Saturday, January 13, 2007

Bush's war on Iran

By Michael J.W. Stickings

From the Times:

A recent series of American raids against Iranians in Iraq was authorized under an order that President Bush decided to issue several months ago to undertake a broad military offensive against Iranian operatives in the country, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Friday.

To be fair -- and I suppose one ought to try to be fair even in criticism of this horrible president -- it may be that Iran has already begun to wage war, of a kind, against the United States. Whether or not the U.S. ought to be in Iraq, or ought to remain in Iraq, the fact is that the U.S. is in Iraq. U.S. troops are in Iraq. And it's not the fault of the men and women of the military that their incompetent, irresponsible, and hubristic civilian leadership has put them there to wage a losing war and now to police a civil war that grows out of deep and profound sectarianism. They shouldn't be there at all, certainly not now, but while they're there they're targets from many sides, their lives are at risk, their blood is being spilled. And Iran, it seems, is partly responsible for the violence, for it seems to be Iran that is making and supplying the "sophisticated" IEDs (improvised explosive devices) that are "being used against American troops". Which is to say, Iran is killing Americans.

But enough fairness.

As the Times points out, "[t]he White House decision to authorize the aggressive steps against Iranians in Iraq appears to formalize the American effort to contain Iran’s ambitions as a new front in the Iraq war". But is it possible to wage war against Iran, justified or not, while simultaneously continuing to wage a losing (if not already lost) war against a nebulous multiplicity of Iraqi foes? The U.S. hasn't even been able to pacify Baghdad -- and won't be able to, despite the surge. The sectarian violence has only gotten worse, the government seems incapable of actually governing any sort of united Iraq, the insurgents and militias wreak havoc on Iraqi society, the police force is essentially an extension of the militias, particularly Sadr's Shiite militias, and even with embedded U.S. forces the Iraqi military is nowhere near the proficiency required to provide internal security. And, overall, the situation in Iraq is one of civil war, not peripheral sectarian strife.

So much has gone wrong.

And now Bush wants to open a "new front" against Iran? Is the U.S. ready for war against Iran? Is it ready for Bush to lead the country into yet another war, a potentially far more disastrous war?

For this could be the thin end of the wedge. What may seem like engaging Iran, or Iranian elements, in Iraq -- and what may seem to be justifiable given Iran's likely support for anti-American elements in Iraq -- could just be a prelude to a wider war that draws the U.S. into a far worse war than the one in Iraq. Bush and the warmongers, and particularly the neocons, have long promoted war against Iran. But just imagine. Iran is far stronger than Iraq. Where Saddam was largely isolated in the Middle East, Iran has powerful supporters, both states and terrorist organizations. And what form would the war take? Would it be an air campaign supported by special forces units on the ground? Would there be any international support? If so, from where? Saudi Arabia may have an interest in defending Iraq's Sunnis, but it doesn't seem to me that there would be much support for yet another U.S. war against a Muslim country, this time against an influential one, one with a lot of oil, one that could involve Israel.

The surge may fail, the Iraqis may be blamed, and the U.S. may begin redeployment -- or, this wedge could expand U.S. military engagement in the Middle East beyond Iraq. Or perhaps both. What is clear is that Bush and the warmongers do not want this war to end. Even if there is significant redeployment, the U.S. will maintain a large footprint in Iraq at the very least. And, under Bush, it may also launch new wars against Iran and Syria.

Perhaps Iraq was just the beginning. It's hard to believe, but the worst by far may be yet to come.

President Bush must be stopped.

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

<< Home