Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Please Support CounterPunch’s Annual Fund Drive
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We only ask you once a year, but when we ask we mean it. So, please, help as much as you can. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. All contributions are tax-deductible.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Bush Opts for Civil War in Iraq

 

What are we to make of the news reports that Baghdad is to be encircled and divided into smaller and smaller sections by 40,000 Iraqi and 10,000 US troops backed by US air power and armor in order to conduct house to house searches throughout the city to destroy combatants?

Is this generous notice of a massive offensive a ploy to encourage insurgents to leave the city in advance, thus securing a few days respite from bombings?

Is the offensive a desperate attempt by the Bush regime and the Iraqi government to achieve a victory in hopes of reviving their flagging support?

Or is it an act of revenge?

The insurgency has eroded American support for Bush’s war. A majority of Americans now believe Bush’s invasion of Iraq was a mistake and that Bush’s war is not worth the cost. The insurgency has proved the new Iraqi government to be impotent both as a unifying agent and source of order.

US frustration with a few hundred insurgents in Fallujah resulted in the destruction of two-thirds of the former city of 300,000 and in the deaths of many civilians. Are we now going to witness Baghdad reduced to rubble?

Considering reports that 80% of Sunnis support the insurgency passively if not actively, it looks as if extermination of Sunnis will be required if the US is to achieve “victory” in Iraq.

If this Baghdad offensive is launched, it will result in an escalation of US war crimes and outrage against the US and the new Iraqi “government.”

Obviously, the Americans are unwilling to take the casualties of house to house searches. That job falls to the Iraqi troops who are being set against their own people.

If insurgents remain and fight, US air power will be used to pulverize the buildings and “collateral damage” will be high.

If insurgents leave and cause mayhem elsewhere, large numbers of innocent Iraqis will be detained as suspected insurgents. After all, you can’t conduct such a large operation without results.

As most households have guns, which are required for protection as there is no law and order, “males of military age” will be detained from these armed households as suspected insurgents.

The detentions of thousands more Iraqis will result in more torture and abuses.

Consequently, the ranks of the active insurgency will grow.

Neocon court historians of empire, such as Niall Ferguson, claim that the US cannot withdraw from Iraq because the result would be a civil war and bloodbath.

However, a bloodbath is what has been going on since the ill-fated “cakewalk” invasion.

Moreover, the planned Baghdad Offensive is itself the beginning of a civil war. The 50,000 troops represent a Shi’ite government. These troops will be hunting Sunnis. There is no better way to start a civil war.

As George W. Bush has made clear many times, he is incapable of admitting a mistake. The inability to admit a mistake makes rational behavior impossible. In place of thought, the Bush administration relies on coercion and violence.

Nevertheless, Congress does not have to be a doormat for a war criminal. It can put a halt to Bush’s madness.

The solution is not to reduce Iraq to rubble. The US can end the bloodshed by exiting Iraq.

A solution is for Iraq to organize as a republic of three largely autonomous states or provinces-Shi’ite, Sunni, and Kurd– along the lines of the original American republic. The politicians within each province will be too busy fighting one another for power to become militarily involved with those in other provinces.

The problem is that Bush wants “victory,” not a workable solution, and he is prepared to pay any price for victory. The neocons, who are in effect Israeli agents, want to spread their war against Islam to Syria and Iran. For neocons, this is a single-minded pursuit. Their commitment to war is not shaken by reality or rationality.

The Bush administration has proven beyond all doubt that it is duplicitous and has delusions that are immune to reality. America’s reputation is being destroyed. We are becoming the premier war criminal nation of the 21st century. We are all complicit.

How much more evil will we tolerate?

PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS has held a number of academic appointments and has contributed to numerous scholarly publications. He served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. His graduate economics education was at the University of Virginia, the University of California at Berkeley, and Oxford University. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at: paulcraigroberts@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. Roberts’ How the Economy Was Lost is now available from CounterPunch in electronic format. His latest book is The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

October 17, 2018
David N. Smith
George Orwell’s Message in a Bottle
Patrick Cockburn
When Saudi Arabia’s Credibility is Damaged, So is America’s
John Steppling
Before the Law
Frank Stricker
Wages Rising? 
James McEnteer
Larry Summers Trips Out
Muhammad Othman
What You Can Do About the Saudi Atrocities in Yemen
Binoy Kampmark
Agents of Chaos: Trump, the Federal Reserve and Andrew Jackson
Karen J. Greenberg
Justice Derailed: From Gitmo to Kavanaugh
John Feffer
Why is the Radical Right Still Winning?
Dan Corjescu
Green Tsunami in Bavaria?
Rohullah Naderi
Why Afghan Girls Are Out of School?
George Ochenski
You Have to Give Respect to Get Any, Mr. Trump
Cesar Chelala
Is China Winning the War for Africa?
Mel Gurtov
Getting Away with Murder
W. T. Whitney
Colombian Lawyer Diego Martinez Needs Solidarity Now
Dean Baker
Nothing to Brag About: Scott Walker’s Economic Record in Wisconsin:
October 16, 2018
Gregory Elich
Diplomatic Deadlock: Can U.S.-North Korea Diplomacy Survive Maximum Pressure?
Rob Seimetz
Talking About Death While In Decadence
Kent Paterson
Fifty Years of Mexican October
Robert Fantina
Trump, Iran and Sanctions
Greg Macdougall
Indigenous Suicide in Canada
Kenneth Surin
On Reading the Diaries of Tony Benn, Britain’s Greatest Labour Politician
Andrew Bacevich
Unsolicited Advice for an Undeclared Presidential Candidate: a Letter to Elizabeth Warren
Thomas Knapp
Facebook Meddles in the 2018 Midterm Elections
Muhammad Othman
Khashoggi and Demetracopoulos
Gerry Brown
Lies, Damn Lies & Statistics: How the US Weaponizes Them to Accuse  China of Debt Trap Diplomacy
Christian Ingo Lenz Dunker – Peter Lehman
The Brazilian Presidential Elections and “The Rules of The Game”
Robert Fisk
What a Forgotten Shipwreck in the Irish Sea Can Tell Us About Brexit
Martin Billheimer
Here Cochise Everywhere
David Swanson
Humanitarian Bombs
Dean Baker
The Federal Reserve is Not a Church
October 15, 2018
Rob Urie
Climate Crisis is Upon Us
Conn Hallinan
Syria’s Chessboard
Patrick Cockburn
The Saudi Atrocities in Yemen are a Worse Story Than the Disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi
Sheldon Richman
Trump’s Middle East Delusions Persist
Justin T. McPhee
Uberrima Fides? Witness K, East Timor and the Economy of Espionage
Tom Gill
Spain’s Left Turn?
Jeff Cohen
Few Democrats Offer Alternatives to War-Weary Voters
Dean Baker
Corporate Debt Scares
Gary Leupp
The Khashoggi Affair and and the Anti-Iran Axis
Russell Mokhiber
Sarah Chayes Calls on West Virginians to Write In No More Manchins
Clark T. Scott
Acclimated Behaviorisms
Kary Love
Evolution of Religion
Colin Todhunter
From GM Potatoes to Glyphosate: Regulatory Delinquency and Toxic Agriculture
Binoy Kampmark
Evacuating Nauru: Médecins Sans Frontières and Australia’s Refugee Dilemma
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail