Pending military action against Iraq

According to the media, we will soon be at war with Iraq, again. When I say we, I mean the West, of which Canada is a member. Many of the players are the same, Saddam Hussein, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, and a George Bush. While Saddam’s recent overtures to the United Nations suggest he will allow weapons inspectors in order to avoid another war, the present American regime is, with all apologies to Judas Priest, hell bent for leather on invading Iraq and ridding the world of Saddam once and for all.

Before I get to why we are going in this time, let us review why we went there the last time. Previous to Saddam’s summer 1990 invasion of Kuwait, the Iraqi regime accused Kuwait of slant drilling into Iraq’s oil fields. Saddam, who had been armed by the American government during the Iran-Iraq war, decided he needed to protect his country’s resources so he invaded his neighbour to the south, with the implied consent of the United States and President Bush the Elder.

But Bush changed his mind. Secretary of Defence Dick Cheney told the American public Saddam had troops massed on the border with Saudi Arabia and intended to seize the Saudi oil fields. He didn’t; satellite imagery showed that no such thing had taken place. When the American people didn’t bite, congressional hearings were set up. Many of you may remember the young Kuwaiti girl who testified to babies being butchered and how she had just barely escaped from the evil clutches of Saddam’s forces.

This was a lie. The young woman in question was the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador in Washington. Bush compared Saddam to Adolf Hitler. Considering his own father did business with Hitler even after the Germans declared war on the United States, he might have some special insight that lay people like the rest of us don’t.

But the real selling point was the price of oil, something a bunch of Texas oilmen like Bush and Cheney knew well. They said if Saddam got control of Saudi oil, Americans could expect to pay more at the pumps. The American people bit, and with an acquiescent world community, the Americans invaded. Saddam lost but was not defeated. The expected American support for a popular uprising never materialized and Saddam’s Iraqi opponents were left to fend for themselves for a decade, with the odd British or American air strike as aid.

Now, Bush, Cheney and Powell want to go into Iraq again. Apparently Saddam has nuclear weapons, at least according to Bush the Younger, who cited a United Nations report on nuclear rearmament. But the President’s aides later said that no such report exists. So if there is no nuclear threat, why are we going after Saddam again?

Well kids, the same reason we went in over a decade ago; oil. While the United States is not as reliant on Saudi oil as it was a decade ago, it still needs the oil. Also, even though Osama bin Laden was based in Afghanistan, he’s from Saudi Arabia. The September 11 hijackers were all from either Egypt or one of the Persian Gulf states. The governments of Egypt and the various Gulf States are all friendly to the West. Yet, all these governments are in danger of falling to fundamental Muslim regimes, which tend to view the West in general, and the United States in particular, as the great Satan. In order to make sure the states remain friendly, and make sure that precious oil does not fall into the wrong hands, the Americans must increase their presence in the Persian Gulf.

Despite all the rhetoric, I don’t think the Americans can afford to get rid of Saddam Hussein. He’s their bogeyman. With him in power, they will always have an excuse to use military intervention in the Gulf. Without him, they would have no genuine reason to keep their bases in Saudi Arabia. I genuinely do believe that Saddam must go. He has turned Iraq into an international pariah. The UN sanctions intended to harm him only made him stronger, and hurt the masses in his country. Bush is right, there must be a regime change in Iraq. I just don’t believe he has the wherewithal to accept the consequence of a lower American profile in the Gulf.

Leave a comment