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ratting on the Americans! « Previous | |Next »
February 3, 2007

Things are getting worse in Iraq. President Bush is getting America deeper into the quagmire in Iraq (see the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq) with his so-called surge providing an extra 21,500 troops throughout the year. Where does Australia currently sit, given that US's creation of Iraq as a failed state? John Howard, the Prime Minister, set out the situation to John Laws this week:

So the debate three years ago was not about whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, it was what you did about it and the Labor Party argued we should get another United Nations resolution and we argued that the resolutions that existed at the time were enough. But anyway, we now know there were no weapons of mass destruction. We also took the decision in part because of our alliance with the United States and I have to now deal with a decision: do we rat on the Americans, do we walk out? Do we say to the Americans it's got all too hard and too difficult? And if anybody thinks that that wouldn't do damage to the alliance they're kidding themselves.

All that's left to justify Australia's partiicpation in the occupation of Iraq is the insurance policy. It's all about the alliance with the US. Australia is obliged to support Bush and Cheney as they continue create further unrest, turmoil and crises in the Middle East. Whatever happened to toppling Middle Eastern governments, occupying their societies, and trying to impose pluralistic democracy?

The word "ratting" implies that a war doesn’t really need a case.It also implies that the Howard Government approves the shift to empire with its torture of captives at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, at Bagram Air Base in Kabul, at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and at a global network of secret CIA prisons.The new target is Iran, as the focus is being moved from the quagmire in Iraq to the Iranian "threat".

The Bush administration wants to lay the blame for the disintegration of Iraq on the meddlesome interference of Iran and Syria and avoid the scenarrio in which the U.S.-sponsored political process itself -- indeed, the new, U.S.-created Iraqi political order -- itself sows the seeds for the country's destruction. But Bush could attack Iran to his heart's content, and Iraq would still remain in civil war.

However, as Paul Rogers at Open Democracy writes:

In one sense, Iran was always the main issue for neo-conservatives: "the road to Tehran runs through Baghdad" was their mantra. Indeed there was a strong view in 2003 that the best way to deal with Iran was by installing a client administration in Iraq, secured by a substantial permanent American military presence at four large bases. Iraq would become a western bastion, with the added double benefit of reducing the significance of a somewhat unpredictable House of Saud while ensuring the Iran would know its place. In essence, regime termination to Iran's east (Afghanistan) and west (Iraq) within two years would achieve a precious strategic success: a pliant Tehran.

Rogers notes that things have has not exactly worked out like that. The reality is the hte failure to impose Pax Americana on Iraq or even Afghanistan, and it is this that has had profound consequences throughout the region.


| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 10:34 PM |