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George Bush made a detour to Anbar Province, Iraq, en route to the upcoming Australian summit. He spoke there encouragingly about the progress achieved by his policies. Anbar is no doubt a success story. In large measure that is because a number of groups previously identified by the U.S. as “the enemy” are no longer viewed as “the enemy.” They remain opposed to the Maliki Government in Baghdad. But they cooperate with U.S. in efforts targeting Salafi organizations. There is certainly good news in Anbar, but this is still a great demonstration of our ability to declare victory simply by redefining expectations.
Still, why the unannounced sudden stop in Iraq? A few explanations. One, Bush announced what the so-called Petraeus Report will tell us. Evidently, the Surge is a success and this will justify a draw-down before the end of the year. So no need for General Petraeus to finish up that report; we know what it will say.
But here’s the news that may be lurking just behind the news. Military commanders urged a draw-down to occur before the commencement of military operations against Iran. Bush is accepting this recommendation only because he has mentally committed to an aerial campaign against Iran. He will therefore follow the general’s advice to get soldiers out of harm’s way, off to positions which are more secure in the event of an Iranian counterattack.
Throughout the Gulf area, moves are underway at this moment which are consistent with preparation for an aerial assault on Iran.
And how will the Bush appearance in Anbar be understood inside of the region? Bush aligns himself with Iraq’s Sunni minority, against the Shi’a Government in Baghdad, and in preparation for a massive attack on Shi’a Iran. We’re witnessing the latest dramatic summersault in U.S. policy on Iraq, and most of our brain dead punditry on the Potomac hardly even seem to notice.
Bush and his core White House team have come to a key conclusion. The Iraq War is going very poorly. Time for a new war.
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — August 5, 2016, 12:08 pm
Sidney Blumenthal on the origins of the Republican Party, the fallout from Clinton’s emails, and his new biography of Abraham Lincoln
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Number of mine-detecting monkeys erroneously reported to have been given to the United States by Morocco in March:
The Pacific trade winds are weakening as a result of global warming.
In the United States, legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act was advanced by the House Ways and Means Committee after 18 hours of deliberation, during which time the Republican members of Congress passed around candy.
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"It is an interesting and somewhat macabre parlor game to play at a large gathering of one’s acquaintances: to speculate who in a showdown would go Nazi. By now, I think I know. I have gone through the experience many times—in Germany, in Austria, and in France. I have come to know the types: the born Nazis, the Nazis whom democracy itself has created, the certain-to-be fellow-travelers. And I also know those who never, under any conceivable circumstances, would become Nazis."