The "Liberation" of Iraq

Jenny Marsh—03/2003
The Prime Minister's reaction to two deaths of British soldiers was quoted as 'horror'. What an odd reaction from a man who is already has the blood of over a thousand Iraqi people on his hands.

THE PRIME MINISTER'S REACTION to two deaths of British soldiers was quoted as "horror". What an odd reaction from a man who is already has the blood of over a thousand Iraqi people on his hands. If Blair truly understood the horror of war, invasion would have been a last resort tactic. Instead, he allowed his party to be railroaded into supporting the interests of President Unelect Bush and his band of thugs.

The rhetoric from our political leaders is distinctly odd at the moment. Now we are committed to this war, we are all expected to knuckle down, do a 180% turn and support this illegal crusade. After all, it is "our boys" (and girls) out there murdering innocent Iraqi people whose only crime is to defend their country from an illegal invasion. Many of the papers like the Daily Mail offer shameful support for this war. Suddenly, our boys are freedom fighters on the side of the good and right. Our boys are liberating the Iraqi people… how magnanimous of them! (Strange that not so long ago our reason for invasion was to destroy weapons of mass destruction.) It seems that even papers need to justify to their readers this unlawful crusade on a sovereign state.

There has been much talk in the pro-war camp about how similar this situation is to events before the Second World War: if people had been less interested in peace they might have stopped Hitler before he could have done much damage. This comparison is invalid for two reasons: firstly, Saddam Hussein's military might is in rapid decline due to sanctions on the country; and secondly, Bush is probably a better contender for the Hitler title than Saddam. He illegally stole the Presidency; he has used it to further the interests of big business at the expense of the people; he has declared war on our fragile ecology; and he has illegally invaded another country and threatened them with nuclear weapons if they put up much resistance.

Foolish journalists harp on about the price that our forebears paid for our current freedom and how we need to go to war to fight for it. This is all well and good except for one thing: Saddam offers no threat to our freedom. Weapons inspectors have not found any trace of weapons of mass destruction to concern anybody (they have even admitted that if he had any it would have degraded by now) and Saddam, being a secular despot, has no terrorist links. If anything, illegally and unjustifiably invading an Arab country like this presents a fantastic recruiting opportunity for those who really do pose a threat to Western freedom.

Our boys in Iraq are not freedom fighters. Only a fool would honestly believe that America and the UK would spend billions to liberate a foreign people. Already the US is handing out rebuilding contracts to American companies worth billions which will do wonders for the flagging US economy. No doubt, puppy Blair will be thrown a few scraps for so loyally supporting his master. Our boys have in fact been used as a means to an economic end, and also to test and demonstrate to the world the awesomely powerful weapons that the US spends its money on to maintain its intimidating position as the world's only superpower, and the economic benefits of being top dog.

So let nobody, least of all those fighting in Iraq, be under any illusion that they are there for legitimate reasons. Saddam Hussein is an evil man, there is no doubt about that, but opportunistically removing him in this way will cause more evil than the short-term economic benefits we will receive from the rape of Iraq. Turning this conflict into a freedom fight only obscures the important issues and gives the weak-minded the opportunity to deny their shame and revel in triumphalism.

Many stupid American and British people believe that theirs is the best country in the world. However, during peaceful times, that superiority can be tarnished by the natural play of international democracy and world order in which the economic and political status of these countries naturally slides on the world stage, as other players as the rest of the world often with more resources and people start to look after their own interests. Under such circumstances, there is nothing like picking an unlawful fight on a vastly weaker opponent to rediscover that triumphalism of Empire states, and to reassert rule by military might. (This does not apply so much with the British as we know we are a spent force on the world stage, which is the main reason we cling so desperately to the coattails of good old Uncle Sam… power by proxy!)

The world better wake up to the fact that it is NOT in the interests of the US or the UK to have international peace and democracy. In fact, such things would destroy much of the advantage that these nations, especially the US, enjoy. Freedom fighting is not good for the economy! Neither is establishing democracies in Arab states… which is why the US and the UK installed a dictator in Iraq in the first place. And this is why it is so cynical for this illegal invasion of another country to be turned into a freedom fight. The only freedom we are fighting for is that of the US to retain its position as at the top of the food chain, with Britain like one of those little fish who clean the teeth of sharks.

Saddam is guilty of terrible cruelty to his own people, just as Bush and Blair are to theirs in a different way. And whilst it is certainly true that dissent in the West is seen to be tolerated whereas it would be aggressively crushed in Iraq, it is only tolerated because the system is set up to effectively ignore it. (It is not tolerated in Iraq because dissent would be more effective.) We in the West value our freedom to protest, but what value is that right if our governments completely ignore it. Protest has become spleen-venting — a useful steam escape valve that allows us to congratulate ourselves for living in the Free World. But it is some freedom when over two million people take to the streets in the UK, when the majority oppose this unlawful attack on Iraq, and still Blair pushes on with military action. (In a perverse sense, it would be better to be thrown in jail and tortured for protesting, for at least the government is showing concern!)

So Blair is horrified that British service men are losing their lives, as if war was some kind of Monopoly game. Did he really expect that he could waltz illegally into a foreign country and murder thousands without any repercussions? A man dangerously out of touch with reality! But then Blair suffers from a lethal combination of political vanity and expediency that has seen so many world leaders in past shamelessly supporting the illegal activities of superpowers. Blair would like us to believe that he is a righteous and moral man, but his righteous over-moralisation of every situation is a transparent cover for his shameless political and economic self-interest. Blair doesn't really care about "our boys" dieing in the desert sands, he only cares that we see him as caring.

In any commentary on the current war situation, the final word must go to the Iraqi people who experience the consequences of these moralistic Western leaders' decisions thousands of miles away. Some welcome the Western invaders (after all, what other choice does a conquered people have), and many have suffered under Saddam's brutal rule. But a conquered people will always ultimately harbour their deepest resentment and hatred for their "liberators", especially when those "liberators" caused so many of their problems in the first place by supporting and arming a vicious dictator who never had majority support.

Iraqis are not stupid. They know that their country has been shattered not by Saddam, but by the political games the West has played in selling weapons to both sides of the Iran-Iraq war, and the ten year US enforcement of the UN sanctions in which the blocking of military weapons was illegally extended to basic hospital supplies and other essentials. These people have for so long been directly targeted by their "liberators", and now with this unlawful invasion, their Arab pride has been replaced by the shame and indignity of being a conquered people.

So don't let our stupid politicians and journalists try to convince us that we are doing it for these poor suffering souls. Don't let arguments about freedom and stopping new Hitlers cloud our understanding that what is going on in Iraq is immoral, illegal and reprehensible. This has NOTHING to do with liberation. The truth is that the Iraqi people are being blown to pieces by a brutal and illegal invasion perpetrated by the West to secure Arab resources.