FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Future of the World?

 

As the battle for Baghdad (or perhaps the siege of Baghdad) begins to take shape, we are left to wonder what lies ahead. It’s looks pretty likely that the US’s overwhelming killing machine will eventually destroy the regime, either by destroying most of Iraq or by making life so miserable for the Iraqis that the military will surrender. The occupation, however, is certain to be a different matter. Once Hussein is gone from power, there are bound to be several factions vying for power in Iraq. Amongst these various factions will be the occupying forces of the United States military. Iraqis intent on revenge for years of sanctions, support of the Hussein government, and other US misdeeds are bound to exact some kind of punishment on the Americans. Whether or not that revenge actually organizes itself into some kind of resistance force is another question, which is currently unanswerable from this vantage point.

If one looks at recent (and current) military occupations, there is one common denominator: popular resistance. In Palestine that resistance has run the gamut from non-violent protest and direct action to suicide attacks and military action. In Kosovo and other regions of the former Yugoslavia, the scenario was pretty much the same. In Chechnya, the resistance has been more organized and, consequently, much more like what we consider to be a war. In other words, the military power has shifted from the occupier to the resistance and back again. In Afghanistan, it seems that the Chechnya model is beginning to formulate itself.

Reading Iraqi history, we find this little note regarding the British occupation of the Iraqi nation during the 1920s-“Churchill believed that the country could be cheaply policed by aircraft armed with gas bombs, supported by as few as 4,000 British and 10,000 (colonial) Indian troops” (from Air Power and Colonial Control: The Royal Air Force, 1919-1939, David E. Omissi, 1990). Churchill was wrong. The Iraqis eventually drove the British from the country. The US strategists are saying today that they don’t believe they will need to capture or kill the entire Hussein government before they can occupy the country. Indeed, certain news agencies are reporting that some members of the administration don’t even believe that Baghdad needs to be controlled. This type of thinking is reminiscent of the British imperial arrogance that brought down their empire. Need I say more?

It is too early to speculate what truly lies ahead for the GIs in Iraq (and those on their way), but I think it is safe to say their job will continue to be bloody and dirty. One can only hope that those who have moral qualms about occupying another country at gunpoint will act on those qualms and refuse to serve. One also hopes that the opposition we have created to the war will continue to protest as the occupiers attempt to impose their will on the Iraqi people. Besides the occupation, one can be relatively certain that the administration will continue its plans to make war on other countries that oppose its plans for conquest.

Come Senators, Congressmen, Please Heed the Call, Don’t Stand in the Doorway, Don’t Block up the Hall

The antiwar movement cannot roll over. The fact that a bloody war is being fought in Iraq (and elsewhere) despite our incredible opposition around the world does not mean that we have failed. It only means we have not fought hard enough, nor have we reached enough of the world’s people. Furthermore, it means we must expand our reach, our tactics and our strategies to make the movement against war and occupation a movement that no government can ignore. In the US, this means that every presidential candidate must take a position on the war and occupation and answer for that position at the polls. Every Senator and Congressman who voted for the war and its funding must pay for it at election time. This is not just a question of right vs. wrong. It is a matter of life and death. The cost to the politicians must be such that they will oppose this war or lose their jobs.

Politicians may not be good for much, but they do serve as useful foci for raising the issues that need to be raised. Antiwar folks who are electorally inclined must run for office. The rest of us must organize, march, sit-in, and do whatever else to make the war and occupation a major issue in the political life of America. Citizens of other countries should take comparable actions in their nations. Even though the diplomatic battles in the UN before the war began were largely the result of differing commercial interests in Iraq and the Middle East, they would not have widened to the point they are currently at without the pressures applied by the antiwar protests. The fact that the antiwar movement was able to widen the fissures between the large capitalist nations is a victory of sorts. One hopes the space created by this split among these governments can be filled by those of us who honestly oppose Washington’s wars and the economics that drives them.

The man in line for the main administrator of Iraq’s postwar occupation government, Ret. General Jay Garner, is a public supporter of the Israeli policy of expansion and an executive (currently on leave) of the defense contractor L-3 Communications. His job in Iraq will be to help “introduce a capitalist system where there’s been central-control socialism since the 1960s,” according to Ariel Cohen of the Heritage Foundation. As any student of right wing think tanks knows, this foundation supports the Sharon government in Israel and the expansion of US corporate power around the globe via military force. The other countries in the Middle East are very interested in Iraq’s future. After all, it could very well be their own. Iran and Syria are under increasing threats from the US. Saudi Arabia is in disfavor with the current administration in Washington, and Jordan and Egypt find themselves stuck between their allegiance to US aid and the anger of their people over the US presence in the region. If the occupation succeeds in Iraq, one can be pretty certain that US hawks will want to attempt a similar scenario elsewhere, beginning with those countries currently in Bush and Rumsfeld’s “axis of evil.”

The scenes of death and destruction we are seeing from Iraq will pale besides those that could come from the future wars of the madmen and women in Washington, DC. We have no choice but to oppose their occupation and their wars. They must be stopped.

RON JACOBS is author of The Way the Wind Blew: a history of the Weather Underground.

He can be reached at: rjacobs@zoo.uvm.edu
Today’s Features

Uri Avnery
A Crooked Mirror: Presstitution and the Theater of Operations

David Vest
Can You Hear the Silence?

Anthony Gancarski
Colin Powell Telemarketer

David Lindorff
Takoma: the Dolphin Who Refused to Fight

Michael Roberts
War, Debts and Deficits

Ramzy Baroud
Now That Iraqis Are Being Killed Is Israel Any More Secure?

Jo Wilding
From Baghdad with Tears

Anton Antonowicz
Cluster Bombs on Babylon

Alison Weir
Israel, We Won’t Forget Rachel Corrie

Bruce Jackson
Hating Wolf Blitzer’s Voice

Eliot Katz
War’s First Week

Steve Perry
War Web Log 04/03

Keep CounterPunch Alive:
Make a Tax-Deductible Donation Today Online!

home / subscribe / about us / books / archives / search / links /

More articles by:

Ron Jacobs is the author of Daydream Sunset: Sixties Counterculture in the Seventies published by CounterPunch Books. His latest offering is a pamphlet titled Capitalism: Is the Problem.  He lives in Vermont. He can be reached at: ronj1955@gmail.com.

Weekend Edition
December 07, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Steve Hendricks
What If We Just Buy Off Big Fossil Fuel? A Novel Plan to Mitigate the Climate Calamity
Jeffrey St. Clair
Cancer as Weapon: Poppy Bush’s Radioactive War on Iraq
Paul Street
The McCain and Bush Death Tours: Establishment Rituals in How to be a Proper Ruler
Jason Hirthler
Laws of the Jungle: The Free Market and the Continuity of Change
Ajamu Baraka
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70: Time to De-Colonize Human Rights!
Andrew Levine
Thoughts on Strategy for a Left Opposition
Jennifer Matsui
Dead of Night Redux: A Zombie Rises, A Spook Falls
Rob Urie
Degrowth: Toward a Green Revolution
Binoy Kampmark
The Bomb that Did Not Detonate: Julian Assange, Manafort and The Guardian
Robert Hunziker
The Deathly Insect Dilemma
Robert Fisk
Spare Me the American Tears for the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi
Joseph Natoli
Tribal Justice
Ron Jacobs
Getting Pushed Off the Capitalist Cliff
Macdonald Stainsby
Unist’ot’en Camp is Under Threat in Northern Canada
Senator Tom Harkin
Questions for Vice-President Bush on Posada Carriles
W. T. Whitney
Two Years and Colombia’s Peace Agreement is in Shreds
Ron Jacobs
Getting Pushed Off the Capitalist Cliff
Ramzy Baroud
The Conspiracy Against Refugees
David Rosen
The Swamp Stinks: Trump & Washington’s Rot
Raouf Halaby
Wall-to-Wall Whitewashing
Daniel Falcone
Noam Chomsky Turns 90
Dean Baker
An Inverted Bond Yield Curve: Is a Recession Coming?
Nick Pemberton
The Case For Chuck Mertz (Not Noam Chomsky) as America’s Leading Intellectual
Ralph Nader
New Book about Ethics and Whistleblowing for Engineers Affects Us All!
Dan Kovalik
The Return of the Nicaraguan Contras, and the Rise of the Pro-Contra Left
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Exposing the Crimes of the CIAs Fair-Haired Boy, Paul Kagame, and the Rwandan Patriotic Front
Jasmine Aguilera
Lessons From South of the Border
Manuel García, Jr.
A Formula for U.S. Election Outcomes
Sam Pizzigati
Drug Company Execs Make Millions Misleading Cancer Patients. Here’s One Way to Stop Them
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Agriculture as Wrong Turn
James McEnteer
And That’s The Way It Is: Essential Journalism Books of 2018
Chris Gilbert
Biplav’s Communist Party of Nepal on the Move: Dispatch by a Far-Flung Bolivarian
Judith Deutsch
Siloed Thinking, Climate, and Disposable People: COP 24 and Our Discontent
Jill Richardson
Republicans Don’t Want Your Vote to Count
John Feffer
‘Get Me Outta Here’: Trump Turns the G20 into the G19
Domenica Ghanem
Is Bush’s Legacy Really Much Different Than Trump’s?
Peter Certo
Let Us Argue Over Dead Presidents
Christopher Brauchli
Concentration Camps From Here to China
ANIS SHIVANI
The Progress of Fascism Over the Last Twenty Years
Steve Klinger
A Requiem for Donald Trump
Al Ronzoni
New Deals, From FDR’s to the Greens’
Gerald Scorse
America’s Rigged Tax Collection System
Louis Proyect
Praying the Gay Away
Rev. Theodore H. Lockhart
A Homily: the Lord Has a Controversy With His People?
David Yearsley
Bush Obsequies
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail