Hyper-Imperialists On a Rampage
by B.J. Sabri
April 23, 2003
The day after the violent American conquest of Iraq, a contaminating atmosphere of ideological soot is enveloping the world thus rendering all lines separating between reality, fiction, and propaganda, meaningless. If debating the significance of this conquest is now a laborious task requiring perseverance, concentration, and steadfastness, so is the dissection of all constituting components that lie at the center and periphery of the American hyper-imperialist expedition.
While the burning of Iraq is moving at the rhythm of “Dances with Wolfowitz”, CNN Headline flashes with the title “War in Iraq” as if the US is not the one that is waging it! While Attila Rumsfeld praises and encourages uncontrolled violence, looting, and destruction of Iraqi universities, libraries, and hospitals as an expression of the newly found Iraqi freedom and democracy, the New York Times daily headline carries the phrase “A nation at war”, as if an unidentified entity is attacking and destroying American cities and their inhabitants! Finally, this cannot be a two-way war! As Iraqis are perishing by American fire, American citizens go around doing their usual business under peaceful skies where loudspeakers at department stores prod them to donate money for the soldiers who are fighting (seven thousand miles away) to defend their freedom, as if the Iraqis stood in their way to the delights of consumerism.
There were many phases in the American expansion to imperium; but no one can compare to the US in its Zionist phase. A coalition of politicians and thinkers sharing one common denominator that revolves around the simultaneous execution of Israel’s Middle-East and America’s world hegemony agenda, hermetically control the whole, entire, and total Middle-East foreign policy, as well as the domestic debate about it. To illustrate this fact in a parable, think of this: the United States became a huge ship, and whoever is entrenched behind the navigation control panel, can veer it to a pre-chosen destination. Consequently, the US Iraq policy managed by pro-Israel supporters (Richard Hass, Martin Indyk, and Elliot Abrams (current) all directed the Iraq policy at the State Department), had no neutrality whatsoever, as that policy represented the exclusive views of American Zionism on the Iraqi issues, thus all semblances of an already manipulated democratic process debating this policy ceased to exist completely.
The so-called debate in the US Congress for the “war resolution” on Iraq is a valid way to prove this point, as one striking aspect of that debate was the absence of debate. With the exception of an energetic antiwar minority that eloquently, passionately, and cogently debated the implications of the war project, the majority of senators and congressional representatives delivered prepackaged speeches similar in tone, content, and semantico-grammatical structure about the mortal and immediate danger that Saddam posed to US security, as if one speechwriter wrote all of them. As Iraq was effectively disarmed (now we know that for sure), George Bush told the world that diplomacy failed because the UN does not approve his war. The controlled Congress, the highest authority to declare war, remained mute. It is comical, that many US commentators still have the audacity to call many parliaments of the world, rubber-stamp parliaments!
Another way to look at the US foreign policy versus the Middle East is the fundamental transformation of its characteristics. It copies the entire gamut of Israel’s philosophy, practices, finalities, methods, and intrinsic essence. A question: why, in American eyes, do East-Timorese deserve self-determination more than the Palestinians do? Who is benefiting from the decimation, destruction, and burning of Iraq? To answer this question: just read all publications and television announcements made by Israel’s supporters in the US government and out of it. If the inverse were to exist, i.e., the Arabs have advocates in the US government, the US would have never attacked Iraq. Another way to illustrate this point is the Armenian question. Armenians cannot correct the memories of the genocide inflicted upon them by Ottoman Turkey in 1915 simply because Turkey is Israel’s ally. Israel, by means of its American supporters, would never allow that Turkey acknowledge and pay reparations for its historical injustice. Now, assume that Turkey will fall out of Israel’s grace; it will be more than probable that the Armenian issue will jump back to the front pages of the Weekly Standard, the Washington Post, and the New York times.
The bloody hyper-imperialist conquest of Iraq is not a simple vanishing watermark on history papers. It is a retrogressive experiment having for a purpose the reversion of world societies to the colonial era. If the Western civilization gave us great thinkers such as Socrates, Kant, Hume, Descartes, Hegel, Hume, Nietzsche, Adorno, Marx, Russell, Marcuse; sociologists such as Durkheim; clinical researchers such as Freud; physicists such as Einstein; novelists such as Hemingway and Malraux; poets/playwrights such Shakespeare, Milton, and Becket; and historians such as Toynbee, how is it possible, then, that this same civilization, and to be precise, its American branch, is willing to retrograde, reverse itself, and re-start from a dangerous pivot of history as if human progress never existed? How is it possible that the great numerical progression in the human calculus becomes, so fast, a devaluating and regressive inversion of civilization pointing toward indifference to the fate of other nations, acceptance of their physical elimination, destruction of their environment, and illegal appropriation of their wealth?
It is redundant to say, that this is not an indictment of the Western civilization. For example, although I am an Iraqi by birth, I am westernized in my thinking and in my taste more than I want to admit, and my English vocabulary exceeds that of my Arabic; thus being a westerner is more about cultural affiliation rather than original geographical provenance. Am I indicting the American civilization? The answer is no. As I am an American by choice, I am also an acrid critic of all of America’s military interventions and aggressions around the world.
I am at odds with the dark side of a system that creates a sinister war culture by mixing miscible elements of Democracy, Fascism, Nazism, Zionism, Religious Fundamentalism, Militarism, and many other isms, in a blend that is not suitable for definition, classification, or understanding, and yet it still calls this weird mixture “democracy”. In essence, thanks to this culture, the US of all good pretensions, has become the most armed and dangerous state on earth that history ever produced. I am not sure that this is what poor Plato had expected out of his Athenian democracy model and his “Republic”. The one certain thing in this mess is that “Ideological Blendocracy” is not Democracy. Is dissention unpatriotic? The answer is no. Dissention is the dynamic core that makes freedom a vibrant experience.
Besides, patriotism is neither a mystical veneration to an ontological totem, nor a submission to a superior cosmic entity that transcends our discernible environment. Adulating ovation to leaders and appointed functionaries, and blind acceptance of the finality of their decisions is not patriotism. It is a modified form of rudimentary paganism in which the commanding mentality rules. In an ideal setting of democracy, people can elect officials, but can also impeach and remove them. The era of pharaohs no longer exists. The attempt to identify modern rulers as uncontestable patriotic symbols is a puerile exercise in the realms of intellectual infantilism. The last one attempting to do just that was Saddam Hussein. My definition of patriotism is simple. If you love the place where you were born, then I love the place where I was born. If you want your country to be prosperous and free, then I want the US, Iraq, and the rest of the world to be prosperous and free.
So what am I indicting? Let us see. If your own father committed heinous crimes and you judge that his crimes are morally indefensible, then, why do you consider the heinous crimes of your country morally defensible? Is a country morally superior to a father, or vice versa? Therefore, what I am indicting is the genocidal impulse that gloats to the killing of distant innocent people without remorse. To prove this cultural aberration, talking heads and writing pens, always refer to “bombing Saddam” and never to the bombing of Iraq! The magnitude, duration, and motivation of the American–made Iraqi mayhem that has been lasting for over twelve years and it is still going on, do not require passive observations or verbal outrage; they require action to stop them. When we indict the US government, we do not do that for the vain sake of indicting. We indict a responsible party that committed atrocities with premeditation. (Hugh Sydie, commenting on the size of the Iraqi military casualties in Gulf War One, expressed consternation for the number, but then added that the killing maybe an acceptable way to reduce the size of the Iraqi army, an aim of the US government [Time Magazine, March 1991].) We indict the gratuitous deception, the theatrics of misinformation, the monopoly of decisions, the lurid chats of talking heads and “experts”, the silly parrotism of opinions, and the brazen arrogance of the power keepers who decide on the destruction of life, while sipping coffee and posing for photo sessions.
American television dramas abound with detectives seeking killers to bring them to justice; but here, in front of our eyes, we see real leaders sending their armies to kill the people of a distant nation, but we fail to bring them to justice. When unbridled power mesmerizes people, when intellectual simplism is the prevailing mode of thinking, and when some people want the US to win its aggression because they pay taxes, then you have to fear for your life, your freedom, and your decency. To borrow a title by Wilhelm Reich, we are witnessing a mastodontic display of “Mass Psychology of Fascism” that is transforming the meaning of events, changing the natural order of things, creating anti-facts, and rendering people supinely acquiescent to power through incessant indoctrination. In this guise, an unaccountable reactionary amalgam has effectively halted the immense wealth of the American culture, and then, by deliberations in the corridors of power, disconnected the outlet to debate serious issues and imposed severe restrictions on our freedoms. While some people objected and are still objecting to this disastrous course, others only murmured and then accepted their inglorious fate, and some others applauded their “patriotic” incarceration,
Nor is it better in other parts of the world the day after the conquest of Iraq. A UN that is lame, superfluous, and cut to pieces seeks a role in Iraq; the US, posturing, rejects such a role; the UN lowers its head in anguish. Clare Short of Britain keeps “clareshorting” herself; this time she criticizes the US and the UK for not predicting the collapse of order in Baghdad! Where is she living? The British public rehabilitates Blair! Members of the British Parliament affirm that if WMD were not to be found, then the war (that they allowed) was illegal, as if the war was legal in the first place! Chirac of France wants to amend relation with Blair; does the Gaullist objection to war of conquest and the support for rule of the international law evaporate the day after a conquest? The Arab regimes, next on the hit list of Sharon, are hiding their heads between their legs. Do they hope that Sharon, Wolfowitz, Perle will fail to see where their heads are tucked? Russia is a mystery; Putin, welcomes the fall of Saddam, but he thinks the war was illegal. If the war were illegal, then would the fall of Saddam be illegal too? As for China, Who is China? Italian Prime Minister, Berlusconi, a vacuous admirer of Mussolini and in awe of George Bush, thinks that the Iraqi situation is normal, as “Sometimes disorder is necessary to create order”. I am not sure if the shallow Italian tycoon fully understands that the “chaos theory” deals only with the random order of physical phenomena and does not apply in a country already devastated and disordered by American orders. As far as we know, no order will ever come out of hyper-imperialists on a rampage.
The colonialist conquest of Iraq proved that as no country or countries were able to stop the military intervention conducted by a hyper-militarized capitalism and militant hegemono-biblical ideologues, then, logically, the only people who can fight back are those who are the subject of conquest – the Iraqi people. Ho Chi Minh of Vietnam tried hard and failed to enlist the French Communist party (supposed to be anti-colonialist) for the cause of Vietnam’s liberation from the French occupation. Minh had even implored Truman to help with the liberation cause and offered that Vietnam adopt the American Constitution and Declaration of Independence, verbatim. Truman, a believer in the cause of European colonialism, never replied. It took almost three decades of destruction and three million Vietnamese lives to achieve a basic human right: the right of the Vietnamese people to independence from foreign occupation.
The American colonial conquest of Iraq, aside from being illegal by all norms except the colonialist norm, showed another hidden face: extreme criminal intent. To destroy and burn all ministries except the oil ministry is a farce of an occupier that Charlie Chaplin could have satirized eloquently in a film. However, to destroy the Iraqi National Library by coordinated arson is another matter with a different dimension. Since the mobs did not attack the library, then, who burnt it down with its over one million books and archives? Further, who gave the orders to destroy the Iraqi universities? Why bombing and destroying the ministry of Religious Affairs with thousands of ancient and modern copies of the Koran?
What is to be made of all that? I base my conclusion on a theory and on analysis. About the theory: there is a precedent on how to destroy the national identity of a nation. During the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, Israeli forces seized, partly destroyed, and transferred the entire Palestinian Archives in West Beirut to Tel Aviv! Is there an Israeli connection in Baghdad? About the analysis: even a dummy can figure it out. To destroy the learning centers of a nation is to destroy the capacity of Iraq to be a modern nation at par with advanced nations. If Iraq had the capacity to produce brilliant scientists in all fields, then this capacity must be severed, and the only beneficiary of this is the state of Israel. As for the looting of the Iraqi Historical Museum, based on extensive reports, the United States had no intention to protect it, they were busy protecting the Ministry of Trade in front of it! US actions in Baghdad and in Iraq have a clear ideological finality aimed at erasing the millennial identity of Iraq and turn it to a primitive society with out soul, past, present, or future. A nation of slaves with no history, dignity, or heritage can extract oil without questioning ownership, price, and destination.
Incidentally, what happened to “weapons of mass destruction”? Where did the “catastrophic danger posed by Iraq” go? Where are the nuclear bombs that Perle and Rumsfeld told us Saddam has? George Bush finally and indirectly admitted that the conquest of Iraq is about oil. On April 16, 2003, George Bush, at Boeing aircraft factory in St. Louis, called for the removal of the sanctions regime imposed on Iraq: “now that Iraq is liberated the United Nations should lift economic sanctions”. Keep in mind that for 12 years Iraqis were dying until the UN verified that Iraq is void of “WMD”. No resolution has ever been passed by the US controlled Security Council that made lifting of sanctions from Iraq contingent on liberating it from Saddam. The only one who proposed such quid pro quo was George Herbert Bush who in 1991, proclaimed that the US would never lift the sanctions regime from Iraq as long as Saddam remains in power. Further, where is the UN’s verification of the disarmament? Soon we will see how the US is going to produce its fabricated evidence on this issue!
In the end, hyper-imperialist rationalization of conquest is a nexus of unresolved subjective contradictions. Even Karl Marx fell in this trap. Although condemning the British conquest of India, he believed that it had a positive aspect. It would destroy the self-perpetuating and static “Indian village system” thus allowing modernity to rip the old system and usher India into the industrial era. India might have achieved partial validation of that expectation; but, after 150 years from Marx’ prediction, and over four centuries of British rule that ended in 1947, India is still struggling with poverty and illiteracy, and its mediocre industrial revolution, despite a nuclear capability, is not even minimally sufficient to feed its population. Iraq under direct or indirect American rule cannot escape the fate of India. Bloodsucking colonialism is not interested in progress; its main objective is exploitation of resources, and nothing else.
Can we predict the future of Iraq? Here is a clue. In the movie “Quemada” (burnt land, in Portuguese), directed by Italian filmmaker Gillo Pontecorvo, and starring Marlon Brando, the plot goes like this: Quemada, an imaginary Caribbean island ruled by the Portuguese, had fallen under British lascivious eyes for its rich minerals. The Portuguese burned the land to force the population to immigrate to the cities thus facilitating the seizure of their lands. The British, to kick the Portuguese off the island, sent a nobleman to organize a local uprising against them. After a long struggle, the Portuguese, defeated, left the island. Now the surprise: as soon as the Portuguese left, here comes the British flotilla under the command of our Samaritan English nobleman to announce that, thenceforth, Britain will rule the island. How did the movie end? The Quemadans killed the British nobleman, turned from an aid to liberation to a tool of occupation, and restarted the struggle for their liberation from the new and more insidious conquerors!
B. J. Sabri is an Iraqi-American peace-activist. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
1) To review US war crimes in Iraq in 1991 please read Ramsey Clark’s The Fire this Time;
2) To pre-view US war crimes in Iraq in 2003, please read William Gibson’s The Perfect war. Technowar in Vietnam
3) To know the reasons for the changing of American attitudes toward the Middle East after WWII, please read Robert Kaplan’s The Arabists
4) “Nomen nudum” (naked name) is a Latin phrase; it means an invalid proposed name because group designation is not adequate to identify. My invented equivalent for it is “blendocracy” as in the phrase “ideological blendocracy”, where the prefix “blendo” stands for “hybrid mixture”. American war culture is complex and requires serious study as there is no precise adjective to describe it.