The Splendid Failure of Occupation
Part 39: Iraq: The second stage of conquest
By B. J. Sabri
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Dec 9, 2005, 01:05

"Bush [President George H. W. Bush] said he had no dispute with the Iraqi people. It certainly looks different from Baghdad." --A resident of Baghdad, February 1, 1991

"When I need a little advice about Saddam Hussein, I turn to country music" --President George H. W. Bush at a country music awards ceremony in Nashville, Tennessee, 10/2/91

In a historical timeframe, George H. W. Bush's war to "punish" Iraq for its invasion of Kuwait was the bridge that connected America's brutal colonialist past to its fascist, still-colonialist present under the presidency of his son, George W. Bush. Between the two ends of that bridge, there was the era of the darlings to Zionism, Al Gore and his president, Bill Clinton.

Gore, Clinton, Berger, Albright's policy of continued war against Iraq, war against Serbia, interventions in Bosnia, Haiti and Palestine, and threat of war against Indonesia over East Timor, paved the way for the next president (George W. Bush) to transform the United States into a world dictatorship that abides by no rules, international charters, or any ethical standards.

To introduce you to the active phase of the second stage of Iraq's conquest (a massive 42-day, around the clock bombardment that U.S. imperialists cynically call, Gulf War) it is vital to consider that conquest in relation to the five lawless nuclear powers of the Security Council who "authorized" it to suit their imperialist interests. (China's abstention is approval by other means; otherwise, it could have blocked the war with a veto.)

It is mandatory to mention that in all of its existence since June 26, 1945, the U.N. system never punished any Western colonialist aggressions inflicted upon developing countries. But, as a "legal" instrument of Western imperialism, the U.N. "authorized" the United States to punish two nations: Korea and Iraq, for actions politically "deemed" by U.S. imperialists as breach of world peace and security! In other words, the U.S. as a ruler of the U.N. authorized itself through its controlled entity to be selective as to what constitutes breach of security and who is guilty of it.

Under this premise, it is not surprising that in U.N. "authorized" wars against Korea and Iraq, the U.S. supplied 94-96 percent of the work force, aviation, and military equipment, while its cosmetic coalition provided the appearance of "international legitimizing consensus," thus making U.N. proxy wars, not reflective of the world's collective will but entirely American sought after wars.

(Incidentally, and as a limited sampling, where was the U.N.'s punishment for Britain, France, and Israel after they attacked Egypt in 1956 because of President Gamal Abdul Nasser's legitimate nationalization of the Suez Canal Company -- a colonialist British-French company that controlled the navigation in the canal thus infringing on Egypt's sovereignty? Answer: this is a simple imperialist dilemma: both Britain and France, as permanent members of the S.C. with veto power could have blocked any resolution presented against them! And before I forget, where was the U.S. or U.N. punishment for Israel when it invaded Lebanon in 1982?)

As for U.S. (U.N.) wars against Korea and Iraq, it is not possible to mention them without pointing out to two differences and one similarity:

  1. In America's war against Korea that had passed from a long brutal Japanese occupation to a joint Soviet-American occupation, which divided it at the 38th parallel, the USSR of Stalin abstained from voting. On the other hand, a nonentity in international imperialism of that period, the non-nuclear Chinese Island of Formosa (now Taiwan), controlled by the anti-communist Chang Kai Shek (admitted to the U.N. by the United States as a permanent member of the Security Council to counter-balance the USSR and harass an emerging mainland communist China) voted for war.

  2. In America's war against Iraq, the situation was the opposite. While a dying Soviet regime of a convert to imperialist capitalism, Mikhail Gorbachev, approved of the U.S. war, "communist" China that has been speedily converting to a hybrid capitalist-communist dictatorship since the late 1970s, abstained.

  3. In both events, however, three states (the U.S., U.K., and France) with over four centuries of imperialist-colonialist history and genocide against colonized peoples, voted to kill over three million Koreans and over 600,000 thousand Iraqis.

Item number three alone, can qualify the United Nations Organization under U.S. boots as the operative instrument of war and genocide in the hands of Western, Eurasian, and Southeast Asian imperialists and capitalists. One can underscore this statement by pointing to many U.N. decisions taken behind closed doors. These include but are not limited to the illegitimate partition of Palestine between invaders and original inhabitants, war on Korea, war and sanctions against Iraq, silence on U.S. war against Serbia, deliberate inaction in the ethnic genocide in Rwanda, and the criminal collusion with the U.S. in the invasion of Iraq and the resolutions passed to sanction its subsequent occupation.

While the preceding collateral argument underlines the position of the Gulf War (1991) in the international system, which the West created to perpetuate its stranglehold on the world, my main point here is about how the rest of the world succumbed to global American violence and accepted it as a measure for personal safety.

Since I am attempting to establish a critical construct that unifies U.S. wars and occupation of Iraq to the failure of the imperialist expedition to restart colonialism in that country and elsewhere, I shall detail the international aspects of the Gulf War in the upcoming parts, while limiting myself for now to its catastrophic consequences on Iraq.

Deep Inside America's Lab of Horror

Colin Powell, the African-American doctrinaire of hyper-imperialism, not only represented the archetype of a cohabitated figure at the service of the master class in the name of American patriotism, but also presented a precise ideology of imperialist extermination that once guided American politicians and establishments during the colonialist conquest of what is now the United States.

It is instructive for this purpose to reprise a quote that Powell said in the early days of military operations: "Our strategy to go after the Army is very, very simple. First we are going to cut it off, and then we're going to kill it." [Powell as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, news conference, January 23, 1991]

Powell, however, was only a voice among countless other American voices that celebrated the gruesome death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. Four months after Powell's news conference, Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, a huffing and puffing director of physical killing, joined Powell in describing the destruction of Iraq, not through military operations, but by blockading (death by economic suffocation) from all sides except one (Jordan, for supposedly "humanitarian reasons") a country of 22 million before the Gulf War.

As you read the following quote, keep in mind that in his speech at the U.S. Naval Academy, May 23, 1991, Schwarzkopf omitted one important fact: he postdated the hermetic blockade of Iraq as if it began with the war (January, 17, 1991), but not as of August 2, 1990, the day in which Iraq invaded Kuwait. Schwarzkopf's omission was deliberate: he implied that American hostility to Iraq was consequent to the war but not to a policy implemented the day Iraq invaded Kuwait. Said Schwarzkopf, "More than 200 ships from 13 nations conducted over 10,000 flawless intercepts, which formed a steel wall around the waters leading to Iraq. And these operations continue today. Thanks to these superb efforts not one cargo hold, not one crate, not even one pallet of seaborne contraband even touched Saddam Hussein's shores. The result: Iraq lost 90 percent of its imports, 100 percent of its exports, and had its gross national product cut in half."

While Powell and Schwarzkopf were direct in their basic genocidal Nazi-like instincts and had no reservations for exposing their lust for Iraqi blood, others were more romantic and used festive settings for their equally macabre rituals of death. Captain Steven Tait is such a person. In a masterful article that I shall come back to in part 40, Paul Walker, director of the Institute for Peace and International Security at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology wrote the following on Tait: "Captain Steven Tait, pilot of an F-16 jet fighter which escorted the first wave of bomber aircraft and who was the first American to shoot down an Iraqi plane, described his bird's eye view of Baghdad after the first hour of allied bombardment: 'Flames rising up from the city, some neighborhoods lit up like a huge Christmas tree. The entire city was just sparkling at us.'"

George H. W. Bush's war on Iraq, however, did not center exclusively on physical mass destruction against a country accused of the same thing that Western colonialist nations have been doing for over 450 years -- invasion of another country. Other impulses, this time psychological mass torture, were also driving the vast imperialist experiment to impose the American order. Brig. Gen. Buster Glosson, who commanded the air assault on Iraq in 1991, externalized the makeup of the American psychopathic motives in bombing Iraq's telecommunications as follows: "To put every household in an autonomous mode and make them feel they were isolated. I didn't want them to listen to radio stations and know what was happening. I wanted to play with their psyche." [Source]

Gen. Glosson's claim that the U.S. destroyed Iraq's communication system to spread panic by playing with the Iraqi psyche was partially true -- psychological warfare goes hand in hand with war. Yet, his pretension that his gruesome child play (the destruction of Iraq's telecommunication system) was necessary to disrupt the connection between the Iraqi people and the ruling regime was, to say the least, ludicrous and insidious.

In fact, with the destruction of that system the U.S. was actually implementing a gamut of imperialist objectives that went beyond the requirement for the "liberation" of Kuwait or the mere play with the Iraqi collective psyche. These include:

  1. Destruction of Iraq's emerging national technical capabilities in telecommunication systems mostly built by Iraqi engineers; and

  2. Obliterating the financial investment and years of hard work made by Iraq to produce an advanced modern telecommunication network. The intent to obliterate Iraq's advancement in technology was a strategic U.S. decision in view of the fact that Iraq had also began building advanced military microwave auscultation systems, missile systems, and was considering the development of an Arab space program; and,

  3. In doing so, the U.S. literally destroyed Iraq's (regardless of its political regime) potential for advancement in civilian and military telecommunication technology, thus removing by military force the possibility that Iraq could, in the long run, emerge as a serious self-sustaining regional power that could challenge Euro-American and Israeli imperialisms in the Middle East.

To bring you deep inside the American lab of horror in Iraq, and because U.S. war against that country has been continuing unabated since Iraq invaded Kuwait (August 2, 1990) until the present, Gen. Glosson typified that continuity while exposing the same ideology and mentality that characterized his thought during the Gulf War.

On December 8, 2002, Glosson interviewed by Wolf Blitzer of CNN, reprised his onslaught on Iraq as a retired general. He amplified his desire for more destruction in the looming invasion (an indication that the decision for war has already been taken, despite the games at the United Nations), and even displayed a gruesome craving for post-mortem violence against Saddam Hussein (read below).

In that interview, Wolf Blitzer, a consummate Zionist instigator, aroused Glosson's passion with a propagandistic, hypothetical question that U.S. Zionism effectively used during the Gulf War in 1991 -- Iraq's "chemical weapons." I added Italics to Glosson's updated thought to highlight it:

BLITZER: General Glosson, during the Gulf War, which I remember very vividly, you were in charge of putting together the air campaign. How concerned were you at that time that the Iraqi military might use chemical or biological warfare?

GLOSSON: We were concerned, but -- and that's the reason we attacked the storage areas and tried to make sure that any of the weapons or capabilities they had for delivery, we destroyed them.

We seem to lose track of that occasionally, and that is the intensity, the mass that's going to occur, that wasn't available in the Gulf War. In the first 12 hours, there will be more targets destroyed, there will be more movement than there were in the first seven days of the Gulf War.

This is going to be a simultaneous operation . . . And once that occurs, it's going to create the condition for then, hopefully, those Republican Guards and those leadership people throughout Iraq the opportunity to overthrow or dispose of Saddam. And I've always used the term, nothing could be better than seeing them drag him in the streets of Baghdad.

But we don't need to do anything other than what we're really good at, and that is using the weapons, both in the Army and the Air Force and all the other services that we have. We have such a great amount of weapons and capability that we did not have the last time.

Sanctuaries are off limits this time, because we have the deep- penetrating weapons, and, as Don said, they're all-weather. So it's a total different situation.

General Comment on Glosson's Answers

Aside from references to destruction that the U.S. could inflict on Iraq in such and such manner, Glosson lied on a key issue: Iraq's possible use of chemical weapons during the Gulf War. In fact, on January 12, 1991 (just five days before the breakout of hostilities), Secretary of State James Baker informed Tariq Aziz (Iraqi foreign minister during the crisis) in their meeting in Geneva, that, should Iraq use any such weapons, the U.S. response would be nuclear.

Although that warning was futile for technical reason, Baker introduced it as propaganda on Iraq's capability. The U.S. and Baker knew that Iraq's so-called chemical weapons were nothing more than artillery shells (meaning: designed for ground war, have a limited delivery range, and as such are useless against U.S. airpower) laced with chemical material that the U.S. supplied Iraq with, and encouraged it to use in a restricted way in its war with Iran. Moreover, Iraq, knowing its limited military capability versus that of the United States, repeatedly declared that it would rely exclusively on conventional weapons to defend itself.

Therefore, the destruction of "suspected" sites (if indeed they were chemical sites) that Glosson alluded to, was deliberate to poison the environment, hence the population.

This is aside from the fact that in its frenzy to obliterate Iraq, the U.S. destroyed countless civilian industries under the pretext they could house chemical weapons. (Health organizations, as we shall read in the next article, had issued numerous reports on the health situation in Iraq consequent to U.S. bombardment.)

At this point, a question is in order: What happened to Iraq after a bombardment lasting 42 days and 100 hours of mass killing, called "ground war"?

Next: Part 40: Iraq after a bombardment called Gulf War

B. J. Sabri is an Iraqi-American antiwar activist. Email:

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