We should be expecting the planned attack on Iraq to take place sooner or later, for Saddam Hussein’s role as the ‘bad guy’ has finally come to an end. The United States has found many substitutes to play ‘bad guys’, and it won’t be difficult to find another one, too, if needed.
The United States is telling the world that overthrowing the Iraqi government is an essential step in its war against terror. In fact, Secretary of State, Colin Powell, made it clear in a statement he had made earlier this year that the change of the Iraqi regime “would be in the best interests of the region, and the best interests of the Iraqi people”. The Iraqis, however, are not quite worried about Saddam, at the moment. They are terrified by the inevitable assault. And like Afghanistan, no innocents’ lives may not be carefully spared. Iraqis will soon have to cope with the loss of their loved ones and the shelling of their homes and shelters. Not to mention the lack of food and medical aid, which they already suffer from.
I find it ridiculous that the United States is claiming to be concerned about the Iraqi people’s interests and their well being. Saddam Hussein may be a dictator, and his secret agents may be terrifying the Iraqi people, but that gives no excuse for the United States to interfere in a country’s internal affairs. Besides, this has been long going on. Why did the United States wait for more than ten years to bring up this issue? Long ago, in Iran, the dictator Shah was oppressively ruling the people, and his SAVAK agents were terrorizing them. Even those who preferred the Shah’s rule did not deny the fact that he was a tyrant. Yet he was strongly supported by the United States. When the people got fed up with his tyranny and mercilessness, they did not wait for the United States to act like a savior. They revolted against him, and established the rule that suits them best. I believe the Iraqis are capable of doing the same.
Saddam is made to look like a threat to the region, although he is not, and that is precisely why the United States is keen on replacing him. When the United States wanted to establish its bases in the Gulf, it convinced the governments and the peoples that Saddam Hussein is a threat to the region, and that he may launch another attack; and therefore, the United States presence is essential to maintain the security of the region. Saddam’s portrayal as a threat served the U.S. interests. But now that Saddam is not needed anymore, we need to think about the U.S. interests in the Gulf.
The Caspian Sea is surely a better deal.
Richer than the Gulf?
Winston Churchill once made a famous statement, which people quote today. He said that Britain has no permanent friends, but Britain does have permanent interests. We should assume that the United States holds the same belief. If Saddam is not a threat anymore, then the United States is not interested in the Gulf, and that, by itself, is a threat.
The fall of the current Iraqi government may not be to the best interests of the region. The regional states are lined up like Dominoes, and if one state falls, hitting the other, the rest will soon follow.
Mira Al-Hussein is a student of International Studies at Zayed University, in Dubai.