cj#732> Eric Margolis: BAGHDAD BLUFF POKER (fwd)


Richard Moore

Dear cj,

Here's another piece (besides cj#730) from someone I disagree with more
often than I agree; in fact this is his first piece that I've forwarded.
He always has an incredible grasp of the facts -- I sometimes suspect he
has confidential access to intelligence reports -- but he usually wrenches
the facts into what seems to me a warped perspective.

Not this time.  He seems to be giving us an even-handed overview of the
real-politik attitudes of the relevant players, and as usual he pulls no
punches.  Subscription information for "Foreign Correspondent" is at the

I just saw, by the way, the film version of "Foreign Correspondent".  The
hero is a no-nonsense, idealistic, somewhat naive American reporter who
immediately falls into the middle of a Nazi spy ring and miraculously saves
the day, all the time sending dramatic scoops home to his paper.  But I'm
sure the similar names are purely coincidental.


Date: Mon, 10 Nov 1997
From: "Colin P. Ryan" <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: ForeignCorrespondent BAGHDAD BLUFF POKER
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                        Foreign Correspondent

                      Inside Track On World News
            By International Syndicated Columnist & Broadcaster
                 Eric Margolis <•••@••.•••>

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Eric Margolis 10 Nov 97

Let's peek into the hands:of the players of Mideast high-
current, favorite,  high-stakes poker game, Baghdad Bluff:

UNITED STATES - We've got zero policy towards Iraq and don't
have a clue what to do except keep that awful, but useful
genii, Saddam, bunged up in his bottle.

We do this by insisting Iraq has hidden weapons, true or
not. This allows us to maintain crushing sanctions on Iraq
that keeps it feeble, and prevents oil exports.  Whenever
Saddam appears too cooperative, we rattle his chain by
imposing new sanctions and petty humiliations.

Constant, deep proctoscopic examination of Iraq may not be
grand strategy,  but voters love sticking it to that  rag
head who dared challenge America's  God-given right to cheap
Mideast oil.  Arab and Iranian troublemakers must be taught
not to question America's Mideast Raj..

Goading Saddam really pays off:  the Beast of Baghdad gives
us a perfect justification for keeping permanent military
forces in the Mideast. Every time Saddam acts up, our client
oil sheiks get petrified and buy billions more arms from us.
A smart bombing of Iraq usually quiets down Saddam.

We need Saddam - at least until we can find another equally
mean SOB, but one who knows how to obey orders from
Washington. Our CIA boys originally put him in power, and
only Saddam can hold Iraq together. If Iraq crumbles, those
horrid Iranians will charge in. Maybe the Gulf War wasn't
such a great idea, after all.

IRAQ - So we've good no food or medicine, and our kids are
dying of malnutrition because of the US embargo.  We still
tied the Gulf War, us a little nation of only 22 million
people (lots of them untrustworthy Kurds and Shias, though).
We'll just hang tough until one day sanctions collapse and
we can resume exporting oil,.Iraq has the Mideast's second
biggest oil reserves.

We'll hide what weapons, germs and Scuds we have left in the
sand, and do our best to frustrate those US, British and
Israeli spies disguised as UN arms inspectors.  Every time
we cause a rumpus, the anti-Iraq coalition weakens. The
French and Russians, whom we still owe billions from the
1980's, want to end the embargo. Patience. We'll outlast,
and out-snarl, our enemies - and get revenge on those
Kuwaiti dogs.

SAUDI ARABIA - Keep Saddam bottled up, but in power, or
Iran's mad mullahs will take Baghdad and then invade Arabia,
Allah forbid. Of course we're embarrassed that we let the US
turn us into a protectorate, but that prevents our  people
from foolishly demanding democracy and rebelling- and keeps
Saddam's Hittites away.  .

KUWAIT/GULF EMIRATES - We'll bribe the US and Europe to
defend our precious discos from those beastly Iraqis, and
keep up the oil embargo.  If Iraq resumes exporting, world
oil prices will plummet.  No more gambling,whoring and night
clubbing for us, if this happens.

TURKEY - As payoff for our support in the Gulf War, the US
is letting us quietly annex oil-rich northern Iraq. We say,
our soldiers are just chasing bad Kurds, but we're really
`establishing facts on the ground' there, a trick we learned
from our clever, new Israeli allies. By Ataturk, once we
annex Iraq's northern oil fields, Turkey will once again be
mighty - and spit on the Arabs!..

ISRAEL - No way will we ever allow Saddam, or Iran, to break
our monopoly on nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.
We've put our American lobby and media mavens into high gear
to pressure President Clinton and Congress to crush Iraq and
Iran. Better Americans than us. Who wants more Scuds, maybe
this time filled with germs.  Too bad, in a way. If Iraq and
Iran would just accept our nuclear monopoly, we could
probably do business with them.

IRAN - Death to Great Satans Saddam, Israel, the US and
those Saudi mongrels.  Though Iraq's US-inspired invasion of
Iran cost us 500,000 casualties, we need Saddam to keep the
American imperialists occupied. If he goes, they'll turn on
us. And Parveez,  hurry up with our secret nuclear kabob
bomb. We're surrounded by enemies. Everyone wants our oil,
including those godless Turks, and Russian infidels.

BRITAIN - We must protect our oil business in Kuwait and
keep peddling arms to the Gulf Arabs. Sure we stole Kuwait
from Iraq, but where did the British Empire not caused great
mischief? Who cares? The wogs begin in Calais.

EGYPT - Oh Brother Saddam, why were you so stupid as to
invade Kuwait just because its creepy crown prince told you
to kiss his fee?  What a mess your big ego
made.  That, of course, leaves us unquestioned leader of the
Arab World.

RUSSIA - Had it not been for that naive, teetotaling fool,
Gorbachev, Russia would never have allowed the US to smash
Iraq and implant its military forces in Arabia.  We've got
to end the blockade of Iraq, and resume selling Baghdad
arms, but discreetly, to avoid infuriating Washington.  Ten
years from now, we'll have rebuilt our influence in the
Mideast, and we'll get revenge on the arrogant Americans by
screwing  their henchmen in Saudi or Egypt, the way they did
to our old pal, Saddam.

copyright    eric margolis  1997

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