Socialist Worker

What the US has in store for Iraq

Issue No. 1846

BUSH AND Blair say their war will bring liberation to the Iraqi people. The death and destruction they have brought to Iraq shows what a hollow claim this is. But people who once questioned the war, like New Labour's Mo Mowlam, say they now support it, arguing the situation in Iraq can't get any worse. Both of these claims are wrong. And the US plans for a post war Iraq show precisely why.

The warmongers aren't even agreed amongst themselves over how to deliver 'liberation' to Iraq. Some of the 'hawks' in the US argue for a 'hit and run' approach where the US has a less direct role in running Iraq, and moves on to the next target in its 'permanent war'. One of these is US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Others argue for the US to be deeply involved in the running of Iraq, to ensure the regime is more securely under US control, as part of the plan for wider domination of the region. These include Rumsfeld's deputy Paul Wolfowitz. He wants the US to install a puppet regime based around Ahmed Chalabi, leader of the Iraqi National Congress. Whatever the divisions, Bush's gang are united in one central respect.

US interests are the priority in Iraq. This is the thrust behind the Project for the New American Century which people like Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld are tied to. The US has never had Iraqi interests at heart. It installed Saddam Hussein in the first place.

The CIA backed Saddam Hussein's Ba'athist Party in a coup it launched against the radical government of Abdul Karim Kassem in 1963. 'Our favourite coup,' was the description used by the CIA official responsible. The US was concerned to block the rise of Arab nationalism in the Middle East. They are not suddenly putting Iraqi interests first now. Their claim that Iraqis will be at the heart of any new administration is a joke.

US officials will pack the government with a few compliant Iraqis they appoint as a token gesture. For ordinary people in Iraq this means living in an atmosphere of repression, fear and chaos. For US businesses it means a bumper opportunity for profit. This is the reality of 'liberation' US style.


Who's ready to rule?

General Jay Garner
GARNER IS head of the Iraq Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance. He aims to be the new overlord of an occupied Iraq. He is 'on leave' from the L3 Communication firm which recently won a $1.3 billion contract to provide 'logistical projects' to US special forces.

Garner is the president of SY Technology which makes systems for missiles. It sold Patriot missiles to Israel. His team will take over all 23 of Iraq's government ministries. They are deciding how best to scrap the Iraqi currency and replace it, at least temporarily, with the US dollar. The US general Tommy Franks will rule the country militarily.

James Woolsey
BUSH WANTS to hand the former CIA director a senior role. Woolsey wanted a war on Iraq much sooner. He is on the advisory board of the pro-Israel Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. Its mandate is to support 'the important role that Israel can and does play in bolstering democratic interests in the Middle East'.

Woolsey described war on Iraq as the beginning of the 'Fourth World War' last week. 'This will last considerably longer than either World Wars One or Two did for us,' he said. 'As we move towards a new Middle East we will make a lot of people very nervous. Our response should be, 'Good! We want you nervous. We want you to realise now, for the fourth time in 100 years, this country and its allies are on the march'.'

Michael Mobbs
MOBBS WILL take charge of 11 of the Iraqi ministries. He is a Pentagon lawyer best known for wanting to have US citizens imprisoned indefinitely without charge as part of the 'war on terror'.

Mobbs was an arms negotiator during Ronald Reagan's government in the 1980s. He became known for his hawkish views against the Soviet Union. He was close to Richard Perle, one of the key architects behind the war.

Zalmay Khalilzad
KHALILZAD IS the 'governor in waiting's' special envoy to the Iraqi opposition. He is a founding member of the Project for the New American Century. Khalilzad is a former adviser to the US oil company Unocal. Bush appointed him to the special envoy to Afghanistan after the US war in 2001.

Iraq will be split up into three areas - Mosul, Baghdad and Basra. These are the same provinces that the Turkish Ottoman Empire had when it ruled what is now Iraq for four centuries.

The Bush administration is searching for Western oil chiefs to oversee Iraq's oil. Their favourite is Philip Carroll, the former chief executive of the US arm of the Shell oil company.


'The front man'

AHMED CHALABI, the leader of the Iraqi National Congress (INC), is set to be the most prominent Iraqi in the post war set up. Chalabi has not been in Iraq since 1956 and has no support there. He is a convicted fraudster who had to escape from Jordan in the boot of a car in 1989 after a bank he owned collapsed. He was sentenced to three and six years in prison in his absence.

The US has backed him for the last 11 years. The CIA, through the PR company Rendon Group, created the INC. It gave it at least $23 million between 1992 and 1995 in a failed attempt to overthrow Saddam Hussein.

The Rendon Group has pumped out propaganda for the US state for decades. The US has used the Rendon Group in its interventions in Panama, Haiti, Iraq, Kosovo and Colombia. Chalabi is a member of the Project for the New American Century. The American Prospect magazine said about him last year:

'Chalabi is the front man for the latest incarnation of a long time neo-conservative strategy to redraw the map of the oil-rich Middle East, put American troops - and American oil companies - in full control of the Persian Gulf's reserves and use the Gulf as a fulcrum for enhancing America's global strategic hegemony.'

Chalabi and his US backers have talked about dismantling Saudi Arabia, seizing its oil and destroying the OPEC coalition of oil producing countries.


Grabbing oil

MASSIVE US corporations will rake in billions of dollars of profits 'reconstructing' a society that the US military has bombed and devastated. Exiled Iraqi oil experts with the US State Department said last weekend that the country should be opened to international companies as quickly as possible.

This means ExxonMobil, BP, TotalFinaElf and Royal Dutch/Shell, could be in line for a windfall. It's good news too for oil service companies like Halliburton. Dick Cheney, the US vice-president, is the former chief executive of the company. The US will use all of the proceeds from Iraqi oil to pay for the 'reconstruction'.

USAID, the US agency, began handing over pieces of Iraq to companies as the war began. The Stevedoring Services of America won the contract for Iraq's seaport administration on 24 March.

Contracts to run Iraq's airport administration, public health, education system, local government and to reconstruct the infrastructure were all up for bid on USAID's website on Friday of last week. All eight contracts must go to US companies by law.

Scores of US and British corporate scouts have already descended on Iraq like vultures. 'These are usually reserve officers who accompany and assist combat forces and identify the business opportunities for civilian contractors,' says the International Herald Tribune.


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Sat 12 Apr 2003, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1846
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