It appears the Iraq endgame is now under way. Despite the fact that Iraq accepted the tough new UN Security Council resolution and welcomed the arms inspectors, it is becoming clear that the United States will not be denied its war. Already President Bush is paving the way with threats and ultimatums, the latest being his pronouncement that “Iraq has six days to avert a war.”
Just what is Iraq supposed to do? The answer, of course, is it doesn’t matter. Iraq could bend over backward to cooperate with the arms inspectors, but it won’t make any difference because the US has made up its mind: There must be war.
We saw exactly the same dynamic at work four years ago in the prelude to the attack on Yugoslavia. At the time, the most vilified man on earth was Slobodan Milosevic, whom The White House, The State Department, and every other government organ grinder accused every day of being the devil incarnate. You could see what was coming. First, the US demanded a Kosovo Verification Mission, which was supposed to get in between the two fighting sides: the Kosovo Liberation Army rebels and the Serbian security forces. Well, just like the US spies on the last Iraq arms inspection team, the “verification” mission turned out to be mostly a US spy operation intended to identify targets for the soon-to-come bombing.
Milosevic, the supposedly evil dictator turns out to have been the one acting in good faith, while the good, humanitarian US was the one pulling the double-cross. Rather ironic isn’t it? And it wasn’t long before the Kosovo verification mission proved its ultimate purpose: coming up with a pretext for war. None other than William Walker, longtime patron of Central American death squads, came up with what later turned out to be a completely bogus, staged “massacre” at the village of Racak. It wasn’t long before the bombs started falling. After the sham “diplomatic” exercise of Rambouillet — where Yugoslavia was asked to surrender its sovereignty in full — predictably failed, it was only days before US and NATO planes were busily bombing bridges, trains, schools, hospitals and refugee convoys.
Today, Saddam is the devil. And again we find ourselves waiting for the war pretext to appear as if by magic.
But just like its war against Milosevic, the US is taking great pains to assure the people that it is not actually going to war against a country; it is going to war against one man. It’s a war against Saddam, stupid. Can’t you understand that? Never mind that it will be Iraqi men, women and children in the hundreds, perhaps thousands, who will die from American “precision” bombing, just like it was mostly innocent Yugoslav men, women and children who did the dying from NATO’s last great “humanitarian bombing” against the last, great evil dictator, Milosevic.
And, as always, there is the hidden agenda that stays hidden, despite the best efforts of our “free” and “independent” media. We know this war against Iraq has nothing to do with “weapons of mass destruction,” just like we now know that Albright’s war against the Serbs had nothing to do with protecting the rights of minority Albanians. No, there are far bigger geopolitical factors at work in both cases. In the Case of Yugoslavia, it was to set up a US beachhead in the Balkans. Of course all the government contract pork that goes with such an operation is just gravy for the vultures that roam the corridors of power; just ask Brown & Root, a division of Dick Cheney’s Halliburton, the lead contractor for the multibillion dollar Bondsteel base just outside Pristina, if going into Kosovo was a good idea. There are also the valuable Trepca mines in Kosovo, which have now been seized by US and Western multinationals.
In the case of Iraq, oil is the big prize, but there are the same empire-building reasons as Kosovo. The US wants to be in every part of the world from whence it was excluded during the Cold War. In fact, it doesn’t just want to be there, it wants to dominate there. That’s mainly the reason the US is in Afghanistan now; the “war on terror” is simply a convenient cover story. The fact is that America has become a rapacious empire, and the maddest megalomaniacs are now running the show. That’s how it is with empires: they do not encourage moderation; they do not advance earnest men with honest ideas. What they do, as history teaches us, is become ever more grotesque, and ever more hated: first abroad, but eventually at home, too. Of course, by then it may well be too late to do anything about it.
Mr. Gordon Arnaut contributed above article to Media Monitors Network (MMN) from Canada. He is an independent journalist who is currently making a documentary film on the breathtaking dishonesty of the Western media.