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Iraq:  A Nightmare the Morning After?

Sept. 30, 2002.   It would be a good thing to liberate the peoples of Iraq from Saddam Hussein.  And military intervention to do so, considering his record and what is clearly known of his intentions, might well be appropriate if properly planned and coordinated with other nations, NATO, and the UN.

But I am far from convinced that all the preparation necessary for a successful effort in Iraq has been done by the administration, and it is certain that the domestic and international coordination needed has not occurred.

The administration has  purposely foreshortened the needed planning and coordination in order to distort the electoral process this cycle to their advantage.  They have succeeded in putting people, including myself, who would otherwise support action against SH, in the position of adamantly opposing their immature and ill defined strategy and plans.

If not for the opposition they have created, they would have been free to throw our troops into a situation far more dangerous than actually needed to do the job.  Yet, they hope to punish those patriots who oppose their precipitous and reckless behavior, and demand adequate planning and coordination, by calling them "weak on Iraq", and insufficiently concerned with our national security.

Despite these costs to patriotic Americans, action in Iraq, on the basis Bush has proposed, must be opposed.  It can be supported only when the necessary planning and coordination has been accomplished.

The administration has managed its planning for this war by deceit and secrecy from the beginning.  Neither the public, nor our potential allies, nor, most significantly, the appropriate committees of the US Congress have been provided substantive information about plans for prosecution of the war, or for what will happen after Saddam's government is gone.

What little we do know about plans for the war does not include reliance on potential allies, in keeping with the Shrubbyist preference for going it alone.   It is reported to center on massive bombing of Iraq's cities, including the total destruction of a city of 50,000 people which is the cultural and economic center of Saddam's tribal power base.

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/sep2002/bomb-s27_prn.shtml analyzes the military buildup around Iraq, and describes elements of the planned attack there which have been leaked from Pentagon plans for an invasion of Iraq which were submitted to the Bush White House earlier this month.   No independent verification of the information at the site is available to me yet.  Still, it passes the smell test as a credible description of military planning in these circumstances.
What little information is available about plans for  "the day after" is pretty discouraging.   Despite Shrubbyist propaganda about a "vision for post liberation Iraq as a model of democracy for the region", no plans to implement such a vision are in evidence.  In fact, the fundamentalist politicos in charge of the domestic side of the shrub administration seem quite comfortable with fundamentalist Islamic theocracies, as some of their cohorts in the US overtly advocate theocratic modifications to our own form of government.
THE PROGRESSIVE POPULIST:  A JOURNAL FROM THE HEARTLAND for October 15, 2002 -- Volume 8, Number 18, http://www.populist.com/02.18.edit.html provides this dose of realism:

"Among the prime contenders for Saddam's replacement:

      * Gen. Nizar Al-Khazraji, who led the 48 hour chemical weapons attack which poisoned and burned 5,000 Kurdish civilians in the northern town of Halabja in March 1988. He also reportedly kicked a little Kurdish child to death after his forces entered a village during the height of the repression in 1988. But a senior official in the US State Department said al-Khazraji, who defected in 1996, has "a good military reputation" and "the right ingredients" as a future leader in Iraq.

      * Brigadier-Gen. Najib Al-Salihi commanded an armored division of Iraq's elite Republican Guard in the Gulf War. He helped put down the uprising against Saddam that followed the 1991 defeat.  The crushing of the uprising caused 1.5 million people to flee their homes. He put down another rebellion in 1995 before defecting to the US, where he heads the CIA sponsored Iraqi Free Officers Movement.

      * Ahmad Al-Chalabi fled to London from Jordan in 1989 amid allegations he had embezzled millions from the bank he used to own.  The collapse of the Petra Bank took the savings of thousands of its customers, and a 1992 trial in his absence sentenced Al-Chalabi to 32 years in prison. But he helped the CIA create the Iraqi National Congress (INC) in 1992 and is a member of its executive council. The State Department recently found that about half of the $4 million it had given the INC was not properly accounted for, and cut off funding, Pratt notes, but the Pentagon and the White House picked up the tab.

      These are the guys the CIA is grooming for leadership.

The mis-administration's penchant for misdirection and secrecy leaves lots of room  for other "day after" scenarios.
US plans to merge Iraq, Jordan after war The United States is working on a plan to merge Iraq and Jordan into a unitary kingdom to be ruled by the Hashemite dynasty headed by King Abdullah of Jordan with Amman as the capital of the proposed new country, reveals a startling report made available here on Friday. The plan, authored by Vice pResident Dick Cheney, was first discussed at an unusual meeting between Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan and pro-US Iraqi Sunni opposition members in London in July.
Still, though  http://www.jang.com.pk/thenews/sep2002-daily/28-09-2002/main/main3.htm gets this information from a report by "Stratfor",  a strategic  forecasting think tank based in the US., it is barely more credible than Karl Rove himself.  That is, it may well be disinformation.

If such a proposal has ever been made to Jordan by the administration, it is most likely hollow.  Despite the suggestion that under this approach "the geopolitical influence of both Saudi Arabia and Egypt would decline, making it easier for Washington to deal with them", the Bush/Cheney Oil Government's historical agents and allies have been the Saudi's, and it is far more likely that the Saudi's will become the client regime in charge of Iraq's oil, than that the Hashemite rulers of Jordan will.

In fact, "Mid-East Realities" has predicted that the Shrubbyite/Israeli game plan is to displace, yet again, the Palestinians from Gaza and the West Bank into Jordan, and to replace the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan with a Palestinian state there.  The Hashemites were the traditional rulers of the Arabian peninsula and guardians of Islam's sacred cities, Mecca and Medina, before the Saudi's rise to power.  They also ruled Iraq before Saddam.

Stage Set for "Transferring" Palestinians and "Jordan is Palestine"

MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 12/22/2001: If major wars and more "terrorist incidents" break out in the   Sub-Continent and elsewhere in the Middle East region, as now seems likely in the weeks and months immediately ahead, that is just what Ariel   Sharon and the "right-wing" Israelis -- with at least acquiescence from Barak, Peres and the so-called "left-wing" Israelis -- have been waiting   for. It is then the Israelis are likely to manipulate events further so that they can follow through on Sharon's personal life-long ambition to   vanquish the Palestinians, and in the process turn the TransJordan of British making into the Palestine of Israeli making. Sharon's plans are amazingly quite advanced at this point with a majority of Israelis now favoring the modern-day euphemisms for his core policies of Revisionist Zionism - "transfer", "separation", "no choice".

This would be something of a booby or "consolation" prize for the Palestinians, but more significantly would leave the Saudi royal family's power  unchallenged in the region.   Considering the Saudi's ties to the radical Islamist Wahabist sect, which, with the aid of billions in Saudi funding, is responsible for the radicalization of Asian Islam the supplanting of the relatively progressive and democratic Hashemite influence in the region by Saudi medievalism would be a major disaster.

Which of these possible end games does the administration plan currently to execute?  It has not said, and I suspect no one,  perhaps not even the principals within the administration itself save for Cheney, really knows.

But I believe that, sadly,  for petro-political reasons and to "simplify" the Israel/Palestine situation, the Saudi option is  the course which the Shrubbyists will eventually choose.