ROVING EYE Welcome to Hillary's
wars By Pepe Escobar
I would say, "I'm sorry, it's over. We
are not going to babysit a civil war." -
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary
Clinton, February 2007.
It's 2015, President Hillary Clinton is way into
her second term, and she is babysitting a savage
war still going on in still-occupied Iraq.
Hillary's de-escalation was half-hearted: she
opted for leaving tens of thousands of boots on
the ground to "fight al-Qaeda" and to "stabilize"
a Kurdistan mired for years in, what
else, total war after the
disastrous referendum in Kirkuk. After all, Sunni
Arabs and even a large percentage of Shi'ites
would never forget that the Kurds were always US
Clinton's "surge" - troops
basically concentrated in secluded US bases, with
more reliance on military contractors (now
ballooning to more than 150,000), plus an
all-around, nationwide air-strike campaign against
"terrorist" targets, Sunni and Shi'ite alike -
still has not delivered the expected results. The
president constantly reminds the nation, "General
David Petraeus told Congress the 'surge' will take
as much as 10 years to work, so we must be
patient." Thus all eyes are set on 2017.
The Iraqi government for its part still
does not and will never have enough funds to
rebuild the country's infrastructure destroyed by
George W Bush's and Hillary's war because billions
of dollars of the reconstruction budget simply
keep "disappearing" into US contractors' deep
pockets and those of their associated Iraqi
Hillary also has not been
exactly moved by the humanitarian catastrophe
unleashed by the war - which has killed,
conservatively, more than 1.5 million Iraqis and
internally displaced or exiled more than 5
million. Not to mention that according to Oxfam
now 70% of the overall population lives under the
poverty line. The president even performed a
Madeleine Albright: asked about the horrendous
cost in human lives, she told YouTube, "It's worth
it," as the most important thing was to "protect
the lives of the American people from Iraqi-based
terrorists". From Beijing, which is still
financing the US war effort, the authorities of
the soon-to-be-No 1 economy in the world quietly
Back to the future
It's 2007, and the latest "theater of the
apocalypse" White House concoction - appointing
Iran's 125,000-strong Iranian Revolutionary Guards
Corps (IRCG) as a "specially designated global
terrorist" group, once again making a mockery of
the 1945 United Nations Charter - has not raised
as many eyebrows as it should, either in the
United States or in the Middle East. It's as if
there were a sort of Dostoyevskian resignation in
the air that 2008 is destined to become yet
another year of illegal, preemptive war.
From the point of view of the messianic
Bush administration, it's all covered under the
post-September 11, 2001, congressional
authorization for war against terror groups.
Future president Hillary is also in favor.
Perennial presidential candidate John "can a white
man still be president?" Edwards, who voted for
war on Iraq when he was a member of the Senate
Intelligence Committee, is also part of the Donald
Rumsfeld-inspired "all options are on the table"
club as far as Iran is concerned.
presidential candidate Barack Obama - but he would
rather unleash an anti-al-Qaeda cruise-missile
barrage, Bill Clinton-style, over North and South
Waziristan in the Pakistani tribal areas.
Even barring the surrealist masterpiece
that the IRGC trained thousands of paramilitary
Badr Brigades who are ensconced at Iraq's Ministry
of Interior (death squads included) and thus
aligned with "Americastan in Iraq", the White
House doesn't have a clue what it's up against.
The IRGC is no rag-tag army, but a disciplined
part of Iran's elite and society. This is a
declaration of war on Iran. It's as if French
President Nicolas Sarkozy declared war on the US
White House logic spells a
preemptive attack on the IRGC as setting off a new
popular Iranian revolution and the the fall of the
ayatollahs. Anyone remotely familiar with the
complexity of Iranian society and the pull of
national pride knows this will not happen.
Well, that's just a detail. The Pentagon
has been desperately spinning for months that
IRGC-supplied explosive formed projectiles, or
shaped charges, capable of making minced meat out
of an Abrams tank, are killing American soldiers
There's no conclusive proof. Why
bother? Once again - as in the buildup toward war
on Iraq - "facts" will have to conform to a
predetermined decision, and this has been the
anointed casus belli du jour for an attack
on Iran. Moreover, the IRGC helped Hezbollah to
win the war against Israel in the summer of 2006.
That should be "proof" enough of its evil
As for a "Hillary with balls"
persona who voted for the war on Iraq and
wholeheartedly supports a zillion-dollar
missile-defense system, she may be just winning a
war of political positioning. Or she may actually
mean it. Presidential candidate Hillary, with her
eyes already on the history books, knows as much
as anyone in the US establishment that the US
hyperpower, declining or not, simply cannot accept
a majority-Shi'ite Iraqi government closely
aligned with an Islamic Republic of Iran.
So might as well quietly approve the
induction of the IRGC into the Hall of Terror. If
the subsequent "surge" for regime change in Iran
does not work - as it won't - she can always grab
the limelight later, and do it the Clinton way.