Sunday, August 12, 2007

Cheney predicted the entire course of the Iraq war

It only takes a few minutes to watch the 1994 video clip. I don't think we have the technology to forge something like this. Dick Cheney, in a few minutes of rapid and detailed explanation, predicts exactly what would happen were the US to invade Iraq. He got everything right, including the disintegration of Iraq and the cost in American lives.

Really, we all need to watch this.

So, what happened? I used to think Cheney had developed some kind of organic brain syndrome in the 90s, but a recent WaPo series suggested a Machiavellian brilliance that belies any significant cognitive impairment. So I'm left with a rather dark conclusion.

He knew exactly what was going to happen. He knew Iraq would collapse into civil war and then disintegrate. This was what he, and Rumsfeld, intended from the start. I wonder if he ever told Bush.

Update 8/14/07: I've been playing this in my head for about two years now. If Rumsfeld and Cheney knew what they were doing, then what was their intent (assuming they're not KGB plants or space alien saboteurs)? My best guesses:
  1. To divide the arab world into a balanced pair of rival Sunni and Shiite fractions. Perhaps they'd decided that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were the real enemies, and that the best way to balance them was to strengthen Iran and the Shiite world. Both these men would remember when Iran was the a core ally of US foreign policy.
  2. To dismantle Iraq and place Iraqi oil into the hands of nations that would reliably maximize outputs and oppose Saudi Arabian control.
Really, the 2nd is just an derivative of the first. My best guess is that they wanted to weaken Sunni power, and they figured strengthening Iran and Shiite power was the best way to do that. Since the Bush family is closely identified with Saudi Arabia, maybe they didn't remember to brief GWB on the entire plan -- which would explain his clue-free state.

Alternatively, they could both have been merely incompetent. I'm not sure which explanation I prefer.

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