Friday, August 22, 2003

A good quote (in the posting dated August 21) from an excellent weblog by Juan Cole on Iraq (my emphasis added):

"The Bush administration made a very major mistake in blowing off the United Nations last spring. It just wasn't necessary. If Bush had delayed the start of the war 45 days, he could have had a majority of votes on the Security Council in favor of a war. If he had delayed 2-4 months he probably could have gotten France and Russia aboard. It wouldn't have cost $4 billion a month to wait a bit, which is what it does cost the US every month its 140,000 plus troops are in Iraq. A Security Council Resolution in favor of the war would have brought billions of dollars and thousands of troops from the international community, and made it far easier to provide security to post-war Iraq. The downside? Bremer wouldn't be able to just award contracts to Halliburton and Worldcom with no oversight or bidding. How would that constraint have hurt the American public? What if, you ask, the US had waited, and France and Russia had still refused to go along, because the inspectors could not find weapons of mass destruction? Well, the WMD wasn't there, so maybe there was not a casus belli. The war could have been called off, or the US could have gone ahead on the basis of the UNSC majority. Either outcome would have been preferable to the chaos and expense we see now."

We have been guessing at a number of reasons for the attack on Iraq, including the protection of Israel, the control of the international oil markets, the cowing of Middle Eastern oil states, the construction of bases in Iraq to lord over the Middle East and the Central Asian oil fields, the testing of new weapons on live human beings, and the desire to show that the United States is the chief motherfucker in charge and isn't afraid to do anything to prove it. As things play out so disastrously in Iraq, we are left with only one motivation that continues to control all American actions: the desire to keep the huge redevelopment contracts flowing solely to American companies. Every other part of the grand neocon plan to rule the world is in a shambles, but the stealing of the future wealth of the people of Iraq continues. The most doctrinaire Marxist wouldn't have dared propose that the most powerful country on earth would be risking huge amounts of wealth, the lives of thousands of its soldiers, and its position of dominance in the world, not to mention the security of its citizens from a massively increased risk of terrorist attack, all to sweeten the balance sheets of a tiny number of corporations with close personal ties to members of the Bush Administration, but that is exactly what is happening. In fact, to make the situation even more bizarre, there is essentially only one company really raking in the dough from all this, Haliburton, the corporation formerly led by Cheney and a corporation that continues to pay Cheney. We are now going to be treated to the unedifying spectacle of the Bush Administration trying to fool the members of the United Nations into spending big bucks and risking the lives of their own citizens to bail out the United States, a country that has essentially spit in the eye of the international community by getting itself into this mess in the first place. Of course, if the United States was prepared to give up some control, including, most notably, the right to treat the country of Iraq as part of the financial statements of Halliburton, the international community would respond. But the Bush Administration will never be able to make that particular concession. The UN bombing has proven that the United States has absolutely no control over the security in Iraq (and all these months of allowing the security situation to deteriorate in Baghdad, on the basis that the United States wouldn't spend a thin dime to keep the streets of Baghdad safe for some 'sand niggers', has now borne its bitter fruit), and no elected leader anywhere in the world can afford the risk of the massive expense and casualties that will certainly result from an Iraqi adventure (the Japanese are already getting cold feet, as has Thailand, and the Poles, valiantly representing the 'New Europe' but fearing 'risk', have decided to pull back from a 'high-risk area' near Baghdad [insert Polish joke here]). The American soldiers who are suffering and dying are essentially glorified security guards to allow Halliburton to continue to rape Iraq, and why would any other country that wasn't run by corrupt fools want to pay money and lives to assist in this outrage? If they really want to help out, it would be easier and cheaper to simply write a cheque personally payable to Dick Cheney.