This War is Spreading Fast

The media is up in arms about the report of Lt. Gen. William S Wallace, commander of our ground forces in Iraq, who said:

“The enemy we’re fighting against is different from the one we’d war-gamed against.”

The “cakewalk” has turned into a slog through a sandstorm, as Americans wake up to what they’ve so far bought into. No, it isn’t like Gulf War I. This is not a hit-and-run assault but a war of conquest: and the occupation is going to be even uglier. However, Gen. Wallace’s remarks about having a different enemy than the one they expected is true in another sense, one that he may not be aware of as yet: Syria and Iran are now in this administration’s sights.

It didn’t take long for the war to escalate. Gee, it seems like only last week (in fact, it was only last week!) that I wrote:

“The seeds of the next conflict are being sown as the present battle takes shape. Iran, which is reportedly developing a nuclear capacity, is a logical candidate for phase two of the neoconservative crusade to ‘democratize’ the Middle East, but it doesn’t stop there�. The sheer momentum of this military adventure � will carry us along to the next logical step: to Damascus, Teheran, Beirut, and beyond.”

Less than 48 hours later, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was accusing the Syrians of funneling aid to the Iraqis and warning the Iranian-sponsored “Badr Brigade” � funded by Teheran, but made up of Iraqis � to stay out of Iraq.

I have news for Rummy, just in case he doesn’t already know (which I doubt): they are already in southern Iraq, where the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the official name of the only Iraqi opposition group with real forces on the ground inside the country, is strongest.

In mid-February, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon openly articulated his heartfelt desire that

“Iran, Libya and Syria should be stripped of weapons of mass destruction after Iraq. ‘These are irresponsible states, which must be disarmed of weapons mass destruction, and a successful American move in Iraq as a model will make that easier to achieve.'”

With Rummy on the warpath against Damascus and Teheran, how long before both are targets of U.S. bombers? I give it a few months, in the case of the former. As for Iran, the “let’s ‘liberate’ the Middle East” crowd is hoping for a student-led upsurge to overthrow the calcified and ideologically-spent Khomeini-ites, but if that doesn’t work out the U.S. will certainly be well-placed to launch a major assault. American troops, at that point, will ring the Iranian ayatollahs on every side: to the north, in Uzbekistan and the other obscure ‘stans; to the East, Afghanistan, and to the West, occupied Iraq. The old one-two-three punch should knock Teheran for a loop, but that is just the mid-point of the War Party’s ambitions�.

Remember the disgraced Richard Perle’s Defense Policy Board briefing featuring ex-LaRouchie Laurent Murawiec � the one where, in a Power Point presentation to Perle and the assembled worthies, Murawiec declaimed:

· “Iraq is the tactical pivot
· Saudi Arabia the strategic pivot
· Egypt the prize.”
These are the ultimate strategic objectives of the neoconservative cabal that has seized power in Washington, in a de facto coup d’etat: they openly discuss this “domino theory” in which the Arabic despotisms are supposed to fall, one by one, in rapid succession. Naturally, the Arab “street” will welcome us as “liberators.”

Like hell they will.

In the days leading up to the American assault on Iraq, antiwar pundits were on the lookout for a “Gulf of Tonkin” incident that would serve Rummy and the gang as a viable pretext. But what the rapid escalation of this war is showing is that the Iraq attack was it. This is the pretext for a wider war, one that started in Baghdad. We may wind up in Cairo before we’re through.

The liberal media are carping about the length of this war � all of ten days, as of this writing � and they are shocked that the Iraqis have the temerity to fight back. Nobody told them that � and so how could they know? It’s pathetic, really, and all this compiling of optimistic quotes from various members of the War Party, while it serves a useful purpose � discrediting the bastards � is really beside the point. What we are in for is an endless series of wars, one naturally developing out of the previous conflict. Some day not too far in the future, as U.S. troops march into Syria, or Iran, or even Saudi Arabia, enterprising journalists will be compiling quotes from administration officials denying any plans to extend the war beyond Iraq’s borders.

By then, of course, it will be too late.

In contemplating the consequences of this crazed plan of conquest, I am reminded of what columnist Charley Reese said the other day about our coming “victory” (any month now!) in Iraq:

“Congratulations to me and congratulations to you. All of us Americans are about to become the proud mamas and papas of 22 million Iraqis – less, of course, the several thousand our forces kill.”

Multiply that times 1,000 � and then some � and you have a multiple birth of alarming proportions.

Move over, Caesar. Go hang your head in shame, Alexander. And you – yeah, you, the Little Corporal! All three of you are about to be dwarfed by Bush the Bold.

Courtesy Raja Mattar