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.


Comments:

Hello Abu Khaleel,
I personally believe oil is number one, but this one is certainly a very strong number two, or even coequal. But with a slight difference. Iraq is a good place to fight wahabbi islam(911 tie-in), or so they thought. Also as you state, Israel thought it would be a good idea(neo-con)to remove their sworn #1 enemy who was stoking Hamas and threaten #2 enemy Iran. Notice there is nothing here concerning the rights and sufferings of the Iraq people in these calculations( freedom and democracy are just advertising fluff). Also as you say, there is little recompense or reconstruction going on as this is clearly not central to the plan. This is perfectly obvious to me, a US taxpayer. I hope you realize that many, many Americans(48%) are deeply sorry for these errors/crimes and wish for the the restoration of Iraq ASAP. We tried to remove that tyrannical fool legally, and he has turned his 'creative' eyeballs on 'fixing' up America with concentration camps like Guantanamo, a fascist Patriot Act, stealing old age pensions, corporate corruption,economic decline,etc. There is hope that he will be somewhat stymied by his trail of failures, but I doubt the US will leave Iraq as long as he is President. If by a miracle the Democrats are swept in during the Congressional elections we can only pray that he can be impreached and removed from office as was Rumsfeld's old boss Nixon (there is some Congressional support for impeachment now).
 
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Abu Khaleel,

Assume that the generous interpretation is correct, and that the devastation and chaos is not intentional but due to a series of mistakes (which I think is close to the truth). The question then becomes, when does the US administration start to learn from its mistakes? How many more mistakes are there going to be? At what cost?
 
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Did I once see this described as the "Year Zero" theory (a reference to the Khymer Rouge?)
i.e. that there was a deliberate US or neo-con plan, influenced by Israel, to turn Iraq into a "failed state," a Somalia at the heart of the Middle East?
I don’t think I buy it, there seem to be so many arguments against such a policy - for one thing, it is not going to be easy to pump oil from a failed state that has collapsed into civil war and anarchy? For another, wasn’t there a clearly stated expectation that the US troop commitment would be reduced to 50,000 or so soon after "mission accomplished?" (The Brits did more or less the equivalent of this - from an initial deployment of 27,000 or 40,000 - I’ve seen both figures - they rapidly cut down to the present 9000. And even maintaining that is reported to be straining their resources.) And so on.
Presumably, after Mr Kahleel has finished exhaustively (very exhaustively) canvassing the "undeclared US motives for war," he will give us his conclusions. I’d like to put my vote in now, Abu, if I may: nothing sinister, just SNAFU. FUBAR. Clusterf**k.
Bush has always looked to me like a spoilt rich boy playing at being Preznit. Now he looks increasingly like a petrified rabbit caught in the headlights of an oncoming truck - no credibility and no dignity. And so unfortunately does his benighted country.
I mean, my sense of general world attitudes towards the US, after Iraq, is that maybe there’s some fear still of its military might, but there’s no respect left - just contempt, hatred and derision, the normal playground response to a failed bully.
Seems from all reports to be the attitude of most Iraqis towards their lunatic "liberators." Certainly the attitude of the family of the murdered woman teacher I referred to in the last post.
Circular
 
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A radio address from President Bush, today June 18th:

"... As we work to deliver opportunity at home, we're also keeping you safe from threats from abroad. We went to war because we were attacked, and we are at war today because there are still people out there who want to harm our country and hurt our citizens. Some may disagree with my decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power, but all of us can agree that the world's terrorists have now made Iraq a central front in the war on terror. These foreign terrorists violently oppose the rise of a free and democratic Iraq, because they know that when we replace despair and hatred with liberty and hope, they lose their recruiting grounds for terror.

"Our troops are fighting these terrorists in Iraq so you will not have to face them here at home. We mourn every one of these brave men and women who have given his or her life for our liberty. The terrorists know they cannot defeat our troops, so they seek to weaken our nation's resolve. They know there is no room for them in a free and democratic Middle East, so the terrorists and insurgents are trying to get us to retreat. Their goal is to get us to leave before Iraqis have had a chance to show the region what a government that is elected and truly accountable to its citizens can do for its people. ..."
 
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Oh very funny!
"We went to war because we were attacked ..." We were attacked by a bunch of Saudis operating out of Afghanistan, so we went to war in Iraq. Never fear, my fellow ‘Muricans, when we are attacked by terrists from Cuba, we will immediately invade Iceland to defend you.
"Our troops are fighting these terrorists in Iraq so you will not have to face them here at home ..." OK, maybe that’s a bit tough on all the Iraqis caught up in the middle, but hell, one ‘Murican life is worth several hundred Sandnigger lives any day, ain’t it?
" ... get us to leave before Iraqis have had a chance to show the region what a government that is elected and truly accountable to its citizens can do for its people. ..."
We gunna be there until Iraq has become an absolute model of ‘mocracy and free enterprise, or rubble. Fifty years? Well, that might be rushing things a bit. Think long term.
Or at least ‘till ‘Murica gets "a government that is elected and truly accountable to its citizens."
Come on! Where did you guys get this fruit-loop? You elected him? Twice?
Why?
Circular
 
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OPne cannot deny, Abu, that you make a lot of interesting, logical arguments. Personally, as you point out, there were very serious mistakes. Bremer, to me, was totally inept and added to them.

To disband the Army was certainly a major error. Why would you want 100,000 trained men to just vanish into the streets and alleys all over the country, whereas if you kept them together you would know exactly where they were at all times. You made your point...
 
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The United States would obviously prefer to see Iraq lead by a US-appointed strongman with guided elections to come later.

The original vision for Iraq was clearly Afghanistan. Like Afghanistan, Iraq was to be guided into the ranks of pro-American undemocratic guided-democracies, or "democracies" where the US embassy has a veto over all policies.

This is the vision to which the United States pledged reconstruction funds and pressured other countries to release its debts.

But Afghanistan was not possible for Iraq because Iraq has a more capable resistance.

I hoped that the elections would lead to a unified Iraq freer from US pressure than Afganistan, which is to say I was cautiously hopeful that the elections would have finalized the victory of the resistance.

But I don't have 150,000 troops and billions of dollars earmarked to buy influence in Iraq.

Anyway, a unified Iraq outside of US control is what the US invaded and overthrew. There is no chance the US is going to recreate that and leave.

As it becomes clearer that Afganistan is not a possibility for Iraq, a failed state is an acceptable alternative.

In fewer words, Iraq was invaded primarily to permanently remove what was at the time the biggest medium -term strategic threat to Israel.

The goal of the invasion would have been satisfied by the installation of a US puppet, or it can be satisfied by an ongoing civil war.

I do not think the civil war was the US first choice or the reason in itself that Iraq was invaded.
 
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I want to look at the evidence piece by piece in light of my theory that the original intention was to install a Karzai-like puppet on top of Iraq. (Named Challabi) with the dissolution of the country as a worse but still acceptable case.

1. No sane Iraqi would accept the story about Saddam posing a threat to the United States.

Of course. Iraq was a threat to US "interests" in the Middle East. US interests in the Middle East means Israel and the clique of Arab countries that the US supports because of their relatively friendly relations with Israel.

The mixture of racism and religious bigotry that is responsible for this US position I have written about before.

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.

The US only had 150,000 troops in the country of over 20 million people. They had to prioritize, give rest to the troops, etc. They could have done more but they could not have done everything.

3. The looting, criminal gangs on the loose, rapes, kidnappings and lawlessness!

Two things: 1- lack of troops, and 2- If Chalabi could restore order, that would be helpful to him and to US efforts to give his puppetocracy legitimacy.

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:

This is a combination of dark forces operating in Iraq who, now more than when the invasion was new, want to destroy Iraq and lack of troops.

5. No one in his right mind would accept the reasons given to disband the army on the grounds that it was Baathist.

Chalabi needed a loyal army. The US was never interested in installing a patriotic leadership. The exact opposite, the US wanted a leadership that was loyal to the US. An intact army full of patriots who fought the Iranians for eight years more recently than the US in Vietnam (meaning still in recent memory) would be a great danger of toppling our puppet and installing something else. Democratic or not, patriotic leadership for Iraq was and is to be avoided at all costs.

6. Why was the police force disbanded?

No organized patriotic forces in the New Iraq. Everyone has to be loyal to Chalabi. No organized groups that could plan and execute a coup or Chalabi's murder.

7. There was the insensitive behavior of American soldiers.

That's just what America stands for. These troops hate you. If they are just insensitive, you are lucky.

8. The laughable efforts made to restore services (minimum basic services like electricity water and refuse collection)

Now we are running into planners who 1- Can't put their man in and know it, 2- Have radical, untested ideas that they want to experiment with in rebuilding a society and 3- Because of their nexxus of racism and religious bigotry don't really care about the welfare of Iraqi people.

9. The ongoing “liquidation” of Iraqi academics and professionals.

This is the clearest indication I've seen on this list of dark forces. That is the only explanation for what you're describing.

A few weeks ago, it seems a "prominent" shiite and a "prominent" sunni were giving interviews designed to incite sectarian hatred.

All I would say is that given that there are people with resources who want to see sectarian hatred weaken Iraq - when you see people working to increase sectarian hatred, they are either knowingly or unknowingly working for the dark forces.

In other words, either they are working for the CIA and Mossad for free or they are being paid.

Another thing is that out of 100 people there will always be one who is the most sectarian, the most eager to instill hatred for his own reasons. When that person is the person who gets the microphone, there is a reason for that. if that person is smart he is also being paid for his services.

10. There was also the reliance of the administration on totally corrupt so-called ‘imported’ politicians.

What is required is loyalty to the United States. "Corrupt" people who are motivated by money are preferable to ideologues who would turn against the US for nationalistic reasons.

11. Most ‘indigenous’ Iraqis have come to believe that the democratic process was designed to enhance sectarianism and ethnicity.
Yes. But if there are going to be parties, they cannot be ideological because there are not plausible ideological parties that would not oppose puppethood. Ideological parties would either be Communists, Baaths under some other name, or Islamists. None of those are acceptable. If Iraq had a indigenous Zionist party it could have run.

In Afganistan, Karzai ran against no organized opposition and, of course, won.

In Iraq, Sistani could threaten to join the insurgency and therefore sectarian parties had to be allowed.

This was a step-down for the United States and prevented Allawi from becoming the fall-back Karzai.

Sistani was not nationalistic enough to insist on ideological organizations being able to run. On the other hand, this is just a caretaker government. I do wish Sistani was more of a nationalist. He had really good cards in February and March if he had decided to use them.

12. The administration’s repeated assertions that the US army will stay until security is restored

Legally, this is not the administration's call to make. When Sistani says get out, the US has to get out. Both theoretically and practically.

Most of the lists ran on platforms that they would demand a timetable.

By the next election there will be more pressure to address this.

So I still think that it does not make sense to say that the invasion was planned iwth the intention of destroying Iraq per se, though nobody in power in Washington would really mind seeing Iraq destroyed.

If Chalabi had been installed and the US was now pulling out there would be over 1000 US soldiers still alive.

That would have been far preferable from the US point of view.

The accomplishment of the insurgency is that Iraq is not Afghanistan.

But under no circumstances will the US willingly allow Iraq to return to a regional power with the capacity to threaten Israel unless it is securely under US control.
 
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You just don't get it do you?

Freedom, Democracy and Capitolism are what is important here, not oil.

Oil will be a thing of the past in the next couple of decades when science produces clean efficient energy like hydrogen fuel which will make the entire Middle-East once again impoverished unless they can become part of the global world and become economically stable without oil.

Poor desperate and subjugated people look for a scapegoat for their plight and that is always the rich. Namely the US and all the other democracies that enjoy free trade and free thought.

It is in the US interest that ALL nations prosper so there is no more US vs. them mentality and we can all go on about our daily lives in peace and prosperity. No more planes crashing into our buildings and no more fear of the Middle-East being NUKED in response.

All Arabs should not have to die because the few nuts running your countries deserve to.

Think about that for a while.
 
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Mmm, i feel i have to react here:
I heard some of the experts speaking of 'oil + market = crude capitalism' and their foresight that the worldmarket will go through some extended years of crazy going oilmarkets, wherein the actively involved (!) will do their ultimate best to squeeze profits to the maximum. Now how does this look in a daily and actual Iraqi practice?
(Or why does this possibly even has to do with the actual situation in Bolivia of selling -called 'privatising'- the national energy resources? And the Bolivians being against that?)
all the best!
 
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and this?
From an article in the NYT though, hope it is not too long: >“Squandered Victory,” a new book by Larry Diamond, former senior adviser to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad, leading American scholar on democracy / democratic movements. Diamond contends that the postwar troubles in Iraq – bloody unrelenting insurgency, creation of new breeding ground for terrorists and metastasizing ethnic and religious tensions – are the result of “gross negligence” of the Bush administration that rushed to war. He asserts: “mistakes were made at virtually every turn” of the occupation, and “every mistake the United States made in Iraq narrowed the scope and lengthened the odds for progress.”<
mmm.
I found it at http://guerrillanews.com/ but originally it is NYT
 
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Subversion from Circular
Hey, Abu! Maybe THIS is the solution to all your problems?

DECLARATION OF REVOCATION
by John Cleese

To the citizens of the United States of America: in the light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective today.

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories.

Except Utah, which she does not fancy.

Your new Prime Minister (The Right Honourable Tony Blair, MP, for the 97% of you who have until now been unaware that there is a world outside your borders) will appoint a Minister for America without the need for further elections.

Congress and the Senate will be disbanded.

A questionnaire will be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

6. You should stop playing American "football." There is only one kind of football. What you refer to as American "football" is not a very good game.

The 3% of you who are aware that there is a world outside your borders may have noticed that no one else plays "American" football. You will no longer be allowed to play it, and should instead play proper football.

Initially, it would be best if you played with the girls. It is a difficult game. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which is similar to American "football", but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like nancies).

12. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling "beer" is not actually beer at all, it is lager. From November 1st only proper British Bitter will be referred to as "beer," and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as "Lager." The substances formerly known as "American Beer" will henceforth be referred to as "Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine," with the exception of the product of the American Budweiser company whose product will be referred to as "Weak Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine." This will allow true Budweiser (as manufactured for the last 1000 years in the Czech Republic) to be sold without risk of confusion.

14. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you're not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you're not grown up enough to handle a gun.

15. Please tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us crazy.

16. Tax collectors from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all revenues due (backdated to 1776).

Thank you for your co-operation.
 
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For some reason your front page is blank?
 
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To my mind, finding advantages in the devastation of Iraq is pretty damn hard. Criminally bad planning is the most obvious cause. I can understand destroying stuff BEFORE invading, and planning to get paid for rebuilding that same damage ... but it makes no sense to me to plan such a devastation while in control of the country and while trying to prove one's competence to the natives.

The assassination of academics seems to me a definite hint from the 'dark side'. The advantage offered thereby is that a future Iraq would have no educated teachers and academics left to teach new generations. Thus, not only would such an Iraq be depleted of know how, but would be reliant on Western sources for education, accompanied by the attendant cultural indoctrination, if the neocons have their way. I'm not saying that this is the reason for the assassinations, but it should be considered. More to the point, it destroys native Iraqi ability to conduct advanced research and ability to manufacture advanced items. With such an avenue wiped out, no future Iraqi government could rely on native talents to build advanced programmes, military or otherwise. In other words, the killing of educated people is leaving Iraq dependent on foreign expertise and disempowered. Now, who could that benefit?


Alright, this next section is way off -topic with regards to the specific point of the Iraqi devastation being deliberate, but broadly on-topic of the general theme of "Why was Iraq Invaded?"

I've been putting a bit of thought into this issue, by trying to put myself into an American Neocon's shoes. How would such a person see the advantages the Iraqi invasion ? What strategic purpouse would such a move have?

Here's what Bruno the Neocon had to say:


" Iraq defied the US in front of the world. It seems as if a country can directly challenge the US and get away "unharmed". The psychological idea that one must not challenge the US must be reinforced. It is ridiculous that not only does some third rate despot dare to threaten our allies and indeed, wage war on them, but goes further and plans to assassinate an ex- president as if he were dealing with a member of some criminal gang. This behaviour has a cost, and the world must see that there are consequences to these actions.

Secondly, Iraq is sitting on a vast resevoir of oil that would be feeding our enemies such as Russia and China if the sanctions were lifted. That situation must be reversed. We could interdict that supply at the source by using our companies to extract that oil, and furthermore advantageously structure the Iraqi economy to be in our sphere of influence rather than theirs. Wayward countries that help the rogue state of Iraq should also be dealt with, by excluding their economies from interaction with it, such as the French.

Furthermore, the control of Iraq could lead to the break up of OPEC, together with the attendent benefits of that event. If we are able to control a significant percentage of the global oil output directly, this would not only make us and our allies immune to further blackmail attempts such as the stunt pulled in the 1970's by OPEC (as we would control swing production) but also serve double duty as an economic offensive weapon should matters with China come to a crisis. Not only would China be vulnerable to such a weapon, it would also have the added benefit of being non violent, cheap and serve as a good "warning shot" to China and other rogue nations.

These additional benefits of liberating Iraq are bonuses: for one, the sanctions would be lifted, and the rallying cause for many anti US radicals thereby eliminated. The costs of maintaining the blockade would be saved. The market would be also be opened up to our goods and services, where presently it is denied.

Inclusion of Iraq into the US sphere of influence would cement the Arabic Middle East as a US aligned region, and furthermore the elimination of a defiant enemy would serve as a salutary reminder of the cost of defiance to the Syrians, for example. Indeed, assuming that the Iraqi venture is successful, covert action via Iraqi proxies could, together with the example of a flourishing Westernised neighbour and selected isolationary measures, cause the Syrian regime to collapse.

Not only that, but traditional Iraqi secularism would act as a powerful engine to reverse Islamic militancy and set a moderate example for other Middle Eastern countries to follow. Iraq could be the fulcrum for a lever which would crack open the closed minds of those in the region, and which could admit universal Western values and norms into that society. The additional advantage of the Shia religious hubs being in Iraq should not be underestimated. Every year thousands of pilgrims stream into Iraq to visit these centres; under our vision, they would be visiting a vibrant, rich, Westernised country in which different groups live in harmony under a secular legal umbrella. This would leave a powerful impression on their minds, which would then be brought back home and slowly undermine the lies that they learn in the radical madrassas.

The geostrategic position of Iraq should also be considered. It is ideally placed from which to contain and / or destroy Iran, as well as close enough to the trans caucasus to serve well as a transit and depot point for significant US military assets. The entire Gulf waterways are easily covered with US airpower from Iraq. The modern nature of Iraqi facilities makes it much more attractive as a base than say, Afghanistan. We would be able to transfer current forces from Saudi Arabia to Iraq, removing yet another of radical Islam's rallying causes. A US allied Iraq would serve well as a buffer between Iran and Israel, and the Israelis would benefit from having a previous sponsor of terrorism converted into a friendly state. Further advantages are close proximity to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt, which are currently hotbeds of Islamic extremism. If an Islamic coup should overthrow one of these governments we would be able to respond decisively within hours rather than weeks, avoiding the lengthy diplomatic negotiations necessary to deploy force through other territories.

The control of Iraq is but a stepping stone toward the ultimate elimination of rogue governments and US rivals. A proper implementation of the capitalistic model in Iraq will demonstrate to the citizens of countries with centralised economies, particularly in the Middle East, that they are being shortchanged, and this will aid us in the final liberation of these countries and inclusion within mainstream global trends. The ultimate aim after the liberation of Iraq and Iran will be the securing and stabilisation of the transcaucasus areas, already underway, and the eventual encircling of China.

There must be no question in the minds of the global population that the coming century will be shaped by American interests and values, and that cooperation will be far more beneficial to them than confrontation."


Hmm, I make a pretty good Neocon, don't I?

Over to my kind fellow blog-commenters, who will surely rip it to shreds ...
 
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Hmm, this is still really a pretty good room to relax a bit from the other frenetic digitizing. And for some loud laughs, thanx to Cleese and Circular. Not bad at all!
 
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Bruno:

Your Neocon channeling is actually quite good. However, I think your theory includes a few errors, exaggerations and inconsistencies.

They include your assertion that "Secondly, Iraq is sitting on a vast reservoir of oil that would be feeding our enemies such as Russia and China if the sanctions were lifted." You are correct as to China, but Russia is an oil exporter so it would not, for the foreseeable future, "feed" on Iraqi oil. However, the pre-invasion development contracts Russian Companies had signed would certainly have been profitable for those companies. Moreover, as I have explained before, oil is a fungible commodity with prices highly dependent on steady supply. For this reasons, the security of global oil supplies, not just Iraqi supplies, is a critical issue to a commercial/military power like the U.S.

You also wrote, "Thus, not only would such an Iraq be depleted of know how, but would be reliant on Western sources for education, accompanied by the attendant cultural indoctrination, if the neocons have their way." This speculation about the source of assassinations is inconsistent with your other "Neocon theories." First, the wave of assassinations not only included "academics" (whom you apparently assume to be largely leftist or anti-American in attitude) but included many businessmen, doctors, dentists and other professionals. These former groups are the most likely to be the core supporters of the free-market oriented, western-style, secular democracy that you assert the Neocons intended to establish in Iraq. Thus, you analysis is internally inconsistent. Further, the only group who really benefits from driving out the professional, business, and academic classes are the fundamentalist Islamists since these relatively privileged, well-educated rivals for power and influence in the new Iraq are the most likely to resist the fundamentalist’s quest to turn back the clock to the middle ages.

Your break up of OPEC angle is overstated. The Iraqi share of OPEC production is unlikely to destabilize the organization to the extent that its power is eclipsed. However, it would be fair to say that a friendly Iraqi regime with an oil industry enlarged enough to have significant excess production capacity could diminish OPEC's power to effect world prices.

The part about the U.S. need for Iraqi bases is also overstated since the large U.S. base in Doha, Qatar is more than sufficient to control the Persian Gulf. However, the removal of Saddam's regime does make it feasible for the U.S. to remove its troops from Saudi Arabia. Further, I am quite certain that U.S. military planners would prefer to have a base in Iraq, but it is not a preference strong enough to convince anyone to go to war when there are so many other acceptable alternatives.

In my view, your last paragraph is the most accurate statement of Neocon (PNAC types) intentions, "There must be no question in the minds of the global population that the coming century will be shaped by American interests and values, and that cooperation will be far more beneficial to them than confrontation." I am not a Neocon, but when I have read their writings their vision of such a "Pax Americana" becomes abundantly clear.

Lastly, and most importantly, I agree with your analysis that purposeful destruction of Iraq is inconsistent with Neocon goals. Those goals are best served by rapidly increasing Iraqi oil production and sustaining those increases over the long-term. This requires a relatively stable government and internal security environment since oil production is relatively easy to sabotage. Such an environment is the polar opposite of the current state of chaos and near civil war.

Mark-In-Chi-Town
 
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Abu Khaleel, Thank You!

- Nadia
 
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I believe the reason Iraq was attacked was resources, oil and contracts for large American corporations like Halliburton to rebuild Iraq. George Bush is a Texas Oil Baron. Wake up people. This country called America is going straight down the toilet. I live in America. I served in the American Air Force years ago. I was as patriotic as anyone. However, I no longer have faith in my country. I think George Bush is evil. I publish a blog at Static Brain In this blog I list many reasons why the American Government is evil, and why what they are doing is wrong, and how the news media lie to protect the government and publish propaganda. Wakeup America and see that our country is hated, and that our government is evil.
 
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Bruno:

I think it is safe to ignore the shortest-term reasons for the invasion when discussing the motivation.

For example, after the invasion the US could lift the sanctions.

But to take that as a motivation in itself fails to ask the question of why the sanctions were in place to begin with.

Another example is the attempt to kill Bush Sr.

By the time that happened, the very hostile confrontation between the US and Iraq were already in place.

I don't think the question is why did the US invade given the hostile environment that existed through the 90s. The question is what motivated the hostile environment that culminated in the invasion.

The term neo-cons has exploded into popular usage and everybody wants to say it, but American policy towards teh middle east has been more stable than not over the past 40 years or more.

There is only a powerless radical fringe in the US that challenges that orientation.

If Al Gore had been president, maybe sanctions would still be continued or maybe there would have been an invasion, but the fact that the US is dedicated to Israeli regional dominance at all costs would not be different at all. So it is a mistake to put too much emphasis on the neocons.

But US policy has been clear since the imposition of the sanctions that the destruction of Iraq may not have been a primary goal, but it was an acceptable means to accomplish a different primary goal.

There is no reason that it would nost still be an acceptable means today.
 
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Bryan K --

[bk] “All Arabs should not have to die because the few nuts running your countries deserve to.”

True, true. All Americans do not deserve to die (because the nuts running their country do), either. Perhaps if people like you were better informed as to the underlying issues, you might see that these ‘nuts’ have enjoyed both active and tacit US / Western support for a long time now, and that this support makes your “democracy, freedom and capitolism [sic] “ claims ring more than a little hollow.

Think about THAT for a while.



Mark --

“You are correct as to China, but Russia is an oil exporter so it would not, for the foreseeable future, "feed" on Iraqi oil.”

We misunderstand each other. When I say that Iraqi oil would “feed” Russia, I did not mean in the literal sense. What I mean is, given that Iraq derives a large % of its revenues from oil sales, and that previously Iraq bought a great deal of equipment from the Russians … indirectly Iraqi oil was feeding the Russian economy.


You credit my musings about who is behind the killings of Iraqi academics / doctors too much by calling them ‘analysis’. It’s speculation.

That is on the same level as your assertion that the educated classes are most likely to be pro-Western; it’s simply not true. If one looks at theocratic Iran, for example, they dispose of considerable technical know how which is directly supported by native educated Iranian scientists. If one looks at the 9-11 bombers, for example, these were highly educated, aware people.

Look, I’m not denying that you have a point that often the educated classes suffer when a grass roots revolution takes place; I am saying, though, that it is not necessarily the case in Iraq. We have not seen any significant efforts from “professional, business, and academic classes” in opposition to theocratic forces in Iraq … thus I question that the motivation for such a purge exists.

[mark] “Your break up of OPEC angle is overstated. The Iraqi share of OPEC production is unlikely to destabilize the organization to the extent that its power is eclipsed. However, it would be fair to say that a friendly Iraqi regime with an oil industry enlarged enough to have significant excess production capacity could diminish OPEC's power to effect world prices.”

Correct. I’m talking strategy here, as in years and decades. I recall US potentates speculating that Iraqi oil production could hit 8M barrels a day. That sort of production boost would take many years to implement.

[mark] “Further, I am quite certain that U.S. military planners would prefer to have a base in Iraq, but it is not a preference strong enough to convince anyone to go to war when there are so many other acceptable alternatives.”

Yes, sure, there are plenty of alternatives. I don’t claim that there was one single overriding factor that prompted this invasion, and neither do other intelligent commentators, like our host for example. It seems to be more a fusion of factors that bumped Iraq to the top of the “list”.


I’ll be quite honest and admit that there are a bunch of things in that “Neocon impersonation” that “real” Bruno does not agree with.

First and foremost is the automatic assumption of success without any regards for the chances of failure and the consequences thereof. This blind optimism is to me the defining characteristic of a Neocon. Their ideological stupidity is going to be the cause of their downfall.

Secondly is the assumption that everybody is a closet American and that if only the proper guidance was given to the oppressed of the world, true American values would sprout like wildflowers in the wilderness. This is as insulting as the Communist assumption that if only the bourgeoisie could be eliminated, “freedom” would be at hand. The assumption of universal values is partly true, yes, but only on broad principles. The reality is, once one steps out of the mental box that constrains these types, there are many uncomfortable shades of grey that they are unable to deal with.

(For example, isn’t circumcision a ritual form of male genital mutilation? Isn’t it widely practised in the US? What barbarians! Let’s apply sanctions!)

Thirdly, I DON”T TRUST THE NEOCONS. Honestly, their love affair with democracy et al is to me nothing more than a disgusting smokescreen with which to disguise their true ambitions. There are simply too many inconsistencies between their means and their ends for me (and others) to believe them. (I would really like to know if they truly believe in their rhetoric.) They equate “democracy” with being pro-US. Sorry, that does not work. In the process, they sully the idea of the democratic ideal for those that really believe in it.

Fourth, they have no real conception of cause and effect. They are unable to grasp the link between US interference in the Middle East and the hatred in the ME for the US. Why? Because they see America as fundamentally “good” and hence are mentally unable to accept the reality that US policies have largely caused the phenomenon of radical Islamic anger towards the US. They have to cast about for alternative explanations that ignore the root cause of Arabic and Muslim anger. (The hoary old “Islam is evil” chestnut is a prime example.)

Would there be radical Islamic groups without US interference? Certainly, given the problems of the Israeli / Palestinian question. However, notice that once the US stops meddling in a given country, even formerly warlike groups like Hezbollah can take part in a peaceful, normal democratic process, as in Lebanon, for example.

The Neocon strategy for Iraq is quite simple.

They have gone in with both feet, and stirred things up to such an extent that defeat is unpalatable to even ‘normal’ Americans. They have (knowingly or not) committed the US to a one way course in Iraq by raising the stakes very high. This is a product of their uni-dimensional ideological outlook.

To me it is madness. To combat “radical Islam” one needs the active support and sympathy of moderate Arabs and Muslims. Current actions are having the exact opposite effect. The question is – is this by calculation or by accident? Are the Neocons really this blind / stupid?

Really, this whole thing is quite sad.

If America led more by example and carrots, as opposed to hypocrisy and sticks, I truly believe that the world would be a much better and safer place to live in.
 
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Mr Democracy --

I'm enjoying your latest comments quite a bit. Look, perhaps we are indeed underestimating the power of the Zionist lobby in the US to manipulate policy in the ME to suit their ends. I did read a bit about AIPAC and they do indeed seem to be very influential, determined and organised.

It just seems ridiculous that a country as powerful as the US can have its foreign policy manipulated by a small fish like Israel ... perhaps that is why I and others minimise this influence. We could be wrong, though ...
 
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Abu Khaleel,
Your blog, along with a couple others, are a breath of fresh air. I find an attempt to deal with what becomes an increasingly illogical situation in a logical manner quite refreshing.
I find others, with whom I have agreed/disagreed here also, and we continue to agree or disagree as per norm.
However, I would ask you to turn your attention to the FUTURE of Iraq. I truly believe that the entire debate concerning the Reasons for Invasion/Oil vs Freedom/Bremer-Good or Bad, are basically moot. We argue at length about these things, but they are in the past. I have my ideas, Mr Freedom has ideas that I kind of agree with, Bruno and I have gone to task at times.
NOTHING CHANGES.
IF...we accept that the US is there to stay (whether they should or not)
IF...we accept that it would be in the best interests of Iraqis to have a re-built infrastructure
IF...we accept that the Resistance is a major obstacle to the rebuilding of those items
IF...we consider that the people of the US do NOT want to "stay" in Iraq
What can be done to "get the job done", and as such, get the US "the HELL OUT OF THERE".
Several Senators (from both sides of the aisles) have produced an idea of draw-down in October of next year. SOME will say that is too far in the future. SOME will say that ANY date unacceptable. In my mind the fact that NO extremist likes the idea makes it a pretty good venture.
In the past several weeks, the "Resistance" (I still dislike the use of that term), have put forward that a Draw-down/Withdrawl date would be met with a lessening of the violence. What do you think of this possibility? Is it feasable? Will the "Resistance" really abide by their offer?
IF they do, then wouldn't ALL Iraqis benefit? Certainly, the average-everyday-guy-on-the-street would.
Just a question for rational debate.
 
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I have been enjoying much of this debate. (Please note that I have not mentioned Circular ;)


DaKruser,

Thank you. I fully agree with you on the need to address the future. In fact, this series is only part of a larger, more ambitious one… “Why, where and where to” (if you remember the first post a few weeks ago). I am only discussing the ‘why’ aspect in the present series.

I think it is vital to try and understand the present administration’s motive(s) in invading Iraq, which is evidently no an easy task.

Nevertheless, I promise to address those questions as soon as I get through the task in hand.

But to answer your question quickly and rather crudely… so far, neither the US administration nor the corporate media admit that there is a nationalistic resistance in Iraq.

Some time ago, after the Iraqi elections, there were some approaches to some dissident quarters. But as soon as a ‘timetable’ for withdrawal was mentioned, all contact was abruptly terminated!

Let me give you a glimpse of my own perception of things (on the hope that you will not discuss it in this post). I see the insurgency like a dark room full of different people, some of them quite ugly! Nobody wants to admit the possibility that there are some good people there. The US administration has been and still is determined to crush all people in that room with shear force. For over two years, this has not worked. This will not work. It has created much popular resentment. And it will create more popular resentment.

It should be the aim of the US administration and the Iraqi government to get those nationalistic people out of that room. The only way that this can be done is through a POLITICAL process. But both sides have conditions that are no acceptable to the other side… yet!

So far, no real effort in this direction has been attempted. That should be the first step. I hope to address this in more detail in future posts.

Again, the motive of the US administration is of paramount importance. If we know what these people really want, perhaps we can look for a solution!!
 
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Bruno:

This idea that the Zionist lobby is manipulating policy is really widespread and to my understanding really not what's happening.

Twenty years ago, the United States had a special relationship with Apartheid South Africa that was the clone of hte relationship the United States had and has with Israel.

Millions of United States dollars was spent destabilizing South Africa's neighbors. Nelson Mandela and the ANC were labeled terrorists by Dick Cheney and George Bush Sr.

It was not because of the powerful Apartheid lobby. It was because Americans, in their gut, identified with White South Africans more closely than they did with Black Africans.

In the case of Israel, there is the same gut identification - which is just simple racism.

But added to that is the interpretation of the Bible that God promised that Jews would control Israel, so that by helping Israel, one is helping God, and opponents of Israel are opponents of God.

And to that there is also the fact that Islam itself is an evangelical religion that claims to supercede Christianity and is therefore a rival to Christianity in a way that Judaism is not.

Those factors: Simple racism and the idea that for multiple reasons, there is a religious duty to help Israel subjugate the surrounding Muslim populations are what drive US Middle East policy.

It is a vast misestimation of the United States to hold that US Middle East policy is controlled by Israeli Zionists. It makes more sense to think of the United States as a huge independently Zionist nation.

Before the recent PC notions that ethnic cleaning is wrong, the United States practiced its own brand of Zionism, reducing the native American population from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans by as much as 90% as it appropriated their land in the name of its Manifest Destiny.

If AIPAC disappeared tomorrow, there would be no change in US policy.
 
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Dear Abu Khaleel,
sorry for answering late to your post.
I do absolutely agree with your conclusions about this 6th possible undeclared motive for the invasion of Iraq: "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".

On the other hand, while of course the intentional devastation of Iraq was for sure not a motive for the US invasion, one has to wonder whether the appalling incompetence that led, in fact, to such devastation was altogether 'innocent'. While for sure most of those responsible in the US Admin. didn't aim to such a result, one may suspect that things like the scrapping of the plans for post-invasion Iraq by Rumsfeld and others may have been the result of tampering by the pro-Likhudnik US lobby, aligned to the Neo-Cons in general terms.
What is the surest indication of it? That such an incredible amount of incompetence, on the part of 'the greatest nation on earth', just defies belief...
It would have been easy for some 'Likhudnik' cospirators in the Administration to tilt the Iraqi plans in such a way as to produce chaos from the beginning; and then, through Bremer, to push the pedal towards devastation, in accordance with the long-standing (since 1982 at least) Likhudnik plans for Iraq and the Middle East.

If one excludes such possibility, and decides that the end result of the invasion (the devastation of Iraq, the distruction of the Iraqi State, the dividing up of its territory between warring gangs of a sectarian, local or cleptocratic nature) is just a by-product of incompetence and blunders, then one has to conclude that the US of America won't be a superpower for much longer... since such incompetence would signal sure brainlessness and total ignorance even at the level of their Administration.
 
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DaKruser --

[dk] “In the past several weeks, the "Resistance" (I still dislike the use of that term), have put forward that a Draw-down/Withdrawl date would be met with a lessening of the violence. What do you think of this possibility? Is it feasable? Will the "Resistance" really abide by their offer?”

Quite honestly … who knows? This would depend on the sincerity of the offer, and whether or not whatever agreement was reached was broadly acceptable to common Iraqis resisting occupation. The big problems are:

(a) the Resistance is not a homogenous movement. Even if an agreement was reached with the ‘main’ players, it does not rule out smaller groups from staging provocative incidents if they don’t like the accord.

(b) if the US wants to, it could easily enough stage incidents of its own, and blame them on the Resistance. This would have the double effect of derailing a process that the US perhaps feels is going in the wrong direction, and also of discrediting the image of the Resistance in the eyes of Iraqis and the world.

At the moment I get the feeling that these low level exploratory talks are more a means of dividing the insurgency and causing it to implode on itself through factional fighting. This is speculation, of course, given that nobody really has an idea of the quantity, quality and content of any purported discussions.

Oh, and (c) another problem would of course be the reaction of other big players like the Kurds to the news that the US would be withdrawing. What about the status of Kirkuk? Would that festering wound be left open to ignite Iraqi tensions? What about dozens of similar problems? Without a genuine multilateral compromise being reached amongst the major players in Iraq prospects seem dim. And … with proven unilateralists like Bush & friends involved, prospects of such a compromise seem equally dim.


The next reply relates to both Abu Khaleel’s statement and to Mr Democracy’s reply to me.

[abu khaleel] “Again, the motive of the US administration is of paramount importance. If we know what these people really want, perhaps we can look for a solution!!”

and:

[mr democracy] “Bruno: This idea that the Zionist lobby is manipulating policy is really widespread and to my understanding really not what's happening […] in the case of Israel, there is the same gut identification - which is just simple racism.
[…]
Those factors: Simple racism and the idea that for multiple reasons, there is a religious duty to help Israel subjugate the surrounding Muslim populations are what drive US Middle East policy. It is a vast misestimation of the United States to hold that US Middle East policy is controlled by Israeli Zionists. It makes more sense to think of the United States as a huge independently Zionist nation.”


I sincerely hope that Mr Democracy is quite mistaken on this count, because if he is correct, we are dealing with a genuine gut support for Zionist Israel AND its methods, as opposed to a lobby-group orchestrated effort to whip up support for US foreign policies advantageous to Israel.

If Mr Democracy is correct, then the answer to Abu Khaleel’s question is : “The main underlying motive driving US policy is not logical (if ruthless) conquest of resources and influence, but rather an emotional hatred of Islam and an emotional bond with Israel that is so strong that the US is willing to risk enormous blood and treasure to protect it.”

I’ll be honest and say straight out that I’m somewhat sceptical of this view; it seems a pretty damn crazy way to conduct a serious foreign policy, and does not make sense to me.

On the other hand, though, I’ll have to also admit that the developments on the ground tend to fit such a “conspiracy type” hypothesis rather nicely. Let’s all hope that it is simply coincidental.
 
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Abu,

Your well-reasoned posts are thought provoking and I will reply in kind later after having had a chance to digest your words.

My off-the-cuff response is that Bush and his advisors decided it was better to have a focal point for the battle against terrorism outside the borders of the US and Iraq was handy. I know that's cold but I do believe Bush thinks it's better for you in Iraq to suffer than for the battles to be taking place in the US--and frankly that's what he's paid to do--keep America safe (while he's in office). What happens after is someone else's concern.

I believe it would be in our (the USA's) best interest to mount a major push at rebuilding Iraq's infrastructure and economy--then leave, say within the next year--and let you Iraqi's sort it out amongst yourselves.

Meantime, I wish you well.
 
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Abu and Bruno

You should ignore the rantings of Mr. Democracy. His opinions are typical of a an element in the US who view anyone who disagrees with them as being ignorant, evil or both.

The fact of the matter is Saddam was seen as a destablizing force in the ME. He was also seen as being hostile to the US and potentially willing to cooperate with a terrorist group (any terrorist group) to attack the US.

Americans as a whole see themselves as a benevolent people. We also tend to be loyal to our allies and expect the same in return. Israel is viewed for the most part as a democratic country that values human rights,and is defending itself against great odds. That view is admitedly simple and incomplete when one considers the history of the establishment of the nation of Israel and its treatment of the Palestinians. That is however the predominate portrayal of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in the US (perhaps the greatest influence Israel has on US opinion as most of the media outlets are reportedly controlled by Jews, I say reportedly because I never cared enough to explore that assertion). The idea that there is a religious Zionist or racist element to the US foriegn policy is rediculous. The establishment of Israel by the Jews while "zionist" was not a religious movement in itself. While there may be some Americans who see the establishment of Israel as sign that is prophesied in the New Testament leading to Armageddon, to attribute to that as a driving force in US foriegn policy is absurd. This is a typical response one will get from the Left in the US because they are bankrupt of any political ideas since the 60's.

The facts are 1) Saddam was seen as a destablizing force in the ME. Not only because of his potential to work with terrorists to attack the US but also a threat to the stability of the region as the greatest supplier of oil to the world economy. There was little to no incentive for the US to attack Iraq to get its oil as very little of it came to the US. There was great incentive to make sure that Saddam didn't threaten the oil supplies of the other ME nations. Not only for our benefit but also for the world economy as a whole. 2) While no one in the US ever saw Saddam as having the potential to threaten the survival of the US through military might, there was real consideration that he could contribute to the deaths of potentially hundreds of thousands of deaths in the US if he were to supply al Qaida or other groups with a biologic weapon. 3) The US believed that by removing Saddam from power that the Iraqii people would be grateful and respond by cooperating in the reconstruction of the country. The administration didn't forsee an insurgency like it has incountered. True to American attitudes we have responded to the insurgency as a loyalty test. "If you aren't with us, you are against us" and we are obligated to fight you until we win. Abu, you made the statement that there are Good Guys in the room with the Ugly Guys, but that is hard to see when they are shooting you and blowing you up. 4) There have been many errors in US judgement and implementation of policy in connection to this war. Each has seemed to compound the last, apparently alienating the very people we thought we were helping. The greatest failing of Pres. Bush (in my humble opinion) is his refusal to admit error and willingness to correct course when he is wrong. One of his best characteristics, however, is to tell you exactly what he is thinking, albeit rather clumsely. Mr. Bush believes in democracy and believes that the Iraqi people will be better off with a democratic govt. He doesn't change his plans by putting a finger to the winds and seeing if you like him or not. He is doing what he thinks is the right thing to do. He believes he is bringing Democracy to the people of Iraq and that by doing so the entire ME will be better of in the end.

One of the earlier commenters remarked about the democratic participation of Hezbollah in Lebanon. While they have had some positive influences in Lebanon there has not been Democracy there since Syria "came to assist". Now there seems to be a true start to representative govt. there. That I believe is in part a result of the influence of the US in Iraq. Presidential elections in Egypt for the first time, although not entirely "free", is also a result. Even Saudi Arabia has had some minor movement in that direction. Do you believe each of these to be disconnected?

It is America's dream and hope that Iraq will establish a stable Democratic Govt. Preferably one that would be friendly to the US, but certainly one that gives each of its citizens a voice in their governing. It is our belief that if they have that they won't be compelled to strike out. That is true in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, and Jordan as well. It is a long road but you have to start somewhere. With Iraq being the most well educated populace in the region it has the best chance.

It saddens me to find that our bungling of the post war state is threatening that which so many people, Iraqii and American, have died for.

Mr. Khaleel, your postings on here have given me greater hope to that end than any thing else I have seen.

Thank-you.
 
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Mr Khaleel,

Please see if these help in your research.

http://www.wanttoknow.info/911/black_eagle_trust_fund.shtml

http://www.wanttoknow.info/911/Collateral-Damage-911-black_eagle_fund_trust.pdf

I have been, for some reason, researching some facts about how USA came to power and when they started their journey in becoming super powers and stumbled on these websites.

My theory is that maybe they wanted to throw a smoke screen on the nine 11 incident and also something to do with the first Gulf war. I am not sure, but I am digging for personal satisfaction.

There is a itch in my head and I want to take care of it.

Hope mankind sees peace!
 
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