To kill Iraq: the reasons why

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
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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