FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

A U.S. War Plan?

There’s now a serious possibility that the Republicans could lose control of the House of Representatives this fall, and at least a statistical possibility that they could lose the Senate.

Meanwhile, approval of the administration’s foreign policy, principally in regard to Iraq, has fallen well below 50% and continues to decline, while the Medicare drug fiasco has driven approval of their domestic policy, never high, to new lows. Moreover, the legal difficulties of the administration’s Gauleiters, notably Libby and Rove, are serious, and the bottom could fall out of the ramshackle structure that supports the administration’s felonious wiretapping (with some people thinking that there are further revelations to come about that curious episode: why did they bypass FISA, after all?). And it’s SRO in the closet for all the Abramoff skeletons.

Cornered rats proverbially fight, however, and if things really get bad as 2006 goes on, with mid-term elections looming, the administration always has their ace in the hole: an emergency, preferably violent. (Imagine where the Bush administration would be, had there been no 9/11/01 attack.) Bush this week produced a suspect account of an almost-emergency, a putative foiled attack on Los Angeles in ’02. (Again, the question: why mention it now? Why didn’t they prosecute the conspirators at the time?)

Andrew Cockburn has demonstrated in these pages why a full-scale attack on Iran (four times the size of Iraq and not defenseless, as Iraq was) is out of the question. But, acting on the advice of the Truman-era senator who observed that “You can do anything you want with the American people if you scare them enough,” the administration has been making headway among Americans with its scare campaign about Iran — despite the uncomfortable resemblance to the campaign for the Iraq invasion (madmen armed with nuclear weapons, etc.) As our boy emperor himself once memorably put it, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me — you can’t get fooled again.” Perhaps not, but the administration is surely trying…

But the administration may have choices other than a full-scale attack on Iran or an increasingly less credible viewing-with-alarm. If things get desperate enough that they need a military emergency to rally support for a beleaguered Bush and Co, there are things that they could do, short of all-out war. (In the New Yorker, Seymour Hersh has described military intrusions — “special operations” — by the U.S. and Israel that have been underway in Iran for some time; the administration’s new budget, just submitted to Congress, calls for a substantial increase in money for “special ops and psy-ops.”)

John Pilger notes that, while the Pentagon cannot seriously plan to occupy Iran, it may be that “it has in its sights a strip of land that runs along the border with Iraq. This is Khuzestan, home to 90 per cent of Iran’s oil. ‘The first step taken by an invading force,’ reported Beirut’s Daily Star, ‘would be to occupy Iran’s oil-rich Khuzestan Province, securing the sensitive Straits of Hormuz and cutting off the Iranian military’s oil supply.’ On 28 January the Iranian government said that it had evidence of British undercover attacks in Khuzestan, including bombings, over the past year.” Last year, the Iranian government announced that it would build the country’s second nuclear reactor in Khuzestan…

A U.S. attack by land, sea, and/or air would of course be an act of desperation, driven as much or more by failing domestic politics as by America’s long-term policy to control Middle East energy resources. But given that the U.S. has malgre lui constructed a vast self-conscious Shi’ite region (Iran, Iraq, and the oil-producing parts of Saudi Arabia) that is at once in possession of most of the world’s oil and hostile to the U.S., a further attempt to control it in this fashion may recommend itself.

Remember that the U.S. doesn’t need Mideast oil for its own consumption (one reason that Bush’s comments on it in the SOTU speech were so odd), but has for decades insisted on control of it as a way to control its major economic rivals, Europe and northeast Asia. The U.S. will not easily give up control of the spigot. And Khuzestan may be the handle of the spigot.

CARL G. ESTABROOK is a visiting scholar at the University of Illinois. He can be reached at: galliher@uiuc.edu

Now Available
from CounterPunch Books!
The Case Against Israel
By Michael Neumann

 

Click Here to Advance Order Philosopher Michael Neumann’s Devastating Rebuttal of Alan Dershowitz

Coming This Fall
Grand Theft Pentagon:
Tales of Greed and Profiteering in the War on Terror

by Jeffrey St. Clair

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:
July 19, 2018
Rajai R. Masri
The West’s Potential Symbiotic Contributions to Freeing a Closed Muslim Mind
Jennifer Matsui
The Blue Pill Presidency
Ryan LaMothe
The Moral and Spiritual Bankruptcy of White Evangelicals
Paul Tritschler
Negative Capability: a Force for Change?
Patrick Bond
State of the BRICS Class Struggle: ‘Social Dialogue’ Reform Frustrations
Rev. William Alberts
A Well-Kept United Methodist Church Secret
Raouf Halaby
Joseph Harsch, Robert Fisk, Franklin Lamb: Three of the Very Best
George Ochenski
He Speaks From Experience: Max Baucus on “Squandered Leadership”
Ted Rall
Right Now, It Looks Like Trump Will Win in 2020
David Swanson
The Intelligence Community Is Neither
Andrew Moss
Chaos or Community in Immigration Policy
Kim Scipes
Where Do We Go From Here? How Do We Get There?
July 18, 2018
Bruce E. Levine
Politics and Psychiatry: the Cost of the Trauma Cover-Up
Frank Stricker
The Crummy Good Economy and the New Serfdom
Linda Ford
Red Fawn Fallis and the Felony of Being Attacked by Cops
David Mattson
Entrusting Grizzlies to a Basket of Deplorables?
Stephen F. Eisenman
Want Gun Control? Arm the Left (It Worked Before)
CJ Hopkins
Trump’s Treasonous Traitor Summit or: How Liberals Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the New McCarthyism
Patrick Bond
State of the BRICS Class Struggle: Repression, Austerity and Worker Militancy
Dan Corjescu
The USA and Russia: Two Sides of the Same Criminal Corporate Coin
The Hudson Report
How Argentina Got the Biggest Loan in the History of the IMF
Kenn Orphan
You Call This Treason?
Max Parry
Ukraine’s Anti-Roma Pogroms Ignored as Russia is Blamed for Global Far Right Resurgence
Ed Meek
Acts of Resistance
July 17, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Trump & The Big Bad Bugs
Robert Hunziker
Trump Kills Science, Nature Strikes Back
John Grant
The Politics of Cruelty
Kenneth Surin
Calculated Buffoonery: Trump in the UK
Binoy Kampmark
Helsinki Theatrics: Trump Meets Putin
Patrick Bond
BRICS From Above, Seen Critically From Below
Jim Kavanagh
Fighting Fake Stories: The New Yorker, Israel and Obama
Daniel Falcone
Chomsky on the Trump NATO Ruse
W. T. Whitney
Oil Underground in Neuquén, Argentina – and a New US Military Base There
Doug Rawlings
Ken Burns’ “The Vietnam War” was Nominated for an Emmy, Does It Deserve It?
Rajan Menon
The United States of Inequality
Thomas Knapp
Have Mueller and Rosenstein Finally Gone Too Far?
Cesar Chelala
An Insatiable Salesman
Dean Baker
Truth, Trump and the Washington Post
Mel Gurtov
Human Rights Trumped
Binoy Kampmark
Putin’s Football Gambit: How the World Cup Paid Off
July 16, 2018
Sheldon Richman
Trump Turns to Gaza as Middle East Deal of the Century Collapses
Charles Pierson
Kirstjen Nielsen Just Wants to Protect You
Brett Wilkins
The Lydda Death March and the Israeli State of Denial
Patrick Cockburn
Trump Knows That the US Can Exercise More Power in a UK Weakened by Brexit
Robert Fisk
The Fisherman of Sarajevo Told Tales Past Wars and Wars to Come
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail