Endstation Iraq

Saturday, December 31, 2011 4:00 PM

The Iraq War is over. Barack Obama says so. Incidentally, does anybody think President Obama knows what he is talking about? That's another question, I grant you. What is over, at least for the moment, it seems to me, is independent military operations inside Iraq by American ground forces. The bulk of these have indeed withdrawn south to Kuwait, some to be redeployed to Afghanistan, to fight in Obama's forgotten "good war" which has been breaking bad for some years now. 

As if on cue, a civil war resurfaced in downtown Baghdad. Car bombs and chaos. No need to delve into the details. The train wreck is getting underway faster than anyone expected. In a sense, the Iraq adventure has been a train wreck from the day Baghdad fell on April 14th, 2003. Sometimes in slow motion, sometimes at full speed. We are heading for the endstation. As a nation-state, Iraq has already been smashed. What we are talking about going forward is a kind of disintegration. 

This might seem like a setback for American foreign policy. But then again that depends on how you look at it. From the perspective of Washington or from the perspective of policymakers in Tel Aviv? Is there a difference? Remember, this whole project has been rotten and dishonest from the start. So maybe the intended outcome--something to do with bringing "democracy" to the Middle East--was just a cover story. Get the drift? 

Maybe what we are seeing now is the actual, intended outcome. A shambles. As such, the Enterprise of Iraq constitutes a victory for Tel Aviv and the Israel Lobby worldwide, but it constitutes a defeat for Washington. That's too bad, because Washington did the heavy lifting and got stuck with the bill. In sum, Tel Aviv's operatives in Washington, the so-called "Neoconservatives", conned Uncle Sam and made a monkey out of him. For the Neocon con men, this long-range project was not about oil and democracy. That was a smoke screen, along with WMD.

I don't mind saying "I told you so!" I'm referring in particular to a published letter of mine on the "progressive" anti-war website TomDispatch, dated November 6th, 2003. My letter was in response to a thoughtful article by Tom Engelhardt entitled "The Time of Withdrawal".

Engelhardt had already started thinking about how America could withdraw from Iraq, with the invasion hardly half a year old. Such an idea was outlandish at the time and certainly not on the Cheney/Bush, Neoconized agenda. Engelhardt asked for ideas from his readership about how a withdrawal could reasonably be accomplished. Here's my letter from eight years ago:

Since there is no legal basis for the U.S. occupation of Iraq, one might think a withdrawal would be easier. But the opposite may be true. Remember, there was no surrender signed by the Saddam regime or his generals--like with Germany and Japan in WWII--and hence no transfer of power. Since there are no WMD and Bush has admitted that Iraq was not involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks upon the United States, there was no threat to the national security of the United States posed by this third world country whose infrastructure and civilian population had been decimated by sanctions throughout the Clinton Administration and whose armed forces had been reduced by 2/3rds since the attempted annexation of Kuwait in 1990.

Therefore, the stated premise for the Bush Administration's attack upon Iraq was false. In addition, there was no declaration of war by the Congress or authorization by the UN Security Council to attack. This was strictly a Presidential war. Offhand, I would say reparations are in order for the damage done to the targeted country. But no American president wants to admit that his administration was wrong or lied. I can't think of any who ever did with respect to foreign policy. These circumstances would immensely complicate a withdrawal from Iraq by the Bush Administration.

A withdrawal of whatever kind would of necessity have to come under another a false smokescreen of some sort, just like the going in. Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus. The bottom line for undertaking this adventure was the perception by the Bush inner circle that it could be easily done, easily gotten away with, and that it would be good politics for 2004--a continuation of the "patriotism card" which suckered-punched the Democrats in the 2002 midterm elections. It has not worked out that way. If it had, a very significant withdrawal would be in the cards prior to November 2004.

But now Bush is stuck with a failed policy based on false premises, which policy is blowing up in his face. To withdraw pre-November 2004 would be to admit failure. For political reasons, Bush can't do that. He has got to maintain multiple fictions, just like LBJ did. Any withdrawal pre or post November 2004 will be followed by a civil war. Mission accomplished. In fact, a civil war could get underway during the American occupation itself. Welcome to the 21st Century.

More to the point, see my December 16th, 2006 entry entitled "Another Shoe Drops". The date is two weeks and five years ago. If you believe the outcome in Iraq was not anticipated by key policymakers in at the White House, then you have not been paying attention and do not understand what happened to Iraq. The Neocons and their fellow travelers had a private agenda, which agenda included ongoing civil war, chaos, and collapse of the most advanced Arab state. Mission accomplished.