by Milo Clark
(Swans - December 4, 2006) Strategic people like to do scenarios, projections of their expectations. To avoid criticism, they do best, middle, and worst scenarios. I'm going to do only the middle. On analysis, you may wonder what a best or worst scenario may be. (Best: W. descends to join Nixon on the left hand of the devil. Worst: W. ascends to join Ronnie Raygun on the right hand of gawd.)
The once United States of America is in deep doo-doo, to use Bush I's much quoted phrase. In the last six years, almost every other nation, other than the few sycophants left, stands alienated from America in some essential way. The Chesire cat's grin decorates many faces around the world today.
South and Central America, no longer worthy of American media space, have moved in populist directions. The long neglected needs of their majority and indigenous populations are being reflected in recent election results. Fear alternates with outrage.
Uribe's Colombia remains a festering mess. Chavez sits in the power seat of Venezuela. Ortega is back in Nicaragua. Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru have delivered strong back-off messages to their repressive elites and American-oriented politicians.
Iraq and Afghanistan are now generally conceded to be disasters and quagmires to be added to the Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos lists. May we expect Islamic versions of Pol Pot to emerge?
Key American allies, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan especially, work to subvert Bush's efforts in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Here, there is abject administration and media denial of this very demonstrable fact.
The Shia, long depressed and repressed as heretics by Sunni majorities throughout Islam, are restless and on a roll. The 1979 Iranian Shia theocratic revolution, which has been mostly contained by American and Sunni reaction, is flexing muscles again. Iraq's Shia majorities, given a one-man one-vote scenario, now dominate the beleaguered Iraqi government, such as it is.
Saudi Arabia's major oil fields are located in areas of Shia majority. Most Saudi oil workers are Shia. Shia restlessness deeply worries the Saudi royal family.
The most literal-minded and fundamental sects of Sunni Islam are Wahabi, Salafi, and Deobundi. They are the Sunni Islamic evangelicals and literalists.
The area-wide and ubiquitous Islamic Brotherhood centered in Egypt is Salafi in orientation. Saudi Arabia is dominated by Wahabi sects. Pakistan resonates to Deobundi Islamic perspectives. These three are united in one central aspect. They will not tolerate a Shia Iraq. Sunni Syria and Jordan share their sentiments.
Lebanon is a contending ground recently devastated again by Israeli attacks on Shia Hezbollah, assassinations of key politicians, and too many memories of the long civil war there.
Hezbollah of Lebanon, Shia, have recently dealt the Israeli military a shattering defeat. The Israeli attacks in southern Lebanon, American backed, supplied and supported, shuddered to a humiliating halt as the Hezbollah survived and persisted in spite of relentless aerial pounding and invasion.
Southern Lebanon now joins Afghanistan and Iraq as areas piled with rubble, littered with millions of land mines, and untold numbers of unexploded cluster bombs.
American use and supply of depleted uranium munitions in both Iraq wars adds to area desolation. Depleted uranium has a half-life of more than four billion years. Mutants beyond science fiction imaginations are already proliferating where DU dust and spent munitions remain. Returning troops are contaminated also.
The American military, backed by a half trillion dollar annual budget, is stopped by rag-tag Sunni insurgents in Iraq and by a reviving Taliban in Afghanistan. The Sunni insurgents of Iraq are financed by Saudi Arabia and supplied through Jordan. Pakistan created and now recreates the Taliban. Their supplies, much bought by heroin traffic, flow into southern Afghanistan through Quetta in Pakistan's Baluchistan.
For all practical purposes, Iraq's vast oil fields are barely producing enough for domestic needs. Much production is stolen and smuggled out. Shortages persist. Very long lines remain the norm.
Reconstruction in both Iraq and Afghanistan is stalled. In spite of twelve years of covert bombing from 1991 to 2003 and massive aerial strikes that continue, infrastructure was stronger before the 2003 invasion than now. Billions of dollars from reconstruction contracts have simply disappeared without restoring electricity, water, or sewage systems.
Americans hunker down in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone or garrisons throughout the country. Journalists fear for their lives and can only go about now in military convoys. Bunker mentality rules.
Iraqi people have little sense, much less actuality of security.
American-supported warlords still dominate Afghanistan. They war mostly among themselves and undermine the fragile authority of the Karzai government in Kabul. Rule of law is a joke.
And so on and so forth into a dismal future.
Much as key Bush administration figures and think-tank sycophants, neocons, et al. insist otherwise, the war on terror and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are designed to control commodities.
Whether oil, natural gas or minerals, the evident strategic direction of the once United States of America is to seize strategically placed positions from which to dominate the flow and movement of critical commodities.
It appears that American intent is to end up with a string of garrisons from the Balkans across the Middle Eastern and Central Asian swath nudging the borders of PRChina. These garrisons straddle and are designed to control the trade routes and pipelines which bring commodities west.
Afghanistan is important for the pipeline routes, which, since Unocal days in Taliban time, are designed to bring oil and gas south through Baluchistan to the Pakistan coast. Supplies can then flow by sea to India, Sri Lanka, Malaysian peninsula, PRChina, Japan, Philippines. Other pipelines are designed to carry Caspian area gas and oil safely through Turkey or Balkans to the Mediterranean Sea, hence to European and North America markets. Great efforts are being made to secure pipeline routes within countries under US domination.
These pipelines are essential to avoid Shia Iran or Syria and Lebanon in the west and to preempt others that pass near or through Russia and PRChina to the east.
Overriding American strategic designs for commodity control are Sunni Islam's historic denial of Shia existence. The Sunni states, headed by Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, will not allow a Shia dominated Iraq government to emerge. Frustrating and preventing Shia Iran's emergent and strengthening roles in the region, including links to a Shia Iraq and Hezbollah Lebanon, take priority over US objectives.
A weakening U.S. emboldens the Saudi and Pakistan governments to be more overt in their actions and intentions. We now see Saudi Arabia making nice to Israel as are Turkey and Jordan. They will support or ignore Israel in attacking or subverting Shia Iran and frustrating an emergent Shia Iraq.
Pakistan has the Sunni bomb. The once United States of America mostly looked the other way as the Pakistan bomb was developed. A. Q. Khan, the key scientist in charge of the Pakistan bomb, developed a lucrative sideline of supplying Libya and North Korea, among others, with technology, supplies and know-how for bomb development.
Israel, with covert Western support, is believed to have a large atomic arsenal. Succeeding American administrations aided, abetted, and ignored the Israeli bomb development processes. Israel has the Hebrew bomb.
Iran, the Shia power in the region, may or may not be working on the Shia bomb. US and allies in Western Europe, along with Israel, are ripping and roaring and raging in response to a possible Iranian nuclear bomb. PRChina and Russia are having fun tweaking the US pussycat's tail over Iran.
Many analysts and observers believe that the Bush II administration will launch a war against Iran to support Israeli attempts to derail the Iranian bomb programs. US strategy is to support Israel and to frustrate Shia Iran.
No wonder even relatively moderate-minded and sober-thinking Islamics, Shia, and Sunni throughout the world, sincerely and with reason, believe that the Americans are warring on Islam, per se.
Withdrawing American and coalition troops to garrisons to give the appearance of leaving Iraq and/or Afghanistan will fool few other than propagandized Americans.
Sunni Islam will not relent in doing everything in its power to frustrate Shia dominance in Iraq.
Pakistan has long been committed to a weak Afghanistan dominated by Pakistan.
Is there, in actuality, a tunnel through which to see light?
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