Barbaric Era, Year 2003   

by B.J. Sabri

Dissident Voice
March 17, 2003


As the specter of American bombing of Iraq is about to cast its long death shadow; and while the spurious rationales put forward by the Bush Administration for the Gulf War II project reached and stayed in a dead zone, the true motives behind the project are still alive and dangerous. Moreover, the figures and circles pushing for it, although isolated in their alcoves of power, are more determined to carry out another American-made carnage at the expense of a faraway nation. 


There has been a lot of talk about Bush wanting to finish his father’s work, as if the killing of Iraqis is a private business and exclusive privilege of the Bush dynasty! However, this simplification is not going to hide the multiple elements (Israel, American Zionism, oil, world empire, preparing for the coming wars of the US, military occupation of the entire Middle East) that are now leading to the new perpetrated attack against Iraq. The war project, however, is in line with the worst American tradition that maintains that a country made by war must continue to wage war: war as a pastime, war to prove the military credibility of the commander in chief, war to test new weapons, and war for any reason. To paraphrase George Wallace before his seemingly belated conversion to race equality, American slogan for all seasons has become “war today; war tomorrow; war forever”. Passionate longing to make a war has been afflicting most American presidents since Washington (as if one cannot become a president of the United States without committing to making war.)


In psychoanalytical terms, there is probably a latent complex that pushes American presidents and their advisors to want a war, maybe as a means to satisfy an atavistic blood thirst. In physiological terms, probably a brain chemistry imbalance makes war a burning object of desire, and to have it would produce a sedative effect on nerves terribly shattered by peace! In sociological terms, if a US president is prone to logical reasoning, he is considered ineffectual (in 1991, Jimmy Carter told Larry King that during the hostage crisis in Teheran, he could have easily bombed Iran to oblivion, but he chose not to do so, as the Iranian people had nothing to do with their regime’s choices.) In this regard, minders and speechwriters often advise a presidential candidate or a sitting president that he must prove to the people that he is the non plus ultra repository of pharmaceutical-grade military testosterone otherwise his candidacy or presidency would be considered weak and void of leadership.


Nonetheless, in real practical terms, there are definitely ideological as well as special interest components that make war the only desirable option available to an American power gone awry.


In the Iraqi scenario, while building the case for war with rhetorically charged eight words or less, lies, deceptions, threats, and outright forgeries is proceeding apace, the American project of wanting to defeat one person as a pretext to conquer his country, to satisfy a predefined agenda, goes beyond our grimmest definition of causes for war. To prove this point, I have to mention that Administration officials have repeatedly declared that even if a coup would overthrow Saddam, they would still invade Iraq to impose peace among the unruly and fractious Iraqis [sic]. Ultimately, the entire propagandistic jabbering about democracy in Iraq is a puerile attempt aimed at convincing the gullible among us, since the US has already affirmed that in case of war, they would leave the current Baathist regime’s structure intact.


Furthermore, it is fundamental to note that whether in 1991 or now, Iraq has never attacked the United States; it was exactly the other way around. That makes the notion that Iraq is a threat to the US, a ludicrous proposition that only a naive person could believe in. Consequently, the continuing reference to the Iraqi regime’s use of chemical weapons against Iranians and Kurds is so hypocritical, simply because the Iran-Iraq war is an American war by proxy, and the West and America itself provided Saddam with his primordial soup of chemical weapons. Did any one punish America for its use of nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, its experimentation with chemical weapons on the prison population in the US, as well as in the Marshall islands, and finally for its use of radioactive depleted uranium on Iraqis and Serbians? Why wait almost 15 years to raise an issue that the Reagan/Bush Administration condoned and refused to condemn? Further, instead of asking Saddam to appear on TV to confess he is hiding WMD, why do they not themselves go on TV and confess about the CIA’s role in bringing Saddam and his party to power in 1963, because of oil and shared anti-communist cause.       


Do American empire-seekers expect that the Iraqi people in 2003, although living in terrible conditions and caught between the hard place of Saddam’s fascist dictatorship and a US rock made of wars and holocaustic sanctions lasting for over 12 years, are willing to be murdered, decimated, and conquered? Who told the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department, Zionist Americans, and media pundits that the conquest of other people’s land is a great American project that continues the hallucinations of “Manifest Destiny”?


The mere fact that the US is contemplating the willful destruction of Iraq is beyond our immediate comprehension, although we may comprehend it by observing its striking similarity to the Israeli willingness to destroy the Palestinians on what has been left of their historical lands. This similarity poses a question regarding the ideological affiliation of the policy makers in the US and their personal connections to the Israeli project in the Middle East. However, the callous disregard for Iraqi casualties, civilian or military, the displacement of Iraq’s population, the cynical program to make the country pay for its own destruction, re-construction, for the forces of occupation, and the projected stealing of Iraq’s resources is indicative of something more sinister than we have ever speculated before. Aside from the subjugation of the Iraqi people to the ideological and special interests of individuals, corporations, and other circles in the US, does the cynical project of rebuilding Iraq after war include promise of rebirth or the eschatological resuscitation of people killed by war? Or maybe US politicians and a few other simpleminded individuals consider the Iraqi people invisible insects whose killing is of no consequence?  


The Iraq war project goes beyond Saddam and his alleged weapons of mass destruction; Saddam is no longer the essence of the conflict, nor is he the direct or indirect cause of it, despite the fact that he remains, propagandistically, a nominal casus belli. It also goes beyond the American idea of hyper-empire, the controlling of world resources, and America’s coming wars (after Iraq) against Iran, Syria, Pakistan, Korea, Japan, China, Russia, and others. It goes beyond the coming struggle against and dominance over capitalistic western democracies such as France and Germany. Based on statements of policy, declarations of intent, and explanations of reasons for America’s future wars, the Iraq war project cannot be but the beginning of a grandiose project aiming at imposing a new type of slavery on all nations, especially on Arab nations.


This project, in its purest form, is the return of the savage barbarism of once upon a time, except now it is dressed in a tailored suit and necktie under the banners of a global totalitarian regime that is dialectically and contextually alien to the democratic tenets it brags to uphold. The slavery project and its underlying racism have become the vital lymph of the current controllers of power where ideological extrapolations of disparate objectives lead to dreamlike expectations from war and conquest. The new slavery does not use shackles; it uses military threats and economic strangulation. A nation is to choose between accepting US orders or face punishment! In the barbaric era starting on 2003, the horsemen of the apocalypse are not four but many. In keeping up with modern requirements, they no longer ride horses but fly jetfighters that launch missiles and inflict death on a land they have never seen before. As they may do so, their senders enjoy relaxing on comfortable sofas or sitting around a conference table with broad smiles on their faces.


The ongoing slavery project and the war on Iraq have become, by historical coincidence, a synonym for a great historical turn in human history.  If Iraq falls, civilization as we know it will start falling too; and county after country shall experience the coming onslaught by the new barbaric hordes. However, an enterprise such as this needs a very large club of cohabitants. Cohabitation with, and bending to a big power is not a new phenomenon, and it is not, necessarily, a derivation from military occupation. It is normally a response to muscular stimuli such as a specified threat or sweetened coaxing such as the offering of financial assistance. However, the choice of long-term siding with or the temporary cohabitation with the US will only accelerate the pace of the slavery project. Cohabitation by governments in all its forms may ultimately derive its existence from economic dependency, political subservience, personal infatuation, cultural inferiority, ideological affinity, “occupied” mentality, psychological paralysis because of fear of retribution by this power opportunistic policy, inferiority complex, and superiority complex by association.


What are the chances that the slavery project will succeed? That depends on many factors and considerations. First, it depends on the availability of predisposed candidates based on their socio-military strength and grades of industrialization; in general, the higher the military capability, the less the project would succeed. Second, it depends on the candidates’ national pride and purpose of independence. In descending order, the prime candidates to fall or have already partially fallen are the Arab nations, Muslim nations, African nations, Latin American nations, Asian nations, and finally European nations. In this historical miasma, only one thing is certain; the struggle against the new genocidal barbarism has already begun, and each country will be arming to the teeth to confront wars of preemption and conquest with measures of preemption of their own. Only time will tell how this struggle would unfold, and how many human lives will be lost before we get back to where we started.       


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


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