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Bush to remake Middle East
March 21, 2003 8:07 AM   Subscribe

WSJ says war in Iraq really first step in grand scheme to remake the Middle East. Rumsfeld and Fleischer can still be seen on TV news implying "we just want them to disarm". More on What Makes W. Tick from The Atlantic.
posted by dand (37 comments total)

 
Is Iran next?

Link
posted by nofundy at 8:14 AM on March 21, 2003


If I may be so bold as to self-link (which is allowed in comments), here's more info about the PNAC.
posted by jpoulos at 8:23 AM on March 21, 2003


Hmmm....The WSJ is a little slow on the uptake on this one, I'd say. I've been hammering away at this point on Metafilter for months now, and I merely picked up the
"Grand Plan" story from (surprise, surprise) another blog or net alternative media source (I can't really recall now).

This news is so stale and crusty that, if it were a loaf of bread (better not French bread, though), it would be usefull as a murder weapon.

But it is news, I suppose, that the WSJ is lending it's imprimatur to the plan for US world empire.
posted by troutfishing at 8:25 AM on March 21, 2003


The Arrogant Empire: America’s unprecedented power scares the world, and the Bush administration has only made it worse. How we got here—and what we can do about it now.  [ By Fareed Zakaria, cover story, NEWSWEEK ]
posted by troutfishing at 8:29 AM on March 21, 2003


Required reading:

1. "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century," September 2000. A Report of the Project for the New American Century.

2. The National Security Strategy of the United States of America, 2002

3. Frontline's "The Long Road to War."

Also, get to know Paul Wolfowitz a little better.
posted by four panels at 8:31 AM on March 21, 2003


Without citing links or going into detail (no time/at work), I will second the notion that the "Grand Plan" is the buzz going around amongst the informed. The pursuit of "Muslim terrorist evil-doers" opens a doorway into any number of predominantly Muslim countries, doesn't it?
posted by Shane at 8:34 AM on March 21, 2003


darth vader is trumpeting the demise of the UN. when washington dc goes up in a puff of smoke or is carpeted with radioactivity - wont these warmonger a******s bare much of the responsibility?
posted by specialk420 at 8:40 AM on March 21, 2003


If Bush & co. truly, truly believe the reasons they've put forth for the war in Iraq then logical consistancy demands that they invade Iran. Which is frightening.

And now I'll present a self link on that subject (scroll to the bottom, if you're really interested)
posted by BigPicnic at 8:45 AM on March 21, 2003


Duhbya's primary foreign policy adviser in the Middle East is telling him to "Go, git 'em my personal little superpower!" So, Iran AND Syria could be next.
posted by nofundy at 8:47 AM on March 21, 2003


Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives is also a very interesting read along the same lines.

It is a really scary read but I am sure many in the Bush administration agree with much in this book.
posted by GreenDragon at 9:00 AM on March 21, 2003


i get the feeling the iranians may just overthrow their own government. uniquely among the nations in the region, the iranian population has become decreasingly radicalized and more openly desirous of genuine democracy and a more liberal society. a secularized, democratized neighbor may be the push they need.
posted by donkeyschlong at 9:01 AM on March 21, 2003


There's a beautifully ironic sentence halfway in:
" Uzi Arad, director of Israel's Institute of Policy and Strategy and former adviser to Mr. Netanyahu, followed the research closely. The result was what he now refers to as the "Theory of Democratic Peace," where the checks and balances built into democratic systems prevent a single individual from pursuing a militaristic course that leads to war."

This theory sure has worked well in the U.S. No single individuals pursuing a militaristic course that leads to war here, where we have the freedom to pull together massive protests in an unprecedented hurry. No sirree, we're a peace-loving country.
posted by Mars Saxman at 9:11 AM on March 21, 2003


Already all the rage back in october 2002: “Everyone wants to go to Bagdad. Real men want to go to Tehran.”
posted by ugly_n_sticky at 9:13 AM on March 21, 2003


If the US is warranted in pre-emptive military strikes due to the potential threats from potential enemies, are potential targets of US strikes warranted in pre-emptive strikes against the US?

More importantly, even if they are not warranted in striking us because of their lack of moral standing due to their control of their countries by force and not consensus, might they not feel warranted by the apparent threat to their personal regime?

In other words, have we, by our pre-emptive actions, increased the risk of terrorist attacks in the US from not non-governmental organizations, but in fact from threatened governments?

Is broadcasting all these threats to other nations decreasing American security at home?
posted by dglynn at 9:20 AM on March 21, 2003


His dream is to make the entire Middle East a different place, and one safer for American interests....making it more friendly to Washington and spreading democracy

Considering how much the average Middle Easterner hates Washington, aren't those two goals contradictory?

Not like we shouldn't strive for both, of course, but bombing is not the way to go.
posted by thewittyname at 9:20 AM on March 21, 2003


If Bush & co. truly, truly believe the reasons they've put forth for the war in Iraq then logical consistancy demands that they invade Iran.

Bet it'll turn out it was really Iranians, rather than Iraqis, who flew those jets into the World Trade Center!
posted by soyjoy at 9:23 AM on March 21, 2003


...the irony of the British position is Tony Blair appears to honestly believe that after Iraq, Bush and cronies will turn their attentions to a Palestinian State. I now see why people say Blair is courageous - you have to be bloody courageous to stake your political career and country's future on the word of George W. Bush.
posted by niceness at 9:31 AM on March 21, 2003


another thing that makes me question the whole 'we're gonna invade syria/iran' line of thinking is that the iranians and syrians have been cooperating with us against a-q behind the scenes. they're not our new best friends, but unlike iraq, there's been more than just white noise and radio silence from them.

there actually _was_ a case for slapping iraq down. it wasn't the case that was made, because our ruling junta are morons, but it exists nevertheless. the case against syria/iraq is not nearly as compelling. i mean, unless you're an israeli hawk. but then you're militant and nuts anyway. given the deafening roar of world defiance over even iraq, i don't think we could realistically advance on other countries in the same region. we've played our cards, too.

north korea, on the other hand....
posted by donkeyschlong at 9:34 AM on March 21, 2003


Five months ago:

Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has called on the international community to target Iran as soon as the imminent conflict with Iraq is complete.
In an interview with The Times , Mr Sharon insisted that Tehran — one of the “axis of evil” powers identified by President Bush — should be put under pressure “the day after” action against Baghdad ends
posted by matteo at 10:12 AM on March 21, 2003


donkeyschlong nailed it.
posted by mathis23 at 10:37 AM on March 21, 2003


Is Iran next?

Sure! They're right next door, and only one letter off. Iraq, Iran, what's the difference? First we attacked their neighbor to the east, now we're attacking their neighbor to the west.

If the US is warranted in pre-emptive military strikes due to the potential threats from potential enemies, are potential targets of US strikes warranted in pre-emptive strikes against the US?

Absolutely. By our logic, North Korea would be entirely justified in launching a preemptive strike against us.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:57 AM on March 21, 2003


the checks and balances built into democratic systems prevent a single individual from pursuing a militaristic course that leads to war.

obvious response from the usually suspect:

"The US is a republic, not a democracy."

Quite.
posted by riviera at 10:59 AM on March 21, 2003


a secularized, democratized neighbor may be the push they (Iranians) need.

This idea seems to be the new "Domino theory" of our time. The modification being that now countries won't fall to communism, but to secular democracy. It doesn't strike me as particularly convincing, since many authoritarian states live and thrive in democratic neighborhoods. (Cuba is only 180 km from the U.S., North Korea is neighbors with the second largest capitalist economy on Earth, etc...)

It would be one thing if the Iraqis overthrew Saddam themselves and built up a flourishing, secular democracy. I imagine that this would embolden a lot of Iranians to try the same. But watching Iraqis get their collective asses kicked around the desert, then occupied, then molded in the image of the west... I don't know how inspiring that would be.
posted by Ljubljana at 11:14 AM on March 21, 2003


the case against syria/iraq is not nearly as compelling

i meant syria/iran, of course.
posted by donkeyschlong at 11:22 AM on March 21, 2003


See how easy it is to mistake the two?...I can see it now:

Somewhere in the basement of the Pentagon, as a printer spits out orders to attack a Middle Eastern country, a fly lands under the printhead...

Tuttle/Buttle....Iraq/Iran...
posted by thewittyname at 11:40 AM on March 21, 2003


Is Iran next?

Chess Champion Garry Kasparov says it should be,and the US army shouldn't stop there.

Baghdad remains the nearest but not the last target. The list should also include Teheran, Damascus and, naturally, Er-Riyad.

I know lots of people discredit celebrity opinion on politics, but it's Garry Kasparov! He is a genuis. Only a computer can beat him at chess, and that's by cheating!
posted by wrench at 11:49 AM on March 21, 2003


Only a computer can beat him at chess, and that's by cheating!

Not true he was recently beaten by 15 year old Teimur Radjabov who told friends "I saw the fear in his eyes".
posted by niceness at 12:01 PM on March 21, 2003


kasparov should stick to playing chess. his political analysis is horrible.
posted by donkeyschlong at 12:19 PM on March 21, 2003


Oh spit. I saw his recent match against a computer where he got scared and quit. Had no idea that was his latest revolutionary strategy. No wonder he is in big debt.

Anyway, the commentator on the broadcast of his match mentioned Kasparov's political ideas and this thread reminded me of them, so I figured I would dig them up. Thanks for the update, niceness.
posted by wrench at 12:38 PM on March 21, 2003


From the Prospect: Is Iraq the opening salvo in a war to remake the world?
posted by homunculus at 1:26 PM on March 21, 2003


Also from the Prospect: Our very own 1914, to be followed by our very own 1898.
posted by homunculus at 1:46 PM on March 21, 2003


Iraq, Iran, what's the difference? First we attacked their neighbor to the east, now we're attacking their neighbor to the west.

Well, since someone has apparently managed to blow up an Iranian oil refinery, it looks like the US might not be waiting.
posted by riviera at 2:43 PM on March 21, 2003


Hommunculus, re "Is Iraq the opening salvo...." Its certainly an interesting article, but can you really take any analysis seriously that posists that Brazil will likely face US military pressure/action because it recently elected the "leftist" Lula? I mean, yes the are legitimate worries, but really?
posted by pjgulliver at 2:58 PM on March 21, 2003


"The US is a republic, not a democracy."

Republic is a superior form of democracy.
posted by VeGiTo at 3:05 PM on March 21, 2003


pjgulliver, I found the suggestion about Brazil and Ecuador pretty improbable too. But I take articles like this one statement at a time, so it doesn't invalidate the analysis as a whole for me. I take all predictions of the future with a grain of salt.

Regarding Iran, some Iranians are hopeful that they will indeed be part of the plan.
posted by homunculus at 4:32 PM on March 21, 2003


If the US is warranted in pre-emptive military strikes due to the potential threats from potential enemies, are potential targets of US strikes warranted in pre-emptive strikes against the US?

Given evidence that we were planning on going to war with the Taliban months before 9/11, one can argue that the attacks that day were themselves preemptive.

Given that other countries have more to fear from the U.S. than we do from them, the whole preemptive strike thing will likely backfire on us.

I was equally curious about whether Bush was prepared to accept the consequences back when he put political assassination back on the table as a legitimate practice.
posted by troybob at 5:32 PM on March 21, 2003


troybob - Michael Kinsley had some fitting words on this subject in Slate magazine: "Putting all this together, Bush is asserting the right of the United States to attack any country that may be a threat to it in five years. And the right of the United States to evaluate that risk and respond in its sole discretion. And the right of the president to make that decision on behalf of the United States in his sole discretion. In short, the president can start a war against anyone at any time, and no one has the right to stop him. And presumably other nations and future presidents have that same right. All formal constraints on war-making are officially defunct.

Well, so what? Isn't this the way the world works anyway? Isn't it naive and ultimately dangerous to deny that might makes right? Actually, no. Might is important, probably most important, but there are good, practical reasons for even might and right together to defer sometimes to procedure, law, and the judgment of others. Uncertainty is one. If we knew which babies would turn out to be murderous dictators, we could smother them in their cribs. If we knew which babies would turn out to be wise and judicious leaders, we could crown them dictator. In terms of the power he now claims, without significant challenge, George W. Bush is now the closest thing in a long time to dictator of the world. He claims to see the future as clearly as the past. Let's hope he's right."

posted by troutfishing at 7:29 PM on March 21, 2003


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