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September 04, 2006



In addition to Sistani's latest, I would also refer you to Professor Cole's place, and have you read the posting about the Israeli scheme to attack Syria and Iran.

Dr. Cole considers this extremely dangerous, simply by the tone he uses in the posting.

Emptywheel, I am sure you are aware of my strident anti-war position. I contend that we lost control of the occupation the moment the Abu Ghraib photos were released internationally, and our mission since then has been daily amplification of the degree of failure we are suffering.

2647 dead US troops the last I read at the casualty counter. When it stops is up to the voters. But emptywheel, we are going nowhere in Iraq. Iran has been the big winner. If Israel is deceived again by the neo-con warhawks and does attack Syria the big winner will be the Muslim Brotherhood, and the overwhelming Sunni majority of Syria and not the Shia or Ba'athists.

If anyone lights off a spark over there with some stupidly ignorant bravado, that 2647 number is going to look like a "good day" by comparison.

We face a towering peril, and it is not from terrorists, nor Iran, nor radical Islam, but far more from the belligerance and incompetance of George W. Bush, his "team," and his allies.


I just looked at the casualty counter.

My God, we're up to 2653 already.

And it started over lies and jingoism.

Juan Cole's posts, especially the one about Sistani, are icreasingly pessimistic. Iraqis are leaving Baghdad and going to Kurdistan, which will soon try to pull up the drawbridge.

Perle's comments and the supposed Israeli push into Syria sounds like someone's pipe dream, given that the Israeli government's conduct of the last war is under investigation and the government is in chaos.

But Iraq is deteriorating fast, and that is very serious.

Just an observation, from a 'global' perspective: carbon dioxide combines with seawater to form a weak acid (carbonic acid). This releases hydrogen ions, which build up, making the seawater more acidic. Move the acidity level one unit along the pH scale, and you actually have a ten-fold increase (or decrease) in concentration. (In other words, changes are not simply a linear 1 + 1 + 1; changes occur in magnitudes: 1 + 10 + 100 log scale). Things get toxic in a hurry.

When I think of what must be happening to the soils throughout Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, and the Near East, then add global warming -- which means less snow in the Himilayas, which in turn means less water coming down to nourish the soils, it sickens me. There are chemical processes at work that are cause for deep concern.

The political disturbances lend themselves to media reports, whereas the more ominous indications are soil temperatures, soil acidity measures, soil absorbtion rates, stream flow levels. The region is undergoing profound environmental degradation; Sistani is a political symptom of more ominous alterations. I doubt the news of Sistani is simply a linear shift; I assume this is the social equivilent of one move along the pH scale -- a tenfold increase in social toxicity.


Lest we forget that we are going nowhere fast.

This video from Iraq

This widely ridiculed video from Iraq dating from the time of the Nick Berg killing is a sobering reminder of just how little we have come in Iraq.

It was ridiculed then, but how sadly prescient it is now.

AP today: Authorities found the tortured, blindfolded bodies of 33 men scattered across Baghdad Monday and the U.S.-led coalition said eight troops had died, a day after
Iraq said the capture of a top terror suspect would reduce violence.

Sistani is expressing frustration at the slide into civil war in Iraq and the consequences for innocent Iraqi families caught in the middle who pay the ultimate price.

The recent fire fights in Diwaniyah between the Iraqi "military" and the Sadr militia are instructive. Sistani called for restraint but nothing happened. The governor had to make a deal with Sadr.

There is not only a civil war between Sunni and Shia. There is a war between different factions of Shia - Sadr & SCIRI. There is another war between the Kurds & the Arabs & Turcomen, which will explode further when the Kurds annex Kirkuk and the oil wells there.

Bush/Cheney and the neocons have unleashed the dogs of war. The situation is so complicated with all these factions fighting each other that it can't be neatly stereotyped and then add in all the external actors like Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt weighing in on various Sunni factions and the Iranians probably both directly and indirectly playing a major role and of course the Syrians. What we are likely to see is a bloodbath maybe 1-2 million civilians killed in the conflict. A possibility of it spreading to the neighboring countries. Eastern Saudi Arabia with its majority Shia who have serious grievances with the Sunni royals is a good example. It just so happens that is where the majority of Saudi oil production comes from. Iraq is disintegrating before our very eyes and our government light the fire.

I don't blame Iraqis for fleeing to Kurdistan; it's the least unsafe, most stable piece of Iraq right now, and likely to remain so. I also don't blame Kurdistan for planning to raise the drawbridge once the refugees start arriving en masse, because just letting everyone in is a sure recipe for getting dragged into the civil war.

I do wonder, though, what if anything Turkey will do. They've made it clear they don't want a de facto Kurdish state on their border, for fear it'll give Turkish Kurds ideas. But a Kurdistan destabilized by too many refugees would, I think, be even worse from Turkey's perspective, because that would mean Iraq's civil war could spill over the border into Turkey.

Jesus, what a mess.

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