by Kevin Barrett (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 49, No. 1, Rajab, 1441)
The Trump regime’s murder of General Qassem Soleimani and Commander Abdul-Mahdi al-Muhandis on January 3 set off a cascade of events that will ultimately lead to the Americans’ humiliating exit from the region. But they will not go down without a fight, accompanied by the usual tangled web of devious plots and schemes.
As the occupiers scramble to contain the fallout from their ill-starred assassinations, they are mounting a new divide-and-conquer operation aimed at breaking up Iraq via the creation of an American-occupied “Sunni State” in Anbar Province. By occupying Anbar, the Americans would cut the “land bridge” between Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, putting a roadblock in the path of the Axis of Resistance. Additionally, unconfirmed reports of major new oil discoveries in Anbar Province and its neighboring Syrian province of Deir ez-Zur suggest that Trump’s stated intention to stay in the region to “keep the oil” may also be a factor.
The Americans and their Zionist tutors have long dreamed of breaking Iraq into pieces. In 1982 Ariel Sharon advisor Oded Yinon published “A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties.” Written in Hebrew and published in the World Zionist Organization’s KIVUNIM (“directions”), the plan was leaked to the world in English translation by Israeli whistleblower Israel Shahak. Oded Yinon proposed breaking up Arab countries into tiny, powerless, balkanized entities by fracturing them along ethnic and sectarian lines. Iraq was at the top of his hit list: “Its dissolution is even more important for us than that of Syria.”
The Israeli plan to break up Arab countries was at the heart of Netanyahu’s commissioned document “A Clean Break,” published in 1996 by Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, and David Wurmser. The plan envisaged tricking the US into invading Iraq on the pretext of “weapons of mass destruction” in order to overthrow Saddam Hussein in service to the Yinon plan. It also proposed balkanizing Syria through proxy warfare. The “Clean Break” document was rewritten for an American audience by The Project for the New American Century and published as “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” in September, 2000. Notoriously, it called for a “New Pearl Harbor” to trigger US war on the Middle East. One year later, 9/11 provided that “New Pearl Harbor”—and the neocons were off to the races.
But after the US invaded and occupied Iraq, a conflict developed between US-empire-oriented realists and neocon Zionist fanatics. The former group insisted on keeping Iraq intact as a single country, while the latter covertly worked for its destabilization and dissolution. Trump’s election signaled the re-ascendancy of the neocons, who now appear to be ramping up their efforts to smash Iraq into pieces.
Since January 10, when Iraq’s parliament passed a resolution ordering the US to completely withdraw—and especially since January 24, when Muqtada al-Sadr organized a million-man march demanding a US exit—the Americans have been hatching plots to frustrate the will of the Iraqi people. They have floated plans for a “limited withdrawal” (so limited it would include the construction of three new US military bases near the Iranian border!) Iraqi leaders, including new Prime Minister Mohammad Allawi, have received these American proposals coolly, tacitly siding with the forces pressing for full US departure. General Frank McKenzie, the top US commander for the Middle East, visited Iraq’s leaders in early February, urging them to reverse themselves and accept continued US occupation, but was rebuffed.
Frustrated by Iraq’s insistence that the US pack up and go home, the Americans are falling back on Plan B, all-out balkanization. If the Shia-dominated coalition that rules in Baghdad won’t cooperate, the Americans say, we’ll work with disaffected Kurds and Sunnis to break up the country.
The initial target of American schemes is Anbar Province. A January 23 report in Middle East Eye headlined “US seeking to carve out Sunni state as its influence in Iraq wanes” cites both Iraqi and American officials, one of whom admitted: “We are talking about establishing a country, not an administrative region.” Where exactly? “The project will be launched from Anbar province, to later include the provinces of Nineveh and Salah al-Din, and part of Diyala.” The result: Iraq would lose the majority of its territory—a mouth-watering prospect for the disciples of Oded Yinon, not to mention the oil thieves, but a nightmare for the people of Iraq and the region, who would be left with even less leverage in their struggles against imperialism and Zionism.
The US-occupied “Sunni” entity would help Americans steal the lion’s share of newly discovered oil in northern Iraq and southern Syria. Gordon Duff’s article “The Nasty Secret Behind Aramco, ISIS and Trump in Syria” published in New Eastern Outlook claims that “as early as 2012, massive oil and gas deposits were discovered in the Mediterranean Sea, some off Gaza, others off Cyprus, but the largest traversed inland, into Syria, across Latakia and Idlib Provinces, areas now held by ISIS and al Qaeda with US support.” The first two years of Trump’s “secure Iraq’s oil” presidency were spent “identifying new oil deposits on both sides of the border, in Iraq as well as Syria and in securing the ability to explore and service these new finds through the cover of anti-ISIS operations.”
The stage was being set for the current crisis in Iraq: “Then, in early January 2020, an inexplicable resurgence of ISIS capabilities blocked highways from Palmyra to al Bukamal and across the region, forces that should not exist. Those ISIS forces were deployed from American training camps in the US occupied zone of Southern Syria. Their job was to secure transit routes for oil drilling equipment to be transited from Saudi Arabia… The problem, however, is that there would be no way to build and service these massive new oil and gas fields under the current political situation. It would become necessary for Iraq’s Anbar Province, perhaps Nineveh as well, to be broken off into a new Sunni only entity, as had happened in early 2014 when Sunni based ISIS… enabled Aramco to set up full scale operations.”
Duff speculates that Gen. Soleimani may have been murdered as part of a plot to destabilize Iraq in service to the oil-driven balkanization agenda. That interpretation was bolstered by a Feb. 6 New York Times story making it clear that US-supported Daesh, rather than Kata’ib Hizbullah, was responsible for the attack on US forces that killed an American contractor, thereby providing Trump with an excuse to murder Gen. Soleimani.
More than a year earlier, Trump was presented with the option to kill Gen. Soleimani. Trump signed off on a plan to wait until Soleimani could be blamed for the death of one or more Americans, which would then trigger the killing. It appears likely that the Daesh forces that killed the US contractor were in fact US mercenaries, and that the attack was designed to trigger the preplanned killing of Gen. Soleimani.
In this context, the phony “peace overtures” that the US and its Saudi puppets used to lure Gen. Soleimani to Baghdad appear even more diabolical. It seems that peace was never on the agenda. The real plan was ramped-up war, including Iraqi civil war, culminating in the complete balkanization of that once-proud land.
Iraqi Muslims must unite to defend their country against those who would destroy it. The sectarian divide must be overcome. If al-Islah and Ansarullah movements in Yemen can join together to repel the invaders and looters of their country, as a recent article by Catherine Shakdam suggests, surely Iraqi Muslims from different schools of thought can overcome their differences (before the US invasion, Shia-Sunni differences were not an issue in Iraq)—and the exploitation of those differences by outsiders—to regain full possession of their lands and resources.