By: Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich
“He who lives by fighting with an enemy has an interest in
the preservation of the enemy’s life.” -
Holding a joint press
conference with the new British Prime Minister, Gordon
Brown, George W. Bush called Iraq a ‘new democracy’; The
gift of democracy from the Bush White House. It would seem
appropriate that a statue of George W. Bush be erected where
Saddam’s statue once stood – after all, he is the liberator.
The momentous unveiling ought to be accompanied by the
wailing of mothers rocking back and forth as they beat their
chests holding corpses and shrieking in anguish. The ‘new
democracy’ should have its orphaned children present,
delivering their gratitude with growling stomachs and tears
that are all they have to relieve their parched throats.
The liberator’s statue would be adorned not with the
promised flowers, but with stains left behind by the blood
of the innocent buried in mass graves – the shame of women
raped. Indeed, they were liberated from their dreams, their
tomorrows, from their hopes.
And of so much more…
Perhaps the Iraqis should
also thank the ‘liberator’ for unburdening them of their oil
– it was the oil, and Saddam, that was a threat to them.
Both are gone. While the Iraqis risk their lives standing
in line for a can of gas, wondering what happened to their
country’s riches, under the watchful eyes of soldiers,
smugglers divert billions of dollars worth of crude onto
tankers. This, thanks to the genius of Dick Cheney’s old
company Halliburton (and Parsons) for the oil metering
system that is supposed to monitor how much crude flows into
and out of ABOT and KAAOT Southern oil terminals has not
worked since the March 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.[i]
The oil simply gets stolen, Halliburton does not fix it, and
the soldiers don’t stop it.
Let’s not forget Saddam’s
threat to the dollar. It’s simple to understand why he had
to be eliminated. As Congressman Ron Paul puts it, the 1944
Bretton Woods agreement solidified the dollar as the
preeminent world reserve currency, replacing the British
pound. Due to the American political and military strength,
and due to its huge gold reserve, the world readily
accepted the dollar (defined as 1/35th of an
ounce of gold) as the world's reserve currency.
However, the U.S. printed more dollars for which there was
no gold backing. But the world was content to accept those
dollars for more than 25 years with little question--until
the French and others in the late 1960s demanded it fulfill
its promise to pay one ounce of gold for each $35 they
delivered to the U.S. Treasury. This resulted in a huge gold
drain that brought an end to a very poorly devised
pseudo-gold standard. On August 15, 1971, Nixon closed the
gold window and refused to pay out any of the remaining 280
million ounces of gold; but not without devising a new
system for the dollar hegemony to spread.
An agreement was struck with OPEC to price oil in U.S.
dollars exclusively for all worldwide transactions. This
gave the dollar a special place among world currencies and
in essence "backed" the dollar with oil. In return, the
U.S. promised to protect the various oil-rich kingdoms in
the Persian Gulf against threat of invasion or domestic
coup. This arrangement gave the dollar artificial
strength, with tremendous financial benefits for the United
States. In November 2000 Saddam Hussein demanded Euros for
his oil. It was his arrogance that was a threat -- to the
dollar; his lack of any military might was never a threat.
At the first cabinet meeting with the new administration in
2001, as reported by Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, the
major topic was how to get rid of Saddam Hussein--[ii]
Saddam was linked to al
Qaeda – sovereign Iraq was invaded –Joe Wilson’s honest
report was dismissed, his wife, Valerie Plame’s identity was
revealed – and so the rest of the story goes….
The ‘liberators’ fight hard
for the ‘new democracy’. The ‘new democracy’ had become the
place where arms dealers line their pockets. War is good
for business. Boardrooms are filled with delighted
stockholders. Profits are rolling in. The bin Laden owned
Carlyle Group, not content with making money out of arms,
proposes to use its connections to get in other deals. It
wants ‘to help manage’ up to $1 billion of the funds
collected from the reparations and other claims to create an
entity, initially funded by $2 billion in Kuwaiti government
money, that would take control of any funds collected from
Indeed, the bin Laden owned
Carlyle group fares well when it comes to death and
destruction. As the Bush administration was supplying
Israel with munitions to massacre the Lebanese men, women,
and children, and as the United Nations was ordered by the
U.S. to allow the destruction of a nation to continue, the
Carlyle Group was ready to invest in Lebanon’s ruins –
another one of Mr. Bush’s ‘new democracies’.[iv]
Was it all ‘bad
intelligence’? Today we have the weapons manufacturers
supplying the intelligence. An ad taken out by Lockheed
Martin last year looking for intelligence recruits read:
"on substantive intelligence matters involving terrorist
groups and networks . . . Centcom experience is a plus,"
Raytheon, the other large defense contractor, is also
supplying intelligence – to the point that corporate
America, the weapons manufacturers, are capable of taking us
to war. And war they want. Their stocks have gone through
the roof – though the Iraqis had their roofs taken away
with bombs and poverty.
The next ‘threat’ on the
list is Iran. In 1999 Iran had stated that it plans to sell
its oil in Euro currency (Du Boff 1)[vi]
as the sanctions had made it impossible for Iran to trade in
dollar. (In 2001, Venezuela's ambassador to Russia spoke of
Venezuela switching to the Euro for all their oil sales.
Within a year there was a coup attempt against Chavez,
reportedly with assistance from the CIA). Iran has started
selling its oil in other currencies - Japan had to pay for
its shipment in Yen. Iran has been the target of false
allegations and ‘bad intelligence’ for the sole purpose of
an attack which would profit corporate America, the military
industrial complex, and their cohorts in the Middle East,
with Lockheed Martin and Raytheon supplying intelligence[vii].
Even as the IAEA “inspectors have protested to the US
government and a Congressional committee about a report on
Iran's nuclear work, calling parts of it "outrageous and
dishonest", and that Iran had not enriched uranium to
the warmongering media here continues to make accusations
about Iran. Iran is being accused of killing Americans in
Iraq, supplying weapons, and in short, of being the biggest
threat to the U.S. No doubt many employees are being paid
overtime to produce the right ‘intelligence’ reports on Iran
to keep the war machines going and the profits coming in.
But why arm Arabs? The
second volume of Henry Kissinger's memoirs of the Nixon era,
“Years of Upheaval”, makes it clear that Kissinger made no
decisions in the Middle East without Israel in mind.
Kissinger used historic Persian-Arab antipathy, and the
Shah's growing megalomania, to fashion the second half of a
military pincer to squeeze the Arabs between a heavily-armed
Israel and a similarly-armed Iran. Today, the Bush
administration is scaremongering the Arabs into thinking
that Iran’s civilian nuclear program poses a threat and that
Iran has hegemonic ambitions. America is uniting the Arabs
against Iran so that when Iran is attacked, fearing
retaliation from Iran, as they have been made to believe,
the Arab states armed with U.S. weapons, will be the foot
soldiers that America lacks. Unwilling to enact the
draft, and unable to enlist men to fight another illegal
war, the United States is arming the Arabs – to be its foot
soldiers in a battle with Iran. However, as they are being
armed to the teeth, the U.S. is ensuring that the weapons
they are sold are far inferior to those received by Israel,
that they are only ‘good enough’ for killing other Arabs,
and for killing Iranians.[ix]
I can’t be sure whether it
is the loss of our dignity or our collective apathy, but we
have reached the point of tolerating the intolerable.
Accustomed to manipulation, we no longer even protest the
abuse. What extraordinary power to subjugate a nation in
the name of protection and freedom, lives bartered for power
and wealth, and still no outrage.
Do you hear them?
Do not take the echo of your
silence for the absence of their plea for help. Today, we
could have spared a mother’s agony, a father’s frustration
at watching his children go hungry – his wife getting
raped. Instead, we allowed ourselves to become victims
too. Tomorrow, there will be more losses. Let us not wait.
has lived and studied in Iran, the UK, France, Australia and
the US. She obtained her Bachelors Degree in International
Relations from the University of Southern California, Los
Angeles, and she is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in
Middle East Studies concentrating in Political Science. She
has done extensive research on US foreign policy towards
Iran and Iran’s nuclear program.
Du Boff, Richard B. “U.S. Hegemony: Continuing
Decline, Enduring Danger” Monthly Review. NY
Dec. 2000. Vol 55:7:1