cj#715> re: Iraq, Turkey, and sanctions (fwd)


Richard Moore

[a thread from the iraq-l list]

9/23/97, Zahir Antia wrote to iraq-l:
>The day Saddam's regime collapses is the day sanctions will be lifted.
>Whether or not any outside power has the moral right to dictate this is
>not the issue; it is simply a statement of fact given the balance of
>forces. Saddam is by far the most effective agent of "Zionist and
>colonial" plots against Iraq.

I'm not sure why Zahir feels he can speak with such final authority on this
matter, but his "fact" does seem fully consistent with US rhetoric on the
matter.  The implication, then, is that the objective of the sanctions is
to force a goverment on Iraq that is acceptable to the US - much the same
objective as the US had with its invasion of Panama.

This objective, however, is not part of the official rationale for the
sanctions. It thus becomes clear that the sanction process is being
manipulated and subverted by the US for its own geopolitical purposes.  And
anyone who believes that those purposes relate in any significant way to a
regard for the political welfare of Iraqi citizens must be living in cloud
kookoo land - the US showed no such concern when it considered Saddam a
strongman-proxy in the region during the decade-long Iran-Iraq war, and
provided Iraq with the very military capabilities that are now deemed to be
objectionable.  Furthermore, the US continues to arm, fund, and train
military regimes throughout the world which are every bit as repressive and
militaristic as Iraq is purported to be.

>2. Equating the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq with the invasion of Iraq by
>Turkey is specious. Turkey is attacking PKK bases used to carry out
>operations against Turkey, not attempting to annex territory or seize
>resources. Again, this statement is not founded on assessing the moral
>rightness or wrongness of either invasion; it is simply recognising that
>Iraq's invasion was a (badly) calculated provocation guaranteed to result
>in devastating military reaction, while Turkey's is not viewed as a threat
>to Western interests.

These two invasions deserve more comparison.  Both Iraq and Turkey notified
Washington in advance of their intended actions, and in both cases the US
responded unambiguously that the US would not consider itself to be
threatened - an explicit go-ahead signal.  In the case of Turkey the
go-ahead signal was genuine, whereas in the case of Iraq it turned out to
be a means of deceptive entrapment.  Was Saddam's action "(badly)
calculated"?  Would we retroactively say Turkey's was also badly calculated
if Uncle Sam had in fact become annoyed?  Can one smugly proclaim that
Saddam's action was "guaranteed to result in devastating military
reaction", but Turkey's was not?

In Panama the overall scenario was:

        1) US decides it wants a new Panamanian government and Canal treaty.
        2) Drug charges are trumped up against Noriega, based on acts
           committed while he was on the CIA payroll.
        3) Entire Panamanian Defense Forces wiped out in an attack alleged
           to be aimed at arresting Noriega.
        4) Media presents side-show entertainment and suppresses extent
           of invasion and casualties.
        5) New government installed which continues to act as banking center
           for international drug trade.
        6) US gets government and treaty it wants; media forgets all about
           the Panamanian "drug problem".

In Iraq the overall scenario is:

        1) US decides it wants to replace Iraqi government.
        2) US prepares special airfields and air-conditioned hangars for its
           planned stealth-bomber deployment.
        3) US tricks Saddam into invading Kuwait, assisted by provocative
           oil-dumping policy by Kuwait.
        4) US systematically subverts every attempt at negotiation.
        5) US engineers at great cost UN approval for military action
           and assembles via bribery a posse of pseudo "allies".
        6) US destroys entire Iraqi infrastructure under guise of ousting
           Iraq from Kuwait (which actually only requires one day) - thus
           uniliaterally suberting the intent of the UN approval.
        7) Media presents side-show entertainment and suppresses extent
           of invasion and casualties.
        8) US employs massive anti-civilian terrorist tactics to force
           a change of government in Iraq, by means of US domination of
           the UN process.
        9) US invites third parties (Turkey) to abuse Iraq while its
           hands are tied.
       10) ... US patiently waits to get its way, self-righteously
           unconcerned with the hundreds of thousands of civilian
           pawns (including Kurds) killed in its geopolitical chess games.

It is not only Iraq that is threatened by the direction US foreign policy
is taking.  In the above scearios, and in the recent intervention in
Albania, it becomes clear that the US/NATO police force has now adopted a
policy of "neo-interventionism" - interventionism backed-up by "legality".
And with the US and the NATO powers dominating the UN (either directly or
through economic pressure), "legality" amounts to a rubber-stamp approval
of whatever actions US/NATO deem appropriate.

What we are seeing is the institutionalization of the Western intervention
process - what formerly was honestly called imperialism and "national
interests" has now become "peacekeeping" / "intervention with legality".
It is noteworthy that the community-spirited volunteers (Greece and Italy)
who manned the Albanian intervention were both countries with historic
imperialist relationships with Albania.  Such obvious realities, it should
be noted, never find expression in the Western-dominated global media.

What this "legalization" of Western intervention means, quite simply, is
the offical end of national soveregnty as a principle of international
relations.  Just as globalization/GATT/WTO spell the end of economic
sovereignty, so US/NATO "legalism" spells the end of territorial

The highly-publicised Western treatment of Iraq is in fact a "lesson" to
the rest of the world - take heed and conform to Western dictates or you
could be the next one to be bloodied.  The excessive and gratuitous
atrocities committed during and after the invasion serve no direct military
nor even geo-political purpose - their "shock lesson" value must be assumed
to be their primary motive.

By acquiescing to Iraq's examplary ostracism and beating, the rest of the
world is only sealing its own subservient fate.  The defense of Iraq's
national sovereignty should be the cause of any nation that values its own


Posted by Richard K. Moore - •••@••.••• - PO Box 26   Wexford, Ireland
         http://www.iol.ie/~rkmoore/cyberjournal            (USA Citizen)
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