Saturday, December 30, 2006

larisa at juan cole's

* larisa at juan cole's:
Sometime this morning, all the various and truly bizarre events the Bush administration has been engaged in recently with regard to troop levels and surges suddenly crystallized for me, as though I were sitting at a chess board and seeing the entire strategy unfold before my eyes.

This is of course my opinion and I may very well be wrong. In fact, I hope I am wrong. But the news that Saddam Hussein would be executed soon, and then the news that it would be in the next 48 hours, boggled my mind. Why on earth would anyone want to set off an ideological bomb during an already chaotic situation? I do not defend Saddam Hussein, not by any measure. But when Iraq is falling into total chaos and civil war, and as American troops continue to die, why would anyone want to add fuel to that fire, enough fuel to destroy what is left?

Suspend your emotions and think strategically. Now look at the question again and in context.

The administration is stalling as it supposedly weighs its Iraq options, when in fact they have already made their decision. How do I know they have made their decision? One need only look at the slow leaks coming out, not the least of which was Joe Lieberman’s op-ed in the Washington Post, to understand that we are going to be sending more troops to Iraq. So why does the administration wait to tell us this?

In the meantime, naval carriers are deployed to send Iran “a warning,” as though the threats thus far and the passing of sanctions are not warning enough. Add to that the detainment of Iranian diplomats invited to Iraq by the Iraqi leadership. Why is the US arresting diplomats invited to a country that the US claims is a sovereign nation governing itself?

And what about those sanctions, which ultimately mean nothing and sadly mean everything? The sanctions are so watered down as to have no real effect on the Iranian population or economy. Why even bother passing them?

Why censor Dr. Leverett's opinion piece on Iran when the CIA already cleared it?

Now given this entire context, ask yourself again why Saddam Hussein is being executed now, during Hajj even? What is the urgency?
Why is the rush to execute Saddam Hussein not account for Hajj? Or does it?

The carriers will be in position. I imaging there will be an event of some sort in Iraq, or the violence will spill into friendly (our friends) territory. It will be dramatic, even more so than the immediate violence.

The attacks will be blamed on Iran, with the help of the Saudis and Pakistan. Iran will be blamed for something that happens in Iran. The naval carriers, again, will be in position. The sanctions, as watered down as they are, have given the administration the blank check they needed from the world (and they still have their blank check from Congress) to order aerial strikes. The surge troops will be in position, and I estimate that ground support will begin around late February, early March.

Saddam’s execution and the violence will also be a convenient cover while the administration moves pieces into position.

But what the planners in the administration don’t seem to realize is that the Persians are the most expert of chess players, and they are a patient, strategy minded opponent. They are watching this develop, all of it, and they too are planning their counteraction. They know better than to strike first, because in doing so, they would lose the moral argument in the eyes of the world, as well as the advantage of counteraction. The US has a superior air force, but Iran has a formidable navy, and while the house of Saud will fuel this, the fallout will be fatal. Why?

Here is why: Because the US is too stretched to be able to protect Israel, and Israel cannot sustain a long term attack. They can sustain a few hits, but they will not be able to sustain a full blown attack.

If you have any doubt, go back to the recent war with Lebanon. The British will pull out, despite promises of support. Blair is on his way out, and the British public will not tolerate support for Israel, because of its help in supporting US imperialistic aggression. Whatever terrorist cells lurk in the US, and make no mistake, our administration has done little to address this issue, will be activated.

Also consider that the house of Saud is not prepared to defend itself against an uprising, and that the US cannot protect it while simultaneously operating on three different fronts and covertly in god knows how many. Despite the various sectarian differences in the Muslim world, there are two enemies that they all agree to fight and die fighting against: the US and Israel. This attack will set off a Muslim counterattack so large, that nothing will be able to stop it or contain it.

But our leadership does not see this, because they cannot think strategically and won't think in human terms, so they are left with nothing but arrogance. And we ae left with a world ablaze. '
I will note that it's actually the law that Saddam gets executed within 30 days of the verdict - we can leave the question of whether that law made any sense for another time - but there was also a bizarre news flash yesterday that apparently everyone had been reading the law wrong, and that the execution could NOT be carried out in the first 30 days... what a bizarre world.


Simon said...

Exile was the proper answer a la Napoleon on Elba. Only thing was Napolean came back and they weren't going to risk that one again. Bubiyan Island would have been the best place, being as he coveted it so much. That place is as secure as the oil must be. The Yanks could keep a carrier there just in case. The lessons of history are seldom remembered. The mistakes are often repeated.

lukery said...

ya know - i could conceivably entertain the merits of state execution if the justification was 'we can't afford for Person X to escape' or 'we can't afford to be held to ransom' (e.g. if obl was in jail, and his supporters threatened to nuke a city if not for his release')

Anonymous said...

Saddam killed 2 million people. For this asshole I don't give a flying fuck. Hundreds volunteered to be the executioner. One woman candidate said 15 immediate members of her family had been murdered by Saddam.

...not a flying fuck.