The games of empires

By Michael R. Allen
web posted October 4, 1999

If you loved the Gulf War, thought Operation Desert Fox stopped too early, and The Siege contained no stereotyping, you know what needs to be done. Recently, Iraqis who may or may not have been soldiers killed two Kuwaiti soldiers near the border of the two states. This is a great excuse to escalate American-British military attacks against Iraq.

The rest of the world -- those who do not trust their governments with the use of stealth bombers and fancy missiles -- know what we might be in for: another long war, fought under the guise of supposed Iraqi "weapons on mass destruction" but probably about oil. Soon, the US will have to employ its own weapons of mass destruction to make a clear statement: it's not what a country has, it's which country has it. Iraq is not playing the imperial game on America's terms, and must be punished.

Just as in the original Gulf War, Kuwait is accusing Iraq of violating its sovereignty. The killed soldiers are being referred to as "the two martyrs," so one can already predict a replay of 1990. Iraq is pure evil, Kuwait is a great nation in need of protection, and Hussein's total obeisance is the goal. It might be easier to just kill old Saddam, but his defeat would be more exciting to the Western foreign policy elite.

But why let the Iraqi people suffer in the meantime? Because their suffering is political leverage for the bombers. Hussein is purported to be responsible for their condition, not trade embargoes. Therefore, war is to be the humanitarian solution. Fortunately, France, Russia, China, and other national governments do not buy the US-UK argument.

The US and its lapdog Britain (or is it vice versa?) are the last two 'civilized' countries to be fighting a war that technically ended nearly seven years ago. Since December 19th alone, the two have flown 12,583 sorties over Iraq's sovereign air space -- in the name of patrolling the 'no-fly' zone. Again, the arbitrary nature of the conflict is striking, but not surprising.

Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has some sensible beliefs: He believes that his nation's borders shouldn't be invaded, nor should his people be bombed by daily runs of military jets. Hussein's government also has suggested that if -- out of the entire United Nations Security Council -- only the two countries bombing Iraq want an embargo in place, that the embargo should be dropped.

The foreign policy establishments in the US and in Britain find these positions so illogical and one-sided that they have accused Hussein of not playing fair. Hussein has responded that it's hard to play fair when the only rule of engagement is that whatever his government does is wrong. Here, Saddam Hussein is right on the mark.

While Hussein may not be the most freedom-loving leader in the world, and accepted US aid in the early 1980's, his military is small and has never attacked the US or Britain. His regime may exploit its condition continually, but it's clear the embargo alone is responsible for the horrible conditions of Iraq. Before 1990, oil exporting accounted for nearly all of the Gross National Product and over two-thirds of all food was imported. With this balance upset forcibly, the internal conditions in Iraq have become unbearable.

Hussein is correct to defend Iraq from relentless persecution. If the US-British alliance advances its attacks to formal war again, it will be impossible not to hope for his successful fortification of his country. The American effort to destroy Iraq cannot be supported by anyone who wants liberty and peace, for it rests on unsavory motivations.

The destruction of Iraq is sought for economic reasons. The Western foreign policy elite is intertwined with business interests, and American oil companies do not need the honest competition posed by the Iraqi crude. In a world in which America has secure borders, the military has to be used offensively or else contract in size. Defense contractors, bankers, and others have an interest in seeing US foreign policy support a large military buildup. Without a large military, the US could not play the imperialism game.

If the United Nations team investigating last week's shooting incidents finds against Iraq, one expects nothing less than another 'operation' led by the US and Britain. The new operation will arrive in more fortuitous circumstances than last year's attack. This time, President Clinton won't be accused of wagging the dog on impeachment eve, so more Republicans will be on his side. And Iraq can actually be accused of provoking an attack.

After the events of this decade, though, it is difficult to believe that Iraq has provoked anything nearly as evil as the violence directed at it.

Michael Allen is the editor and publisher of Spintech Magazine.

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