Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Mr. President, You are Immoral

I usually try not to post when I am angry. I didn’t wait up last night to hear Mr. Bush’s speech. I followed it this morning. I wish I didn’t.

A few excerpts from President Bush’s speech on 28th June, 2005:

After September the 11th, I made a commitment to the American people: This nation will not wait to be attacked again. We will defend our freedom. We will take the fight to the enemy.

There is only one course of action against them: to defeat them abroad before they attack us at home.

The work in Iraq is difficult and it is dangerous. Like most Americans, I see the images of violence and bloodshed. Every picture is horrifying, and the suffering is real. Amid all this violence, I know Americans ask the question: Is the sacrifice worth it? It is worth it, and it is vital to the future security of our country.

Our military reports that we have killed or captured hundreds of foreign fighters in Iraq who have come from Saudi Arabia and Syria, Iran, Egypt, Sudan, Yemen, Libya and others.

The terrorists know that the outcome will leave them emboldened, or defeated. So they are waging a campaign of murder and destruction. And there is no limit to the innocent lives they are willing to take.
… I could not follow the rest of that historic speech. I did not have the stomach!

Mr. Bush, you are immoral.

This is my country you are talking about.

We had a tyrant but we had no terrorists before you decided to make my country a battleground against international terrorism.

You gloat about killing “hundreds” of terrorists in a battle that is killing many thousands of innocent Iraqis, whom you pay some pathetic lip service. But how can I blame you? You did not bother count. People are still debating whether 20,000 or 200,000 were killed.

Are the lives of Iraqis so cheap in your eyes? Is this your understanding of friendship?

Mr. President, you are immoral! Any Congress that does not impeach somebody who utters these words within a week is also immoral. Any American who agrees with you on this is also immoral.

You keep linking Iraq and 9/11 (5 times in a single speech)… and yet so many of your parrots keep repeating (even on this very blog) that you didn’t. Mr. President, you and your parrots are all so immoral. What has Iraq ever had anything to do with 9/11? I feel sorry for America.

You are also wicked… still playing on primitive feelings of fear, revenge and selfishness of some of your countrymen. Presumably you believe that there are sufficient numbers of those. Perhaps you are right!

But what if you are wrong in your confidence in winning against those for whom “there is no limit to the innocent lives they are willing to take”? Our population is unfortunately limited. All those innocent lives are dear to their families and friends. Oh, but they are not American. They do not count. Besides, you cannot be wrong; when have you ever been wrong before?

And you and those Americans who support you have the audacity to want us to be grateful, for ridding us of Saddam, because he was killing Iraqis. That was none of your business anyway. Don’t tell me you did it for our eyes… to save Iraqi lives. Hypocrites!

America was an ardent supporter in the 1980’s while he was fighting Iran… and killing Iraqis. You made him stronger. How would you have liked it if some Iraqis had decided to take the battle to your cities to fight the source of support he was receiving… to make Saddam weaker? Would that have made any sense to you? Would that have been justifiable? Or is America largely deprived of people capable of projecting themselves into other people’s positions?

On top of everything, you are not weakening international terrorism. You are making it stronger. Listen to your own CIA. Listen to anybody else in the world that is not a puppet or a parrot. You are also adding to it hatred from people who have nothing to do with terrorism. Hatred that will last for generations. Or is your country immune to hatred?

One decent American I had been in communication with a while ago wrote:

“… It represents for me a parable of our time. It causes me to peer into the sky, shake my head and wonder how long, how long before we see that too much innocent blood is being poured out in our name? Too many people who are not enemies are being killed. And too many more are being inoculated against ever being our friends.”

Not everybody in America agrees with you. But you do seem to have a sufficient number of followers both in Congress and elsewhere in America.

What I would really like to know most is how many Americans were outraged by the immorality of the President’s presentation of his case!!

How should Iraqis look at your army that is intentionally making their homes, towns and villages a battlefront to fight it out with your enemies? Have the Iraqis been asked if they agree to make so many sacrifices to protect your country? Sacrificing the safety of their own children to protect yours? Or was it taken for granted that they would agree… because they suffered before?

But there was one truth in your speech:

Some wonder whether Iraq is a central front in the war on terror. Among the terrorists, there is no debate.

You are so right on this one!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


8. Other Theories

Possible Undeclared Motives for the Invasion of Iraq

This series has been running long enough! In this post, I will list readers’ additions to undeclared motives very briefly to complete the main line of this series to give readers a chance to debate them. I hope that I have managed to retain the intended message but I also added a link to the original reader’s post. They are listed in no particular order. I leave it to readers to assess the strengths and weaknesses of these different theories.

1. Military-Industrial Complex / Personal Gains

The role of the so-called “Military Industrial Complex” in America
Basically, the US military expenditure is enormous. Yet, as we have also seen, the troops on the ground lack basic equipment like body armour and other items. WHERE does all the money GO? Let me put forward the theory that some very powerful movers and shakers in the US Defence industry see it as a positive development for their personal bank balances (and those of their shareholders) for the US to be in constant conflict with other nations.

The reality is that most of the expenses lie in (a) research (b) development (c) maintenance. The condition of perpetual war suits the manufacturers of these weapons very well, and they do not hesitate to prescribe technological weapons solutions for tactical / strategic deficiencies in the field. It is in the manufacturer’s interests to sell the most expensive equipment possible to the US military, and to have a reason (ie wars) for continual re-supply of such equipment. Bruno

2. Eliminate Iraq as a strategic threat to Israel

… by transforming Iraq into an Afghanistan-like American colony. And failing that… Destroy Iraq as a strategic threat to Israel by promoting a debilitating civil war.

It is really difficult outside of the United States to understand how intense the American identification with Israel is. For some Americans it is for racial reasons - helping European Jews such as Sharon exert their supremacy over dark Arab Palestinians such as Arafat. For other Americans it is for religious reasons - the belief that the bible demands that Christians help God bring his prophecy that Jews would control Israel. For most Americans it is a combination of the two - racism reinforcing religious bigotry while religious bigotry reinforces racism. Mr. Democracy

3. Domestic political goals

Re-electing Bush, re-taking control of the senate, expanding control of the house, and removing the fetters of public scrutiny from all federal government agencies.
I am not suggesting that this was THE reason, or even a sole and sufficient reason to invade Iraq. But, every other goal that was or could have been one or more of the motives for the invasion was subordinated to the domestic political agenda. From the timing and manner in which the invasion was ‘rolled out’ for the 2002 midterms, to the ‘Mission Accomplished’ Show, to the capture of Saddam, and on and on and on and on. To the extent that events could be controlled, they were coordinated with the election cycle. To the extent that events were random, they were exploited, by the government and its supporters in the corporate press/media, for purposes of the election. JamesEarl

4. PetroDollar economics

Preventing Saddam from selling substantial quantities of oil for euros instead of for dollars. Such a move by Saddam would have threatened U.S. dollar hegemony, which is currently allowing the U.S. to obtain goods from all around the world essentially for free. (The U.S. pays for everything in dollars, which are the only currency with which anyone can now buy large quantities of oil. To say that the loss of dollar hegemony in oil would be devastating to the U.S. is an understatement. There are other ways in which dollar hegemony could be attacked, but if a major oil-producing country switched to euros, it could be a significant foot in the door for breaking down the dollar system.) Ralph

Another factor that sometimes pops up is the fact that Saddam wanted to start trading oil in Euros and not dollars. Given that the US Dollar is essentially underwritten by oil, that decision by Iraq could have been the start of a domino effect affecting the value of the US currency. I'm not advancing this as a "main" reason, but certainly it could not have made the US very happy. Bruno

5. Establishing military bases in the heart of the Middle East

Establishing permanent bases in the heart of the Middle East, thus allowing the U.S. to threaten or attack any country in the area on very short notice. Since the neocons apparently believe they can maintain U.S. power by threatening devastating military action against non-cooperating nations, establishing such bases is a crucial achievement for them. Ralph

6. Lesson to puppets

Putting the U.S. “client states” (puppet regimes) on notice that they will be dealt with harshly in the event they do anything the U.S. doesn’t like. Ralph

7. Stengthening Najaf’s Clergy to Counter Iran’s Influence

The American mistake had led to a great human Islamic educational crisis: That is the shrinkage of the Islamic moderate thinking on both Islamic sects. On the Sunni’s side, the great Alzhar moderate thinkers lost their leadership to the Wahabees…

On the Shia’s side, The Najaf moderate School’s leadership had weakened. That is because of the blessing by the west to Saddam to crash Shia in Iraq, due to the concerns of expanding the new Iranian revolutionary teachings into Iraqi Shia majority. That gave the idealistic schools of Iran a better opportunity to contain those hurt by Saddam.

Part of what is happening today, might be to correct that big mistake. The democratic Iraq would re establish the identity of the moderate Shia majority of Iraq with all the scholar power of Najaf school . The best place, today, on the planet to fight back the Salafee’s ideology. By: Basim Almustaar - Posted by Anonymous

8. The forever war as a replacement of the Cold War

Much of the administration’s momentum and support is predicated on an indefinite war hysteria. Maintaining the hysteria requires maintaining the war, in terms of enhancing our profile as a target, keeping the disaffected and poor active as a threat to the population but not the state, and keeping the populace appropriately revved up on one hand and frightened on the other.
Part of the framing of the response to the 01 attacks as a “War on Terrorism” fed that end—a war on a military tactic is almost forever by definition—but Al Qaida was not, in my view, a sufficiently abiding threat to keep the pot boiling. Hence the pouring of Iraqi oil on the fire. heraclitus

9. Constant US foreign policy

Controlling the flow of oil was central to the motivation to invade Iraq, but to understand it completely we have to consider it in the context of US policy in that part of the world since the end of WWII and perhaps before.

That policy, or set of policies, was the foundation for a set of options. Invading Iraq was one of those options. Is the question why the US invaded Iraq in 2003? Or is it why the US has been using its military to attempt to control the region over the last fifty years or so? JamesEarl

10. Placing a military force in a Middle Eastern country to unite and draw out terrorist and "insurgent" forces.

Why choose Iraq? Saddam, and the dictator system of government. These are totems which America holds as "evil." If someone says the word "dictator" in reference to a country, the American people instantly believe they are warmongering, power hungry, depraved men who torture others for their own amusement. While they might not all be such men, those are the ones which stand out in the public eye. I'm sure there've been many dictators who lived nice, peaceful lives, and never started a single war. They just don't make headlines. An American Patriot

11. The Bush Family vendetta

George Bush Sr. was once director of the CIA. It is my belief that he had learned something about Saddam Hussein, or perhaps even had personal dealings with him, which created an enmity between them. Junior, following in daddy's footsteps, or perhaps even at his urging, becomes President. At the first possible opportunity, Junior goes after the man who once tried to kill his daddy.

The reason for America choosing Iraq could be no more than an old fashioned redneck family feud. An American Patriot

12. World domination

America became the world superpower with World War II. Staying out of the war that long had nothing to do with it being none of our business. We're American. Everything is our business.

Europe was stabilized, governmental institutions were installed which make it impossible for enough people to get together with the same idea to actually get anything as straightforward as say, trying to take over a neighboring country done in any sort of timely fashion.

Asia's been stabilized. The Japanese ceased trying to take over through force of arms and turned to electronics instead. Some of the smaller countries get antsy from time to time, but with the threat of China looming over them waiting to swallow them whole given the slightest opportunity they're unlikely to make much of a fuss as long as America is occupied in the Middle East and isn't there to bully China.

Africa obviously has nothing to offer any part of the world, or situations like Rwanda would have been seen to much sooner, and DARFUR would be more than just a funny sounding word to the vast majority of the world's populace.

The Middle East is the last bastion of chaos which somehow manages to have resources and industry in the world. It is one of the few places left where major conflicts between neighboring countries still occur that would have an impact on the world economy.

By "Americanizing" the Middle East, America is able to remain the great superpower in the world, because our politicians have the most experience in befuddling their constituents while slowly stealing our freedoms. An American Patriot

13. The “People” Theory

“The search for invasion rationales is very perplexing… I sense the will of Israel in the actions of Wolfowitz. Put him in a room with: Cheney who thinks oil and contracts, Rove who thinks upcoming elections, Rumsfeld who wants to try out his ideas about warfare and GW who thinks that he knows the will of God, and pretty soon it probably made perfect sense.
Groupthink got us here in my opinion, not any one idea. You know what they say about opinions!!”

[I have added this “personal” aspect as I received it through a private communication. It is amusing as it combines several facets based on the ‘character’ of key players! It is more like a personal approach to history which belongs to a well established school of philosophical thought and which of course has its merits!]

Thursday, June 23, 2005


7. Leading America into Perpetual Conflict

Possible Motives for the Invasion of Iraq

Theory of Perpetual War

This theory is another possible explanation for the events in Iraq over the past two years. It is different from, and less ambitious than, the ‘world domination theory’. In this post, I will only give a very brief outline of this theory but will come back to it in future posts to examine it in greater detail and apply it to the US administrations’ performance in Iraq.

This discussion is no more than a proposal of a possible theory and should not be seen as an attempt at any absolute revelation of the truth. It is simply just another attempt to fit sense and logic into what is otherwise seen as irrational, senseless or inexplicable. I may well be wrong on the theory I am proposing in this article. I certainly hope that I am; otherwise we are in for a gloomy future.

The basic premise of the theory is not built around Iraq! It is basically an approach to the long term defense of the United States.

Brief Outline of Theory


With the end of the cold war and the crumbling of the Soviet Union and the end of the cold war, there was no longer an immediate visible threat to America as seen by the lay public.

Due to the resulting public and Congressional mood, and because of the mounting national debts, military expenditure was reduced considerably (during the Clinton administration). Some of the consequences would be that the arms industry will suffer without much influx of capital, arms research will be weaker. The army will be reduced in size and in capability. America will become weaker.

While this is taking place, other nations (some of them strong candidates to be US competitors or adversaries) will be busy building their economic and military strength. This can already be seen taking place at a horrific rate in China. Some observers are already worried about recent trends in Russia. Other countries will soon follow.

Central to all these strategic considerations is oil… the present civilization’s most crucial raw material.

These possibilities cannot be taken lightly by truly concerned patriots. It would be quite irresponsible from a certain patriotic point of view not to be strongly concerned with these potential future dangers.

The long term cost of relaxing the nation’s readiness and military capability can be catastrophic.

Up to this point, the arguments are familiar and have been advocated frequently during most of the 90’s. It is the natural conclusion that follows from these arguments that is the basis of the ‘undeclared’ Perpetual War Theory.


In practical terms, there is one solution.

Due to the nature of the US democratic political system, the country cannot be made to increase the defense budgets and maintain the military strength at adequate levels without a visible threat. It cannot be made to fight without a conviction subscribed to by a majority of the population.

People need to feel threatened, and convinced of the immanent nature of that threat, to rally to the call. In this respect, a PNAC document entitled “Rebuilding America's Defenses” published in 2000 actually mentions the positive effect of “some catastrophic and catalyzing event—like a new Pearl Harbor.” [I am definitely not contending that they had anything to do with 9/11; I am only trying to portray an attitude that may lead to certain conclusions.]

Once that is achieved, the rest of the agenda will be relatively simple to implement: Elected politicians, for the very purpose of getting elected, generally reflect the mood of the people. The required legislation and budget allocations necessary to achieve the major objectives will pass through Congress almost unhindered.

The only possible way to achieve these strategic objectives is for the nation to be kept in a state of constant war or a constant threat of war.

But it would not be prudent or even beneficial to initiate strong confrontational positions with major potential adversaries such as China at present.

The best solution is to engage the nation in a series of continuous small wars (‘good’ wars fought on US terms) and not wait for the other sides to start it when they are ready.

Therefore, to achieve the objective of putting the nation in conflict and hence in a state of alert, a smaller enemy is necessary to start with for a good part of this century. Enemies are therefore needed (there certainly is no shortage of these, but the American public has to believe those enemies pose an eminent threat to the US). A war in which the US would quickly prevail due to its superior power is not good enough. This was clearly demonstrated by the relaxed public mood that followed the first Gulf War. The war (or series of wars) has to be a long-term one… preferably continuous.


Although the doctrines of ‘The Project for the New American Century’ (PNAC) and the related neo-conservative school of thought are important corner stones to understanding this theory, it is not limited to them!

Several political observers have wondered like Seymour Hersh how a small ‘cultist’ group of people could totally hijack the foreign policy of a thriving democracy in the world’s major superpower. The answer is simple: it is not a small cultist group. The ideals of these people can be seen as part of larger, ‘more subtle’ currents in the United States that began to take root immediately after the end of the cold war and reached similar conclusions regarding the need for America’s military readiness.

This is not seen as an evil scheme by its subscribers! Some (perhaps many) of the people who hold this vision believe that America’s political system is the most humane and its economic system the most efficient. It is built around individual rights and freedoms. Human dignity is almost sacred and is enshrined in the constitution. Democracy is central to government structure. Open government is a guaranteed by various checks and balances built wisely into the system. The American model, when applied to other countries such as Japan or Germany among others has led to thriving countries and just, non-aggressive societies. From a patriotic American viewpoint, such ‘dominance’ is good for the country and good for the world as a whole. It can be subscribed to by people with moderate views and mild dispositions!

From this brief outline, it may not be difficult to realize the extent of the influential forces in the States that may subscribe to this undeclared agenda. The neocons are only the publicly visible, ‘intellectual’, active, outspoken (and perhaps fanatic) advocates of the extreme version of this vision. They also happen to hold the reigns of power in America. And some of them, for example John Bolton, have been accredited of getting the religious fundamentalist movements of America on the bandwagon.


In coming posts, I will go into this theory in some detail to include the need to defend the conventional American values of freedom, democracy and religious faith.

I will then hope to apply this theory to the war in Iraq to offer explanation of events that seem so far inexplicable unless one assume an unbelievable degree of poor planning and total incompetence. I also find this theory capable of explaining the ferocity of the antagonistic attitude towards ‘old Europe’ and the UN as well as the evident apathy to American and other casualties and expenditure.


A motive to invade Iraq? Iraq just happened to be the best, almost ideal, candidate!

According to this theory, what has been happening in Iraq is the plan! It would not have been sufficient for the US army to prevail, institute a solid democracy in a stable country… and leave soon afterwards. The motive in this case is the conflict itself that may result in log-term strategic gains, not short-term profits, to America… at a minimum level of losses.

Saturday, June 18, 2005


6. Intentional Devastation of Iraq

Possible Undeclared Motives for the Invasion of Iraq

More Iraqis than people in the West may imagine subscribe to this belief. They range from illiterate peasants to university professors. This is by far the most ‘popular’ theory in Iraq (outside Kurdistan) and has been so for more than a year. It borders on conspiracy theory but please bear with me a little to see things the way most Iraqis have been seeing them for the past two years!

To many people ‘intentional devastation’ offers the only plausible explanation to what has been happening in Iraq over the past two years. A sample of the criticisms felt by many Iraqis:

1. No sane Iraqi would accept the story about Saddam posing a threat to the United States. A good portion of them believe that he was for a long time an American stooge. (There’s a conspiracy theory for those seeking one!)

2. None would accept the excuses offered for securing only the Oil Ministry and letting all those looters on the loose rampaging all their institutions. No one can accept the excuse that the Ministry of Oil was protected by coincidence or because the Americans believed that it held records of the country’s wealth. People’s civic records, hospitals, municipalities, service departments, the country’s irrigation network are also important! Report after report came in that the US boys were actually encouraging the looters and forcing doors open for them. I personally witnessed one such incident.

3. The looting, criminal gangs on the loose, rapes, kidnappings and lawlessness! Any third-rate third-world general knows that for a change of regime to cause minimum disruption and chaos, a curfew for a few days needs to be imposed. In Iraq itself, that was done several times in the past century. Was it that difficult for the American administration to plan for? People had already made provisions at home for the invasion itself. We all remember Rumsfeld’s dismissive remarks on the issue: How do you think Iraqis felt when, in the days of the looting of Baghdad, they heard the U.S. Defense Secretary saying that looting “isn't something that someone allows or doesn't allow. It's something that happens.”… Or that “freedom is messy”?

4. Few people realize the amount of damage that was incurred on Iraq’s (the world’s, really) cultural treasures during that mass and afterwards: It has been estimated that one million books, 10 million documents, and 14,000 archaeological artifacts have been lost… the biggest cultural disaster since the descendants of Genghis Khan destroyed Baghdad in 1258. Parts of Babylon's ancient ruins were destroyed (by the army!) Some of those books and documents lost or destroyed were immensely valuable human heritage. … and all this despite clear warnings (before the invasion) from UNESCO, the UN, the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute and the former head of the U.S. president's Advisory Committee on Cultural Property, Martin Sullivan. In the words of Venezuelan writer Fernando Baez: “It is a paradox: the inventors of the electronic book returned to Mesopotamia, where books, history and civilization were born, to destroy it.”

5. No one in his right mind would accept the reasons given to disband the army on the grounds that it was Baathist. There were so many defectors over the previous years that the US administration must have had a fair idea of the amount of discontent with the regime in the army. Indeed, they used some of those defectors to build and promote their case for the invasion! All military cadets were forced to become Baathists. Yet, many were only Baathists in name. Most saw themselves as patriots first. They felt angry, like almost everybody else, at what the regime was doing to their country. Was it so inconceivable for the Americans to send them home with a promise of monthly pay while waiting to re-organize the army? Most military units knew who the nasty characters were. Those would not show up anyway. Besides, the America neocons were yelling that the Iraqis will welcome them with roses. Therefore they must have anticipated the amount of discontent with the previous regime that existed in the country. Cost? $100 per month on average for 400, 000 people = $40 million/ month which is so small in terms of the war budget… and it could have been paid from Iraqi oil money! This of course would not have prevented those terrorists from pouring across the wide open borders. It would not have prevented the die-hard Saddam supporters from doing some damage… but I believe the bulk of the nationalistic resistance (widely ignored by the mass media but its effect no doubt felt by the US army) came from regular army personnel. The vast majority of those people were only Baathist in name, believe me! They outnumber Saddam’s people at least 20 to 1. Remember that many of these were seasoned warriors (some of them with long war experience) and most saw themselves as patriots. Many of their officers knew where the ammunition depots were. They included staff planners. So the US administration almost willfully created a deadly enemy… that operated in a supportive environment.

6. Why was the police force disbanded? Iraq had several uniformed police services. The traffic police had nothing to do with politics or oppression. Most of those on the street now are the same ones of the previous regime, re-employed. So why were they disbanded? There was also the anti-Crime police who knew many of the criminals and could have been useful in combating them. (Some people even took it upon themselves to take their records home to preserve them.) There was the non-political Border Guard Corps, etc. etc.

7. There was the insensitive behavior of American soldiers. They certainly acted like a conquering army which made the case for winning the hearts and minds of people or having the welfare of Iraqis at the heart of the campaign… extremely unconvincing to the average Iraqi. Even today, two years after the invasion, the American patrols are avoided by ordinary people like the plague! They are seen as dangerous as those forces of darkness killing people at random.

8. The laughable efforts made to restore services (minimum basic services like electricity water and refuse collection) and the unbelievable excuses made to explain the failure in doing so (to this date) are simply seen as pathetic. As far as I know, no insurgent or terrorist organization has taken it upon itself to attack refuse, yet nobody seems willing to collect it. There was plenty of money spent pretending to do that though!

9. The ongoing “liquidation” of Iraqi academics and professionals. University professors from almost all disciplines (from Accounting to Zoology) belonging to all denominations (Arab, Kurd, Muslim, Sunni, Shiite, Christian, Atheist) and all political orientations (Baathists, Communists, Islamists, Secularists…) have been intentionally targeted and killed systematically over the past two years. There has been no sectarian or political pattern whatsoever. In most cases no ransom was involved, as these people are mostly not well off. Specialist doctors have also been targeted, sometimes for money and sometimes without apparent reason. Many have been explicitly instructed to leave the country. This has created so much public ill-feeling towards the American management of Iraq. The absence of any clear group to blame for these systematic killings only adds fuel to conspiracy theories. The only reason people find is the intentional devastation of the country.

10. There was also the reliance of the administration on totally corrupt so-called ‘imported’ politicians. Some of those were already convicted on criminal charges. The US administration surely knew about them! In fact, they ‘promoted’ the most corrupt among them. These people led to a new wave of corruption to an unprecedented level. Those people were also entrusted with designing the political process and guide the country to a new age of Democracy! We can all see the results of that.

11. Most ‘indigenous’ Iraqis have come to believe that the democratic process was designed to enhance sectarianism and ethnicity. The result was that people were made to vote for lists that were Kurdish, Shiite or Sunni. This was seen as a wicked effort to divide the country and encourage civil war. In the darkest of Saddam’s years there was not so much sectarian polarization of the country. The sectarian militias of various groups have been allowed to maintain their identities and paramilitary structure… outside the new Iraqi armed forces!

[A few days ago, I saw a news clip from the guesthouse of a tribal leader in the so-called Shiite heartland in the south. The man had gathered quite a large assembly of southern tribal chiefs and was saying: “What is all this Sunni Shiite talk? We know what has been happening… but we are just being patient. I’m warning those people playing on the sectarian tune!” The significance is that that gentleman is the grandson of the man who first ignited the 1920 revolution against British occupation of Iraq.

“…the first spark took place when the authorities arrested a local tribal chief, Shalaan Abul Choan. While he was being taken away by the British soldiers, Shalaan yelled at one of his companions: "These people may deport me to Baghdad. Send me 10 good gold coins tonight". That night, ten warriors of his tribe attacked the jail he was held in and freed him. That was the spark the southern areas needed!”]

The sectarian polarization is seen by most ordinary people as yet another assault that aims to devastate the country as a first step towards disintegration, media reports notwithstanding!

12. The administration’s repeated assertions that the US army will stay until security is restored and their adamant refusal even to consider discussing a timetable for withdrawal are only seen as an excuse since their presence was the main cause of insecurity.

The list could go on… and the items and grievances would not be exhausted. Personally, this essay has been one of the most difficult for me to write objectively and concisely!

Talk of poor planning and incompetence is simply dismissed. No reasonable person would believe that the American planners could be so stupid. Few people believe that the US army, the most powerful in the world, would be so incompetent.

There have been numerous counter-arguments and excuses put forward over the past two years to these items. These arguments and excuses may or may not have been convincing to the American public… but please remember that in this essay, I am looking at things from a purely Iraqi perspective. All those arguments have not been convincing to Iraqis in the slightest. And, from what I read, the rest of the world doesn’t seem to think much of them either. It simply doesn’t do!

It did not make sense for a country that prided itself for planning for everything in great detail and had the resources and the awe inspiring technology and expertise to repair a spacecraft way out in the solar system to be so short sighted and incompetent!

It did not make sense to most Iraqis then. It does not make sense now!

In many Iraqis’ minds, there is no doubt (not little doubt) that the devastation of their country has been intentional. No amount of propaganda can alter that. Results perhaps could. But so far, there are very few of those! Everything that has been taking place, including the so-called democracy, freedom, etc. only confirms this conviction. Yet, even now, senior US administration people keep assuring us that they did and are still doing the right things!

The question is: why? Why would America, the superpower of the world, go to such lengths and incur so much loss of blood and money to damage Iraq, a comparatively small country that was never a threat and was never likely to be one. It is almost unbelievable! This is where conspiracy theorists have a field day!

The most frequent answer you would hear is that Iraq is devastated as a first step to dominate the Arab (and the Muslim) world and to gain total control over the oil, etc.

The other most frequent reason given for that intentional devastation gives is: Israel. This was all done to ensure the security of ‘Likudite’ Israel, Iraq being the only remaining Arab country in the region that may pose a real threat to Israel in the future.

People holding that belief got their ‘proof’ in the new design of the national flag that was proposed by the Bremer-installed Iraq Governing Council, soon after its own inception. Of all the colors of all the flags in the world, they only chose a design and colors that resembled those of Israel!! In fact, the Israeli fingerprints were detected, rightly or wrongly, in quite a number of measures, including the ‘process’ along which elections were conducted. Persistent reports about talks of an oil pipeline to Haifa did not help! Neither did reports of the presence of Israeli personnel during the Abu Ghraib atrocities.

The intentional-devastation theory based on the interests of Israel is hard to accept. It is hard to accept (no matter how influential the pro-Likud lobby in America is or how much control it has over American politicians) that the US administration would spill so much American blood and money just to protect Israel.

Those Israeli fingerprints? Well, there is a simple explanation: We know that there are exceptionally strong ties between this administration and Sharon’s. The neocon links are particularly profound. Israel has a great deal more experience with countries of the region. It is therefore extremely likely that this administration relied heavily on Israel’s advice. Israel’s agenda is public knowledge. Conclusions are obvious!

Some people agree to this but they add that advice was deliberately engineered to cause these catastrophic results not only to devastate Iraq but also to create a wedge of trust between Iraqis and Americans that is hard to bridge. Any form of lasting friendship between Iraq and America is seen as detrimental to hard-line Israel. I don’t know! But it is certain that as things are at the moment, it would be a long time before Iraqis can trust America again

There are a number of other weaknesses in the ‘intentional’ devastation theory: The US administration has asked for, and Congress approved, the allocation of large sums of its own tax payers’ money for the reconstruction of Iraq; the administration has also quite evidently put its weight and influence to pressure a number of countries to reduce or totally forego much of Iraq’s foreign debts. Furthermore, it is hard to see how creating a failed state could serve any purpose for this administration. A state of chaos usually leads to unpredictable results. There is also the considerable damage done to the US image (and prestige) around the world. The oppressed people of any country that the US would think of ‘liberating’ through an invasion would be the first to resist its efforts!

It doesn’t make sense! Total criminal incompetence again?

Conclusion: I can believe that, like other by-products of the campaign, the domination of the Middle East and the removal of a potential threat to Likudite Israel… can be seen as useful, but it is hard to see the intentional devastation of Iraq as the prime motive for the invasion. Yet, this devastation is exactly what has been taking place on the ground in Iraq. No amount of propaganda can change that.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


5. Eliminating Saddam’s Long-term Threat

Possible Undeclared Motives for the Invasion of Iraq

The best case for this possible motive for the invasion was brought to my attention by a regular reader: “That [Saddam’s] threat was long term, not short term, and it rested nearly completely on Saddam's long held nuclear ambitions. The case is set forth at great length in the linked review of Kenneth Pollack’s, "The Threatening Storm." ”

The general idea was that sanctions would not work in the long term. Saddam could play a cat-and-mouse game with the USA indefinitely. Given his past record, he would be likely to acquire a stockpile of WMD, particularly nuclear weapons that could threaten other countries in the region…as well as the USA. Pollack (and no doubt many others) could not see “another viable alternative” to invasion.

Fair enough. This is certainly a reasonable argument. But there is a problem with this hypothesis: if this was indeed the motive – a long term threat – then what was the hurry? Saddam was in no position in March 2003 to threaten any regional country or the United States. Could the administration have given itself a little bit more time to plan the campaign?

There is almost universal agreement now that the post-invasion phase was poorly planned. The reason most people accept for that poor planning was that haste! But why was there so much haste? Lack of proper preparation, lack of proper planning, disasters that led to the loss of countless lives, Iraqi and America; chaos, lawlessness, poor decisions that led to America being viewed as an enemy by ordinary people…

What would have happened if the invasion was delayed for some six months, or even a year to prepare better? Wouldn’t this have led to some life saving? If all those criminal mistakes were not made, couldn’t that have possibly led to the success in this campaign instead of resulting in a humiliating failure?

Even the plans put forward by the numerous committees set up by the State Department were hurriedly and unceremoniously discarded! Why?

This theory does not explain the great urgency with which the campaign was conducted or the great incompetence in its implementation. If long term dangers were the main motive, then surely the long term effects of chaos in Iraq and the already-volatile region would also be equally threatening to the USA and to world peace… and would have warranted some consideration?

Surely, to any semi-competent long-term planner, “long term” adverse effects that such an invasion would have on the Arab world, the Muslim world and the rest of the world… would also lead to even more significant long-term threat? Surely those possible, perhaps even potentially more potent, long-term threats should have warranted better planning of the campaign if it were not to produce more grave dangers that it aimed to solve? Or couldn’t the administration handle the concept of more than one threat simultaneously? That would be an absurd proposition.

[Another interesting (probably even amusing) observation that has to be made in this context is that so many people advocating action (including going to war) based on Saddam’s (or other regimes’) record or history, violently reject other people drawing conclusions based on US administrations’ past record and actions!]
This theory may only become reasonable with the aid of one of two assumptions to explain the shortcomings in implementation:

1. The timing was dictated by “short-term” domestic US political considerations, for re-election purposes, which did not leave sufficient time to plan for the campaign properly… and to exploit public sentiment that allowed that ‘thin’ evidence to be sufficient justification for the war;

2. A level of (political and administrative) incompetence that no amount of planning could improve.

The implications, in either case, for the integrity of the administration or its capability to run the affairs of America… are self evidently disastrous!

In summary, there may have been a case for Saddam being regarded as a long-term threat to the USA for that factor to be considered a motive for the invasion. But if that is accepted, then the conclusions of either criminal incompetence or recklessness and lack of sufficient consideration for loss of American (or other) lives or for creating more long-term grave dangers on the part of the administration… must be accepted by advocates of this theory.

Friday, June 10, 2005


4. Creating a Haven for Investment

Possible Undeclared Motives for the Invasion of Iraq

There was certainly no shortage of legislation introduced almost immediately after the invasion to create a haven for foreign (primarily American) investment in Iraq. Almost unrestricted free trade was encouraged by regulations and a negligible amount of rules to regulate investment, to the extent that they were described by The Economist as "the wish list of foreign investors."

Privatization to an unprecedented extent was initiated (but failed). Anyone who was familiar with the extent of state ownership of enterprises in Iraq would have realized the magnitude of ‘economic shock’ that those measures constituted.

[Even to generally ‘right’-leaning people in Iraq, privatizing the ‘ownership’ of the country’s oil is almost unthinkable. Traditionally, oil and (for the past 6000 years) other underground minerals are universally believed to be public property. It makes sense to most people for the government to have revenue from oil for public spending instead of taxing people. This may explain why so many people in Iraq found Bremer’s decrees and the talk to ‘privatize’ oil so offensive… and reacted so violently to them.]

The creation of that haven for foreign investment can be viewed by many well-meaning people as a legitimate means of efficiently rebuilding a ravaged country. Indeed quite a number of sovereign countries go out of their way to lure foreign investment. Russia comes to mind. Dubai is a country being built along these lines.

But this essay is not about the rights or wrongs of such a policy; there is a wide range of well-debated opinions regarding those issues. It is about undeclared motives for the invasion of Iraq.


No doubt having priority access to a new market in a rich country in need of almost total renovation (oil drilling, refining infrastructure, power generation, roads, hospitals, schools, houses, etc… … ) and a long-deprived consumer sector with an enormous appetite for almost everything (from cars to consumables, computers, children’s toys etc… …) would certainly be quite appealing to numerous American corporations. A potential market size of some 50 billion dollars annually is quite a significant trophy even for the larger American multinationals.

It would be a strong incentive for most US corporations to support such a venture… but to assume that this was a main motive for the invasion is a different thing. It would depend on the influence these groups have on US foreign policy. People of differing political / economic convictions have sharply contrasting views on this.

But, yet again, instability and chaos are definitely not very encouraging for foreign investment. So, if this was a major motive, it is not compatible with the decisions made at the beginning of the occupation that led to chaos and violence… and cannot be seen by any stretch of the imagination to justify so much disruption and antagonism in the region, in the Muslim world and in the world at large, not to mention heightened feelings of mistrust and hatred towards America… unless, again, total incompetence is assumed!

Therefore, this can only be seen either as a failed objective… or as a long-term desirability. In either case it must have been taken into account as yet another beneficial by-product of the intended campaign. How crucial it was as a factor, remains an open question. The question also remains of how influential those various business and industry corporations are on US foreign policy.

In conclusion: Even if the economic benefits (of creating a new market and a safe haven for investment by American corporations) resulting from the invasion of Iraq were not the prime motive for the invasion… they must have been an important factor in favor of the invasion and ensured the support of most large and small US corporations for that invasion.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


3. Invading Iraq to Avenge 9/11

Possible Undeclared Motives for the Invasion of Iraq

We now know that such sentiment existed and still exists in the US.

As already discussed, the main thrust of the drive following 9/11 was the war on world terrorism and, to some extent, Islamic fundamentalism. Despite all claims and half-baked affirmations, neither was present in significant force in Iraq either after 9/11 or immediately before the invasion.

We know now that the tragic events of 9/11 were effectively employed to manipulate American public opinion to support the invasion of Iraq. 9/11 is an important parameter only within this context. It created a mood that made large segments of the US public susceptible to that manipulation!

Americans who held or still hold this sentiment of Iraq being somehow linked to 9/11 have therefore been wickedly manipulated by people or powers with the sole purpose of promoting their agenda. The basis for that manipulation was bigotry and ignorance as well as primitive raw revenge instincts of simple people: The perpetrators of 9/11 were Arab and Muslim; Iraq was mostly Arab and Muslim. That was the simple venomous argument insinuated (not officially I should add)! This is why I have described those manipulators as wicked.

[On the other hand, soon after the invasion, Iraq was declared by President Bush himself to have become a front in the war against terrorism… and indeed it was. It is now, and likely to remain so for a long time to come. This is indeed an epitome of wickedness. As an Iraqi I find it outrageous for terrorists to be lured (and they were literally lured) into my country so that the American army can fight it out with those people in our cities with thousands of innocent Iraqis killed in the process. Those innocent people are being killed by the dozen every day NOW… but that is another story. Another casualty of this ploy was the nationalistic resistance – people fighting to resist what they genuinely believe to be the American occupation of their country. There was no serious attempt to bring those people into the fold of the political process. They were all lumped by US officialdom, most of the mass media and the propaganda machines together with those terrorists. They no longer exist in most people’s minds!]

In any case, the motive for the invasion as a component in the fight against world terrorism was already discussed with the other ‘declared motives’ and was found almost groundless. More significantly, those promoting it knew that it was a “thin case” as manifested by the “Downing Street Memo” discussed earlier.

Even then, why was Iraq chosen for this purpose even before the rise of international terrorism? But back to the undeclared motives for the invasion of Iraq; the facts are straightforward:

Crude vengeance cannot be an objective for governments or part of a strategic vision. Therefore it seems obvious to me that revenge for 9/11 could not have been a major factor in the invasion itself (not for strategic planners) but it was intentionally employed to secure public support for that invasion and for its undeclared agenda.

Saturday, June 04, 2005


2. Creating a Country to Neocon Design

Possible Undeclared Motives for the Invasion of Iraq

To my mind, the attempt to create a country to neocon design is the most likely explanation for many of the events that took place during the first year of the invasion. It explains many of the decisions made, many of the ‘mistakes’ and the atrocities committed.

First, we know that neocons openly advocated a war on Iraq as far back as 1996 (in collaboration with Likud’s Netanyahu) and again in a letter to President Clinton in 1998. We also know that those same people (Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Armitage, Bolton, Perle, Khalilzad and James Woolsey) held, and most still hold, extremely important senior executive positions in the present Bush administration before and after the invasion of Iraq.

If one studies the abundant and freely available neocon literature and the PNAC analyses one can find so much compatibility between those decisions and ‘mistakes’ and basic neocon doctrine. However, one has to look beyond the smokescreen of Freedom and Democracy!

Most of the basic elements of the neocon doctrine have been clearly demonstrated during that first year of the Iraq campaign. In addition to the usual economic ‘reforms’ and general political attitude, an observer who is not handicapped by crippling bias will find the darker side of that doctrine operating in full force:

Creative Destruction: "Creative destruction is our middle name. We do it automatically ... it is time once again to export the democratic revolution”;

Total War: “Total war not only destroys the enemy's military forces, but also brings the enemy society to an extremely personal point of decision, so that they are willing to accept a reversal of the cultural trends”;

Violent Change: "Change -- above all violent change -- is the essence of human history";

Civilian Lives: "The sparing of civilian lives cannot be the total war's first priority ... The purpose of total war is to permanently force your will onto another people."

etc. etc. etc…

Naomi Klein has so expressively described this as: “Ground Zero - Pillaging Iraq in pursuit of a neocon utopia.”

I still think that it is possible to explain the invasion itself and the first year of the occupation in terms of this theory.


This line of reasoning leads immediately to the conclusion that this route ultimately led to failure due to the very premises that the doctrine was based on. The major failure being that people (at least most Iraqis) failed to react as predicted by the neocon theory.

This view is supported by what seemed like a definite shift in US policy in May of last year, manifested by:

• Hurriedly discarding Bremer’s regime.
• Discarding the Iraq Governing Council and shifting to the Interim Government concept.
• Discarding the neocon’s man in Iraq Mr. Chalabi who was replaced by Mr. Allawi, the CIA and State Department man.
• Going to the UN and making a few concessions to obtain some international legitimacy through resolution 1546.

We definitely also know that the neocon economic recipe for ‘reform’ has been completely abandoned.

Was the neocon policy a total failure and was therefore discarded?

But this contention does not explain the fate of the major architects of that neocon plan. There was no indication whatsoever that President Bush was cross with those neocons responsible for those errors of judgment that led to criminal failures. Rumsfeld stayed on, Wolfowitz is moving to the better paid and more prestigious World Bank job, Bolton has been nominated to a similarly prestigious UN job in the face (perhaps in disregard or defiance) of World and some American outrage. Only Feith seems to be destined to move out quietly.

If their theory had failed in practice and led to so many adverse results, surely someone would have been blamed, if not publicly, then at least some of those advocates of the neocon approach would have been demoted, at least quietly at the end of that year. If political and election consideration had prevented that in June 2004, then surely that would have been possible after President Bush’s re-election. Nobody was reprimanded and nobody was even officially blamed!

Is it possible that the neocon theory is not seen as a failure yet and is still on course under a different skin? We know that, ‘democracy and elections’ notwithstanding, ‘creative destruction’ is still going at full speed in Iraq. The main difference is that a multitude of ‘Iraqi’ and imported forces are now taking part in the pillage.

Or were those policy-shift decisions only hurriedly drawn up plans to rectify the damage that was done by following the neocon recipe? Were the CIA and the State Department given more say to run the occupation of Iraq under more conventional recipes with the cooperation of the neocons who are still influential in the present US administration?

Regardless of the answers to these questions, may I remind you that the object of this essay is to seek possible motives for the invasion of Iraq.

In this respect, it seems that neocon doctrine and PNAC vision were not only possible, but highly likely motives for the invasion of Iraq. The neocons also had a free hand in the running of the occupation of Iraq during the first year.

Thursday, June 02, 2005


1. Control of Iraqi Oil

Possible Undeclared Motives for the Invasion of Iraq

It may be difficult to over-emphasize the strategic importance of oil in the present and near future world economy and balance of power.

Security of the world’s major sources of oil and the prevention of their domination or control by other powers had certainly been a central, a constant and an openly stated foreign US policy for over 50 years. There is every reason to believe that it still is.

As to the significance of the ‘oil component’ in the invasion of Iraq, much has been written about this subject, especially outside the USA. There certainly is a strong case for the USA to gain some control over the sources of finite and indispensable world oil. This is different from simply trying to steal Iraq’s oil money as some people have been suggesting. It is noteworthy that the word ‘steal’ is used more frequently by pro-administration war advocates in an obvious attempt to trivialize the issues involved.

Millions of people around the world seem to believe that oil is the prime reason for the invasion of Iraq. “No Blood for Oil” has been their motto.

This thesis is substantiated by the US army securing only the Iraqi Ministry of Oil immediately after the fall of Baghdad and leaving all other public departments and ministries to the mob and to looters.

It is also supported by many of the decrees and regulations of Ambassador Paul Bremer during the first year of the invasion.

On the other hand, it is not compatible with the policies that ‘encouraged’ and provided fuel to chaos and to the insurgency (unless of course we assume total, gross and criminal incompetence): disbanding the army and the police, leaving the borders open, alienating and antagonizing the Iraqi people, etc. The insurgency and the associated chaos are not conductive to restoring and running the oil business quietly and smoothly; not in the short term anyway.

It can therefore be concluded that this factor must have been present in the minds of strategic US planners (and there is every reason to believe that it was) mainly as a longer term objective. But the relative importance of this particular motive (i.e. whether it was a prime motive or a useful by-product) is unknown at this stage.

Hence, long term control of the Iraqi oil fields was one of the undeclared motives of the invasion of Iraq.

In that case, it would not be incompatible with ‘short term’ instability and lack of security.

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