Tuesday, 7 November 2006
Friends and Neighbors

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran is ready to share its missile systems with friends and neighbors, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards said, after he showed off missiles including some he said had cluster warheads. - from this news item

Criminal negligence by Western laboratories that invited in A. Q. Khan, and then by Western intelligence agencies that knew Khan was doing things that were undesirable and dangerous, was the result of insufficient knowledge of, and thus alarm, about Islam. Pakistan now has nuclear weapons, again thanks to criminal negligence by the Western world, and by the United States that continued to fund the Pakistani government, and of course its army, and hence fund, indirectly, A. Q. Khan's nuclear project.

Not content with Pakistan acquiring these weapons, A. Q. Khan reached out -- to North Korea, to Iran, to Libya, and possibly -- the American government does not tell us, to Egypt which was working, it is now known, with Iraqis to develop certain weapons.

The Iranian nuclear project, some say, cannot be "destroyed." Therefore, these same some insist (and the more one looks at who these "some" are the more suspect they are -- such people as Lt. Gen. (ret'd.) William Odom, who is all for disarming Israel, forcing it to give up its nuclear weapons, which are the only guarantee of its survival, in order, Odom unconvincingly tells us, to "get Iran to do the same" -- only the purest form of anti-Israel malevolence could conceivably lead to anyone taking that position, with whatever outward soberness and pretend-rationality such a measure is presented.

Nonsense. It can be damaged: damaged so severely, as the Iraq project was damaged so severely by the 1981 bombing of the Osirak Reactor (and then in 1991 sanctions kicked in , the happy result of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait)) that it will not successfully be re-started. Or damaged so severely, that will buy time to come up with other, better kinds of bunker-busting devices that can be used again, and again, until such time as the Islamic Republic of Iran gets the message, or is overthrown by people unwilling to sacrifice their lives for the mad pursuit of such weapons, and the new regime -- as a condition of all sorts of things -- gives up any future attempt.

The vision of the Bush Administration -- now down to a handful of True Believes in Bush -- of an Iraq that somehow -- never quite explained, is it? -- will somehow be able to overcome 1300 years of Sunni-Shi'a hostility and Arab Muslim mistreatment of non-Arab Muslims that derives naturally from Islam (a vehicle of Arab imperialism)  and observe "democracy" and the "rule of law" and the "guaranteed rights of minorities" and "free speech" and will in addition be a Model for all the other Arab states, which are Sunni-dominated, is breathtaking. But not in a good sense.

And this obstinate refusal either to recognize, or to exploit, the real fissures within Iraq that will make the stated goal impossible of attainment, and will lead only to still more squandering of men (and great damage to the army and the citizen-army, possibly not to be repaired for years, and certainly never to be forgotten or forgiven), of matériel (how many important weapons projects will be cancelled because of the need to replace tens of billions of dollars in desert-degraded equipment of all kinds?), and of course money (what might have been done with the $500 billion that the Iraq venture, in sunk and committed future expenses, costs -- what might have been done, say, if that money had all gone into energy conservation and alternative energy projects, to undercut the main weapon of Jihad, which is oil revenues?).

The madness of King George, the Captain Queeg of a listing ship of state, the S. S. Narrenschiff, the refusal in a democracy to cease to conduct an idiotic war that two-thirds of the country opposes -- this cannot be forgiven. And what cannot, above all, be forgiven, is the jejune manner in which this misnamed, and virtually inarticulate and certainly utterly unclever and unimaginative "war on terror" is being fought.

And meanwhile, while American troops risk their lives to keep Sunnis from killing Shi'a in order to regain power, and Shi'a militias kill Sunnis in order to retain power, and not a single figure in Iraq with power shows any semblance of decency and responsibility or a sufficient sense of loyalty to the "nation of Iraq," and above all so little  sense of compromise -- for in Islam there is no spirit or lesson of compromise, only the victor and the vanquished -- Iran keeps going, and going, and going.

And Bush insists that no matter what, he will stay the course, he too will keep going, and going, and going.

One did not know that, with different motives, that this administration would end up causing as much harm, doing as little good, to the cause of Infidels as did the administration of hideous Jimmy Carter (who let the Shah go, and got the Islamic Republic of Iran rolling along. But so, not out of the simpering worldview of holier-than-thou Carter, but out of misplaced and false realpolitik, this Administration has proven to be.

It has failed to exploit the real advantages for Infidels in Iraq. It looks with misplaced and mistaken horror on instability in Iraq, on sectarian violence that might spill over into Lebanon, Kuwait, Bahrain, eastern Saudi Arabia. Why? Perhaps because our "Arab friends" -- Egypt, Jordan, and above all Saudi Arabia, which has so many "friends" in Washington, past and present (and James Baker's name leads all the rest), tell us we can't leave, we must stay to protect the Sunnis and to bring stability. "Stability" in the Middle East is,  they tell us, and we nod and agree, is a Good Thing. Yes, so it is, for them, for the Camp of Islam, but not for us, the Camp of the Infidels. And we fall for it, just the way, nearly four years ago, we fell for the Shi'a in exile who told us how we would be greeted as "liberators" and once Iraq was liberated, everyone would be so grateful to America, and so willing to come together in a new Iraq, free of that monster Saddam Hussein (just look at how the sentence handed down on that "monster" has been received by Sunnis, and not only in Tikrit).

Government by obstinacy, ignorance, and timidity.

Posted on 11/07/2006 10:23 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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