War plans finally come to fruition

March 23, 2003

The coalition of the killing is now at work in Iraq. What was planned more than a year ago has finally come to pass and it will only be a matter of time before the United States achieves its wish and deposes a monster it helped to create, Saddam Hussein.

The reporting of the war sickens me Every bit of coverage attempts to soft-pedal the fact that human beings, people made of flesh and blood, are being pulverised to death when those bombs fall from above. Journalists, who are supposedly of a higher calling, use language that glorifies the act of warfare, language that makes one want to puke.

There is a constant reminder that the US and the other countries which invaded Iraq are trying to avoid killing people who are not part of the military. Australia even tried the truly laughable tactic of saying that their forces had gone out to bomb a building but then turned back because they were not sure whether it fitted in with their rules of engagement.This, when they are under American orders. All this propaganda washes thin in view of the fact that the Americans have cold-bloodedly killed several million in the last century in pursuit of similar goals.

People who understand technology know that smart weapons have their limits. And pretty woeful limits too. You can't knock down a 20-storey building with a cruise missile without some people in the vicinity being killed by the force of the impact. This does not bother the Americans. And not every missile is on target - 10 percent of them miss their targets and kill people.

Why does every TV and radio report sound a note of caution when a reporter files a story from Baghdad, reminding people that those who operate from there do so under restrictions, and then forget to provide the same warning when reporters who are "embedded" with troop units file their reports? At least one report has spoken of the way the reports filed by these "embedded" journalists are whetted and sanitised. What is this if not censorship?

I've often wondered - if September 11 had never happened, would the US have gone to war? Many would argue that such would not have been the case. But I'm not sure - and if anything what follows has convinced me that even if Osama bin Laden had not chosen to stage that attack, the extreme right-wing in Washington would have found a trumped-up excuse and implemented their plans. September 11 only hastened things.

April 1 is known as All Fool's Day. But the Letter from Washington that appeared The New Yorker that day was no joke. Normal Lemann's exhaustive piece outlined the process that would be followed by the Americans in turning Iraq into public enemy number one and going to war.

If either Tony Blair or John Howard, the leaders of Britain and Australia, and the only two nations to commit troops to the fight, were unaware of this, then they are bigger fools than they actually appear to be. What appears more likely is that both were aware of this but bought into the American plans because they wanted to gain economically as a reault - Blair by having BP and Shell play a prominent role in post-war Iraq and Howard because he is obsessed with getting a free-trade deal with the Americans.

Lemann's article is both frightening and educative. He has contact with the people who make policy in Washington - this is no hack writing after being briefed on background by "sources." He enunciates a policy that has been spoken about here and there but nobody else has outlined, in so much detail, the entire way the whole drama would be played out. Doubtless, anyone who read him at that time would have put it down to being another set of predictions that would be just that - predictions. Today it stands as proof of the monumental deception of the world.

The policy has done one thing - it has made every country realise that the one way to get the US off its back is to develop a nuclear deterrent. Israel showed the way and was able to successfully use its nuclear weapns to blackmail Henry Kissinger into resupplying the country with weapons during the 1973 war - at a point when Kissinger's policy was to let the Israelis bleed and then come out marginally ahead so that they would be amenable to a peace deal with the Arabs.

India knew it could not depend on the Soviet Union for cover forever and so it went the nuclear route. It was a matter of time before Pakistan, its traditional foe, did likewise. If North Korea has been emboldened enough to thumb its nose at the US, it is only because of the plutonium being generated in its nuclear plants. Soon, it will no longer have to depend on China's patronage to keep Washington at bay.

Thus, the US has to tread with caution when dealing with North Korea. It has huge economic interests in Japan and South Korea and if the Japanese investors pull their money out of the US, then the economy would collapse. It is interesting to note that both South Korea and Japan have now volunteered to send non-combatant forces to help in the war in Iraq.

There are two other countries in the Middle East which the US would love to "discipline" and bring into line in the same manner as Iraq. Iran has stepped up its efforts to obtain nuclear weapons - Syria is the lone Arab country which backed Iran during its eight-year war with Iraq and therefore Iran can be expected to return the favour. Both countries are implacable foes of Israel and if they were invaded and puppet regimes installed - as will happen in Iraq - then the Middle East would be totally under US control.

Predictions about any war in the Middle East are pointless. Iraq attacked Iran in 1980, thinking it would be a picnic - and a ceasefire came about only in August 1988. The Americans went into Iraq in 1991 - and probably never thought, then, that they would have to return again 12 years down the line. The Middle East is an inherently unstable region and there are far too many tribal ties and alliances for anybody to guess at an outcome. One thing is sure - this isn't the last war of the US bid for domination. And the Americans aren't going home any time soon - they have come to stay.