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This is not a column in support of the notion of invading Iraq – nor is it intended to criticize any such invasion. As any student of military history knows, the truth of what leads up to a military action is seldom wholly discernible by those who are not at the center of events. What seems obviously justifiable at the time may appear much less so in the future, and even the most apparently outrageous action may turn out to have been merited upon further review.

For the last month, the mainstream media has been buzzing with the news of a peace camp and a war camp within the Bush administration, senators have announced that they know nothing about any military plans, European leaders have washed their hands of any potential involvement, and any number of top-secret, mutually contradictory military plans have appeared in major newspapers.

You would think, in light of this heightened interest in all things Iraq-related, someone would bother to mention that the invasion has already begun.

In the image conveyed by Hollywood, wars start approximately eight hours after the president clenches his jaw and drops a few determined f-bombs in the direction of his well-starched Praetorian Guard. In reality, there are weeks, even months, between the time that the fatal decision is made and the shooting begins. For example, the tragic events of World War I became inevitable as soon the major players had set their grand mobilization plans into action.

Admittedly, the case of Iraq is a little harder to judge because our armed forces have been consistently bombing Iraq almost since the end of the original Desert Storm, but there is no question that the actions now under way are of a distinctly different nature than the cat-and-mouse game that’s been played for the last decade in the No-Fly Zones.

Now, it is possible that the news reported by DEBKAfile is simply more of the misinformation and disinformation flowing so freely out of Washington these days, but given this particular website’s past track record, I submit that this Internet information is much more accurate than that provided by any White House spokesman.

It is worth noting that the destruction of the Iraqi air command-and-control center at al-Nukhaib appears to have ensured that the U.S. forces will enjoy the same air supremacy which was wielded to such deadly effect in Gulf War I. The six air bases constructed and now ready to go active inside Iraqi territory, plus the giant new bases in Qatar and Afghanistan, will no doubt obviate any need for the dubious assistance of erstwhile allies such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt and allow the U.S. to blow off both these so-called Arab moderates as well as their European apologists.

But what is most interesting is the report that Turkish forces are now acting as American auxiliaries. If the Bamerni airport is truly in the hands of our newly active allies, then a significant portion of the Iraqi oil supplies are already under U.S. control. This will make any Iraqi strike against Saudi Arabia or Kuwait much less dangerous to world oil supplies and the American economy. Of course, this would also seem to increase the chances of a desperate Iraqi strike at Israel, which is no doubt why Israel has recently installed new Arrow-2 anti-missile batteries as well as demonstrating an uncharacteristic lack of concern for international opinion in recent weeks.

What is particularly significant in the long-term is that the new Israeli-Turkish-American alliance, which has also forged strong ties to India, hints at a major shift in the strategic balance of power. Turkey, India and Israel possess more military power than the entire European Union, and given the threat radical Islam poses each of these three nations, it is clear that the Bush administration has much more in mind than a mere sequel to Gulf War I.

Thus, it would not surprise me if before the end of what could be a Seventh Crusade, we see new governments come to power in Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the Palestinian Authority and perhaps Egypt. Deus le volt? I don’t know.

None of this is news to Mr. Hussein, of course, nor to the man who claims he hasn’t yet decided how or when Mr. Hussein will be removed from power. But given that we live in a country where we the people are supposed to be sovereign, I thought you should know, too.

 

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