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    Sudan''s Crisis

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    War and Terror: Destruction for reconstruction
    Posted on Thursday, April 03 @ 11:46:14 UTC
    Topic: Oil rig and Tanker
    Oil rig and TankerDr M S Jillani

    The US ground and air invasion of Iraq is now entering its third week. This period has seen many a myth explode and quite a few mysteries unravel. World was shocked to see the real face of United States' rhetoric about democracy and human tights in other countries. There is no doubt that these will be the common people of America who, someday, will have to pay for the follies of their present rulers, yet it is regrettable that the lives lost in the ongoing misadventure will never come back -- as will not the precious resources destroyed in the fire started by the United States.

    A war is in progress, and there is little that can be accomplished through the analysis of its origins. The only useful impact that writings can make is in the way of stopping the war forthwith through the UN or some other international arrangement; sparing lives of civilians during the war; and preserving resources and environment for the generations to come. Events of the last two weeks do not suggest any hope for heeding to these or any other humanitarian considerations.

    There is every indication that the US had been planning the invasion of Iraq for a long time. The real motive, perhaps, had nothing to do with altruism and a passion for democracy. It was all about the second largest -- and the cheapest to exploit -- oil deposits in the Middle East, located in the territory of Iraq. Getting Iraq into trouble through the attack on Iran and the invasion of Kuwait could not dislodge the Saddam regime and install a docile government. Situation was exacerbated by concealment of a part of the arms allegedly provided by America for use against Iran, and the initiatives to produce sophisticated arms within Iraq. The assault was delayed until such time that there was available a reasonable assurance that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction supplied by the US or manufactured in Iraq. This was provided by the UN inspectors. Further evidence of a detailed plan is provided by stationing of troops, equipment and sea and aircraft around Iraq, months ahead of the actual invasion. How can the US ceasefire in the middle of a supposedly perfect plan of action? Any suggestion to that effect will be thrown in the face with contempt.

    Other considerations are in the nature of collateral damage which 'does' take place in spite of all precautions and the best of intentions: So, the pleas, advice, suggestions, curses, threats will not make any dent in the US designs for future of Iraq and the world. The incumbent US administration with its obstinacy, shamelessness, arrogance, obsession, disregard for human values and lack of judgement has no parallels in contemporary history. But it has made a place for itself in history as a highly erratic government run by a bunch of abnormal persons; that is one reason that the outcome of the war in Iraq cannot be predicted. It could result in the removal of both Mr Saddam Hussein and Mr Bush or the creation of new polarisation of nations based on actions and reactions pertaining to the control of resources, instead of ideology, cooperation or peace in the world.

    The discussion on the invasion of Iraq has assumed myriad dimensions. It is being described as a religious conflict between Islam and the Christian world. But the highly spirited antiwar stance of the Pope and mammoth demonstrations in overwhelmingly Christian cities negate this argument. It is also dubbed as a war for establishing the US as the super-duper power of the world. It is said to be a vulgar effort to build a unipolar world. If it were not for France, Germany, Russia and China, and the tenacity of the Iraqi armed forces and the civilian population of Iraqi towns, the maniacs of this world would have succeeded in their designs. The bold stand by of these nations has provided the world with the reassurance that USSR may no longer be there but four-fifth of the human population would still challenge any claim to world leadership -- whatever the cost.

    The most plausible reason for amassing a formidable array of soldiery and equipment in and around the Middle East seems to be the lure of economic gains and a complete control over oil resources of the Middle East. In many ways, to a civilised mind this urge would sound childish and unnecessary. The US, for many decades, has been the economic and military leader of the world. The demise of the Soviet Union removed the only challenge that it faced. It has been enjoying a very high standard of living for many decades now. It has the most sophisticated weaponry in the world. It has political, social and cultural clout that is unmatched. It no longer has any potent enemies as long as it leaves the world alone to deal with its problems, and does not jump at every opportunity to act as the policeman, the philosopher, the jurist, hangman and the undertaker. If the aim is to raise the living standards of the entire population of USA to new heights, the beginning has to be made with a cut on wastage and the high level of unnecessary expenditure.

    Choice of armed assault as a means to subjugate a country economically and politically has many quick advantages besides long-term benefits: Colonising of a country for a few decades converts it into a loyal market for the colonisers for a long time to come. One cannot be too off the mark if a scenario for Iraq is drawn according to the statements made by US leaders. What would come home is that the United States is an ultra-capitalist country which believes in the supremacy of the private sector, and motivating force for individuals and the society is the maximisation of profits and individual freedoms, irrespective of consequences. The entire drama of Iraq's invasion is related to that.

    The US motives behind the aggression in Iraq have been mentioned and discussed so exhaustively that very little can be added. But the latest information further re-affirms the highly sinister motives of the US administration though couched in lofty excuses like freedom from a tyrannical regime, introduction of a democratic system, higher living standards, etc. The beans were spilled by news that the reconstruction of Iraq devastated by the US and UK's onslaught will be done by American firms having interests of various big names in Washington. Haste with which the oil fields were 'secured' had already underscored the priorities of the invading forces and their bosses.

    Since the entire game has now come to surface, some solid action needs to be taken at the individual, national and international levels. Individuals can stop their contribution to economies of the war mongers by consumer action: National governments need to have a look at their foreign and economic policies: And let an international community devoted to the creation of a new humanitarian order be assembled. The Iraq episode should open our eyes: The menace is lurking around the corner. There is hardly any time left for fretting, fuming, cursing and brooding.

    Dr M S Jillani is an ex-Chief of Technical Cooperation Division of the United Nations ESCAP, and a former secretary to the Federal Government

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