership to put people capable of fighting (and anxious to fight) a broader regional war in charge, have all pointed us to this moment.

This is pure, unadulterated madness. A broad regional war, even if it doesn’t lead to World War III and Armageddon, will kill millions, almost certainly see the first use of nuclear weapons in 60 years, will make Americans (and Israelis) far less safe, will destroy America and the world’s economies, will bankrupt our country, cripple our military, and will permanently isolate America as a globally despised moral leper. Oh, and we’ll lose. Badly.

Meanwhile, congressional Democrats wring their hands over trying to prevent the deployment of 21,500 extra troops to Iraq, the first of which, in the 82nd Airborne Division, had already arrived in Baghdad before Bush’s speech.

Congress, both parties, needs to yank military funding from Bush’s control. Now. Period. End of statement. Bush is not only launching a truly catastrophic war, but is threatening this country’s future, and is directly defying Congress and the will of American voters, not to mention the Constitution, to do it. This larger regional war must be stopped, as Malcolm X once said, by all means necessary.

On January 27 there is a national anti-war rally scheduled for Washington, DC, with smaller events in communities across the country. Turn out. If you can, go to Washington. There’s a lobby day on January 29, but marching on one day and lobbying on another isn’t enough. Stay there. Camp. Shut things down. Insist that Congress do nothing else until this insanity is ended. If that means removing Bush and Cheney from office to stop them from destroying our country, do it.

In capitol cities from Manila to Santiago to Djakarta to Belgrade to Kiev to La Paz to much of the former Soviet bloc, crowds in the last two decades have demanded, successfully and nonviolently, that their countries be run by leaders who actually have the countries’ best interests in mind. These ordinary people, many millions of them, took real risks and made real sacrifices to force change.

Did they care about their futures any more than you care about yours? Go to Washington, or make your voice heard where you are. Make sure Congress and our 217-year-old government do not walk away from the challenge now being presented by a president from Shakespeare’s nightmares.

Act. Today, and in the weeks to come. Muslim, Jewish, and Christian mothers across the Middle East, and America, and the world, will thank you.

(c) 2007,


Robert S. Rodvik
Author/media analyst

“Everything faded into mist. The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth.”
George Orwell – 1984

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