Blog No. 60.
This is the third of three reports on Iraq written in 2004. As it was being written very close to the events reported, some of these, such as the Iranian capture of British Marines, may no longer hold any resonance. With no historical perspective, the full extent to which the Americans had failed to plan for how the country was to be run after they had removed the Baathist regime was still not apparent.
Paul Bremer, a former close associate of Henry Kissinger, appointed as Presidential Envoy & Head of the US Military Government in post-invasion Iraq, ruled by decree for the first year of occupation. His first decree was to abolish the Baath Party and his second was to disband the Iraqi Army. These two secular institutions (together with a ferocious, Gestapo-like Muhkabarat) were the bonds that held together a hybrid nation of Arabs, Turkmen and Kurds and of Sunni, Shia, Christians and other religious sects. With its physical bonds deliberately sundered, the country unsurprisingly, blew apart. The signs of this impending disaster for the peoples of Iraqi were already apparent at the time of writing.
A much asked question is the extent to which this disintegration was the planned intention of pro-Zionist factions operating within the American establishment and the extent to which it was the consequence of patriotic American decision-makers being unable to accept any form of collaboration with the Shia regime in Iran. Click:Oded Yinon. These latter opponents of any collaboration with Iran, did so, not because Iran was perceived as an enemy of Israel, but because it had humiliated the USA with its popular overthrow of the puppet regime of the Shah, who America had imposed on it after the CIA’s 1953 coup against Mossadeq.
This faction in the American decision-making apparatus was no doubt looking to establish a repeat of the Shah’s satrapy in an Iraq that remained both unified and obedient. However, as their polices, in regard to collaboration with Iran, were perfectly suited to Zionist ambitions, it is very hard to disentangle which American policy decisions were made as a result of which faction’s influence.
Israel’s Contribution to the Coalition’s War on Iraq. Part III. The New Iraqi Regime.
The invasion of Iraq by the Coalition of the Willing was as successful a military operation as anyone in Washington or Israel could have hoped for – despite a slight delay in capturing the evil Saddam. The problems came in the aftermath.
The Bush Administration faced an initial period of shocked inertia when ‘mission accomplished’ in Iraq was followed by prolonged administrative chaos and a growing guerrilla insurgency. Rumsfeld continued to deny the existence of (or take adequate steps to counter) an organised resistance well into the autumn of 2003. Initial denial was followed by the realisation that Mr Bush’s return to office would not be assured if GIs were still being killed in Iraq during the run-up to the 2004 Presidential elections. Three main options for extricating American troops presented themselves. The seemingly most obvious choice was to swallow American pride and call on the UN. The bomb that drove the UN out of Baghdad was almost certainly a surgical Al Qaeda strike designed to close off that option.
A second option was to call in a significant contingent of troops from a third party. This option was preferred to the UN option as it could be implemented without inhibiting the US’s ability to achieve its original war aims of establishing a puppet state. Russia and Turkey were both sounded out, but both options fell through (though for very different reasons.)
The third option was an agreement with Iran. The majority Iraqi Shia would be better able to control the Sunni minority than any non-Iraqi third party. However, their cooperation could not be assured without Tehran’s approval. Though this was the option most likely to result in a stable Iraq, at first sight, it appeared the least likely to be compatible with the achievement of the other USA/Israeli war goals.
“We recognize the Iraqi Governing Council and we believe it is capable, with the Iraqi people, of managing the affairs of the country and taking measures leading toward independence.” These words of the Iranian President on the 17th November 2003 were the first public indication of the forthcoming nuptials. This announcement was made while all media eyes were distracted by President Bush’s state visit to London. Not surprisingly, the Iranian government had no wish to draw the attention of its citizens to its dealing with the Great Satan. Likewise, President Bush was not going to publicise his administration’s life-saving deal with the Axis of Evil.
During the last quarter of 2003, the indications of a deal with Iran became increasingly obvious. At Shia insistence, amendments were made to Paul Bremer’s proposed arrangements for the forthcoming Iraqi constitutional convention. These, would ensure that the Shia, who represent 60% of the Iraqi population, would also be the dominant power in the future Iraqi government that emerged. On the 3rd of December 2003, Ahmad Chalabi, at that stage still the Pentagon’s pet, visiting Tehran as a representative of the Iraqi Governing Council stated “We welcome the closest political, economic and cultural relations with Iran.” On the 11th December the Iranian President, Mohammed Khatami, announced the arrest of 130 al Qaeda operatives whom will either be judged in Iran or extradited to their countries of origin. At the same time he praised the American decision to hand over to Iran the members of the Iranian exile group, Mujahadin-e-Khalg (MEK) who had been operating against Iran from under Saddam’s protection and whom the Americans picked up when they invaded Iraq. (A promise the Americans have subsequently reneged on this July 2004, by announcing that they have taken this organization off their list of terrorist organizations.) (2015 Note: Subsequently the CIS and Mossad have used MEK to assassinate Iranian scientists and on other sabotage missions in Iran. Click: MEK & Mossad assassinations. )
Iran indicated it was prepared to concede its nuclear weapons programme. In effect their embryo nuclear programme was a bargaining chip ready to be cashed in, in exchange for Iraq, for the long-term security of Iran’s Western border and de facto control over the Persian Gulf. It is hardly surprising that, with this enormous windfall in mind, the Shia, who could have made Iraq unoccupiable had they joined in the Sunni insurrection, instead chose to cooperate with the invading coalition.
The American goal of being able to project its military power into Sunni Saudi Arabia and Syria would have survived a Shia takeover of Iraq. It would still have suited both parties if American troops did not leave Iraq when the new Shia regime took power. The Americans could have withdrawn to desert bases on Iraq’s Western border where they would be beyond the reach of urban guerrillas and from where they could have continued to threaten any remaining recalcitrant Middle Eastern regimes. At the same time they would have shielded Shia Iraq from any threats that might emerge from neighbouring Sunni regimes.
In the short-term the winners would have been the Iraqi Shia, Iran and the Iraqi Kurds. The latter, having narrowly avoided being sold out to the Turks, anticipating semi-autonomy in return for an undertaking not to make trouble among Iran’s Kurdish population. America would not have been a total loser. In the short-term, it would have achieved some of its goals or at least the appearance of having achieved them and its military casualties would have dramatically reduced.
The immediate losers would have been the Iraqi Sunni who would then have been at the mercy of the Shia. However, before Saddam, the relationship between Shia and Sunni in Iraq was fairly cordial and, spared American divide and rule policies, it might have been able to become so once again.
Another loser in the short term would have been Al Qaeda. Though Iraq may well have become an Islamist state, it would have been a Shia one and thus almost as hostile to Al Qaeda as Saddam’s regime that preceded it. Furthermore, the presence of American forces on their borders would make neighbouring Sunni regimes far less tolerant of Al Qaeda activities.
The major loser would have been Israel. Israel would have been anticipating the removal of the Iraqi threat and its replacement by a friendly American satrapy as a buffer between Israel and its remaining most dangerous enemy, Iran. In the past, Iraq and Iran’s hostility to Israel had been offset by their greater hostility to each other. Now Iraq and Iran looked set to become a unified bloc that would continue to be hostile to Israel as long as the Palestinian wound festered. Though the new American military bases in the West of Iraq would have given Israel some consolation, there would have remained doubts as to their permanence. Israel’s anxiety was first made public in its carefully orchestrated attempt to inhibit further public displays of courtship between Iran and the USA after the Bam earthquake by announcing (and then denying) its intention to increase Israeli settlement of the Golan Heights.
Nevertheless, on balance, the USA leadership could have congratulated themselves that the offspring of such an unpromising marriage of pure convenience looked set to turn out better than might have been anticipated.
For the Likud and its Washington fifth column, it was not an outcome that could be allowed to stand. Two avoidable crises that were custom made to break up the agreement with the Iraqi Shia and the Iranians “happened” in the first quarter of 2004.
The Fallujah and the Al Sadr crises were both engineered either accidentally or deliberately by Paul Bremer and the USA’s forces on the ground. Had the US chosen to treat Fallujah, as the Brits had treated Free Derry, by simply isolating it for as long as the inhabitants wanted to keep it a no-go area, instead of invading it with tanks and marines, there would have been no need to put a Baathist general back in command. Similarly, what was to gain by forcing Al Sadr to lead a Shia revolt by putting the minor newssheet of what was then a minor radical Shia cleric out of publication and threatening him with arrest for murder in a country so full of un-remarked on murders? His consequent popularity and armed uprising became a US created phenomenon and a convenient excuse for a break with the Iraqi Shia and with Iran.
1. The stability of Iraq
2. The defeat of Sunni al Qaeda
3. The public demonstration of USA gifted Democracy at work – i.e. majority rule through one-man one vote.
4. The security of the Arabian/Persian Gulf.
5. The Security of the Shia populated Eastern Saudi oil fields.
6. The abandonment of the Iranian nuclear weapons programme, which would not only represent a major victory in America’s fight against proliferation, but would also reduce the danger of Iran facing an Israeli pre-emptive strike.
This one major question of the Iraqi succession had seemed set to be happily resolved. Meanwhile, all around them, the Americans could see their national interest in a stable, oil-productive, anti-terrorist Middle East, going up in flames.
With Sharon unchained by Bush’s commitment to his Likud’s policy objectives, the Israeli/Palestinian peace process was in more dangerous disarray than ever before. The Saudi government looked increasingly likely to become destabilised – with little hope that it would be replaced by a regime more sympathetic to American interests. Israel was selfishly fomenting trouble in Kurdistan – no doubt with a view to using the Kurdish populations in Syria and Iran to seed problems for those two major remaining Israeli targets and in total disregard of the American interest in establishing a stable regime in Iraq. In consequence a major stabiliser in the Middle East, the Turkish/Israeli alliance, was collapsing. Pakistan’s president was facing repeated assassination attempts and his regime was being forced into increasingly ambiguous relations with the fundamentalist faction. Warlords and Taliban were reoccupying Afghanistan and the opium industry (the destruction of which Blair had quoted as a major goal of the invasion of Afghanistan,) was flooding Western markets with heroin on an unprecedented scale. Bin Laden was resurgent. The safe presidency of Egypt, a key American ally, was being called into question by Mubarak’s deteriorating health.
Under these circumstances what does the USA Administration do? Apparently it decides it does not have enough difficulties on its plate and so chooses to make an enemy of the only potential friend, who has the ability to smooth the situation in Iraq. Worse it goes back on its promises in a particularly blatant fashion so the harm done to mutual trust is not going to be readily reversible. It was a boat burning exercise.
The interim Iraqi government that took control on June 28 (2004) was a nightmare line-up for Iran: a Baathist prime minister, a Sunni president, a Kurdish foreign minister and a Turkmen intelligence chief – the Shia, with 60% of the population, who have been cooperating with the Coalition up to this point in the belief that the new government would reflect their numerical strength, were left with only the finance ministry and a vice presidency. With the State of Emergency declared by the incoming interim government, elections that would give the Shia power in proportion to their numbers, now look increasingly unlikely.
Iranian disquiet is already being symbolized by such events as the capture of British marines and the hinting at restarted nuclear weapons programs. Should the Iranians abandon all hope of a stable and friendly Iraqi state ever emerging from the present power structure, the World can anticipate far more serious unrest in Iraq’s Shia South than has yet been encountered anywhere in Iraq by the Coalition or its Allawi ally.
The new Iraqi leader is clearly out of the same mould as Saddam Hussein – a former Baathist hit-man, a CIA asset, and, like Hussein (though this time more overtly) helped into power by the Americans. Perhaps America’s hope is that while Allawi will control Iraq, American forces stationed in the Iraqi desert will be able to exercise more control over Allawi than they had achieved in the case of Saddam Hussein. An equally likely scenario is that Iraq, after a period of intense blood-letting, will break up into a series of warring mini-states, none of which will be eager to please America, but none of which will be in a position to challenge Israel. Such chaos in Iraq will act as a buffer between Israel and Iran until such time as America can be persuaded to forcefully remove Iran from the list of Israel’s enemies.
With the first outcome, the replacement of Saddam I with a Saddam II, but this time, with American armed minder in place, the Americans score some sort of a hollow victory – at incredible expense. With the civil war outcome they lose. With either outcome, the people of Iraq lose. With either outcome Israel wins. So too does Al Qaeda (as every Israeli victory increases Al Qaeda’s power over the hearts and minds of its Islamic constituency.)
The Immediate Future.
Should the Democrats win the next election, things will change. Despite Kerry’s mandatory “I love Israel” credentials, without which, any hope of his election would be impossible, he would most certainly eject the current garrison of Israel’s Trojan horse from office. When the neo-cons are purged, hope can return for an American foreign policy once again designed to support selfish American interests. The situation will then become much easier for the rest of the World to read and to respond to.
It has to be accepted that there is less than a fifty-fifty chance of a Kerry victory. Firstly, a significant proportion of the American electorate has an ovine thought process that will follow any ram with star-spangled underwear over a cliff. Secondly, in the US system, the incumbent has options when it comes to tallying votes on no-paper-trail electronic equipment, roll tampering and all the other scams that are bound to be associated with any system that demands such billion dollar stakes from the players and offers such multi-billion dollar rewards to the victor. (Note: In the event, the star-spangled undies won; Bush defeated Kerry and the killing continued.)
The key to the impending global disaster is the continued control of Fortress America by the Zionist faction of the Neo-Cons (allied with the Plutocrat faction.) Bush is as much under their control as Yeltsin was under the control of the oligarchs who stole the Russian economy. The key area to watch is Israel’s current move to militarise and develop a Kurdistan ally in its fight with Iran and Syria. The fact that the American administration allows them a free hand to fragment and destabilise the current Iraqi regime (and destroy America’s key alliance with Turkey in the process) when all American interests cry out for Iraq to be unified and stabilised, is an indication of the firm control the Israeli faction retains in the White House.
Footnote: This series of blogs is intended to explain the cause of the refugee crisis. Clearly, had there been no Bush/Blair assault on Iraq in 2003, the subsequent civil war would never have occurred and today’s refugee problem would have been greatly reduced. These last three blogs have shown the mechanics by which that central disaster came to pass.
It is a source of wonderment that such a relatively small population of Zionists could have succeeded in levering so much suffering onto the heads of their many times more numerous Arab neighbours. Equally astounding is the fact that the full extent of Zionist complicity in the current refugee crisis has gone largely unremarked in the main stream media (MSM). It could be argued that it was the Zionists’ initial implementation of Plan Dalet and the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population in 1948, that set the whole Middle Eastern disaster in motion and that the current crisis is simply part of the same continuum. Until America finds a way in which to place a fire-wall between its foreign policy and Israel’s vision of its national self-interest, there will be no peace in the Middle East or lasting resolution of the refugee problem.
The fourth blog in the series will deal with the initial American destabilisation of Iraq in the decade leading up to its invasion and the fifth will pick up where the third has finished and cover the period 2004 – until the present day. Perhaps the question to be asked is not “Why do Iraqis become refugees, but why has any Iraqi chosen to stay?)