THE ROVING EYE
Behind the Anbar myth
By Pepe Escobar
After the elaborate theatrics just performed in the house of mirrors of Washington, US President George W Bush is now recommending to the nation what he told top Iraq commander General David Petraeus to recommend to him. Only those paying more attention to the botched comeback of the “fat” lip-synching Britney Spears will be fooled by Petraeus, the iPod general – a player of what is fed by his master’s voice, the White House.
The facts are stark: by next summer, and even next September (two months before the presidential election), Washington will have the same number of boots on the ground (130,000) in Iraq’s US$3-billion-a-week war that it had before the “surge”, compounding – indeed amplifying – the existing ethical, political and strategic disaster.
Petraeus’ key argument this week to prove his steering of the Bush-devised “surge” was a “success” was to spin the close collaboration between the occupation and the Shi’ite-dominated Iraqi government in Baghdad on the one side with Sunni tribal leaders in al-Anbar province on the other. Petraeus framed it as if this “sustainable” solution was a huge counterinsurgency success of his own making. Nothing could be further from the truth.