How the Iraqi generals sold out to the highest bidder

Jim Farmelant farmelantj at
Wed May 21 14:15:12 MDT 2003

On Thu, 22 May 2003 06:20:08 +1000 Gary MacLennan
<g.maclennan at> writes:
> My own reactions to this article have surprised me.  I was appalled
> by this
> confirmation of the previous rumours.  But why was I shocked to any
> degree?  A rotten ruling class proved to be a rotten ruling class -
> end of
> story.  Yet I had somehow allowed myself to hope that the forces of
> history
> would transform the Iraqi ruling clique into a centre of national
> resistance.
> For a while the resistance at Um Qasr and Basra indicated this might
> happen, I thought.

The intensity of fighting at Um Qasr and Basra showed that
an effective resistance to the coalition forces was possible.
Of course from the standpoint of the Iraqi generals, the
point of this might have been simply to strengthen their
hand while bargaining with the Americans, to sell out
their country.  Certainly, if an intense resistance had
been possible in Basra, they could have made Baghdad
a real nightmare for the US and UK forces.

> But the Generals played true to form, took the
> money
> and now will probably try to re-emerge in the new Govt installed by
> the USA.

Which was probably the objective all along.  After all, it had
been the dream of the first Bush Administration that Saddam
be overthrown by one of his generals who would then
administer the country, with its rich oil reserves in the
interests of the US.  I wouldn't at all be surprised to see
some of these generals in whatever new government,
the US and UK decides to impose on Iraq.  Already,
lots of Ba'athist officials are being invited to serve
the new government, on the precondition that
they renounce membership in the Ba'athist Party.

> It has all driven me back to my former analysis.  American
> imperialism is
> delivering savage blows to its former allies.  The neo-liberals are
> out to
> get the old pro-American stooges.

That has been an ongoing process over the past twenty
years, and especially so, after the conclusion of the
cold war.  The US has seen fit to drop support for old
stooges like the Argentinian generals (the US wasn't
going to go against Thatcher), Ferdinand Marcos,
Noriega, Saddam Hussein, Pinochet, and Suharto
amongst others.  Those folk might have been fine
for the cold war era, but now the US needs new kinds
of stooges to help protect its interests in the neo-liberal
world order, that the US is attempting to create.  There is
a preference now for political leaders who are "democratically
elected" (all the better to impose neo-liberal economic
policies on their own countries), whereas many of
the old-style stooges were often economic nationalists
in varying degrees, who were willing to protect national
capital.  Now the US prefers regimes that are "democratic"
as they are built on the principle of TINA ("there is no

> Huge change is on the way and it will escape the control of the
> Americans.
> regards
> Gary

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