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Henry Kissinger: Iraq really is all about the oil, and we'll be there for a long, long time

As we all know, Henry Kissinger has, "Jeff Gannon" style, been discreetly slipping into the Bush Bunker White House to give Inerrant Boy advice. So, it's interesting that Henry the K just published an Op-Ed in the the United Arab Emirates Khaleej Times Online, and not in Pravda on the Potomac or Izvestia on the Hudson. (Readers? I'm Googling on this article, and can't find it anywhere else.) I imagine that's because Kissinger imagines that, when he makes a case for continuous war without end, the autocrats of the oil states in the Gulf are a more appropriate audience than the people who do the dying, the voting, and the paying: The American people. After all, Our Henry's an Aristocrat like the rest of the Beltway Wienie Chompers. That said, Henry always has been a fine writer:

The disenchantment of the American public with the burdens it has borne alone [Gosh, why?] for nearly four years has generated growing demands for some form of unilateral withdrawal, usually expressed in the form of benchmarks to be put to the Baghdad government which, if not fulfilled in specific time periods, would trigger American disengagement.

Of course, one way to read Bush's last trainwreck of a speech (the Library speech) is that he's setting Makiki as the fall guy, if Maliki can't deliver on whatever Bush decides the benchmarks were. So put Bush in with the rest of the disenchanted.

But Our Henry is still enchanted, and here's why:

But under present conditions, withdrawal is not an option. American forces are indispensable. They are in Iraq not as a favour to its government or as a reward for its conduct. They are there as an expression of the American national interest to prevent the Iranian combination of imperialism and fundamentalist ideology from dominating a region on which the energy supplies of the industrial democracies depend.

Well, great. (1) So much for the WMD's argument we heard so much about in the run-up to the war. (2) So much for the war being about freedom. (3) So much for the way being about ideology or against "extremists" or "Islamo-fascists since if they weren't sitting on top of the oil, Bush, and Our Henry, wouldn't give two shits about them.

(This suggests to me that the Democratic resolutions/statutes on the war, if they want the reality-based community to regard them as "serious," need to rule out American permanent bases in Iraq--as the Bush administration has never done.)

More Henry-ness:

President Bush’s decision should therefore not be debated in terms of the “stay the course” strategy he has repeatedly disavowed in recent days. Rather it should be seen as the first step towards a new grand strategy relating power to diplomacy for the entire region, ideally on a nonpartisan basis.

This may or may not be true. Regardless, having started, fought, and lost the war--and created the greatest strategic disaster in American history--entirely on a partisan basis, even going so far as to use the war directly for partisan advantage in election after election, and smearing even people who questioned the war as traitors, the Republicans simply have no credible basis to lead, or even participate, in any "nonpartisan" basis. Kissinger cannot put that toothpaste back in the tube. Na ga happen. Why on earth would anybody be stupid enough to trust them?

So, let's skip the grand strategy jerkoff part, and cut why the heck Our Henry want to do this:

Any enhancement of radical Islamist self-confidence therefore threatens all the traditional states of the region, as well as others with significant Islamic populations, from Indonesia through India to Western Europe. The most important target is the United States, as the most powerful country of the West and the indispensable component of any attempt to build a new world order.

Well, that's alright then. Now I know why we're fighting the war: To hang onto the oil by preventing "any enhancement of radical Islamist self-confidence."

With all due respect to the architect of the Cambodian genocide, I suggest that this toothpaste, as well, cannot be put back into the tube. Na ga happen.

Time press, so I must end. The best--the only--way for us to achieve Kissinger's policy objective (assuming it, arguendo, to be sensible or even sane) is to be the best America, not the worst!

We should "decrease Islamist self-confidence" by:

1. Restoring the rule of law in the United States (start with habeas corpus

2. Restore the rule of law internationally by reaffirming the Geneva Convention.

3. Close Gitmo, stop torture, and account for the disappeared.

4. Renounce permament bases in Iraq. (That's far more important than benchmarks and timetables.)

Remember "the shining city on the hill"? Bring it back.

Because if we don't, no amount of military power is going to help us.

Oh, and why isn't weaning ourselves from our oil addiction part of Our Henry's strategy?

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Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

I'm pretty disgusted with the talk about war for oil, but at least he's frank. You know as well as I do how pissed Americans get when gas prices are up around $3/gallon.

But where I think Kissinger is right is that withdrawal would embolden radical islam by giving them a win. The islamists could give less than a shit about the Geneva Conventions, Gitmo or Habeeas Corpus. Sharia law is far more brutal and restrictive. Finally, the US maintains and continues to maintain bases throughout the islamic world, a fact that would not change if the policy on Iraq's bases changed.

Kissinger is a realist, and he's done the dirt to prove it. But his vision is fairly clear and he knows what is in the interest of the USA, even if it has had devastating consequences for people of other nations, such as in SE Asia. In this case, however, the Iraqis will win at least in terms of security if his advice is followed.