Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Success is So Forbidding, but It Makes Me Think I'm Winning
A funny thing happened on the floor of the Senate last week. Somebody asked a serious question: "If the war in Iraq is lost, then who won?"
Of course Sen. Lindsay Graham, the guy who asked the question, didn't mean it to be serious. He was just scoring points off Harry Reid, the world's only Democratic Mormon. Reid had made a "gaffe" by saying in public what everybody already knows: "The war in Iraq is lost." When you say something obviously true in politics, it's called a "gaffe." [emphasis added]
Nevertheless, Mssr. Brecher, in his typically irreverent style, provides the answer to Graham's botched attempt at a rhetorical question:
But let's take the question seriously for a second here: who won in Iraq? To answer it, you have to start with a close-up of the region, then change magnification to look at the world picture. At a regional level the big winner is obvious: Iran. In fact, Iran wins so big in this war that I've already said that Dick Cheney's DNA should be checked out by a reputable lab, because he has to be a Persian mole. My theory is that they took a fiery young Revolutionary Guard from the slums of Tehran, dipped him in a vat of lye to get that pale, pasty Anglo skin, zapped his scalp for that authentic bald CEO look, squirted a quart of cholesterol into his arteries so he'd develop classic American cardiac disease, and parachuted him into the outskirts of some Wyoming town. And that's how our VP was born again, a half-frozen zombie with sagebrush twigs in his jumpsuit, stumbling into the first all-night coffee shop in Casper talking American with a Persian accent: "Hello my friends! Er, I mean, hello my fellow Americans! Coffee? I will have coffee at once, indeed, and is not free enterprise a glorious thing? Say, O brethren of the frosty tundra, what do you say we finish our donuts and march on Baghdad now, this very moment, to remove the Baathist abomination Saddam?"
It took a couple years for Cheney-ajad to get his American accent right and chew his way into Bush Jr.'s head, but he made it like one of Khan's earwigs, got us to do the Ayatollahs' dirty work for them by taking out Iraq, their only rival for regional power. Iraq is destroyed, and Tehran hasn't lost a single soldier in the process. Our invasion put their natural allies, the Shia, in power; gave their natural enemies, the Iraqi Sunni, a blood-draining feud that will never end; and provided them with a risk-free laboratory to spy on American forces in action. If they feel like trying out a new weapon or tactic to deal with U.S. armor, all they have to do is feed the supplies or diagrams to one of their puppet Shia groups, or even one of the Sunni suicide-commando clans.
And then the macro-lens view:
The rest, as they say, is well worth the read...
So the [other] likely winner of a war like this is an up-n-coming world economic power that has been investing in its own economy while we blow a trillion - yep, a trillion - dollars on nothing. Not hard to figure out who the likely suspects are here.
China understands that an army is most effective when kept penned in and on parade, rather than riding around a hostile, far-away country.
The answer to "Who won Iraq?" is Iran in the short run, and in the long run, China and India.While we flounder around in the Dust Bowl, they've been running up their reserves, putting the money into infrastructure and bullion.