[sixties-l] Iraq 2002-The Final Storm

From: Ron Jacobs (rjacobs@zoo.uvm.edu)
Date: Fri Feb 15 2002 - 08:35:22 EST

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    Iraq 2002-The Final Storm?

    "I will reserve whatever options I have. I'll keep them close to my vest.
    Saddam Hussein needs to understand that I'm serious about defending our
    country," GW.

    What Mr. Bush doesn't seem to understand are these two things. 1)Defending
    oil reserves and oil profits is not the same thing as defending one's
    country and 2)Saddam Hussein is most likely just as serious about defending
    his country. Not that that matters to Cowboy George. Virtually all
    factions within the war party in Washington, DC are calling for an all-out
    war on Iraq beginning sometime this year. Once again, the pretext that
    will be used involves the charade of weapons inspections by the United
    Nations. If one recalls the last time weapons inspectors were allowed into
    Iraq, they were thrown out because a good number of the inspectors were
    actually working for the CIA and collecting information that was then
    relayed to British and US forces who bomb that country almost weekly. This
    time around, it is expected that the requirements of the 1nspections will
    be so restrictive that there is no way the Iraqi government would be able
    to agree to them. As an unnamed US intelligence source was quoted in the
    British newspaper The Guardian on February 14, 2002, "The White house 'will
    not take yes for an answer.'" What this means is that the war
    establishment is intent on provoking a crisis that will provide the US
    military with the fig leaf it needs to go to war.

    One can be pretty certain that Saddam Hussein's departure from the world
    stage will be greeted with some relief among virtually every quarter, if
    and when it finally happens. Yet, if he is removed via US military force,
    that chorus is likely to be muffled, as well it should be. No nation has
    the right to attack another nation, no matter what their excuse. This is a
    basic understanding that guides the world of international relations and is
    one of the fundamental mechanisms that allows the various nations to
    maintain their tenuous balances of power. When this understanding is
    ignored or flouted by a government, the balance between war and peace
    disappears and war rules the planet. The last time in history that a world
    power so blatantly disregarded this rule of international relations was
    when Adolph Hitler was building his Reich. Interestingly enough, his
    reasons were eerily similar to those given by GW and his band-self-defense
    being foremost among them.

    Despite Mr. Hussein's unpopularity in the circles GW travels in, both here
    and abroad, Saddam is tremendously popular among many people in the streets
    of Palestine, Jordan, and other Middle Eastern and Islamic nations. This
    is not because he treats his people fairly, nor is it because he has a
    program that addresses the daily reality of theses disenfranchised masses.
     No, the reason Mr. Hussein is popular is because he stands up to the US
    behemoth, no matter what the cost. In a world where Washington can do
    whatever it wants (and does), those who are opposed to Washington's plans
    for global domination will take their inspiration wherever they can find
    it. Right now, the only sources appear to be Mr. Hussein, Mr. bin Laden,
    and a few other men who owe their prestige to brute force and/or terror.
    The lack of other more humane and democratic leaders can be traced to the
    vacuum created by the Israeli/US policies around Palestine and their
    support of reactionary and autocratic regimes in the Middle East and around
    the world. At one time, there were a number of revolutionary organizations
    and leaders in the developing world who were not religiously connected or
    despotic. Now, after years of covert and overt operations designed to
    destroy these elements, all that remains are the religious radicals and
    Saddam Hussein. Interestingly enough, Mr. Bush's war on his "axis of evil"
    may bring these two elements together in their struggle against the US empire.

    That being said, it is vitally important to remember that it is not Saddam
    Hussein who will bear the brunt of any US campaign to end his rule. No,
    the primary victims will be the people of Iraq. Already devastated by the
    first Gulf War in 1990-91 and the sanctions against their country, the
    Iraqi people will once more bear the brunt of the killing campaign being
    planned by the US national security apparatus. The last time around
    thousands of Iraqi draftees and civilians were killed during the US
    campaign. Several thousand died without even being able to defend
    themselves in air raid shelters, buried alive on the front lines after
    surrendering, and by US gunships while retreating on what became known as
    the "highway of death." The US was found guilty of war crimes by an
    international tribunal. Of course, as we all know, victors never commit
    war crimes, only losers.

    Here in the western world, we need to take to the streets in opposition to
    the threats of war NOW, not after the attacks begin. We must demand that
    the killer sanctions against the Iraqi people end. Western troops should
    be withdrawn immediately from all countries in the region. In addition, it
    is time to demand that the UN resolutions demanding Israel return to its
    pre-1967 borders be enforced. In short, it is time for the world to take a
    serious look at the situation in the region and begin a process that
    addresses the concerns of all the players in the region, not just the
    governments that the US props up with cash and arms.

    -ron jacobs

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