After the initial gloating as US armoured vehicles raced across the desert, covering vast distances in a few hours, after the initial maps were produced, complete with arrows pointing deep into Iraq, after the initial euphoria that the lightning “shock and awe” campaign would brush Saddam Hussein from power as his people rose up against him, welcoming the liberating Anglo-American force with open arms, the situation is quite different from what we were told to expect.
Proving everyone’s worst fears, despite an initial wave of sympathy after 11th September, the Bush administration has demonstrated itself to be wholly incompetent and totally unable to grasp the mainstream events of world politics. Colin Powell started well, making diplomatic noises but the veneer soon wore off and the soldier beneath the surface started to shine through.
The Bush administration has involved itself in an illegal war in which with every civilian death and injury, commits more and more war crimes. The Bush administration has rekindled the feelings of hatred that many people around the world felt for the USA before 11th September. 11th September created a wave of goodwill, a wave of sympathy, a new spirit of cooperation in the international community as the USA for a brief moment, was seen as a friend and an ally and the international coalition against global terrorism was formed.
At a stroke, the Bush administration has destroyed all that goodwill with this illegal war. The administration was even stupid enough to declare that even if Saddam Hussein abandoned his country (what patriot would?) the invasion would still take place, a clear admission that this is not about regime change, this is not a question of democracy over totalitarianism, it is a simple question of the energy lobby in the USA, the War Faction, initiating a global campaign to gain control of the world’s resources and to punish the more radical regimes for their stance in the past. Next stop Iran, Syria, Libya…
The demonology, the manipulation behind the scenes, the blackmail and threats issued to the members of the UN Security Council, not just this time but for many years, is what Washington calls diplomacy. For a brief moment, the world stood together against international terrorism. Washington, in its blind arrogance, destroyed that trust. Now we see who is the real Empire of Evil, now we see what is the Axis of Evil, now we see who, in the end, are the aggressors.
Once again, Washington has got it wrong, and how. Ahmed Iqbal, an engineer in Basra, today wrote to Pravda.Ru: “I am a Shi’ite. I am also an Iraqi. My country is being invaded. I shall defend my president with my own blood. Iraq stands together against this arrogance, this aggression, this foreign force which walks with the Devil. 90% of people here have the same opinion as me. Please, Timothy, tell the world that the USA has made a colossal mistake, tell the UNO to broker a peace plan”. Ahmed has been a friend of mine for 25 years.
The initial “blitzkrieg” announced by Washington won a lot of ground and gained a lot of sand. With 100% air supremacy, this was not a surprise. However, if seven days were necessary to secure the port of Um Qas’r, which lies on the border with Kuwait, the notion remains that if this illegal campaign is to take Baghdad, defended by five divisions of Republican Guards who have sworn to fight to the death, this act of butchery will last a lot longer than the Pentagon had imagined.
Quite how long, not even Donald Rumsfeld knows. Here is a Secretary of Defence who likes to make decisions from a comfortable armchair, who likes to see Iraqi soldiers killed, who sends his own troops to their deaths, in the name of the energy lobby, and here is a man who shows a callous disregard for human life. Rumsfeld, along with Bush, appear more like the cohorts of the Devil than men of God, which they claim to be.
Hundreds of Iraqi civilians have been murdered by US/UK forces, thousands have been injured. Rumsfeld and Bush should view the footage of women and children lying screaming, showered by flying glass, covered in blood. Are these the images that men of God wish to see?
The Iraqi people are impoverished not because of Saddam Hussein’s rule, but because of twelve years of sanctions, imposed because Iraq refused to disarm, to destroy the weapons it had bought, many of which from Washington. The Iraqi people do not have a western-style democracy, simply because no country in that region has a western-style democracy, for the same reason that most Americans do not eat couscous.
If these evil men, Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld, had any conscience at all, they would spend their billions of dollars on aid programmes, not war. How the US economy, which has a public debt of trillions of USD (thousands of billions of dollars) can support this additional cost of nearly a hundred billion USD, is a question which has economic experts around the world scratching their heads.
In the words of Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld today, caught like a deer in the headlights: “They pulled south in the north…one has to recognise...that the Republican Guard is more inclined to defend the regime although that’s not one hundred per cent”. With leadership like this, no wonder the Bush administration has gone back to square one.
Diplomacy 0 Despotism 100. What is the difference between an Iraqi civilian murdered by an American pilot and an American civilian murdered by an Islamic fundamentalist?
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru