Why the Surge will push us into a War with Iran
By Mike Whitney
Al-Jazeerah, February 5, 2007
“If the United States continues to be bogged down in a protracted, bloody involvement in Iraq, the final destination on this downhill track is likely to be a head-on conflict with Iran and with much of the world of Islam at large.” Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security advisor to President Jimmy Carter
No one has done more to expand Iran’s power in the region than George Bush. He routed the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001 and then toppled Saddam and the Ba’athist Party in 2003. Both of these were the traditional enemies of the Islamic Republic. Now Bush has installed Iranian-backed warlords in the Green Zone and delivered the country to the Shiites.
Was that what Bush had intended; to expand Iranian power and influence throughout the Middle East? Or is it merely the unintended consequence of a deeply flawed policy that is destabilizing the region and irreparably damaging American interests?
Iraq is not Vietnam. America cannot simply pick up and leave Iraq. By 2020 60% of the world’s remaining oil will come from the Middle East. The world’s 4 largest oil fields (including the massive Ghawar oil field in Saudi Arabia) are in a permanent state of decline. Unless the American people are prepared to abandon their SUVs on the side of the freeway and pedal to work on their bicycles, some accommodation must be reached in Iraq.
The war was unnecessary. Saddam was always willing to sell his oil on the open market and he even offered to make oil-leasing concessions to the American oil giants just before the war broke out. But there were other factors involved as well, including Israel’s aspirations for regional hegemony and the confused, revolutionary ideology of the neocons (“preemption”, “creative destruction”) which drove the country to war.
All the same, “we are where we are” and we need to understand why “staying the course” will push us deeper into the quicksand of defeat while conferring ever-greater power to Iran.
Read the rest here.