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September 23, 2002

Wacky Theory: What the Bush Adm says and What It Might Actually Mean

This is going to be long. Sorry.

A thought has been slowly emerging out of my foggy sense. It took a while for it to be close enough to see, clouded mostly by the idiocy that dominates so much of the rhetoric of the Bush Adm on war and evil-doers.

Since I knew Bush Jr is a bozo, it was easy to let the rhetoric lull me into thinking that they were all bozos, Rumsfield and Cheney too. That still may be the case. There is just such a strange disconnect when they talk about Saddam Hussein as having ANYTHING to do with 9/11, the Twin Towers, and al Qaeda. Do they really MEAN to stretch our incredulity this much? Could they be that stupid?


But every good Scorpio is beyond paranoid, paranoid of paranoia, and of paranoia of paranoia of paranoia. So I had the idea before I read the Guardian article below, and underneath the excerpts, I'll try to work them out.


Reader's Digest Condensed Version: I've begun to suspect Iraq is a Red Herring (no, not the magazine). Not a political "Wag the Dog" diversion, but rather, a MILITARY diversion.


But take a look at the article bits below:

The real goal is the seizure of Saudi oil. Comment: Iraq is no threat. Bush wants war to keep US control of the region, writes Mo Mowlam. [Guardian Unlimited]

The real goal is the seizure of Saudi oil


Iraq is no threat. Bush wants war to keep US control of the region


Mo Mowlam Thursday September 5, 2002 The Guardian


[Mo Mowlam was a member of Tony Blair's cabinet from 1997-2001 momwlm@aol.com }


[...]


What is most chilling is that the hawks in the Bush administration must know the risks involved. They must be aware of the anti-American feeling throughout the Middle East. They must be aware of the fear in Egypt and Saudi Arabia that a war against Iraq could unleash revolutions, disposing of pro-western governments, and replacing them with populist anti-American Islamist fundamentalist regimes. We should all remember the Islamist revolution in Iran. The Shah was backed by the Americans, but he couldn't stand against the will of the people. And it is because I am sure that they fully understand the consequences of their actions, that I am most afraid. I am drawn to the conclusion that they must want to create such mayhem.


The many words that are uttered about Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction, which are never substantiated with any hard evidence, seem to mean very little. Even if Saddam had such weapons, why would he wish to use them? He knows that if he moves to seize the oilfields in neighbouring countries the full might of the western world will be ranged against him. He knows that if he attacks Israel the same fate awaits him. Comparisons with Hitler are silly - Hitler thought he could win; Saddam knows he cannot. Even if he has nuclear weapons he cannot win a war against America. The United States can easily contain him. They do not need to try and force him to irrationality.


[...]


The possibility of the world's largest oil reserves falling into the hands of an anti-American, militant Islamist government is becoming ever more likely - and this is unacceptable.


The Americans know they cannot stop such a revolution. They must therefore hope that they can control the Saudi oil fields, if not the government. And what better way to do that than to have a large military force in the field at the time of such disruption. In the name of saving the west, these vital assets could be seized and controlled. No longer would the US have to depend on a corrupt and unpopular royal family to keep it supplied with cheap oil. If there is chaos in the region, the US armed forces could be seen as a global saviour. Under cover of the war on terrorism, the war to secure oil supplies could be waged.


[...]


This whole affair has nothing to do with a threat from Iraq - there isn't one. It has nothing to do with the war against terrorism or with morality. Saddam Hussein is obviously an evil man, but when we were selling arms to him to keep the Iranians in check he was the same evil man he is today. He was a pawn then and is a pawn now.


Why all this PRELUDE, this anticipatory posturing against Iraq?


This is what finally occurred to me. There is a military buildup in the Persian Gulf already taking place. Another shipment went this week. I've seen the satellite photos (on the web) of the massive US base and hangars being built in Qatar.


Logic makes the rhetoric impossible: why is aggression against Iraq so urgent NOW? Would the US be fighting terrorism or annexing Czechoslavakia? I suspect the latter. The threat being cited with such urgency is the same threat that existed for the past 10 years. 9/11 happens and suddenly a 10 year old threat gets real interesting? Why wasn't he interesting before?


This question ought to be begged on everyone's lips. It is glaring. Only now are there calls for proof of the threat Iraq suddenly poses. And despite a whole summer of saber-rattling with no support to back it up (something I wouldn't let college freshmen get away with in essays), a sonambulistic Congress started ASKING for some proof. Duh.


This pattern is familiar. I can tell you what will come next. It is EXACTLY the same pattern followed by the Bush adm when it first identified al Qaeda and bin Laden as the 9/11 terrorist leader. They said it constantly for about 2 weeks, but when the world stage and FINALLY the Congress started asking for proof, they got indignant, said the proof was too classified to be shared with anyone (John Asscroft no doubt watched this manuever and strove to imitate it at every turn).


They held out for a while until Tony Blair was briefed, and he immediately put all the proof out on a web site. He had to. His constituency in Great Britain was hardly the suckers for authoritarian and paternalistic rhetoric as Americans are (THAT subject could be an entire dissertation!) Musharraf was also briefed, and a few other select members of Congress.


What was actually being revealed or concealed (like intelligence failures, later leaked by some legislative staffers, leading to an FBI investigation of the committee and a demand they take polygraphs, a demand refused by most) may never be known. I read Tony Blair's web site and was convinced. There was a smoking gun at al Qaeda.


So this week Tony Blair announces he will release the smoking gun proof against Iraq. And the Bushies posture and assert that the proof of Iraq's evilness is too classified to tell anyone, that we must take it on faith. Congress starts mouthing off, so they plan a few briefing meetings and arrogantly tell Congress next to nothing.


Next week or the week after, the Bush adm will suddenly "discover" a smoking gun on Iraq that isn't classified so Tony Blair will have something to put up on his web site. The Brits will see through it and hate Americans just as the rest of Europe and the rest of the world does, while making fun of our anti-intellectual willingness to play the sucker for our politicians.


Sometimes the Bushies act so ballsy is it stupid. They act as if their authority is unchecked and accepted totally on faith. My question is, from where did they develop such a bizarre illusion of the trappings of power? And what do we need to do to disabuse them of it?


Clinton said on Larry King last night that the instant he heard of the 9/11 planes, he knew it had to be Iran or bin Laden, and told the man on the phone it was bin Laden, because Iran had territory to protect, territory that could be attacked.


Notice he did not mention Iraq, although he stressed the dangers of Iraq and the need for a global coalition (translation: other countries to keep the Bush megalomaniacs honest in their world conquest). Young souls. Such very young souls.


Iraq is no less dangerous than North Korea, to my understanding. No less dangerous than Pakistan. Iraq plots mischief, but is not hard line ideologue. Hussein values self preservation more than martyrdom. He is far short of a Hitler, although Hitler's successor is indeed out there in the deserts of the Middle East, far more sly and far more invisible. And NOT bin Laden either. Osama bin Laden is his errand boy.


With this new paranoid possibility dawning on me, I have to say I fear Bush Jr more (do you suppose he is Bush Sr's recovery from a "fatal head wound?")


Just saw a Devil's Island special that mentioned the Dreyfus Affair. A man convicted largely on the basis of ANONYMOUS documents, of treason. I wonder if he was even allowed to see those documents. Asscroft was probably taking lessons on that case too.


If you were planning an inevitable military action, would you announce it to the world?


Even if your military action required a massive buildup of munitions and troops? No element of surprise. No compromise acceptable. Regime change and threats like an inexorable certainty? What military would be that stupid?


What if they AREN'T as stupid as they appear? I know, it is a stretch, but you really have to WORK to be that stupid, you know?


So here is my speculation. Iraq is not the target at all. Iraq is either the patsy, or is in on the scam. Rumsfield recommended normalizing relations with Iraq back when he was an underling and on a mission to Iraq, AFTER Iraq had already used chemical weapons, during the earlier Republican administrations.


Now Rumsfield is as obsessed with Iraq as Cheney is. Why does he burn? Saddam Hussein could voluntarily step down as president, blow up Baghdad on his own, poison his children, and Rummy and Cheney would say it was a wiley gesture and we must attack anyway.


Like Arafat before him, Hussein is facing an implacable foe. Conditions are set up like hoops to jump through, apparent coercive measures (to Arafat: he must denounce terrorism publicly, in Arabic! So when he did so they said, No, he must do it while standing on his head, and if he did, No, he must do it while hopping on one foot and patting his stomach and his head at the same time...etc ad nauseum).


No response is satisfactory. And I'm not defending Hussein or Arafat. I'm condemning the sliding scale the powerful seem to be willing to use to make ANYONE dance. (note the US coercion on the World Court immunity, or the demands for open markets for genetically-modified foods).


If I were a strategist, I would SAY I was preparing pre-emptive action against a known foe. I would use it as a cover to explain my massive military buildup. But to preserve the element of surprise, I would keep my REAL target a secret. On the day the attack came, a reason would suddenly urgently come to bear for action against the real foe. And coincidentally, I'd be already prepared.


Just as the US was for action against Afghanistan BEFORE Sept 11.


Who is the real target, if this theory is to be entertained? Clinton mentioned Iran on "Larry King Live" last night. It was the first name other than bin Laden that popped into his head, and god knows, the Clinton administration was far more obsessed with terrorism and intelligence on terrorism prior to 9/11 than the Clinton-hating Bush administration, who committed the ultimate hubris in assuming it came into office with enough foreign policy knowledge to NOT NEED any briefings, or if Condi sat through one, to not remember it or take any notes (see TIME magazine article on pre-9/11 warnings).


Why would al Qaeda hang with the Kurds in the part of Iraq Saddam does not control, as the Bush adm oddly claimed one day when it was considering airstrikes, was itching for airstrikes? Who supports the Kurds? Who is allied with the Kurds, or tries to protect them? Sunnis or Shiites? (if you don't know what that is, think of Episcopalians or Southern Baptists, or perhaps Pharasees and Essenes, whatever pleases you--think apolitical power players vs true believers)


Book I just read recently, "Templars and Assassins", casts the Old Man on the Mountain and the assassins not as apolitical knives for hire, but rather, true believers of a hard core sect, a sect more hard core than the Shiites, with a leader who knew the game and could play it, but always with a true believer goal in mind. Sound like anyone you know?


Iran could be the real target, and Hussein, unbelievably, Rumsfield's old buddy, an insider, agreeing to play bad guy to hide the real story, maybe for some bargain struck.


The article above says Saudi Arabia is a target as well. I find that harder to believe. ANY Western action on the soil of that Muslim holy land will engender constant and utter emnity (sp?) from every Muslim on the planet, jihad beyond jihad. The US would have to be even MORE STUPID that my initial apprehension of Bush was up top. Too stupid, but I can't rule it out.


If Bush's religious, fundamentalist apocalyptic buddies believe the Antichrist is in Saudi Arabia, he might do it anyway, thinking he was saving the world instead of being manipulated by it.


But neither Cheney nor Rumsfield falls into that group. They are too smart and too in love with power. They will side with East Coast power brokers over Christian fundamentalists any day.


They could finally have some intelligence on bin Laden in Iran or Pakistan, and the military buildup and head fake toward Iraq could cover the final noose-tightening on the al Qaeda network.


Except that al Qaeda, like the Internet, is a distributed system. You can take out nodes all day long, but you can't take out the system. People with central control mindsets don't understand distributed systems at all, it appears.


I will stop now, but leave this watching for the real military plans. They can only exist if the Bush administration is actually smarter than it appears in the press conferences and speeches. Unlikely perhaps, but possible, eh?


Miasma

September 23, 2002 at 02:17 AM in Democracy, Favorite Links, War/Terrorism | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack