Wednesday, August 15, 2007

President Mulls New Tool in Struggle for War Business

George W. Bush is considering issuing an executive order classifying all or a portion of Iran's Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist group. In the explanation a federal official cited Iran's role in stirring the terrorist stew in the region.

"It would basically declare open season on these guys," the official said, adding that the move is being taken because of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps' (IRGC) support for "all the bad actors" -- insurgents in Iraq, the Taliban in Afghanistan and other terrorist groups in the Middle East like Hezbollah and Hamas.

Whoa! Did he mix meat (Shia) and potatoes (Sunni) in that stew? A closer look reveals the breakdown:

Insurgents in Iraq are both Sunni and Shia. The Bush administration indicates weapons and support are coming across the Iranian border to aid Shia insurgents fighting against Sunni insurgents, including al-Qaeda.

The Taliban in Afghanistan is Sunni. Why would Iran help fight Sunni's in Iraq but support them in Afghanistan?

Hezbollah in Lebanon is Shia. Sunni Muslims in the other Middle East democracy are a minority.

Hamas has accepted assistance from Shia and Sunni countries. The latest public arrangement was with Saudi Arabia, a Sunni country.

Whether there is any internal consistency to the White House's argument is up for debate, the impact of an executive order is not. Such a move would allow the Treasury Department to go after the finances of the Revolutionary Guard and those who do business with it.

Consider what would happen if the shoe were on the other foot. What if Iran made the U.S. Military or the CIA a terrorist group, and went after any company that did business with it? Given the move to contract out key government services under the Bush administration, a smorgasbord of corporate bank accounts and assets would be ripe for the plucking.

Did the federal government ever close the business loophole with Iran? Halliburton shuttered their last project in the "axis of evil" not long ago. If not, it seems strange that the door would be open for U.S. companies to do business in Iran while the President declares war on companies supplying the Revolutionary Guard. Unless the war is on behalf of U.S. corporations? Now, that has a Bush like ring to it...