Sunday, September 5, 2010

Laptop Bombardier

"One can only hope that we turn the region into a cauldron, and faster, please. If ever there were a region that richly deserved being cauldronized, it is the Middle East today [2002]. If we wage the war effectively, we will bring down the terror regimes in Iraq, Iran, and Syria, and either bring down the Saudi monarchy or force it to abandon its global assembly line to indoctrinate young terrorists." Michael Ledeen - quoted in Stephen J Sniegoski, Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, & the National Interest of Israel, 2008, p 209)

Given his key role in the crime against humanity which is the Anglo-American invasion, occupation and destruction of Iraq, Tony Blair's just-published autobiography, Tony Blair: A Journey, is rightly receiving some attention in the press. Although I haven't yet read it, I was particularly struck, in the following press report, by this reference to George W Bush's Svengali, Vice-President Dick Cheney:

"While lashing out at his successor, Gordon Brown, he praises his wartime ally George W Bush as intelligent and principled, although he reveals that others in the Bush administration had a hankering for invading Middle Eastern countries beyond Iraq. In a chilling insight into the mood of the Bush White House, Blair says vice-president Dick Cheney 'would have worked through the whole lot, Iraq, Syria, Iran, dealing with all their surrogates in the course of it - Hezbollah, Hamas etc. In other words, he thought the world had to be made anew and that after September 11, it had to be done by force and with urgency. He was for hard, hard power. No ifs, no buts, no maybes. We're coming after you so change or be changed'." (Blair's book reveals background to war, Peter Wilson, The Australian, 2/9/10)

Neocon bastards like Cheney, and his offsiders, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, whom Secretary of State Colin Powell referred to in 2002 as "fucking crazies," are nothing if not consistent. For example, if Cheney and Wolfowitz had had their way at the time of the first Gulf War (1991), Iraq might have been 'cauldronized' over a decade earlier:

"[Secretary of Defense] Cheney's secret team came up with Operation Scorpion, an elaborate plan that involved sending US troops to remote regions west of Baghdad, from which they could, presumably, threaten Saddam. [Commander of Coalition Forces General Norman] Schwarzkopf got wind of the scheme and pointed out that it would be impossible to supply troops who were dispatched to the distant deserts of western Iraq. [President George H W] Bush and [Secretary of State James] Baker, who recognized the diplomatic disaster that the plan to depose an Arab leader would create, backed the general, and Operation Scorpion was quickly consigned to the dustbin of history - although Cheney and [Under-Secretary of Defense for policy Paul] Wolfowitz would continue to entertain fantasies about 'decapitating' Saddam and imposing 'regime change'. The Operation Scorpion plot raised real questions about Cheney's capacity to contribute to the war effort. Schwarzkopf would later express his frustration with Cheney's Operation Scorpion scheming, observing, 'I wondered whether Cheney had succumbed to the phenomenon I'd observed among some secretaries of the army. Put a civilian in charge of professional military men and before long he's no longer satisfied with setting policy but wants to out-general the generals'. Duly chastened, Cheney, whom the Washington Post took to referring to as 'the desk-chair warrior', faded from the forefront of the Iraq effort." (The Rise & Rise of Richard B Cheney: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Most Powerful Vice President in American History, John Nichols, 2004, pp 116-117)

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