Column No. 88 By Steven Jonas, MD, MPH - December 10, 2005

Since the time of 9/11, starting with comments made by Attorney General Ashcroft very early on, the Georgite line of attack on critics of their foreign policy in general and their Iraq policy in particular has been that such people are traitors.  It has remained the same until very recently, except that in the attacks on Rep. John Murtha in Congress for calling for a planned withdrawal from Iraq by a date certain, a Bush attack-dog from Ohio added the word “coward.” Dick Cheney has been a prime promulgator of the “traitor” line, pursuing it evermore viciously in recent weeks as the situation on the ground in Iraq continues to deteriorate, American troops continue to die, and the poll numbers both for him and his titular President continue to seriously erode.

Then, all of a sudden, over the weekend of Nov. 19-20, 2005, things changed. Bush, overseas no less, visiting that well-known world power Mongolia (well, it was one in the 12th and 13th centuries under Genghis Kahn and his sons, who were just a tad more competent, but no less brutal than George, Sr. and his offspring), went out of his way to call Cong. Murtha a patriot. Dick Cheney was still on the attack, but suddenly going in a new direction, too (of course by coincidence, pure coincidence: who says that Karl Rove is totally preoccupied in talking with his lawyers [although may change soon]).  Cheney’s attacks, with possibly even more venom than this venomous man usually puts forth, were focused on those critics of the War who are and have been for quite some time calling the Georgites liars. And the chosen epithets changed from “traitors and cowards,” to “corrupt,” “shameless,” and “reprehensible.” “Totally reprehensible,” he said, in charging the Georgite critics with lying about the Georgite lying.  Why this sharp turn in the direction of attack, one might ask?

It is becoming evermore clear to evermore people that the Georgites lied the US and its "coalition” partners into the war. An excellent all-round source on the War on Iraq and the Bushevik lies that led to it is: After Downing Street. For a superb brief summary of the Georgite lies, both those that got the US into the war and those being spewed forth now about that series of events and what really happened, see also “Dishonest, Reprehensible, Corrupt. . .” by Frank Rich, New York Times, 11/27/05 (subscription service).  Then consider this recent item by Rupert Cornwell that appeared in The Independent (UK) on Monday 21 November 2005, entitled “White House Used 'Gossip' to Build Case for War:

“The controversy in America over pre-war intelligence has intensified, with revelations that the Bush administration exaggerated the claims of a key source on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction, despite repeated warnings before the invasion that his information was at best dubious, if not downright wrong.  The disclosure, in The Los Angeles Times, came after a week of vitriolic debate on Iraq, amid growing demands for a speedy withdrawal of US troops and tirades from Bush spokesmen who all but branded as a traitor anyone who suggested that intelligence was deliberately skewed to make the case for war.  Yesterday, Donald Rumsfeld, the Defence Secretary, joined the fray, saying that talk of manipulation of intelligence ‘does great disservice to the country.’  In Beijing, President George Bush said that a speedy pullout was ‘a recipe for disaster’ - but the proportion of Americans wanting precisely that (52 per cent according to a new poll) is now higher than wanted similar action in 1970, at the height of the Vietnam war.”

A “recipe for disaster” it may be to Bush, publicly.  But it is becoming evermore clear that a pull-out of US forces by the 2006 elections is exactly what the Georgites are suddenly now focusing on (Agence France Presse, “White House Has Withdrawal Plan,” Nov. 28, 2005). That they are is the reason for the sudden change in the content of their attacks on their Iraq War.   But further: why, you might ask, the sudden change in their own Iraq War policy?  Obviously, for political reasons: those polls and the fact that even certain Republicans are beginning to abandon ship tell the tale.  Remember –- only part of the reason for the Iraq invasion was to implement the Project for the New American Century/Neocon plan for US Middle East domination, set forth in the mid-90s. The other reason was, as Andrew Card politely told the press in August, 2002, to influence the Congressional elections of that year with a “new product line” (his words), the Iraq Attack Plan,  that would be “rolled out” at the right time, September.

Today, Bush will continue to tell the American people that we have to “stay the course,” even as he is withdrawing our troops with, it is to be hoped, a reduction in American casualties.  Yes, very unusually for this man, he will be telling his fans one thing while he does quite another.  But regardless of what he says or doesn’t say, once the Georgites have started withdrawing, the major and real foreign policy issue for the 2006 US elections will no longer be withdrawal.  It will be how the US got into the War, with the subsequent death, destruction, and vast expenditures, in the first place. It will be about getting a Democratic majority in at least one House of Congress so that a serious investigation of the lies, the waste, the death and the deception used by the Bushites, possibly leading to criminal prosecution and even impeachment (if the Democrats can again gain control the House of Representatives).  The Georgites see this, they know this, and that is why the line suddenly changed from “critics are traitors” to “those who charge us with lying are reprehensible.” It is this “how dare you” line that will be front and center as they rally their fundamentalist Christian Rightist troops and set up their election day fixes to continue to promote their version of “democracy,” both in Iraq and the United States.

OK, withdrawal, one might say, isn’t that a good idea?  On paper, yes –- but the way the Georgites will be doing it, possibly not so good.  Totally ironic is the fact that the Georgite version of withdrawal will be a variation on “cut and run,” in time for Nov., 2006.  It will be accompanied by tall tales of how successful the “Coalition” has been in training the Iraqis “to do the job.”  However, just because they will be withdrawing (while all the time saying that they are not except that they are) doesn’t mean that they will have given up attaining their principal objectives for going in the first place.

Those objectives (none of which were clearly stated as objectives for the invasion beforehand)? They have gotten rid of Saddam (not stated as an objective independent of the “WMD” and the “al Qaeda link,” but it was).  They will make sure that they keep the string of permanent bases in the Western Iraqi desert now being built (some probably completed, but there is a complete wall of silence around that venture). They will likely “acquiesce” (encourage behind the scenes) in the establishment of a semi-independent Kurdistan, which will become a full US protectorate, along with, it just so happens, those potentially gigantic oil reserves.  They will do nothing to settle the Palestinian/Israel conflict on anything like rational terms.  They will continue, to the extent possible, to rape the Iraqi economy under the Bremer Plan for externalizing it,  as long as their puppets remain in power, at least.

In sum, the Georgite withdrawal will leave nothing in place that might bring some kind of stability to Iraq, might lead to the massive reconstruction program that Iraq so badly needs, might fend off the establishment of a totally undemocratic fundamentalist Shiite theocracy (built along the lines of what the Georgite Christian Right proposes for the US, ironically enough) except in a very limited area of Iraq.  They would make sure that the secular Kurds would be able to remain secular, however.

When the likely disaster on a variety of fronts would gradually overtake Iraq, the Georgite Privatized Ministry of Propaganda would be out in force of course.   Blaming it all on the ‘traitorous peace-niks” and worse, who “stabbed the military and the noble Bush Administration in the back.”  But then, blowback. Well, hardly blow-back.  More likely tornado-back.  One likely outcome?  Suppose the above scenario is followed and a secular Kurdish republic, standing astride all of that oil, is established between Iran and Turkey.  Then supposing the Isamicists fully take over the Turkish government and, turning their eyes eastward, give up the idea of getting into the European Union.  Islamicist Turkey and Islamicist Iran launch an all-out war on secular Kurdistan. For its part, Turkey, which has no oil, gets a share of what lies under Kurdistan.  A federation of those two theocracies is established, along with the Shiite portion of present-day Iraq.  The Saudi Monarchy is overthrown in a Wahabbist revolt.  The new, massive federation, soon to be armed with nuclear weapons acquired one way or another, turns its eyes on their suffering co-religionists in Palestine.  And the US military, massively weakened by the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld triumvirate, can do nothing about it, unless they choose to go nuclear.

Speculative?  Indeed.  Possible?  Unfortunately.

Author’s note: this column was written on 11/28-29/05, before the Bush/Annapolis speech