What does America want?

Maybe it is not easy for the Iraqi politicians –” at least for those who are today in the government –” to face their American allies with some truths. We know that both parties are bound by agreements that are not easily ring roaded, and some of which are related to the arrangements concerning the American military presence in Iraq. Let us first distance ourselves from the great illusions made by –” and for –” the intervention to topple the former Iraqi regime. What we can now see has nothing to do anyway with building the democracy in an Arab country. We know also that there are tons and tons of paper, which have served to feature and set up the varied scenarios for this period precisely following the collapse of the Baath regime. Quite naturally, some of these scenarios have been as a matter of fact adopted by the varied Iraqi political actors in some well-known and thoroughly covered meetings of the former opposition. Really, there was since the beginning, a big, huge, thorny security question, and everybody knew that, sooner or later, they were going to face it and find a solution for it, this way or another, since it was crystal clear for all of them that a dangerous vacuum would immediately follow the fall down of Saddam regime. Subsequently, it was expected that two parties would fill up the vacuum. The first consists in the American army and the allied troops; and the second was to be the local forces (military and police) after purging and “recycling” them, which would require a longer time to achieving. There was also, since the beginning, a lot of discourses (from important American officials) about the necessity of staying in Iraq even after the new government takes charge of the affairs. There was talk about five to ten years of American military presence in the country, which was bound to be renewed according to the agreements with Baghdad government.

So, put otherwise, the Americans did not go to Iraq only to uproot Saddam from power, but also to replace him. This means that any Iraqi government would be under their care, their protection, and their supervision. This logic was being supported by historical references: There were for instance many suggestions related to the Japanese and German models. True that when one looks at these two countries nowadays, one cannot but admire the level of progress they have reached. Yet, the question that complicates the issue remains: Is all what we see today in Germany and Japan, concerning the high level of scientific and technical performances, a consequence of the American occupation of both countries, or is it merely the result of the hard work and the free will of the two peoples?

The Arabs have already had a bitter experience with the Western colonisation; we do not even need to recall it. But it seems that the Americans do not even understand what is happening in Iraq just under their nose, albeit it is quite clear to any external observer. The thing may be summed up in a few words: The Iraqis do not want them anymore. They do not believe that they came to their country for charity and good action, but only because they intend to be the guardians of the oil wells. People out there think that America cannot forget the Arab oil and survive; that’s why the Americans made their minds and decided merely to be on the very place of pumping, and thus help themselves and take whatever they need, no matter the means to be used.

This is at least the conviction that any Arab newspaper’s reader or media observer, would reach in these days. There is today such a widespread belief in the arab world that America has grown to be a conquering, aggressive, domineering State; and that if it assaulted Iraq and toppled the Baath party, it was because the latter was –” despite its many mistakes and perhaps even crimes that are going to be investigated and judged anyway –” a great supporter of the victims of the American policy in the Middle East: i.e. the Palestinians. Thus, people in the arab world believe that America’s hostility is clear from the fact that despite they (: the Americans)overthrew Saddam and even captured him along with almost all his ministers and some of his parents, they are not yet willing to yield power to the Iraqis and withdraw. In fact, the Americans made themselves a party in the internal struggle for control and supremacy, up to now, in order to grant that nobody disgraced or disqualified by Washington would ever reach power in Baghdad.

So, people ask: Has Iraq become another American State? To which they answer: No, pointing out to the Abu Ghraib prison scandal and saying: They would never do that in one of their States. Others wonder: Why on earth did America make of its embassy in Baghdad the greatest in the whole world? Is it possible that Iraq has become more important in their eyes than G. Britain, France, or Germany? And the answer they give is in this context expected. America, they say, has decided that Iraq was going to be its first Arab colony, which would be conquered economically, politically, culturally, and militarily. Even if this is not going to last for ever, they add, America would anyway grant itself in a few years enough oil to meet its needs for at least another century. Some others ask: Is America really concerned about settling order and peace and stability in Iraq? And their answer is: Why should they (i.e. the Americans) care, whereas it is the insecurity situation precisely that guarantees the continuation of oil pumping, military industry’s wheel rolling, and $ billions contracts’ harvesting, in the absence of a sound, legitimate, popular Iraqi government? And they ask: Would the return of stability into the country help securing the American interests? And they answer: Maybe…after a decade or so! Otherwise, once the Americans have managed to settle some good arrangements, so that they would wipe out any threat to the new order they intend to arise.

Without these questions-answers, – and there is still a lot of this kind of reflexion in the media, – it would be quite hard for the average citizen in the Arab world to understand, in this context, why the United States would ever sacrifice its kids and send them to die in a foreign country, whereof no danger could threat America anymore.

Prior to the invasion, some American theorists and writers stood to argue and try to convince the whole world of the idea that Democracy was looming at the Iraqi horizon, so that this country was going to be a great model for all the Arab states. Now, the general opinion everywhere needs those same writers and theorists and their arguments in order to believe that what the American troops are doing in Iraq right now is morally justified. But apparently, we do not see or hear much of them! What happened? Is it possible that the only people left on the scene are the triumvirate, Bush-Rice-Rumsfeld, defending their “political future”… in Iraq?