Friday, June 4, 2010
Spengler Exposes Petraeus
"Memo to heads of state: beware the clever general who turns up at a tough moment, and says 'Leave it to me. I can fix it for you.' ... General David Petraeus, who heads America's Central Command (CENTCOM), taught the land to live off him. Petraeus' putative success in the Iraq 'surge' of 2007-2008 is one of the wierdest cases of Karl Marx's quip of history repeating itself first as tragedy second as farce. The consequences will be similar, that is, hideous. ... And now America is engaged in a grand strategic withdrawal from responsibility in the region, leaving behind men with weapons and excellent reasons to use them. ... With American money, weapons and training, the remnants of Saddam Hussein's regime have turned into a fighting force far more effective than the defunct dictator's state police. ... America is pouring money--which is to say weapons--into disputed areas of Afghanistan, and building the core of a Palestinian army. The latter's mission is to impose a pro-Western Palestinian government on a population of whom two-thirds oppose the two-state solution. It more likely will end up fighting Israel. ... Iran is patient, playing for time, possibly to acquire nuclear weapons--which Washington has all but conceded--and until the Americans withdraw, which they must sooner or later. ... Having armed all sides of the conflict and kept them apart by the threat of arms, the [US] now expects to depart leaving in place governments of national reconciliation that will pursuade well-armed and well-organized militias to play by the rules. ... At some point the whole sorry structure will collapse, and no-one knows it better than Petraeus. ... Petraeus made his reputation on the surge, and needs someone to blame for its prospective failure. His choice is Israel. ... 'The upshot of this could not be clearer: Petraeus is echoing the narrative peddled incessantly by leftists in the government he serves and by Islamists in the countries where he works.' ... Because Petraeus sold the 'surge' to former president George W, Bush, allowing the Republicans to claim a certain degree of success for the largely unpopular Iraq War, his influence vastly exceeds that of a career officer. ... The Republicans are like investors involved in a Ponzi scheme; if any of them disavows it, everyone will, and the scheme will collapse. In order to justify their past support of nation-building in Iraq, they have difficulty disowning Petraeus--even when Petaeus puts the onus for the failure of American policy on Israel. ... Petraeus' formulation lends respectability to the fanciful idea that Iran would listen to reason if only Israel would stop building apartments in East Jerusalem. ... There is not a government in world that believes that 'effective sanctions against Iran' are anything more than a euphemism for catastrophic failure of American policy. ... If the [US] merely is going through the motions, why should the Russians or Chinese prejudice their commercial interests in order to assist the face-saving inanities of American diplomacy?", Spengler at Asia Times, 3 May 2010, link:
I agree with Spengler. As usual.