by Josh Frank
March 19, 2003
As you read this it may be war. Bush announced Monday evening that Saddam and his sons have 48 hours to evacuate Iraq, or the US, despite its lack of international support, will ultimately attack--spreading our empirical democracy to one more sovereign country. Pre-war programming has already started, with highlights from the last Gulf conflict running by the hour.
We are truly living in an Orwellian nightmare.
The United Nations weapons teams have been exiting Iraq for the past two weeks, with all expected out by Wednesday. All diplomacy has been abandoned. All inspections disregarded. All dissent unnoticed.
But we should have seen this coming. Since the first days of Bush’s tenure, the hawks in this administration have sought to pave the Middle East with the road map laid out by the Chairman of the Defense Policy Board, Mr. Richard Perle. And along came 9/11 as the catalyst for its construction.
In the mid 90s Mr. Perle was the architect of a strategy that explained how best to secure Israel’s power in the Middle East. His study purported that in order to best protect Israeli interests was to install more friendly regimes throughout the region, starting with Iraq. This study has since become the blueprint for Bush’s moral rationale for ousting Saddam. Perle like Bush, could care less for international support, he says “to hell with the coalition” if it opposes a war on Iraq.
Of course other reasons exist as to why Bush is so recklessly determined to kill Saddam. But instilling regimes in the Middle East that will favor Israeli interests seems to teeter at the top.
Bush is hoping for other positive outcomes from this attack, such as a huge popularity boost--- he hopes it will be a relatively quick takeover of Baghdad, nothing like his Bin Ladin debut. Iraq’s oil reserves are another. No question that many in the administration want to control the natural resources of the Middle East. Cheney’s disregard for public scrutiny of his Energy Task Force meetings, lead many to believe that oil is the main objective for this war. But our slave like adherence to Israel’s integrity remains high among certain administration officials’ reasonings.
The real question is what comes after Iraq, whom will we attack then? If Perle could have his way it will most likely be Iran or Syria. We will systematically destroy regime after regime until Israel is secure, despite any opposition from the international community. But Israel will never truly be safe, and regime change doesn't mean democracy and safety will inevitable blossom following this war.
Even if the outcome in Iraq is a Saddam-free democratic government, who is to say whether the Iraqis will elect leaders who side with the government that has destroyed their infrastructure and killed their children? Or support government that has oppressed the Palestinians?
But we don't have to worry about that sort of democracy unfolding. Bush and Perle have another plan. One where Israel is safe, and oil is flowing freely. It will no longer be an Orwellian nightmare; it will become our reality.
Josh Frank is a writer living in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org