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[ This message has been sent to you via the CASI-analysis mailing list ] [ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shamireaders/message/343 IRAQ: INVENTING THE ENEMY & Endless War <quote> US rulers need to create a frightening, ubiquitous, and apparently powerful enemy against which to wage endless war. They seem to be succeeding. We will likely soon see a Muslim world populated by Islamic theocracies in Iran, Iraq, and nuclear-armed Pakistan. These theocracies will impose harsh controls on their own people, crushing dissent in the name of religion, at the same time as they will be invoked by the US and Israel as terrorist threats to world peace. The US government has been laying the groundwork for a turbulent future of war and terrorism. By Dave Stratman July 26, 2004 [newdemocracyworld.org] (This article was originally published by AxisofLogic.org at http://www.axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/article_10445.shtml ) IRAQ This desire to bolster militant Islam may explain why US military forces have been producing with every atrocity new guerilla fighters with which to frighten the American people and to make the war on terror and threat of terrorism more convincing. Anonymous, a CIA analyst for 22-years who has just published Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror, writes that the United States has "waged two failed half-wars and, in doing so, left Afghanistan and Iraq seething with anti-U.S. sentiment, fertile grounds for the expansion of al-Qaeda and kindred groups." He adds that "There is nothing that bin Laden could have hoped for more than the American invasion and occupation of Iraq." Before the first Gulf war, Iraq had been a secular state, with the highest standard of living in the Middle East. Health care was free, as was education up through secondary school. Iraq had a high degree of equality between the sexes, with laws against gender discrimination; there were more female than male university students. (http://www.michaelparenti.org/DefyingSanctions.html) After two wars and 12 years of U.N. sanctions, with its infrastructure in rubble, millions of its people malnourished, and 70% unemployed, the living standards of Iraqis have gone dramatically backwards. Iraqis have been subject to savage US attacks on civilians and widespread torture and humiliation of a sort calculated to make even those Iraqis most initially supportive of the removal of Saddam Hussein see America as an enemy. The US has succeeded in consolidating the Iraqi resistance--the only future leadership with any legitimacy in popular eyes--increasingly under militant Islamic leadership, virtually guaranteeing an Islamic future for once secular Iraq. The US strategy of encouraging Islamic fundamentalism may explain what otherwise seem like incomprehensible blunders in the war on Iraq, not to mention the invasion itself. For example, the US apparently deliberately provoked the Shi'ite uprising in southern Iraq in April, 2004 and thrust radical Islamic leader, Moqtada Sadr, into the position of being a national hero to Iraqis. Sadr is a Shi'ite Muslim, the same sect as that of the late Ayatollah Khomeini. In April, 2004, when Israel assassinated Shaikh Ahmed Yassin, Sadr's newspaper gave the story prominent coverage and promised to act as a wing of Hamas in Iraq. The US promptly shut down Sadr's paper, arrested thirteen of his top aides, and, through an Iraqi court, issued a warrant for Sadr's arrest for murder. Though Sadr had a militia of his own, the Mahdi Army, it had never acted violently towards any Americans. Juan Cole, Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan, asked, How did the CPA [Coalition Provisional Authority] get to the point where it has turned even Iraqi Shi'ites, who were initially grateful for the removal of Saddam Hussein, against the United States? Where it risks fighting dual Sunni Arab and Shi'ite insurgencies simultaneously, at a time when US troops are rotating on a massive scale and hoping to downsize their forces in country? Someone in the CPA sat down and thought up ways to stir them up by closing their newspaper and issuing 28 arrest warrants....This is either gross incompetence or was done with dark ulterior motives that can scarcely be guessed at. (http://www.antiwar.com/cole/?articleid=2246) Naomi Klein, reporting from Baghdad, reacted with wonderment at the US deliberately provoking a Shi'ite uprising. In an article titled The U.S. Is Sabotaging Stability in Iraq, she wrote: Mr. al-Sadr is the younger, more radical rival of the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, portrayed by his adoring supporters as a kind of cross between Ayatollah Khomeini and Che Guevara. He blames the U.S. for attacks on civilians, compares U.S. occupation chief Paul Bremer to Saddam Hussein, aligns himself with Hamas and Hezbollah and has called for a jihad against the controversial interim constitution. His Iraq might look a lot like Iran. (Globe and Mail, Canada, 4/5/04) Klein calls the U.S. provoking of an uprising in Shi'ite southern Iraq mystifying, and reckons that the CPA is trying to create chaos in the south to make the handover of power impossible. More likely, however, is that the U.S. is trying to create what Professor Cole calls a Shi'ite International, as demonstrations erupted throughout the Shi'ite world, including Lebanon, Bahrain, Iran and Pakistan, against continued U.S. fighting in Karbala, a key holy city for Shi'ite Muslims....Bush is in the process of turning the Shi'ite world decisively against the U.S. (http://www.antiwar.com/cole/?articleid=2642) After claiming that it would defeat Sadr and wanted him dead or alive, the US backed down and negotiated with him. One of the concessions was that Sadr would order his militia fighters to return to their homes; meanwhile Sadr announced his intentions to form a political party and run in the elections scheduled for January, 2005. (http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/news/world/8939749.htm?1c) This arrangement, one analyst put it, would signal that the United States has just christened the newest Islamic theocracy in the World. (http://www.financialsense.com/editorials/duarte/2004/0710.html) The pattern we see developing in Iraq is familiar. The US covertly encourages militant Islamic opposition movements throughout the Muslim world. This means that US-backed Islamic movements often find themselves in opposition to US-backed governments. When Islamic forces eventually become powerful enough to take over, then secular allies can be dispensed with. This was the pattern in Iran, and it is the developing pattern in Pakistan and Iraq, both of which will likely become theocracies on the Iran model. In Iraq, given the former power and prestige of the secular and socialist Ba=athist Party, it has taken an invasion and brutal occupation to remove the secular leader and develop Islamic forces; still the model is the same. I should point out that the US is not alone in funding Islamic militants. Israel funded and promoted the Islamic terrorist group Hamas in the 1970s and 1980s and may still. Israel funded Hamas to undercut the popularity of the secular PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) and the Palestinian cause, which it has done very effectively with suicide attacks on Jewish civilians in Israel. (http://www.upi.com/print.cfm?StoryID=18062002-051845-8272r.) ORGANIZING PERMANENT WAR US rulers need to create a frightening, ubiquitous, and apparently powerful enemy against which to wage endless war. They seem to be succeeding. We will likely soon see a Muslim world populated by Islamic theocracies in Iran, Iraq, and nuclear-armed Pakistan. These theocracies will impose harsh controls on their own people, crushing dissent in the name of religion, at the same time as they will be invoked by the US and Israel as terrorist threats to world peace. The US government has been laying the groundwork for a turbulent future of war and terrorism. I do not mean to imply here that all has gone according to plan for the US or that the US government is all-powerful in foreign affairs. On the contrary, US actions, especially in the war on Iraq, have been at enormous political cost. Millions of people in the Middle East, perhaps billions worldwide now see the US war-maker state for what it is. Millions of Americans now understand the ruthless nature of their government more clearly than ever, and many now see the need for the overthrow of the war-makers. At the same time, arranging for a future of endless war is not a sign of the rulers= strength but of weakness. War has always been a method of controlling restive populations, but it is the most extreme method, high in its political costs and unpredictable in its outcome. The rulers of the US and the Muslim nations -- and indeed of world capitalism -- are being forced towards a future of endless war out of their fear of revolution, as billions of the world's people lose faith in capitalism and seek an alternative. America's most powerful elites are rolling the dice and hoping that fear of militant Islam and possible terrorism will make Americans line up dutifully behind their leaders and get them to accept life in an ever more unequal, undemocratic society without complaint or struggle. US and Islamic rulers hope to set Americans and Muslims against each other, inflame irrational hatreds, and blind people to their real enemies, the ruling elites of their own societies. Ordinary Iraqi and Pakistani and American workers have more in common with each other than they have with the ruling rich of their societies. To be effective the antiwar, anti-Empire movements in every country must have strong internationalist values and seek to build ties between workers of the US and Muslim and other countries. The answer to division is solidarity. The answer to communism and capitalism is truly democratic revolution. The answer to imperialist war is to turn the guns around and overthrow the war-makers. Dave Stratman is the author of We CAN Change The World: The Real Meaning Of Everyday Life and editor of newdemocracyworld.org. He can be reached at email@example.com. Back to "World At War" www.newdemocracyworld.org This article may be copied and posted on other websites http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shamireaders/message/343 --------------------------------- Do you Yahoo!? New and Improved Yahoo! 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