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.