|Introduction||Pre-Iran-Iraq War||Iran-Iraq War||Kurdish Question|
|Reflections on a war|
When I first read the figures in this thread (now n/a) (or backup) I thought I wouldn't be able to beat Tony's spin. Why should I? He is a clever politician, and he had taxpayers' money to work with. However I might be able to get somewhere.
The first thing to examine is the historical context but without going too far back - I might even be able to provide evidence. These are key:-
1) Pre Iran-Iraq war
2) Iran-Iraq war
3) First Gulf War
5) Second Gulf war
6) Post-war carnage
Throughout this discussion the underlying factor is western involvement to promote the interests of oil corporations. How was Saddam's' conduct throughout his political life? Did anything change with his conduct running up to the second gulf war - western attitudes certainly changed?
1) Saddam's connection with the US began long before the Iran-Iraq war.
2) This US contact was the source of the military power of Saddam's dictatorship because it was during this Iran-Iraq war that Saddam was armed - by the US.
3) In the first Gulf War we had the first appearance of precision bombing in which all kinds of targets were bombed but people never died. This blatant lie was significant in setting the scene for future carnage - 2nd Gulf War, Afghanistan, Libya and more. I stand by the figure of more than 200,000 dead in a war for democracy (discussed later). What democracy? The royal family of Kuwait was returned to power, the oil flowed to the West, and the Kuwaiti people remained oppressed.
What remains unclear to me is why the western victors allowed Saddam to remain in power when he had been defeated. Perhaps he needed weakening, perhaps there needed to be further justification to invade Iraq. However throughout Saddam's conduct did not change.
4) Sanctions destroyed Kuwait. As yet I am not placing blame on one side or the other for the affects of the sanctions on the people of Iraq, just to say that together they impoverished Iraq. One cannot excuse Saddam but he was a known dictator. He was already exploiting the poor for sectarian and political reasons, continuing to exploit them and then being able to blame the sanctions possibly extended his reign. What else could western sanctions possibly do but make the lives of the Iraqi people worse? If you examine the affects of the sanctions what can be seen is that the country was ripe for plucking.
5)And so we have the second Gulf War in which the usual precision bombing did not kill Iraqis. As a result Saddam was captured and eventually executed.
6) Was this the desired result? Perhaps irrelevant. Oil companies now have control of Iraqi oil. The power in Iraq is dissipated as it is a divided country. The corporations of the Military Industrial Complex have developed a new wing in which security companies hire security personnel - as opposed to the military which has some accountability, rebuilding is fashioned by western companies, and with the continued bombing there is ongoing work for them.
Looking back at events, is this not a description of what happened? No rhetoric. No dubious rationales, just an overall description of events.
Throughout there are certain themes that in my opinion don't need justification. It is hard for me to see that someone cannot see these themes as existing. In my time as a political activist it was never a question of needing to make some justifications. People were not interested in the truth, they were intentionally blind or created blind. This can be understood by considering people like Tony Blair who had a political and financial interest in being blind - and creating the blind. Their job was to ensure that the war could be justified. At some stage some people open their eyes and see the true picture of the political landscape, this opening can occur because conflict makes them realise how much they have been conned, deep discussion with people who know raises their awareness, some event which makes them realise the political system they are a part of, or a letting go of the emotional attachment that makes them want to defend the country of their birth indiscriminately. Whatever way once their eyes have been opened, they place political events in a wider context, they start to explain events in the light of this wider context rather than focussing in - not seeing the wood for the trees. This is political insight, and one of the most important ways of gaining this political insight is to take a wider historical view.
The interference in Middle East affairs is not based on any moral outrage but is based on western governments acting as puppets for the oil corporations and providing finance for the military-industrial complex.. In the case of Saddam I would hope to show that there were no moral qualms about supporting him, employing him and financing his army when it suited western interest. The man's dictatorship did not change in character after the first Gulf war, his character was constant throughout his life. But the west supported him for much of his life, so why would his moral character be a justification for war?
The West has a history of supporting dictatorships when it suits this oil interest. This continues to be shown in the way they are supporting certain Arab dictatorships in what is known as the Arab Spring. Yet the one dictator they had no control of became an immediate object of war in Libya. This again is not to justify Qaddafi, I never want to justify Saddam, but the moral stance that the west is being democratic has no logical consistency. Throughout the world the west has supported dictatorships because it suited their business interests.
As stated it is important to take a historical perspective when trying to understand global policy of government. Western-style governments attempt to delude their people that they have distinctly opposed parties fighting to get into power, but they are only differenet shades of grey situated on the right of the political spectrum. It matters not whether their name is labour, socialist, or democrat, in the West these parties do not represent a viable left-wing alternative - a viable democracy. When I was in grass roots politics I supported the labour party as the lesser of two evils, not because they were a caring party. Yet Labour and Tory are contrasted as being the opposite ends of the political spectrum - check the movie "Lifting the Veil" for an understanding of this. It is necessary in understanding Iraq to see the actions of the West as a whole over this time period of 50 years, and therefore to consider the 6 stages I have listed above.
John Stockwell is a whistle-blower, he has the experince to present that historical perspective. For 13 years he worked in the CIA ending up as chief in Angola, then he left the CIA to write his autobiography.. He has the "inside" on the way the US conducts policy. In this article he sees the situation in the Gulf as promoted by George Bush senior as not simply "gunning for oil", but creating the conditions to re-finance the military-industrial complex that was struggling after the end of the Cold War - he calls it "searching for an enemy". And he describes the US role as the Praetorian Guard of the New World Order. When you are listening to a whistle-blower, you have no choice - you believe them or call them liars. Read about John Stockwell, what has he to lie about? Of course there are plenty of established CIA people that do not write what he says, that present the official line, so however much John appears to be telling the truth it is never proof for the sceptics.
As for sourcing as I am being directly political in this discussion I am going to try to some extent to justify what I am saying. But in the end belief and not reason is how we judge. For me John Pilger is a justifiable source as is UPI but they can be discredited by the so-called rational. For others an obscure academic with letters after her/his name is sufficient as a source, I have no idea why. Just because you are an academic does not mean you are free from bias or that you do not have a viewpoint. Because Noam Chomsky is professor at MIT, does that mean people will believe him? He might well be an academic source but people will still not accept him. The sooner people realise that a supposed rational position is just a front to hide behind the better. A far better understanding comes from someone who has gained insight from experience. And of course the most valid people of all - insiders becoming whistle-blowers. Academics can never have the understanding of these whistle-blowers who have been part of these organisations all their life. If you want to know about the CIA ask John Stockwell. Don't ask an academic who has interviewed him, and noted his response as equal to Richard Helms for example. John Stockwell has lived through the dversity and come out fighting - he knows he has insight.
There is no substitute for historical analysis that places global strategy in a context reinforced by whistle-blower testimony. Neither would satisfy the need for the rationality and balance, the tools used by the establishment to obfuscate the electorate to accept their policy, such tools try to negate insight and understanding. Insight applied rationally does allow for valid understanding, but what is significant about the rationality that insight applies is that it tries to encompass a wider awareness, historically and globally - the wood not the trees.
Consistent with this global historical approach I want to try to establish an understanding of why corporations need to be considered as being more than just businesses trading. Whenever people talk of socialism it is discredited by moral justifcations such as caring and equality for all. Whilst these are admirable values that any society should work towards, socialism is more sophisticated than that. Socialism recognises that the world functions on trade, people earn their living by buying and selling, and such trading is a way for a fair and just life. It is insight into the way that this trading has been manipulated historically that is the way to understand the world. Historically people were farmers trading in their produce, and there were landowners connected to kingdoms who exploited these farmers ensuring that most of the profits from their trading went to the landowners by demanding huge rents and tithes that the people were unable to argue with. Over a period of time there developed business people whose wealth accumulated and they began to challenge the kingdoms for power, by this time the kings had become arrogant and therefore vulnerable - leaving an avenue open for business to wrestle power from them. In the UK this occurred with Cromwell. Note that at the time of Cromwell the choice for power was not between voting for the people or the monarchy but voting for business people or the monarchy.
Under the guise of democracy business increased their influence continuing to promote awareness of the decadence of the monarchy. Once they had control of this opinion they introduced universal suffrage. In the 19th century people began to be aware that the political systems were not offering an alternative, and there was a growing awareness of how business had become the new exploiters - often in collusion with the monarchy. In UK elections people were not given a choice between business and monarchy but different shades of business. What this political awareness started to demonstrate was an understanding of the nature of profiteering. Trading was the way people lived, it was not a problem in itself - it was a natural way to live, grow and trade. What 19th century analysis showed is how business had started to exploit this trading and accumulate all the profit for themselves. It is significant to understand that the political landscape was changing with the nature of this accumulation.
As the businesses became greedier and greedier they enabled legal and political mechanisms to facilitate increased accumulation. Initially these legal mechanisms occurred within national boundaries enabling accumulation through control of finance. Taxation was significant for this. Taxation mechanisms were two-fold. Firstly it enabled money from individuals to be accumulated by governments - note that these governments were not democratic organisations for the improvment of the people but were organisations that had been initially ruling monarchies and had moved into promoting business interests. Secondly it required working people to be earning money - effectively destroying the sustainable trade of barter. It is important to understand this function of government - to accumulate capital. At this stage we can see the way business functions. Through government it has ensured that people are working, have to pay taxes, and the government has accumulated capital that uses it for the benefit of business.
If one accepts this view of the relationship between government and business the way the government is handling the current recession (15/7/11) makes far more sense. Western governments have paid out huge amounts of money to the finance corporations. Why didn't they give this money to the homeowners? It would have been cheaper and led to a more sustainable solution. Why when the banks are using this money to pay huge bonuses to their CEO's does the government step in? Because the government does not represent the people they represent business interests. What other explanation works? We vote for different shades of government which represent business in slightly different ways.
For several centuries European countries promoted expansionsist strategies including enslaving Africa. What was the pretext of this expansion? For many it was missionary zeal, but whilst these moral zealots spearheaded the moral high ground the troops soon followed and African countries became colonies (farms) of the metropole. In other words this colonial expansion was another phase of business expansion. In the 20th centruy wars decimated the European colonials, and in stepped the Americans as specified at Bretton Woods. Throughout the remainder of the 20th century there was a consolidation of the business corporations, ensuring their relationship with governments supplied their needs. In the 21st century corporations function internationally - transnationals. National regulations don't hinder them, and as they bring employment governments spend taxpayers' money to bring the transnationals to their country. Although these transnationals are based in western countries they show no allegiance to the people of those countries moving plant to 3rd world countries where the labour is cheaper. Yet the western governments do not penalise them for this - as the government is part of the corporatocracy. This corporatocracy also controls global finance mechanisms such as the World Bank, IMF, World Trade Organisation, GATT, all of which act in the interest of this corporatocracy. This alliance between business transnationals, transnational finance corporations, and national governments is the way of the world - corporatocracy.
"People, governments and economies of all nations must serve the needs of multinational banks and corporations." Zbigniew Brzezinski, taken from here. It is therefore not inconsistent for western governments to be acting in the interests of the oil corporations in the Middle East whilst promoting the military-industrial complex at the same time. The rhetoric speaks of democracy because governments speak of democracy when they are electioneering. But government actions speak of corporatocracy, and historically they consistently do this. Why should the Gulf be any different?
Is this too much of an off-beat conspiracy theory? Ask Rockefeller:-
"We are going to have a war on terror which you can never win, and so you can always keep taking people's liberties away. The media is going to convince everybody that the war on terror is real. The ultimate goal is to get everybody in the world chipped with an RFID chip, and have all money be on the chips, and if anyone wants to protest what we do, we turn off the chip."
Nicholas Rockefeller to producer Aaron Russo - eleven months before the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks, taken from here
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