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December, 2002

Iraq: A Worst-Case Scenario Not Considered
By Karen Nakamura

Despite endless commentary on the United States invasion of Iraq, one scenario is almost entirely ignored. What if the Arabs fight back? What if they fight for their hereditary homelands, the right to their own oil, for their honor and holy sites and freedom from foreign domination?

KPFA's Dennis Bernstein conducted an interview with Scottish MP George Galloway in mid-November in which Galloway reported reading a Rand Corporation report pushed by Richard Perle, director of the quasi-governmental Defense Policy Board. Currently floating around Washington and London, this plan has the US taking over Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and Lebanon after installing a puppet government in Iraq.

In the interview, Galloway said, "Iraqi war aims are much wider than the excuses given. The US wants to redraw the map of the Middle East. Jordan would be united to the new Iraq." One version advocates "taking the Saudis out of Saudi Arabia" and seizing oil fields and holy sites. "If free elections were held in Saudi Arabia, Osama Bin Laden would win in a landslide. Saudi Arabia can't let the US use its air bases to invade Iraq. The population would rise up like they did with the Shah. Iraq is to be the tactical point, Saudi Arabia the strategic pivot with Egypt the prize." Concerning American militarists, Galloway states, "The chicken hawks are always ready to fight to the last drop of someone else's blood, the cost will be severe."

There's also broad neo-conservative encouragement for Israel taking Lebanon and Syria. US and Israeli think tanks are discussing, with the blessing of Richard Perle, the need [sic] to reshape the Middle East. The new Iraq, Turkey and Israel are to be the "three pillars" of American Middle East domination. Sharon and Netanyahu have made no secret they want to cleanse Palestine of Palestinians under the cover of the US's war on terrorism. Those not killed would be moved to Jordan, a serious war crime.

If the English Parliament has these reports, it makes sense the Saudis and other Middle Eastern governments do too. Are they just supposed to roll over and give up? Was that what was behind Deputy Secretary of Defense, Paul Wolfowitz's reported screaming "the gloves are off" at the Saudi ambassador when Saudi Arabia refused American use of their airbases to attack Iraq?

Besides ultra-conservative plans to reshape the Middle East in Israel/America's image, it seems too many ultra-conservative American Jews, such as Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle, are more concerned with their Israeli citizenship than their American. Are these officials selling the US out to Israel by using their power to advance Israel's goals over those of the US? Israel is the only country threatened by Iraq. And aren't they threatened, ultimately, because of their treatment of Palestinians?

Here's the scenario nobody's discussing. The administration puts 250,000 troops into Baghdad. Arriving in the middle of the night, we kick butt in time to make the evening news in Washington. Dawn reveals we're surrounded by 2.5 million troops. Some are armed to the teeth with the latest technology. Some brandish sticks and stones. Arabs, led or not by their governments, have arrived, en masse, to help fight American tyranny. By noon, aircraft carriers sabotaged, bases under attack, and strategic command computers hacked to shreds, we call in the cavalry.

Problem is the cavalry has crossed to the other side. Europe, (a poll found most Europeans see Americans as arrogant bullies), along with China and Russia, are providing equipment and troops to the Saudis and their allies. Canada, Japan and Jordan are acting as medics and mediators. Pakistan's Musharif has been removed from office, as has Tony Blair. The United Nations has been named coordinating authority. The Israelis are too busy battling Lebanon, Syria and Egypt to send aid.

That's outrageous, many will say. America is the most powerful nation on earth. The world genuflects when we walk in the room. But how true is that perception when we walk out of the room? Has the United States gotten too big for its britches? The administration's overall attitude towards Arabs is dismissive and insulting, not to mention its attitude towards the rest of the world. If America's history tells us anything, it's that from a people faced with obliteration, a band of rag-tag soldiers rise, lacking everything but heart. But with that heart, they prevail, whether in Massachusetts, East Timor or Seweto. If the world turned against us, it shouldn't be surprising. The outcome will depend on America's ability to stand by the principals of democracy and the rule of law. Otherwise, it's inevitable that somewhere along the line, we're going to have to pay some very unpleasant dues.

 

 

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