Hadi - Comments


Comments on:
A draft essay for comment: Iraq as seen in the United States
by Michael K. Scott


Date: Thu, 05 Jul 2001 16:48:39 +0100
From: "HA" HA@flame2000.screaming.net
Subject: Re: [Iraq] A draft essay for comment: Iraq as seen in the United States
To: Iraq@yahoogroups.com
Mailing-List: list Iraq@yahoogroups.com; contact Iraq-owner@yahoogroups.com

Dear Michael, The comments in your draft essay for a post sanctions reconstruction policy seem to be highly valid, positive and constructive. You have been asking for comments from this list for some time so I hope you do not mind if I add some personal observations on any post sanctions US/Iraq policy. I believe that any future reconstruction policy with regards to US/Iraq relations is impossible, if any reconstruction effort is aimed at only reassessing US policy vis a vis Iraq alone. The US needs to reassess its Middle East policy since 1945 in its entirety and not just with Iraq per se. Yet as your draft essay deals primarily with Iraq as seen in the United States and its impact on a post sanctions reconstruction policy I will keep my comments to principally to this field.

The problems with any such effort are:

1) The General Public: I am very sad to say that the general public in the US seem to care very little about US foreign policy in the world generally, let alone with regards Iraq. If the murder of 1.5 million Iraqis cannot motivate the average American to be interested (let alone concerned) about the US's current relationship with Iraq, I very much doubt they would care about any future post sanctions Iraq reconstruction policy. If you look at the type of Americans that do care, for example the average type currently campaigning against sanctions, they tend to be marginalised progressive, educated, middle class and relatively young. This section of Americans however do not seem to represent mainstream impassive and indifferent American public opinion.

2) Arab Americans: Removing the stereo types about Arabs as seen in the popular American psyche is a massive task which Arab Americans, led primarily (and almost wholly) by Palestinian Americans, are only just beginning to engage in. The problem is that Arab Americans have historically failed to organise themselves into an effective lobby en par with the Zionist lobby. This is not surprising as American Jews are more well established linguistically, culturally, religiously and historically into mainstream American society. Arab Americans fail to successfully organise themselves primarily due to their own faults. There are now for example approximately three to four million Iraqi's in exile. If you meet those that are naturalised and living in the west, you will find that no matter how long they have lived in their adopted country, they still treat their exile as temporary and hope to return in the near future. In some cases Iraqi and other Arab nationals have lived in exile for decades and become highly integrated in their adopted country, yet still fail to organise themselves and engage as a community in the political process. This only serves to further obstruct any future post sanctions Iraq reconstruction policy.

3) Zionist Lobby: The Zionist lobby regardless of how much it would be in America's strategic interest, would effectively block any successful post sanctions Iraq reconstruction policy. If you study the publications of bodies such as the "Israeli" government, Zionist think tanks and lobby groups, you will notice they always label Iraq as "Israel's" ultimate long term strategic threat. Iraq is the only real Arab state capable of gaining strategic parity with "Israel" in the long run. Regardless of the political complexion of Iraq, "Israel" has consistently sought to weaken and undermine the Iraqi state since 1948. The maintenance of sanctions in the short run and the prevention of any future US/Iraq rapprochement will always be high on the Zionist agenda regardless of any political changes on the ground.

4) Big Business: Big Business would forever be the key to determining future post sanctions Iraq reconstruction policy. Iraq has the second largest reserves of oil in the world after Saudi Arabia and lucrative reconstruction contracts to rebuild the war and sanctions devastated economy. American big business interests however failed to prevent the Gulf War or the continuation of sanctions for over a decade. Their interests in Iraq have only further eroded as Russian, French and Chinese firms have succeeded in carving up the Iraqi market at the expense of US interests. The situation has further deteriorated as it has become in the interest of American multi-national oil companies to keep Iraqi oil of the world market to prevent a collapse of high oil prices. Allowing American big business a slice of the Iraqi cake would help facilitate a post sanctions Iraq reconstruction policy, but this seems unlikely given the present political realities.

5) Geo-Politics: It has always served America's military-industrial complex to have a visible enemy out there in the world. Can you think of a better excuse than Iraq to justify Bush's expenditure of billions on NMD? Regardless of the interests of the American military-industrial complex in preventing a post sanctions Iraq reconstruction policy, hostility against Iraq is needed to justify the American presence in Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States. Unless there is a visible enemy threatening the Gulf Co-operation Council how else is the US to justify to these country's hostile populations its continuing military presence on top of 60% of the worlds oil reserves? This reality will also deter and ultimately obstruct any future post sanctions Iraq reconstruction policy.

Regards Hadi.