Friday, October 8, 2004

Disturbing thoughts on Iraq & the war

Just read this article, You Call That a Major Policy Address? and am having several disturbing ideas.

The article starts off complaining about the weakness of the Bush Administrations statements this week. As the article says, "Most presidents would want to deliver, right about now, a major address on the war against terror and the war in Iraq. In the last few days, one blow after another has struck the very foundations of Bush's policies. The fact that, under the circumstances, Bush didn't deliver a major policy address after all, despite his advance word, should embarrass not only CNN and MSNBC but, still more, President Bush."

But, wait, there's more. It's not just the recounting of this weeks blows to the Bush Administration. They are serious blows, such as Paul Bremer claiming we didn't have enough troops on the ground to do the job properly in Iraq. Nor the NY Times analysis of the aluminum-tubes-for-uranium-centrifuge claim which was a key part of the administration's justification for the war (they with their mushroom cloud rhetoric).

No, the most disturbing part of the article is discussion of Zarqawi, his al Qaeda affiliated movement in Iraq, and the U.S. plans to bomb his camps in northern Iraq. Zarqawi has been held to be the mastermind of the geurilla activity against the U.S. occupation of Iraq. In the past pattern the U.S. has followed of demonizing enemies, Zarqawi is the new demon (with Saddaam Hussein and Osama bin Laden having filled this role before).

But, wait, the article says that the U.S. had plans to bomb his camps before the invasion (NBC News, March 2004). Having removed Zarqawi from the scene early would have done two things. It would have made the current activities in Iraq easier, well, that's assuming that the administration is being truthful about Zarqawi's activities today. In any case, if his organization in Iraq had been removed early then they wouldn't have been able to do anything today. Well, except that during the invasion Hussein's special forces threw down their arms and faded into the woodwork largely uncaptured, so perhaps those special forces would have regrouped and formed a geurilla organization anyway, and as a matter of point maybe it is those special forces which have formed the current geurilla organization fighting U.S. occupation?

The second thing removing Zarqawi's organization would have done is to remove the justification for invading Iraq. See, one of the claims we presented to the world justifying the war in Iraq (Colin Powells speech to the U.N. Security Council) was that Iraq and al Qaeda were in cahoots, and had planned the 9/11 attack together. The claim was based on the presence of Zarqawi's group, Ansar al-Islam, in northern Iraq. However, as I discussed on my own web site in August 2003, that claim along with the rest of Powells claims were bunk. In particular Zarqawi's group operated in far northern Iraq, near the Iran border, in an area more controlled by Kurdish and U.S. forces than the Iraqi forces. Ansar al-Islam could hardly have been in Iraq under blessing from Saddam Hussein or his government, because his government did not control the territory that Zarqawi operated from. Further it's known that Zarqawi saw Hussein and his government as an enemy just as they view the U.S. as an enemy.

As the article says, the U.S. could have removed Zarqawi but didn't so that the justification for the war in Iraq would be preserved.

Now, here's where my thinking gets very disturbed. The refusal to do much about al Qaeda and its affiliate groups goes further back than Zarqawi and his group in Iraq.

The Bush family and other U.S. elite have long-running ties to the Saudi elite, including the bin Laden family. The ties were presented to the public in Fahrenheit 9/11 relying on Craig Unger and his book House of Bush, House of Saud for sourcing material. For example GHW Bush has been a lead partner with the Carlysle Group, a company in which the bin Laden family had a lot of investment. Also GW Bush was bailed out of his financial troubles while failing at various business by one or more of the bin Laden brothers.

Next, Osama bin Laden started the mujahadeen movement in Afghanistan to push the Russians out. This was covered in Richard Clarkes book Against All Enemies. Osama had approval from the highest of Saudi royalty to set up the operation in Afghanistan. The U.S. provided material and training to his troops, but had to do the supply and training activities in Pakistan to keep U.S. troops from entering Afghanistan and risking being in direct conflict with Russian troops. The funding came from the Saudi elite in general.

The Wahabi Islamic movement is the fundamentalist arm of Islam. They are kind of like the rabid Christian fundamentalists who bomb abortion clinics and the like in the U.S. The Wahabi's get a lot of funding from the same Saudi elite, and it is from the Wahabi schools which Osama draws his troops.

Most of the 9/11 activists were Saudi nationals.

The Bush administration stonewalled indepth investigation of the 9/11 tragedy. In Florida in 2000, the Bush campaign actively courted support from Islamics including Sami al-Arian who was at the time accused of being a terrorist funder and organizer, and has since been arrested and put on trial.

In other words, what's really going on here? Why are the Saudi connected terrorist organizations being given leeway and not attacked as completely as they might? Why was the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, for which we had broad international support, so under staffed, under funded, and did not succeed in removing the Taliban nor al Qaeda from power? That is, why is Hamid Kharzai little more than the mayor of Kabul, why have the elections in Afghanistan never happened, and why is there still fighting going on there?