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Thursday, October 25, 2007


There's an excellent article over at The American Prospect on Bush's handling of American foreign policy and the likely outcome -- WWIII. Unless some drastic steps are taken to avert our current direction, something big's gotta give in the next 9 months, what with:

1. Turkey amassing troops on the border of Iraq, lobbing shells over there, and making cross-border incursions. When these prove ineffectual, as they will, if they send in a large ground force, the outcome will proceed in unpredictable and inflammatory ways. Once one nation's army goes in, then others will be tempted to follow suit. One can easily imagine that the US and Turkey have had secret talks about rewarding Turkey with parts of northern Iraq if they support a US strike on Iran.

2. The US has designated Iran's army a terrorist organization, has imposed a new round of unilateral economic sanctions, and is fabricating or exaggerating Iran's threat to the US, especially to our soldiers in Iraq. The Bush administration is also refusing to talk with the Iranian leaders in any meaningful way and is angling for regime change by supporting groups within Iran to destabilize it. The Bush administration has also, in the latest round of budget talks, requested additional funds to equip Stealth Bombers with bunker-buster bombs for a pressing need, which can only be to bomb Iran.

3. Bush himself, in what seemed liked unscripted comments, referred to the present situation in Iran as one that could lead to WWWIII (at least he's not so whacked like some on the wing-nut right as to call it WWIV). This was significant because the comments were unguarded and akin to a nervous tick. They reveal his mindset and the types of conversations he's having in the oval office with The Dick, who by the way recently rachetted up his rhetoric on Iran in ways that sound eerily similar to his pronouncements on Iraq prior to our invasion of that country.

4. Russia is afraid of US expansion of army bases and missile defense systems into Eastern Europe, especially the area of the Caspian Sea, and is positioning itself to oppose the US in any way possible. This includes siding with Iran.

5. Some South American countries (Cuba, Venezuela...) are also looking to knock the US down a peg. They will side with Iran and Iran's allies.

As the Chinese proverb has it, we live in interesting times. Dangerously interesting. Speaking of the Chinese, not only are they keeping the US dollar from hitting an even lower rock bottom, their economy just jumped over Germany's. If we bomb Iran and start WWIII, they will probably do quite well when all the dust settles -- this time they'll be the ones who sit back and let each side whack at each other for a while.

Update I: WaPo is running this article today in which oil industry experts are quoted as saying a strike on Iran is unlikely because it would cause oil prices to surge. Since when have Bush, Cheney and the neocons done anything but heap scorn upon real experts? Besides, I hear Bush likes surges.

Update II: Oil is trading in Asia today at a new record above $92/barrel in response to the US's new sanctions on Iran. This is getting awfully close to the record price in 1980 in terms of inflation-adjusted dollars.


At 11:44 AM, Blogger tenaciousmcd said...

I agree that BushCo looks like it's prepping for airstrikes against Iran. But I'm, skeptical about your Turkey theory. The US doesn't have that much leverage. Selling out the Kurds would be a PR nightmare and would rip the scab off that region. Not even the Bushies are THAT dumb. The Turks probably have enough international capital to engage in cross border raids vs. the PKK, but anything resembling annexation would kill their prospects of European integration.

You're right to see this as a deeply troubling situation, but I don't think it can play out the way you say. More likely: we continue to mau mau both sides, and no one really listens to our feeble diplomacy as Turk-Kurd conflict heats up. There will eventually be some kind of independent Kurdistan, unless our attack on Iran causes THEM to intervene to prevent it.

At 11:56 AM, Blogger Paul said...

The Bush administration and the Right have determined that Iran is the greatest threat to the US right now (and the rhetoric goes so far as to say ever!!!). The US cannot be both friends of Turkey and the Kurds. Since, as you point out, we have little leverage, at some we must pick sides. Since Turkey is a NATO ally, has a bigger army, is letting us transit through their country, and whose support will be required for any attack on Iran (i.e., they have leverage), they will need to be appeased in some manner if Iran is to be attacked. Since Iraq is falling apart and is probably going to be split up anyway, why not give Turkey a share to win their support for attacking Iran? I'm not saying that giving Turkey part of northern Iraq is a definite thing, or even likely, just a definite possibility and surely the subject of some discussions. Splitting up countries, secret deals, and double-crossing at such times are par for the course. Do you really think the Bushites give two fucks about the Kurds?

At 3:25 PM, Blogger tenaciousmcd said...

The Turks can barely manage the Turkish regions inside Turkey. Do you really think they want an angry separatist province in the current Kurdish regions of Iraq? This seems unlikely to me. What I suspect they really want is to make damned sure the Kurds aren't planning on expanding northward.

At 3:25 PM, Blogger tenaciousmcd said...

Oops, that should have read "Kurdish regions inside Turkey."

At 5:00 AM, Blogger Paul said...

Since when has any angry separatists stopped an army from invading? If a group of Mexican "separtists" wanted to get Southern CA back and were receiving support from the Mexican side so they could cross the border to kill American soldiers in San Diego, do you think that after a while the US wouldn't send in ground forces on the Mexican side?


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