If Saddam Hussein hated Islamic fundamentalists before 9/11, he must really loathe them now. Thanks to al-Qaida, the Bush administration has found a seemingly irrefutable excuse to do to Iraq what the neo-cons and the Israeli lobby have been salivating over for years. Invading Iraq to seize control of its oil reserves, installing a pliable puppet regime and reshaping the geo-political map of the Middle East to suit American and Israeli needs have been high on their agendas ever since Israel bombed Iraq in 1981.
The post-9/11 argument to justify a pre-9/11 plan is that the Iraqis hate us, so they just might support al-Qaida or some other terrorist group in launching an attack with “weapons of mass destruction” against us. So, we better get them before they get us. Preemption, as the Bush lexicon refers to it.
But even a cursory review of our country’s nefarious role in maintaining Saddam’s brutal regime provides proof that our leaders will say and do anything to justify the unjustifiable. When relying on Saddam as a bulwark against the spread of Shiite fundamentalism, the Reagan administration aided and abetted Saddam’s unprovoked war against Iran. Yet, those same former administration officials (Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Ken Adelman, etc) hypocritically make the case that “he attacked his neighbors.” They purposefully gave Iraq the agents to manufacture chemical weapons and then express their phony moral outrage that Saddam “gassed his own people.” We furnished Iraq with intelligence information, agricultural credits and political cover at the United Nations to commit the very crimes that the present administration is now using as reasons for “regime change.” The fact is that Saddam Hussein was “our man in Baghdad,” as former Senator Bob Dole once described him, just like bin Laden was our “freedom fighter” in Afghanistan.
So what? That was then and this is now. We did what we had to do. So what that hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in Iraq, Iran, Kuwait and Afghanistan, to say nothing of 3,000 Americans, because of the policies we pursued during those years. And who cares that we dropped the equivalent of 7 Hiroshima bombs on Iraq and killed nearly 150,000 people in 40 days in 1991. Furthermore, we will just have to overlook the fact that US-led sanctions on Iraq have killed over 1.5 million Iraqis, including 600,000 children, something no US administration has ever refuted. We now have the post-9/11 world to worry about and all the hatred that our policies have fomented, so, it is kill or be killed.
But is it really? Even after suffering the most massive assault any country has ever faced, and even though economic sanctions have forced Iraq to crawl on its knees, begging the world for help, and even though we continuously bombed Iraq for 10 years and dismembered it – Iraq, as the record shows, had absolutely nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks. Nor has any evidence surfaced – or been successfully manufactured (yet) – that shows that the ruling Baath Party has any ties to al-Qaida at all.
But the “chicken hawks” warn us that we simply cannot take a chance because Saddam is a threat to the US. So there you have it, folks. We have not stopped bombing Iraq for 11 years and the policies we have pursued have killed 5 percent of the Iraqi population, yet Iraq is threatening us. Were the arrogance of this mindset not the result of a deliberate attempt to justify an invasion of Iraq, one could quite easily mistaken it for a form of private mental derangement.
But, in reality, no one is deranged, not even Saddam Hussein, who heeded former Secretary of State James Baker’s warning that Iraq will face a nuclear attack if it used any non-conventional weapons as 27 countries bombed Iraq into last century. It was true then and it is true today.
Instead of making these stunningly duplicitous arguments to justify an act of naked aggression against Iraq, the Bush administration should just come clean and admit that this war is about controlling Iraq’s oil, providing billions of dollars to the defense industry and, of course, ensuring Israel’s regional military and economic hegemony over the Arabs. Background studies of all the key propagandists and policy-makers obsessed with invading Iraq reveal intimate ties to each of these three powerful interests. Leading the charge are 52 national Zionist organizations and Richard Perle’s Defense Policy Board, an extremely influential Defense Department “consulting firm” comprised of militant Zionist ideologues who envision a Middle East completely subjugated by Israel and the United States.
Mr. Victor Lama is a freelance writer and commentator . He contributed above article to Media Monitors Network (MMN) from New York, USA.