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(en) It?s Iraq. It?s Now.

From Al S <klasbatalemo@yahoo.ie>
Date Sat, 29 Mar 2003 10:40:26 +0100 (CET)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E

And so, without any level of legal justification, any
pretence of popular support, and any sense of moral
decency, the U.S. and its ever so ?minor partner?, the
U.K., have taken it upon themselves to escalate
hostilities against Iraq; hostilities which have
continued in the form of daily aerial attacks and
murderous sanctions since the last days of Gulf War I.
The fact that 42% of Iraq?s population are children is
of no apparent interest to the hawks in the Whitehouse
and Downing Street.

The U.N. and the Inevitability of War

With or without the fig leaf of a second U.N.
resolution, the U.S. was always going to invade. Iraq
is the weakest link, and the most strategic target, in
a region that contains two-thirds of the world?s
proven oil resources. But Iraq is just the beginning.
According to George Bush Snr.?s former speechwriter,
David Frum:

An American-led overthrow of Saddam Hussein -and the
replacement of the radical Ba?athist dictatorship with
a new government more closely aligned with the United
States would put America more wholly in charge of the
region than any power since the Ottomans, or maybe
even the Romans. (1)

Plans for an ultimate invasion of Iraq have been in
the (oil) pipeline for years. Richard Perle, chairman
of the powerful Defence Policy Board at the Pentagon,
set up the ?Project for the New American Century?
(P.A.N.A.) back in the mid-nineties -a crypto-fascist
elite whose co-founders represent a who?s who of Bush
Junior?s backroom staff. These include none other than
Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld (yes, the man who shook
Saddam?s hand back in 1983), and deputy defence
secretary Paul Wolfowitz. Before their man Bush
wangled himself into power, P.A.N.A. were already
lobbying the Clinton administration for ?regime
change? in Baghdad, and recommended diverting $48
billion dollars from obviously less worthwhile
projects like Medicare and education. The loot was to
be invested so that the U.S. ?can fight and win
multiple, simultaneous major theatre wars? (2).

Safe to assume then that there really was no way of
rolling back the inevitable push for war. Or was

Leaving aside the obvious advantages of direct action
as witnessed by the Scottish train drivers who refused
to transport munitions back in January, the Italian
blockade of trains carrying U.S. personnel soon
afterwards, and by our very own campaign to stop
refuelling at Shannon, there has been a more ?legal?
precedent that U.N. member states could have opted for
to bring an end to the stalemate over the recent
To consider this, we need to go back to 1956,
following Nasser?s nationalisation of the Suez Canal.
Britain and France?s (re: Britain and the U.S. today)
gung-ho attempt to retake Suez was a last flexing of a
failing, withered muscle that operated under the
illusion that at least some part of global hegemony
lay with them and not with their patron across the
Atlantic. Eisenhower demanded the invasion to stop,
but U.S. backed resolutions in the U.N. were vetoed by
both France and Britain (re: Russia and France today).
So what did Eisenhower do? He appealed to the General
Assembly under a procedure called ?Uniting For Peace?.
Under this, he demanded that British and French troops
lay down their arms, and withdraw. Within a week, they

?Uniting for Peace? (U.f.P) was a procedure originally
adopted by the Security Council so that the U.N. can
act even it is stalemated by vetoes, or the threat of
vetoes. Resolution 377 provides that if there is a
?threat to peace, breach of the peace, or act of
aggression?, the General Assembly can meet and
recommend a course of action to ?maintain or restore
international peace and security?. Now, this is
something the U.S. obviously believes in. After all,
they have used U.f.P more than anyone else.

Not much about this in your daily newspapers?

Media Control

Our armies do not come into your cities and lands as
conquerors or enemies, but as liberators. Your wealth
has been stripped of you by unjust men? The people of
Baghdad shall flourish under institutions, which are
in consonance with their sacred laws.

A British general -F.S. Maude -made this solemn
promise to the Iraqi people. It wasn?t last week,
though. It was in 1917, in his capacity as
commander-in-chief of British forces in Iraq. Sound
familiar? Not so long afterwards, Winston Churchill
would rain down mustard gas on the ?uncivilised
tribes? of Kurds who may have otherwise have attempted
establishing their own ?institutions? to create their
own ?wealth?.

The media has reached an almost unparalleled level of
servile dishonesty in the last few weeks. Barely
credible are the early morning ritual of pictures of
shelled Iraqi positions and shrivelled Iraqi corpses
strewn across the desert sand. Completely absent among
the euphemisms used are words such as ?murder? and
The pro-U.S. frenzy whipped up by tabloids and
broadsheets alike is symptomatic of how consent has
always been manufactured by the establishment, but its
attainment of new peaks of obviousness may only prove
self-defeating in the long-term. While Blair was
lauded for his fiery attack on the pink-eyed liberals
in the House of Commons, no mention was made,
strangely enough, about the comments of erstwhile
foreign minister Robin Cooks? the day before when he
claimed, in his resignation speech, that ?Iraq
probably has no weapons of mass destruction in the
commonly understood sense of the term?. Balance this
against chief Blair?s? later remarks:

We are asked now seriously to accept that in the last
few years, contrary to all history and intelligence,
(Saddam) decided unilaterally to destroy these
weapons. I say such a claim is palpably absurd.

The B.B.C., meanwhile, under its director of news
Richard Sambrook, (who didn?t deign to permit any
coverage of the recent anti-war protests in London
-confining it to small segments in local news) are,
like Blair and co., fully aware of the truth. Their
function is simply to conceal it from us.
Take, for example, the charade involving Scott Ritter,
chief weapons? inspector with UNSCOM and someone with
the obvious credentials to talk about weapons of mass
destruction (W.M.D.); someone with a lot to say,
therefore, about whether or not there are any W.M.D.
remaining in Iraq. Yes, he is allowed to say it. This
is, after all, a ?democracy?, we are told. But
unfortunately he is only allowed to say it once, at
3.00 a.m., and on B.B.C.?s digital news channel,
B.B.C. News 24. Meanwhile, the usual cabal of
media-hawks are given ample airtime to set out the
U.S.-U.K. case.

?Bad news days?, full of stories of ?friendly fire?
casualties and unexpected Iraqi resistance are
reported in lop-sided fashion as more preferable
reports suddenly arrive of chemical agents being
discovered by advancing ?coalition? forces. Basra has
fallen, this time definitely, and then it pops up
again like a film set in an old western movie.
Resistance in Umm Qasr was supposed to have collapsed
days ago, but Iraqi forces are still holding out. Iraq
has not captured American P.O.W.?s, and then it has.
The war is ?going according to plan? but ?unexpected?
at the same time. And as for the recent Basra
uprisings? If they are anything like the uprisings in
1991, rest assured that the U.S. will allow Iraq
sufficient time to turn their guns on the people. The
last thing anybody needs is to run their own affairs,
And so, information is made public by U.S. Central
Command in Qatar (who should know what?s going on) and
then it is rescinded?but we are supposed to believe
them next time round! Previous events are thrown into
the memory hole of debunked history. All of this
seems, however, to work. And it works because the
overriding currency traded by media and military alike
is fear.

Culture of Fear

The use of this ?fear? has been round for a long time.
The Russians were going to use an airbase in Grenada
to bomb mainland U.S. Answer? Invade Grenada.
Nicaragua was ?two days? marching time from Texas.
Answer? Declare a ?war on terror? that will wipe out
200,000 lives in Latin America. Its use again is
unsurprising: the Republicans in the early 1980?s are
the same as the Republicans now -in a slightly
reshuffled pack. The massive propaganda effort that
is currently bludgeoning the truth is a sign, however,
that the U.S. and U.K. governments are worried. They
are worried because of the unprecedented popular
opposition to the war, greater at this stage, than any
opposition to any war ever. And yet, 120,000 extra
U.S. troops are being sent out to the Gulf as a result
of supposed criticism from parts of this same U.S.
population. Now it seems the U.S. military is under
strength somehow, and simply bowing to public pressure
that is acting now as a commander-in-chief, calling
the shots. It?s like Vietnam-in-reverse.
At least, you might say, we have the French to thank
for not getting involved. According to Anthony Arnove
(3), however, ?the French?(are) busily retrofitting
its munitions to be compatible with U.S. weapons with
U.S. weapons?? In fact they have?
?conspicuously (sent)?an aircraft carrier on
manoeuvres just where it would be most useful in
military action against Iraq. (4)


So much has already been written about Saddam?s
alleged possession of WMD even though there is a
90-95% probability, according to Hans Blix, that they
no longer exist. But what of the U.S.?s growing
arsenal of hardware?

According to Victor Slipchenko, one of the leading
military analysts in the world, the ?main purpose? of
the attack on Iraq is the testing out of new weapons.
In Bush?s first presidential address in May 2001 he
asserted that:

?The armed forces needed to be completely hi-tech,
capable of conducting hostilities by the no-contact
method. After a series of live experiments -in Iraq in
1991, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan -many incorporations
achieved huge profits. Now the bottom line is $50-60 a

In August this year (I suppose when the war with Iraq
is expected to be done and dusted) the Bush
administration will hold a secret meeting?

?to discuss the construction of a new generation of
nuclear weapons, including ?mini-nukes?, ?bunker
busters? and neutron bombs. Generals, government
officials and nuclear scientists will also discuss the
appropriate propaganda to convince the American public
that the new weapons are necessary (5).

Among the list of military options discussed will be
the so-called ?microwave? bombs which can bring down
computer systems, various electronic sources and
which, according to Time magazine?(6)

?could destroy nearby heart pacemakers and other
life-critical systems in n hospitals or aboard
aircraft. (7)

Along with these, we have the fuel-air explosives
(F.A.E.s) previously debuting in Afghanistan.
According to the N.Y.T Times:

?the above ground blasts produce up to twice the
pressure of conventional high explosive charges and
searing temperatures above 5000 degrees -far hotter
than the fires that toppled the WTC towers. (8)

Not forgetting, of course, the usual array of depleted
uranium weapons (D.U.) -one million of which were use
in Gulf War I -cluster bombs and daisy cutters.

Emergency Relief

As I write this, the first shipment of food and other
necessities is being cleared to dock at partially
controlled Umm Qasr. Pictures of grateful ?liberated?
Iraqis queuing for aid, will, no doubt, be beamed
worldwide to reassured sceptics, by equally grateful
journalists, ?embedded? or otherwise -a repeat of the
barely plausible attempts at relief in Afghanistan
last year. As usual, this is not the full story.
The Centre for Economic and Social Rights (C.E.S.R.),
a research team that recently visited Iraq and which
includes former U.N. humanitarian coordinator Hans von
Sponeck found that:

·92% of hospitals lack basic medical equipment
·Intra-operative and post-operative surgical care is
virtually unavailable
·Damage to electrical and water systems will constrain
medical services (a lot has been made of how precision
bombing had not affected electricity in and around
·Shortage of antibiotics and other medications (9)

In Geneva last month, UN officials convened an
international conference and ?warned of devastating
humanitarian consequences of a war in Iraq.? The
conference, which was hardly reported in the
mainstream media, predicted that 2 million Iraqis will
be forced to leave their homes while a possible 1.5
million will be forced to flee Iraq completely.

What will happen?

You could almost sense the disappointment in the tone
of the media pundits when the so-called ?shock and
awe? failed to materialise in the first days of the
war. We have been led to believe that things are not
going according to plan, that the coalition may take
longer to achieve its objectives, but that victory
will be complete. The most one-sided war in history
has been transformed into an almost equal battlefield,
and more fatalities are expected as urban guerrilla
warfare in Baghdad will render hi-tech weaponry
useless. This might be the case, but only if the
coalition-of-two decide not to obliterate Baghdad,
innocent civilians and all!
So what will happen? Already, even before the war has
finished, corporate America is homing in on its prey.
U.S. engineering firm Kellogg Brown and Root (part of
Haliburton -and yes, that?s Cheney?s old alma mater)
has already won the contract to put out oil well fires
and repair oil facilities. Stevedoring Services of
America (SSA) -who are renown for union busting across
three continents -have won the right to handle cargo
and shipping at Umm Qasr -the most important docks in
Iraq. Other contracts will be sorted out in the next
few months, with Blair being thrown the crusts from
his master?s table
And what of government, post-Saddam? Apparently
military strategy is to incorporate elements of the
Ba?ath party in order to ?maintain stability?
according to the Washington Post. The goal, according
to George Packer Dreaming of Democracy, is?

?removing Saddam but letting power stay with his
ruling Ba?ath party, mainly minority Sunni
Arabs?Ba?ath party officials would be removed from the
top levels of the bureaucracy, but those a notch down
would be kept on to work with their American
superiors. (10)

Iraq, in fact, will be run by a puppet-like, malleable
administration under U.S. control while General Tommy
Franks will maintain military control.


To conclude then with the obvious. The war has
started, innocent people are being slaughtered, and
media-military annex is doing its best to serve war to
us in palatable portions. Demonstrations have been
ignored. Fuel is still flowing into U.S. aircraft at
Shannon airport and Fairford in England. But the
recent direct action taken in Ireland against Shannon
airport, the occupation of the airport by the Catholic
Workers and the actions against Top Oil bode well for
the future of the movement here.


1. George Packer Dreaming of Democracy New York Times
magazine March 2 2003
2. John Pilger Disobey March 2003
3. Anthony Arnove The Invasion of Iraq
4. Richard Bernstein and Steven R. Weisman NATO
settles rift over aid to Turks in case of war
5. John Pilger Ibid
6. Mark Thompson America?s ultra-secret weapon in
?Time? January 2003
7. Seth Schiesel Taking aim at the enemy?s chips in
N.Y.T January 2003
8. Andrew C. Revkin U.S. making weapons to blast
underground hide-outs N.Y.Y December 2002
9. Anthony Arnove Ibid
10. George Packer Ibid


The above article was written by a member of the
Anarchist Federation. Read other articles online at:



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