A contribution from Poland
The reasons for the military attack on Iraq - officially declared by the US administration are not true and not justified from the logical point of view. Is it possible to impose democracy using anti-democratic solutions, like military aggression and occupation? Why did US authorities not let international experts end their mission? Who has seen any proof that confirms the existence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction or Iraqi connection with terrorists? The answers are clear. The aggression against Iraq was in preparation for a long time, while democratic and disarmament slogans are used as pretexts for these military and political actions.
The real reasons of the US war against Iraq can be specified as follows:
1. Political - to enlarge the US sphere of influence in the Middle East. The USA need a real and stable hold in the ME region replacing an uncertain position of Saudi Arabia. It is difficult to support this country and, at the same time, to criticize other states because of human rights violations, however such a schizophrenic policy is not a novum in US political practice. Another factor is more important here. Saudi Arabia refused to join the military intervention against Iraq, so this country became a less trustworthy US ally than the newly US controlled Iraq. Results of the of Israeli-Palestinian conflict are unknown and every step leading to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state weakens the political position of Israel as US ally No 1 in the Middle East. That is why the USA are going to establish their new strong political and military base in this region.
2. Political and military - to get political and military success. The terrorist action of September 11, despite all its tragic consequences, has damaged the US image as an invincible and fully secure superpower. That is why 12 years after the previous Persian Gulf War the US administration has decided to recall old anti-Iraqi accusations e.g. those of weapons of mass destruction. The military intervention in Afghanistan was not sufficient to satisfy US political and military goals, which will be not satisfied until the moment of new "success" like an overthrow of Saddam Hussein or the capture or liquidation of Osama Bin Laden. Moreover, a victorious war could facilitate George W. Bush`s presidential re-election.
3. Economic - to take over a significant part of oil resources. Iraq takes second place with regard to global oil resources. Iraqi share of global oil resources amounts to about 10%. The Hugo Chávez left government and strikes against it determine Venezuela`s position as the most important oil supplier of the USA not now as secure as it was a few years ago. Control over Iraqi oil resources has become a strategic goal of the US oil-supply-security policy. In December 2002 the Heritage Foundation speaks of the need for Iraqi oil privatization. Who will be the owner? Maybe US oil business closely connected to the US President?
4. Military - to test new arms and military strategies. This is a "traditional" feature of US policy until the nuclear attack against Hiroshima and Nagasaki. New kinds of weapons have been tested during the first Persian Gulf War and during the aggression against Yugoslavia. Now, apart from weapons tests, various concepts of land military operation and urban fighting are to be tested. This indicates a US desire to put into practice direct military interference in the internal affairs of other countries, which have also been selected as a target of enlargement of the US sphere of influence.
5. Military and economic - to disarm Iraq not aimed at the elimination of an "Iraqi threat to world peace and security" but at the establishment of a new sales territory for US military export. It is known that Iraqi military forces were supplied mostly with Soviet and French arms. Due to interest of the US military complex, this armament has to be replaced by US weapons, and the supply of spare parts is also very significant in this case. It is also known that US arms deliveries to the Middle East have been limited since the United States lifted sanctions on five countries after the terrorist attacks of September 11. Business is business.
6. Economic - to destroy the Iraqi economy and then to realize a profitable "rebuilding". Lucrative contracts connected with investments in the country destroyed by the USA and their allies are reserved mostly for America companies. The US Agency for International Development USAID will decide how to utilize the quota of US$ 900 million assigned for this purpose. This agency will also choose US and foreign investors, especially those representing the countries supporting the aggression. It is also interesting that USAID is also responsible for financing of the activity of the Cuban political opposition. Moreover this agency has invested over US$ 20 million since 1997 within the framework of the anti-Cuban Helms-Burton Bill. Two US companies have received orders for post-war investments in Iraq. Stevedoring Services of America will earn US$ 4.8 million for the rebuilding of the maritime port in Basra, and Halliburton - connected with Vice-President Dick Cheney - has received an order for oil weal extinguishing. Thanks to this order, Halliburton was able to weaken its troubles caused by petrol projects realised in Brazil because of which this company suffered a loss of US$ 663 million in the first quarter of 2004. But new contracts in Iraq and Kuwait bring him earnings of some US$ 3.6 million. It is also interesting that only five selected US companies - those that financed George W. Bush`s electoral campaign, were permitted to take part in the first, most lucrative contracts. Moreover, three other countries who took an active part in military intervention in Iraq i.e. The United Kingdom, Australia and Poland, were rewarded with the ability to participate in the "rebuilding" investment process.
On the basis of the US thinking "rebuilt" Iraq has to be a semi-colonial country, controlled by foreign, especially US, capital. The easiest way to realize these goals is privatization of the national economy. In March 2003, the Adam Smith Institute issued a paper entitled "Toward an Economic and Governance Agenda for a New Iraq" where the authors say: "In Iraq there is much to privatize, as a considerable portion of the economy is state-owned." Among the sectors that should be privatized are mining, chemicals and construction.
7. Political - to confirm US domination in a temporary world and to test the reaction of other most important political powers, such as Russia, China, France, Germany, the Holy See. This reason seems to be very important from the point of view of global US strategy. It is one more attempt to minimize the role and the position of the United Nations and the Security Council.
8. Political and economic - to weaken the European Union, regarded as the most important competitive economic and political structure in the world. Different attitudes within the EU toward the war were known since the moment of Gerhard Schröder`s first declaration, announced during the electoral campaign. Therefore inter-European divisions cannot be considered as a result of the war, since they were known earlier, but now they are more visible and clear. The former Spokesman for the US Ministry of Defense Bruce Jackson announced in his interview granted to the "International Herald Tribune" that he took part in a preparations for the "spontaneous" letter signed by 10 Central and East European countries and supporting US policy toward Iraq. These countries, which supported US aggression, were sharply criticized by the French President Jacques Chirac. Moreover, during the debate on the enlargement of the UE, which took place in the European Parliament, 25 members of this Parliament voted against and 31 abstained from voting "yes" for Poland`s accession to the EU. One of these members, the representative of the German SPD Iannis Sakellariou (a Greek origin) said that Poland took part in an "illegal and dirty" war and the Polish authorities prefer "the will of the American Minister of War" to that of the Pope.
9. Political and military - to define US real and apparent allies. For the US authorities it is important to know which countries would support US military concepts. This concerns not only NATO member states but also its new members, such as Rumania and Bulgaria or traditional allies like Australia. Loyalty of these countries has been bought by US financial institutions who promised to purchase Bulgarian external debt amounting to some US$ 1.7 billion. The former socialist countries of Central and Eastern Europe seem to be the most loyal US allies. The Polish government has sent military troops to Iraq. Rumania has allowed the USA a military maritime base on its territory. An American base also exists in Hungary. It was used as a place for training three thousand representatives of the Iraqi opposition supported by the US administration. US air forces and 400 US soldiers were allowed to stay at the Bulgarian airport Sarafovo. US authorities say openly about their intentions, aimed at the establishment of military bases in other countries too. This was confirmed by Richard Perle, the Chairman of the US Defense Policy Council. In his interview for the Polish daily "Rzeczpospolita", he said that the decision concerning location of US military base in Poland "will be a natural consequence of our friendly relations". This opinion corresponds to that expressed by the Commander of the US Armed Forces in Europe, General James Jones, who announced that " the USA is considering a new, more modern concept of military base location in Europe". Maybe this modern concept means that the USA does not need NATO as a military structure, which is not absolutely and fully subordinated to American decisions. Maybe the USA is going to create an alternative, more flexible model of international military connections.
10. Political - to test the experience of political occupation. In contrast to former European colonial powers, the USA has no serious colonial experiences. The Iraqi people resistance against USA military intervention means that no Iraqi provisional government, consisting e.g. of representatives of the Iraqi opposition abroad, will be accepted by the majority of the nation. Therefore the only method of governing in post-war Iraq is to empower a US governor to exercise real power in this country.
Iraq, as a country weakened by economic embargo, was a comfortable target for military intervention. To justify it, Iraq was accused of possessing of mass destruction weapons and of supporting terrorism. The first accusation was not confirmed by international experts. If Iraq really has weapons of mass destruction, the only method to find them is to continue the mission of international experts, but not to provoke military conflict. But how to find non-existing things? There was also no proof confirming Iraqi connections with any terrorist organization. Both of these pretexts are in accordance with the doctrine presented in the "Los Angeles Times Syndicate" by the former US State Secretary James A. Baker. He indicated three most important threats to the USA and NATO. Among them are terrorism and nuclear proliferation. The risk of non-controlled immigration was specified as a third threat. Taking into account the above mentioned criteria, it is easy to understand the reason for the military attack against Yugoslavia, against Iraq and to foresee the next victims of US military policy.
Boleslaw K. Jaszczuk
this text can be found at the web site: www.irak.pl