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Business As Usual-Death Delivered From the Sky
by ron jacobs (rjacobs [at] zoo.uvm.edu)
Monday Feb 19th, 2001 4:48 AM
Commentary on the recent US attacks on Iraq
Business as Usual...Death Delivered From the Skies
So, GW bombed Baghdad yesterday (February 16, 2001), calling the attack routine and in self-defense. I’m not really sure why anyone was surprised. After all, this is a man who executed over 300 people while he was governor of Texas without blinking an eye. In short, he is a killer. Furthermore, both his vice president and Secretary of State were instrumental in the original salvos of the neverending war against the Iraqis. I am more surprised that the attacks aren’t continuing as I write this the next day.

As has been noted elsewhere, the sanctions against Iraq are beginning to break down. This is cause for alarm in the U.S. and British circles. After all, not only do they have oil sheikdoms and their profits to protect, they also have their own power to maintain. If other members of the world community are going to ignore the U.S./British no-fly zones and schedule airline flights to Iraq, then what better way to end such flights then to attack Iraqi land outside the zones, thereby creating a situation where civilian flights may be in danger? In addition, there is the matter of Israel, recently taken over by the ultra rightwing Likud who have every intention of crushing the Palestinian struggle for independence. Given the war footing Israel is increasingly adopting, one purpose of this attack and any others to come is to warn Iraq and other anti-Israeli nations to stay out of the way. If such warnings fail, then one can be certain more damaging attacks will occur.

We must not forget that Iraq has been attacked hundreds of times since the end of Desert Storm, with over 20,000 bombs, several dozen missiles, and countless other armaments dropped on that country and its people. Over 300 people have been killed in these attacks. In addition, the sanctions against that country have killed at least another 500,000 people, many of them children and senior citizens. Why? One reason is to keep most of Iraq’s oil off the world market, thereby keeping oil profits from U.S. client states like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait artificially high. Another reason for this murderous policy is because Iraq serves as a convenient whipping boy for the U.S. and British governments and an example to other regimes which dare to challenge those regimes’ designs for the future. After all, goes their thinking, the United States and its friends should be the only militaries that can use their weapons of mass destruction whenever and wherever they desire.

It is time, once again, to step up resistance to the U.S./British war machine. If we do not make it clear now that we oppose imperial war in any form, the current government in Washington will make Bill Clinton look like a pacifist. Iraq is but the most obvious of GW’s targets, if only because most Americans think that by bombing that country, the military is attacking Saddam Hussein—a man whose only virtue is his resistance to the U.S. empire. We cannot make him into someone to admire, nor should we, but we can make it clear that Hussein is not Washington’s real target. No, the Pentagon’s real target is those around the globe who oppose U.S. designs for world hegemony. It is time for us here in the center of the machine to make it clear that we stand with those millions.
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