IMPERIALIST OIL WAR IN MIDDLE EAST
U.S. ATTACKS IRAQ
U.N. Arms Inspectors exposeded as American spies.
"It's high time the American media has
finally exposed the canard that the conflict with Iraq is not "a struggle
between the world community and Saddam," but a self-serving campaign by
the US and Britain to topple a dictator, and former ally, who dared
threaten their commercial interests and strategic domination of the
-- Eric Margolis, January 11, 1999.
Canadian Right-Wing Columnist Calls Bombing of Iraq a "Massacre"
"US operations against Iraq bear great similarity to Britain's 19th century colonial `small wars,' in which then high-tech cannon, rapid-fire rifles, and Gatling guns were employed to mow down mobs of spear-waving Dervishes, Zulu, and Pathan. Such massacres bring little glory on the Joint Chiefs who direct these turkey shoots, or on the airmen and rocketeers who conduct them." -- Canadian right-wing columnist Eric Margolis, 12/27/98
Noam Chomsky on US-British war crimes and the reason -- oil -- behind them, in Iraq bombing.
Inter-imperialist rivalry! US bombing of Iraq aimed at harming European countries which depend on Iraqi oil, from El Pais (Madrid), Dec. 21.
War Crime! US & UK Used Depleted Uranium in Shells in Gulf War, causing thousands of birth defects, poisoning the land for decades, and harming US and UK soldiers. Times of India, Dec. 23, 1998.
Behind The News Coverage Of Bombing And Bombast - Norman Solomon of Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting exposes U.S. media's distortions and how it functions as a government propaganda agency.
"Deadly cost of a degrading act" - Robert Fisk of the London Independent (Dec. 18), the dean of Western Middle East reporters, dissects the incredible immorality and callousness of US/UK bombing, and asks: What next -- a ground war?
|Of course it's over control of Mid-East oil; about which oil billionaires will make the profits from it; about using oil to control the US imperialists' European and Japanese competitors (see quotation from Geoff Simons' book further down the page); about raising the cost of oil for US consumers because the poor billionaires' profits aren't high enough. It's also about growing fascism in the US, and the threat of war among imperialists over profits. Finally, it's also about mass atrocities -- the use of depleted uranium shells, the deaths of a million or more Iraqis by sanctions.|
"More than "Wag the Dog" -- Its An Exxon Mobil War".This leaflet attempts a class analysis.
This Dec. 17 article from Reuters reports on the Oklahoma Republican senators moaning about how Iraqi oil has lowered the price of oil for consumers, to the harm of those oil companies (like the OK-TX companies these guys represent), whose oil is so expensive to produce.
... And this Reuters article from the same day reveals the big US oil companies with MidEast oil reserves, the competitors to the OK-TX group above, are buying up cheap Iraqi crude and making a bundle while the OK-TX group "starves". This rivalry is one of the main bases, if not the basis, for the 'conservative-liberal' split within the Republican party and the US ruling elite.
"America the Merciless", by Ed Herman. Points out how the US is the main source of terrorism and atrocities in the world, far more deadly and ruthless than Saddam Hussein.
"Rogue States", by Noam Chomsky. The US fits all of its own definitions of a "rogue state". Chomsky gives lots of detail, with references, to show that no state since Hitler's Germany has caused so much terrorism and slaughtered so many, while ignoring UN resolutions whenever it wanted.
Articles from before Dec. 16 1998 attack on Iraq:
Exxon-Mobil Merger Leading To Next Oil War -- Analysis of the link between decline of U.S. imperialism relative to its European rivals and the imperialist dog-fight over Middle Eastern oil. From Challenge/Desafio, 12/16/98, by Progressive Labor Party. See also interesting letter, "Soldiers Talk About Possibilities Of War", same place.
Capitalism and Oil: a Deadly Duo for Workers, 12/2/98. Detailed class analysis of Clinton's latest backing-down from war with Iraq.
|"Tragically, Iraq, the mutant stepchild of British imperialism, has
proven inherently unstable. Keeping it together requires constant brute force. Perhaps
Washington will succeed in eliminating Saddam and installing a new general who is more
compliant with American policy. But don't count on it.
For the past 50 years, the US has overthrown regimes, tried to assassinate leaders, and intrigued throughout the Mideast. The result has been a gigantic, bloody mess.
As Americans demand Saddam's head, it's worth remembering CIA helped put him - and Libya's irritating Col. Khadaffi - into power. CIA used to call them, `our boys.'"
- right-wing Canadian columnist Eric Margolis on US responsibility for Saddam; here's the whole article. Margolis is an imperialist, staunch anti-Communist, lover of the rich and of exploitation in his own right. He illustrates how non-American "foreign policy" commentators view US preoccupation with Iraq (see the quote below as well). 11/23/98
"The Disturbing Eagerness For A Bloody Attack", by Norman Solomon of Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR), November 19, 1998. Solomon exposes how eager both "liberal" and "conservative" columnists of the Washington Post -- Will, Krauthammer, and Richard Cohen -- were to blame Clinton for not bombing Iraq, though they knew it would cost around 10,000 Iraqi lives! What a bunch of fascists!!
"Autopsy of a Disaster: Sanctions", by the Institute for Public Accuracy, shows that the US government is lying when it claims it wants "compliance" with inspections from Iraq. What it actually wants is the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. A detailed time-line of quotations from US Presidents and spokespersons since before the Gulf War.
Speech by Dennis Halliday, former United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, shortly after he resigned his post in protest over sanctions' devastating impact on the Iraqi people. The embargo is not, in fact, weakening Saddam Hussein, but is killing innocent Iraqis by the hundreds of thousands -- over a million so far. This is one of the great atrocities of the twentieth century, and the US imperialists are guilty of it.
"US Mideast Predicament", by Eqbal Ahmad.Good explanation of US imperialist politics in the world and especially the Middle East during the past 30 years, from an anti-imperialist, but non-class perspective. From Dawn, Pakistani English-language newspaper on-line.
"Saddam, for all his nastiness, today threatens no one, save his own miserable people. He does, however, provide an excellent excuse for keeping a permanent US military garrison in the Mideast." - Eric Margolis, right-wing columnist for the Toronto Sun. Even right-wing columnists outside the US know that Saddam Hussein of Iraq is no "threat" to peace, but that the U.S. wants an excuse to keep a huge military presence in the Gulf to defend US oil companies' contracts and prevent European capitalists from cashing in on the oil contracts they have signed with Hussein's regime -- contracts which will be void if the US overthrows Saddam.
US `adamantly' opposed Annan overture to Iraq: Time (from the Times of India).US imperialists desperately want to attack, and ultimately to invade, Iraq, in order to control MidEast oil. But European and Japanese imperialists have signed oil agreements with the Hussein government -- deals that shut the US out. If the US imperialists can overthrow Hussein's government, these deals will be off, and US oil companies can make deals favoring them with the new, pro-US government. So the US bosses did not want to avert war with Iraq. And UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's deal reflects how isolated from its imperialist competitors, especially Europe and Russia, the US imperialists are.
Win Workers to Break with Illusions of `Lesser Evil' Politicians; Organize Against Liberal Warmakers' Plans for Oil War II . Clinton/Democrat victory in elections emboldens Rockefeller/ US international oil interests to step up threat of war with Iraq. The politics behind the "Liberal-Conservative" battle. From Progressive Labor Party.
Big Oil Bosses Beat War Drums Again. Imperialist oil politics behind the scene. The biggest group of US rulers -- the "liberals" -- want an oil war, with a land invasion; they must have it to control the oil 'on the ground.' War and fascism loom ahead. From Progressive Labor Party.
How Hollywood Gets Behind the Oil War Plans . While "The Siege" prepares the US public for a racist war against Arabs, and the "free press" acts like a US government propaganda agency, a former Green Beret is arrested for participating in bombing the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
New Caspian oil interests fuel US war drive against Iraq, article detailing oil deals US bosses are getting cut out of and want to horn in on -- good details on US imperialist motives in Mideast. From World Socialist Web Site.
Saudi Arabia Says US Can't Use Its Territory as a Base For Attack On Iraq -- in Spanish, from El Pais Digital (Madrid, Spain).US bosses' isolation is increasing! The fascist Saudi regime fears the anti-US Islamic 'fundamentalist' groups, while pro-US King Faisal is ill, and his apparent successor, Prince Abdullah, is much less pro-US.
LEAFLET against Impending War on Iraq
Associated Press, Nov. 12 1998 -- "U.S. May Land Troops In Iraq As part of the Attack"
"Do Not Bomb Iraq!", a public statement by a large number of Middle Eastern scholars in the U.S., February 2, 1998. This essay/leaflet gives an analysis -- unfortunately, from a very liberal, mainstream viewpoint -- of great power imperialism, including American imperialism, in the Middle East.
Ramsey Clark's letter to British UN Ambassador, about UN slavishness and US genocide and imperialism about Iraq. Clark is a humanitarian, without a class analysis, but makes his viewpoint clearly and with moral conviction.
Gulf Crisis - Weasel words serve only to glorify grim reality of war - Robert Fisk, of the London (UK) Independent, is one of the best reporters alive on the Middle East, with over 20 years experience there. Here he attacks the American press, exposing it as a propaganda agent of the US government.
The Myth That Sanctions Will End When Iraq Complies with UN Inspections. This timeline from the Institute for Public Accuracy shows, among other things, that the US is interested in overthrowing Saddam Hussein, period. The "inspections" are a public relations ploy to distract the public. There are also links to several sources documenting the horrific mortality, especially of children and infants, in Iraq as a direct result of the sanctions.
MidEast Realities Iraq Magazine, with hard-hitting facts about US and European imperialist genocide of the Iraqi people and the cynical oil politics behind the mask of "opposing aggression." MER is anti-imperialist and nationalist, but has zero class analysis; still, the facts are useful.
"Tears of Children... And Shame For Us All" - an updated story of the horrors of the suffering and death caused by the UN embargo on Iraq, together with examples of American dishonesty on the question of "weapons of mass destruction". From MER, Nov. 16, 1998
When the bosses
pledge peace, get ready for bombs to fall. How the "Wye Accords" reflect
weakening US power in the MidEast and a step-up of the pressures for US war there. From
Progressive Labor, Challenge Nov. 4.
Feb. 23 Agreement with Iraq - Big Defeat for US Rulers!Industrial "allies -- really fellow imperialist competitors - used Iraq to isolate US rulers, opening the door for their own oil deals with Iraq, freezing US oil bosses out. "World opinion will mean that this deal must be accepted. The Americans would find themselves in dangerous isolation if, pointing to some trifling detail or another, they insisted on a military strike." -- Guenter Verheugen , foreign policy spokesman for the German Social Democratic Party (quoted in New York Times 2/24)
Clark's Jan. 28 letter to Kofi Annan - details U.S. imperialist atrocities in the Middle East.
Conservative Compares Planned US War on Iraq to Shameful Imperialist Massacres.
"An assault on Iraq will be a useful, if enormously expensive, testing ground for the US military, but will bring no glory on America's armed forces. It will be a high-tech massacre, akin to Imperial Britain's slaughter, a century ago, of the spear-armed Dervish army at Omdurman, or America's brutal Indian Wars - certainly not a battle in the heroic tradition of Midway, Guadalcanal and the Chosen Reservoir." - Eric Margolis, columnist for The Toronto Star, Feb. 23.
|"But while the threat of force may have worked, for now, we also have to cite another lesson: Had Saddam not blinked and had the U.S. blasted him, the U.S. would have been virtually alone. The world was not with us. I regret that, but it's a fact." - Thomas Friedman, New York Times 2/24||"The President also agreed that diplomats appointed by the five permanent members of the Security Council could accompany the U.N.'s inspectors to Iraq's "presidential sites." That means Russia, France and China, Saddam's allies at the U.N., will have political appointees tagging after and second-guessing the U.N. professionals." - A.M Rosenthal, New York Times 2/24|
`UNSCUM' vs `bunny-huggers' in Iraq , from The Times of India, Feb. 26 -- the U.N. "observers" are arrogant American nationalists who go out of their way to treat Iraqis badly and generally act as though they'd like to provoke hostility.
Financial Times (London) predicts US ground war in Iraq (Feb. 11): "Air cover is necessary but not sufficient; you also need troops on the ground. The US, understandably does not like putting troops on the ground in other people's wars. (...) Reconstituting an effective opposition on the ground now will not be easy. But it remains the only strategy with any real chance of dislodging Mr Saddam. Until it is in place, more bombs will achieve nothing except more suffering, and hatred throughout the region for the states that drop them." U.S. Crueler, In Reality, Than Saddam - Who is the Real "Devil"?
"Yes, Saddam Hussein has treated the people with great cruelty, but in that the United States has far exceeded him. The United States, in the devastation of the Gulf War, in the embargo, in the killing of a million people in the aftermath of the war, has visited devastation on women, children, average Iraqi citizens, that goes far beyond what Saddam Hussein has done." Professor Howard Zinn, Emeritus, Boston University, Dept of History Cambridge, MA, 2/21/98
Prelude: The Gulf War, 1990-1
April Glaspie Interview with Saddam Hussein, July 25, 1990.
Censorship and Propaganda in the Gulf War: How Government Can Mold Public Opinion, by John R. MacArthur, publisher of Harper's Magazine (1996). Lies and media manipulation in the Gulf War.
The Lies That Made The Gulf War. More on US duplicity and brutality.
the public relations industry sold the Gulf War to the US. Part One of a two-part
article on US propaganda techniques. See here for "The Gulf War TV
Super Bowl", article about the use of the SuperBowl to orchestrate US patriotism
around the Gulf War.
Today: The Iraq Crisis
These sites are collections of lots of news articles, often updated:
Selected Articles :
Global Oil Companies Undercut U.S. Policies Toward Iraq, Iran. Real fight over oil profits to be made in Iraq and ME region -- the cause of interimperialist rivalry and war. From The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 23.
U.S.in a Political Bind: Sanctioning French oil company may bring fallout, Newsday, Feb. 22. US ruling class more isolated in MidEast than ever; US oil companies' control over MidEast oil in jeopardy. Link no longer active.
Iraq Crisis: The Price of Oil. Behind Iraq's power is oil says Robert Fisk. Yet that element is unmentioned in this crisis: why? US doesn't want to talk about oil, but that's what it's all about. Link no longer active. An excerpt: "Currently, oil sells at between $13.25 and $14 a barrel. "Saddam could sell at $9 a barrel, just to bring the price down," an Arab statistician with pro-Iranian leanings commented last week. "Do you realise what that would mean? It would devalue British North Sea oil, under-mine American oil production and - more important - it would destroy the huge profits the United States stands to gain from its massive investment in Caucasian oil production, especially in Azerbaijan. So what incentive do the Americans have to lift sanctions and let Saddam off the hook?"
Lower oil prices? That would help American consumers -- but harm the profits of American oil companies. So American soldiers will be killing -- and dying -- for the privilege of paying more for oil!
Saddam and UN hammer out deal. The U.S. is not likely to be happy, says Robert Fisk of London's The Independent. The 'alliance' has really fallen apart this time - Anan has apparently promised an end to sanctions. Link no longer active.
Allies at odds over UN peace bid: SHARP differences between the Foreign Secretary Robin Cook and the United States over action against Iraq have emerged. The Independent (London, UK), Feb. 22 1998. Link no longer active.
Richardson Interrupted by
Protest in Minn., from Reuters, Feb. 20.
"The demonstrators, who had been allowed into the hall after marching outside with about 50 other protesters, chanted: ''One, two, three, four, we don't want your racist war,'' "No blood for oil'', and "Clinton, Richardson you can't hide, sanctions are genocide.'' Link no longer active.
Policy is sparking an antiwar revival, Boston Globe, Feb. 20. Liberals and isolationists lead it -- anti-imperialists and communists come to the fore! Link no longer active.
Albright's Imperialist Propaganda disrupted by PLP-led demonstrators, Columbus OH, Feb. 18
THE TOLL OF SELF-CENSORSHIP AS BOMBS FALL, Norman Solomon of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting shows the US media act as government propganda organs. Feb. 19.
An Interview with Noam Chomsky about the current build up to a new 'Gulf War' . Chomsky has good facts about US lies, violations of UN charter, etc., though nothing about oil and imperialism, the real motive behind this war -- see the Challenge articles below on that. Feb. 19. Part 2 is now here.
Killing the Children of Iraq, The Guardian (London, UK), Feb. 19 1998. Children dying of easily preventable diseases for lack of the most basic medicines, due to the embargo.
First Cracks in anti-Iraq Alliance, from The Independent (London, UK), Feb.18. Foreign Secretary Robin Cook wants a U.N. Security Council resolution to authorize military action. But everyone knows the Security Council will not give such an authorization. So the British Foreign Secretary is, in effect, "backing off" the commitment by Great Britain, til now Clinton's only ally (aside from Israel) to support military action against Iraq. Link no longer active
Facts and Statistics, from Middle East Report -- the horrors of U.S. imperialist aggression for the working people of Iraq.
A pop quiz on the MidEast. Orlando Sentinel writer points out that Israel has committed as many horrors as Iraq, so "morality" is not what the US is about. (Moral: it's oil!)
Not So Fast, Senator Lott! Canadian right-winger lists U.S. imperialist failures in Middle East from WWII to present.
US Government Hypocrisy: US Supplied Iraq with Chemican and Biological Weapons in '80s, to be used against Iran.
WHAT MADNESS IS SEIZING MESSRS CLINTON AND BLAIR TODAY?, The Independent (London, UK), Feb. 12 - British journalist critiques assault on Iraq. Among other things, Hussein used poison gas against Iran in 1980s war with Western blessing.
Yeltsin: U.S. Can't Attack Iraq New York Daily News Feb. 6 1998.
Yeltsin Says Clinton's Actions in Iraq Could Cause World War (Reuters, February 4 1998)
Blitz on Saddam is just 12 days away- Patrick Cockburn, in The Independent (London, UK), Feb. 5.
Cockburn on Confusion in Washington's War Aims in Iraq, The Independent, Feb. 9. Link no longer active
No Targets In Iraq Justify Military Strike: Russian Arms Expert (Agence France Presse Feb. 4)
Atomic Warheads Aimed at
Iraq After US Policy Switch (A.P. Story from Melbourne Age [Australia].
Page of Information about U.S. and Oil, including
Articles and Editorials from Challenge, Progressive Labor Party's Communist Weekly
Bosses Argue Whether to Bomb Iraq to Saturn or Mars : Workers, GIs: Dont Kill or Die for Big, Smash All Warmakers, Feb. 18
Talking About Imperialism
Turn the Guns Around, March on May Day with the Communist PLP: Rulers' Bombing of Iraq Could Become a World War(Challenge February 4 1998)
All is not quiet on the Middle Eastern Front(Challenge, January 7, 1998)
Oil War Against Iraq Still Looms(Challenge, December 17)
Editorial: Imperialist Maneuvers Won't Stop Next Oil War(Challenge, Dec. 3)
U.S. Will Go It Alone (Challenge, Nov. 19)
Editorial:As Bosses Plan Another Oil War, Workers Must Prepare To Smash Them with
1. All Politicians Behind Rockefeller/Clinton Oil War Plans
2. Chokehold Control of Oil: Key to Bosses' Maximum Profits
3. The Bosses Will Go to War: Workers Must End It with Revolution
(All from Challenge, Nov. 12 1997)
Dual Containment Policy Flops, Will Another Oil War Follow?
Oil, Religion and Imperialism Means War: Taliban Uses Fundamentalism to Serve U.S., Saudi Arabia, Pakistan
From the Congo to Iraq, Oil Bosses Kill Millions (Challenge, Oct. 29)
Fundamentalism, Imperialism, Oil Behind Massacres in Algeria(Challenge, Oct. 1 1997)
Editorial: Big U. S. Bosses Fast Track: Road To War and Fascism (Challenge, Oct. 1 1997)
The New Pipeline Politics,
by Sheila Heslin. The New York Times, Nov. 10, 1997.
Understanding the Gulf War of 1990-91: Articles That May Be Useful
Two essays I wrote in 1990 analyzing the Gulf War from an anti-imperialist standpoint, and containing information that can still be useful today.
Sanctions against Iraq Hurt the Iraqi Working Class, not Saddam Hussein!
Who's the bigger butcher? Saddam or Clinton?(Challenge, Dec. 3)
From "60 Minutes", May 12, 1996:
Lesley Stahl: speaking of US sanctions against Iraq:
"We have heard that a half million children have died. Imean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And -- and you know, is the price worth it?"
Madeline Albright:"I think this is a very hard choice, but the price -- we think the price is worth it."
(cited from William Blum's page on Albright)
-- Albright and company - not only the Clinton Administration, but both parties -- think the price of genocidal war, paid for with the lives of Iraqi workers, is worth maintaining their domination of Mid-east oil.
3. "Sanctions Harm Ordinary Iraqis", from the Baltimore Sun, Sunday Nov 23 1997. Freelance writer George Capaccio's account of what he saw.
4. "IT'S AS IF 12 TO 20 MILLION AMERICANS HAD BEEN KILLED BY "SANCTIONS" SINCE 1990". Middle East Report, a bourgeois nationalist Arab group in Washington DC has some good information on the Middle East from their perspective -- no class analysis whatever, though. Use their facts; put in a communist analysis.
5. International War Crimes Tribunal: United States War Crimes Against Iraq. Ramsey Clark et al.'s page which at least shows not only US brutality, but the hypocrisy of American ruling class claim that they are "upholding international standards" and are "moral." International War Crimes Tribunal
United States War Crimes Against Iraq. Some information about other US imperialist crimes in the MidEast too.
6. French Interior Minister Estimates One Million Iraqi Casualties From War and Embargo, Feb. 9 1998
U.S. Rulers Want Oil to Dominate their Rivals -- NOT to help the
Struggle in the MidEast = Inter-imperialist competition, leading to inter-imperialist war.
"Japan remains massively dependent on the huge oil tankers that ply the routes from the Gulf: how prudent for the United States to maintain a stranglehold on the crucial energy supply to a principal economic competitor in the rapidly developing tripolar system of world commerce."
- Geoff Simons, Irak: From Sumer to Saddam (St Martin's Press).
Here is an
article from the Melbourne, Australia, Sunday Age of November 20, 1997, which takes
very seriously the danger of US use of the neutron bomb against Iraq.
Other Web Resources: Pacifist, reformist, or just news sources. They sometimes have good information, but seldom anti-imperialist or explicitly anti-capitalist.
http://chss.montclair.edu/english/furr/mideastwar.html | email@example.com | updated 19 Dec 98