As Australian PM John Howard says today of the Iraq Quagmire:
"I have already stated very plainly for everybody to see and understand my view on there being no case for a fundamental change in strategy."And as the Guardian story below indicates, Howard is totally, 100% in tune to the criminally obstinant policy of George W. Bush.
So the dice have already been rolled for the 2007 Australian election, and Howard (surprisingly, for someone so often acclaimed as a political maestro) has pre-committed himself to a very dodgy scenario indeed.
This one, however, is very likely going to blow up in his face. If Bush only commits an additional 20,000 troops to Baghdad, it's no more than a spit in the ocean. It's just face-saving window dressing, nothing more. Sure, there is likely to be a lot of back-room dealing with Syria, Iran and the Iraqi insurgents (a pathetically hypocritical attempt to salvage the all-important "legacies" of Bush, Blair and Howard), but it won't be enough. The ship of fools is going down. Unfortunately, it will be dragging even more innocent Iraqi civilians and US soldiers with it. Alas.
Now, then, let's ask the grown-up questions: what about the oil?
What's really going on here is that the Western alliance is staking it's soul on the black gold beneath Iraq's desert sands. We are addicts who have our hands on the mother lode and simply cannot let go. Bush himself is a stooge of the Carlyle Group and Cheney's oil friends: he has no choice. He does what the little voices tell him to do, as always. They have the wood on him.
In the coming 12 months, Iraq's US-appointed leaders will be forced to sign the US-imposed Oil Law, or they will be killed. It's that simple. With the blessing of the IMF, US-based Big Oil will take control of Iraq's oil fields, one way or the other, and this dying generation of politicians - Bush, Blair and Howard - will take the fall for it. As long as the elite hold power, as long as Big Oil secures the Iraqi fields, that's really all that matters.
Rupert Murdoch will back them to the hilt, of course, until the next elections come around. Then he will jump ship. And Howard's "political genius" will follow that of Karl Rove down the drain.
To these people, the public shame of such a disastrous policy simply does not matter. Their masters will reward them in the political after-life. Even Rupert will help salvage their reputations.
It's a bloody mess. It was never meant to be this difficult for the masters of the universe. The good news is, we have them on the back foot and their rump is exposed.