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For 300 years, England followed a policy throughout the British Empire of controlling small countries by keeping them weak lest they become strong enough to establish independence. A helpless nation is a subservient nation that will readily come to terms and sell its labor and its products at a low price to its powerful technological neighbors. The technique of containment is so successful that our own State Department adopts it to control small agricultural or oil furnishing nations for the benefit of corporations that need cheap products to feed our industries.
Part of the recent U.S. policy of containment is to demonize Saddam Hussein, telling us that he is a vicious dictator who abuses his people. Yet everything in the U.S. Army's own 1990 publication IRAQ: A COUNTRY STUDY directly contradicts that view.
IRAQ:A COUNTRY Study (Area Handbook Series), Helen Chapin Metz, ed., published by U.S. Army Chief of Staff, is a textbook used for Georgetown University where our foreign service personnel are trained. State Department personnel and others who will be sent to Iraq by our government need accurate information about the country they will work in. Strangely enough, this book tells them that Saddam Hussein created an ideal country that liberated women and offered them high level government and industry jobs; provided social services to his people that no other Middle Eastern country -- and, in fact, few world countries -- have ever offered citizens; established universal free schooling up to the highest education levels; supported families of soldiers killed in war; granted free hospitalization to everyone; and gave subsidies to farmers.
In addition, the textbook says Saddam Hussein brought electricity to everyone in Iraq, including those in far outlying areas, built roads, established agriculture on a large scale, promoted mining and other industries to remove total reliance on oil, provided both Arab and Western style banking systems to give the people a choice between these interest-bearing and non-interest-bearing accounts, created a fair, western style legal system, and abolished the old Mosaic law courts except for personal injury, small court claims. In sum, according to the U.S. Army textbook, Saddam Hussein made his people the most prosperous in the Middle East across all levels of society.
Washington tells us that Saddam Hussein is a threat to the other Middle Eastern nations.
IRAQ: A COUNTRY STUDY states that Iraq's atomic plant was used to furnish electricity, not only to its own country but to five other Middle Eastern oil nations, and Hussein was building a pipeline across the desert to bring water to arid Saudi Arabia to enable them to establish agriculture for their people and supplement the expensive saline plants they used to convert gulf water to usable, salt-free water.
WASHINGTON TELLS us that Iraq has always been hostile to Kuwait because Kuwait was created by the British from land that was originally part of Iraq and Saddam needed the seaport Kuwait occupied.
IRAQ: A COUNTRY STUDY tells us that Kuwait had already offered its seaport to Iraq, and it was using Iraq's fleet of oil tankers to transport its own oil abroad, as were many other oil countries. This gave them an indigenous industry, independent of outside European and American tankers which demanded higher fees. Thus Kuwait and Iraq were in the oil tanker business together, Iraq furnishing the tankers, Kuwait furnishing the port.
Washington tells us that Saddam Hussein, without consulting any other nation, cruelly invaded Kuwait because Kuwait was illegally slant-drilling across the border, removing Iraq's underground oil.
IRAQ: A COUNTRY STUDY tells us that the war with Iran, a heavily militarized powerful client state of the U.S. under the dictatorship of the Shah, left Iraq bankrupt. Faced with rebuilding its infrastructure destroyed in the war, Iraq needed money. No country would loan it money except the U.S. Borrowing money from the U.S. made Iraq its client state. A client State could take no action without the permission of the more powerful nation.
In 1990 Saddam Hussein complained to our State Department about Kuwait's illegal removal of Iraqi underground oil by slant drilling across the border into Iraq. This had continued for years, but now Iraq needed the money that this oil would supply to pay its bills. Saddam considered a war with Kuwait but needed Washington's permission. April Glaspie, our Ambassador to Iraq, implied such permission by telling Saddam that we were not concerned about disputes between Middle Eastern nations and would not interfere. Believing this to be the green light he wanted, Hussein sent his troops into Kuwait. We all know what happened next. U.S. and Britain, major members of the UN Security Council of five, stirred a reluctant Security Council into declaring war on Iraq, which President George Bush declared was "for the New World Order."
What was that war really about? IRAQ: A COUNTRY STUDY states that Iraq was the leading country in forming an Arab Alliance similar to the European Economic Commission, an alliance of European countries. All oil nations would share and work together and plan their own army that would include no Europeans.
This is when alarm bells went off. The oil that makes our plastics and runs our machines is in the hands of European and American nations through leases. Independent oil states working in concert could make their own terms and control OPEC. The last thing the Western world wants is an alliance of oil states -- especially if they have their own army. Their control of oil would result in a huge financial crunch to big business.
But there was something even worse about Saddam's Iraq. IRAQ: A COUNTRY STUDY exposes Iraq as a socialist state. Socialism seriously competes with capitalism by nationalizing industry and selling its products cheaply. The "New World Order" is a capitalist economic order run by capitalist methods, capitalist finance and carried out by capitalist corporations. In such a world there is no place for socialism.
That is what George Bush meant when he said that the war with Iraq was "for the New World Order." That is why a U.S. sting operation fooled Hussein into attacking Kuwait. That is why George Bush said he would "bomb Iraq into the stone age." That is why Washington hates Saddam Hussein. That is why other Arab nations could be convinced to join the war against Iraq in 1990. None of them wanted their people to demand the modernization and privileges Iraq gave to its people.
But Saddam Hussein may have committed yet another unforgivable "crime." At the time, it was reported that he refused to sign the GATT treaty, and at the last minute just before the military attacks on Iraq began, Hussein was told by a member of our State Department that if he signed the GATT there would be no war. He refused to sign.
Why did Saddam Hussein refuse to sign the GATT treaty that almost every other nation in the world had signed? Because the GATT (General Agreement of Trade And Tariffs) would automatically remove all social programs in Iraq, remove sovereignty from the nation, demand 50% of all products from the earth for the use of international corporations on whatever terms they chose, dictate what products Iraq could buy or sell, dictate the wages of workers, demand that all seeds planted by farmers be bought from international corporations, claim corporate ownership of indigenous plants and trees, and replace the laws of Iraq with laws and regulations made by the World Trade Organization, a central authority that in private meetings sets irrevocable rules for all things that relate to business or finance.
GATT is complex, but in essence amounts to putting all political and financial power into corporate hands. It endangers, even destroys, the ability of national leaders or the populace of a nation to control its own destiny.
The fact that Washington still demonizes Saddam Hussein and wants his removal suggests to me that Hussein still refuses to sign the GATT. What other reason could there be for such unaccountable cruelty?
The long cruel blockade has killed many in Iraq since the military war. It is reported to have caused the deaths by starvation and disease of a million people and is said to account for the deaths of 500 children a week.
What happens next is up to the Arab States and the nations of the western world. By the time this goes to press, some of those questions will be answered.
Quote: The fact that Washington still demonizes Saddam Hussein and wants his removal suggests to me that Hussein still refuses to sign the GATT. What other reason could there be for such unaccountable cruelty?
well, earlier in the article it mentioned compelling reasons why washington would want to invade. while GATT could be(and probably is) a factor, i doubt it's at the top of the list. maybe it's a combination of 1) securing a steady flow of oil 2) preventing an arab alliance 3) getting back at saddam for not signing the GATT. it could also have something to do with providing muscle to back up israel. i really don't know, as soon as i settle on one theory either it gets discounted or another more persuasive one comes along. maybe bush is mad because saddam refers to him as "little bush" and "junior bush". so, what is this whole thing about?
-------------------- An optimist is never pleasantly surprised.
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