Current state of the U.S. war drive (was re: A Russia-US deal on Iraq)

Fred Feldman ffeldman at
Wed Sep 18 22:24:43 MDT 2002

I  believe Stratfor is a business-oriented conservative "think-tank"  Such
while they may or may not prove founded, stem from a real event -- that is,
the Russian government's statement that they claim the right to act in
Georgia just as Washington is planning to act in Iraq (which is objectively
a step TOWARD accepting a U.S. attack on Iraq).

I'm sending this in to help dampen any premature victory celebrations
stemming from the touch of confusion in the administration and the slight
relaxation in the diplomatic tension following Iraq's acceptance of the
return of U.S. inspectors.  Under the circumstances, the Iraqi government
had little choice but to accept this arrogant violation of the country's
sovereignty and independence.

In my opinion, events are continuing to move toward an attack, and the U.S.
drive to war is acceletating, not stalling.  The Iraqi move may delay an
attack -- without Iraqi acceptance UN authorizing resolutions and a U.S.
attack might have come within the next couple of weeks -- but it has not
halted Washington's relentless drive toward war against an essentially
disarmed and defenseless country.

While attempting to slow Washington down, Russia, France, UN Secretary
General Kofi Annan and others are adopting the basic framework set by the
United States and moving toward going along if military action results..
United Nations Secretary General Annan places the onus for
the situation on Iraq, and takes for granted that Iraq has obstructed
inspections in the past and has substantial weapons of mass destruction now.
That means that if the inspectors do not find weapons, it will "prove"only
that Iraq is hiding them from the inspectors.  Aggressive and sometimes
racially arrogant inspectors will be strutting around Iraq making outrageous
demands, and any resistance or hesitation by Iraqis can serve Washington as
a pretext for war.

 Saudi Arabia now says it will have no choice but to allow Washington to use
its bases to attack Iraq if there is a UN resolution that can be interpreted
as authorizing this. Quite likely the Saudis knew that Saddam was going to
invite the inspectors back and hope this will obviate the necessity of
keeping their word.  But the unconditional solidarity of the Arab
governments against an attack has now been broken, and a signal has been
sent to Qatar and Kuwait that their full cooperation with Washington is
acceptable to the Saudi monarchy.

Congress, which originally threatened to hold hearings that will go past the
election, now promises to provide Bush with a satisfactory resolution before
election day.

The U.S. government is driving toward war, and there should be no illusions
that the United Nations Security Council, Kofi Annan, the Russian and
Chinese governments, and the Arab states are anything even vaguely
resembling  equally determined to stop them.  At the United Nations the
irresistible force has run into an extremely adaptable object. Aside from
Cuba, there has been no government  at the United Nations,as far as I know,
which has stated that it is irreconcilably opposed to the war.

The European rulers continue to approach the problem from the standpoint of
how to protect their interests in the region in the event of a U.S.
invasion.  Logically, for these imperialist governments, this means striving
for the best deal from Washington in the event that the U.S. rulers succeed
in toppling Saddam and creating a puppet government.  This simply reflects
the reality that no one European power nor all of them together is even in
the running against Washington as a military power. Washington's drive
toward war is a reality they adapt themselves to, not something they will
risks to oppose or undermine.

The Russian and Chinese governments  are aiming to exact the highest price
they can for not using their veto power in the Security Council.  Russia, in
particular, is interested not only in securing its border with Georgia but
in guaranteeing that a U.S. puppet regime will pay the former government's
debts to Russia.

For Washington, the stakes include control of Middle East and Central Asian
oil, air space, and waters.  At issue is not merely Washington's need to
guarantee its oil supplies, but to control the supplies to everyone else --
to be able to open or close the pipelines to Europe or Japan, for example,
at will.  And Washington is more and more attracted to the idea that only
brutal force can hold together and expand a world empire that is tending to
disintegrate politically, socially, and economically.easy.

On the antiwar side are the interests of the working people and oppressed
nations of the world (including the Cuban government, the only government
today that consistently expresses their interests on questions like this). .
At some point  in the conflicts that are developing,  they will make their
voices heard in no uncertain terms.  But it cannot be predicted that this
will happen before the U.S. attacks Iraq.

I  am all for efforts to "stop the war before it starts,"  including the
October 26 denonstration in Washington which must be built to the max by all
antiwar forces.

But while we do what we can to prevent the horror,  we also have to  be
thinking about our protests as part of a long-term fight, which is not going
to be easy or short.  To stop the war before it starts would require unrest
and dissension ON A WORLD SCALE  that would be more than Washington can
handle.  One big, militant antiwar demonstration in Washington cannot do the
trick by itself, but it will do a lot to advance the fight.  .

Trying to stop the war before it starts is a very uphill battle, but worth
attempting.  The odds against us on this are substantial, though we could
get unespected breaks.  But in the battle with the warmakers of  the
declining and explosive last world empire, I am confident that we are
entering onto the difficult road to victory.
Fred Feldman

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