The Guardian May 14, 2003


Editorial:

From invasion to occupation and colonisation

The visit of John Howard to the United States coincided with the 
colonialist stage of the US, British, Polish and Australian military 
occupation of Iraq. Howard reached a new nauseating depth of toadyism while 
in the US, even deeper than Harold Holt's "All the way with LBJ" during the 
Vietnam war. The dictionary is replete with words to describe Howard's 
fawning, servility, obsequiousness, slavishness, cringing, crawling, 
flunkeyism and grovelling, just to list a few.

The mutual backslapping by Bush, Howard and Blair, the main parties to the 
criminal invasion of Iraq, will sicken many. But it was not just an 
occasion for backslapping. The next stage in the colonisation of Iraq is 
now underway. Howard and others representing Australian corporations and 
government agencies are putting in their claims to take part in thieving 
Iraq's resources while compelling the Iraqi people to pay for the 
reconstruction of their country.

The first to land a contract is Chris Corrigan of waterfront infamy. He has 
been given a contract by the US Agency for International Development to 
assess Baghdad's international airport which has been turned into one of 
the US's main military bases.

The Australian Wheat Board (AWB) is not far behind. It is angling to get 
into the act of showing the Iraqi people how to develop their agriculture. 
The AWB hopes to sell even more wheat to the Iraqi people who have been 
made hungry by the 12 years of US and British imposed sanctions.

The Australian Financial Review (AFR) (2/5/03) published a 
plan laying out out the US's objectives. These involve changing Iraq 
economy from one largely based on public ownership to one where private 
property rules. State-owned enterprises are to be privatised including 
Iraq's oil resources. Exxon, Shell, BP, Mobil and many others are lining up 
to thieve and milk the property of the Iraqi people.

The plan says that the "private sector is to be jump-started by fresh 
credit and training"  no doubt provided by US, British and Australian 
taxpayers. The tax code is to be "rewritten" to protect the private 
corporations and their profits in just the same way as both Bush and Howard 
have altered the tax schedules in the US and Australia, giving huge tax 
breaks to the wealthy corporations. Iraq is to become a test case for US-
style free-market capitalism in the Arab world, says the AFR.

While overseas, Howard continued his arrogant lecturing to the world. He 
told members of the UN Security Council "not to argue the toss" over the 
coalition's decision to remove the regime of Saddam Hussein and that the 
coalition powers were the effective administrating body in Iraq.

In Qatar, Howard told Australian troops that they had fought in a "just 
cause". The truth is much different. The war against Iraq was an invasion 
of another sovereign country. It was a war of aggression. Its purpose was 
occupation and colonisation. It was a violation of the UN Charter. It was 
illegal under international law. It was a war crime and those responsible 
should be condemned and charged by the International Criminal Court of the 
UN. Australian troops are accessories to that war crime. They were sent 
there to kill Iraqis and those engaged in the bombing and firing on Iraqi 
targets undoubtedly killed Iraqi citizens.

It matters little that having killed or wounded others that a drink of 
water is then offered to the suffering.

There is only one war among many in which Australian forces have been 
engaged that had a progressive objective. That was WW 2 with its objective 
of stopping the Nazi ambition of world domination. The Iraq war is part of 
another drive for world domination, this time on the part of the leaders of 
the United States. This war is the most obvious and despicable of all. In 
time there will be a heavy price to pay by those who organised this crime 
and by those who were misled into taking part. The Iraqi people will also 
take part in that retribution.
Back to index page