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Springtime for Iraq and Uncle Sam

Observations from the Edge
Robert T. Nanninga
Coast News
March 20, 2003


"We but teach bloody instructions which, being taught, return, to plague the inventor." — William Shakespeare

The vernal equinox marks the beginning of spring, and somewhere between Titusville, Pennsylvania, circa 1859 and World War III, we sit in our cars, listening to businessmen prattle on about justice and the dropping of bombs. I write this knowing Operation Shock and Awe is about to level Baghdad in order to liberate Iraqi oil. Despite the Bush Administration's compassionate hawk talk, the world understands this is nothing more than the naked aggression of corporate colonialism.

I know it's not politically correct to speak openly about the obvious, but really, whom are we kidding? Ourselves? Big oil is calling the shots. Big Media is in the trenches with the military, and the Iraqi people have been reduced to pawns in the manifest destiny game. Saddam, the mother of all pawns, has played the perfect villain, setting the stage for the Yankee war machine.

Yes ladies and gentleman, it's a brave new world.

It's not like CIA has never been involved with brutal dictators in order to advance "American interests." Playing the wounded bully is a transparent ruse. As the world's remaining superpower feigning altruism is an insult of global proportions. Considering el' Presidente Bush has said no amount of protest on the part of the international community (including millions of Americans) will sway him from his date with infamy. Protest and backlash are all that remain.

Like most rational people, I believe the Iraqi people would be better off without the Saddam Show inviting death and destruction down on their heads. I also believe those same Iraqis would prefer Americans not using them as canon fodder. After all, George's beef is with Mr. Hussein, not the millions of people living and dying in Baghdad. But then again, I'm sure in the mind of the concrete cowboy, the bigger the bang, the bigger the bonus.

Beating the gums of war, Bush and Co. are telling the faithful this is not about control of planetary oil reserves, while buying allies with promises of petroleum based profits. The big winners of course will be multinational corporations. Dick Cheney, proving to be the perfect puppet, has made sure Halliburton (his last employer) received lucrative construction contracts to rebuild the occupied nation.

March 21st also marks the Persian New Year; the Iraqi Kurds celebrate Nau Roy ("New Day") as well. I have to ask myself if the invasion of Iraq has been planned to coincide with this important cultural holiday. A textbook case of psychological warfare, Uncle Rummy seems hell bent on breaking the spirit of an entire nation. If this were really about Saddam, his removal could be accomplished quick and quietly without dropping 21,000 lb bombs. Instead we are planning to leave a legacy of depleted uranium, orphans, and enough ill will to fuel generations of hate.

Something tells me this is not going to be a good year.

Then there is the question how long we will be squatting for dollars, under the pretense of nation building. Again I ask, whom are we kidding? Iraqi culture was old before the American colonies were young. And where tribal warfare has always raged in the Middle East, it took England and the United States to arm the warring factions with modern weaponry perfectly suited for mass destruction.

The Bush agenda has little to do with democracy, and everything to do with opening markets to western interests. And the only way to make sure the corporate vultures have enough time to extract Iraq's vital resources, will be for an occupying army to set up camp for a decade or more. It will also require a systematic purging of anything, or anyone, who would question, or threaten, American control of the entire region.

This is going to get ugly.

History is swirling around us, and all any of us can do is speak up, speak out, and speak freely against crimes against humanity, regardless of the size of the army promising peace at the end of a gun. As Americans it is our duty to question authority and challenge anyone that seeks to highjack the ship of state. And before anyone calls for my head, please remember it is not treasonous to criticize government. Not yet anyway.

So until I'm hauled off to camp X-ray for denouncing the idiocy of equating bombs with security, I will enjoy the spring of my discontent, hoping someone will find a way to deny the dogs of war their Iraqi chew toy.

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