• "God invented war so Americans could learn geography" -- Mark Twain.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Operation Enduring Fiction

Obama made a fool of himself today, except nobody in Washington noticed.  Speaking from his vacation garden in Martha’s Vineyard, the President said,

Today, Iraq took a promising step forward ...   Last month, the Iraqi people named a new President.  Today, President Masum named a new Prime Minister designate, Dr. Haider al-Abadi.  ...  Earlier today, Vice President Biden and I called Dr. Abadi to congratulate him and to urge him to form a new cabinet as quickly as possible -- one that’s inclusive of all Iraqis, ...
It was just too Late Empire, reflecting the ossification and dementia of those who have been in power for too long and who confuse wish with reality.

What Iraq?  Forget the tired mantra of the umpteenth “new beginning,” the more astonishing lunacy is the belief that there is a there there. 

There isn’t.  Iraq has fallen.  Its massive army, on which the United States spent billions, dissolved on contact with ISIS, as if it were an Alka Seltzer tablet.

The country has been cut in two, with the Caliphate controlling the Euphrates, the Tigris (the Mosul Dam) and seven oil fields in the norther region adjacent to the big Kurdish controlled field in Kirkuk. 

ISIS could have had Baghdad for the plucking but it held back, probably in the view that rotten fruit falls soon enough.

What government?  A government is as its writ runs  and the government in Baghdad has no writ.  About the only thing al Abidi can boss around is the Palace Staff and his gardener.

What services does the “government” in Baghdad provide to the people in the once nation-state of Iraq?  Nothing more than the feeble forms of a merely political infrastructure in the capital and more feebly yet in some outlying cities. 

The Kurds which had been granted autonomy have all but declared outright independence.  So debased was the government in Baghdad that it’s “writ” over Kurdistan was reduced to acting as the middle-man for Kurdish oil sales thereby sustaining the fiction that the oil was “from Iraq.”  Now the Kurds have torn up even that paper napkin and have decided to sell their oil directly to international purchasers. 

What is really sweet is that the Caliphate controls the Ceyhaan pipeline through which a heft portion of Kurdish oil flows.  Now that is a “writ”.

In fact, the Caliphate did not even seize Mosul Dam from the fantasy government in Baghdad but from the Kurds. 

All material has a formal manifestation.  But when the core of a tree rots out, leaving only a husk of bark, the tree no longer actually exists.  The same may be said of “Iraq.”

The United States in its infinite imperial wisdom liberated Iraq into oblivion.  And now, the president simply babbles.

Among bubblier babble was the President’s call for the formation of an “all inclusive” government. 

What about ISIS? — Does ISIS not exist to be included?  There are three dominant ethnic groups in the territory known as “Iraq” — Kurds, Sunnis and Shia.  The government in Baghdad has been mostly a Shia affair.  The Kurds may be bought off sufficiently so as to “include” themselves in the Baghdad Follies.  But what of the Sunnis?  How can they be included without including ISIS which is first and foremost a Sunni movement?

What the government in Washington is evidently hoping is that enough “old guard” Sunnis can be persuaded to back away from ISIS and join the inanity in Baghdad that will be fobbed off as a “government.”  Washington is evidently banking on personal greed to entice establishmentarian Sunnis away from ISIS.  Some trappings of a sinecure, a house in a gated enclave, a Beamer and a bodyguard should be enough.  It usually is for these slimy types.  But that will not make the government any more real.  It will remain what it in fact is:  a gaggle of sleazy slime bags.

The irony of ironies is that the “old guard” Sunnis who are needed to maintain the fiction of an all-inclusive government of an equally fictitious Iraq are none other than Saddam Hussein’s old crowd.

So 1.7 trillion dollars later and the liberators of Iraq will be going hat in hand hoping to entice the evicted oppressors of yore to help make Iraq a “viable fiction.”

And what of the eminence noire in the whole affair?  At the moment, Israel is too busy slaughtering Gazans.  Perhaps it is doing so to distract itself from the catastrophe of its policy to “cut down” Iraq.

If Israel wants oil from Iraq, it will now have to negotiate with the Crazy of All Crazies.  More important than oil is water, and ISIS controls both the Tigris and Euphrates basins south of the Turkish border.  Since Turkey cancelled its proposed 20 year water-contract with Israel that leaves Israel looking at a high and dry future.

“Disaster” hardly does the work of the situation.  “Maelstrom” is more suitable which suddenly calls to mind a wood chip from 2003.

ISIS could vanish tomorrow.  Such is often the case with fanatical furies.  Or, it could be bombed into oblivion by a power for whom destruction has become a modus operandi, leaving one to wonder just how much more bombing sand and rubble can take.

Or, lastly, ISIS will restore a repressive, fundamentalist stability to the region and the West and Israel will simply have to swallow hard. 

By then Obama will be off and golfing and no longer providing the rest of us with comedic inanity.