Michel Collon on War Preparations

D OC donaloc at peterquinn.com
Thu Sep 19 03:36:34 MDT 2002

I attach an interview with Michel Collon a leading left-wing
author/activist. I have never seen opposition to US imperialism so
widespread - it will be interesting to see how this pans out.

The posts by Fred Feldman and Mark Jones argue the two possible
interpretations of current events well. I definitely tend towards Mark's
analysis - I just can't see why Russia would want more US intervention.
Georgia is theirs already - they have just invested in Iraq and there's
little doubt that a US invasion of Iraq will be a pretext to wider actions -
consider for a moment the outcome if Saudi Arabia was to go Islamicist as a
result of this. Would the US not feel justified to take over there too.
Russia knows that it's outgunned but will pull the best out of this they
can - I think that the whole UN thing was a set-up. The S. Arabian
announcement about compliance with any UN resolutions was issued hours
before the Iraqi commitment so it all seems to be smoke. The US was
definitely wrong-footed on this and will have to stretch to recover - e.g.
the inclusion of massive military units within any inspection regime is
being touted widely in British media. Things will show themselves in the
fullness of time and there's no use in predicting yet.

One thing for sure, everyone needs to get involved in the anti-war protests.
My employer (the former President of the GAA - a national amateur sporting
organisation perhaps equalled only in influence by Fianna Fail and the
Catholic church in the Irish Republic) was on the number one political show
on RTE last Monday and he cut the US policy on Iraq to shreds. Just shows
all those teatime discussions came in useful in the end!

The protests behind Rumsfeld will have be very significant - I think that
the US activists need to know that the world is supporting them when they
are standing up and that you can be confident of massive protests if the US
goes it alone without UN resolutions. I guess its very easy for us because
the ruling classes are quite split over US action, given its potential to
threaten their interests, but no one should doubt the level of opposition to
this war at this stage.


Rambush claims the right to attack any country without even a pretext

Michel Collon responds immediately to Bush¹s UN speech (Sept. 12, 2002)

He inspired and organized the international mission of ³peace inspectors² in
Iraq last April. He wrote ³Attention media! The Media Lies of the Gulf War,²
which has become a reference for understanding disinformation. Michel
Collon¹s immediate response to Bush¹s talk.


Michel Collon. Obviously Bush, strongly criticized for his Rambo-like style,
wanted to present an image of one seeking « consensus. » It was time for a
speech. Make people believe that his war for oil and his globalization is
backed by a common will. Now the entire world has already said that it
doesn¹t want this war.

But Bush boasts of having « brought medical aid where people desperately
need it »

Michel Collon. As if that was the problem ! If the people are desperate,
it¹s exactly because the multinational corporations starve entire countries.
They destroy the entire economies. But what does Bush propas as a «
solution. » ? « Expand commerce and the prosperity that it brings. » Now,
all the third world countries say at each negotiation of the World Trade
Organization (WTO) that this commerce, dominated by the multinational
corporations based in the Northern industrialized states, ceaselessly
impoverish them and increase the gap between rich and poor. Bush has earned
the Nobel Prize. For hypocrisy.

Let¹s go to the heart of the matter. Was it an important speech ?
Michel Collon. Yes, the U.S. superpower has formulated a new doctrine : it
assumes for itself the right to attack whatever country for no reason at
all, without even a pretext (for example, that the country might have
invaded another), but simply on the basis of « suspicions. » Indeed, the USA
arrogated the right to conduct itself as an « aggressor » in the technical
sense of international law. The country has officially become the « United
States of Aggression. »

« No justification, » you say. But Bush raised several accusations against
Iraq. Accusation No. 1 : Human rights violations.
Michel Collon.  Farcical on the part of the Washington, which has supported
Pinochet, Mobutu, the Turkish generals and their use of chemical weapons in
Kurdistan, the feudal lords of Saudi Arabia (a country without a
Constitution), the Indonesian generals and their genocide in East Timor. And
to be certain, Israeli apartheid.

But he described those « women tortured in the presence of their husbands,
children tortured in the presence of their parents » S
Michel Collon. His father said that the Iraqis had stolen 312 neo-natal
incubators from Kuwait City ­ a pure media lie made in Hollywood
[manufactured, specifically, by the public-relations firm Hill and
Knowlton-tr]. That Saddam had willfully provoked a giant black tide. It was
the United States itself. That he tortured prisoners of war : the BBC had
hidden the videotape proving the contrary.
Each of the U.S. wars in the last 50 years has been preceded by massive
media lies, then discretely denied afterward. The list of war atrocities are
the preferred method. But everyone knows that the USA refuses to cooperate
with an International Criminal Court ­ they know all too well that their own
generals and leading officials accumulate war crimes : Korea, Vietnam,
Nicaragua, Panama, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, S

Accusation No. 2: Iraq didn¹t return the prisoners of the 1991 war and
refused to pay indemnities to Kuwait for war damages S
Michel Collon. Kuwait is not really a country, but an artificial regime
created out of whole cloth by colonialism. A few months ago Le Monde
Diplomatique showed how Washington was pushing Kuwait to demand the return
of deceased persons. And had significantly expanded the damages it claimed
(without any verification nor investigation) so that it would be impossible
for Iraq to reimburse them. But S. Conservea pretext for war.

But the trump card is the ³weapons of mass destruction.²
Michel Collon. The UN inspectors themselves declared that Iraq had been
disarmed. Their chief Scott Ritter, a right-wing Republican, denounced
Bush¹s manipulations.

Still, recently, top U.S. officials have insisted on the Iraqi nuclear
threat, proved by a photograph in a report from the Interntional Atomic
Energy Agency. S
Michel Collon. That [the IAEA] immediately denied it, saying that the photo
showed nothing and that its report said the contrary [of Bush¹s statement].
That also was fraudulent. Israel illegally amasses an arsenal of over 100
nuclear warheads, and no one mentions it. But above all the United States
itself is the most dangerous nuclear power on the globe: 6,000 nuclear
warheads. And they officially declared they would use them, even against
non-nuclear armed countries.
In fact regarding weapons of mass destruction it is the United States that
have used them the most historically: Hiroshima, biological weapons in
Korea, ³Agent Orange² in Vietnam., etc.

A vulgar war for oil, then?
Michel Collon. Yes, as we have said since 1991, and as the majority of
European political leaders admit at present. Washington plans to control the
price of oil (maintain the theft of raw materials, in fact) and control all
the sources of oil (thereby being able to extort conditions from its
European and Japonese rivals). It is that alone that disturbs the European

Who still seem to have become a ³force for peace² S
Michel Collon.  I was struck by [Belgian Foreign Minister] Louis Michel¹s
tone on the JT Special on RTBF from ³Ground Zero² in New York. He never
ceased to criticize Rambo-BushS So much the better if the rich countries are
divided among themselves. So much the better if Bush is isolated.
But we have no illusions. At heart, Louis Michel [French President Jacques]
Chirac, [German Chancellor] Gerhard Schroeder want, just like Bush, to
maintain the domination of the multinational corporations over the raw
materials in the thrid world. Except that their first thoughts are for the
European-based multinationals. And they fear that a style too ³cow-boy²
would arouse a revolt of the Arab countries, provoking the removal of
pro-Western regimes (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan S). They also want Iraq on
its knees and all the Arabs on their knees. But by using more diplomatic and
less obvious methods.

All the Arabs on their knees?
Michel Collon. It is definitely the primary goal. The Washington Post just
published an important article exposing the views of the extremists in the
Bush administration: ³Iraq is just the first piece of the puzzle After have
eliminated Sadda the United States will have more leverage to act against
Syria and Iran, to be in a better position to resolve the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and to depend less on Saudi oil. The goal is
not uniquely a new regime in Iraq, the goal is a new Middle East.² (Sept.
³Resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,² that¹s evidently to crush the
PLO. And without doubt to end up deporting the Palestinians to Jordan or
Iraq. To speak of the ³first piece of the puzzle² demonstrates that Bush has
launched a global war. Other countries on the Middle East will follow. And
Korea. Allthat to isolate and encircle the final adverary, China, and take
complete hold of its coveted market.
In fact, to get out of its crisis, the capitalist system needs to
re-colonize the territories that have escaped it, even partially. That is
the global war: for the re-total colonization of the world.

War, a consequence of the crisis?
Michel Collon. And aggravation of the crisis! This war could make the price
of oil balloon. Multiply bankrupcies and restructuring. The workers will
surely pay the price: layoffs, loss of social benefits and regulation,
increase of military budgets. S

In Europe too?
Michel Collon. Of course. The cut in social benefits will be used to pay the
arms merchants! Reread the document of the Belgian president of the Senate,
criticizing Bush, in order to propose in due course the program satisfying
the European-based arms monopolies. ³We need to draw out all the political,
budgetary, (my emphasis), structural and operational consequences: the
Europens should in the near future envisage the creation of a truly European
army directly financed by the community¹s budget.² (Le Soir, Sept 11). What
I announced in my book Monopoly in the wake of the war against Yugoslavia.

You don¹t have confidence in the reservations expressed by Schroeder and
Michel Collon. They had also expressed reservations, less strong it is true,
before the war against Yugoslavia. But they are already playing Bush¹s game
by making it seem that the problem has to do with inspections, and in
refusing the just demand of the Iraqis: inspections, yes but without the CIA
spies and with a calendar to put an end to the murderous embargo.

Just now Bush said he ³has nothing against the Iraqi people.²
Michel Collon. They never have anything against the people they bomb. Their
wars are always humanitarian. But the experts warn: an invasion, even
limited, will kill a million Iraqis by dismantling the centralized system
that provides them nourishment under the conditions of the embargo. It would
be a war with consequences even more barbarous in this strangled country.

What can we expect?
Michel Collon. As before each war: we will go through a phase of media lies,
reworked daily, CNN mises en scene, brainwashing to make the people afraid
so they believe that Iraq truly threatens them.
And a major provocation. The West will make Iraq an offer that it knows is
inacceptable: impose inspections with Western military forces of occupation.
It¹s what they proposed in 1999 to Yugoslavia, just in order to have a
pretext to start bombing. And the EU will march along boasting of having
obtained (by extortions behind the scenes) a approval from the UN.

It is a desperate situation, then?
Michel Collon. No, if the EU hesitates its is because of the resistance of
the Palestinians, the Arab masses, and also of the workers in Europe. And
even in the USA: our friends in the U.S. have announced a massive
mobilization for their demonstration on October 26. Brussels will
demonstrate on the 27, London on the 28 S
Whoever wants to stop that war doesn¹t have 36 solutions: only the
mobilization and the international unity of the people could hand a setback
to Rambush and Co.

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