It would be a surprise to most, if not all, the people who know me to hear me agree with George W. Bush but in one instance it is indeed true, however let me qualify that statement before you all pack up in disgust. Bush’s famous “You’re either with us or against us” was something of a defining moment of a president who attempts to make up in sound-bites what he lacks in intellect. Bush attempts with his use of the word ‘us’ to galvanise the Western World into an alliance against those ‘he’ defines as the enemy. The actuality of the ‘us’ he is using is the US corporate political establishment and when one realises this it becomes a lot easier to see how the polarisation that Bush almost prophesied has in fact come true. The Iraq war has had a practically unprecedented unifying effect on people across the world as normally disparate groups are united in their condemnation of US involvement in Iraq.

It has also unified the violent insurrection against the US aggressor in a way that was not the case when they invaded Iraq in the first place. More and more the US has put itself up as a target to be shot at, Blair as Bush’s faithful poodle has been happy to lead Britain down the same path and there are increasing signs in Basra that the attempts to project a harmonious relationship in the British sector are far from the truth.

According to former US diplomat Peter Galbraith – in Jan 2003 Bush invited 3 members of Iraqi resistance to watch Superbowl with him. During this meeting these 3 realised that Bush was not aware at this point that there was a difference between Shia and Sunni Muslims. Whilst this is unsurprising that Bush himself is so ill-informed it seems staggering that none of his advisors had sought to rectify the fact. Galbraith goes on that since most people do not consider themselves Iraqi before they consider themselves Sunni or Shia or Kurd the idea of forming a united Iraq is Mission Impossible. We must not forget that Iraq is a modern construct of territories in Mesopotamia and Kurdistan, their is no sense of long handed-down national identity like we know in Europe. Suffice to say it was a mess the British made last time they buggered about with it. Much the same can of course be said for Palestine and Ireland!

In March 2003 US war planners met to discuss the practicalities of the ousting of Saddam – Phase 4c for reconstruction of Iraq had not nearly as much depth as Phase 3 which was combat, which is curious when you think that the vastly superior US military should have had little problem overcoming the Iraqi resistance in the initial phases of a rebellion, and certainly if the propaganda was true and the Iraqis would be welcoming the US with open arms then there would be little insurgency thereafter.

However it would be wrong to assume that it was only in the US that such idiocy was going on. On the eve of the invasion Toby Dodge of London University gave a likely case scenario to the Labour government which in fact detailed almost exactly what did indeed happen based on the historical precedent as well as the prospected operations. George Joffe of Cambridge University had similar meeting, whilst Joffe tried to explain the potential problems of such an attempt to follow the Americans in their crusade against Saddam, Blair responded “…but he’s evil isn’t he?” And this appeared to be enough justification for him.

Whether simply ridiculous naivety or a calculated facade, US expectation was that they would be met by rejoicing in the streets of Baghdad and Basra according to Cheney. I have already documented a quote that was reported by journalists at the time the US forces moved into Iraq where one Iraqi man in response to the journalist’s question “Are you pleased to see the Americans come to liberate Iraq” stated “Americans, Saddam, we don’t care who as long as you bring peace.” This tempers the euphoria somewhat. It also goes some way to explain the situation now.

The reality in Iraq is not exactly what the US and UK administration flanked by their ’embedded’ media acolytes would have us believe. It is, even now still difficult for non-embedded Western reporters to get around in order to report what is genuinely going on in Iraq, embedded journalists whilst having a greater degree of security by virtue of their military escorts get a state department view of events from Washington and London and not Iraq. Journalists like Robert Fisk who are not embedded illustrate that this state department view is either hopelessly out of touch or criminally negligent to the point of being no better than right-wing state-sponsored agit-prop.

Elections and constitutions are “theatrical events staged for US media consumption disregarding everyday state of Iraq for Iraqis” in response to mass civilian casualties one US source stated “Such tragedies only happen because Zarkawi and his thugs are driving around using car bombs.” This staggeringly insensitive and ill-conceived notion serves only to elucidate the real feeling of US officials as to the state of Iraq.

The news mentions less the situation currently in Sadr City, as if it has all gone rather quiet. The reality is that the US have left Shia militia in charge, Iraqi police and the US army have “reached agreements” with the Mahdi army the group of Moqtada Al Sadr but they claim these are agreements with local representatives as civilians and not as a massed group. The British have done the same in Basra. The result of this has been to allow fundamentalist Shia leaders to create a political theocracy the like of which has not existed in the region in such a way before. The same situation exists with the Peshmurga in Kurdistan. The US is even trying to negotiate with the Ba’athist militia in areas that are still showing signs of resistance in Baghdad and Fallujah, the same insurgents who, according to US military sources in the media are, working with Al Queda. So much for helping bring democracy to Iraq the US is intent on a quick sell-out. The second part really of what has been a simple ram-raid operation for the oil in the shop window. .

For many Iraqi women the current era marks for the first time them being forced to wear veils etc. and be subjected to a fundamentalist interpretation of Sharia law the like of which in Iran has been the subject of much condemnation by the US and UK establishments. Women are being executed for “prostitution” when this could mean nothing more than suspected adultery. These executions are not of course the result of any recognised judicial proceedings but the rough justice that fundamentalists of any variant are likely to favour.

Peter Oborne, political editor of The Spectator, concluded in a problem for the Channel 4 series Dispatches that the invasion of Iraq has failed. I believe this is far from the case because one has to evaluate what the actual goal of the invasion was.

If one believed, like I suspect Oborne does, that the goal was to remove a dangerous dictator and bring about a Western style democracy in Iraq then yes, it is clear this will not be the end result for Iraq. This seems a rather simplistic and establishment viewpoint on the matter though. Contrastingly if one believed, as I do, that US has no desire to have full functioning democracy in Iraq as this would bring about a stable secular country which would unquestionably constitute far more of a threat to the access to oil for the US and its companies involved in Iraq and beyond. Interestingly the US army operatives in Iraq are not permitted to arrest Al-Sadr despite him being wanted for murder. Al-Sadr, is the perfect young pretender to Saddam, left in place just in case the US army should need a bad guy if the whole Al-Zarkawi story ever falls apart.

This sort of conflict is likely to become ever more likely and ever more desperate as it is clear that the US domestic and foreign policy would far rather cling to the old order based on their dominance and control of oil. This means any country that has oil production or is integral to the stability of an oil producing region is going to have to watch itself for a while lest they find Uncle Sam on the borders. However US power is not what it is and it has already over-reached itself by attempting to fight battles on too many simultaneous fronts hence the debacle in Iraq. It would certainly be foolish to attempt any operations against countries such as Venezuela.

Finally one must not forget that the US never signed up to the International War Times Tribunal nor the International Criminal Court. This gives US operatives whether open or covert carte blanche to commit any acts of atrocity necessary to achieve the military objective whilst undermining the legitimacy and efficacy of the 2 supra-national judicial institutions. That is not to say that the US will not use them to moot out its brand of victor’s justice of course as we have seen in the case of Slobodan Milosevic. The US is quite happy to manipulate all sorts of laws to its own ends, for example Rumsfeld was quick to condemn the footage of US captives in Iraq as being contrary to the Geneva Convention. Al Jazeera were quick to point out of course that Guantanamo Bay and the detention of prisoners of war without due process or rights of any kind, the abuses in Abu Gharaib and Baghram, the invasion of a country against the UN security council, if not all directly in contravention of the Geneva Convention they are certainly fundamentally against the very principle.

US operations since the declaration of war on terror have become increasingly more worrying and outside the law. One only needs think of the aforementioned incarceration in Guantanamo Bay, the systematic abuse of prisoners of war in American custody both in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond and I will be covering the strategy of ‘extraordinary rendition’ later. The CIA operations across the world and the failure of the US to hold any of its active personnel responsible for any conduct is an international scandal. I’m afraid as the US’s grip on power rescinds proportional to the oil reserves left in the world we can expect to see more of the US’s failure to conform to any standards of decency and humanity. The question only remains, which country will be next on their list?

Song Of The Day ~ Editors – Bullets

Original Comments:


Cancergiggles made this comment,
Yes Dom. I’ve been watching extraordinary rendition for many months. George and Tony are war criminals!
comment added :: 1st December 2005, 22:38 GMT+01

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