imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Iraq under U.S. Occupation?

by Vijay Prashad Tuesday, Dec. 03, 2002 at 8:38 AM
pww@pww.org 212-924-2523 235 W 23st., NYC 10011

From the White House, reports leak out about plans for an Iraq after the Ba’th (the ruling party of Iraq). The main scenarios do not allow for the development of democracy in Iraq. Each of them is built on a racist assumption: that the Iraqis either need a military dictator or else a monarch – any form of democracy is impossible to imagine.



From the White House, reports leak out about plans for an Iraq after the Ba’th (the ruling party of Iraq). The main scenarios do not allow for the development of democracy in Iraq. Each of them is built on a racist assumption: that the Iraqis either need a military dictator or else a monarch – any form of democracy is impossible to imagine.

The denials came fast after the press ran a story in early October 2002 that the White House contemplates the occupation of Iraq by U.S. forces and the creation of an Occupation regime, as in Japan post-1945. Close to a hundred thousand troops will enter Iraq, General Tommy Franks will take over as Supreme Commander of the occupied lands, the regime will arrest "war criminals" and try them, and "de-Ba’thize" Iraq.

The U.S. Special Envoy to Afghanistan, National Security Council’s expert on West Asia, and a point man on the aftermath scenarios, Zalmay Khalilzad, conceded that "the costs will be significant" (at least billion per year), but that the U.S. will commit the necessary resources "and we would have the will to stay for as long as necessary to do the job."

When asked about the plans for occupation, Secretary of State Colin Powell said, "Should it come to that, and the president hopes that it does not come to that, but should it come that we would have an obligation to put in place a better regime," the military will take charge. "We are obviously doing contingency planning, and there are lots of different models from history that one could look at: Japan, Germany."

Japan is the example most often provided by those in the know. In Japan, the MacArthur-led Occupation dismantled sections of the fascist bureaucracy, but also dislocated the capacity for the socialists to rebuild their political bases. Trade unions came under the gun as MacArthur privileged the zaibatsu, the industrial cliques that continue to dominate Japanese society. In 1951, MacArthur laid out his basic, racist, theory for the Occupation: "Measured by the standards of modern civilization, [the Japanese] would be like a boy of twelve as compared with our development of 45 years." Because of the slow development of the misbegotten Japanese, MacArthur argued, the U.S. Army could "implant basic concepts there," such as a respect for authority and for institutional power (for an excellent primer on the Occupation, see the first few chapters in John Dower’s Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II, 1999).

The parallel with Japan perhaps fluffs the glory of the Pentagon, but it is not fully accurate. The real comparison for the region is the period of Iraq’s rule by the British Mandate (1914-1932).

In November 1914, British forces landed in Basra, occupied Baghdad and Mosul, and set up the new state of Iraq out of these three provinces of the Ottoman Empire. Afraid of the Shi’i mujtahids (clerics), the [Kurds] as well as the largely merchant communities of the region (drawn from among the Assyrians, the Jews, the Yazidi, Sabaean and others), the British turned to the old Ottoman elites for their allies, who came mainly from the Sunni notables living in the provinces around Baghdad. By 1920, the masses in Iraq revolted, only to be crushed by British power (over 6,000 Iraqis and only 500 British and Indian soldiers died in the conflict).

Eager to rule by proxy, the British invited Saudi King Faisal to become king of Iraq. The son of the Hashemite Emir Hussein, keeper of the holy sites in Arabia and brother of the recently enthroned Abdullah of Jordan, Faisal ruled from 1921 till 1932 under the Mandate, before he inaugurated the autonomous Hashemite Monarchy from 1932 to 1958. While Faisal was king (but the British wore the crown), the Royal Air Force cracked down on a Kurdish rebellion with brutal force (the first major aerial bombardment), and the British (with U.S. assistance) divided Iraqi oil among the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (23.75 percent), Royal Dutch Shell (23.75 percent), Compagnie Francaise des Petroles (23.75 percent), Standard Oil and Mobil (23.75 percent) and the legendary middleman Cyrus Gulbenkian (5 percent). The Mandate created the framework both for the suppression of the Shi’i and the Kurds as well as for the oil concession.

The desire for a return to monarchy was played out for a few months in Afghanistan (with Zahir Shah), and then rejected in favor of the pliant Karzai. In Japan, despite questions about the retention of a monarchy steeped in fascism, MacArthur (advised by anthropologist Ruth Benedict) opted to retain the Hirohito dynasty. In Iraq, obviously the U.S. would like to have a military base or two in the country, a steady hand on the oil and a friend in power. That friend may either be a puppet front like the Iraqi National Congress (the Hamid Karzai of Iraq) or another manufactured monarch.

Saddam Hussein was never the Arab Karzai, but he was a close ally of the White House when it suited the strategic interests of global corporations and the Pentagon. Ever since the "Seven Sisters" (the major global oil conglomerates) got involved in west Asia, the region entered U.S. strategic plans.

In 1958, the U.S. went so far as to make an alliance with the Saudis, to treat Arabia as an extension of the United States. The U.S.-backed and engineered coup against Mossadeq in Iran (1953) sought to preserve its role as the U.S. gendarme in the region. Of the 1963 Ba’th coup, its Secretary General noted, "We came to power on an American train," meaning the Ba’th enjoyed U.S. government funds (alongside Kuwaiti money) and the support of CIA-run radio stations that broadcast from Kuwait. With Israel’s victory in the 1967 war against the Arab armies, it took over the role of U.S. subsidiary in west Asia: Israel provided the muscle, while the oil Sheikhs provided the diplomatic finesse against the other Arab states. Iraq’s relationship with the U.S. formally ended with the 1967 war, in protest against the new U.S. arrangement with [Israel].

With the revolution in Iran in 1979, and with Saddam Hussein only recently in power, the U.S. turned eagerly to Iraq for an alliance. In 1983, President Reagan’s people opened channels with a December meeting between Saddam Hussein and Donald Rumsfeld. On March 24, 1984, Rumsfeld met with Foreign Minister (now Deputy Prime Minister) Tariq Aziz, the very same day that the UN released a report on Iraq’s use of chemical weapons in its war on Iran. The Pentagon was there when Saddam released his gas, and it cheered him along from the sidelines (this is the context for Saddam Hussein when he felt he had the "green light" from U.S. Ambassador April Glaspie to invade Kuwait for its lateral oil drilling in the Rumaila fields in 1990).

The U.S. backed its new ally with arms and expertise. "U.S." did not only include the military and the government, but also corporations. In 1975, Pfaulder Corporation of Rochester, New York, according to Hussein biographer Said Aburish, "supplied the Iraqis with a blueprint which enabled them to build their first chemical warfare plant." In 1983, Aburish claims, the U.S. merchants and the Iraqi regime did a deal for Harpoon missiles and other such treats to use in the war against Iran, in the repression against the Kurds and in the invasion of Kuwait. As William Rivers Pitt puts it, Saddam Hussein "is as much an American creation as Coca-Cola and the Oldsmobile." He was the "factor of stability" until he over-extended his hand in 1990.

Is there a Saddam-like replacement in the wings? Is there a real Arab Karzai? The closest candidate is Ahmad Chalabi, an academic who comes from a wealthy Iraqi family. In 1992, in Vienna, a host of Iraqi exiles came together to form the Iraqi National Congress (INC). Later in the year, in Salahuddin (in the Kurdish "safe haven"), the INC elected Chalabi to lead them. At the time, the largest number of constituents of the INC came from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), and the INC troops, with U.S. backing, began to engage the Iraqi army in 1995. The next year, however, the KDP cut a deal with Saddam Hussein, allowed the Iraqi army into their territory and sat back as they demolished the INC in the region.

In 1998, the U.S. Congress passed the Iraq Liberation Act to fund the moribund INC. Said Aburish argued, in 1997, that the INC’s program "is utterly unrealistic," but "it still functions and issues press releases to maintain the anti-Saddam mood of Western governments and the Western press." The INC, he argues, contains many former associates of Saddam Hussein and members of the Ba’th who conducted violent crimes in the war against Iran and against the Kurds. "Because they are members of a pro-Western organization," he notes, "their crimes are overlooked" (this is from A Brutal Friendship: The West and the Arab Elite, 1997).

Even as they have no credibility, the INC has begun to talk to the French and the Russian oil merchants about access to Iraqi oil. In September 2002, Chalabi told the Washington Post, "American companies will have a big shot at Iraqi oil." In mid-October 2002, the INC said that "it would open the oil sector to all companies, including U.S. majors, and give particular attention to contracts made with Russia and France." This was a patently obvious way of winning support in the Security Council not only for a war on Iraq, but also for the INC to find favor in the post-Ba’th future.

All indications point to the U.S. army’s Occupation regime for the short term, then either a return to the monarchy, the creation of a military dictatorship or else the formation of a "democratic" regime under someone like Chalabi. Whoever rules will have to work under the U.S. dispensation, being the protectors of the second largest proven oil reserves in the world (115 billion barrels) as well as the main political-military force to counteract Iran and Saudi fundamentalism.

The war aim is not to create a democratic Iraq, but to ensure U.S. military dominance over the area, and therefore to enable the free enterprise of global corporations. Freedom for the Iraqis is not in the offing, only free transit for the fat cats.

Vijay Prashad is the author, most recently, of Fat Cats and Running Dogs: The Enron Stage of Capitalism, Common Courage Press and Zed Press, 2002. This article is excerpted with permission from the author based on a longer article in Nov. 1 Counterpunch, www.counterpunch.org

Originally published by the People’s Weekly World

www.pww.org





Report this post as:

Local News

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 12:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 12:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 4:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J10 11:58PM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M30 10:20PM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 12:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 1:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 2:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 3:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 2:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 1:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 1:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 4:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 1:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A26 10:37PM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Asian Countries:Cambodia, Vietnam, N. Korea do not permit unlawful immigration J16 8:06PM

Children Incorporated Earns 4-Star Rating on Charity Navigator J16 11:24AM

Democratic Socialists of America J14 4:57PM

Leonard Peltier Non Violent Native American Political Prisoner since 1970's J14 4:18PM

Paraphysique miscellanées de l'aggiornamento J14 12:54AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Cleanup J13 4:14PM

FBI Investigated LA County Sheriff Baca,Why Not Hank Skinner's Persecution? J13 3:52PM

Updated Partial List Of Famous Vegetarians, Vegans, & Fruitarians J13 2:59PM

The Shortwave Report 07136/18 Listen Globally! J12 4:36PM

Social Policy as Social Infrastructure J12 3:38AM

Vol I: 84 Varieties Of GOP Election Fraud J12 1:50AM

Texas Can Call it An Execution,But It is A State Sponsored Murder of Hank Skinner.. J11 6:48PM

June 2018 Honduras coup update J11 3:35PM

Maria Estrada doubles down on racist support J11 1:40PM

New York Women in Film & Television Announces 2018 NYWIFT Ha Phuong Scholarship Recipients J11 10:14AM

Trapps de la domination, trapps de l'aliénation J11 1:31AM

Please Work For The Defeat Of Brett Kavanaugh And Why J09 8:54PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 1:27PM

Transinhumanisme ( transe inhumanisme ) J09 12:44PM

Google, World's Biggest Censor, Was Founded By The CIA J09 10:25AM

For a World Free of Nuclear Risks J09 8:29AM

Corrupt CDC Ignores Meat Fish Recalls J09 4:55AM

The (Temporary) End of Globalization J09 3:03AM

Aternatives to Abortions such as Plan B the pill, condoms and IUD J08 4:03PM

U.S Congressional Legal Minds Know Better Than Allowing Texas To Murder Hank Skinner J08 3:37PM

ACLU in many US states defends in court KKK and American Nazis Sometimes for Money J07 11:28PM

Judge Brett Kavanaugh: 12 Of Many Reasons To Oppose Him J07 9:00AM

Insensibilité engrammée J07 2:37AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy