Something Wicked This Way Comes
By John Cory
TO correspondent in Saudi Arabia
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Sunday 16 November 2003
Some people say Iraq is a quagmire. I disagree. I see Iraq as an oil slick, oozing and drifting across the currents, poisoning the basic source of life, damaging the environment beyond belief, and killing the Creator's defenseless and fragile creatures. True to form, there is no glory in an oil spill, only a sense of violation. And typically there is no containment until after the damage is done. Long, lasting damage.
Things are not good these days, insurgents in Iraq are creating havoc, election season is almost here, and all the news that's fit to print, is bad. The war in Iraq, for Americans, has become the old story about the farmer's pig. You know the one, about the city dude driving by a farm, spots a pig with a wooden leg and stops to ask the farmer about the poor critter.
The farmer proudly tells him that pig is a treasured family pet, having once saved the farmer's son from drowning, and how it used its snout to rut a furrow and free the farmer after he had been trapped beneath the tractor one day. The perplexed city dude asked why the pig had one wooden leg, and the farmer replied, "Why we love that pig so much, we're only eating him a little bit at a time."
Things are about to change.
Bush and Cheney installed the Governing Council. It did not matter that most of these particular Iraqis had not been in the country for decades. It didn't even matter that Ahmed Chalabi an alleged bank swindler, and a murky accountant of millions of lost CIA dollars, was not supported by local Iraqis. No sir, these guys would do what the US wanted and told them to do. End of story. Make it happen.
But now we learn that the Governing Council has problems, big problems. They don't show up for important meetings. They appear to be practicing Bush Republicanism by awarding their chums lucrative contracts, especially in the communications arena. Contracts that, whether or not they remain in power, will line their own investment portfolios nicely. This Council spends a lot of time out of the country, seeking new business contracts and development deals, mostly for themselves. The nerve. They should be dedicated to helping solve the problems of Iraq, not gallivanting all over the place raising funds and conducting business transactions. And on top of everything else, some of these guys actually believe that they are running things. This infuriates the Bush administration. To paraphrase an old song, "Isn't it ironic?"
Bush has studiously avoided the returning caskets, the wounded and amputees, fearing the stain of lies that began this greedy war. When new deaths and body counts appear in the media, Bush and his minions rush to brag of real progress that goes unreported. But the flood of attacks and the brazen determination of Iraqi insurgents have caused the Bush administration to grab for immediate solutions. He may be able to raise reelection money from his political base, but sinking poll numbers require desperate and definitive action.
It's time to read the writing on the wall, folks. Of course, this is only a guess on my part, but here is what I figure is coming:
Voluntarily or involuntarily, Paul Bremmer is on his way out. Or at least severely reduced in power and stature. The war is going over to the generals and hawks. This means that heavy bombing and more air strikes are coming. Mission Un-accomplished will now drive the return to major combat efforts. The war is back on, the peace can wait, at least until just before the US elections. Something big and violent must happen to prove that Bush and company are truly in-charge.
The Governing Council is due for a shake-up. Bush is already sending signals that a provisional government might be better, and to do that, he has to bomb like hell, or at least like Afghanistan, shuffle the ex-pat Iraqis on the Council around, and look to get local leaders to re-establish and recall the old military and police members, in order to ease the burden on US troops. Maybe bring back the draft for US citizens, what with Reservists and Regulars considering not re-enlisting.
The big push will be a clear and visible sign of an exit strategy. Milestones and creation of a hurried interim-Constitution will be paraded before the genuflecting press corps. Then sometime, somewhere before the Republican convention at Ground Zero, Bush will don a uniform and strut across the platform to announce the final blow to Saddam Hussein and his rag-tag band of guerillas.
And here is the chilling and frightening thing, to do this Bush will gladly sacrifice all the troops necessary to achieve shock-and-awe that any of us could ever have doubted him. He will stand tall on the graves of soldiers and citizens, and not bat an eye or blush a cheek in shame. The war for Iraqi freedom and democracy will be victorious, even if it kills us all.
Something wicked this way comes.
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