Is "Yugoslavia's piecemeal wreckage" a goal for the Mideast?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Mon Mar 24 08:07:59 MST 2003

(A perceptive article from a liberal publication that has more guts than
the Nation. After taking a swipe at it several months ago, I am now
convinced that it is making a useful contribution all in all. PBS honcho
Bill Moyers, who is a prime mover behind the excellent
website, is involved with the magazine. The article below, which is from
the current issue that has a big picture of Lawrence "of
Arabia"--Lawrence of Empire to be more exact--has him nailed completely:
"The final key component for these map-redrawing, would-be Lawrences of
Arabia is the toppling of Assad's regime and the breakup of Syria. Perle
himself proposed exactly that in a 1996 document prepared for the
Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies (IASPS), an
Israeli think tank." I myself am planning a review of the film "classic"
based on the Knightley-Simpson study of Lawrence mixed with my own
vitriolic sensibility.)

The American Prospect Volume 14, Issue 3

Just the Beginning
Is Iraq the opening salvo in a war to remake the world?

by Robert Dreyfuss

For months Americans have been told that the United States is going to
war against Iraq in order to disarm Saddam Hussein, remove him from
power, eliminate Iraq's alleged stockpiles of weapons of mass
destruction, and prevent Baghdad from blackmailing its neighbors or
aiding terrorist groups. But the Bush administration's hawks, especially
the neoconservatives who provide the driving force for war, see the
conflict with Iraq as much more than that. It is a signal event,
designed to create cataclysmic shock waves throughout the region and
around the world, ushering in a new era of American imperial power. It
is also likely to bring the United States into conflict with several
states in the Middle East. Those who think that U.S. armed forces can
complete a tidy war in Iraq, without the battle spreading beyond Iraq's
borders, are likely to be mistaken.

"I think we're going to be obliged to fight a regional war, whether we
want to or not," says Michael Ledeen, a former U.S. national-security
official and a key strategist among the ascendant flock of
neoconservative hawks, many of whom have taken up perches inside the
U.S. government. Asserting that the war against Iraq can't be contained,
Ledeen says that the very logic of the global war on terrorism will
drive the United States to confront an expanding network of enemies in
the region. "As soon as we land in Iraq, we're going to face the whole
terrorist network," he says, including the Palestine Liberation
Organization (PLO), Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and a collection of
militant splinter groups backed by nations -- Iran, Syria and Saudi
Arabia -- that he calls "the terror masters."

"It may turn out to be a war to remake the world," says Ledeen.

In the Middle East, impending "regime change" in Iraq is just the first
step in a wholesale reordering of the entire region, according to
neoconservatives -- who've begun almost gleefully referring to
themselves as a "cabal." Like dominoes, the regimes in the region --
first Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia, then Lebanon and the PLO, and
finally Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia -- are slated to capitulate,
collapse or face U.S. military action. To those states, says cabal
ringleader Richard Perle, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise
Institute (AEI) and chairman of the Defense Policy Board, an influential
Pentagon advisory committee, "We could deliver a short message, a
two-word message: 'You're next.'" In the aftermath, several of those
states, including Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia, may end up as
dismantled, unstable shards in the form of mini-states that resemble
Yugoslavia's piecemeal wreckage. And despite the Wilsonian rhetoric from
the president and his advisers about bringing democracy to the Middle
East, at bottom it's clear that their version of democracy might have to
be imposed by force of arms.



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