Monday, February 09, 2004

Beating a Hornet's Nest With a Baseball Bat

I don't really know what to make of this story from today's Washington Post, but regardless of whether or not it's true, it's a pretty damning indictment of the Bush "policy," if we can actually dignify his actions with the term, towards the Middle East.

BAGHDAD, Feb. 9 -- Insurgents in Iraq sought the help of senior leaders of the al Qaeda terrorist network for a plan to spark a "civil war" that would pit the country's religious and ethnic groups against each other and prevent a transfer of sovereignty from U.S. occupation authorities to Iraqis, U.S. officials said today, citing a document seized from an al Qaeda courier.


The U.S. officials said the disk was in the possession of a courier who was trying to leave the country, possibly to go to Afghanistan and to deliver the letter to Osama bin Laden, the head of the al Qaeda network. The existence of the document was first reported in today's New York Times.

In the document, which was described at a press briefing here today, the author brags about already having accomplished 25 operations and proposes more attacks that would push the country toward civil war.

"Their strategy is to provoke sectarian warfare in an effort to tear this country apart," said Dan Senor, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition occupying Iraq.

More and more Dubya is beginning to look like a rookie cop in the slum--at once feeling like the ubermensch, while actually so far behind the curve that he doesn't get that "Starsky" and "Hutch" are terms of derision.

Al Qaeda most likely has some sort of presence NOW in Iraq, thanks to the bumbling that has gone on virtually from the first moments the tanks and heavy equipment began to roll across the border--just in time to get caught up in one of the heavier dust storms of the season. In the chaos that followed the "liberation" of the country, it is all but certain that some Al Qaeda operatives took advantage of the situation to infiltrate. Indeed, the suicide bombings of both the UN Compund and Ayatollah Mohammed Bakir Hakim have the look and feel of an Al Qaeda-type operation. However, it won't require Al Qaeda's presence for civil war in Iraq--hell, considering the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to consolidate power once the US leaves (and, one day, we WILL leave--I'm betting with our tail between our legs)--anyone aspiring to political power would almost be foolish to sit on the sidelines. Unfortunately for the Iraqi people, the jockeying for position will not be with words, but with bullets.

At this point, I think the only consideration now is how long and bloody the Iraq Civil War will be. CheneyBushRoveRummyWolfo, the five-headed monster, will eventually blame the Iraqi people for this, either in their official capacity as second-term lame ducks, or, hopefully, as "semi-retirees,' living off the yahoo lecture circuit while seeking positions on various corporate boards. Their minions will bleat the same tune, even if it's 180 degrees removed from their present bleat that expresses a false concern for "the Iraqi people."

My guess is that the conflict will either be quite bloody, or, the conflict will end quickly with the creation of a theocratic state. Either way, it won't be good for the long term interests of the United States.

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