"The enemy we’re fighting against is different from the one we’d war-gamed against."
The "cakewalk" has turned into a slog through a sandstorm, as Americans wake up to what they’ve so far bought into. No, it isn’t like Gulf War I. This is not a hit-and-run assault but a war of conquest: and the occupation is going to be even uglier. However, Gen. Wallace’s remarks about having a different enemy than the one they expected is true in another sense, one that he may not be aware of as yet: Syria and Iran are now in this administration’s sights.
It didn’t take long for the war to escalate. Gee, it seems like only last week (in fact, it was only last week!) that I wrote:
"The seeds of the next conflict are being sown as the present battle takes shape. Iran, which is reportedly developing a nuclear capacity, is a logical candidate for phase two of the neoconservative crusade to ‘democratize’ the Middle East, but it doesn’t stop there . The sheer momentum of this military adventure will carry us along to the next logical step: to Damascus, Teheran, Beirut, and beyond."
Less than 48 hours later, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was accusing the Syrians of funneling aid to the Iraqis and warning the Iranian-sponsored "Badr Brigade" funded by Teheran, but made up of Iraqis to stay out of Iraq.
I have news for Rummy, just in case he doesn’t already know (which I doubt): they are already in southern Iraq, where the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the official name of the only Iraqi opposition group with real forces on the ground inside the country, is strongest.
In mid-February, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon openly articulated his heartfelt desire that
"Iran, Libya and Syria should be stripped of weapons of mass destruction after Iraq. ‘These are irresponsible states, which must be disarmed of weapons mass destruction, and a successful American move in Iraq as a model will make that easier to achieve.’"
With Rummy on the warpath against Damascus and Teheran, how long before both are targets of U.S. bombers? I give it a few months, in the case of the former. As for Iran, the "let’s ‘liberate’ the Middle East" crowd is hoping for a student-led upsurge to overthrow the calcified and ideologically-spent Khomeini-ites, but if that doesn’t work out the U.S. will certainly be well-placed to launch a major assault. American troops, at that point, will ring the Iranian ayatollahs on every side: to the north, in Uzbekistan and the other obscure ‘stans; to the East, Afghanistan, and to the West, occupied Iraq. The old one-two-three punch should knock Teheran for a loop, but that is just the mid-point of the War Party’s ambitions .
Remember the disgraced Richard Perle’s Defense Policy Board briefing featuring ex-LaRouchie Laurent Murawiec the one where, in a Power Point presentation to Perle and the assembled worthies, Murawiec declaimed:
- "Iraq is the tactical pivot
- Saudi Arabia the strategic pivot
- Egypt the prize."
These are the ultimate strategic objectives of the neoconservative cabal that has seized power in Washington, in a de facto coup d’etat: they openly discuss this "domino theory" in which the Arabic despotisms are supposed to fall, one by one, in rapid succession. Naturally, the Arab "street" will welcome us as "liberators."
Like hell they will.
In the days leading up to the American assault on Iraq, antiwar pundits were on the lookout for a "Gulf of Tonkin" incident that would serve Rummy and the gang as a viable pretext. But what the rapid escalation of this war is showing is that the Iraq attack was it. This is the pretext for a wider war, one that started in Baghdad. We may wind up in Cairo before we’re through.
The liberal media are carping about the length of this war all of ten days, as of this writing and they are shocked that the Iraqis have the temerity to fight back. Nobody told them that and so how could they know? It’s pathetic, really, and all this compiling of optimistic quotes from various members of the War Party, while it serves a useful purpose discrediting the bastards is really beside the point. What we are in for is an endless series of wars, one naturally developing out of the previous conflict. Some day not too far in the future, as U.S. troops march into Syria, or Iran, or even Saudi Arabia, enterprising journalists will be compiling quotes from administration officials denying any plans to extend the war beyond Iraq’s borders.
By then, of course, it will be too late.
In contemplating the consequences of this crazed plan of conquest, I am reminded of what columnist Charley Reese said the other day about our coming "victory" (any month now!) in Iraq:
"Congratulations to me and congratulations to you. All of us Americans are about to become the proud mamas and papas of 22 million Iraqis – less, of course, the several thousand our forces kill."
Multiply that times 1,000 and then some and you have a multiple birth of alarming proportions.
EARTH TO ABE FOXMAN: OH, COME OFF IT!
In response to my recently published op ed piece in USA Today, which pointed out that the war is not in America’s national interest and that Israel is the one and only beneficiary of this war ADL chairman Abe Foxman penned the following missive that appeared, I am told, in the letters column:
"Rather than offer a cogent argument against a war with Iraq, Justin Raimondo presents the age-old conspiracy scenario of ‘blame it on Israel’ or blame it on the Jews."
Uh, no, Mr. Foxman, I did not write "blame it on Israel," although you adorn that phrase with quotes – but fabricating citations is the least of your crimes. What I wrote is this:
"Our troops will be fighting a proxy war in Iraq, and beyond, not to protect U.S. citizens from terrorist attacks, but to make the world safe for Israel. When the dead are buried, let the following be inscribed on their tombstones: They died for Ariel Sharon."
They died for Ariel Sharon but don’t blame the Israeli Prime Minister for that. The President of these United States wanted this war, and he must take the full responsibility for it.
From a made-up quote Foxman manages to smoothly segue into saying that my position is to "blame it on the Jews" as if Israel, and the fictional collective entity of "the Jews," are synonymous. But, here, get the full flavor of Foxman’s sh*t-flinging:
"Raimondo’s argument reflects an age-old predilection to point the finger at Jews for nefarious plotting at world domination, for pursuing their own interests to the detriment of the rest of the world. Indeed, in Raimondo’s twisted view, President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Powell and National Security Advisor Rice have no real problem with Iraq. Indeed, these opinion-less leaders are only preparing for war against Iraq because they have been directed by their Israeli or Jewish masters to do so."
Foxman ignores the reality that the overwhelming majority of Israel’s knee-jerk supporters in the U.S. are not Jews, but fundamentalist Christians. As I have repeatedly pointed out in past columns, the key determining factor in an American President’s shameless appeasement of Israel is not some "nefarious" Jewish plot, but the Christian "dispensationalist" theology of his core constituency, as promulgated by Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. According to the "born again" Rapturists who make up the Bushian base, after the "saved" are carried up into Heaven in the Rapture, Israel will become the "new dispensation," the replacement of the Church as God’s instrument on earth. This may seem like an obscure theological point, but it is not so to the millions of American Christians who believe that the "end times" are virtually upon us and who have been politicized by their religious hysteria and their ambitious preacher-leaders. Bush and his gang want to get re-elected, they want to advance the interests of their party, and they can’t do either without the fundies who are the core of their militant activist wing.
Foxman ends his letter without quite calling me an anti-Semite, but he comes pretty damn close:
"As in any democracy, tough questions that challenge the decision to go to war, and the consequences and implications stemming from such conflict, are legitimate. Yet Raimondo’s paper-thin thesis that U.S. foreign policy is dictated by what is best for the State of Israel is nothing more than fodder for conspiracy theorists and anti-Semites."
I, for one, am sick unto death of Abe Foxman telling us what is and is not a "legitimate" question when it comes to the war, or anything else, for that matter. Who died and left him in charge? I am hardly alone is pointing to the proverbial "elephant in the room" when it comes to observing that the invasion of Iraq is a proxy war fought on behalf of Israeli interests. Did Foxman write a similar letter to Slate.com when they published Michael Kinsley’s view that Israel is a major reason for this war that none dare name? What about when Mickey Kaus opined on the same issue, agreeing with Kinsley? Did Washington Post reporter Robert Kaiser get a similarly odoriferous slimeball aimed at him when he cited an administration official as saying "the Likudniks are really in charge now"? Not to mention Arnaud de Borchgrave in the Washington Times.
Come off it, Mr. Foxman, and get real: Israel’s amen corner in the U.S. is a coalition of Christian and neoconservative nutballs, in which Jews are a small minority. Without Jews, there would in all likelihood be no antiwar movement worth noticing and there certainly would be no Antiwar.com.
I have respect and great affection for the Jewish people. My mentor and teacher, the late Murray N. Rothbard, was Jewish along with virtually every major libertarian theoretician in modern times. For this reason, the Foxman letter makes me so angry that, for once, I can’t even express the depth of my resentment and outrage. What galls me is that this liar has the nerve to sign off with "Sincerely"!
I am ceaselessly attacked by real anti-Semites for not facing up to "the Jewish question" and now I am being smeared by the ADL (and the extremist Jewish Defense League) for supposedly providing "fodder for anti-Semites." That’s a pretty good indication I’m on the right track, as far as I’m concerned.