March 01, 2007
We Have Met the Enemy and He Is US

This is from Sy Hersh’s disheartening account in the current New Yorker of Georgie’s Excellent Adventure in the Middle East:

In the past year, the Saudis, the Israelis, and the Bush Administration have developed a series of informal understandings about their new strategic direction. At least four main elements were involved, the U.S. government consultant told me …

The third component was that the Bush Administration would work directly with Sunni nations to counteract Shiite ascendance in the region.
Let’s go to the blackboard and try to diagram this latest play:

Sunnis from Saudi Arabia attack the United States on 9/11. After a fake hand-off toward Afghanistan, Bush attacks Iraq, toppling the secular head of a government dominated by Sunnis. Bush fires all the Sunni officials. Shi’ites take over.

The Sunnis in Saudi Arabia become alarmed, because Shi’ites already run the kingdom’s more powerful neighbor, Iran. That adds up a lot of Shi’ites ruining the neighborhood, and they’ve got oil too.

So the Sunnis in Saudi Arabia go to Bush and ask him to clamp down on the Iraqi Shi’ites that Bush hand-picked to replace the Iraqi Sunnis who didn’t attack the United States on 9/11.

Is Bush’s strategy coming clear to you now? Of course not. Most likely that’s because you’re not insane.

Or you’re not a snake. A particularly stupid snake will sometimes commit autophagy, which is the act of biting its own tail and eating forward until the reptile digests itself to death.



Posted by Jerome Doolittle at March 01, 2007 06:01 PM
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It'll be all clear to you, Jerry, once you remember who's been hush hushing Cheney and Bush's ears all along: Henri Kissinger.

The plan of Kissinger is this: do what you can to empower Shiites. Then, when they'll get powerful and dangerous enough to threaten the whole Middle-East (not just Israel), harvest that pan-Arabic/pan Sunni coalition of the willing begging the US on their knees to attack Iran.

That is why, in the closet, the Iraq civil war is encouraged by the Bushies.

Posted by: Dante Lee on March 1, 2007 7:42 PM

The big prizes in Iraq are long term production agreements. I'd say any civil war fomented now is done with a view to get negotiating leverage in a divided, wrecked country. Warlord-controlled regions roll over much more easily than a sovereign state.

Posted by: A very fretful porpentine on March 2, 2007 12:53 AM

Leaving aside the whole Ouroboros thing, I agree that Hersh's article taken alone is dispiriting. What I find heartening is the published willingness of very high-level officers in the US military to resign rather than execute an order to attack Iran.

The argument is made, of course, that, if not those officers, someone will be willing to execute the order to attack. Someone will, indeed; but unlike the Saturday Night Massacre, the person who's willing to give the order doesn't actually do anything. If a Presidential order triggers a mass resignation at the top, it's hard for me to imagine that the military is going to be heart-and-soul behind the new commanders. To begin with, officers at that rank who resign rather than obey an order are very likely to publicize their reasons as a means of clearing society's view, which naturally expects the military to do what civil society asks of it. If they resign, they will do so publicly, and loudly, is my guess.

I certainly think Bush and Cheney are stupid enough, or corrupt enough, to give the order to attack Iran. I don't think the American military commanders are stupid enough to obey it. Hope I'm right.

And it's certainly true that the long-term oil contracts are what the invasion wanted most. Now the question is, how long can the Iraqi government avoid abrogating those contracts without surrendering power?

Posted by: Chuck Dupree (Belisarius) on March 2, 2007 2:31 AM

To illustrate Chuck's comment:

"There are towns
Not to besiege.

There are terrains
not to contest.

There are ruler's orders
Not to obey,"


Posted by: Dante Lee on March 2, 2007 9:19 AM

We've been here before, more or less.

Posted by: Martha Bridegam on March 2, 2007 6:09 PM
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