Free at last?


When Saddam invaded Kuwait, the then President Bush thundered that aggression cannot be rewarded. At the time, many chronicled how inaccurate that claim was. Imperial powers and their clients have consistently been rewarded for aggression.

For the powerful different rules apply. This can be seen as the UN Security Council gave the Bush Junta international legitimacy for its illegal occupation of Iraq. As Blair has hoped, the UNSC has "put the divisions of the past behind us" and approved the new US regime at the heart of the Middle East. If only Saddam had thought of that one.

It labelled this support for imperialism as the transfer of sovereignty from the US-led occupation. Yet the "transfer" is to US appointed politicians none of whom, strangely enough, have called for the US occupying troops to withdraw. Nor do these US appointees have final (indeed, any) say in what the occupying troops do in newly "sovereign" Iraq. But, then again, the withdrawal of occupying troops would strip them of protection and what (very) limited power they have.

In other words, the UN resolution means that the occupying force could do whatever it wanted and did not confer full sovereignty on the interim government. But why let facts get in the way of a good sound-bite? Particularly when there are elections afoot back home and any appearance of progress must be created from the quagmire of occupied Iraq.

Strangely, while Blair and Bush talk of a "democratic" Iraq, they simply ignore the wishes of the majority. A Gallup poll conducted mostly in late March (before the recent sieges of Fallujah and Najaf) showed that "a solid majority support an immediate military pullout." In Shi'ite and Sunni Arab areas the numbers wanting an immediate pullout were 61% and 65%. In Baghdad it was 75%. Should we be surprised? They ignored the majority across the globe (and in their own countries) who did not want their imperialist war in the first place.


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