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by Gary Sudborough
Tuesday, Apr. 22, 2003 at 6:17 AM
The protection by US troops of the Oil Ministry in Baghdad while allowing the looting of the National Museum is a vivid illustration of the real reason for the war, but it is no consolation to the suffering and maimed Iraqi children.
Sometimes world events give vindication to those who hold opinions contrary to those of the US government and corporate media. Many of us on the left have maintained that the invasion of Iraq was about the control of oil. The mainstream media claimed it was about liberating the Iraqi people from the tyrannical rule of Saddam Hussein, among many other excuses like weapons of mass destruction, violation of UN resolutions, etc.
An event happened in Baghdad which illustrates that this invasion and occupation of Iraq is really about oil. The US army strung barbed wire around the Oil Ministry and protected this building with troops and tanks, while allowing Iraqi looters to destroy and steal the priceless treasures in the National Museum of Antiquities. Also, US soldiers stood by and did nothing as the National Library and Archives was burned to the ground. Mesopotamia was the birthplace of civilization, and this loss is one for the whole world and is irreplaceable. Another event indicating that the invasion was about oil is the fact that the first objective for US forces was securing the oil fields in Iraq.
I suspect that the truth about US motivations for the attack on Iraq would be small consolation to little Iraqi children like Ali Abbas, who had both arms blown off and was severely burned. His mother and father were killed in the explosion. As he lay on his hospital bed in agony, he said that he wanted his arms back. His doctor stated that his condition was so critical that it would probably be better if he died. Ali had a strong will to live and received enough publicity to allow him to be transferred to a Kuwaiti hospital, where he is now recovering. There are thousands of other Iraqi children like Ali lying in Iraqi hospitals without adequate antibiotics or painkillers.
What does one say to such children when they ask why such immense pain and tragedy was visited upon them? Can one say without great shame that it was done so US oil companies could make more profit? How about so the United States could manipulate oil supplies and prices and thereby gain control over the policies of other countries? One could explain that this hellish nightmare fell from the sky so weapons producers could decrease their inventories and gain even more lucrative government contracts. Another possible reason would be so politicians and the media could intensify the patriotic fervor of the American people and the poll ratings for George W. Bush would rise even higher. Maybe a reason is so Americans could be distracted from the tremendous problems we have here at home.
These are all hollow, immoral justifications for war, and Iraqi children are smart enough to realize this fact. Small wonder that the United States is becoming a very hated nation for its imperial aggressions.
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