Author`s name Mithra Fernando

The Curse of the Three Letter Word and a Miracle in Iraq

Why the USA forces have focused so much concern on the Ministry of Oil?

In the minds of many experienced, well respected, wise and long sighted leaders in the world, and of course in the minds of the millions of the world community, there were many doubts about USA's hidden agenda in the war in Iraq.  The facts, that have been emerging during the past two weeks have started to speak for themselves and to confirm the "doubts" that the world had.

The information that was coming from Baghdad, through the print media, TV coverages and other sources, during the past few days showed the world how USA marines have taken utmost care to safeguard the "Ministry of Oil" but made no attempts to protect the Iraq Museum of History. The caretakers of the Museum  have made repeated requests to the USA marines asking for protection of the museum, but they have fallen on deaf ears.

The assistant director of the UNESCO, who was attending a high level meeting on Iraq , held in Paris, revealed that , long before the start of the war, the UNESCO did provide the USA administration with specific maps, important details and all the necessary information regarding all the museums, archaeological sites, places of historical importance in Iraq. Not only the UNESCO, but many universities, the international association of museums, scientists, researchers and many more interested parties and eminent individuals also, have expressed their deep concern about the safety of the historical treasures, antiquities in Iraq. They have backed their concerns by providing the USA / UK administrations with all the necessary specific volumes of information. Prof Elizabeth C. Stone, the head of the Department of Anthropology of the Stony Brook University is an eminent academic in the field of anthropology. She has carried out research and excavation in Ain Dara in Syria in 1981-84 and in Tell Abu Duwari ( ancient Mashkan Shapir) in Iraq in 1987 –1990. She has also published tens of research and scientific papers on the subject related to ancient settlements in Iraq, Syria and Turkey as well. Prof Stone in a recent interview on on Fox News told , that she wrote to the Pentagon and USA forces, asking them to take all possible measures to safeguard  particularly the Museum of History in Baghdad, the world’s only treasure of invaluable antiquities, dating back to the first civilisations in ancient Mesopotamia and Babylonia. Prof Stone said that she received assurance from the USA forces, that the Museum will be protected as a matter of utmost importance. It is evident that little only significance that all the above concerns have made in the minds of the perpetrators of the illegitimate war in Iraq. They seem to be busy with imposing their standards of "liberation" on Iraqi people than "wasting" their time on protecting evidence of Iraq’s history, culture and values.
The director of the museum of history in Baghdad, provided to the media the evidence, to prove that the attack on the Museum was not just a simple case of looting but a very carefully organised professional operation of theft. He provided a handful of diamond glass cutters, that they found on the premises, -  believed to have been used by "the professional antiquity thieves" to make neat cuts in to the glass showcases to access delicate exhibits of the museum.

In very stark and surprising contrast, the live pictures showed, the un-damaged Ministry of Oil , being so well guarded by the USA marines. There is no doubt, where the main priorities of the USA forces, were really focused on.  It is quite evident that the Iraq’s famous “three letter word”  (oil) has much greater "sacred value" for USA than the invaluable evidence of our very first civilisations, in Mesopotamia ( meaning in Greek the land between the rivers), a settlement on the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, dating back to 10,000BC. The new museum of history, which was opened in Baghdad in 2000, housed many antiquities, that were  found in excavations since about 1840. The world seems to have lost for ever the whole heritage of the invaluable treasures, carefully excavated  from the chief cradle of human civilisation. Donald Rumsfeld has refused to accept any responsibility, but he has not explained the stark difference in their priorities in relation to providing protection to places of utmost historical importance and to the building of the Ministry of the "three letter word". The assistant director of UNESCO and the experts in the field are unanimous in saying that comments from the USA administration are not satisfactory.

After the war in Iraq, people will no longer believe what the USA administration has to say in regard to "democracy" "liberation" and "peace". They do not believe any more in USA's crocodile tears about the suffering of people in the world.  What can be stronger a proof of USA's deception other than the presence of a strong batallion of USA armed marine guards in front and around the un-damaged, un-affected Ministry of Oil.??

After the relentless three weeks of bombing of Baghdad, among the blood soaked craters in the ground, dead bodies and body parts blown by bombs,  ruins, burnt down wreckages, ashes and rubble of the Museum of History, hospitals, ministries, embassies, the UNO headquarters, the Olympic complex, the Baghdad  library, the palaces and thousands of residential buildings, there stands proudly The Ministry of the three letter word, without even the slightest scratch, providing a solid proof of USA's "bloody miracle".

One would wonder how this miracle could ever happen??

Why the USA forces have focused so much concern on the Ministry of Oil? It can hardly be a suitable place for Saddam's regime to hide away their alleged  WMDs. No Iraqi armed forces or Saddam's loyalists were believed to be hiding there either. Then why was this huge importance in regard to this particular ministry among many others?

According to the Pentagon and Centcom, the CIA intelligence sources on the ground in Baghdad, had everything under their close scrutiny long before the start of the war. The intelligence was so much so that neither Saddam nor his sons could even go for lunch or ( to toilet?) without the Centcom knowing it. If we are to believe all this, and there is no reason for anybody to suspect about the intelligence capability of the USA forces, then how on earth could Saddam’s regime and also the "professional antiquity thieves" slip through the "close knit Intelligence" network operated by the USA?? How come the USA forces who carried out thorough search for small  weapons on people  and suicide vests etc, did not detect the diamond tools etc.?? Having stolen the goods ,how did the thieves managed to get away in a vehicle or foot without getting noticed by USA forces, who as we know are well equipped with night goggles etc to see things even in the pitch dark.

The above questions alone, raise legitimate doubts about the hidden agenda of the USA lead war in Iraq. The USA did not have the patience that the rest of the world had to get the problems in Iraq, resolved through peaceful means. They could not wait for another couple of months until the next report by the UNO inspectors, because they knew that the peaceful means would not give them the "easy access" to the famous “three letter word” in Iraq.

USA should not underestimate the intelligence of the people of the world including the people of Iraq.

As far as Iraqi people is concerned the deeds of the coalition forces on the ground, have spoken volumes against the messages delivered to them by the 30 million leaflets and the special 24 hour radio programs broadcasted by coalition, in Arabic. Although nobody is disputing the relatively easy and quick military win of the coalition against the Iraqi regime, it is also obvious that the coalition is loosing the battle of heart and minds at a greater speed.

Iraqi people as the rest of the world have no doubt that this was not a war for "liberation of Iraqi from Saddam and his WMDs"  it was all about the "three letter word". As one English educated Iraqi , who lost some of his family members in this war said angirly  "I wish we did not have in Iraq the curse of this bloody three letter world, oil,  then I would have lived in peace with my family. This war is not about our liberation, it is about the bloody three letter word – which has become not a good fortune but a curse for all of us"

USA is in a hurry now to have the UNO sanctions on Iraq lifted, so that they can sell the Iraqi oil in the world market. They did not have this rush  when hundreds of thousands of Iraqi women and children were dying owing to 11 years of UNO sanctions.Thanks to the strong position held by Russia and France, USA would not have easy access to the riches of Iraq on USA's own terms. Russia and France insist that it is the UNO who imposed the sanctions legitimately and it is only the UNO, who should have the legitimate right to lift the sanctions and play the main role in sale of Iraqi Oil and how the profits should be distributed.

USA should realise that they cannot impose their policy of unilateralism and "sledge hammer" diplomacy on each and every international issue.

The "curse"  of the three letter word in Iraq seems to have started to haunt the USA for many years to come. Neither the miracle of the un-damaged Ministry of Oil in Baghdad nor a miraculous "discovery" of Saddam’s WMDs in the desserts of Iraq, could save USA's international credibility.

Mithra Fernando