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WHY DO THE AMERICANS STAY? June 24, 2005

Posted by wmmbb in Category to be ascribed.
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The invaders of Iraq have never been transparent and accountable about their motives. Rhetoric and lies aside, the most credible reason to me was the control of the strategic resource oil, and to ensure that its price was not denominated in euros, rather than dollars, as Hussein had threatened to do.

From this perspective of realpolitic and imperialism, it could be asked was there an alternative? The timing of the invasion had everything to do with the “political capital” Bush was given following the 11th September 2001 attack, and onset of the first mid-term congressional elections and the presidential elections. And it worked like a charm, and in the context of the imperialist framework, Bush’s action was strong and effective, at least in removing Hussein, but the main objective has not been achieved.

There are many differences with Vietnam, not least the historical and geographical context, but there is, as far as I can see, one thing in common in that a guerilla resistance cannot defeat a technologically superior across the board armed force. Their guerilla resistance was a function of the fact that they had become so weak militarily and economically following the first Iraq war and the imposition of sanctions. The Iraqis will be calling on their own history of occupation and of the Middle East in general to orientate themselves to the new situation. For example, once the mad crusaders had conquered Jerusalem, it took a hundred years until Salladin could liberate it again, but which on a parallel time scale Iraqi oil would have become irrelevant. Of course, I should perhaps be referring to the capture of Baghdad by the Seluk Turks in 1067, but my historical understanding of the middle east is weak, and is entirely euro-centric.

The risks and costs of the Iraqi war have to be seen in the frame of its objective, the control over the oil resource, and perhaps the secondary one of strategic military bases. This is a judgement perhaps better made by an economist with the relevant facts and figures, which I am not, and which I do have. Even if Bush becomes a lame duck, which is not certain that he will, but which is possible, there is no way that the Americans will withdraw in the next two years. So the killing will continue, provided the resistance can be sustained.

Given that condition, we have a catch 22, the war will continue as long as the American stay, and the American stay in the belief they can win by military power. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. One side must be defeated, at least in the immediate terms, and long term sustainable peace in the world does not look in prospect. Imperialism is the path of war, suppression and rebellion.

Out of this very bitter and horrible experience, much like after the First and Second World Wars, provided our fragile and beautiful planet remains habitable for us, we will have to look for a consensus for recognizing and reconciling interests between contending groups. In the immediate future, there is more cause for despair than hope. Sometime soon, the powerful will have to change their thinking and behavior.

Liberal Democracy might be an important part of the answer, but it has become so perverted, I would not bet on it.

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