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[casi] Senator Brownback: Feting the Iraqi opposition

New City 1999: Mr. Brownback held forth on his plans
for Iraq. And the "assembled Iraqi 'patriots' thunderously
applauded the destruction of their own people, while
sipping coffee and digging into dessert--courtesy of
the US taxpayers, of course."

The attached article wanders a bit but I think it illustrates
the _what's in it-for me_ incentive behind some opposition
members' fervent public efforts to win hearts and minds
for the intended slaughter. Looking at it cynically, these
efforts may be seen as a way to earn one's keep.

Still, I do not presume to judge what is basically the
instinct for self-preservation inherent in us all. It's
the pretence to altruism that bothers me - and above all
the mud-slinging. It seems futile. Perhaps you can fool
some of the people all of the time, but...

It's also an insult to common intelligence: How do you
convincingly dress up an act of rapacious realpolitik as
an act of 'liberation'? Or as an act of disarmament?
Or whatever else they may cook up.

I can't bear the news anymore, or Bush's speeches. So I've
buried my head... I don't want to hear the announcement.

(I still remember the Sunday back in October 2001 when the
CBC announced the attack on Afghanistan. And now Afghanistan,
US-puppet, is part of the pack.)



November 1, 1999


While tens of thousands of Iraqis, mostly children and the
aged, were being starved to death by the U.S./Allied
embargo, a few hundred of their countrymen were meeting in
a fancy New York City hotel, feasting on canape's and
listening to Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) bloviate
about how [3] he wanted to turn most of Iraq into a "no
drive zone." Playing to his audience, which consisted
mostly of Shi'ite and Sunni Muslims, Brownback asked "if
we are unwilling to tolerate an attack on the Kurds" by
Saddam's Republican Guards, then "why should [an attack]
on Shi'ites or Sunni be more acceptable? We should provide
the same protection in the south as we do in the north."
Thus opened what was described by the organizers as "the
largest and most inclusive" meeting of the Iraqi
opposition in exile since 1992 -- in effect, a
proposal to make all of Iraq a "no live" zone. The
assembled Iraqi "patriots" thunderously applauded the
destruction of their own people, while sipping coffee and
digging into dessert -- courtesy of the US taxpayers,
of course.


Brownback was followed by "War Crimes Ambassador" David
Scheffer, who set a world record for condensing a maximum
amount of hypocrisy into a minimum number of words,
declaring: "You and the Iraqi people you represent often
have firsthand information of what Saddam is doing. It is
important for the world to hear accurate and reliable
reports of ongoing crimes Saddam is continuing to commit
against the Iraqi people. The truth is our ally, and
Saddam's enemy." What about the accurate and reliable
reports of the UN, and private humanitarian organizations,
which document the humanitarian catastrophe inflicted on
the Iraqi people by draconian US sanctions? These inhuman
sanctions forbid the importation of baby food -- no
doubt classified as a "weapon of mass destruction" by Mad
Madeleine Albright and the pinstriped crowd. The truth is
that the US and its allies are systematically annihilating
two generations of Iraqis: the very young and the very
old. And that truth is the mortal enemy of the US and its
Iraqi proxies, no matter how much they try to shift the
blame to Saddam.


BTW -- What's up with the "War Crimes Ambassador"
stuff? Now there is a truly Orwellian title for a
government bureaucrat to put on his office door. For a
nation that has committed so many war crimes of late
-- in Yugoslavia, where thousands of civilians were
wantonly bombed from high altitudes; in Iraq; and in the
Sudan -- the sheer arrogance of this office and its
occupant is nothing less than demonic.


Whatever crimes Saddam has committed against his people
will be for them alone to judge. As Iraqi children drop
like flies in winter, starved to death or felled by easily
preventable diseases, Scheffer should be investigating his
own government -- the real war criminals in this case.
In an important sense, the chief function of the "War
Crimes Ambassador" is not to merely denounce the alleged
"war crimes" of others, it is to divert attention away
from our own. This can never work inside Iraq, of course,
but then it is not intended to: this conference was put on
for public consumption in the US, as part of an ongoing
effort to build a political consensus for renewed military
action in the Gulf. And it may be coming sooner than you
think, but we'll get to that in a minute. Meanwhile...


Will someone please write and tell me where oh where in
the Constitution is the President empowered to appoint a
"War Crimes Ambassador"? Good God, the whole world already
knows that the American government's hypocrisy knows no
bounds -- do we have to flaunt it so brazenly? With
all this brouhaha about the allegedly massive numbers of
"isolationists" in Congress, one would think that at least
a few of them could be rounded up to rid us of this
insufferably pretentious and inherently imperial office.
But that, I suppose, is asking too much.



The much-heralded U.S.-Iranian rapprochement -- which
started with secret arms shipments to the Bosnian Muslims
facilitated by the US, and culminated in the Islamization
of Kosovo by the KLA and its American-piloted air force
-- is proceeding apace. Although Iranian "moderates"
can only go so far in openly allying with the hated
Americans, simple geography may win out over ideology: for
the US is also targeting the Taliban, in nearby
Afghanistan, which is contesting with the mullahs of
Teheran for the loyalties of Islamic radicals around the




If the enemy of my enemy is my friend, then the Iranians
may have yet another reason to throw in their lot with the
Americans. Their reward: a piece of Iraq, probably in the
south, where a Shi'ite "Islamic Republic" could be
declared as soon as the invasion starts. That the Islamic
Resistance refused the invitation to the conference is the
equivalent of saying to the Americans: we can do it
without you. For what is to stop the Iranians from moving
in just as soon as the Gulf War begins anew?


Also in attendance at this propaganda gabfest was Senator
Bob Kerrey (D-Nebraska), who pledged to the delegates that
the US remains "fully committed to providing the
opposition both inside and outside of Iraq the tools
needed to bring democracy to the Iraqi people." Kerrey is
the author of the "Iraq Liberation Act," which shovels
millions of your tax dollars into the rathole inhabited by
the perpetually squabbling and far-from-democratic Iraqi
opposition. The following few lines of Senator Kerrey's
speech ought to make the hairs on the back of your head
stand at attention: "I believe that this historic
gathering of Iraqi leaders can take place in Baghdad next
year," the Senator said. "I will pray for that to happen."


Senator Kerrey is praying for war with Iraq, perhaps
before the year is out -- and there is every reason to
believe that his prayers may very well be answered. The
low-level escalation of the bombing raids over Iraqi
cities has been so continuous that the news media have
practically ceased reporting it, and it wouldn't take much
to ratchet it up. The US is building a new base in Qatar,
right on the Gulf, and expanding existing facilities,
although not without complaints from the Arab sheiks who
maintain their shaky rule against growing fundamentalist
opposition. The capability to wage another war in the Gulf
is being openly assembled, and this gathering of the Iraqi
Fifth Column in New York, combined with the vagaries of
the American political calendar, is an ominous portent.



The militant Islamic groups, as well as [6] the Iraqi
government, were contemptuous of the [7] INC's
pretensions: "The Americans deal with the Iraqi issue
according to their goals," he said. "They called for the
meeting because they could not do anything on the ground,"
sniffed Bayan Jabr, the Syria representative of the Iran-
based Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.
"Real opposition should be in the field. Overthrowing
Saddam cannot be done miles away." Oh, but it can --
miles above the ground, that is, in the skies over Iraq,
as American bombers drop their "payloads" on the heads of
a martyred people. As a warrior, Bayan Jabr assumes that
the New York convocation was the gathering of an army,
meant to fight and overthrow Saddam. But this was an army
of administrators, the functionaries of a government that
has not yet taken power. If they ever do make it to
Baghdad, it will be on the backs of US Army tanks, and not
as the result of a popular uprising.


As I argued in [8] a recent column reporting on a similar
conference involving the Serbian opposition, the US uses
its bought-and-paid-for "opposition" groups much as the
old Soviet Union treated the member parties of the
Communist International -- as potential fifth
columnists rather than aspiring revolutionaries, more akin
to East Germany's Walter Ulbright and Poland's General
Jaruzelski (or, if you prefer, the Nazi analogy, Vidkung
Quisling and Field Marshall Petain) than George Washington
and the Founding Fathers.


Once US troops occupy Baghdad, Washington is going to need
native satraps to carry out its orders -- under the
guise of "democracy," what else? Thus, although the Iraqis
are due to receive some military training, eventually, the
bulk of the money is going to give the Iraqis lessons in
"democracy." According to news reports, "beginning Monday,
four Iraqi opposition leaders are expected to begin
classes on democracy in Florida, with more to follow."
While the future leaders of Iraq loll about on the beach,
listening to audiotapes of Madeleine Albright's speeches,
reading the complete works of Hillary Rodham Clinton, and
undergoing what Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon described
as "non-lethal training," sanctions squeeze the very life
out of the Iraqi people, and the noose around their
nation's neck draws ever tighter.
-------------End fwd-------------

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