Tuesday, October 23, 2007

World War III: The Pot is Starting to Boil

Hang on to your hats, folks! The glorious little war that Junior Bush and his neo-conservative bantam cocks started as their own geo-political mega-Viagra is on the verge of spreading. If it all plays out, the conflict could dwarf the global war that raged from 1937 to 1945. As much as the term is overused nowadays, "perfect storm" seems to apply here. Consider:

Kurdish territory is spread across many different Middle East nations
The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), who have a long-running feud with the Turkish government, have allegedly been attacking locations in Turkey from Kurdish territory in Iraq. The Bush administration, in its latest hypocrisy, has urged Turkey not to violate Iraq's borders, even though the Turks are being attacked militarily. The ineffectual Iraqi government has vowed to crack down on these separatists in an attempt to forestall a threatened Turkish invasion of Iraqi territory.

"I am not satisfied that an alliance whose members have over 2 million soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen cannot find the modest additional resources that have been committed for Afghanistan." --Robert Gates, October 22, 2007
In Afghanistan, the Bush-installed Karzai regime has no power beyond the confines of Kabul, while the war continues against a resurgent Taliban. The Europeans and Canadians, although suspicious of the Bush administration, have previously committed themselves to that conflict when, shortly after 911, they invoked the NATO mutual defense clause. Now, they are stuck, like a child with his fingers in a Chinese finger trap, unable to get out and subjected to humiliating admonishments from US Defense Secretary Robert Gates for not doing enough.
They love to party in Karachi
The perpetually unstable (and nuclear-armed) Pakistan seems to be a lot more wobbly of late. Pervez Musharraf, Bush's favorite military strongman, is like an acrobat on a tightrope, teetering in a gust of wind. Radical elements recently tried to assassinate former prime minister, and western-friendly, Benazir Bhutto in a horrifying suicide bomb attack that killed over 130 people.

And just to keep things interesting, Israel recently conducted an air raid against targets in Syria with the tacit approval of the Bush administration. This was supposedly in response to a joint North Korean-Syrian "project" to which Likud party leader Binyamin Netanyahu and former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton attested. (As if that were enough.)

What do you see in his eyes now, Junior?
Lastly, and most interestingly, speculation continues about the intentions of the Bush administration regarding Iran. The drumbeat against Iran sounds eerily familiar to that used against Saddam Hussein pre-invasion: allegations of ties to terrorists, nuclear weapons programs. Vladimir Putin, the former KGB agent and current President of Russia, has been pretty chummy with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad lately, much to Junior's chagrin. This is undoubtedly in retaliation for the Bush administration's plans to implement a "missile defense shield" in Eastern Europe, which Putin says cannot be tolerated.

So, just outlining all of this, we have conflict involving Turkey, Iraq, Afghanistan, NATO, Pakistan, Syria, Israel, Iran, and Russia. Of course, there are other factors and interests that have yet to be weighed: Anything that involves an unstable Pakistan concerns India, which is also nuclear-armed. The Chinese, to this point, have been relatively silent, but one can be sure that they are watching. The Saudis, no doubt, are lobbying their sympathizers in the administration to be sure that their wealth is protected.

In short, the potential for a global conflict is there. The trigger might be a spectacular attack by fanatics, a Turkish incursion into Iraq, or more Israeli cowboy diplomacy. But we are balanced on the tip of the needle.

She's gonna save us?
One can hope for the best: Perhaps Congress and the Judiciary will finally find the stones to pin down the Bush administration on its myriad impeachable offenses and remove it from power. Or, although I believe most of the American public (indeed most of the world) is beyond hoping that the Bush administration has the wit and capability to find a way out, I suppose there is still some faint possibility it can avoid or at least stall the onset of global war until a more responsible party replaces it. But that hope is faint when you consider these 5 words: Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.

No. I think our best and only hope, at this point, is that the sanity of normal, everyday people will win out. Perhaps Americans have had enough war now, after 4 fruitless years in Iraq, and will forestall any further madness. Remember the days before the Iraq war, when the people took to the streets in huge numbers? Some of the protests involved millions. Well, at some point, if this conflict is to be avoided, it's going to take an even bigger and more sustained effort. It's going to take people getting out in the street and staying there; clogging transportation, shutting down the infrastructure, demanding change.

The time is coming. Figure out where you stand and be ready.

1 comment:

sponge888 said...

With the soaring costs of the Iraq War, I think that we should get the heck out of missile defense systems. Despite the pullback of US domination in world politics, let's let the Europeans defend themselves. They should be paying for that defense system, if it's required that is.If it's for attacking the middle east, heck we've still got ICBMs to scare the bejeezus out of them, right?