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[casi-analysis] casi-news digest, Vol 1 #125 - 1 msg

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Today's Topics:

   1. The Pillage of a Nation (ppg)


Message: 1
From: "ppg" <>
To: <>
Subject: The Pillage of a Nation
Date: Thu, 8 Jul 2004 05:25:02 -0400

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"The Iraqi oil is being sold by the US without metering". This means only t=
he Bush Administration knows how much money is being earned from the sale o=
f Iraqi oil.

Ghali Hassan lives in Perth, Western Australia. He can be contacted on:

The Pillage of a Nation

=93I believe they were people who knew what they wanted. They had passed by
the gypsum copy of the Black Obelisk. This means that they must have been
specialists. They did not touch those copies.=94 Dr. Dony George, Head of t=
Baghdad Museum.

By Ghali Hassan

07/07/04 "Information Clearing House" The American-led invasion and
occupation of Iraq is an orchestrated and premeditated armed robbery. The
widespread looting of the nation of Iraq, following the collapse of the
Ba'athist regime, was not merely an incidental by-product of the US militar=
conquest of Iraq. It was deliberately encouraged and fostered by the Bush
administration and the Pentagon for definite political and economic gains.
Iraq is to be mainstreamed into the economy of the global pillage.

Pillage of Iraq=92s Cultural Heritage

The invading forces fuelled the looting of Iraq=92s cultural heritage, and =
concomitant destruction of ancient towns and cities have served Western
propaganda and stereotypes against the Iraqi people very well. The veteran
Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk who witnessed the pillage himself
wrote in The Independent of April 14, 2003, =93[a]fter days of arson and
pillage, here=92s a short but revealing scorecard. US troops have sat back =
allowed mobs to wreck and then burn the Ministry of Planning, the Ministry
of Education, the Ministry of Irrigation, the Ministry of Trade, the
Ministry of Industry, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of
Culture and the Ministry of Information. They did nothing to prevent looter=
from destroying priceless treasures of Iraq=92s history in the Baghdad
Archaeological Museum and in the museum in the northern city of Mosul, or
from looting three hospitals=94.

Robert Fisk observed a pattern in US response to looting, =93[t]he American=
have, though, put hundreds of troops inside two Iraqi ministries that remai=
untouched=97and untouchable=97because tanks and armoured personnel carriers=
Humvees have been placed inside and outside both institutions. And which
ministries proved to be so important for the Americans? Why, the Ministry o=
Interior, of course=97with its vast wealth of intelligence information on
Iraq=97and the Ministry of Oil. The archives and files of Iraq=92s most val=
asset=97its oilfields and, even more important, its massive reserves=97are =
and sound, sealed off from the mobs and looters, and safe to be shared, as
Washington almost certainly intends, with American oil companies.=94 The
Americans had no concerns for the looting, and US troops had an order not t=
take action against the looting. =93The pervasive and systematic lawlessnes=
underpinning the occupation of Iraq is no accident. The neoconservatives in
Washington understand that the rule of law stands as an obstacle to
unleashing the full force of the U.S. war machine=94, writes Roger Norman o=
the Centre for Economic and Social Rights in New York America's Criminal
Occupation of Iraq.

Dr. Eleanor Robson of the British School of Archaeology wrote in The
Guardian of London on June, 18, 2003, =93[t]wo months ago, I compared the
demolition of Iraq's cultural heritage with the Mongol sacking of Baghdad i=
1258 [the age of barbarism], and the 5th-century destruction of the library
of Alexandria. On reflection, that wasn't a bad assessment of the present
state of Iraq's cultural infrastructure. Millions of books have been burned=
thousands of manuscripts and archaeological artefacts stolen or destroyed,
ancient cities ransacked, universities trashed=94. Dr. Robson continued,
=93[o]utside the Iraq Museum, the picture is equally grim. At Baghdad
University, classrooms, laboratories and offices have been vandalised, and
equipment and furniture stolen or destroyed. Student libraries have been
emptied. Nabil al-Tikriti of the University of Chicago reported in May that
the Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs lost 600-700 manuscripts i=
a malicious fire and more than 1,000 were stolen. The House of Wisdom and
the Iraqi Academy of Sciences were also looted. The National Library was
burned to the ground and most of its 12 million books are assumed to have
been incinerated=94.

The destruction and looting of artefacts, has led to the loss of hundreds o=
tablets, a method developed by the Sumerians of leaving one=92s signature o=
clay several of which have not even been translated yet. This is a huge los=
for humanity, one only surpassed by the loss of the lives and well being of
the Iraqi people. This plundering of Iraq=92s cultural heritage is part of =
illegal trade in antiquities thought to be as lucrative as drug trafficking=
=93Not since the Nazis systematically stripped the museums of Europe has su=
a crime been committed?=94 writes Ann Talbot in

This outright pillage of the Iraqi nation by the US is forbidden under the
Geneva conventions of 1949 and The Hague conventions of 1907. It is clear
that there was nothing accidental about the looting. Rather it was the
result of a long planned project to plunder the artistic and historical
treasures that are held in the museums of Iraq. Iraqi law regards all
archaeological artefacts as state property and bans their export. By
allowing the National Museum in Baghdad and other places of Iraq=92s cultur=
heritage to be looted, the US authorities have shown great ignorance and
disregard for the real importance of Iraq to human history.

Pillage of Iraq=92s Economy

Immediately after the occupation of Iraq, the US worked to lift the 13-year=
long genocidal sanctions that killed more that two million Iraqis a third o=
them were children under the age of five, and destroyed the fabric of the
Iraqi civil society. The reason for this sudden change of heart was the US
control of the UN Oil-for-food program, which was benefiting from oil

In May 2003, the UN resolution 1483 allows all revenues from Iraqi oil and
gas exports to be deposited into the =93Development Fund for Iraq=94. The f=
also took over about one billion from the Oil-for-Food program and a simila=
amount in all frozen Iraqi assets. Those funds were given to the control of
the US occupying authority =93to be used in a transparent manner to meet th=
humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people=94 and they were to be audited by th=
International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB), which the UN set up for
this purpose.

According to various estimate, the amount collected in the fund reached $20
billion as of June 26 2004. Auditing the fund has been a nightmare for the
IAMB, because of lack of cooperation by the occupying authority, and the
secrecy of awarding contracts to US corporations without competitive

A new report published by Christian Aid, a charity organisation in the UK,
showed that the Bush administration failed to account for what it has done
with some $20 billion of Iraqi oil revenues, which should have been spent o=
relief and reconstruction. Anthea Lawson of Christian Aid told Amy Goodman
of on 01 July 2004; =93the Iraqi oil is being sold by the =
without metering, which makes assessing Iraq=92s oil revenues extremely
difficult because its oil production is not being metered=94. This means on=
the Bush Administration knows how much money is being earned from the sale
of Iraqi oil.

Furthermore, Sir Menzies Campbell, the British Liberal Democrats foreign
affairs spokesman, demanded that an investigation into the way the US-led
administration in Baghdad handled Iraq=92s oil revenues from which another
$3.7 billion is missing. The oil of Iraq is the property of wealth of Iraqi
people, and should not be stolen by the US.

Recently, the UN Security Council passed a resolution recognizing the US
occupation of Iraq. Never had the UN in its history endorsed the occupation
of a nation and the attack on the resistance fighting such occupation. In
its new resolution on Iraq, the UN authorizes US-led troops to remain at
Iraq's request, and gives them leeway to take "all necessary measures" in
fighting the resistance movements that are fighting the occupation. Once
again, the UN proved to be the facilitator of US imperialism throughout the

However, the Security Council recognition of the US and Britain occupation
authority provides no legal cover. In May 2003, the UN passed a resolution
requiring the occupying powers to =93comply fully with their obligations un=
international law including in particular the Geneva conventions of 1949 an=
the Hague Treaty regulations of 1907=94. Furthermore, The US army=92s Law o=
Land Warfare states =93 the occupant does not have the right of sale or
unqualified use of [non-military] property=94. Therefore, the US-imposed
=93economic reforms=94 and edicts on the Iraqi Nation contradict Iraq=92s
constitution and they are in breach of international law.

According to The Hague and Geneva conventions, and the International Bill o=
Human Rights, the occupier gains no sovereign rights and is prohibited from
manipulating the nation=92s future, plundering its resources, and repressin=
its people.

AS Naomi Klein has written, =93bombing something does not give you the righ=
to cell it=94. Yet this is precisely what the Bush Administration is doing.
The US military invasion of Iraq has put US companies (multinational
corporations) such as Bechtel and Halliburton in positions to completely ow=
all of Iraq=92s industries and businesses. The destruction of Iraq is playe=
as =93reconstruction=94 in Western media and by Western elites. It's only $=
million of the $18.6 billion Congress =93allocated for reconstruction=94 of=
has been spent, according to the Washington Post.

A recent report released by the General Accounting Office on 28 June 2004
reveals =93Iraq is worse off than before the war began last year=94. The wa=
against the people of Iraq was rigged and unnecessary war. The war brought
no =93democracy=94 and no =93freedom=94 to the Iraqi people. The Anglo-Amer=
crypto-fascists presence is sowing the seeds of civil war in Iraq. Thousand=
of innocent Iraqis have been slaughtered as a result of Bush and Blair
violent =93messianic=94 war. Why?

The US is still the occupying power in Iraq. The =93transfer of sovereignty=
to few dozens of Iraqi expatriates, two third of them are foreign citizens,
=93of course, another lie and most Iraqis know it=94, says Tariq Ali. The
American Embassy in Baghdad, the largest in the world and situated in Sadda=
=92s Palace against the will of the Iraqi people, is the maker of key
decisions. Ambassador John D. Negroponte is the new Proconsul in Iraq
supported by more than 160,000 occupying forces. The whole charade of
=93transfer of sovereignty=94 is merely an Arab fa=E7ade.

The new Iraqi =93Prime minister=94 Mr. Iyad Allawi has full responsibility =
garbage collection and assassination of Iraqi dissidents (see who is
Allawi?). Recent Iraqi opinion poll conducted in Iraq reveals that 92
percent of Iraqis opposed to the US occupation of their nation, and want th=
occupation to end. Mr. Iyad Allawi has almost 5 percent supports, just belo=
the president, with a 7 percent approval rating. The Iraqi sovereignty is
vested in the Iraqi people. This new Iraqi =93sovereignty=94 is a fake
sovereignty. Same donkey, different saddle, as the Iraqi saying goes. The U=
administration appointed the Iraqi Interim Government, pliant enough to
ratify these illegal laws and make the occupation of Iraq permanent to serv=
as the guardian of US interests.

The trial of Saddam Hussein is a farce, =93illegal and unjust=94. The real
criminals are using this theatre to cover-up their own crimes against the
Iraqi people. Those who are picked by the Americans, =93in the words of a n=
common Iraqi saying, =91came on the backs of American tanks=92. As one Iraq=
observed: =91If they give Saddam a fair trial, they will all end up with hi=
in the dock - Kissinger, Reagan, Thatcher, Blair, the two Bushes, [Rumsfeld=
and Allawi=92=94, writes Sami Ramadani in The Guardian of London. An Iraqi
businesswoman told Robert Fisk: =93This is a childish play, written by
children for children. We have real needs and they want us to go and watch =
play=94. The trial of Saddam is a circus, which will keep the people
distracted from the real issues of occupation. It is used by the US to bull=
and intimidate not only the Arab people, but also the rest of the developin=
world. It makes the world looks like powerful mafia gangs run it.

The Attack on Iraq is an attack on the history of humanity by a new form of
barbarism. The world will be safer only if this form of barbarism opposed
and remained isolated. For Iraqis, the only path to full sovereignty is the
immediate end of the US occupation and colonisation of Iraq, and returns th=
wealth of the nation to the Iraqi people.

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