The Splendid Failure of Occupation: Part 3 of 22
Annan, the UN, and Other Stories
by B.J. Sabri

December 11, 2003

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“God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if not, the election will come and I will have to focus on them.”

-- President George Bush 

* Read Part One
* Read Part Two

Having summarily pointed to the U.S. war on Iraq from understanding how Zionism formed a political state on Arab soil, we have to relate it to the current Iraqi situation inside the U.N. system where Israel rules unchallenged through its control of the United States, which is controlling the United Nations. However, other external sources allow Israel to pursue its agenda inside the U.N. undisturbed.

To prove this, it suffices to mention three known facts. First, despite the fact that Israel possesses an awesome nuclear arsenal, and despite the uproar the Bush Administration is raising against Iran and North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, no one including the loud mouths at the American-controlled International Atomic Agency (charged with monitoring nuclear proliferation) have ever dared publicly to discuss the issue of Israel’s nuclear weapons. Second, despite all the resolutions that the U.N. passed against Israel, Israel never complied and the U.N. was able to enforce none! Last, after the U.N. passed a resolution equating Zionism with racism, the U.S. forced the UN to repeal that resolution, albeit nothing changed in the nature of Israel to warrant repealing it. So, what are these external means?       

These are Israel’s international connections. To begin with, after France, Britain, and the U.S. supplied military technology and made Israel a nuclear power, now Israel is selling certain aspects of its acquired and improved (by the U.S. of course) technology to China and India; therefore, these countries are now under Israel’s dependence and influence. As for Israel’s influence over Britain, France, Germany, and Russia, etc., these are old stories.

Other external sources come from Israel’s determination to keep the Palestinian issue unresolved and its military occupation of Arab territories perpetual. This means that Israel remains the ultimate authority capable of imposing any solution on the Arabs thus increasing its perceived strength and impregnability. Yet, another interesting source comes from the structural weakness of the Arabs. The moment they surrendered and accepted Israel consequent to the Madrid Conference and the Oslo Accord, many Islamic, African, and some Arab countries opened up to it, thus ending its international isolation. As a consequence, the myth of tiny Israel capable of changing the world had become reality. Whether the myth is true or exaggerated, it is a success story that all the vaunted and wasted Arab money could not ever buy! Yet it is only a success as far as it concerns Zionism. Historically, it is the wrong kind of success, for many compelling reasons including the colonialist origin of Israel, ideological makeup of the state, militarized imperialism, fascist policies, and the drive for rebuilding colonialist empires.  

After exploring Israel inside and outside the U.N., the inclusion of the U.N. in our investigation is inevitable. Up until 1991, no war, on the scale of the wars unleashed on Iraq, could have happened without endorsement of the United Nations. Presently, as the immense Iraqi tragedy keeps unfolding, so are other concomitant events whose impact on the course of imperialistic designs is already changing many calculations and projections. Among these events is the attack of August 19, 2003 against the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad, which is one of the focal points of this investigation. It was remarkable to see how that attack opened the mouths of many hypocrites around the world, especially U.S. Zionists, as if the U.N. were a relief agency, and not an important global organization under the rule of one power (the U.S.) that uses it as a “legitimizing” tool to consecrate its hyper-imperialistic dictatorship on the world.

To begin debating issues related to the U.N., we shall address first the attack against its headquarters in Baghdad. About this attack, we have to state immediately that in cause-effect terms, no attack could have ever happened against the U.N. or anyone else had the U.S. not invaded and occupied Iraq. This means the U.S. is solely responsible for putting in motion consequential events that culminated with that act. Under this light, the 4811th meeting of the Security Council where the UN condemned the attack confirmed the endemic duplicity of the permanent members. Why did Russia, France, and China, who opposed U.S. war, deem the U.N. attack condemnable, while considering the U.S. invasion of Iraq an accomplished fact, therefore no longer subjected to classification?

It is preposterous that the SC who failed to condemn the Anglo-American terrorist attack against Iraq in violation of international law and its own charter, felt “morally” compelled to condemn the “terrorist” attack against the United Nations. Under U.S. pressure, the SC further deepened its hypocrisy when it declared that the attack against the U.N. was an attack against the world. It is beyond supposition that the U.N. attackers targeted only the occupation regime and its symbols, and not the “world” or individual U.N. member states such as Austria, Madagascar, Honduras, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Luxemburg, Mexico, Nigeria, or Cambodia.

We know that France, Russia or Germany could not have requested that the SC issue any condemnation of the U.S. and the U.K. (the US would have vetoed it) for launching an unprovoked Nazi type invasion. Nevertheless, the anti-war front should have had no problems in issuing an independent declaration of condemnation! This did not happen, and the question is why? Another question: why did France, China, and Russia who opposed the invasion so vigorously, turn around and then accept its outcome so sheepishly? Is that not a contradiction in the basic philosophy of rejection and consent? Of course it is a contradiction, but only as far as it concerns the idealistic nature of that philosophy. On the practical terrain of inter-imperialistic pacification, however, philosophical contradictions have no value in relation to selfish necessities where yielding to U.S. coercive diplomacy is a way to abandon unprofitable dissent that could further aggravate an already strained relations and dim chances to share in colonialist profits.

Punctually, after the Anglo-American invasion had become a fact, the once noisy “anti-war front” went into an irreversible hibernation and commenced patching up insignificant differences with the U.S. on methods but not on concepts or objectives. In any case, and despite all appearances of passing the critical mass in world relations, the U.N.’s acceptance of Iraq’s occupation put an end, permanently, to the international system that existed before the invasion with repercussions yet to be defined.

How shall we react to the U.N. victims? As we sincerely mourn the loss of any human life because of violence, we must highlight the huge imbalance and political differentiation in reporting on other deaths caused by disparate methods of warfare. While those who condemned the killing at the U.N. and kept individual counts of the casualties suffered by the occupiers, including the time of passing, they never condemned the U.S.-U.K. imperialist attack against Iraq. Nor did they ever bother to count the thousands of Iraqis whom the U.S. intentionally killed, as President Bush cynically puts it, in its most “humane military operation” in history. One tiny example of this intentionality is when U.S. War Secretary Rumsfeld authorized over 50 air sorties where more than 30 civilians were expected to get killed as a result of bombardment. [1]

Pointedly, why should this underreporting on Iraqis killed by U.S. violence be amazing in a world so desensitized to mass killing and controlled by hyper-imperialists, imperialists, chauvinists, racists, supremacists, adulators of power, war profiteers, coward rulers, and mutes seeking safety? What is the matter? Has the world descended into a hypnotic state where awakening depends on the finger snapping of Sharon or Dick Cheney? 

Not even the attack that took the lives of the Shiite religious leader Mohammad Baqire al-Hakeem (whose contradictory and uncertain pre-invasion policies facilitated the U.S. aim) and over 90 of his followers, had managed to change the equation of conditional and qualitative reporting on who is dying in Iraq. In fact, two days after his assassination, all scant and lopsided reporting on it had entirely ceased. As for the assassination of al-Hakeem, it is important to speculate that either Washington or Tel Aviv killed him. This speculation is plausible because of the silence of the Shiite leadership that followed his killing. Let me explain, if the Shiites knew for certain that Arab Sunni Muslims or other Iraqis did it, as the U.S. insinuated, Iraq would have plunged into civil war instantaneously. Because that did not happen, there is a reason to believe that the perpetrators were not Iraqis; especially knowing that al-Hakeem started to criticize the occupation regime after he ambiguously supported it. 

While reports on U.S. casualties proceed on the rhythms of “one died since May 1, when President Bush declared an end to major combat operations,  etc., two died since May 1, when President Bush, etc., three died since May 1, when President Bush, etc., and so on”, the reporting on Iraqi casualties is either ignored or casually followed. Even reporting done by organizations such as “Iraq Body Count” lacks accuracy and proper tabulation, as it depends on tallies of separate sources without coordination, and not on reliable information from inside Iraq. So, how many Iraqis did the army of an unstable and homicidal president kill since he ordered the execution of Wolfowitz and Perle’s “preemption war” garbage?

According to Medact, a London-based medical charity, since the invasion on March 19, 2003 and up to November 13, 2003, the U.S. killed at least 7,500 Iraqi civilians and 13,500 soldiers for a total of more than 20,000. [2]  Iraqi hospitals however affirm different figures. From the day of invasion and up to September 11, 2003, the total of those killed by U.S. fire is much higher than the number reported by Medact. [3]  Indeed, Iraqi records show the U.S. killed 37,137 civilians; military and militia casualties were not included. (Russian intelligence put the total number of soldiers killed by U.S. fire around 40,000.). Yet, Philip Adams reports that European and British sources confirm similar accounts but with different figures. According to these sources: 10, 000 civilians and 50,000 troops killed, while at least 40,000 people were injured. [4]

If we limit the count just to the civilians whom the U.S. killed with premeditation and then called “collateral damage,” we immediately realize one thing: if death of this size does not constitute mass destruction, then what is mass destruction? Must one million people die in one day so we can call them victims of mass destruction? For the Iraqis that the U.S. killed in 1991, please read the excellent article that demographer Beth Osborn Daponte wrote for Business Week. [5]  Daponte conservatively put the numbers of those killed by the U.S. during that war and its aftermath at around 158,000 people. In a later study, she raised that number to 205,500 people including those who died from delayed effects of war. If you add all the preceding numbers of victims to those whom the U.S. killed through the sanctions imposed on Iraq (according to international sources, approximately 1- 1.5 million people), the dimension of an Iraqi holocaust becomes well defined.

If you add, from the end of WWII until present, the number of all those whom the US killed in Iraq, Yugoslavia, Panama, Vietnam, Korea, and in all other parts of the world, where it either intervened militarily or promoted bloody coups such as in Iran, Indonesia, Congo, Iraq, Chile, Argentina, el-Salvador, etc., the result would be prohibitive to fathom. In just 58 years, an America armed with the “civilized democracy” alibi and a bizarre “freedom jargon,” has killed more people than all other aggressive empires in world history combined had killed in 2000 years, thus making it (the U.S.) the uncontested insane mass killer entity of all ages since humanity learned how to walk on two limbs. 

In the case of Iraq, what is behind this unprecedented mass slaughter of Iraqis, who in their entire history never attacked the United States, and whose former dictator had even executed their plans in the region? Is it because Saddam owned weapons he no longer possessed? Is it because genocidal minds want to exact a revenge for 9/11 from Iraqis who did not commit the crime? Is it because Bush wants to build “democracy” for Iraqis deprived from it? What are the real reasons for this mad killing, and why do we have to witness the incarnation of Hitler’s philosophy in a sanitized and beautified terminology?  We shall discuss that later in the series.     

The invasion of Iraq, the killing of thousands of its citizens, and the consequence of war lead us back to the UN attack; so, who attacked the UN and why?  

Despite abundant speculations on motive and identity, the attack is technically limited to three possibilities: First: if non-Iraqis and non-Arabs such as Israel did it with the U.S. knowledge and blessing, then the U.S. targeted the U.N. as a means to consolidate occupation. Indeed, aside from destabilizing the Iraqi situation, an attack like that, in U.S. thinking, could induce nations susceptible to pressure to send troops to an Iraq in the thrall of “extremists” who are attacking, as Bush puts it, even “compassionate” organizations such as the U.N., thus making the occupied country impossible to “re-build”. Second, if non-Iraqi Arabs did it, this means that Iraq indeed has become a battlefield between the forces of pan-Arab nationalism and U.S. colonialist forces occupying their lands.

Third possibility: let us assume that the authors were strictly Iraqis fighting the occupation and its symbols. In this case, it is an indirect attack against the U.S. occupiers but with the U.N. in direct focus. Is this a plausible speculation? It is plausible for one good reason. The U.N. has become an operational instrument in legitimizing the U.S. occupation of Iraq which, in reverse logic, means that the U.N. has also legitimized, ex post facto, the invasion that lead to that occupation. Accordingly, if Iraqis conducted such an attack, it is possible that the UN’s conduct on the Iraqi issue had provided a valid alibi.

It is conceivable that the Iraqi resistance (if it were behind the attack) view the behavior of the U.N. as complicit at best, hence making it a legitimate target, no matter how hyper-imperialists and spinners of the world want to portray it. Under the dire conditions that the U.S. dastardly created in Iraq, subtleties, niceties, or legalistic distinction between the U.S. and the U.N. are not important in the judgment of the occupied, nor should it be otherwise from factual viewpoints.

To continue with our investigation of the U.N., the preceding interactions could highlight the complicity of the U.N. cartel, and as I stated earlier, could explain the attack against it -- assuming, once again, that Iraqis were the perpetrators. In any case, in its broadest meaning, the U.N. attack has dealt a strategic blow to U.S. designs of colonialist grandeur and world imperialistic hegemony, and directly confirmed that the U.S. is only interested in defending itself in Iraq, and indirectly illustrated the limits of U.S. power.

In its narrowest meaning, it confirmed that the U.S. Zionist Junta is facing an implacable resistance -- although at an exorbitant price to Iraq and Iraqis –- in imposing conquest, thus failing to retrograde world societies into accepting a primitive barbarian order, except this time, depleted uranium and firebombs replaced sword and spear. To confirm the trend of failure, several nations have either already refused or are reluctant to send their men to protect an insidious occupier whose imagination materialized the joy of future strategic and economic benefits of colonialist occupation without suffering its costs or casualties.

How does the U.N. of Kofi Annan stand today as an international system in relation to Iraq? Let us answer the question with a question: do we mean that “slave system” where the U.S. runs unopposed? As for meaning of the U.N., we could be gracious enough to call it the embodiment of political sphinx-ism and moral dwarfism where one can detect the irrelevant presence of its members by the vanishing warmth they leave on their seats.   

When talking about Annan, keep in mind that he is not a president of a private company where identification between the two is immediate. Annan, as all U.N. secretaries, is a special creation. Big powers select, nominate, veto, or approve the secretary according to strict imperialistic political criteria and agendas. To conclude, any U.N. secretary is an unelected officer with no mandate from the General Assembly, accordingly, he or she has no democratic mandate to speak on behalf of any state, and therefore is only a caretaker of special interests.

Annan’s choice as a metaphor for the U.N. system's failure and as a target for criticism is not accidental; it is a way to see the inner thinking of imperialist powers, especially the U.S., because more often than not, he appears to pave the way for what the U.S. was planning to do. The last such episode happened when the U.S. presented the draft for resolution 1551. Annan protested a few things, the U.S. winked, giggled, and then re-presented the same draft for vote. Annan remained silent. From studying Annan, our guess is that he is inclined to cohabitation and to the preservation of an assumed personal prestige in a position of complete servility. In rare occasions, and when the issues before him are of a minor significance to the U.S., Annan becomes a “concerned” idealist; but he, a sharp observer of U.N. politics, never forgot how his outspoken predecessor and former boss Boutros Boutros Ghali ended up when he defied U.S. policies. Ultimately, when the U.S. vetoed the selection of Boutros Ghali for a second term and picked Annan as successor, Annan decided that in order to maintain his career he must lower his head each time a U.S. ambassador reprimands him.        

So where does that leave us with Annan? Next, in part four, we shall talk about Annan’s simplistic treatment of serious matters such as terrorism, genocide, and WMD. This is important because Annan appears genuinely eager to share his bewildering findings with the world. 

Next, Part 4:  Annan and the Vocabulary of Deception

B. J. Sabri
is an Iraqi-American anti-war activist. He can be reached at: bjsabri@yahoo.com.

Other Articles by B. J. Sabri

* Splendid Failure of Occupation, Part 2: Can We Explain the War on Iraq by Reading Israel?
* The Splendid Failure of Occupation: Part 1
* Beyond Empty Triumphalism
The Hyper-Imperialist Paradigm, Part One
* The Hyper-Imperialist Paradigm, Part Two
* The Hyper-Imperialist Paradigm, Part Three

* The Hyper-Imperialist Paradigm, Part Four
* Reporting from the Colonialist Side of the Brain
* Thomas Friedman: The Insidious Prophet of Petty Fascism
* Nomen Nudum, Or, Hyper-Imperialists On a Rampage
* Which Prototype is Bush Following: Nero, Holagu, Malthus, Hitler, or Sharon?
* From Guernica to Baghdad Via Dresden and Hiroshima
* Barbaric Era, Year 2003
* When Hercules is Intoxicated, Furious, and Unchained
* War on Iraq and the Pregnant Chads Factor

* Nuclear Blues and the Iraqi Question


[1] Reported in “Two U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq, U.N. convoy attacked,” Reuters, July 20, 2003.

[2] George Wright, "Report finds 'alarming deterioration' in Iraqi health," The Guardian, November 11, 2003.

[3] James Ridgeway, "Counting the Bodies, Hard to Keep Track of the Dead in Iraq," The Village Voice, September 3-9, 2003.

[4] Phillip Adams, "Iraq: the next Afghanistan," The Australian (on-line edition), December 6, 2003.

[5] "Toting the Casualties of War," interview with Beth Daponte, Business Week Online, February 6, 2003.



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