In the most bizarre of all her twists, Fate will decree that in the long run, America will win in the Muddle East, no matter what. Why? Two words: "depleted uranium."
But, that may take generations, so let us behave like men in the meantime. (Actually, maybe that's the problem, although with Condi Rice at the helm, it's hard to say, "Let's act like women.")
Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to the Big Apple, and if anybody thinks it was only because of Iran's putative nuclear ambitions, they hadn't been paying attention to the region for the last five years.
Persian nuclear reactors or weapons--as you will--are only half the story.
The other half, what everybody knows except the American public (who maybe waking up to it anyway, in spite of their Zionist-controlled media) is that it is about Iraq, or what is left of that tragic but still proud nation.
AmeriKKKa has lost that round, and Bush knows it. So, in desperation, he ran to daddy UN, that once-despised world parliament, to help him out of his latest alcohol-induced escapade.
Unlike his DWI conviction, though, this one of course has had global consequences. (Too bad the other one didn't.) Bush needs the UN to get him out of this mess.
So, Mahmoud bravely came to enemy territory, where he was roundly refused permission to see the sights ("photos ops" we claim? Come on! It was Rudy's 9/11 photo op!). Students at Columbia University booed him on cue. Don't forget that WE don't forget either, and anybody over 35 still has those hostages' faces seared in their memory. You don't have to wonder much what the students' mommies and daddies told them. Americans laughed at the little man--does anybody really think there aren't any gays in Iran?
And he was given a good dose of America's famous rudeness.
Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I think hosts at universities and elsewhere ought to be above rude introductions, even if audiences aren't.
Bravely (surely he could have predicted something of this sort), he smiled at it all and carried on, and if American mass media can't comment upon THAT, it shows we are further down the road to fascism than even torturing innocent people with alacrity would indicate.
Mahmud had come to the enemy territory because, whether we Americans see it or not, we are running away from the Middle East with our tail between our legs. So, he really COULD smile at us from Columbia's podium, because he knew why he's here, and so do the more awake among us.
Bush had to find something to talk about (did his daddy tell him he better step up to the UN podium like a man and face that General Assembly?). So, he talked about Burma, or rather, Myanmar. Good place to talk about. A year ago they moved their capital inland on the advice of the Chinese, to avoid the DU that's blowing down from Afghanistan.
CNN didn't see fit to mention that.
Anyway, Mahmud came to town and you can be sure behind the scenes was, and still is, bargaining worthy of the best oriental bazaar. Will Iraq be three countries or one? Let us not forget that its modern fate was determined in that same sort of bargaining at Versailles with the victors of WWI. Let us not forget, too, that dear old T.E.'s promises to the Arabs about any independence of any WOG's ["worthy oriental gentlemen"--the British "nigger" of the day]* were not honored any more than our promises to the American Indians in an earlier colonialist venture called the European Conquest of the New World, as we all learned in gradeschool.
I'm sure that Dick Cheney's advocacy of the nuclear devastation of Iran was intended to be some kind of bargaining chip in this meeting of the two Superpower wannabes. (Did I say "wannabe?" Sure did! Does anybody remember there's a country called China? That's probably the real superpower, maybe India, too. And Russia is another wannabe that seems to be making noises to get back into the game.)
I don't think nuclear war is a big bargaining chip, though, to the Iranians, which by rights should give ol' Dickie boy his long-awaited heart attack. (Unless, of course, he finds a friend to go duck-hunting with.) If this seems insensitive for us to mention, maybe he should show some leadership by giving pointers to his chimp about how it is rude to talk about an old man's demise while he's still breathing.
Anyway, DU will be the ultimate bargaining chip, but by its sheer finality seems almost to have been completely factored out of the equation, at least for now, in public.
Getting back to what the Big Boys think are legitimate bargaining chips, you can be sure that Iranian capability to retaliate is more of a bargaining chip than either Cheney or his pet chimp are pretending. Or should we take seriously the idea that Israel's raid on Syria was really to "take out" (ugly word, IMHO) a North Korean nuclear installation?
I think not. It was a warning to Iran. Let us leave aside the idea that Israel's raid might have had some economic aspects (during the aggression into Lebanon, Israel attacked Lebanese businesses and industry that had no military value, but WERE commercial competitors of their Israeli counterparts).
Since America--and the world--are drunk on oil, THAT will be the most important bargaining chip, of course, for some time to come. Any serious attack on Iran will probably push the world economy into recession, coming on the heels of Iraq's troubles, and not even his Saudi friends for all of their nation's oil capacity will be able to pull Bush's chestnuts out of the fire for him on that one.
We are hostage to our greed. Let us also leave aside for now the thought that a slow-down of oil consumption might actually be good for the planet's environment.
Maybe the psychopaths in Washington will relish driving up oil prices to five or six hundred dollars a barrel, but one might console oneself with the thought that even the neo-con fascists aren't THAT crazy and evil, at least the ones that aren't enraptured with The Rapture.
So, assuming they AREN'T, they--or their proxies--are probably still sitting in some hotel room somewhere in the Big Apple arguing. Arguing in English, at least for the time being, over the fate of the Land between the Rivers with people who have been arguing in Oriental bazaars ever since the first shepherd brought his flock to town and traded them for as many jars of olive oil as he could wrangle out of the local city slickers of Babylon.
Now, it is an interesting sidelight that the bargaining--whether in Persian OR English--will be in an Indo-European tongue and not any of your Semitic, thank you very much. For, in spite of their virtual stranglehold on the American Congress, the Semitic speakers of America do not throw enough weight internationally to demand that Hebrew, let alone its more widely-spoken cousin, Arabic, will be the language through which a manifestly Semitic-speaking country like Iraq, is divided up (or put back together) once again.
So, once more, Arab nationalism (that sad but persistent orphan of Western colonialism) will be thwarted, and if TE's ghost isn't turning, it is only because his slumber has been interrupted so many times, he doesn't pay even attention to the cacophony from the traffic outside any more.
Part of southern Iraq may end up as some kind of Persian satrapy, according to the ignoramuses in Washington who paint everything in Color Simple. As long, though, as the northern part of the country, around Mosul, gets its "independence" (read pipelines to the West), they really don't care.
And, of course, their Arab neighbors' corrupt rulers don't care much either.
What's that about democracy being a vote between two wolves and a lamb? Well, I guess we've brought democracy to the Middle East, and the Persian wolf is going enjoy his part of the feast very much, thank you, America. And if the American wolf has trouble eating any of it, it won't be for any lack of oil (olive OR crude) to grease its palate.
Most likely, the Iraqi lamb will kick a little before it's devoured. It would be interesting to watch if it weren't going to be so ... irredeemably, inexcusably hopeless
... so irreparably disastrous.
Not just for Iraq.
Not only for the Middle East.
For us all.
*More precisely, it was the promises of the British High Commissioner to Egypt, Sir Henry McMahon, to Hussein, Sherif of Mecca, in documents known as the Hussein-McMahon Correspondence.