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efforts of the Bush administration to take control of Iraq
-- by war, military coup or some other means -- have elicited various analyses
of the guiding motives.
interpretation, Anatol Lieven, senior associate of the Carnegie Endowment for
International Peace, in Washington, D.C., observes that the Bush efforts conform
to "the classic modern strategy of an endangered right-wing oligarchy,
which is to divert mass discontent into nationalism" through fear of
administration's goal, Lieven says, is "unilateral world domination through
absolute military superiority," which is why much of the world is so
administration has overlooked a simple alternative to invading Iraq,
however. Let Iran do it. Before elaborating on this modest proposal, it's
worthwhile to examine the antecedents of Washington's bellicosity.
the Sept. 11 attacks, Republicans have used the terrorist threat as a pretext to
push a right-wing political agenda. For the congressional elections, the
strategy has diverted attention from the economy to war. When the presidential
campaign begins, Republicans surely do not want people to be asking questions
about their pensions, jobs, health care and other matters.
should be praising their heroic leader for rescuing them from imminent
destruction by a foe of colossal power, and marching on to confront the next
powerful force bent on our destruction.
The Sept. 11
atrocities provided an opportunity and pretext to implement long-standing plans
to take control of Iraq's immense oil wealth, a central component of the Persian
Gulf resources that the State
in 1945, described as a "stupendous source of strategic power, and one of
the greatest material prizes in world history." Control of energy sources
fuels U.S. economic and military might, and "strategic power"
translates to a lever of world control.
interpretation is that the administration believes exactly what it says: Iraq
has suddenly become a threat to our very existence and to its neighbors.
So we must
ensure that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and the means for producing them
are destroyed, and Saddam Hussein, the monster himself, eliminated. And quickly.
The war must be waged this winter. Next winter will be too late. By then the
mushroom cloud that National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice predicts may have
already consumed us.
Let us assume
that this interpretation is correct. If the powers in the Middle East fear
Washington more than Saddam, as they apparently do, that just reveals their
limited grasp of reality.
It is only an
accident that by next winter the U.S. presidential campaign will be under way.
How then can we achieve the announced goals?
plan seems to have been ignored, perhaps because it would be
regarded as insane, and rightly so. But it is instructive to ask why.
proposal is for the United States to encourage Iran to invade Iraq, providing
the Iranians with the necessary logistical and military support, from a safe
distance (missiles, bombs, bases, etc.).
As a proxy,
one pole of "the axis of evil" would take on another.
has many advantages over the alternatives.
will be overthrown -- in fact, torn to shreds along with anyone close to him.
His weapons of mass destruction will also be destroyed, along with the means to
will be no American casualties. True, many Iraqis and Iranians will die. But
that can hardly be a concern. The Bush circles
-- many of them recycled Reaganites -- strongly supported Saddam after he
attacked Iran in 1980, quite oblivious to the
enormous human cost, either then or under the subsequent sanctions regime.
likely to use chemical weapons. But the current leadership firmly backed the
"Beast of Baghdad" when he used chemical weapons against Iran in the
Reagan years, and when he used gas against "his own
people": Kurds, who were his own people in the sense that Cherokees were
Andrew Jackson's people.
Washington planners continued to support the Beast after he had committed by far
his worst crimes, even providing him with means to develop weapons of mass
destruction, nuclear and biological, right up to the invasion of Kuwait.
Bush No. 1
and Cheney also effectively authorized Saddam's slaughter of Shi'ites in March
1991, in the interests of "stability," as was soberly explained at the
time. They withdrew their support for his attack on
only under great international and domestic pressure.
U.N. will be no problem. It will be unnecessary to explain to the world that the
U.N. is relevant when it follows U.S. orders, otherwise not.
surely has far better credentials for war-making, and for running a post-Saddam
Iraq, than Washington. Unlike the Bush administration, Iran has no record of
support for the murderous Saddam and his program of weapons of mass destruction.
object, correctly, that we cannot trust the Iranian leadership, but surely that
is even more true of those who continued to aid Saddam well after his worst
we will be spared the embarrassment of professing blind faith in our leaders in
the manner that we justly ridicule in totalitarian states.
liberation will be greeted with enthusiasm by much of the population, far more
so than if Americans invade. People will cheer on the streets of Basra and
Karbala, and we can join Iranian journalists in hailing the nobility and just
cause of the liberators.
can move toward instituting "democracy." The majority CK of the
population is Shi'ite, and Iran would have fewer problems than the U.S. in
granting them some say in a successor government.
There will be
no problem in gaining access to Iraqi oil, just as U.S. companies could easily
exploit Iranian energy resources right now, if Washington would permit it.
modest proposal that Iran liberate Iraq is insane. Its only merit is that it is
far more reasonable than the plans now being implemented -- or it would be, if
the administration's professed goals had any relation to the real ones.
The above has
already appeared internationally via the NY TIMES Syndicate. An early response
"A Modest Proposal" Causes Head-scratching among Policy Planners
Alternative Press (AP)
the war in Iraq was thrown topsy-turvy today, as planners feverishly studied a
new plan put forward by former Bush administration critic, Noam Chomsky.
latest convert to the doctrine of Pax Americana, dropped a bombshell into the
laps of war planners today, in a brief paper on strategic planning entitled
"A Modest Proposal." The proposal calls for
the U.S. to "encourage Iran to invade
Iraq," with the U.S. providing logistic support and weapons.
Kristol, of the American Enterprise Institute, hailed Chomsky's paper. "I
think that Chomsky now realizes that shibboleths like 'do unto others as you
would have done unto you,' laudable as they may have
been in a
biblical economy, are hopelessly outdated in our new global economy." Asked
to elaborate, Kristol pointed to studies ongoing at the American Enterprise
Institute that show that the "do unto others"
fiscally irresponsible. E.g., Vice President Dick Cheney received a 20 million
dollar golden parachute along with 6 million dollars in stock options for his
five years of work in the oil industry. "Macroeconomic calculations show
that it would be unfeasible to share the oil wealth in the Mideast to improve
living standards there. There simply aren't enough stock options to go
around," Kristol noted.
Cordesman, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, commented on
the military implications of "A Modest Proposal." "A welcome
side-effect of Chomsky's proposal," Cordesman said, "is
that it will
help us to avoid an unpopular draft in this country, so that we don't risk life
and limb of young red-blooded Americans." Cordesman added that it would
also spur U.S. arms sales to Iran, which have
ever since the missiles-for-hostages scandal.
Hitchens, formerly of the Nation, noted: "Chomsky's proposal has the added
advantage of not only canceling our moral debt to Iraq, but also our moral debt
to Iran for overthrowing their democracy and
the murderous regime of the Shah" .
Friedman of the New York Times cautiously lauded Chomsky's hard-headed proposal.
"The plan to partition Iran afterwards sounds intriguing," said
Friedman, "but without knowing more about Israel's
role in the
administration of post-partition Iran, skepticism is in order."
enthusiastic about the Chomsky plan was Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon,
who had proposed attacking Iran immediately after attacking Iraq in an interview
for the London Times Online . Sharon
to liberate South Africa next from the "Negro terrorist" Nelson
Mandela and to resurrect apartheid and restart exports of Israeli atomic bomb
technology to white supremacists there .
Asked if the
President had seen Chomsky's proposal, Ari Fleischer, Bush's press secretary,
said that although the President had not actually read the paper, he did release
the following statement: "My
that Chomsky's plan probably suffers from the same flawed idealism of similar
humanitarian plans in the past, such as the ill-conceived effort in 1729 to aid
the children of poor people in Ireland, now in the dustbin of history .
canceling "the moral debt" to Iraq by removing Saddam, see Chistopher
Hitchens, "So Long, Fellow Travelers," Washington Post, Oct.
Sharon's proposal to attack Iran, see Stephen Farrell, Robert Thomson and
Danielle Haas, "Attack Iran the day Iraq war ends, demands Israel,"
London Times Online, Nov. 5, 2002, <http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-469972,00.html>
Israel's support of apartheid in South Africa and Sharon's role, see A. and L.
Cockburn, Dangerous Liaison, HarperCollins: New York, 1991.
 On the
proposal to aid "the children of poor people in Ireland," see
Jonathan Swift, "A Modest Proposal for preventing the children of poor
people in Ireland from being a burden on their parents or country, and for
making them beneficial to the publick," 1729, <http://art-bin.com/art/omodest.html>
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