Everyone but the few remaining Republicans in
this country understands that the purpose
of the 9/11 attacks was to bait the U.S. into personally invading the Muslim
World. Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri wanted to bog Americans down in
the Afghan mountains and rally more Sunni radicals to their cause. They hoped
against hope that the U.S. would overreach and invade their fourth and fifth
worst enemies, Saddam Hussein and the Ayatollah Khamenei (the Saudi Kingdom,
the United States, and Israel are numbers 1, 2, and 3). Bin Laden and Zawahiri
wanted to extend their influence into the power vacuums created in our wake.
It first looked as though the U.S. was going to deny Osama the kind of protracted
occupation of Afghanistan that the Russians had supplied. The CIA used Northern
Alliance proxies and the U.S. Air Force to do most of the fighting while the
Army was busy preparing to invade Iraq.
Our Army isn't as bogged down in Afghanistan as the Russians were back when
the U.S. was backing the jihadists against them, but the chance that the phony,
U.S.-created "government" of Hamid "Lando
Calrissian" Karzai will be able to establish, much less maintain, a
monopoly on authority in that country must be less than nothing. The Taliban
are as strong as they have been since 2001, and the United States will eventually
leave Afghanistan in defeat just like every other imperial power has before.
Though many have occupied Kabul, only Pashtuns have ever ruled Pashtuns for
long. (Hasn't anyone in the Pentagon's policy
department ever seen Rambo
III? I would have thought they helped produce it.)
Perhaps feeling guilty for letting Osama down in the 'Ganistan, George Bush
went ahead with the invasion of Iraq and the removal of the secular Ba'athists
from power. He further insisted on a prolonged occupation in the name of creating
"democracy" and succeeded only in smashing that society into a mess
of murderous slivers.
It is widely agreed by the experts for example, the
Brits, the Saudis,
and the Israelis
that the invasion of Iraq has transformed al-Qaeda, an organization of
a couple thousand at most in 2001, into a much larger, decentralized movement,
with crazies all over the world trying with frequent success to
blow things up in its name. Bush has thus earned the United States the title
"Osama bin Laden's indispensable ally" from the former head
analyst at the CIA's bin Laden unit (which Bush has abolished).
They are not a dominant force in Iraq, and the president's threat that al-Qaeda
will take over if we leave is a
lie. Over the last four years, however, thousands of al-Qaeda recruits have
gone to Iraq to be trained and indoctrinated (they are still apparently seen
as useful allies against the occupation by the native Sunni rebellion). Who
knows where those who leave Iraq end up?
Though far short of the jihadist advances that grew out of American-Saudi-Pakistani
efforts on behalf of the mujahedeen against the Russians in the 1980s, this
has all made Osama bin Laden still freer than you and me very
happy, to be sure. His brand of Salafist Wahhabism remains a million years from
ruling the Middle East, but his strategy of letting the United States take down
all of his hardest targets has worked brilliantly.
Now comes the news that bombs are going off in Iran, killing members the Revolutionary
Was it the formerly Saddam- and now America-backed communist cult the Mujahedin-e
Khalq? American special
forces getting the war started early?
No. Initial reports are that a group of radical Sunnis with "alleged links
to al-Qaeda" are claiming
"The group, known by its Persian name Jundollah, shot dead 12 people
last May on the Kerman to Bam highway in southeast Iran. Earlier, the group
issued a video showing the execution of an Iranian officer. Other kidnapped
soldiers have been beheaded.
"The U.S. has in the past accused Iran of sheltering senior al-Qaeda
officials, including Osama bin Laden's son Saad. Iran denies those charges and
says Jundollah is itself part of the al-Qaeda network and is intent on fomenting
Now, John Lewis, the deputy assistant
director of of the FBI's counterterrorism section, and Sylvestre
Reyes, the Democrats' new chairman of the House Intelligence Committee,
may not be able to tell the difference between their ass and a hole in the ground,
but most casually informed Americans can tell you that Iran, while an ethnically
diverse society, is ruled by iron-fisted Shi'ite ayatollahs. If you're Osama
bin Laden and you want your movement to rule that area one day, having a gigantic
Shi'ite-controlled Persia smack dab in the middle of Islamic South Asia is an
obstacle, to say the least.
So it makes perfect sense for the little bin Ladens of Baluchistan to try to
exploit sectarian division in an attempt to weaken the regime.
The problem is that the United States is trying to do the exact same thing.
The Financial Times reported a
year ago that the Marines had commissioned a study by SAIC
subsidiary Hicks and Associates to identify
"the depth and nature of grievances against the Islamic government,
and appeared to be studying whether Iran would be prone to a violent fragmentation
along the same kind of fault lines that are splitting Iraq."
you people say the mission in Iraq is a failure!
One might wish to forget at this point that Iran has tried to make peace with
the United States repeatedly over the last few years. Despite Iran's 2003
attempt to give up everything, its repeated offers to internationalize
their entire nuclear program, and its bid
to turn over captured al-Qaeda members, neocons in the administration have
blocked constructive engagement every step of the way.
Rather than tolerating Iran in order to obtain its help collaring the perpetrators
of the 9/11 attacks, the administration has apparently decided to tolerate al-Qaeda
while focusing on their shared enemy, Iran.
There are many
indications that the Bush administration is preparing for a war against
Iran and its alleged but completely
unproven nuclear weapons program. The Iranians even stand accused of supplying
weapons to the
same factions the United States is "training up" to take over
the Ayatollah Khomeini-created
Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq.
They are the "Iraqi government," and the idea that Iran backing them
is a threat to our soldiers in Iraq only makes sense in the context of our preparations
to bomb SCIRI's bosses, the Iranians. SCIRI's leader, Abdul Aziz Hakim, has
promised that in the event of a U.S. attack on Iran, "We
would do our duty."
Regardless, the U.S. Navy's carrier strike groups Eisenhower and Stennis
are nearby, and the Nimitz is on its way. (Newsweek is now reporting
it as their
mistake that the Nimitz is an addition to the force, but it is "scheduled
to replace" the Eisenhower.) The commander of Centcom was replaced
with an admiral well versed in naval and air operations, and the administration
is sending defensive missiles to friendly Gulf states.
North Carolina Republican Rep. Walter
Jones is so worried that he's introduced a
measure in the House of Representatives to make it clear to Bush that he
may not attack Iran unless war is declared
by the U.S. Congress.
Informed people such as Wayne
White, the former director of the Iraq desk at the State Department's Bureau
of Intelligence and Research, say that the neoconservatives'
defectors' idea that the Iranian people will rise up in the wake of an American
attack and overthrow the mullahs is preposterous, and let's hope he's right.
What could be worse for America and the world than our creation of another
catastrophic battle for power in the Middle East?
What could be better for Osama bin Laden?