Re-Colonization of Iraq: where do we stand?
November, 17, 2002
The doctrine of white supremacy and western cultural superiority is the platform from which the propaganda for aggressions against other countries and peoples are launched. It was used to justify more than three hundred years of the most brutal assault ever perpetrated on humanity. After a short phase of retreat following WW II - more or less symbolic - with 'de-colonization' and political independence in the frame of the Cold War, we are now back to re-colonization and totalitarism.
The UN Security Council is like a permanent Berlin Congress dividing the regions of the world and their riches among the Great Powers. Todays democratic totalitarism is the worst ever totalitarism, simply because of its global reach and the extend of mass extermination. The united defenders of western civilization and supremacy are leading the pack.
The Iraqi people resisted
Until the western aggression began in the late 1980s, Iraq was known to be a quite secular state with a socialist political/economic flavor. The people were known to read a lot, and the society was known for it's openness and cultural vitality and diversity. Iraq had invested oil revenues to build up industrial infrastructure and develop the technical expertise among the population to run it independently. The quality of public services and living standards were relatively high.
Not that the people don't like to read any more. But most of them had to sell their private libraries instead of buying new books. With thousands of schools bombarded in 1991, with scarce resources and means to rebuild and to provide for new school books and other learning materials, with children forced to work to survive, we saw a deterioration of both quantity and quality of teaching and increase of illiteracy in Iraq.
Public services, like cheap universal health care and free education, supply of power and drinking water deteriorated under more than 12 years of western attack. The state was weakened substantially and had to retreat from more and more areas of public reproduction, education and other services.
The all-out assault on the Iraqi society achieved to impoverish most, and kill an estimated one and a half million Iraqi people . Thousands of sorties are flown against them and they are bombed frequently. Iraqi's heard the blackmailing done by former President Bush, threatening them with endless sanctions, suffering and death until they overthrow their government. But the people resisted and stood strong.
Where do we stand?
But what is our role in this aggression? Western propaganda reduces Iraq mostly to two main issues: 'Saddam' and 'Weapons of Mass Destruction'. And many in the peace and anti-sanctions movement don't have much more to say than 'Yes, but ...'.
The demonization of an individual or a group of people is a means often used by propagandists to de-humanize another peoples. This psychological operation intends to prevent any recognition of the injustice and respect for the victims of the crimes being committed.
We failed to reject the demonization of President Hussein and try to expose the function of demonization as a means of war propaganda. Instead, many of us choose to accept the basic theme of the propaganda campaign ('Saddam is a bad guy') and concentrated only on the aspect of collective punishment ('the Iraqi people are not Saddam'). This approach can only fail because it doesn't challenge and even re-affirms the main propaganda theme and it's psychological effects.
There is no reason to ever join the refrain. The Iraqi presidency and government should be respected and treated like any other government. We have nothing to judge about the governments of other countries. Instead of opposing any government of another country we better care about fighting the government where we live.
We failed to insist that the sovereignty of Iraq be respected and that the Iraqi affairs are those of the people in Iraq to decide. We failed to make the violations of Iraqi sovereignty and removal of all foreign troops out of the Persion Gulf region and Horn of Africa our core issues.
With regards to the so called 'Weapons of Mass Destruction' and involuntary weapons control regime imposed upon Iraq, the situation is equally absurd. Support among 'peace activists' against the proliferation of ABC weapons (Atomic, Biological, Chemical Weapons) and medium or long range missiles is widespread and strong. But instead of concentrating our fight to abolish the offensive strategic arsenals of the Great Powers and stop their assaults and interventions against weaker countries, we choose to help defend them defend their monopoly to have certain weapons. It is obvious and can hardly be denied that a few nuclear weapons and medium range ballistic missiles gives a defending country some credible threat of retaliation and therefore deterrence of potential aggressors with far superior forces. The U.S.A. and it's allies are against the proliferation of missiles and ABC weapons exactly because they don't want to be deterred from their aggressions in any serious way.
Indead, the situation is absurd. We are bombing Iraq since 12 years, but they are presented as threatening us. They are trying desperately to defend their airspace against raids by U.S. and British planes, but they are presented as aggressors. We are engaged in a collective punishment of the whole nation killing more than two million of them, while blaming them for any effort to defend themselves and break the blockade, embargo and sanctions imposed upon them. We have plenty of all kinds of weapons, but they can't have even a few.
By accepting the core propaganda of the aggressors ('Saddam is bad' and 'Iraq must not have WMD'), we put ourselves into a desperate situation. By accepting the frame of discourse set up by the propagandists, we not only limit our argumentation mostly to humanitarian issues ('more than a million Iraqi's killed by war and sanctions') but may indeed help the propagandists by adding credibility to their core themes ('even peace and anti-sanctions activists are against Saddam and for weapons controls against Iraq').
In fact, the 'yes, but ...' exposes something quite simple. It is a signal of compliance with the basic demands of the masters. Talk about how bad 'Saddam' is or even calling him a 'monster' is war propaganda. Supporting 'weapons inspections' and 'military sanctions' is war propaganda. Whatever you say after that is reduced to bargaining within the frame set up by the masters.
Iraq is one of the very obvious cases of mass extermination and destabilization organized and executed by and under the UN. But still some of us don't get the idea that the UN in concert with the IMF, WB, WTO, are just another means of domination and intervention, each in it's sphere of responsibility. The UN sanctions against Iraq are an effort to impose a colonial rule upon Iraq. The resistance of Iraq in particular and against the sanctions in general can only be fully understood within the broader context of the fight against re-colonization. The current moves towards military invasion and occupation to install and maintain a puppet regime in Iraq are an implicit acknowledgement of the U.S.A. that the sanctions failed to achieve the goal of breaking Iraq's political independence.
The invasion and occupation of Iraq will be the completion of more than a decade of efforts to re-colonize Iraq. We mostly stood by disconcerned and idle. Some of us complained a little, others a little more. But we all are betraying our Iraqi brothers and sisters daily by not seriously fighting against our own governments. The Iraqi people, like many others in different regions of Africa, Asia, the Americas will again join the fight against colonization. It was only a short period of independence for them.