Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Oh crap

President Cheney and his sick, sad ventriloquist's dummy still have their friends at Faux News, plus Mitch McConnell, an old guard of decrepit warriors who are still out for revenge for eating bitterness in Vietnam -- and of course their little band of armchair sociopaths in right-wing hate radio and the badlands of the Internet. But they've finally lost the higher class whore media, the respectable academic war party, the majority of the public which is not insane, and even Sam Brownback. Hell, even Jellyfish Joe Biden has suddenly evolved a spine. (And see my post on the cnidarians for what else he must have acquired.)

So they can't get away with this shit any more, right? On the contrary, it looks like they're going all in. Their present predicament has them imprisoned in contradictions. The Iraqi government that they have stood up, that they are arming, which they claim they are proposing to join in "securing" Baghdad has no interest whatsoever in Iraq, and even less in the "nascent democracy" that Chimpy McCarthy talked about last night. It represents Shiite sectarianism, allied with the separatist goals of the Kurdish parties. Prime Minster Maliki and Chimpy's new best friend Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, leaders of the two largest factions in parliament, also happen to be closely allied with Iran, the next target along the Axis of Evil. The only true Iraqi nationalist leader among the Shia, and opponent of Iranian influence, is Muqtada al-Sadr, whose movement and militia are also lined up in the gunsights as the principal target of the proposed escalation of the war.

So what's the plan? They've already raided the Iranian consulate in Irbil, deeply angering the Kurdish government which is their closest ally in Iraq and which is supposed to contribute two brigades to the cleansing of Baghdad.* Somehow they propose to use military force to sever the alliances between the governing Iraqi factions and Iran, while simultaneously continuing to prop up those factions with U.S. arms and starting a new war with the anti-Iranian Sadrists. If this doesn't seem to make any sense, well, it doesn't.

But they intend to accomplish this by bombing Iran from aircraft carriers, and quite possibly from the huge air bases they maintain inside Iraq, thereby proving that you can't mess with them and that the Shiite government had better rethink its alliances, or they might just turn those tank barrels around. It's a play based on pure power and naked aggression. The likely result? I don't want even to think about the worst. But that seems pretty clearly to be the plan.

Is it insane? Absolutely. Can Joe Biden stop it? Absolutely not. As they have already said, they're an empire. They create their own reality. However clear it may be to the rest of us that reality has its own ideas, they still deny it. The only way they can learn, it seems, is the really, really, really hard way.

*The Kurdish leadership is actually friendly with Iran, because of the history of having Saddam Hussein as a common enemy. Iran has apparently been providing material support to the Kurdish army, the Peshmerga, and the Kurds in return are helping to suppress irredentism among the Iranian Kurdish minority. Iran also provides support to the Badr Brigade, which it helped to found. But in so doing, they're just assisting the U.S., which is also supporting both of those organizations in their guise as components of the Iraqi army. It's all completely nuts.

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