FW: Bloody Crusaders Call the Shots in Iraq/09-03-96
djones at uclink.berkeley.edu
Sun Sep 15 14:39:28 MDT 1996
This is the post which has prompted my replies. Steve Crowder forwarded an
editorial from Living Marxism (excerpted below). By the way, I hope that
the debate between the RCP and the SWP really takes off.
I disagree with the answer that LM gave to a very specific question (I most
certainly don't think the LM is reactionary, quite the opposite actually).
LM maintains Americans have tended to support the bombings on the grounds
that the US represents a higher moral authority.
I was suggesting that most Americans are not concerned with the morality of
US action or the human rights crusade led by liberals and backed by US
Most Americans simply cynically accept the US war and occupation as
necessary to protect access to "our" cheap oil and most Americans do not
care what effect all this has on the lives of Arab people. Even if
Americans were to claim to the pollsters or in polite company that they
support the war in order to punish 'immoral' barbaric dictators, bring
freedom and democracy to the Gulf through the beneficient presence of the
US and protect 'human rights' of minorities, I am arguing that they really
tolerate the US occupation of Iraq because they believe all the hype but
because they think this will prevent Saddam from taking control of the
Gulf, raising oil prices and setting back the US economy.
Most Americans could care less about democracy and freedom in the Arab world.
While there may be a popular belief in the higher moral authority of the US
to determine the geopolitical situation in the Gulf (though it is hard to
believe that most people have found the US attempt to protect sheikhs and
emirs moral, or guided by high ideals or even notion of Western *moral*
superiority), there is a crasser and, I believe, more fundamental
imperialist belief that the US may as well use its military might and
intervene abroad in order to maintain a situation favorable to its own
economy. In short, LM is underestimating the moral cyncism which has
enabled US bombings; LM seems to think most people worry whether their
government has the moral authority to establish an imperialist presence in
the third world.
And since there is a racist disregard for the Arab and in particular Iraqi
people, it is so much easier to maintain this imperialist belief.
In short, this perverse idea that the US has any right to intervene in the
geopolitics of any region to improve its own economy should be faced head
on and opposed on both moral and material grounds; after all, such
intervention does not keep the price of oil down and jump start the US
economy. It drains the US economy further through military spending and
destroys American culture in the process. While keeping the Iraqi people
in a situation of economic and military terrorism.
On all this--and much else--I agree with LM.
>The question is, how could the US authorities get away with such an obvious
>cheap tactic without attracting any serious criticism in the West? Why does
>nobody bat an eyelid anymore when Clinton bombs Iraqis for the crime of
>'invading' part of their own country? The answer is that this is the
>pay-off of the human rights crusade which liberal journalists, aid
>organisations and radical charities have been running over the past five
>As the September issue of Living Marxism explains, the campaign to
>highlight human rights abuses in Third World societies such as Iraq, and to
>demand that the West takes action against them, has succeeded only in
>demonising the Third World as immoral and depicting the West as a higher
>authority. The consequence of that consensus is that Clinton, Major and
>other 'civilised' Western leaders have a free hand to teach the
>'barbarians' a lesson with Cruise missiles and other moral instruments.
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