The real American motive in Iraq

By Stephane Massinon

If Mike Tyson was feeling a little edgy and looking for a fight, would you sneak up on him and kick him in the shins when he wasn’t looking? Probably not.

This is the current Iraqi reality with respect to the United States. Sure, they might be able to sneak in a quick sucker punch on an overwhelmingly powerful opponent, but afterward, the damage brought onto the Middle Eastern country would be ten times worse. The American army would come out swinging against Iraq’s armed forces. (And, in the spirit of the former heavyweight champion, would probably try to eat their children.)

Any Iraqi-based attack against the U.S. could only come to life if Saddam Hussein was feeling particularly suicidal. Assuming he isn’t, Americans should rest assured that they are in no real danger. But this is not the case. For the last year or so, the fear mongering campaign of the American government has attempted to make their citizens fearful of an imminent attack that really makes no logical sense.

This behaviour is certainly not uncommon for our neighbours. For over 40 years, they taught their country to fear the Soviets. They built weapons en masse, collected names of suspected communists, and went to wars across the globe to prevent the spread of communism. But was there really a threat of a massive attack from the Russians? With mutually assured destruction in mind, I don’t think so.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Americans have continued to prosper and face no real threat from any military power, including Iraq. At least during the Cold War, the Soviets had a sizeable army and nuclear weapons. Iraq on the other hand, is far weaker and much less of a threat, yet the fear of attack lives on.

So, if Iraq doesn’t really pose a threat, why would the Americans be so eager to go to war? Well, because the UN weapons inspectors haven’t been allowed to continue their work in Iraq like they agreed to in the treaty that brought an end to the Persian Gulf War. We’ve all heard this argument many times, but I don’t buy it. If this were the case, the Americans would have attacked shortly after Iraq violated its treaty promises. But they didn’t; there was no need to. Now, there is.

The American economy is still relatively weak and has not fully recovered from September 11. This is, by far, the biggest difference in the United States since the time that the inspectors were relieved of their duties in 1998. At that time, with Bill Clinton in office, the American economy was strong and getting stronger. When Hussein demanded the inspectors leave, the American government held on to it as a “war rain-cheque” to be claimed when needed. Now, the Americans are looking for a way to improve their stagnant economy, and Iraq’s massive oil supply looks mighty tempting–but George Bush won’t come out and say it.

Instead, the Americans try to fill their citizens with the fear of an inevitable attack. To the global community, they speak of treaty breaking to validate an attack against Hussein. However way you choose to look at it, Bush surely isn’t telling the truth. By marketing it as a pre-emptive strike, the Americans are only trying to justify their greed. But come on, it’s starting to look pretty obvious that Iraq’s oil is what they are really after.

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