13 March 2006
This is insanity
Late last month I wrote about some possible fallback positions for imperialism in the event of civil war breaking out in Iraq. I said that such a position could involve encouraging Iraq to collapse, thus to grab the oil-rich bits. I had no evidence to back this idea up; it just seemed logical.
Now, gobby neocons are giving weight to this idea. Daniel Pipes who was one of the chief proponents of the aggression against Iraq has claimed that civil war in that country could have three benefits. The first is that if the Muslims are killing each other, than are not killing non-Muslims:
The bombing on February 22 of the Askariya shrine in Samarra, Iraq, was a tragedy, but it was not an American or a coalition tragedy. Iraq's plight is neither a coalition responsibility nor a particular danger to the West. Fixing Iraq is neither the coalition's responsibility, nor its burden. When Sunni terrorists target Shi'ites and vice versa, non-Muslims are less likely to be hurt. Civil war in Iraq, in short, would be a humanitarian tragedy, but not a strategic one.Secondly, civil war will "terminate the dream of Iraq serving as a model for other Middle Eastern countries, thus delaying the push toward elections. This would have the effect of keeping Islamists from being legitimated by the popular vote, as Hamas was just a month ago".
Finally, civil war may provide a pretext for the USA to fight a major regional war, as an Iraqi civil war "would likely invite Syrian and Iranian participation hastening the possibility of confrontation with these two states, with which tensions are already high".
Now this plan, if that is actually what it is, strikes me as the last throw of the dice for imperialism in Arabia. It basically involves turning the region into one giant battlefield just to protect Israel. Say what you like about the old Rhodesia lobby in Britain, they weren't that fucking insane.
Will the bulk of the imperialists support it? The oil lobby might if they are promised the black gold. What about the mugs - the wankers for war that I use as electronic toilet paper on this blog? I suppose if they were fool enough to believe that the war against Iraq was a liberation, then they should be cunt enough to believe in this as well. On the other hand, who cares what they think? They were useful idiots for the imperialists; another set of useful idiots will no doubt come along to take their places.
Will it work? That is a tricky one. A basic rule of history is that creole states only survive if they can either swamp the locals with newcomers, drive them away or kill them off. However, if the natives stubbornly remain, then the future of a creole state is nil. Where is Rhodesia today? French Algeria? Portugese Mozambique? Gone, all gone.
The issue is not that the Europeans occupy the West Bank: the issue is that even within the creole heartland, the area that existed in 1948, the Arabs are still outbreeding the Europeans. Such a state, even within the 1948 lines, is not sustainable in the long run.
Hence chaos in the rest of Arabia is not going to save Israel because the Arabs are winning the battle of the bedroom. So, the logical conclusion must be that a final solution to the problem of the Arabs in Palestine has to be found.
This is where things could get interesting. The Rhodesia lobby was prepared to dump Rhodesia because, at the end of things, flogging arms to Kenya and buying oil from Nigeria was far more important that damaging the British economy to save a fairly sleezy creole population in a shithole named Rhodesia. Will the Israel lobby come to the same conclusion over yet another western-established shithole? They might, if things start to go pear-shaped.
The possibility of things adopting the shape of that fruit are enormous. What evidence is there to suggest that the whole thing can be contained in Iraq, Iran and Syria? How do we know that the oil supply can be maintained? Suppose the Arabs in neighbouring countries finally do decide to stream over the border, clutching whatever weapons they can grab? They would lose hundreds of thousands, but what if they just pushed on? Can five million Europeans stand that strain? My guess is that they would scuttle for the boats as the French did in Algeria. Life may not be great for them back home, but death in Palestine isn't so wonderful either.
The problem with this wheeze is that its success is outside the control of the imperialists who are advocating it. It relies on everyone dancing to the same tune. If they don't then the whole thing will go horribly wrong. For that reason I suspect that this idea will remain nothing more than a wank-fantasy in the minds of its proponents.
On the other hand I could be wrong. . .