To kill Iraq: the reasons why
lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Jan 14 07:41:17 MST 2003
To Kill Iraq: The Reasons Why
by Michael Parenti
A central US goal, as enunciated by the little Dr. Strangeloves who
inhabit the upper echelons of policymaking in the Bush administration,
is to perpetuate US global supremacy. The objective is not just power
for its own sake but power to insure plutocratic control of the planet,
power to privatize and deregulate the economies of every nation in the
world, to hoist upon the backs of peoples everywhere—including the
people of North America ---the blessings of an untrammeled "free market"
corporate capitalism. The struggle is between those who believe that the
land, labor, capital, technology, and markets of the world should be
dedicated to maximizing capital accumulation for the few, and those who
believe that these things should be used for the communal benefit and
socio-economic development of the many.
The goal is to insure not merely the supremacy of global capitalism as
such, but the supremacy of US global capitalism by preventing the
emergence of any other potentially competing superpower or, for that
matter, any potentially competing regional power. Iraq is a case in
point. Some nations in the Middle East have oil but no water; others
have water but no oil. Iraq is the only one with plenty of both, along
with a good agricultural base—although its fertile lands are now much
contaminated by the depleted uranium dropped upon it during the 1991
Gulf War bombings.
In earlier times, Iraq's oil was completely owned by US, British, and
other Western companies. In 1958 there was a popular revolution in Iraq.
Ten years later, the rightwing of the Ba'ath party took power, with
Saddam Hussein serving as point man for the CIA. His assignment was to
undo the bourgeois-democratic revolution, as I have already noted. But
instead of acting as a compradore collaborator to Western investors in
the style of Nicaragua's Somoza, Chile's Pinochet, Peru's Fujimora, and
numerous others, Saddam and his cohorts nationalized the Iraqi oil
industry in 1972, ejected the Western profiteers, and pursued policies
of public development and economic nationalism. By 1990, Iraq had the
highest standard of living in the Middle East (which may not be saying
all that much), and it was evident that the US had failed to rollback
the gains of the 1958 revolution. But the awful destruction delivered
upon Iraq both by the Gulf War and the subsequent decade of economic
sanctions did achieve a kind of counterrevolutionary rollback from afar.
Soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union, US leaders decided that
Third World development no longer needed to be tolerated. Just as
Yugoslavia served as a "bad" example in Europe, so Iraq served as a bad
example to other nations in the Middle East. The last thing the
plutocrats in Washington want in that region is independent,
self-defining developing nations that wish to control their own land,
labor, and natural resources.
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