The US government claims it is committed to “regime change” in Iraq. Why?
This is an issue we have debated many, many times here and we’ve come up with various different reasons including:
Iraq may be in breach of their terms of surrender if they do not allow the UN inspectors back in
Iraq, if left alone, may develop WMD and then use them against Israel and other western allies
Iraq will acquire long range North Korean missiles in 5/10 years time
Saddam is an evil tyrant who oppresses his people
Iraqi intelligence may be connected to, and a sponsor of, al Qaeda
But I just wanted to propose another theory to you. See what you think of it:
The whole thing is about oil and maintaining a stable price for it and as much control as possible over the middle east as a whole. The best situation for America is an Iraq that is in complete and total poverty so that Iraqi oil can be kept off the market for a while (keeping oil prices from slipping below $20) but making sure that in the long run it will be firmly under the control of the US so that when oil prices start to rise (like now for example) the US can bring Iraqi oil back into production on a large scale.
The Gulf war was planned by the US as a means of destroying the Iraqi army which at the time was the 4th largest in the world and a threat to US interests in the long run. The US supported Kuwait in a process of economic warfare against Iraq which was focused around oil. Kuwait overproduced oil and used slant-drilling techniques to tap into Iraqi oil reserves all of which was a deliberate attempt to provoke Iraq into an invasion.
When Iraq invaded it was receiving assurances from the US that it would not involve itself in what it described as a ‘regional issue’. When Iraq did invade the US started to claim that Iraq was planning an invasion of Saudi Arabia, even though neither the Saudi government nor anyone else believed that this was really possible. America claimed that over 300,000 Iraqi troops were massing on the border though Russian commercial satellite photographs show that there was no such mobilisation.
Under immense pressure from the US the Saudi government agreed to let the US to put a ‘protective’ force along the Saudi/Kuwaiti border, a force of over 500,000 personnel (the largest deployment of troops since the 2nd world war). As a response Iraq sent as much of its military as it could to defend the border, but was very badly prepared. the Russian satellite photographs show that the scale of Iraqi mobilisation was minimal in comparison to that of the US.
The US gave Iraq an ultimatum to leave Kuwait or face the consequences and when the deadline passed the US forces launched a complete attack on the Iraqi army and the whole of the Iraqi infrastructure. The aim of this operation was not to force the Iraqi army to retreat from Kuwait, but rather to destroy the whole of Iraq as a viable force in the middle east.
The following sanctions were simply a continuation of the same process, making sure that Iraq cannot receive the money from its oil reserves to either rebuild its economy or its military capabilities, either of which would threaten US domination of the middle east. The rule of the Ba’ath party was an essential part of this plan because it ensured political stability combined with complete poverty which is the basis of American control in the Middle East in general.
The US did not ‘stop short’ of overthrowing Saddam because this was never one of its aims. It helped to suppress the uprising of shi-ite muslims in the south by denying access to abandoned Iraqi equipment and allowed the Iraqi government to drop kerosine all over the shi-ite forces and then set light to it whilst all the time US planes were flying overhead.
The current situation is probably something along the lines of this:
oil prices are rising and Iraqi oil is seen as a way of solving this problem. it is now seen as the right time to launch another war in the middle east to replace saddam hussain with a different leader whose loyalty the US can expect. Whatever happens the Iraqi people will see no more freedom when saddam is replaced. US oil companies will sign contracts to rebuild Iraq’s oil pumps and gain dominance over oil production in the country.
a massive ‘investment’ programme will be announced where American companies move in to take over the previously public industries of Iraq and another country will be brought into the fold of the neo-liberal global community. This investment programme will be hailed as if it were actually humanitarian aid, something which it most certainly will not be. Britain, along with other european nations, will take part in this entire process.
This is a report by former US Attorney General, Ramsey Clarke, among others which gives more detail. I don’t know if all this is the ‘truth’, but it is certainly worth investigating.
As part of the conclusion of this report he calls on people around the world to attempt the same process that he and others have done and to investigate the US account of the Gulf war.
Did America deliberately help Iraq put down potential coups (from the shi-ites in the south, among others) in order to keep Saddam in power?
1/ During the negotiations between Saddam’s generals and the US army in Safwan, the Iraqi side requested exemption from the no fly zone for their helicopters. The US agreed. It was Saddam’s helicopter gunships that defeated the uprising.
2/ People who took part in the uprising, who are now in exile, gave eyewitness accounts of American fighter planes blowing up Iraqi army munitions dumps before the rebels could get to them.
3/ Bush senior made a speech proclaiming that “the break up of Iraq” was not in anyone’s interest. It is clear that the USA did not want Saddam toppled at the time, they actively worked against the Iraqi people’s uprising.
4/ In 1996 the USA protected Saddam again, by foiling a coup against him, as this article shows.
5/ Today Bush is not talking about democracy in Iraq, all what he has said is : “Saddam must go.”
Something for you to chew on anyway. So, gnaw away.