Spoils and toils of war
Jordan Times July 28, 2003
by Mazin Qumsiyeh
MISSING FROM all the discussion of the missing weapons of mass destruction are the elementary why and who? Who pushed for this war on Iraq and why?
A hint is found in the current visit of Paul Wolfowitz to closely work with L. Paul Bremer to run the quagmire called the Iraq occupation. Bremer, a self-described “terrorism expert,” joined Kissinger Associates and then founded and became CEO of “Marsh Crisis Consulting.” While Nixon was under pressure, Kissinger effectively ran US foreign policy. This foreign policy included war crimes in southeast Asia, a military airlift to Israel to prevent Egypt and Syria from liberating the illegally occupied Sinai and Golan Heights, and giving Israel the lion's share of our foreign aid.
Kissinger's heirs carried the torch. They authored a document to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in 1996, titled “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm”. The realm is the Israeli one in the Middle East. They called for regime change in Iraq, led by the US, followed by acts directed at Iran and Syria. Chaired by Richard Perle, chief architect of the current US war on Iraq, this group included James Colbert (from the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs), Paul Wolfowitz, David Wurmser and William Kristol. The document can be found at http://www.israeleconomy.org/strat1.htm. Another project of these neo-conservatives is the so-called “Project for a New American Century” (see http://www.newamericancentury.org ).
Common denominators characterise these and other plans, all written by neoconservative ideologues who either worked for or are still working on behalf of Israeli and/or corporate interests: all predate Sept. 11, and all call for reshaping the Middle East to enhance Israel's security by making it appear aligned with US interests.
These architects of US foreign policy never held an elected office and no one was questioned about their Israeli or corporate connections before being entrusted with America's future.
In only two countries was there enough media spin to have a majority in support of the policy: the US and Israel. Even in those countries (and in Britain now), the winds are changing. There is recognition that the war devastated Iraq's infrastructure and traumatised its people while increasing the threat of terrorism in the world.
Exxon/Mobil, BP/Shell, Halliburton and other corporations will reap billions in spoils of war but average people suffer. The cabal around Bush think they will be comfortably employed for a long time to come. Even after they leave office, corporations and think tanks that have originally loaned them to our government would get them back. In the meantime, more Iraqis and Americans will loose jobs and lives. Thousands more US soldiers and Marines (most from disadvantaged minorities) will come back to be added to the tens of thousands already disabled by the Gulf War Syndrome. Iraqi health effects will be far more long lasting.
The battles continue and a few more things are forgotten, including Osama Ben Laden and lack of democracy in the region. Without the US military, economic and diplomatic support, Israel would have long ago been forced to abandon its colonial and apartheid ways and democracy would have indeed spread in the Middle East. Israel would have been forced to comply with international law, vacate the occupied areas and allow Palestinians to return to their homes and lands from which they were forced to leave over the past 55 years. Despite the propaganda of our news media, the American public is beginning to get a sense of our responsibility for this basic injustice that has generated so much hatred in the Arabic and Islamic worlds, and beyond.
The US public was and is intentionally misled and frightened by a government that finds it profitable to promote an endless “war on terrorism” while giving tax breaks to the rich and restricting civil liberties. Budget deficits reach record proportions and needed social and healthcare funds are drained to line the pockets of corporate executives. When the real history of this Iraq war is revisited, it will be seen as one of the most incredible public deceptions in history and one of the most devastating in its ramifications to global security and progress.
The writer is cofounder of the Palestine Right to Return Coalition (http://Al-awda.org) and AcademicsForJustice.org. He contributed this article to The Jordan Times.