War With Iran Is Next on Bush’s Agenda


            With the use of information analysis, there is a more coherent narrative of events in the Middle East than is currently being offered by the commercial mass media.


            Bush ran for president in 2000 on a war platform.  He criticized the Clinton Administration for investing too much time and attention in the Middle East.  When asked if he favored peace in the Middle East, Bush answered, “Yes, but on their timetable, not ours.” [Note: Bush also supported Musharaff’s military coup against Nawaz Sharif’s democratically elected government in Pakistan in 1999 because he said it would “promote stability in the area.”  How wrong can one man be?]  In effect, Bush was telling people who had been under illegal occupation for 33 years that he was in no hurry to bring THEM freedom and democracy.  Bush lost the election by over half a million votes (national interest does not change depending on internal distribution of the votes), so the Supreme Court and Al Gore prevented the American people from defending themselves by allowing the loser to become president.  (But it really strengthened the Two Party System and changed the constitution without any help from the states or voters.)


            September 11 refocused Bush’s attention on the Middle East.  He went to Ariel Sharon, the Prime Minister of Israel and convicted war criminal, and asked him to make concessions to the Palestinians.  Sharon said he couldn’t because of big, bad Saddam Hussein with his Scud missiles that had actually been fired at Israel during the 1991 Gulf War (forgetting, of course, that Israel had attacked Iraq and destroyed its French built Osirik nuclear reactor in 1981.)  Bush said, ok and attacked Iraq, overthrowing Saddam Hussein.  In return, Israel evacuated Gaza.


            The only problem is that Israel really always considered Iran, not Iraq, to be the main threat in the Arab world.  Some in Israel did not support the United States overthrow of Iraq, foreseeing, accurately, that a weakened Iraq might fall apart, with the Shiites in the south joining Iran and the Kurds in the north becoming autonomous or joining with the Kurds in Syria, Turkey and Iran in a bid for their own state.  Anyone who was paying attention could have predicted that suicide bombers and guerilla warfare might tear Iraq apart in the wake of a United States invasion. (It happened in Lebanon and on the West Bank and in Gaza and Israel, so it didn’t take a rocket scientist to see that that tactic might be copied in Iraq.)


            In other words, the invasion of Iraq and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein actually has strengthened Iran.  In the past, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia were the three heavyweights in the Persian Gulf area.  When one got too strong, the other two would unite against it, like the Saudis supported Iraq during the war with Iran from 1980 to 1988.


            Now that Iraq, Iran’s traditional enemy, has been destroyed by Iran’s other traditional enemy, the United States, the Iranians are in a stronger position than ever.  Also, the Iranians, who helped the United States with its invasion of Afghanistan, were enraged and insulted when Bush label it part of the “axis of evil.”  That’s why the moderates lost the presidency in Iran.  They went out on a limb to help the United States and were rewarded with insults. 


            That is why the Israelis effectively destroyed any chance of peace with the Palestinians by invading Jericho this week.  It has humiliated the moderate Palestinians, like President Mahmoud Abbas, and pushed the entire Palestinian population toward Hamas, just as the United States undermined the moderates in Iran.  Both Israel and the United States want war with Iran.  With the United States mired in Iraq, Israel is anxious to figure out a way to push the US into expanding the war into Iran.  Ruling out any accommodation with the Palestinians is a good way to inflame the Arabs.  The Israelis have never been interested in peace anyway.  At least, when peacemakers like Yitzak Rabin were in control, they were assassinated, not by Arab terrorists, but by Jewish terrorists who, unlike unlucky 8 and 11 year old bystanders on the West Bank and in Gaza, do not get the death penalty.  And if anyone asks Israel to make any more accommodations with the Palestinians, it will refuse and cite the threat from Iran as the reason accommodation is impossible.


            And Bush, who is totally contemptuous of everyone, including the American people from whom he stole the White House in spite of losing the election, plods on from one disaster to the next as if each was a great success and is all too willing and anxious to expand his “democratizing mission” by military force into Iran.  [Remember, the United States has already overthrown a democratically elected government in Iran in 1953, and installed the Shah, a dictator who ruled with a secret police that tortured people that was trained by the CIA.]  At the moment, Bush is making the same diplomatic noises that he made toward Iraq while preparing for the military attack he feels is required by his “pre-emptive” philosophy.  Justin Frank, in his book BUSH ON THE COUCH, predicted that Bush would react to setbacks by becoming even more aggressive.  This is borne out by the facts.  The more Bush makes a mess of things, the budget, the aid to Louisiana, the economy, the war in Iraq, the more he acts like everything he does is right and a success.  For normal people like you and me, the failure of the Iraq war would be a cause for caution.  Not for Bush.  The bigger the disaster in Iraq, the more compelling war with Iran seems to him and his isolated coterie of people who create their own reality.  What ever happened to Karl Rove?  Of course, this is the logical consequences of having the person rejected by the voters assume the office of president.  This is Bush’s major priority for the rest of his term, how to lead the United States into a permanent colonial war in the Middle East.  This is going to be a long, long war.


            Personal note:  In 1962, I had the opportunity to spend spring break in Houston, Texas.  My father, a musician, was performing with the Houston Symphony.  After one concert, we went to a party at a rich person’s house in River Oaks.  I was 16 years old at that time and got into a discussion with the hostess who asked me the routine questions, where did I go to school, etc.  After a few minutes the hostess, in her thick Texas drawl, said, “Yew smawt, yew shud go to Le Rose.  The Shaw sends his children to Le Rose.”  And that’s how I first heard about the Shah of Iran, in Houston, Texas in 1962.  Houston would soon be represented in the House of Representatives by George Bush.  Le Rose is a private school in Switzerland for the children of the extremely rich.  It has two campuses: one in Geneva on the lake for the spring and fall and the other in Gstaad in the mountains for the winter so that the ski slopes are nearby for after class activities.  Houston, 1962, think about it.


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Contact: Joshua Leinsdorf