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Running out of Lifeboats: A Titanic Disaster
Published on Saturday, November 25, 2006 by
Running out of Lifeboats: A Titanic Disaster
by Felicity Arbuthnot

Were not the immensity of the scale of Iraq's tragedy - a wickedness of near unparallelled historic proportions, surely to be the legacy of George W.Bush and Anthony Blair Q.C., for all time - it would be amusing to watch the neo-cons and their London lackeys leaping into the lifeboats and rowing frantically away from the terminally holed titanic project, leaving the maimed political corpses of the deluded duo to sink with the ship. Arch hawk Keneth Adelman of the U.S., Defence Policy Board, who in 2003 predicted the invasion would be a 'cakewalk', skulling in Olympian fashion, now says that : 'President Bush is ultimately reponsible ... for the debacle that is Iraq', continuing: ' ...A country's at stake, a region's at stake. This is a gigantic situation. This didn't have to be managed this bad. It's just awful' (1) - as is his grammar.

Newt Gingrich, Speaker of the House is among a number to accuse the President of lack of leadership. Former Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, has been fired, has vanished, has two writs for human rights abuses filed against him and is surely lying face down in the flooded hold. Henry Kissinger, a man who makes Atilla the Hun seem moderate, but who knows a bit about quagmires, as Secretary of State during the Viet Nam war, told the BBC that outright victory in Iraq was impossible.

Lakhdar Brahimi, U.N. envoy to Iraq accused the U.S.and U.K. of being in a 'state of denial', saying the Iraq project had 'collapsed a long time ago.' U.N. outgoing Secretary General Kofi Annan added a fourth word to his vocablary ('regrettable', 'unfortunate', 'concerned') : 'Trapped.' 'The U.S., is ... trapped in Iraq ... it cannot stay and it cannot leave', he told a press conference.

Brahimi, a man with some insight on the area, also predicted that a mooted plan to Balkanise Iraq, splitting it in to three regions would produce: 'chaos' both inside Iraq and throughout 'the region.' He also pointed out that the militias killing Iraqis were part of the U.S. imposed puppet government.

Meanwhile, General John Abizaid, top gun U.S., General in the Middle East, speaking in Cambridge Massachusetts, blames the residents of the region for the whole, bloody, mess. He warned of a 'third world war', resulting from rising 'Islamic militancy', comparing the situation with the rise of fascism in Europe in the 1920's and 1930's. 'If we don't have the guts to adress this today, we will have world war three tomorrow', he said, as heartbroken Iraqis flee their 'liberation' for any country that will take them in, leaving their homes and their all, at the rate of one hundred thousand a month, according to the U.N., High Commission for Refugees. Abizaid, of Christian-Lebanese descent, a man brave enought to lead a Company in the invasion of little Grenada (population: ninety thousand; with no armed forces and just eighty policeman) also reportedly told an audience at the Naval War College, in November 2005, that Al-Qaeda aimed to ultimately establish a caliphate which would take over the entire globe.

That motorcycle riding, one eyed, Mullah Omar certainly is ambitious. Director of Research for the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, Kenneth Pollack, has also weighed in. He blames those fleeing. In: 'Iraq Refugees: Carriers of Conflict', published in Atlantic Monthly in November, he depicts them as 'the problem.' Pollack cites instances in Middle East history in which refugees have fomented civil unrest. He writes of 'sanctuaries for militia groups', wherein leaders sometimes become heads of refugee communities. 'Tribal elders and other leaders who might oppose violence may find themselves enfeebled by both the trauma of flight and the loss of their traditional basis of power (typically, control of land). As a result, refugee camps can become deeply radicalized communities, dangerous to their host countries in several ways. The mere presence of militias among the refugees tends to embroil the host country in war by making it a target.' If so, the answer might be to not steal their land, oil; bomb, raid and have allied militias steal and drive them from their homes; not to rape, torture, rampage, murder and seal off entire towns, the all giving them every cause for fleeing.

In the midst of all this Blair admits on Al Jazeera, that Iraq is a 'disaster', then pitches up in another one, Afganistan, grinning inanely, shaking soldiers' hands - some of whom will probably return in body bags - talking of the 'remarkable progress', in this ruined wasteland, from 'President' Hamid Kharzai's fortified zone, failing to mention the swathes of land back in the hands of the Taliban and the woman and girls back behind closed doors. Iraq is so unsafe that President Bush is to meet 'Prime Minister' Maliki in Jordan, adding to that little country's woes, overwhelmed by the displaced of the U.S.A's Middle East disaster, now to be placed under lockdown by Presidential security guards, with residents unable to leave their homes, go to places of work, school or local shops - and with mobile phone systems likely to be disconnected. 'Democrocy' is about to land in the land from which Philadelphia took it's name.

Back in Iraq, however, the sweets and flowers which (the world was told) were to greet the invaders, are being given to the resistance, it is reported. 'U.S., tormentors in Iraq are now the "heroes of liberation" (with) unfortunate to say (U.S. troops) viewed as thieves, gangsters and thugs who have come to rape and molest women and girls, abuse prisoners and destroy cities and residential districts one after the other', writes one Iraqi blogger, in the week when the world marked the U.N. World Day against Child Abuse and three thousand seven hundred and nine Iraqis were announced dead from invasion related violence during October.

Perhaps the last word on this Middle East mayhem, should go the the U.S, Ambassador the the U.N., John Bolton, a man to whom diplomacy and concilliation is a foreign land (who, with the shift of balance of power in the States, may also be set to be pushed overboard.) On November 21st, commenting on the murder of Pierre Gemayel, the Lebanese Industry Minister, he said: 'Assassination is not the way to change a government.' This from a country who posted twenty million dollar bounties on members of Iraq's legitimate government with: 'Wanted Dead or Alive', added; slaughtered the President's two sons and fifteen year old grandson (a crime of enormity, whatever their hue.) A country which bans gambling (except in Las Vegas and Reno) yet had the Iraqi governments' heads put on playing cards, in a mortifying move that makes 'crass' and 'infantile' an insult to the crude and to infants everywhere. A government whose 'sovereignty and integrity', was absolutely guaranteed by the U.N. This invasion, under the Nuremburg Priniciples, represents the 'supreme crime.'

The U.S., and U.K., say Intelligence sources, now face an unprecedented risk of terrorist attacks 'Before September 11th 2001', writes one commentator: 'No one had crossed the Atlantic carrying weapons (against America) except the Westerners who established the U.S.A. Yet America has (crossed numerous boundaries) bringing death and destruction against the world.'

'The world will deal with the U.S., in respect and love when they see (the same) in America's relations with them. The world will then live in peace and not on the edge of an abyss.' (2) Ironically, the writer was Saddam Hussein, who may well (illegally) hang, but, it seems, is sinking two governments. As political wits are saying wryly : 'I-R-A-Q : I Remember Another Quagmire.'

Felicity Arbuthnot is a London-based writer.

1. 'Key allies turn on Bush ...' Independent, 20th November 2006. 2. Full facsimile edition of three letters written after 11th September, available from 


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