The Guardian April 16, 2003


Occupation is not liberation

While few Iraqis would mourn the loss of the Saddam Hussein regime, 
there is little joy at the prospect of US occupation. The US leadership is 
now attempting to impose on the bleeding body of Iraq, a puppet government 
which will be firmly under the control of the Pentagon.

The often stage-managed scenes of jubilation soon gave way to widespread 
looting that US soldiers did nothing to stop. By their inaction the US 
authorities, in fact, encouraged this anti-social behaviour.

"It is only the thieves and the looters who are celebrating", commented an 
Egyptian lawyer to the BBC.

While many Iraqis will be pleased to see the end of the Saddam Hussein 
regime, this does not mean that they support a US and British occupation 
and the seizure of their oil resources by US and British corporations.

The puppets move in

The Pentagon has appointed the pro-Israeli General Jay Garner as its 
military controller of Iraq. He is answerable to the Pentagon, not to the 
US State Department.

The US military has flown to Iraq its preferred candidate, Ahmed Chalabi, 
to head an Interim Iraqi Authority.

Chalabi has lived in the US since the 1950s and is wanted in Jordan for 
banking corruption  making him a very suitable candidate for the US 
authorities.

He was flown to Iraq together with plane loads of US trained "freedom 
fighters".

US Secretary of State Colin Powell, who is often touted as a "dove", 
declared last week that the US military will select emerging leaders in 
post-war Iraq and that the United Nations will not play a leading role in 
the political transformation.

Speaking at a special briefing at the American Enterprise Institute for 
Public Policy Research (AEI) Dr Reuel Marc Gerecht laid down the agenda 
expected of Chalabi.

(The AEI is a very influential player in the development of Bush's "endless 
war" strategy. Dr Gerecht is a Fellow of the AEI, and was a Middle Eastern 
specialist for the CIA and political and consular officer for the US 
Department of State during the Bush Senior and Reagan years. Other fellows 
at the AEI include Newt Gingrich and Richard Pearle.)

Dr Gerecht said Dr Chalabi "must have the ability to conjure up the 
illusion of American power and backing behind you, at the same time 
maintaining you distance from the American Government. So you have to be 
able to say that the Americans are behind you but you cannot be seen as an 
American puppet. I suspect that Mr Chalabi's going to handle that fairly 
well ."

As a warning to the US and British occupiers, two people selected by the US 
as future leaders are reported to have been executed. Former Iraqi General 
Nizar Al-Khazaraji and Islamic scholar Majid Al-Khoi'i are reported to have 
been "chopped into pieces with swords and knives inside the Ali Mosque" in 
Najaf.

Last weekend there was an anti-American demonstration took in Baghdad with 
student demonstrators shouting a slogan that has rung out in many 
countries:

"Go Home Yankee!"

While Bush and Blair talk about democracy and liberation, the reality is 
entirely different.

New colonialism

Referring to a group of Iraqi exiles that met in London and appointed a 
six-person council, Dr Gerecht said, "... we'll certainly include them, may 
even begin with them." in the Iraqi Interim Authority.

He went on, "It [the Interim Iraqi Authority] will receive some simple 
ministries, like the ministry of Agriculture, first, and receive the 
difficult ministries, like the ministry of Defence and Interior, last, or 
Education, that's another difficult ministry."

In this way, the US Pentagon intends to create its own puppet government 
answerable to the US and under its control.

Reuters newsagency reports that "The Defence Department is considering 
putting in place an advisory board of former US oil industry executives to 
help run Iraq's oil industry, the head of which is likely to be Philip 
Carroll, a former chief executive of Shell Oil Co."

US Vice President, Dick Cheney, a former oil company executive, spoke of 
"an organisation to oversee the functioning of their oil ministry".

US troops are being rushed to the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, the main 
centre of Iraq's oil industry confirming the US's aim of controlling Iraq's 
very rich oil industry.

Tony Blair's statement that US, British and Australian troops will not stay 
"a day longer than necessary" is similar to assurances made in connection 
with Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan.

When Bosnia was overrun, NATO governments declared that troops would remain 
for one year. They are still there five or more years later. US troops 
remain in South Korea after 50 years.

Howard's subservience

The Howard Government is continuing to play its despicable and subservient 
role to the US, declaring that it will become part of the occupation of 
Iraq and part of the puppet administration being set up by the Pentagon.

Despite some conflict between the Pentagon and the US State Department as 
to which group of quislings should control Iraq, the Australian Government 
is siding with the Pentagon which contains the most hawkish and war-
mongering group in the Bush Government.

Initially there were statements from John Howard and Defence Minister 
Robert Hill that Australian forces would be withdrawn once the fighting was 
over. It is now being said that they will remain for an unspecified period 
to carry out operations in some "niche" capacity.

Howard has confirmed that Australia has personnel in Kuwait under the 
command of US General Jay Garner. They include officials from AusAID, 
Defence, the Treasury, the oil industry and other sectors. "Australians 
could constitute a mini-Canberra in Kuwait", writes Peter Hartcher in the 
Australian Financial Review (AFR) (9/4/03)

Another AFR journalist Geoffrey Barker wrote in the same issue, 
"Never before has an Australian Government seemed so supine before a US 
administration and so intellectually helpless before its public rhetoric."

In typical imperialist fashion and with breathtaking cynicism, Australian 
companies are lining up to win contracts for so-called "reconstruction" in 
Iraq.

First they destroy (and that carries contracts for the armaments industry) 
and then move in to gain contracts and profits to rebuild what they have 
just destroyed.

This "reconstruction" will be billed against the Iraqi people who will be 
expected to pay the corporations for years to come.

Weapons of mass destruction

Hans Blix, the chief of the UN weapons inspector teams, has exposed the 
dishonesty and lying of Bush, Blair and Howard concerning weapons of mass 
destruction.

Interviewed by the Spanish newspaper El Pais Hans Blix said, "There 
is evidence that this war was planned well in advance. I now believe that 
finding weapons of mass destruction has been relegated .

"By the start of March the hawks in both Washington and London were getting 
impatient . you ask yourself a lot of questions when you see the things 
they did to try and demonstrate that the Iraqis have nuclear weapons, like 
the fake contract with Niger."

He said that the war was "a very high price to pay in terms of human lives 
and the destruction of a country" when the threat of weapons of 
proliferation could have been contained by UN inspections.

Blix went on: "The United States maintains that the war on Iraq is designed 
to send a signal to other countries to keep away from weapons of mass 
destruction. But people are getting a different message. Take the 
announcement North Korea has just made. It's tantamount to saying 'if you 
let in the inspectors, like Iraq did, you get attacked'".

In a radio interview Britain's Home Secretary, David Blunkett also let the 
truth slip about weapons of mass destruction. He said he would rejoice the 
"fall" of Saddam Hussein and his regime  regardless of whether any 
weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq or not.

He added "We will obviously have a very interesting debate if there are no 
biological, chemical, radiological or nuclear weapons or facilities to 
produce them found anywhere in Iraq once Iraq is free."

More wars being prepared

More countries are being threatened every day by the US leadership as the 
US proceeds with its long held plans for world domination  Syria, Iran, 
Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Russia, China, North Korea and others.

US Congressman, Tom Lantos has submitted a resolution to Congress that 
declares Syria to be "a state sponsor of terrorism under United States 
law.at a time when coalition forces are fighting to liberate the people of 
Iraq and demands that these transfers [of weapons] cease immediately."

In the same resolution, Lantos "condemns the failure of the Russian 
Federation to intercede and prevent Russian private entities from engaging 
in the sale of lethal military weapons and other military goods to the 
terrorist government of Iraq."

There should be "the most severe consequences for the future relations 
between the United States and any such state", declares the Lantos 
resolution.

This is the unfolding program of US instigated wars without end.

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