Showing posts with label ISLAM. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ISLAM. Show all posts

Saturday, July 28

1991-2011 FASCISMO-ECONOMICO OVVERO BUGIE E SANGUE

Guai se la denuncia del nazi-fascismo, risuonata nel 70° anniversario della liberazione di Auschwitz, servisse a depistare l’opinione pubblica dall’altro più pericoloso FASCISCMO quello ECONOMICO, fondato, principalmente, sulla menzogna che giustifica i peggiori atti, terminando in sistematiche aggressioni a POPOLI E CULTURE, AUTOCTONE, DEL MONDO INTERO

Per esempio la Jugoslavia, rasa al suolo dopo la decisione della Germania, assieme al Vaticano (1991) di riconoscere i separatisti, cattolici, sloveni e croati: inaccettabile, per la nascente EUROZONA, la sopravvivenza di un grande Stato, multi-etnico, come la JUGOSLAVIA  e, con l’economia interamente in mani pubbliche. 

Per esempio la Libia, di Muhamar Gheddafi, travolta dopo una sua  decisione di costituire una Banca Centrale africana con  un'unica moneta in oro, alternativa al dollaro. 

E avanti così, dalla Siria all’Ucraina, fino alle contorsioni terrificanti del cosiddetto ISIS, fondato sulle unità di guerriglia addestrate dall’Occidente in Libia contro Gheddafi, poi smistate in Siria contro Assad e quindi dirottate in Iraq. Possiamo chiamarlo come vogliamo, dice John Pilger, ma è sempre fascismo-economico


«Se gli Stati Uniti e i loro vassalli non avessero iniziato la loro guerra di aggressione in Iraq nel 2003, quasi un milione di persone oggi sarebbero vive, e lo Stato Islamico non ci avrebbe fatto assistere alle sue atrocità», scrive Pilger in una riflessione ripresa dal “Come Don Chisciotte”. 


Se gli USA avessero esitato, disse Obama, la città di Bengasi «avrebbe potuto subire un massacro che avrebbe macchiato la coscienza del mondo». Peccato che Bengasi non sia mai stata minacciata da nessuno: «Era un’invenzione delle milizie SCIITE-islamiche che stavano per essere sconfitte dalle forze governative libiche».

I nuovi “mostri” sono «la progenie del fascismo-economico moderno, svezzato dalle bombe, dai bagni di sangue e dalle menzogne, che sono il teatro surreale conosciuto col nome di “informazione”». Infatti, «come durante il fascismo-economico degli anni ‘30 e ‘40, le grandi menzogne vengono trasmesse con la precisione di un metronomo grazie agli onnipresenti, ripetitivi media e la loro velenosa censura per omissione». 

In Libia, nel 2011 la NATO ha effettuato 9.700 attacchi aerei, più di un terzo dei quali mirato ad obiettivi civili, con strage di bambini. Bombe all’uranio impoverito, sganciate su Misurata e Sirte, bombardate a tappeto. Il massacro di Ghedaffi in diretta mondiale, da parte degli uomini del DGSE, mischiati tra la folla, «è stato giustificato con la solita grande menzogna: Ghedaffi stava progettando il “genocidio” del suo popolo». Al posto della verità: Ghedaffi stava denunciando Nicholas Sarkozy per corruzione

L'insignificante Barak Obama, premio Nobel per la pace disse che se gli USA, non fossere intervenuti immadiatamente, la città di Bengasi «avrebbe potuto subire un massacro che avrebbe macchiato la coscienza del mondo» 

Paradossalmente, avvene un ALTRO tragico fatto:" il, prevedibile, massacro dell'ambasciatore statunitense Chris Stevens e della sua scorta a Bengazi sotto la totale INERZIA della Casa Bianca e del Dipartimento di Stato. 

Peccato per il povero Stevens, ma Bengasi non è mai stata minacciata da nessuno: «Era una INFAME invenzione delle milizie islamiche sciite libiche che stavano per essere sopraffatte e sconfitte dalle forze governative tripolitane». Le milizie, aggiunge Pilger, dissero alla “Reuters” che ci sarebbe stato «un vero e proprio bagno di sangue, un massacro come quello accaduto in Ruanda». 

La menzogna, segnalata il 14 marzo 2011, ha fornito la prima scintilla all’inferno della NATO, definito da David Cameron come «intervento umanitario». Molti dei “ribelli” sciiti, segretamente armati e addestrati dalle SAS britanniche, sarebbero poi diventati ISIS, decapitatori di “infedeli”. 

In realtà, per Obama, Cameron e Sarkozy – scrive Pilger – il vero crimine di Gheddafi, come prima anticipato, fù l'imminente indipendenza economica della Libia dal franco francese e dal dollaro USA e la sua dichiarata intenzione di smettere di vendere in dollari USA le più grandi riserve di petrolio dell’Africa, minacciando così il petrodollaro, che è «un pilastro del potere imperiale MONDIALE DO CONTROLLO americano». 

«Era l’idea stessa ad essere intollerabile per gli Stati Uniti, che si preparavano ad “entrare” in Africa -gia nel 1999, corrompendo i governi africani con offerte di Clinton e Blair-collaborazione-militare».

Così, “liberata” la Libia, Obama «ha confiscato 30 miliardi di dollari dalla banca centrale libica, che Gheddafi aveva stanziato per la creazione di una banca centrale africana e per il dinaro africano, valuta basata sull’oro».

La “guerra umanitaria” contro la Libia aveva un modello vicino ai cuori liberali occidentali, soprattutto nei media, continua Pilger, ricordando che, nel 1999, Bill Clinton e Tony Blair inviarono la Nato a bombardare la Serbia, «perché, mentirono, affermando che i serbi stavano commettendo un “genocidio” contro l’etnia albanese della provincia secessionista del Kosovo»


Finiti i bombardamenti della NATO, con gran parte delle infrastrutture della Serbia in rovina – insieme a scuole, ospedali, monasteri e la televisione nazionale – le squadre internazionali di polizia scientifica scesero sul Kosovo per riesumare le prove del cosiddetto “olocausto”. L’FBI non riuscì a trovare una singola fossa comune e tornò a casa.

Il team spagnolo fece lo stesso, e chi li guidava dichiarò con rabbia che ci fu «una piroetta semantica delle macchine di propaganda di guerra». Un anno dopo, un tribunale delle Nazioni Unite sulla Jugoslavia svelò il conteggio finale dei morti: 2.788, cioè i combattenti su entrambi i lati, nonché i serbi e i rom uccisi dall'UCK. «Non c’era stato alcun genocidio.

L' "olocausto” jugoslavo è stato una menzogna».

L’attacco NATO era stato fraudolento, insiste Pilger, spiegando che «dietro la menzogna, c’era una seria motivazione: la Jugoslavia era un’indipendente federazione multietnica, unica nel suo genere, che fungeva da ponte politico ed economico durante la guerra fredda».

Attenzione: «La maggior parte dei suoi servizi e della sua grande produzione era di proprietà pubblica. Questo non era accettabile in una Comunità Europea in piena espansione, in particolare per la nuova Germania unita, che aveva iniziato a spingersi ad Est per accaparrarsi il suo “mercato naturale” nelle province jugoslave di Croazia e Slovenia». 

Sicché, «prima che  gli europei si riunissero a Maastricht nel 1991 a presentare i loro piani per la disastrosa Euro-Zona, un accordo segreto era stato approvato: la Germania avrebbe riconosciuto la Croazia». Quindi, «il destino della Jugoslavia era segnato».

La solita macchina stritolatrice: «A Washington, gli Stati Uniti si assicurarono che alla sofferente Pilger-economia jugoslava fossero negati prestiti dalla Banca Mondiale, mentre la NATO, allora una quasi defunta reliquia della guerra fredda, fu reinventata, CON PRONTEZZAcome tutore dell’ordine imperiale».

Nel 1999, durante una conferenza sulla “pace” in Kosovo a Rambouillet, in Francia, i serbi furono sottoposti alle tattiche ipocrite dei sopracitati tutori. «L’accordo di Rambouillet comprendeva un allegato B segreto, che la delegazione statunitense inserì all’ultimo momento».

La clausola esigeva che tutta la Jugoslavia – un paese con ricordi amari dell’occupazione nazista – fosse messa sotto occupazione militare, e che fosse attuata una “economia di libero mercato” con la privatizzazione di tutti i beni appartenenti al governo.

«Nessuno Stato sovrano avrebbe potuto firmare una cosa del genere», osserva Pilger. «La punizione fu rapida; le bombe della Nato caddero su di un paese indifeso. La pietra miliare delle catastrofi era stata posata

Seguirono le catastrofi dell’Afghanistan, poi dell’Iraq, della Libia, della Siria, e adesso dell’Ucraina. Dal 1945, più di un terzo dei membri delle Nazioni Unite – 69 paesi – hanno subito alcune o tutte le seguenti situazioni per mano del moderno fascismo-economico

Sono stati invasi decine e decine di governi, i loro legali rappresentanti rovesciati, i loro movimenti popolari soppressi, i risultati delle elezioni sovvertiti, la loro gente bombardata e le loro economie spogliate di ogni protezione, le loro società sottoposte a un assedio paralizzante noto come “sanzioni”. Lo storico britannico Mark Curtis stima il numero di morti in milioni

«Come giustificazione, in ogni singolo caso una grande, immensa, sporca menzogna è stata raccontata dalla centrale del fascismo-economico-mondiale.»

Friday, April 28

GEORGE SOROS WELCOME TO NEW ITALY BANANA REPUBLIC

Newrope Vallombrosa is a unique place in Tuscany. Its founder, Saint Giovanni Gualberto, a Benedictine monk, chose this secluded place in the mountains 40 km east of Florence to lead a hermit-like existence, right after the year 1000, and with a restricted group of monks started his own monastic order, the Vallombrosani.

John Milton among many other travellers – found inspiration in Vallombrosa while traveling across Italy in 1638, and a marble inscription reminds tourists that here Milton put into writing his Paradise Lost. Vallombrosa is not a place for crowds; rather a place where to seek meditation and inspiration.

To me Vallombrosa represents memories from my childhood. It could be called a piece of my personal heimat, if you wish. Back in the 60’s, when a car was still a far-flung luxury for many Italian families of the working class, we would take the sunday morning bus from the train station in Florence with some frugal lunch, and we were back in the city with the same bus in time for dinner. For me, as a child, that was the highlight of the week – or the month – as it was all that we could afford at the time as a holiday.

It was with these memories that I rode my motorcycle along the winding road through the national forest that is part of Vallombrosa. But when I shut off the engine it wasn’t the silence that I had expected as usual but an eerie cacophony that got my attention. A crowd of young Africans, all in their 20’s, were standing and sitting around the area of the monastery, all of them doing the same thing: shouting at their i-phones, evidently talking to their folks back home.

Welcome to the new Italy Banana Republic, where the replacement of the original population, once known as Italians, is in full swing. Only a few years ago this affirmation would have caused sarcastic disbelief, now is the reality in front of our eyes.

It happened overnight (literally), during the winter, when over 100 “migrants” from Africa fresh from their landing in Sicily, were unloaded in this oasis of peace and tranquility. 

Now, you would think the location was chosen because the benedictine monks were ready to open their doors as a sign of charity and compassion. Far from it.
In reality, and without any help from the monks, what was accomplished was business at its best: minimum effort for maximum profit.

Take a group of local entrepreneurs to take over an old, abandoned hotel near the monastery, one of those hotels that attracted travelers once upon a time. Restore it to make it (more or less) look again like a semi-decent hospice so that you can amass in it as many Africans as possible. 

Make as much as 25/35 euro a day per person, courtesy of the Italian taxpayers. Welcome to Italy’s fastest growing and most profitable business. The example of Vallombrosa is not an exception, rather the rule of what is happening in Italy, or what it could otherwise be called “profitable invisibility”.

Until now local governments – especially the ones where elections are approaching – have been very careful in “disposing of” the migrants in secluded, peripheral areas, so that the locals would not notice their presence in their daily lives. Now, at an estimated rate of arrivals/replacements of over 450.000 a year it is going to be a (very serious) problem to keep this “profitable invisibility”.

In fact, as migrants are not confined to their housing and are therefore free to move around, by whatever public transportation is available the hard-to-hide consequence is that a city like Florence resembles every day more and more an African suk, with a young African man outside every commercial establishment begging for money or trying to sell useless Chinese knick-knacks.

If you talk to them, they will all tell you the same thing: they did not know that it was going to be “this bad”. They “were told” back in Nigeria, Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, and the list could continue, that “once here they had it made”. How? I asked, again, who told them these fairy-tales?

I couldn’t get a convincing answer, and I got the feeling I shouldn’t have asked that question. Considering that on average each migrant pays to get to Europe between €2.000 to €4.000, that sum for most is seen as a lifetime investment that should ensure a better future not just for them but for their families back in Africa.

If you invest all your savings plus a potential future debt to arrive in the land of prosperity you are not going to plan on leaving that place anytime soon. After all, even if you are found as an illegal alien on Italian soil, all you will receive is a foglio di via (expulsion warrant) in which Italian state authorities “summon” the illegal alien to leave Italian territory within – normally – a week or so. 

And after that the illegal alien is left free to go, so long, goodbye till next time when he’s caught again perhaps as a result of a crime, and then he will be given another foglio di via, just to refresh his memory that he’s an illegal alien. By then, he knows he is dealing with a italian banana republic.

The refugees receive a daily allowance of €2.50 as pocket money, but obviously they want more. They are not legally allowed to work – thanks to Italy’s mind-boggling bureaucratic system – but can participate as “unpaid volunteers” in social projects such as cleaning of parks, streets, and the like, but, given the fact that it is on a volunteer basis only, the “volunteers” are few and far between, and they certainly prefer to spend the day sitting around or begging for money so that at the end of the day they will have rounded up a few euros.

The only real possibility of work is “low paid” farm labor, and the average pay ranges between €2 to 4/hr, especially in the south. Young italians, even if unemployed, are not interested in hard and tedious farm labour, or washing dishes in a restaurant. So the “migrants” come handy and useful for many potential employers who have at their disposal a virtual endless supply of next to slave labour.

Inevitably, due to these massive arrivals, Italy is under an unprecedented financial strain. Inevitably, those who are bound to suffer the most from this shift in resources are the growing numbers of Italians – now approaching the 5 million mark – who are rapidly declining into the official category of povertà assoluta (absolute poverty) as classified by ISTAT (the National Bureau of Statistics and Census) who would be willing and forced to accept even as little as a few euros per hour just to get by, except that a potential employer doesn’t even consider hiring an Italian for he knows that a legal employee could easily report an unlawful working condition, therefore potentially exposing the employer to heavy fines.

The millions of Italians – especially olders with no families – who have ended up in this category have little or no help from the state, especially when it comes to housing and specific medical care such as dental care. If you are a single adult with no children, chances of getting subsidized housing are next to zero. And that has a quite simple explanation: all the available subsidized housing goes to families with children, and most of them are foreigners with an average of 2/3 children.

Finally, it is Mother Nature who knows no morals, at least not as humans conceive them, and Nature always wants its toll. Just like in the animal world the invasion of alien species in a new environment often causes a severe reduction – or extinction – of native species, in human societies the massive and sudden moving of people from one continent to the other causes – inevitably – infectious diseases to reappear where they were eradicated or increase dramatically, and of course unexpectedly.

Tuscany sets a perfect example. Traditionally friendly and hospitable, thanks to its post -communist local governments, Tuscany has been welcoming sub-Saharan Africans for at least a couple of decades by now, and Tuscany now stands apart in Italy for a dramatic rise in meningitis cases.

Once again, the local government of Tuscany carefully and skillfully plays down the numbers, avoiding – God forbid if Mass Tourism hears about this – the word “epidemic”, but the numbers are out there and are becoming hard to hide.
Of course, the consequential negative effects for local populations facing what is hard to disguise as “humanitarian crisis”, but in reality a planned forced replacement of Europeans, was taken into account when all this was carefully planned by the “movers and shakers behind the curtains”. Nothing could be left to chance.

In order to accomplish this MP (Master Plan), regardless of the name you want to call it, a fundamental ingredient is essential, namely, the complete readiness of a subservient oligarchy, holding key positions in the countries you want to subdue. This oligarchy must be composed of key figures ready to be disposed of whenever necessary or no longer usable. In other words, as perfectly stated by Gaetano Mosca, a political scientist of the late 19th century, “a well organized minority will always have its way over a disorganized majority.” And, shall we add, for an organized minority to reach its goals another essential is to get rid of all potentially powerful obstacles.

Silvio Berlusconi may have been ultimately unfit to lead Italy, but he had some points to his favour, one of them his personal friendship with Muammar Qaddafi. Thanks to that friendship, and as long as Qaddafi was in power, Libya had not become a major jumping point for Italy for sub-Saharan Africans. In 2011, in a matter of months, both leaders are out of the picture, one resigns and one is dead. Libya plunges into a civil war, and chaos in the country is the result, with no recognized central authority any more.

Two years later, in October 2013, one of the things that you would have certainly called “impossible” to happen in life actually does happen: the Pope resigns from his post. In his resignation statement delivered in Latin he calls himself physically overwhelmed thus unfit to lead the Catholic Church. So long, goodbye.

Of course, it is just one of those weird coincidences, but the Vatican State had been cut off for days prior to Pope Benedict’s resignation from all international banking transactions via SWIFT, just like other evil nations such as Iran and North Korea. Within hours of Benedict XVI’s departure from the Vatican, bound for the residence of Castel Gandolfo outside Rome, Vatican’s connections with SWIFT are reestablished and all banking transactions are possible again. Talk about providential timing.

A new and quite different Pope is elected by the cardinals, certainly, we like to believe, inspired by the Holy Ghost. A Pope that soon, like a broken record, will remind – on a daily basis – Catholics worldwide, but especially Italians that “migrants are not just welcome, they are absolutely welcome”. Now, for a devout Catholic, that must be accepted, and cannot be questioned, even if you have (many) doubts, deep down in your conscience: after all, a Pope is always right, and we, as Catholics, must obey.

Until 2013 the numbers of arrivals from Africa are high, but always below 50.000 a year. 2014 marks the first year of biblical numbers, with over 170.000 arrivals, mostly from sub-Saharan Africans. Since then, the numbers are rising and 2017 is due to pass the 200.000 mark. Never mind that Italy is – literally – running out of places to hold – and feed – these masses. The Pope for many Italians remains the ultimate voice of truth so if THEY come, we must welcome THEM.

History repeats itself. At least in Sicily. In January, 1943 the Casablanca conference in Morocco attended by Churchill and Roosevelt proved to be a turning point of the war. No longer on the defensive, with the Axis forces of Italy and Germany driven out of Africa, Churchill was anxious to attack Hitler’s “fortress Europe” through its “soft underbelly” as he called Italy. And so Operation Husky was decided. The allied forces landed in Sicily in July 1943, which led, in a matter of weeks, to the fall of Mussolini and the surrender of Italy in September, with the country effectively divided in two until the end of the war in April 1945.

As with any carefully prepared military invasion, reliable domestic contacts providing eyes and ears on the ground were essential. Rather than relying on virtually non-existent “resistance groups” like it was going to be the following year for the landing in Normandy, the US and Britain knew they were to take advantage of a different – yet formidable – power: the Mafia.

A number of US intelligence agencies had already been in contact during the war with the New York “underworld” essentially in order to protect the port of New York from highly possible acts of sabotage especially by the Germans.

As Operation Husky received the green light, all possible useful contacts in Sicily were recruited by US intelligence agencies, but the key figure was by no doubt top Mafia mobster Lucky Luciano. Serving a 30 to 50 year sentence in a NY correctional facility since 1936, Luciano provided the US Navy with many Sicilian contacts which proved to be extremely useful in aiding allied forces to establish a secure foothold in Sicily. The all-too-obvious consequence was that the Mafia, on the run since Mussolini’s arrival, was back in power, and it was there to stay.

It must be admitted that Sicily provides an outstanding presence in the Italian government. In January, 2015 the first Sicilian President of Italy, Sergio Mattarella, is elected by the parliament. At that point Sicilians hold the top 3 positions in the Italian government: The President, the President of the Senate (Pietro Grasso, a former prosecutor), and the essential Minister of Interior Angelino Alfano. It needs to be reminded that while the former two are honorific figures and are no decision makers, the Ministry of the Interior is the direct supervisor and coordinator of the whole immigration affaire.


In her whole career, professional and political, she has made no mistery on whose side she stands for, and that side is certainly NOT the average italians who live from paycheck to paycheck (provided they have one) despite the fact that italian taxpayers reward her with over 100.000 euro a year for her position.

Being from an affluent family, she really never had to worry about making ends meet, devoting her whole life to the underpriviliged ones. Just as long as they are NOT italians. We could call her expertise on this whole matter just like the cherry on the cake, or, better stated, the right person in the right place at the right time.

Getting back to Sicily, and speaking of affari (italian for business) immigration -biblical or not- has been a fantastic, unprecedented affare for Sicily as untold billions of euros have kept a steady flow to the island. Sicily has Europe’s biggest migrant reception center, the C.A.R.A. (Centro Accoglienza Richiedenti Asilo), located in Mineo near Catania where many “irregularities” were found out by local prosecutors, leading to the indictment of at least 17 people including a high level politician of the same political party as Angelino Alfano, (NCD).

One of the wistleblowers of the many “irregularities” that were the norm at the C.A.R.A. in Mineo is a middle level police officer from Rome, Daniele Contucci. Contucci has worked for years “in prima linea”, as he states, being among the first ones to receive -and interview clandestine-migrants just unloaded on sicilian shores after having been rescued at sea.

When asked if there’s any hope this biblical invasion will slow down any time soon Contucci is highly skeptic. “Not as long as there’s so much money involved. The profits to be made are just staggering, by far surpassing any other illegal activity”, he says. He admits that -perhaps a bit naive- he thought he could find help and attention to his cause from politicians that rewarded him with lots of shoulder padding and praises but no concrete action of any sort, regardless of the political orientation, leaving him “highly convinced” that despite all the official claims and drama, no party in Italy is willing to do anything serious about this. “It’s the money. There’s simply too much money involved. It’s the kind of money that can buy any politician.”

Last, but by all means not least, the “traghettatori”, italian for ferrymen. Just like Operation Husky,this biblical task could not be accomplished without a fleet – or a flotilla – of well equipped, well payed, well maintained vessels.

Of course they are all humanitarian organizations, and they devote all their lives and their (huge) resources to the safe transporting of migrants to the all too willing and cooperating (or – shall we say – receiving orders from above?)
the Marina Militare, or the Italian Navy. 

One tiny detail: if you want to take “part of the action” as a volunteer, and become a crewmember on one of the NGO’s vessels, get ready for a good series of vaccination shots as a mandatory condition to be taken onboard. As the saying goes: “better be safe than sorry”.

Now the Italian Ministry of Public Health wants “everybody” to get vaccinated in Italy, and that -soon- is probably not going to be an option, especially for schoolchildren. Profitable businesses often go hand in hand. You start with immigration, and you end up with vaccination. It must be the Law of Attraction.

This monumental endeavour of changing Italy’s demographics has found its admirers. One gentleman in particular is willing to open his wallet and shower this gracious flotilla with the insignificant gift of € 1.500 billion.

We wonder what may be behind all this generosity. Perhaps, as the man wants to be remember by future generations of dark skinned italians, as he is getting a little aged and has little time left, he wants to push the final population replacement of Italy to the fullest.

Back in 1943 they were called GI’s. In 2017 they will be called GSB’s (George Soros Boys). Welcome boys, to your future home. The Banana Republic of Italy.

Friday, July 31

RECEP TAYYP ERDOGAN "SUPERSTAR" CONTRO TUTTI

Per la Turchia e il suo leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan questi non sono certo i tempi migliori. Il risultato delle ultime elezioni, che sarebbe stato considerato gratificante da qualunque partito in ogni altro Paese democratico, per l'AKP è stato una sconfitta.

Avendo perso il 50% dei voti e dei seggi, il disegno di modificare la Costituzione in senso ancora più pesantemente presidenzialista si è allontanato e un nuovo Governo è diventato possibile solo grazie a una coalizione.  

Purtroppo, o per fortuna, nessuno degli altri tre partiti che hanno ottenuto deputati ne ha l'interesse, salvo che l'AKP non cambi formalmente e totalmente la politica attuata fino ad oggi.

I nazionalisti potrebbero accettare un governo con il Partito della Giustizia solo se quest'ultimo facesse marcia indietro anche sulle piccole aperture finora attuate verso i curdi; il partito curdo, invece, ha svolto tutta la campagna elettorale giurando che mai si sarebbe alleato con Recep Tayyip Erdoğan  e il partito repubblicano, Kemalista e laico, imporrebbe una totale inversione di rotta rispetto all'evidente confessionalismo islamico messo in pratica nella società turca dal partito di maggioranza. 

A dir la verità, Erdogan preferirebbe di gran lunga nuove elezioni piuttosto di un'alleanza, altresì debole, con chi significherebbe un condizionamento del suo potere e, anche con quest'obiettivo e nonostante il finto impegno di Davotoglu nel cercare le basi di un accordo, ha ripreso i bombardamenti sul PKK sperando così di attirare qualche voto utile dagli elettori nazionalisti. 

I problemi di Ankara però non finiscono nella politica interna. Se pensiamo alla politica estera basata sull'assunto "nessun problema con i Paesi vicini", vediamo ogni giorno il suo totale fallimento: la rivalità con l'Iran, pur sempre non dichiarata, si è accentuata dopo la firma dell'accordo di Teheran con gli USA, in Siria c'è una guerra civile che fino a ieri li vedeva solo parzialmente coinvolti mentre oggi è divenuta manifesta. 

E anche a ovest i problemi finanziari greci e l'accenno di ri-avvicinamento tra Atene e Mosca non può essere sottovalutato. A nord, infine, il mar Nero e il Caucaso sono tornati a essere potenziali d'instabilità e l'incertezza turca verso il progetto Turkish Stream con le relative e contrarie pressioni americane ne è una dimostrazione.

In realtà, la diplomazia turca in tutti questi anni è sempre stata condotta in modo confusionario e contradditorio. E' oramai indubbio che gli aiuti dati alle forze anti-Assad in Siria siano stati dispensati (fino ad oggi) anche verso lo Stato Islamico. 

Quest'ultimo ha sempre potuto contare sul territorio confinante come canale di collegamento per petrolio e armi con il resto del mondo e i suoi militanti feriti sono stati continuamente, anche se discretamente, curati negli ospedali turchi.

Perfino oggi, quando l'accordo USA — Iran ha obbligato Ankara a riprendere un atteggiamento collaborativo con Washington consentendo agli americani l'uso della base aerea di Incirlik le nebbie non si sono del tutto dissolte. 

La necessità di dimostrare buona volontà ha obbligato le Forze Armate turche a bombardare i guerriglieri dello Stato Islamico e rompere quindi il tacito accordo lungamente mantenuto con loro.  

Contemporaneamente, ha arrestato sia islamisti sia curdi presenti sul proprio territorio e ha ripreso i bombardamenti contro i guerriglieri del PKK rifugiati sulle montagne nord irachene. Oltre a ciò, l'artiglieria turca ha anche cercato di approfittare della guerra contro il "terrorismo" per colpire le forze curdo- siriane del YPG, salvo poi, inutilmente, smentire di averlo fatto.

E qui la situazione si complica perché se è vero che il PKK è tuttora giudicato anche dagli americani come forza terrorista, l'YPG viene considerato un gruppo alleato nella lotta contro gli integralisti islamici (si ricordi il caso di Kobane). 

Anche se ufficialmente distinte, queste due entità curde sono strettamente legate tra loro e il gruppo siriano, dopo il bombardamento turco, è perfino arrivato a ventilare l'ipotesi di passare totalmente dalla parte di Damasco. 

E' difficile immaginare, anche se non impossibile, che gli USA abbiano acconsentito a bombardamenti in territorio siriano che non fossero diretti esclusivamente contro le forze dell'ISIS. 

In questo quadro incerto, chi, silenziosamente, potrebbe invece godere della nuova svolta turca in Siria è il PDK di Barzani, nel Kurdistan iracheno.

Nonostante la necessaria retorica continui a sventolare la "solidarietà curda", i Barzani non hanno mai avuto buone relazioni con il PKK (a differenza degli alleati-rivali dell'UPK) e a loro è sempre stato chiaro che una regione curda siriana, tanto peggio se amministrativamente autonoma o indipendente, è una pericolosa concorrente per la leadership sul popolo curdo nel suo insieme. 

E' anche per questi motivi che Erbil, nonostante le incursioni dell'aviazione turca sul proprio territorio alla ricerca dei guerriglieri del PKK, finge di non vedere, né sapere, dell'evidente violazione dei confini.

Ecco, almeno per ora e in conclusione, possiamo affermare che gli unici vicini che continuano a vedere Erdogan come un utile e importante alleato sono proprio i curdi iracheni. Sono solo loro che ne hanno bisogno, sia per il transito delle proprie merci e del petrolio verso il mare aperto, sia per giocare di sponda nel crescente antagonismo con Baghdad. 

Tuesday, July 28

THE NUCLEAR DEAL WITH IRAN

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA) reached on July 14, 2015 between Iran and the P5+1 and the EU High Representative may ultimately prove to be one of President Obama’s greatest achievements. 

To attain that status, it will have to overcome serious Congressional hurdles, but even more important, it will have to withstand the test of time and prove that it can successfully resist Iran’s determination to obtain nuclear military capability. 

Among the world leaders who negotiated the JCPA with Iran, none will have to face the same political opposition, domestic and external, that will be directed against President Obama long after he retires from the White House. 

For now, however, the President must overcome opposition by Congress, where both chambers are controlled by the Republicans. According to the legislative compromise reached in May 2015 between the Republicans, Democrats, and the White House, Congress will have 60 days to review the JCPA and either give it bicameral  approval or reject it. 

As announced by President Obama, rejection will incur a presidential veto. This veto can be overruled by two thirds of the Senate and the House of Representatives, a highly improbable scenario. Thus in all likelihood, the President will prevail and the JCPA will be endorsed officially by the United States. 

Moreover, failure by the President to mobilize the support of a third of either the Senate or the House does not necessarily mean the end of the JCPA as far as the US is concerned. While it means the US has not assumed any formal obligation toward Iran as have the other signatories, the President can, for example, waive non-statutory sanctions, i.e., those imposed by Congress. 

The sanctions imposed by the US government can be revoked, as well as those imposed by the Security Council, which were adopted by the government but not signed into law. President Obama himself signed several Executive Orders that imposed sanctions against the import of certain goods and sanctions dealing with particular Iranian figures. 

He has the power to waive these sanctions, and in his public statements after the JCPA was announced, Obama left no doubt regarding his determination to see this agreement through, staking his own legacy on the deal and his success in skirting Congressional opposition.  

The current confrontation between President and Congress is rooted in two sources. One is the historic constitutional battle between the executive and legislative branches on which holds the power of making war and peace. The second, more recent factor is the growing political polarization in American society. 

Despite a measure of criticism against the agreement and the failure of the negotiators, and the US in particular, to provide adequate answer to issues relating to the nuclear domain – and certainly to issues relating to Iran's involvement in terrorism, or what amounts to the administration’s abandonment of the military option – President Obama is nonetheless justified in saying that Iran's road to nuclear military capability has, at least for the next 10-15 years, been blocked. 

The vote in the two houses of Congress, however, will reflect the partisan rivalry more than any critical assessment of the JCPA's merits. 

Israel has legitimate concerns and President Obama himself has recognized this, even while asserting that a better alternative to the JCPA was not proposed. Israel and its political leaders have the duty to express their concerns and point to the weaknesses and lapses of both the negotiations process with Iran and the result – the JCPA. 

But here issues of substance and form assume critical importance. Prime Minister Netanyahu erred when he approached Congress directly, which constituted an affront to the President at the height of the partisan battle between the Democratic President and the Republican-controlled Congress. 

The Prime Minister would repeat this mistake should he seek to address a joint Congressional session again. The previous attempt to leverage Congressional support, in early March 2015, did not succeed in halting the negotiations with Iran. 

The legislation (H.R. 1191 of May 2015) did not call upon the President to end the negotiations, and the odds are slim that Congress can override the President's determination to make the JCPA binding on the United States. 

Prime Minster Netanyahu is already perceived as taking sides in the highly charged domestic partisan contest – his speech to Congress last March was boycotted by dozens of legislators – and further intervention in the Congressional process relating to the JCPA could inflict long term damage on the hitherto bi-partisan support for Israel in US public opinion. 

There is already some erosion in that support among America’s young, liberal generation, including the Jewish component. 

President Obama's public statements after the announcement of the JCPA in Vienna on July 14, 2015 indicate willingness to enter into a serious discussion with the Israeli government over the implications of the agreement for Israel's security. 

This dialogue is vital for Israel, and should not be confined to the military aspects of Iran's nuclear program and Israel's qualitative military edge. President Obama has acknowledged that the JCPA deals solely with the nuclear aspects, and that Israel has legitimate concerns beyond them. 

It must be assumed that Iran's agenda in other matters in the Middle East will not change; indeed, Iran might well be encouraged by the agreement and the end of the international sanctions regime to pursue its strategic goals even more actively. 

It must likewise be assumed that the parallel discussions between the US and Iran at the very high level while the negotiations were underway will not end suddenly.

It is imperative that Israel realize that though the agreement has become a reality, the debate in the US and especially in Congress has just begun, particularly as the legislation calls for the administration to submit periodical reports both on Iran's implementation of the JCPA and on other issues, such as Iran's support for terror. 

Through sophisticated diplomacy, Israel will be able to influence the discussions, those in Congress and those between the US and Iran, staying away from the political domestic rift that will inevitably widen in the US presidential race. 

The Iran nuclear file, troubling as it is, is just one of the long term dangers Israel is facing. The more immediate regional threats have to do with the radicalization and fragmentation processes in the region and the proliferation of weapons that are not categorized as WMD but have a significant destructive power. 

These are the issues that should be on the top of the agenda in a healthier, less acrimonious dialogue that is based a higher degree of trust. The political leaders at the highest echelons in both Israel and the United States are responsible for restoring this dialogue to that level and quality.

ISRAELE ATTACCHERA'

Nel 2013, quando Israele sembrava pronto a lanciare un attacco militare preventivo contro le installazioni atomiche dell’Iran, fu l’ex premier Ehud Olmert a rivelare quanto l’establishment militare aveva investito per preparare lo strike. Dieci miliardi di shekel. 

Tre miliardi di dollari. Olmert lo rivelò per indebolire il già allora primo ministro Benjamin Netanyahu. Sono passati due anni e quella cifra adesso vedrà un forte incremento dopo la firma dell’accordo atomico fra America e Iran. 

Il capo di stato maggiore, Gadi Eizenkot, ha messo il suo vice, Yair Golan, a capo di una squadra che deve preparare un piano di attacco militare da utilizzare contro l’Iran. 

Un mese fa, cento piloti israeliani si sono addestrati in voli a lungo raggio sulla Grecia. E Israele avrebbe chiesto alla Lockheed-Martin, che produce gli F-35, di aumentare del trenta per cento l’autonomia di volo, per coprire mille e cinquecento chilometri. 

La distanza fra Gerusalemme e Teheran. Un team dell’aviazione israeliana si trova attualmente a Fort Worth, in Texas, per seguire il prototipo che arriverà a Tel Aviv nel 2016. Da Gerusalemme si sono levate voci bipartisan contro l’accordo di Vienna. 

L’ex premier e ministro della Difesa, Ehud Barak, al Canale Due ha detto che l’Iran diventerà presto uno stato nucleare. Il ministro Naftali Bennett ha parlato di “giorno buio per il mondo libero”, mentre l’ex ministro Yair Lapid ha detto dell’Iran: “E’ un regime basato sulla menzogna e ora otterranno armi atomiche con l’aiuto della comunità internazionale”. 

Adesso gli occhi del mondo sono puntati su di loro. Iran e Israele. Se il primo rispetterà l’accordo, e cosa farà il secondo in caso lo violasse.

“L’accordo è sicuramente un evento storico”, dice il generale della riserva Giora Eiland, già capo del Consiglio per la sicurezza nazionale e uno dei più importanti strateghi dello stato ebraico. 

Fino a due anni fa, si poteva sperare in un accordo migliore. La posizione strategica degli Stati Uniti era che l’Iran non poteva arricchire uranio sul proprio territorio. Poi Obama ha cambiato posizione e ha difeso il diritto iraniano all’arricchimento. Da quel momento tutto è cambiato”. 

Ci sono due presupposti nell’accordo che Israele non può accettare. “Il primo è che l’Iran rispetterà l’accordo, come pensano gli americani. Noi pensiamo che lo violerà, forse non subito, ma un domani di sicuro. Il secondo è che l’Iran dopo l’accordo modererà la sua politica, diventerà più mansueto, più stabile, più cooperativo. Falso. L’accordo fornisce all’Iran incentivi a sostenere il terrore”. 

Cosa accadrà ora è un dilemma. “Dal punto di vista militare, Israele non può fare niente finché l’accordo è in piedi”, ci dice Eiland. “Se ci sarà una crisi dell’accordo, allora Israele attaccherà. Politicamente il dilemma è se premere sul Congresso contro l’accordo oppure no. Netanyahu è probabile che spinga per un confronto ancora più duro con Obama”.

Ci sono due scenari che potrebbero far scattare l’opzione militare israeliana. Ce li spiega Ron Ben Yishai, il più rispettato e celebre corrispondente militare israeliano, immortalato nel film “Valzer con Bashir” per essere entrato per primo a Sabra e Shatila e per aver visitato in clandestinità il reattore nucleare di Damasco dopo il bombardamento israeliano. 

Israele si sta già preparando all’opzione militare, acquistando armi avanzate e potenziando le proprie capacità”, dice Ben Yishai. 

Israele rafforzerà l’Intelligence sull’Iran per minimizzare il rischio di una sorpresa strategica, migliorerà la difesa missilistica, così come gli attacchi aerei e navali, si preparerà per un potenziale attacco preventivo contro gli impianti nucleari iraniani e Hezbollah, che dovrà essere attaccato allo stesso tempo, perché è chiaro che avrà un ruolo pro-attivo nel conflitto tra Israele e Iran. 

L’Iran è diventato uno Stato-soglia, in grado di arricchire l’uranio al livello richiesto per sviluppare una testata atomica in due-tre mesi. Il più grande successo dell’accordo è che mantiene un tempo di ‘breakout’”. 

Quando nel 2003 il colonnello Gheddafi smantellò il programma nucleare, la Libia acconsentì a trasferire negli Stati Uniti la tecnologia acquistata dai pachistani e usata oggi dagli iraniani. 

Il materiale fu portato a Oak Ridge, la centrale nel Tennessee dove americani e israeliani hanno riprodotto la centrale iraniana di Natanz e dove avrebbero studiato i tempi di fabbricazione della Bomba.

Il primo scenario, il più realistico, è quello in cui l’Iran viola l’accordo e assembla la Bomba. “Israele avrebbe non più di due mesi per attaccare”, ci dice Ben Yishai. “Specie se non è sicuro che lo faccia l’America. 

L’Iran ha più volte dichiarato di voler cancellare lo stato ebraico dalla mappa geografica”. C’è un secondo scenario, più estremo. “Un giorno ci svegliamo e scopriamo che l’Iran ha già la Bomba. Allora ci dovremmo preparare a una nuova Guerra fredda, perché in quel caso l’opzione militare israeliana diventerebbe di mera deterrenza”. 

Ma che Israele ha già la bomba atomica è un segreto di pulcinella. 

Friday, May 29

JIHADISM WORLD' THANKS THE STUNNING BUSH FAMILY

Ray McGovern. As American politicians and editorial writers resume their tough talk about sending more U.S. troops into Iraq, they are resurrecting the “successful surge” myth, the claim that President George W. Bush’s dispatch of 30,000 more soldiers in 2007 somehow “won” the war a storyline that is beloved by the neocons because it somewhat lets them off the hook for starting the disaster in the first place.

But just because Official Washington embraces a narrative doesn’t make it true. Bush’s “surge” was, in reality, a dismal - an unconscionable - failure. It did not achieve its ostensible aim  the rationale Bush eventually decided to give it - namely, to buy time for Iraq’s Sunnis and Shiites to reconcile.

Rather, it did just the opposite, greatly exacerbating antagonisms between them. That result was clearly predicted before the “surge” by none other than Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, top U.S. military leaders, and even the Washington Establishment-heavy Iraq Study Group, all of which were pressing for less -not more- military involvement.

In one very important sense, however, the “surge” into Iraq was wildly successful in achieving what was almost certainly its primary aim. It bought President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney a “decent interval” so they could leave office without an explicit military defeat sullying their legacy and for the “acceptable” price of “only” 1,000 more U.S. dead.

At the time there were other options – and indeed many of the “achievements” credited to the “surge” had already happened or at least had begun. The hyper-violent Al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed in June 2006; ethnic cleansing was separating Sunni and Shiite communities; and the Sunni Awakening – the buying off of some tribal leaders – was being implemented.

Yet, by fall 2006 it also was unavoidably clear that a new course had to be chosen and implemented in Iraq, and virtually every sober thinker seemed opposed to sending more troops. The senior military, especially CENTCOM commander Gen. John Abizaid and his man on the ground in Iraq, Gen. George Casey, emphasized that sending still more U.S. troops to Iraq would simply reassure leading Iraqi politicians that they could relax and continue to take forever to get their act together.

Here, for example, is Gen. Abizaid’s answer at the Senate Armed Services Committee on Nov. 15, 2006, to Sen. John McCain, who had long been pressing vigorously for sending 20,000 more troops to Iraq:

“Senator McCain, I met with every divisional commander, General Casey, the corps commander, General Dempsey, we all talked together. And I said, ‘in your professional opinion, if we were to bring in more American troops now, does it add considerably to our ability to achieve success in Iraq?’ And they all said no. And the reason is because we want the Iraqis to do more. It is easy for the Iraqis to rely upon us do this work. I believe that more American forces prevent the Iraqis from doing more, from taking more responsibility for their own future.”

The U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, sent a classified cable to Washington warning that “proposals to send more U.S. forces to Iraq would not produce a long-term solution and would make our policy less, not more, sustainable,” according to a New York Times retrospective on the “surge” by Michael R. Gordon published on Aug. 31, 2008. Khalilzad was arguing, unsuccessfully, for authority to negotiate a political solution with the Iraqis.

There was also the establishment-heavy Iraq Study Group, created by Congress and led by Republican stalwart James Baker and Democrat Lee Hamilton. After months of policy review during 2006 – with former CIA Director Robert Gates as a member – it issued a final report on Dec. 6, 2006, that began with the ominous sentence “The situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating.”

It called for: “A change in the primary mission of U.S. Forces in Iraq that will enable the United States to begin to move its combat forces out of Iraq responsibly… By the first quarter of 2008 … all combat brigades not necessary for force protection could be out of Iraq.” Though a member of the Iraq Study Group, Gates quietly disassociated himself from its findings when Bush was dangling the position of Defense Secretary in front of the always ambitious Gates. After Nov. 8, 2006 when Bush announced Gates’s nomination, Gates quit the ISG.

Gates would do what he needed to do to become secretary of defense. At his confirmation hearing on Dec. 5, he obscured his opinions by telling the Senate Armed Services only “all options are on the table in terms of Iraq.” The Democrats, including then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, swooned over Gates’s supposed thoughtfulness and wisdom.

Many Democrats assumed that Gates would help persuade Bush to implement the ISG’s plan for a troop drawdown, but they were in for a surprise. With unanimous Democratic support and only two conservative Republicans opposed, Gates was confirmed by the full Senate on Dec. 6, the same day the ISG report was formally released. But the Democrats and much of the mainstream media had completely misread the behind-the-scenes story.

The little-understood reality behind Bush’s decision to catapult Robert Gates into his Pentagon perch was the astonishing fact that previous Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, of all people, was pulling a Robert McNamara; he was going wobbly on a war based largely on his own hubris-laden, misguided advice. In the fall of 2006 Rumsfeld was having a reality attack. In Rumsfeld-speak, he came face to face with a “known known.”

On Nov. 6, 2006, a day before the mid-term elections, Rumsfeld sent a memo to the White House, in which he acknowledged, “Clearly, what U.S. forces are currently doing in Iraq is not working well enough or fast enough.”

The rest of his memo sounded very much like the emerging troop-drawdown conclusions of the Iraq Study Group. The first 80 percent of Rumsfeld’s memo addressed “Illustrative Options,” including his preferred – or “above the line” – options such as “an accelerated drawdown of U.S. bases … to five by July 2007″ and withdrawal of U.S. forces “from vulnerable positions — cities, patrolling, etc. … so the Iraqis know they have to pull up their socks, step up and take responsibility for their country.”

Finally, Rumsfeld had begun to listen to his generals and others who knew which end was up. The hurdle? Bush and Cheney were not about to follow Rumsfeld’s example in “going wobbly.” Like Robert McNamara at a similar juncture during Vietnam, Rumsfeld had to be let go before he caused a U.S. president to “lose a war.”

Waiting in the wings, though, was Robert Gates, who had been dispatched into a political purgatory after coming under suspicion of lying during the Iran-Contra scandal as Ronald Reagan’s deputy CIA director. Though President George H. W. Bush pushed through Gates’s nomination to be CIA director in 1991, Gates was sent packing by President Bill Clinton in 1993.

The elder Bush bailed Gates out again by getting him appointed as president of Texas A&M in College Station, Texas, the site of Bush’s presidential library. But Gates began his Washington rehabilitation with a spot on the Iraq Study Group. While on the ISG, he evidenced no disagreement with its emerging conclusions – at least not until Bush asked him to become Secretary of Defense in early November 2006. Rumsfeld had outlived his usefulness.

And, because of Official Washington’s famous forgetfulness, Gates was remembered not as a conniving and deceptive CIA bureaucrat, but as a “wise man” who was seen as a restraining emissary sent by the senior George Bush to rein in his impetuous son.

Easing the going-wobbly Rumsfeld off the stage was awkward. Right up to the week before the mid-term elections on Nov. 7, 2006, President Bush insisted that he intended to keep Rumsfeld in place for the next two years. Suddenly, however, the President had to confront Rumsfeld’s apostasy favoring a drawdown of U.S. troops from Iraq.

Rumsfeld had let reality get to him, together with the very strong anti-surge protestations by all senior uniformed officers save one — the ambitious Gen. David Petraeus, who had jumped on board for the “surge” escalation following the advice of his favorite neocon theorists, including Frederick Kagan.

With the bemedaled Petraeus in the wings and pro-surge guidance from Kagan and retired Gen. Jack Keane, all the White House needed was a new Pentagon chief who could be counted on to take Rumsfeld’s place and do the White House’s bidding. (If the names Kagan and Keane sound somewhat familiar, would you believe that they are now playing on President Barack Obama’s Bush-like aversion to losing a war on his watch, and are loudly and unashamedly promoting the idea of yet another “surge” into Iraq?)

On Nov. 5, 2006, Bush had a one-on-one with Gates in Crawford, Texas, and the deal was struck. Forget the torturously hammered-out recommendations of the Iraq Study Group; forget what the military commanders and even Rumsfeld were saying. Gates suddenly found the “surge” an outstanding idea. Well, not really. That’s just what he let Bush believe. (While “chameleon” is the word most often used for Gates by those who knew him at the CIA, Melvin Goodman, who worked with Gates in the branch I led on Soviet Foreign Policy uses the best label — “windsock.”)

Gates is second to none — not even Petraeus — in ambition and self-promotion. It is a safe bet he wanted desperately to be Secretary of Defense, to be back at center stage in Washington after nearly 14 years in exile from the big show.

He quickly agreed to tell Gen. Abizaid to retire; offer Gen. Casey a sinecure as Army chief of staff, providing he kept his mouth shut; and to eagle-scout his way through Senate confirmation with the help of pundits like David Ignatius composing panegyrics in honor of Gates, the “realist.”

So relieved were the senators to be rid of the hated-but-feared Rumsfeld that the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Dec. 5, 2006, on Gates’s nomination had the aura of a pajama party (I was there). Gates told the senators bedtime stories – and vowed to show “great deference to the judgment of generals.”

That “deference” included Gates dumping Abizaid and Casey. But the administration faltered embarrassingly in coming up with a reasonable rationale to “justify” the surge, especially in the face of so much on-the-ground advice opposing the troop increase. And, the truth wouldn’t work either. You couldn’t really say: “We’re trading the lives of U.S. troops for a politically useful ‘decent interval.’”

On Dec. 20, 2006, President Bush told the Washington Post that he was “inclined to believe we do need to increase our troops, the Army and Marines.” He added, tellingly, “There’s got to be a specific mission that can be accomplished with the addition of more troops,” adding that he would look to Gates, just back from a quick trip to Baghdad, to help explain.

By way of preliminary explanation for the “surge,” President Bush wandered back and forth between “ideological struggle” to “sectarian violence.” He told the Post, “I’m going to keep repeating this over and over again, that I believe we’re in an ideological struggle” and, besides, “sectarian violence [is] obviously the real problem we face.”

When it became clear that those dogs wouldn’t hunt, the White House justified the “surge” as necessary to give Iraqi government leaders “breathing space” to work out their differences. That was the rationale offered by Bush in a major address on Jan 10, 2007. Pulling out all the stops, he also raised the specter of another 9/11 and, of course, spoke of the “decisive ideological struggle of our time.”

Taking a slap at his previous generals, the ISG and the wobbly Rumsfeld, Bush dismissed those who “are concerned that the Iraqis are becoming too dependent on the United States” and those whose “solution is to scale back America’s efforts in Baghdad — or announce a phased withdrawal of our combat forces.”

The President did warn that the year ahead would be “bloody and violent, even if our strategy works.” He got that part right. One would be tempted to laugh at Bush’s self-absorption — and Gates’s ambition — were we not talking about the completely unnecessary killing of over 1,000 U.S. troops and the brutalization of other U.S. soldiers — not to mention the slaughter of thousands of Iraqis.

In reality, by throwing 30,000 additional troops into Iraq, Bush and Cheney got two years of breathing room as they wound down their administration and some political space to snipe at their successors who inherited the Iraq mess.

But what about the thousand-plus U.S. troops killed during the “surge”? The tens of thousand of Iraqis? The hundreds of thousands displaced from their homes in the Baghdad area alone? I fear the attitude was this: Nobody would get killed, just a bunch of Iraqis and GIs mostly from small-town and inner-city America. And, anyway, our soldiers and Marines all volunteered, didn’t they?

Bush, Cheney and Gates apparently deemed it a small price to pay for enabling them to blame a successor administration for the inevitable withdrawal from America’s first large-scale war of aggression. I have known Gates for 45 years; he has always been transparently ambitious, but he is also bright. He knew better; and he did it anyway.

While those tactical machinations and political calculations were underway, Col. W. Patrick Lang, USA (retired), and I wrote a piece on Dec. 20, 2006, in which we exposed the chicanery and branded such a “surge” strategy “nothing short of immoral, in view of the predicable troop losses and the huge number of Iraqis who would meet violent injury and death.”

Surprisingly, we were joined by Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Oregon, who explained to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos why Smith said on the Senate floor that U.S. policy on Iraq may be “criminal.” “You can use any adjective you want, George. But I have long believed that in a military context, when you do the same thing over and over again without a clear strategy for victory, at the expense of your young people in arms, that is dereliction. That is deeply immoral.”