Archive | October 25, 2010

Not Another Puppet Government!

From Infowar.comNot Another Puppet Government!

By Hwaa Irfan

  {Who amasses wealth and considers it a provision (against mishap); he thinks that his wealth will make him immortal} (Al Humazah 104: 2-3)

I am no politician, and neither do I have the desire to be one, but sometimes, a few words need to be said about a situation.

As the U.S. and allies try to intimidate Iraq into forming a hurried new government given the way in which the country has been raped by the same forces physically, economically, culturally, in terms of mores and in terms of identity, let us remember why forming a new government under the kind of background which is equivalent to the rape and plunder of the Mongols. Should be taken with great care and deliberation.  Let us also be reminded of the decreasing sense of responsibility these countries have for their own citizens, and the way in which Gaza has been treated by these same countries for voting in its own interest. Let us also realize that regardless of its oil-rich wealth that Iraq should be left to find its feet on its own terms with only the support of those it calls upon, and not those whose bestiality in war relinquished them from the right to have a say! If they do not have the decency to make another one of their meaningless apologies, then at least they can leave them be including those Iraqis who would sell their souls for a piece of the American pie!

The Merchants of Death and War Profiteering

It was President Roosevelt who said:

“The grave menace to the peace of the world is due in no small measure to the uncontrolled activities of the manufacturers and merchants of engines of destruction”. 

In the mid-nineties, the U.S. federal government funded research and development carried out by the U.S. military to the tune of $50bn for U.S. Forces to protect Middle Eastern oilfields and shipping lanes unbeknown to American citizens.  In the early days of U.S occupation, the American corporation Kellogg Brown, and Root, KBR, was initially chosen by the Pentagon to extinguish the oil well fires (set by Iraqis to prevent U.S claims). It was awarded without competition, the Iraqi oil well contracts. KBR was a subsidiary of Halliburton, which was headed by the former U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney of the Enron scandal. Cheney was deputy chief of staff under the Gerald Ford Administration of 1976, a critical member of the project “A New American Century, and was Defense Secretary in the previous Bush (the elder) regime before becoming Vice-President in the George H.W Bush Administration.  So there we have three companies directly linked to Cheney: 

Enron – was the iconic legacy that represented the U.S. war profiteers of WWI and WWII placing business, politics and energy into the same package. Close to the Bush family for two generations,. The gas production of Bush senior was sold to Enron in the 1990s, with the aim to make Enron into an international energy entity. The Enron former chief, Ken Lay was chosen by Bush senior to organize the annual G-7 Economic Summit in Texas in the 1990s, and was a major donor and partner in the re-election of Bush elder, and was forefront in the deregulation of energy and utilities spending $5 million in its deregulation campaign of 1999-2000.  According to former White House strategist, Ken Phillips, “… half of Bush’s twenty largest donors had major ties to Enron”. 

Halliburton – with serious financial mismanagement and accountability being awarded extravagant amounts ($300 mn. in 1995, $800mn, in 1999, $2.3bn. with Cheney as CEO) by the two Bush Administrations. Halliburton received contracts to support U.S. soldiers in Zaire, Haiti, Somalia, the Balkans, and Saudi Arabia. Halliburton built Guantanamo Bay, and was the first private militarized company for the U.S, as a part of its new global military strategy advancing high-tech wars to be of the government, but not from the government, and not totally dependent on the government for its survival (i.e. able to take contracts from other countries e.g. Russia and the U.K.).

KBR – a unit of Halliburton had carried out Federal building projects around the world for 10 years prior to 9/11. Is the exclusive logistic supplier for the U.S. Navy and the Army. 

The Defense Department had given over 3,000 contracts since 1994, 2,700 of which went to Booz, Allen and Hamilton, and KBR. U.S.  Enron, Halliburton, and KBR had become hugely influential in the domestic and foreign policies of the Administration. Both KBR, and Halliburton were charged with breaking U.S. sanctions, and human rights, but both corporations were encouraged and financed to do so by the U.S. Administration. Twenty four U.S. companies were mentioned in that report, companies which gave substantial support especially when it came to the development and the use of the biological weapons program, and the missile and nuclear weapons program albeit illegal!

It was Cheney’s scaremongering or rather his failing empire  which projected  an unsustainable U.S. when it came to oil.  In a 2000 report to New American Century Cheney a key member raised the call to invade Iraq with Iraq’s oil second to Saudi Arabia.  Cheney along with Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Jeb Bush, and Lewis Libby formulated the blue print which was to lead to the plundering of Iraqi historical and cultural antiquities, the oil for blood program, the recruitment of thugs and street gangs into the U.S. force to humiliate Iraqi men, women and children, the siphoning off of Iraqi oil, the hunger and destitution of many Iraqi children, the prostitution and rape of Iraqi women, the kidnapping of Iraqi  scientific minds, and the death of 1,366,350 Iraqis, and the demonization of Arabs and subsequently Muslims, other religious-ethnic groups, the false notion of the “war on terrorism”, the domination of the world’s resources in the form of T.R.I.P.S (trade and patenting), and the global deterioration in values at the governmental level and at the level of civil society. 

Twenty –seven years ago, Donald Rumsfeld and others went to Baghdad to convince Saddam Hussein to support Bechtel in the construction of an oil pipeline from Iraq to Aqaba in Jordan. In 2002, Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline Co. (Israel’s Energy Storage and Transport Company) planned to transport crude oil from Russia to Central Asia, specifically from the Mediterranean city of Ashkelon to Eilat Harbor on the Red Sea via a 254km pipeline. The effect would be to reverse the current flow from Egypt’s Abu Rodeis oilfields in the Sinai desert to Israeli petrochemical plants in Haifa and Ashdod.

In February 2003, the same years as the invasion, Chair of Bechtel, Riley Bechtel was appointed to President Bush Jnr. Export Council. Ross Connolly, a former Bechtel executive became executive vice president, and chief officer of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation that established U.S. investments around the world. In fact investment banking is the brain child of war profiteering.

In April 2004, the corporation Bechtel was awarded a contract worth $600mn. by USAID to rebuild the infrastructure that the American allies destroyed, which included Iraq’s power generation, water and sewerage facilities, and other public facilities. Bechtel builds, operates, and maintains water systems in many countries. It was proactive in the privatization of water in Bolivia with the support of the World Bank, which was greatly hindered by the actions of the Bolivian people.  

Rape of a History

Envy to the point of greed is an ugly characteristic in man, To want something that somebody is or has, and then to disguise one’s actions in order to destroy or obtain it has become too acceptable. From time-to-time, we come across it in our daily lives, and unfortunately it is becoming increasingly so.The history of colonization of the region is full of spilt blood. Ancient Mesopotamia, the world’s first urban civilization, with the world’s first city, Samaria, was south of modern Iraq. This was as a result of the annual floods that led to establishing the world’s first agricultural system, allowing for a settled life. Alas, in 1258, the Mongols completely destroyed the Iraqi irrigation system and killed thousands of Iraqis. Those deaths were heavily mourned, but it was not until the 20th century that agricultural land began to recover from the Mongol onslaught.

European interest in the region began in the 19th century. British and French archaeologists turned the Western perception of Iraq’s history upside down when they found the remains of a civilization that had discovered the wheel over 5000 years ago, and had established the key mathematical concept of “0,” the division of the circle into 360 degrees, multiplication tables, square roots, cubes, logarithms, the value of “pi” etc. They discovered theological concepts older than Judaism and Christianity.

Having excavated the ancient cities of Nineveh and Nimrod, those British and French archaeologists found huge libraries of clay tablets and sculptures that can be seen today at the British Museum and the Louvre!

Having this in mind, one should consider the method of this 21st century re-colonization, whereby the heritage of a people continues to be plundered. The Museum at Mosul was once packed with 7000-year old artifacts, and, as in the mind of Patrick Martin of the World Socialist Web Site, the widespread plundering of Mosul, Baghdad, Basra, and Kirkuk was deliberately encouraged by the Pentagon and the Bush Jnr. Administration. The National Museum alone was stripped of over 50,000 artifacts, and the Museum catalog was destroyed, which all of which remained intact under the barbaric ruler Saddam Hussein. The catalog would have identified the artifacts stolen. In defense of the people, obliterate their past, their identity, so that they can be conquered?

Mcguire Gibson, President of the American Association for Research in Baghdad at the time stated:

“It looks as if part of the theft was a very, very deliberate planned action… [the thieves] were able to take out the very important, the very best material”.

The U.S. Business Weekly magazine stated:

“They knew just what they were looking for because dealers ordered the most important pieces well in advance”.

Ann Talbot, also of the World Socialist Web Site commented on the systemic destruction of the Ministry of Irrigation: 

“We might say that by this act the U.S. Administration seeks to drive Iraq back to the Dark Ages, except that Iraq has never known a dark age in the sense that Europe had. By attacking the irrigation system, the U.S, Administration is causing more damage in a few weeks than any other previous invader”. 

 The Britain without the aid of the U.S., invaded more than once. Britain explored and spied on Iraq and navigated its rivers through trading, and became anxious about Iraqi oilfields. After WWI, the British expelled the Turks, ending the Ottoman Empire in that region, and, as in the scramble for Africa, divided up a region that was to form modern-day Iraq. The West has never been able to leave the region alone since then. The regions oilfields supplied the Royal Navy. Favoring Baghdad for colonization, as now, they felt invasion would be met with little resistance. An Anglo-Indian army landed in Basra in 1914. This time, it was the U.S. which claimed Basra, where the British once stood.

Britain and France aimed at absorbing the region into their empires with a mandate from the League of Nations – this was met with local resentment and was perceived as a veiled colonization. To quell the backlash, General Sir Aylman Haldae called for supplied of poisonous gas along with indiscriminate air-power to cut the people off from what is now Kuwait. Britain enforced a monarchial rule under a 1930-Treaty, retaining Iraq as a part of the British Empire. British military bases were maintained along with an agreement to train the Iraqi army. During WWII, the British rushed to protect the oilfields in the North, killing 3,000 Iraqi soldiers. 

Blood for Oil

The rich cultural heritage of the people has held them together for so long despite the temporal man-made laws of the West that has continued to undermine the country because of its inherent wealth. The memories of the people are long, but this type of persistent domination can either strengthen one’s sense of self, and one’s relationship with the Creator, or break one. The Free Officers were determined to right all wrongs and rid Palestine of Zionism. However, Saddam Hussein as a member of the Free Officers, sought to dominate and rose above the other members seizing power in 1979. As the first Shi’a Imam and 4th caliph of the Muslim world ‘Ali ibn ‘Abu Talib commented: 

It is amazing that a ruler can be good… for when he does wrong, he finds someone to back him up and praise him!” 

Playing one against the other, Britain, Germany, France and the U.S. (the heart of the Security Council) armed Saddam against Iran to quell Islam and protect their interests. The U.S. continued to supply Saddam with weapons that would later be used against Kuwait. More blood was to be spilled by both Saddam and the U.S. in the climax to the Gulf War.

In the course of the Gulf War, U.S. bulldozers buried thousands of teenage soldiers; some if them were still alive. The entire country’s infrastructure was destroyed. A report by the Medical Educational Trust declared that 200,000 Iraqi men, women, and children were murdered as a direct consequence of the U.S.-led war on Iraq in 1991. The land was polluted with depleted uranium and water was contaminated with U.S. frigates dumping sought after oil thus slowly poisoning the people. The U.S. prevented Save the Children from sending a plane with medical supplies into northern Iraq where  40,000 people were left in desperation.  The few injured soldiers got media attention, but the charred and twisted bodies in the street did not! Former U.S. attorney general under Lyndon Johnson, Ramsey Clarke said this:

“An incinerated body of an Iraqi soldier on the “Highway of Death”, a name the press has given to the road from Mutlaa, Kuwait to Basra, Iraq. U.S. planes immobilized the convoy by disabling vehicles at its front and rear, then bombing and strafing the resulting traffic jam for hours. More than 2000 vehicles and tens of thousands of charred and dismembered bodies littered the 60 miles of highway. The clear rapid incineration of human beings – suggests the use of napalm, phosphorus, or other incendiary bombs. These are anti-personnel weapons outlawed under the 1977 Geneva Protocols. This massive attack occurred after Saddam Hussein announced a complete troop withdrawal from Kuwait in compliance with UN Resolution 660. Such a massacre of withdrawing Iraqi soldiers violates the Geneva Convention of 1949, common article3, which outlaws the killing of soldiers who “are out of combat”. There are, in addition, strong indications that many of those killed were Palestinian and Kuwaiti civilians trying to escape the impending siege of Kuwait City, and the return of Kuwaiti armed forces. No attempt was made by U.S. military command to distinguish between military personnel and civilians on the “highway of death”. The whole intent of international law with regard to war is to prevent just this sort of indiscriminate and excessive use of force”. 

By this time public opinion had been manipulated to believe in the U.S. story of what took place, not allowing for that within all there is some good as well as not so good.

In 2002, the U.K. and the U.S. intentionally blocked humanitarian aid including vaccines, plasma and painkillers paid for by Iraq with Security Council approval under the Food for Oil program which allowed the U.S. and its allies to oil in exchange for food whilst thousands of Iraqis starve to death. The organization GRAIN reported on legislation that did not apply to Iraq alone, but included Iraq whereby farmers would not be allowed to produce and save their own seeds for agricultural development – the follow-up to T.R.I.P.S.  The U.S. through CPA, made it illegal for Iraqi farmers to produce and keep their own seeds that were not within the globalization domain as of April 2003. Without a democratically elected government in place to protect the natural resources of the people, the U.S. was well placed to make such an economic offensive. This would not have been possible under Saddam Hussein, the tyrant leader that he was, as proven by the fact for years he was the main obstacle behind the U.S. getting the oil deal that they wanted, and which was not in the interest of Iraq, and the Iraqis.

Iraqi Scientists

It was an informed statement when journalist Ann Talbot said that Iraq has never known a dark age in terms of knowledge. Throughout Islamic history, despite the horrific invasions it has experienced, Iraq has continued to produce fine scholars in all fields. No less a field is science, a field that the U.S. has become notorious in Caribbean terms, “liberating from the land”. In fact stealing, kidnapping, incarcerating, and “convincing” scientists has been a past time since WWII, most notably the scientists of Germany shipped and gainfully employed in the establishment and development of U.S. weapons of destruction under the Manhattan Project.

Many Iraqi scientists have been interrogated and many have remained in custody. A law unto themselves, the U.S. passed a legislation in earlier 2003 making it legal to “entice” Iraqi scientists granting them permanent resident status under the “Iraqi Scientists Immigration Act of 2003”. The U.S. has been facing a shortage of scientists as revealed by a study published by the National Science Board that found an increase in the number of foreign born scientists to be crucial for the future needs in science, engineering, and technology. The scientists immigration act  is one way of siphoning off the much needed experts of a country, when a country is in need. Angered at the manner in which he was treated, physicist Faleh Hassan, former director of the Al-Razi military industrial site, refused to leave Iraq when the inspectors tried to emotionally compromise him by using his wife’s illness (kidney stones, diabetes, and high blood pressure) as a means to get him to the U.S. Hassan commented to Washington Times:

“We would rather live as beggars in our country than live as kings abroad”.

Under the 2nd Bush Administration, a $16mn plan was being worked at to keep Iraqi scientists out of their imaginary harm’s way. Fearing that the scientists will go to Iran, and unable to appropriate their expertise, the U.S. would rather that nobody else gets that scientific expertise under the “Science, Technology and Engineering Mentorship Initiative for Iraq”.

What has been covered here so far, is only a scratch on the surface, and even then it all seems a bit too “enterprising” but it happened, and it happened to a people who never asked for it. To see the eyes of an escapee ex-Iraqi police officer is sheer agony, as the horror of what he bore witness to and was forced to do, remain a psychological scar. Some Iraqis have fled the country and marry out of their kind in order to keep running. None of us, outside of Iraq can imagine the horror of daily life since the U.S. invasion, and because of that, none of us has the right to tell Iraq how to run their own country. What we can do is remember what man is capable of and raise our voices, and whatever else we have at our disposal to prevent it from happening again to anyone, anywhere, at anytime. We must learn to recognize what is common amongst us, and appreciate the differences, differences which helps in seeing our world, in more ways than one!

Iraq has been balkanized into three regions. When I first wrote about this in 2004, it was laughed at that the U.S. was using the telecommunications system in order to do so. Now it is a fact, along with control of the oil fields, only Iraqis,  can see their country whole again, not you or I!

Sources:

Agres, T. “U.S. Hopes to Lure Iraqi Scientists”. 03-26-03. http://www.biomedcentral.com/news/20030326/02

“Ashville Global Report: Republican Friendly Bechtel Wins $680mn Iraqi Contract”. Agrnews.org. 04-23-03

Chaterjee, P. “Bechtel’s Friends in High Places”, Corporation Watch 04-29-03

Clarke, R et al. “War Crimes: A Report on United States War Crimes Against Iraq to the Commission of Inquiry for the International War Crimes Tribunal. Deoxy.org. 

CPA Official Documents http://www.cpa-iraq.org/regulations/index.html

Hedawi, H. “Iraqi Scientist Accuses U.N. of Luring Him”. 01-19-03 http://dynamic_washtimes.com/twt-print.cfm?ArticleID=200330119-9794496 

Hertsgaard, M. “The Real Price of Oil”. 10-15-01. MotherJones.com

Information Clearing House http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/

“Israel Hopes to Become Oil Corridor to Asian Markets”. Al Bawaba.com. 10-10-03 

Kling, H. “Bolivia Describes Successful Struggle to Preserve Water”. Worldcommunications.org 4-09-03 

Leopold, J. “Company Chosen by Pentagon to Extinguish Iraqi Oil Well Fires Had History of Supporting  Terrorist Regimes”. Republicons.org. 04-17-03

Linzer, D. “AP Exclusive: Plan Would Pay Iraqi Scientists to Stay”. 11-18-03. http://www.washingtontimes.com/functions/print.php?StoryID=20031117-092209-3840r   

Shultz, J. “International Water Ltd. Responds to Op-Ed By Democracy Center of Bolivia. Worldcommunications.org. 4-09-03. 

Sorensen, E. “Bechtel in Iraq” Weapons of Mass Destruction”.  Republicons.org. 4-21-03 

Pipelines Offshore: Maghreb to Europe Gas Pipeline”. Bechtel.co.uk 4-20-03

Phillips, K. “American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush”. Penguin Books, U.S. 2004 

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