Thursday, March 26, 2009

USA Convicted of War Crimes 5

Saddam Hussein on Trial

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi dictator who spent his last years in captivity after his ruthless regime was toppled by the U.S.-led coalition in 2003, was hanged before dawn Saturday for crimes committed in a brutal crackdown during his reign.

The execution took place shortly after 6 a.m. (10 p.m. Friday ET), Iraq's national security adviser, Mowaffak al-Rubaie, told Iraqi television.
"This dark page has been turned over," Rubaie said. "Saddam is gone. Today Iraq is an Iraq for all the Iraqis, and all the Iraqis are looking forward. ... The [Hussein] era has gone forever." 
Crimes against humanity

Hussein was convicted on November 5 of crimes against humanity in connection with the killings of 148 people in the town of Dujail after an attempt on his life.

The dictator was found guilty of murder, torture and forced deportation.

The Dujail episode falls within 12 of the worst cases out of 500 documented "baskets of crimes" during the Hussein regime.

The U.S. State Department says torture and extrajudicial killings followed the Dujail killings and that 550 men, women and children were arrested without warrants.

CNN's Aneesh Raman, Arwa Damon, Ryan Chilcote, Sam Dagher, Jomana Karadsheh and Ed Henry contributed to this report. 
http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/12/29/hussein/index.html

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"Saddam Hussein's Brutal Reign Ends in the Gallows" - Fox News


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CONTENT ADVISORY


From Saddam Hussein Execution
(Video Duration 1:25)


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“Economic hit men (EHMs) are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. They funnel money from the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and other foreign "aid" organizations into the coffers of huge corporations and the pockets of a few wealthy families who control the planet's natural resources. Their tools include fraudulent financial reports, rigged elections, payoffs, extortion, sex, and murder. They play a game as old as empire, but one that has taken on new and terrifying dimensions during this time of globalization. I should know; I was an EHM.”

- John Perkins



click here for larger view


An EHM Failure in Iraq

My role as president of IPS in the 1980s, and as a consultant to SWEC in the late 1980s and throughout much of the 1990s, gave me access to information about Iraq that was not available to most people. Indeed, during the 1980s the majority of Americans knew little about the country. It simply was not on their radar screen. However, I was fascinated by what was going on there. 

I kept in touch with old friends who worked for the World Bank, USAID, the IMF, or one of the other international financial organizations, and with people at Bechtel, Halliburton, and the other major engineering and construction companies, including my own father-in-law. Many of the engineers employed by IPS subcontractors and other independent power companies were also involved in projects in the Middle East. I was very aware that the EHMs were hard at work in Iraq .

The Reagan and Bush administrations were determined to turn Iraq into another Saudi Arabia. There were many compelling reasons for Saddam Hussein to follow the example of the House of Saud. He had only to observe the benefits they had reaped from the Money-laundering Affair. Since that deal was struck, modern cities had risen from the Saudi desert, Riyadh's garbage-collecting goats had been transformed into sleek trucks, and now the Saudis enjoyed the fruits of some of the most advanced technologies in the world: state-of-the-art desalinization plants, sewage treatment systems, communications networks, and electric utility grids.

Saddam Hussein undoubtedly was aware that the Saudis also enjoyed special treatment when it came to matters of international law. Their good friends in Washington turned a blind eye to many Saudi activities, including the financing of fanatical groups — many of which were considered by most of the world to be radicals bordering on terrorism — and the harboring of international fugitives . In fact, the United States actively sought and received Saudi Arabian financial support for Osama bin Laden's Afghan war against the Soviet Union. The Reagan and Bush administrations not only encouraged the Saudis in this regard, but also they pressured many other countries to do the same — or at least to look the other way.

The EHM presence in Baghdad was very strong during the 1980s. They believed that Saddam eventually would see the light, and I had to agree with this assumption. After all, if Iraq reached an accord with Washington similar to that of the Saudis, Saddam could basically write his own ticket in ruling his country, and might even expand his circle of influence throughout that part of the world.

It hardly mattered that he was a pathological tyrant, that he had the blood of mass murders on his hands, or that his mannerisms and brutal actions conjured images of Adolph Hitler. The United States had tolerated and even supported such men many times before. We would be happy to offer him U.S. government securities in exchange for petrodollars, for the promise of continued oil supplies, and for a deal whereby the interest on those securities was used to hire U.S. companies to improve infrastructure systems throughout Iraq, to create new cities, and to turn the deserts into oases. We would be willing to sell him tanks and fighter planes and to build him chemical and nuclear power plants, as we had done in so many other countries, even if these technologies could conceivably be used to produce advanced weaponry.

Iraq was extremely important to us, much more important than was obvious on the surface. Contrary to common public opinion, Iraq is not simply about oil. It is also about water and geopolitics. Both the Tigris and Euphrates rivers flow through Iraq; thus, of all the countries in that part of the world, Iraq controls the most important sources of increasingly critical water resources. During the 1980s, the importance of water — politically as well as economically— was becoming obvious to those of us in the energy and engineering fields. In the rush toward privatization, many of the major companies that had set their sights on taking over the small independent power companies now looked toward privatizing water systems in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East.

In addition to oil and water, Iraq is situated in a very strategic location . It borders Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, and Turkey, and it has a coastline on the Persian Gulf. It is within easy missile-striking distance of both Israel and the former Soviet Union. Military strategists equate modern Iraq to the Hudson River valley during the French and Indian War and the American Revolution . In the eighteenth century, the French, British, and Americans knew that whoever controlled the Hudson River valley controlled the continent . Today, it is common knowledge that whoever controls Iraq holds the key to controlling the Middle East.

Above all else, Iraq presented a vast market for American technology and engineering expertise . The fact that it sits atop one of the world's most extensive oil fields (by some estimates, even greater than Saudi Arabia's) assured that it was in a position to finance huge infrastructure and industrialization programs . All the major players — engineering and construction companies; computer systems suppliers ; aircraft, missile, and tank manufacturers ; and pharmaceutical and chemical companies — were focused on Iraq .

However, by the late 1980s it was apparent that Saddam was not buying into the EHM scenario. This was a major frustration and a great embarrassment to the first Bush administration. Like Panama, Iraq contributed to George H. W. Bush's wimp image. As Bush searched for a way out, Saddam played into his hands. In August 1990, he invaded the oil-rich sheikhdom of Kuwait. Bush responded with a denunciation of Saddam for violating international law, even though it had been less than a year since Bush himself had staged the illegal and unilateral invasion of Panama.

It was no surprise when the president finally ordered an all-out military attack. Five hundred thousand U.S. troops were sent in as part of an international force . During the early months of 1991, an aerial assault was launched against Iraqi military and civilian targets. It was followed by a one hundred-hour land assault that routed the outgunned and desperately inferior Iraqi army. Kuwait was safe. A true despot had been chastised, though not brought to justice. Bush's popularity ratings soared to 90 percent among the American people.

I was in Boston attending meetings at the time of the Iraq invasion — one of the few occasions when I was actually asked to do something for SWEC. I vividly recall the enthusiasm that greeted Bush's decision. Naturally, people throughout the Stone & Webster organization were excited, though not only because we had taken a stand against a murderous dictator. For them, a U.S. victory in Iraq offered possibilities for huge profits, promotions, and raises.

The excitement was not limited to those of us in businesses that would directly benefit from war. People across the nation seemed almost desperate to see our country reassert itself militarily. I believe there were many reasons for this attitude, including the philosophical change that occurred when Reagan defeated Carter, the Iranian hostages were released, and Reagan announced his intention to renegotiate the Panama Canal Treaty. Bush's invasion of Panama stirred the already smoldering flames.

Beneath the patriotic rhetoric and the calls for action, however, I believe a much more subtle transformation was occurring in the way U.S. commercial interests—and therefore most of the people who worked for American corporations — viewed the world. The march toward global empire had become a reality in which much of the country participated. The dual ideas of globalization and privatization were making significant inroads into our psyches.

In the final analysis, this was not solely about the United States. The global empire had become just that; it reached across all borders. What we had previously considered U.S. corporations were now truly international, even from a legal standpoint. Many of them were incorporated in a multitude of countries; they could pick and choose from an assortment of rules and regulations under which to conduct their activities, and a multitude of globalizing trade agreements and organizations made this even easier. Words like democracy, socialism, and capitalism were becoming almost obsolete. Corporatocracy had become a fact, and it increasingly exerted itself as the single major influence on world economies and politics.

In a strange turn of events, I succumbed to the corporatocracy when I sold IPS in November 1990. It was a lucrative deal for my partners and me, but we sold out mainly because Ashland Oil Company put tremendous pressure on us. I knew from experience that fighting them would be extremely costly in many ways, while selling would make us wealthy. However, it did strike me as ironic that an oil company would become the new owners of my alternative energy company; part of me felt like a traitor.

SWEC demanded very little of my time. Occasionally, I was asked to fly to Boston for meetings or to help prepare a proposal. I was sometimes sent to places like Rio de Janeiro, to hobnob with the movers and shakers there. Once, I flew to Guatemala on a private jet. I frequently called project managers to remind them that I was on the payroll and available. Receiving all that money for doing so very little rubbed at my conscience. I knew the business well and wanted to contribute something useful. But it simply was not on the agenda.

The image of being a man in the middle haunted me. I wanted to take some action that would justify my existence and that might turn all the negatives of my past into something positive. I continued to work surreptitiously—and very irregularly—on Conscience of an Economic Hit Man, and yet I did not deceive myself into believing that it would ever be published.

In 1991, I began guiding small groups of people into the Amazon to spend time with and learn from the Shuars, who were eager to share their knowledge about environmental stewardship and indigenous healing techniques . During the next few years, the demand for these trips increased rapidly and resulted in the formation of a non-profit organization, Dream Change Coalition. Dedicated to changing the way people from industrialized countries see the earth and our relationship to it, Dream Change developed a following around the world and empowered people to create organizations with similar missions in many countries. TIME magazine selected it as one of thirteen organizations whose Web sites best reflect the ideals and goals of Earth Day.1

Throughout the 1990s, I became increasingly involved in the nonprofit world, helping to create several organizations and serving on the board of directors of others. Many of these grew out of the work of highly dedicated people at Dream Change and involved working with indigenous people in Latin America — the Shuars and Achuars of the Amazon, the Quechuas of the Andes, the Mayas in Guatemala—or teaching people in the United States and Europe about these cultures . SWEC approved of this philanthropic work; it was consistent with SWEC's own commitment to the United Way. I also wrote more books, always careful to focus on indigenous teachings and to avoid references to my EHM activities. Besides alleviating my boredom, these measures helped me keep in touch with Latin America and the political issues that were dear to me.

But try as I might to convince myself that my nonprofit and writing activities provided a balance, that I was making amends for my past activities, I found this increasingly difficult. In my heart, I knew I was shirking my responsibilities to my daughter. Jessica was inheriting a world where millions of children are born saddled with debts they will never be able to repay. And I had to accept responsibility for it.

My books grew in popularity, especially one titled, The World Is As You Dream It. Its success led to increasing demands for me to give workshops and lectures. Sometimes, standing in front of an audience in Boston or New York or Milan, I was struck by the irony. If the world is as you dream it, why had I dreamed such a world? How had I managed to play such an active role in manifesting such a nightmare?

In 1997, I was commissioned to teach a weeklong Omega Institute workshop in the Caribbean, at a resort on St. John Island. I arrived late at night. When I awoke the next morning, I walked onto a tiny balcony and found myself looking out at the very bay where, seventeen years earlier, I had made the decision to quit MAIN. I collapsed into a chair, overcome with emotion.

Throughout the week, I spent much of my free time on that balcony, looking down at Leinster Bay, trying to understand my feelings. I came to realize that although I had quit, I had not taken the next step, and that my decision to remain in the middle was exacting a devastating toll . By the end of the week, I had concluded that the world around me was not one that I wanted to dream, and that I needed to do exactly what I was instructing my students to do: to change my dreams in ways that reflected what I really wanted in my life.

When I returned home, I gave up my corporate consulting practice. The president of SWEC who had hired me was now retired. A new man had come aboard, one who was younger than me and was apparently unconcerned about me telling my story. He had initiated a cost-cutting program and was happy not to have to pay me that exorbitant retainer any longer.

I decided to complete the book I had been working on for so long, and just making the decision brought a wonderful sense of relief. I shared my ideas about writing with close friends, mostly people in the nonprofit world who were involved with indigenous cultures and rain forest preservation. To my surprise, they were dismayed. They feared that speaking out would undermine my teaching work and jeopardize the nonprofit organizations I supported. Many of us were helping Amazon tribes protect their lands from oil companies; coming clean, I was told, could undermine my credibility, and might set back the whole movement. Some even threatened to withdraw their support .

So, once again, I stopped writing. Instead, I focused on taking people deep into the Amazon, showing them a place and a tribe that are mostly untouched by the modern world. In fact, that is where I was on September 11, 2001.

- pages 182-188, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, by John Perkins

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U.S. Conspiracy to Initiate the War Against Iraq
Brian Becker (material from the International War Crimes Tribunal)

Even before the first day of the Persian Gulf crisis George Bush and the Pentagon wanted to wage war against Iraq.

What was the character of this war? Iraq neither attacked nor threatened the United States. We believe that this was a war to redivide and redistribute the fabulous markets and resources of the Middle East, in other words this was an imperialist war. The Bush administration, on behalf of the giant oil corporations and banks, sought to strengthen its domination of this strategic region. It did this in league with the former colonial powers of the region, namely Britain and France, and in opposition to the Iraqi people's claim on their own land and especially their natural resources.

As is customary in such wars, the government is compelled to mask the truth about the war - both its origin and goals and the nature of the "enemy" - in order to win over the people of this country. That's why it is important to get the facts. There is ample evidence that the U.S. was eagerly planning to fight the war even before the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait on August 2, 1990. With its plans in tact, we must detemmine if it is possible that the U.S. government actually sought a pretext for a military intervention in the Middle East.

Information that has come to light suggests that the United States interfered in and aggravated the Iraq-Kuwait dispute, knew that an Iraqi military response against Kuwait was likely, and then took advantage of the Iraqi move to carry out a long-planned U.S. military intervention in the Middle East. This evidence includes:

  1. The tiny, but oil-rich sheikdom of Kuwait became the tool of a U.S.inspired campaign of economic warfare designed to weaken Iraq as a regional power once the Iran-Iraq war ended. During 1989-1990, the Kuwaiti monarchy was overproducing and driving down the price of oil, a policy that cost Iraq $14 billion in lost revenue.[1] Iraq also complained that the Kuwaitis were stealing Iraqi oil by using slant drilling technology into the gigantic Rumaila oil field, most of which is inside Iraq. Kuwait also refused to work out arrangements that would allow Iraq access to the Persian Gulf. In May of 1990 at an Arab League meeting, Saddam Hussein bitterly complained about Kuwait's policy of "economic warfare" against Iraq and hinted that if Kuwait's over-production didn't change Iraq would take military action. Yet the Emir of Kuwait refused to budge. Why would an OPEC country want to drive down the price of oil? In retrospect, it is inconceivable that this tiny, undemocratic little sheikdom, whose ruling family is subject to so much hostility from the Arab masses, would have dared to remain so defiant against Iraq (a country ten times larger than Kuwait) unless Kuwait was assured in advance of protection from an even greater power - namely the United States. This is even more likely when one considers that the Kuwaiti ruling family had in the past tread lightly when it came to its relations with Iraq. Kuwait was traditionally part of Iraq's Basra Province until 1899 when Britain divided it from Iraq and declared Kuwait its colony. 
    Coinciding with Kuwait's overproduction of oil, Iraq was also subjected to the beginning of de facto sanctions, instituted incrementally by a number of western capitalist governments. Hundreds of major scientific, engineering, and food supply contracts between Iraq and western governments were canceled by 1990.
    [2]
  2. The U.S. policy to increase economic pressure on Iraq was coupled with a dramatic change in U.S. military doctrine and strategy toward Iraq. Starting in the summer of 1989, the Joint Chiefs of Staff revamped U.S. military doctrine in the Middle East away from a U.S.-Soviet conflict to target regional powers instead. By June 1990 - two months before the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait - General Norman Schwarzkopf was conducting sophisticated war games pitting hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops against Iraqi armored divisions.[3]
  3. The Bush administration lied when it stated on August 8, 1990, that the purpose of the U.S. troop deployment was "strictly defensive" and necessary to protect Saudi Arabia from an imminent Iraqi invasion. King Hussein of Jordan reports that U.S. troops were actually being deployed to Saudi Arabia in the days before Saudi Arabia "invited" U.S. intervention.[4]Hussein says that in the first days of the crisis Saudi King Fahd expressed Support for an Arab diplomatic solution. King Fahd also told King Hussein that there was no evidence of a hostile Iraqi build-up on the Saudi border, and that despite American assertions, there was no truth to reports that Iraq planned to invade Saudi Arabia.[5] The Saudis only bowed to U.S. demands that the Saudis "invite" U.S. troops to defend them following a long meeting between the king and Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney. The real substance of this discussion will probably remain classified for many, many years.
On September 11, 1990, Bush also told a joint session of Congress that "following negotiations and promises by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein not to use force, a powerful army invaded its trusting and much weaker neighbor, Kuwait. Within three days, 120,000 troops with 850 tanks had poured into Kuwait and moved south to threaten Saudi Arabia. It was then I decided to act to check that aggression." However, according to Jean Heller of the St. Petersburg Times (of Florida), the facts just weren't as Bush claimed. Satellite photographs taken by the Soviet Union on the precise day Bush addressed Congress failed to show any evidence of Iraqi troops in Kuwait or massing along the Kuwait-Saudi Arabian border. While the Pentagon was claiming as many as 250,000 Iraqi troops in Kuwait, it refused to provide evidence that would contradict the Soviet satellite photos. U.S. forces, encampments, aircraft, camouflaged equipment dumps, staging areas and tracks across the desert can easily be seen. But as Peter Zimmerman, formerly of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency in the Reagan Administration, and a former image specialist for the Defense Intelligence Agency, who analyzed the photographs for the St. Petersburg Times said:
We didn't find anything of that sort [i.e. comparable to the U.S. buildup] anywhere in Kuwait. We don't see any tent cities, we don't see congregations of tanks, we can't see troop concentrations, and the main Kuwaiti air base appears deserted. It's five weeks after the invasion, and from what we can see, the Iraqi air force hasn't flown a single fighter to the most strategic air base in Kuwait. There is no infrastructure to support large numbers of people. They have to use toilets, or the functional equivalent. They have to have food.... But where is it?
On September 18, 1991, only a week after the Soviet photos were taken, the Pentagon was telling the American public that Iraqi forces in Kuwait had grown to 360,000 men and 2,800 tanks. But the photos of Kuwait do not show any tank tracks in southern Kuwait. They clearly do show tracks left by vehicles which serviced a large oil field, but no tank tracks. Heller concludes that as of January 6, 1991, the Pentagon had not provided the press or Congress with any proof at all for an early buildup of Iraqi troops in southern Kuwait that would suggest an imminent invasion of Saudi Arabia. The usual Pentagon evidence was little more than "trust me." But photos from Soviet commercial satellites tell quite a convincing story. Photos taken on August 8, 1990, of southern Kuwait - six days after the initial invasion and right at the moment Bush was telling the world of an impending invasion of Saudi Arabia - show light sand drifts over patches of roads leading from Kuwait City to the Saudi border. The photos taken on September 11, 1990, show exactly the same sand drifts but now larger and deeper, suggesting that they had built up naturally without the disturbance of traffic for a month. Roads in northern Saudi Arabia during this same period, in contrast, show no sand drifts at all, having been swept clean by heavy traffic of supply convoys. The former DIA analyst puts it this way: "In many places the sand goes on for 30 meters and more." Zirnmerman's analysis is that "They [roads] could be passable by tank but not by personnel or supply vehicles. Yet there is no sign that tanks have used those roads. And there's no evidence of new roads being cut. By contrast, none of the roads in Saudi Arabia has any sand cover at all. They've all been swept clear."[6]

It would have taken no more than a few thousand soldiers to hold Kuwait City, and that is all satellite evidence can support. The implication is obvious: Iraqi troops who were eventually deployed along the Kuwait-Saudi Arabian border were sent there as a response to U.S. build up and were not a provocation for Bush's military action. Moreover, the manner in which they were finally deployed was purely defensive - a sort of Maginot Line against the massive and offensive mobilization of U.S. and Coalition forces just over the border with Saudi Arabia.

A War to Destroy Iraq as a Regional Power

That the Bush administration wanted the war is obvious by its steadfast refusal to enter into any genuine negotiations with Iraq that could have achieved a diplomatic solution. Iraq's August 12, 1990, negotiation proposal, which indicated that Iraq was willing to make significant concessions in return for a comprehensive discussion of other unresolved Middle East conflicts, was rejected out of hand by the Bush administration. So was another Iraqi offer made in December that was reported by Knut Royce in Newsday.

President Bush avoided diplomacy and negotiations, even refusing to send Secretary of State Baker to meet Saddam Hussein before the January 15, 1991 deadline as he had promised on November 30, 1990. Bush also rejected Iraq's withdrawal offer of February 15, 1991, two days after U.S. planes incinerated hundreds of women and children sleeping in the al-Arneriyah bomb shelter. The Iraqis immediately agreed to the Soviet proposal of February 18, 1991 - that is four days before the so-called ground war was launched - which required Iraq to abide by all UN resolutions.

The U.S. ground war against Iraqi positions resulted in the greatest number of casualties in the conflict. As many as 50,000 to 100,000 Iraqi soldiers may have died after the Iraqi government had fully capitulated to all U.S. and UN demands. It is thus obvious that the U.S. government did not fight the war to secure Iraq's eviction from Kuwait but rather proceeded with this unparalleled massacre for other foreign policy objectives. These objectives have never been defined for the broader public but only referred to euphemistically under the rubric of the New World Order.

What is the New World Order, what does the U.S. expect to get out of it and what is the "new thing" in the world that makes a new order possible? It is Bush's assumption that the Soviet Union is willing, under the Gorbachev leadership, to support U.S. foreign policy in the Third World. The U.S. figures that if the Soviets are willing to abandon Iraq and their other traditional allies in the Third World then the U.S. and other western at capitalist countries can return to their former dominant position in various areas of the world. How the U.S. conducted the war shows that the permanent weakening of Iraq is a key part in the New World Order.[8]

Although the Soviet role has changed dramatically, the goals of U.S. imperialism in the Middle East have remained basically the same, with some shifts in tactics based on varied conditions. The basic premise of U.S. policy has been to eliminate or severely weaken any nationalist regime that challenges U.S. dominance and control over the oil-rich region. The military strategy employed against Iraq not only aimed at military targets, but the "bombing raids have destroyed residential areas, refineries, and power and water facilities, which will affect the population for years."[9] As early as September 1990, the administration, according to a speech by Secretary of State James Baker, changed the strategic goals of the U.S. military intervention to include not only the "liberation of Kuwait" but the destruction of Iraq's military infrastructure.[10]

Iran-lraq War and U.S. Strategy

That the U.S. sought to permanently weaken or crush Iraq, as a regional power capable of asserting even a nominal challenge to U.S. dominance over this strategic oil-rich region, fits in with a longer historical pattern. Since the discovery of vast oil deposits in the Middle East, and even earlier, the strategy of the U.S. and other European colonial powers was to prevent the emergence of any strong nationalist regime in the region. The U.S. has relied on corrupted and despised hereditary monarchies and dictatorships in the Middle East. Such regimes have served as puppets for U.S. interests in exchange for U.S. protection. When the Shah of Iran was overthrown in 1979 by a massive popular revolution, it came as a complete shock to U.S. oil companies, the CIA, and the Pentagon, which used the hated Shah as a pro-U.S. policeman of the Gulf region.

The Iran-Iraq war was seen as a new opportunity to recoup U.S. losses from the Iranian revolution. Starting in 1982 the U.S. encouraged and provided arms and satellite information to the Iraqi government in its fight against Iran - the Reagan/Bush administration's principal goal was to weaken and contain Iran in order to limit its regional influence. The Iran-Iraq war did indeed weaken Iran, squandering much of the human and material resources of the revolution.

Having weakened Iran, the goal was then to weaken Iraq and make sure that it could not develop as a regional power capable of challenging U.S. domination. After the war ended, U.S. policy toward Iraq shifted, becoming increasingly hostile. The way U.S. policy shifted is quite revealing; it bears all the signs of a well-planned conspiracy. The cease-fire between Iran and Iraq officially began on August 20, 1988. On September 8, 1988, Iraqi Foreign Minister Sa'dun Hammadi was to meet with U.S. Secretary of State George Schulz. The Iraqis had every reason to expect a warm welcome in Washington and to begin an era of closer cooperation on trade and industrial development. Instead, at 12:30 p.m., just two hours before the meeting and with no warning to Hammadi whatsoever, State Department spokesman Charles Redman called a press conference and charged that "The U.S. Government is convinced that Iraq has used chemical weapons in its military campaign against Kurdish guerillas. We don't know the extent to which chemical weapons have been used but any use in this context is abhorrent and unjustifiable.... We expressed our strong concern to the Iraqi Government which is well aware of our position that the use of chemical weapons is totally unjustifiable and unacceptable.''[11]

Redman did not allude to any evidence at all nor was the Iraqi government warned of the charges by the State Department. Rather, when Hammadi arrived at the State Department two hours later for his meeting with Schulz, he was besieged by members of the press asking him questions about the massacre. Hammadi was completely unable to give coherent answers. He kept asking the reporters why they were asking him about this. Needless to say the meeting with Schulz was a dismal failure for Iraq's expectations of U.S. assistance in rebuilding after the Iran-Iraq war. Within twenty-four hours of Redman's press release, the Senate voted unanimously to impose economic sanctions on Iraq which would cancel sales of food and technology. Following September 8, 1988 is a two year record that amounts to economic harassment of Iraq by the American State Department, press, and Congress. Saddam Hussein alluded to this period many times during the lead-up to the war and the war itself. On February 15, 1991, in the preamble to his cease-fire proposal, he said "The years 1988 and 1989 saw sustained campaigns in the press and other media and by other officials in the United States and other imperialist nations to pave the way for the fulfillment of vicious aims [i.e., the present war].[12] The Washington Post's story on the cease-fire proposal of February 15, 1991 was titled simply: 'Baghdad's Conspiracy Theory of Recent History."[l3] Some conspiracies theories just happen to be true!

The Bush administration has never presented any evidence whatsoever for its charges that Iraq used poison gas on its own citizens. Rather it has simply repeated the charges over and over in the press. This event is analyzed in considerable detail in a study published by the Army War College called, Iraqi Power and U.S. Security in the Middle East. The authors of that study conclude that the charges were false but used by the U.S. government to change public opinion toward Iraq. They even go so far as to suggest a conspiracy against Iraq: "The whole episode of seeking to impose sanctions on Iraq for something that it may not have done would be regrettable but not of great concern were this an isolated event. Unfortunately, there are other areas of friction developing between our two countries.''[l4]

If the first part of the strategy was to create hostility and economic hardships, then the war was the second phase. The massive bombardment of Iraq coupled with the continued economic sanctions after the war completes a two-part strategy designed to leave Iraq both in a weakened state and dependent on western aid and bank loans for any reconstruction effort. The U.S. will want to have a puppet government in Baghdad, and even if it is impossible to impose a Shah-type government on the Iraqi people, the Bush administration assumes that a war-ravaged country that is economically dependent on the U.S. and European capitalist powers or on UN humanitarian aid will be forced into a subservient position.

The New World Order and Big Oil

We believe that the real goal of the United States war against Iraq is to return to the "good old days" when the U.S. and some European countries totally plundered the resources of the Middle East. Five of the twelve largest corporations in the United States are oil monopolies. Before the rise of Arab nationalism and the anti-feudal revolutions that swept out colonialist regimes in Iraq and other Middle Eastem countries in the 1950s and 1960s, U.S., British, and Dutch oil companies owned Arab and Iranian oil fields outright. Between 1948 and 1960 U.S. oil companies received $13 billion in profit from their Persian Gulf holdings. That was half the return on all overseas investment by all U.S. companies in those years.

In recent decades U.S. companies no longer directly own the oil fields of the Middle East, but they still get rich from them. That is because the royal families of the oil-rich Arabian peninsula, who were put on their thrones by the British empire and are kept there by the U.S. military and the CIA, have loyally turned their kingdoms into cash cows for Wall Street banks and corporations.

This is one way it works. Money spent on Saudi Arabian oil, for example, once went into the accounts of Rockefeller-controlled oil corporations at the Rockefeller-controlled Chase Manhattan Bank. Now it is deposited in the Saudi king's huge account at Chase Manhattan which reinvests it at a hefty profit to the Rockefellers. Chase Manhattan also manages the Saudi Industrial Development Fund and the Saudi Investment Bank. Morgan Guaranty Trust Company, which is linked to Mobil and Texaco, has a representative on the Board of the Saudi Monetary Authority and controls another big chunk of the kingdom's income. Citicorp handles much of the Emir of Kuwait's $120 billion investment portfolio.[l5] The total amount that the Gulf's feudal lords have put at the disposal of the western bankers is conservatively estimated at $1 trillion. It is probably much more.

While the big oil companies have a going partnership with the feudal rulers of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, etc., they are relatively locked out of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Yemen, and Algeria. The goal of the U.S. war is to roll back the Arab revolution and all the other revolutionary movements that have swept the region since World War II.

The New World Order that Bush has in mind is, in fact, not so new. It is an attempt to turn the clock back to the pre-World War II era of unchallenged colonial domination and plunder of the land, labor, and resources of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East by a handful of industrialized capitalist countries. Unlike the old world order of outright colonialism, the new world order will be imposed by Stealth aircraft, guided missiles, smart bombs, and tactical nuclear weapons - not l9th-century gunboats. This is based on grand geopolitical strategy that flows like water from Pentagon-sponsored think tanks in Washington. It leaves out the most important factor in the equation of the Middle East - the broad mass of the people whose hatred for foreign domination and capacity to struggle remains as powerful as ever.

The U.S. and its imperialist allies have won a temporary victory in the Middle East. But their policy of military domination to stop the natural progression of history - for people to liberate themselves from the yoke of colonialism - cannot succeed.


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Notes

  1. New York Times, September 3, 1990.
  2. Stated to Brian Becker and other members of the Muhammad Ali Peace Delegation on November 30, 1990 by Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Ramadan.
  3. Newsweek, January 28, 1990; for more information on the revamping of Pentagon strategy in early 1990 see Michael T. Klare, "Policing the Gulf - And the World," The Nation, October 15, 1990.
  4. New York Times, October 16, 1990.
  5. New York Times, October 16, 1990.
  6. Jean Heller, "Public Doesn't Get Picture with Gulf Satellite Photos," St Petersburg Times, January 6, 1991. Rpt. In These Times, February 27-March 19, 1991: 7.
  7. Newsday, August 20, 1991.
  8. See James Ridgeway, "Third World Wars: Iraq is a Model for Post-Cold War Colonies," Village Voice, January 29, 1991.
  9. Newsday, February 4, 1991Ă‘our emphasis.
  10. Speech by Secretary of State James Baker, New York Times, September 4, 1990.
  11. American Foreign Policy: Current Documents {Washington, DC: Department of State, 1991X, p. 260.
  12. New York Times, February 16, 1991: A5.
  13. Don Oberdorfer, Washington Post, February 16, 1991.
  14. Stephen C. Pelletiere, et al. Iraqi Power and U.S. Security in the Middle East (Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, 1990), p. 53.
  15. Liberation and Marxism, #7 11990).
Brian Becker was a member of the Muhammad Ali Peace Delegation which travelled to Iraq in late November 1990 in an effort to prevent the war. This report was presented at the New York Commission hearing on May 11, 1991.





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