|Iraq: the war of the Nobel Peace Prize|
|Written by Alejandro Pereira – PST Colombia|
|Friday, 12 November 2010 02:02|
|Barack Obama, Nobel Peace Prize 2009, as the representative of imperialism, continues his Middle East war. He considered the war in Iraq as ended, therefore consolidating Iraq’s occupation. He has also announced a massive escalation of combat troop in Afghanistan involving Pakistan and Tajikistan.
He also seeks to convince the Palestinians to surrender and sign a peace treat recognizing the Zionist state of Israel. He also threatens Iran with a possible war. His objectives in the region are the energy resources, and in the case of Iraq, he is achieving his purpose.
“The war is over”, the looting begins
Last August, Obama’s government announced the withdrawal of the “last” soldiers in Iraq and declared as finished the operation “Iraq Freedom”, the military occupation of Iraq in the George Bush administration on March 20, 2003. Obama said he now began the operation “New Dawn”, whose mission – 56,000 troops remain in Iraq – is to train Iraqi armed forces that have 665,000 soldiers. Concerning the alleged withdrawal of imperialism, it is raised the discussion about the war outcome. The results compared with the previous objectives of the occupation, the figures and the situation in which the country remains are important parameters to do an evaluation and conclude whether imperialism triumphed or was defeated.
All for oil
In January 2003, transnational oil executives said: “US oil companies are starting to prepare for the day when they may get a chance to work in one of the world’s most oil-rich countries.” This was stated some months before the invasion of Iraq. Seven years later the situation is as follows:
“The awarding of development rights over the huge West Qurna oilfield in southern Iraq to Exxon-Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell last Thursday (on December 3, 2009) once again underscores the criminal character of the continuing US-led occupation. As the direct result of the Iraq war, major American and other transnational energy conglomerates are now gaining control over some of the largest oilfields in the world.
West Qurna has proven reserves of 8.7 billion barrels of oil. Iraq’s total reserves are currently put at 115 billion barrels, though dozens of potential fields have not been explored adequately. Before the US invasion in 2003, rights over West Qurna had been awarded by the Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein to the Russian oil firm, Lukoil. The pro-US puppet regime in Baghdad has torn up all pre-war contracts…
(…) Exxon-Mobil is the first US-based oil giant to benefit. Under the terms of a 20-year contract, Exxon-Mobil and Shell plan to boost daily production at West Qurna from 300,000 barrels to 2.3 million barrels per day over the next six years…
(…) the Iraqi government concluded a deal with British Petroleum (BP) and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), giving them development rights over the massive Rumaila field and its reserves of 17 billion barrels…” (www.wsws.org/es/articles/2009/dec2009/esiq-d09.shtml).
It is clear now that one of the main objectives of the war and occupation planned and executed in April 2003, by imperialism, is being accomplished: to seize Iraqi oil.
Genocide and destruction, division and fratricide
To achieve its oil objective US needed to achieve political control, needed to defeat the population resistance, to degrade its standard of life and keep it divided. The imperialist war and occupation has left 1,200,000 dead Iraqis, 5 million displaced, their land has received 1,700 tons of depleted uranium and a high amount of white phosphorus. This has left its people worse than Hiroshima and Nagasaki people after the atomic bombs of U.S. imperialism in World War II. Many deaths from cancer have already been registered. There are 5 million orphaned children and tens of thousands of girls and women turned to prostitution to survive. There are over a hundred thousand civilians in the prisons, mostly on suspicion of supporting the resistance. Labor unions were banned, the road infrastructure and public services were destroyed and the number of unemployment reaches 70%.
Despite Hussein’s dictatorship, the prosperous and industrialized Iraq offered its population education and food subsidies. Currently the country is not even the shadow of what it had been then, before the war. It is completely devastated. Its population status increasingly resembles the persecuted and oppressed Palestinians.
Before the war, Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds lived together without major problems, in spite of Hussein’s repression and persecution against the Kurds. There were families formed by members of these various sectors coexisting without problems. Nevertheless, the scenario changed dramatically after the occupation. The persecution of the Sunnis was encouraged by the invaders and their Iraqi agents, and this has produced a true fratricide and division among the three sectors. These events have served only to the occupants because they have destroyed the national unity of the Iraqi people and the country lost its sovereignty completely.
In addition it must be considered the humiliation and punishment that the imperialist invader infringes on the Iraqi people when charging them to rebuild the country. “The United States wants the Iraqi government to pay compensation for the destruction and murders the U.S. military machine inflicted on the country. The reasons given are: a) Iraq can sell large amount of oil to rebuild the country, and b) the victims are Iraqis and therefore the compensation must be paid … by Iraqis. This is really a twisted logic. Comment of one Iraqi: “Someone comes into my house illegally, destroys everything kills my family and demands me to pay for the damage? Am I talking to barbarians fresh coming from a cave?” (Dirk Adriaensens Brussels Court, Iraq: the era of darkness,www.rebelion.org).
Imperialist “Vatican” and military bases
The U.S. will continue the occupation by consolidating military bases in Iraq. The purpose of such military bases is to take care of the oil, to remove it and dominate the region. The U.S. embassy in Baghdad is more like the Vatican than a diplomatic house: “Along with the Great Wall of China,”said Ambassador to Iraq Christopher Hill, “its one of those things you can see with the naked eye from outer space. I mean, it’s huge.” It is. With just over 42 hectare, [the Vatican has 44 hectares], this embassy has become the largest embassy in the world. In addition to six apartment buildings, it has a luxury pool, as well as a water and sewage treatment plant. (…) The State Department has requested a mini-army to protect this Fortress America — including 24 Black Hawk helicopters and 50 bomb-resistant vehicles.”(Ibid).
Apart from the imperialist enclave in central Baghdad, the imperialism will keep military bases to control the territory. That is to say, formally, the war is ended but the occupation continues. The White House confirms that the U.S. government will maintain 94 military bases.“As part of the reduction of troops in Iraq, the United States Armed Forces are also closing down or transferring military bases in Iraq. In June 2009, U.S. troops occupied 357 bases. Currently occupy 121 bases, and is expected to reduce this figure to 94 bases by the end of August.” (http://www.america.gov)
The outcome as from the facts
In order to take stock of the war we have the facts that have been mentioned here, so we can conclude that U.S. imperialism and transnational corporations have gotten away with it. However, there are those who believe that U.S. has been defeated once 5 000 north Americans soldiers were killed and 30,000 soldiers was wounded; once U.S. has spent about $ 1 trillion dollar in war and for maintaining the invasion, with 56 000 soldiers and more than 100,000 mercenaries, will add 2 trillion dollars. Moreover others argue that U.S. was defeated because it left the war highly discredited.
The problem is that those who conclude that imperialism was defeated underestimate the economic and military factors, as well as the division of the resistance, the defeat of the working class and the relative stability of the puppet government.
For U.S. imperialism, its government, its military and transnational big bourgeoisie, by far the outcome is positive, as it is also for national officials of the puppet government and the regime’s institutions who have profited from the results of the country destruction. On the other hand, for the Bush team, which has investments in the military and oil industry -the result was excellent. Now they have accumulated more wealth than they had before 2003. As for the lack of prestige is concerned, it is important to remind that the capitalists, especially the imperialists, are more interested in profits, than prestige. The other thing is that it depends on how one analyses the conflicts and interests.
It was not positive for the American people who pay taxes and part of that money has been invested in the war. For the common people of Iraq who have lost everything, things were much worse. The troops also lost because many were killed or wounded, and others ended up committing suicide or turning into insane-ill people. The American mobilization against the war was also defeated, as it was the global mobilization against it and against imperialism worldwide, particularly in Europe.
Bush planned to invade Iraq and finish the war in one month. That was unsuccessful because the resistance was very radical domestically and internationally there was a very important process of mobilization. This fact caused him a certain stagnation and crisis. However, after 7 years of persistence, repression of both the invading troops and the puppet government, corruption of the resistance leadership, the division and fratricide, imperialism prevailed, beating the masses and leaving the country under debris.
This defeat has had international repercussions. Bush’s slogan “war on terror” ended up as an argument to impose other interventions and to suppress any movement that tries to struggle for their demands and against imperialism. The armies have increased considerably, and so have the budgets of war, euphemistically called defense budgets. The U.S. imperialists had clear objectives: to seize Iraqi oil and gain control of the region. No doubt, the first purpose was achieved, and the latter has advanced. The reality is stark. To say that imperialism has been defeated in Iraq is to ignore the facts, and that may have implications for the struggle against imperialism. It can lead us to lower our guard in the fight against the occupation, a fight that will continue in any case. It can lead us to lower the guard against the looting that is growing and against division and fratricide among the various trends of the Iraqi population. How to assert that imperialism was defeated, if Iraq is still occupied?
The war continues
We must not believe that the war ended, as it continues in Afghanistan and may extend to Iran. Most soldiers that Obama’s government withdrew from Iraq have been moved to Afghanistan. With 400 bases and 150 thousand troops, imperialism has shifted the focus of its war in Iraq to Afghanistan. The goal is to control the territory for plunder and transportation of energy resources of Central Asia. The control model is similar to Iraq: having a puppet government, rebuild national armed forces service to serve the imperialism and maintain an army of occupation. This is being sought militarily fighting the Taliban resistance while looking for a bargain. The U.S. government and its military officers recognize that military strategy is insufficient to get rid of the swamp they are in Afghanistan. Unlike Iraq, the military resistance, which currently has about 30 thousand men in arms, is much more centralized than Iraq and has greater public support. That is why they are trying to seek negotiations with the resistance, not only with the Haqqani network but also with the Quetta Shura headed by ousted President Mullah Omar.
We must consider the entire Middle East as a region over which imperialism is intervening militarily, including Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan. Obama’s government has threatened Iran with war and it is using Israel, which, in turn is putting a fierce repression against the Palestinian people and considering the possibility to impose the existence of a single state: the Israeli subjecting the Palestinians under Israeli directions.
As is the situation in this region, we can evaluate that the correlation of forces is in favor of the counter-revolution, in face of the absence of protests to confront imperialist aggression.
If a few years ago there was an expectation of defeat imperialism in Iraq, now that possibility depends on the European working class that is facing economic plans of imperialism. If the European working class struggle includes the slogan against imperialist war in the Middle East the expulsion and defeat of imperialism can be achieved.
Source: El Socialista nº 652, October 2010