Online Journal
Front Page 
 Special Reports
 News Media
 Elections & Voting
 Social Security
 Editors' Blog
 Reclaiming America
 The Splendid Failure of Occupation
 The Lighter Side
 The Mailbag
 Online Journal Stores
 Official Merchandise
 Join Mailing List

The Splendid Failure of Occupation Last Updated: Jan 4th, 2007 - 01:08:31

Part 21: Colin Powell, procedure for conquest
By B.J. Sabri
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Nov 9, 2004, 23:21

Email this article
 Printer friendly page

�The enemy shows no concern for the Iraqi people.��Lt. Col. Jim Hutton, characterizing the Iraqi resistance fighting the American occupation [Emphasis added]

�Around 100,000 Iraqi civilians have died as a result of the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, more than half of them from violence. Violence accounted for most of the excess deaths and air strikes from coalition forces accounted for most violent deaths."�Extract from report issued by The Lancet a British medical weekly on October 28, 2004 [Note: The Lancet did not report on Iraqi military death. According to post-war estimates, close to 40,000 Iraqi soldiers died in the period March 19�April 8, 2004]

Powell�s �theories� on Iraq�s occupation, sovereignty, and election are not disconnected subjects, but one unified theme detailing the procedure for conquest. Although Powell is clever at using colloquial imagery to buttress those �theories,� the absence of convincing arguments inescapably leads him to trivialize all issues before him.

In responding to the French who wanted complete Iraqi sovereignty when transferring political power, Powell, whose aim was giving illusory sovereignty while maintaining the occupation regime, ridiculed his French counterpart, theorized on the topic from an exclusive U.S. imperialist angle, and cast no shadow on his vision for shaping such power.

Powell�s Theory on the Creation of New Iraqi Power Structure

Powell�s formula to create a new Iraqi power structures suiting American-Israeli imperialist objectives is not a novelty in modern history. Japan did it in part of China. Britain did it in part of China, and in India, as well as in Africa and in the Middle East, including Iraq. Hitler did it in France. The U.S. did it, to varying degrees, in Japan, Germany, Vietnam, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Granada, and so on. Time, space, and regime may change, but not the strategy for building subservient local powers to assist in the management of direct occupation or indirect hegemony as in arranged pro-American coups.

In the following statement, Powell outlined important strategic conditions to create a pro-occupation Iraqi political power. On September 15, 2003, Powell commented to the British BBC on the issue of who would form a power structure that would rule Iraq as follows:

�Suggestions that we find a passing Iraqi and give him the government, and say that the Americans are leaving�that is not an acceptable solution.� [Emphasis added]

In reality, Powell inserted three complex concepts in one sentence: 1) future personalities ruling Iraq, 2) statement of intent on American presence, and 3) U.S. determination to guard its self-given right in defining acceptability of a solution.

It is necessary to note first that the U.S. strategy for a �transfer of power� was only a stratagem designed to quell the anti-occupation resistance by presenting the occupiers as �only� a dominant part of an international force charged with the protection of �Iraqi security.� By calling the anti-occupation uprising, �insurgency,� and by relying on a propaganda spin that members of the old regime are directing it, the U.S. hoped that the killing of Saddam�s sons would weaken the impulse to resist. That did not happen.

Out of desperation, U.S. strategists speculated that since the killing of Ouday and Qusay did not end the resistance, then the capture or killing of Saddam himself would. That did not happen either. Saddam�s capture has actually freed the resistance from the stigma of being associated with him, thus adding more momentum and geographical depth.

However, because the uprising is comprehensive and is not limited to what the U.S. calls the �Sunni Triangle,� it may well include followers of the deposed Baathist regime. Apart from that, according to what laws are Baathists not supposed to take a role in freeing their homeland from occupation? Why is it surprising that Iraqis, be they Saddamist, Baathist, Nazi, democratic, communist, fascist, socialist, Islamist, apolitical, fanatic, atheist, polytheist, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, agnostic, liberal, capitalist, progressive, regressive, etc., are rising to defend their existence from insidious foreign invaders? Resistance to invaders is a natural human reaction.

Realizing that no ruse succeeded thus far to stop the revolt, the U.S. invented an imaginative ploy: give ceremonial sovereignty, but maintain effective occupation. When this ploy also failed miserably because of the escalating revolt, the U.S. concocted the idea of holding elections in January 2005. The rationale is simple; a pre-cooked �election� may achieve for the invaders, what the invasion has not been able to achieve�the U.S. conquest of Iraq. In this election, the U.S., via its Iraqi stooges, can manipulate every aspect, so that pro-occupation forces could win, thus conferring �decisive legitimacy� to the American occupation.

Does election matter in occupied Iraq? The answer is an absolute no. There is a structural flaw in this design. While an election can legitimize political power in an independent state, it will not work for a country under military occupation�election and occupation are incompatible and have no points of intersection.

Are these and other infantile colonialist ploys going to work? The answer is no. When the U.S. intentionally broke the Iraqi �Humpty Dumpty,� it unleashed new forces of history that have become impossible to put back together. Seen from various angles, the current Iraqi situation is neither volatile nor unpredictable. Quite the opposite, it is very clear�all signs point in the direction of an unremitting bloody struggle between occupiers and occupied that would annul all calculations of imperialism.

In this horrific, antagonistic existential milieu, it is highly unlikely that outdated equations belonging to defunct colonial powers, i.e., suppression of anti-colonial revolts, can work. A simple historical paradigm could endorse this assumption: the suppression of a revolt for independence will only generate further revolts that are much larger, more resolute, and exceedingly violent. Despite all pretentious attempts to discard the examples of Algeria, Angola, and Vietnam, these proved that either an incessant war of liberation or voluntary withdrawal of the occupiers is the only viable solution to the impasse of the U.S. in Iraq.

Can negotiation end the occupation? It is possible, but with a caveat. Based on a mentality of absolute imperialistic dominance, with all U.S. ruling classes and pundits clamoring that �failure is not an option,� and with anti-Arab Zionist circles lurking beneath the surface of American decision making, negotiation would be anathema that the U.S. under hyper-imperialism may never contemplate before cruel reality hits hard.

Powell�s notion of �Finding a passing Iraqi . . .", therefore, is imperialist arrogance at its best. He treated the situation as if there were no Iraqis capable of managing their future except those he chooses. What did Powell effectively say, anyway? In a classical speech reversal, he said, �The U.S. is willing to end its occupation but only in its present form, and not before selecting a new Iraqi leader that carries Washington�s strategy of conquest.

The question is what type of an Iraqi was Powell looking for, and what constitutes, in his opinion, an acceptable solution?

Naturally, Powell could not choose an Iraqi from inside Iraq that potentially could oppose the occupation, but one who can confer, assumingly, �Iraqi legality� to it, and ready to fight on behalf of the occupier. Powell and company decided to choose one among the many former Iraqis who gave up their Iraqi citizenship to become naturalized citizens of various foreign countries. Technically, those Iraqis have no legal status to act as if they were still Iraqis. It is imperative to ask at this point, if the United States would allow an American national who renounced his U.S. citizenship to run for the Senate or for the presidency? If the answer is no, then why does the U.S. impose on the Iraqis ex-Iraqi citizens to rule over them?

Among these were, Ahmad Chalabi, a British citizen and an Israeli-CIA agent, who lived in Iraq only during the years of his boyhood; and Adnan Pachachi, a British citizen living in the United Arab Emirates. The Iraqis, however, despised Chalabi who entered Baghdad riding on an American tank and wearing a green beret.

Pachachi, a former foreign minister to Al-Bakr and Saddam Hussein, had nothing to do with Iraq and Iraqis since he withdrew from politics in 1968. Pachachi, a Sunni Arab who favored the war on Iraq, lost all of his credibility with the public when he made a weird statement that L. Paul Bremer was not an �occupier,� but an �advisor� to the dissolved �Iraqi Governing Council.� Of course, the U.S. could not choose a pro-occupation Kurdish ally�the time was premature to have a Kurd posing as ruler of a mostly Arabic Iraq.

In the end, the U.S. settled on Ayad Allawi, a former Baathist, as a caretaker of an �interim government� whose only function is to prepare for �election.� Allawi�s choice was not accidental�he is an agent of multiple western spy agencies, a pro-occupation advocate, and most importantly a Shiite Arab. With Allawi in the leading seat, the U.S. can wink to the Shiite majority, as well as to the Baathists that the U.S. was cozying up to since the fall of Baghdad, and whom the U.S. accuses of directing the uprising. Allawi has all of Saddam�s dictatorial traits, political history, fascist methods, and most importantly, his commitment to Washington to eliminate all Iraqis opposing the occupation.

Is the Allawi regime preparing for election? With two months to go, and with the U.S. pushing for voting blocks from which it can select anyone it wishes after election, the answer is no. Once the U.S. installed Allawi as an �interim prime minister,� it immediately dropped the qualifier �interim,� and conceived him to be a permanent strongman, in other words, a dictator that Iraqis can �freely� elect. Through Allawi, the U.S. imposed on a �free� Iraq, another cycle of Saddamism, but without Saddam, thus placing the Iraqis between the genocidal hammer of occupation and the murderous anvil of Allawi-ism.

The only two political differences between Saddam and Allawi are: 1) Saddam was a pan-Arabist and an anti-Zionist, although his disastrous policies benefited Israel and Zionism and divided the Arabs. Allawi is a full-fledged arrogant Zionist and an advocate of American imperialism, who is committed to abide by the Israeli and American demands at the expense of Iraq. 2) Saddam ruled a sovereign Iraq until the U.S. shackled it with U.N. resolutions and no-fly zones; Allawi is �ruling� an occupied Iraq, but his reach cannot extend beyond one tenth of Baghdad. (The Baghdadi populace calls Allawi, �the mayor of the Green Zone.�)

Because Allawi was Powell�s �acceptable solution,� we have to remind him of two things. First, until the U.S. destroyed it, Iraq was an industrially advanced and pivotal Middle Eastern state with the highest per capita ratios (in the region and maybe in the Third World) of professionals, political thinkers, economists, scientists, intellectuals, poets, writers, and artists. Indeed, the U.N. had once (1980s) classified Iraq, as one among the 56 most developed countries in the world. The point is that a country such as Iraq with all that human capital must have, necessarily, a large pool of experienced people from which competent men and women could lead the country out of the cycles of wars, occupation, destruction, and massacres that the U.S. imposed on it.

Unlike Powell�s �acceptable solution,� what constitutes a truly acceptable solution is that the U.S. returns Iraq to its people regardless of the nature of the political system they want to adopt. The U.S. can undertake this complex process by first declaring its solemn and verifiable intent to withdraw from Iraq according to a schedule, and without leaving any trace of its ugly, fascist occupation.

Powell�s Theory on Logical Reasoning

Powell has the capacity to distract us with his one-hundredth-of-a-penny logic. Commenting on the French suggestion (much before U.N. resolution 1551) that the American occupation is the problem in Iraq, Powell made a masterpiece of a circumlocutory statement.

Powell: �It is [the French proposal] to stop what are we doing, and we have done too much to consider any such proposal.� De Villepin [Dominique De Villepin, former French Foreign Minister], Powell continued, �Expressed the occupation that is the problem. But you need that liberating force there for a period of time to get control of the security situation� [Emphasis added]

Being a reasonable person, De Villepin cogently identified the only conceivable problem that afflicts post-invasion Iraq�occupation. Powell, on the other hand, feeling superior to �old Europe,� replied in an entangled hyper-imperialist hyperbole by wondering, �If the French wanted to stop what the U.S. was doing.�

One might ask a question: Aside from occupying, stealing, brutalizing, torturing, destroying, killing, and transforming Iraq into a colonial protectorate that provides real estate for American bases, a springboard for aggressions around the region, and a gas station for Israel, what else is the U.S. doing? Would that include the plan to partition Iraq into a �Sunni triangle,� �Shiite rectangle,� �Kurdish circle,� and �Turcoman quadrant��a precious objective of Israel, so a precedent is set for the future of the Arab World?

Second, what was Powell alluding to when he said that the Americans �have done so much?� What does �so much� mean in Powell�s vocabulary? Was he alluding to the destruction of Iraq and the killing of over 100,000 plus of its people? Or maybe to the selling of Iraqi state enterprises to American investors? Or did he mean the forced conversion of Iraq�s mixed economy to market capitalism of the 19th century?

Alternatively, was he alluding to restoring water and electricity to pre-aggression levels? If not, was he then alluding to the millions of Iraqis rendered sick because of depleted uranium? Was he alluding to those Iraqis who can no longer provide for their own food and shelter because of war, destruction, and the brutal sudden breakup of the Iraqi state overnight? If not, did he mean providing jobs to the seventy-five percent of the population rendered unemployed by war and by mass layoffs ordered by Paul Bremer? Finally, was he alluding to how the U.S. is stealing Iraqi oil and money, and to the building of military bases throughout Iraq with Iraqi money?

While we are on the subject, what did Powell mean when he said that, �You need a liberating force to get control of the security situation?� Can Powell explain how this strange metaphor works? How can a �liberating force� control a war of liberation? What logical principle did Powell use, so a �liberating force� can mutate into an �occupying force�? Can he give us a clue as how to unravel his problematic hyper-intent?

Powell is so absorbed in the vortex of self-deception as well as that of deceiving the American people. For example, in his interview with ABC�s �This Week� last September 26, Powell added one more Powell-esque stunt to his acrobatic skills. Said Powell, �"We are fighting an intense insurgency," then added, �Yes it's getting worse, and the reason it's getting worse is that they are determined to disrupt the election.� [Emphasis added]

As a public officer accountable to the American people who sanctioned his ascension to power, Powell is not forthcoming�his loyalty to imperialism and political obscurantism are stronger than his obligation to inform the people that he represents. Powell did not have the courage to tell us what is really happening in Iraq, nor found it necessary to explain the reasons for the ongoing war. His characterization of this war as �insurgents� wanting to disrupt his scam-election is just another hoax that he adds to his abysmal record.

Beyond that, as a doctrinaire of imperialism, Powell misused the modern terminology of revolutionary upheaval. He, by design or ignorance, called the anti-colonialist Iraqi uprising, �insurgency,� as if Iraq were an American territory, therefore, the U.S. is fighting a civil war or organized military disobedience on its soil.

As expected, Powel avoided explaining the true reason, why the Iraqi �insurgency� �is getting intense and worse.� In answering his own question, he omitted one universal truth about the armed struggle against U.S. colonialism in Iraq, which is, a war of liberation against foreign occupation.

Next: Part 22: Colin Powell, epilog

B. J. Sabri is an Iraqi-American anti-war activist. He can be reached at

Copyright © 1998-2007 Online Journal
Email Online Journal Editor

Top of Page

The Splendid Failure of Occupation
Latest Headlines
Part 45: How the U.S. engineered the Iraqi holocaust
Part 44: Burning the cradle of civilization
Part 43: The scheme behind the bombardment of Iraq
Part 42: Postwar aftermath or imperialist mutatis mutandis?
Part 41: The choice: obedience or annihilation
Part 40: A one-way bombardment called Gulf War
Part 39: Iraq: The second stage of conquest
Part 38: Inside America's lab of horror
Part 37: Iraq, America�s Lab of Horror
Part 36: George Bush occupies Iraq
Part 35: When an American Hulagu invades Mesopotamia
Part 34: Iraq, another chapter of American fascism, colonialism, and extermination
Part 33: Facing East: Iraqi hating and empire building*
Part 32: From Alexander Hamilton and Iroquois to George Bush and Iraqis
Part 31: Achtung! We can invent a pretext to conquer you
Part 30: Iraq Occupation, pretext, encroachment, and colonialism
Part 29: Iraq Occupation, anatomy of pretext
Part 28: Imperialist expansions and 9/11
Part 27: Demystifying 9/11
Part 26: Dick Cheney, numbers and the metaphysics of 9/11