From Guernica to Baghdad
Via Dresden and Hiroshima
by B.J. Sabri
April 1, 2003
Preamble: as I am sitting to write this article, the United States is gutting life out of my beautiful native land, Iraq. The show of aerial bombardment vomiting death and destruction over Iraq and over the city of my boyhood, Baghdad, will definitely impress all those who crave to see how a clique of marauding hyper-imperialists in love with their war capability and high-tech weaponry can vengefully destroy a nation with impunity. We, the people of the world, are saddened, beyond any fathomable description, to see the fate of the Iraqi people in the hands of, ideological zealots, fanatic militarists, and empire-craving addicts whose genocidal whims and thirst for blood can only surpass their vacuous political pretensions, and their self-endowed uniqueness in the human landscape.
March 19 (20 in Iraq), 2003 is a day of unparalleled infamy in history. Operation “Iraqi Freedom” (by antinomy the conquest of Iraq) is not about freeing the Iraqis for two main reasons. First: the Iraqis inside Iraq have never asked Bush and Blair to send their infamous Anglo-American hordes to liberate them from Saddam and his regime by incineration and obliteration. Second: it is ridiculous, ludicrous, and condescending, that two oil pirates in neckties such as Bush or Blair spend so much capital, mental energy, and fake feelings on the “liberation” of people whom they are now burning, mutilating, and carbonizing with “democracy’s” missiles and cluster bombs.
It is also a contradiction in context that a colonialist and imperialist Britain is now interested in the business of liberation. When did you ever hear that a land-grabber such as Britain, who occupied half of the world, went to war to liberate a nation from tyranny or foreign occupation? As for US, it is preposterous that an imperialist state with supremacist mentality that has never liberated any nation from colonialism poses as a liberator, while its curriculum vitae includes the expropriation of American Indians’ lands and the near annihilation of their inhabitants, institutionalized slavery, and whose military interventions left millions killed around the globe.
In its broadest meaning, the military operation to “liberate” Iraq is the purest act of psychopathic aggression that imperialist-colonialist minds have ever conceived and deliberated. Flirting with genocide in the name of bogus values pertaining to Western civilization and American security is an insult to the West, its civilization, its culture, and its illuminating figures. Beyond that, it is an act of brazen brigandage, an intentional extermination of life, destruction of property, plunder of wealth, and an illegal prospected appropriation of others wealth under the watching eyes of the world. The carnage and horrific destruction of hospitals and markets to “democratize” Iraq before stealing it by a “democracy” that has become, under the Bush Administration, totalitarian in practice and fascist in essence are a lucid example of extreme cynicism that stretches into the realm of pathological madness.
To watch the destruction of Iraq and the killing of its people that have been lasting for 12 years, one cannot but come out with an unshakeable conviction that the bestial genocidal genes of those who perpetrated the crimes of Guernica, Dresden, and Hiroshima have transmigrated to a new breed of leaders that are now transforming Iraq into wasteland.
Anyone with a reasonable mind would feel furious to hear the US which usually considers the mass killing of Iraqi civilians an ordinary matter, and who is committing unspeakable crimes against the Iraqi people; speak of war crime tribunals for the Iraqi regime because of violence against its own people! Who is going to trial the US-UK for their crimes? The day the US and the UK attacked a nation so emaciated by their wars and sanctions, is the day in which the entire American and British ruling classes and the culture they produce must come under indictment for mass murder and general destruction of Iraq. From a legal viewpoint point, the makers of this aggression should stand trial as war criminals simply because they started an aggression without provocation from the aggressed party.
If we consider an organization that engages in terrorism for ideological or political reasons a criminal aberration, then how would we consider a super-state that engages in large-scale terrorism for the same reasons? How would you define around-the-clock rain of missiles and aerial bombardment on a city of seven million people? It is beyond syllogism that, if an organization such as al-Qaida, or a super-state such as the US, engages in identical methods of delivering a message of political determination by organized violence to achieve an objective, then it is logical to conclude that both entities are conducting a campaign of terror, hence they are terrorist. This qualification stands firm, no matter how the organization or the super-state want to dress it up. The difference between the two, however, are only of method and not substance; while the terrorist organization executes its operations surreptitiously, the super-state announces them publicly; while the terrorist organization targets innocent people intentionally, the super-state either considers them unavoidable collateral damage, or targets them intentionally to achieve other objectives. Finally, while the terrorist organization wraps its objectives in mystical attire, the super-state wraps them in a demagogical overdress. To conclude, think of the meaning of the word “shock” and the word “awe” as in the phrase: “shock and awe” that is leading the American lexicon of death against Iraq.
Regardless of how the ongoing US war of terror against Iraq will unfold, and the tragedy that it will engender; its consequential outcome is already upon us. Unaccountable military powers similar to the US of Bush and Wolfowitz, acting under the obtuse belief of their entitlement to do what they please, have existed before. The last such power that had an identical attitude, and who caused universal military conflagration at the end of which over 80 million people around the globe lost their lives, was Germany after it annexed Austria, and then attacked Czechoslovakia and Poland. Further, contrary to hasty opinions by analysts who see this war as sign of the US total grip over the world, I see it as the first serious symptom of an inner disease that will lacerate the hyper-empire from within. The process of disintegration of this empire may take some time, not long though, and it will definitely relegate it to the dustbin of history just like the fate of most recent empires including the Soviet, British, French and the Ottoman empires.
The reason behind this, not yet substantiated, prediction does not lie in supernatural phenomena or readings from a crystal ball; it is a logical deduction based on the study of biological life of empires, their acme and their decline, as well as on imperceptible but preponderant factors pertinent to changes in the polity and its global surroundings. This symptom will start to accelerate in acuity once the basic contradictions between notions of existential purposes of the super-state come to the foreground and reach the limit of practical irreconcilability with their theoretical utility in relation to the utility of others. One such notion is what constitutes the development of a natural power born from legitimacy, coexistence, and progressive thinking; and another is what constitutes the bloated development of an artificial power born from militarized mentality, simplistic worldview, and retrogressive thinking. Another notion, although apocalyptic, is now an imaginable vicious circle: war begets war that in turn will beget war, and so on. This has been the rule since humans learned how to walk and talk and nothing can change that, not even the hyper-empire!
It is necessary to mention that the hypothesized process of the disintegration of the US over-militarized hyper-empire quest is not going be limited to endogenous factors that start by interior self-regulating mechanisms. There are exogenous factors as well, that will certainly play a fundamental role in heavily chipping away at its apparently monolithic aura of invincibility. The clearing out of the aura is not only a matter of, or only in relation to responses against this war or future US military enterprises, but it is also matter of, and in relation to the irreparable damage that the US inflicted upon itself by acting with contemptuous despise toward world institutions, and nations objecting to its war.
The military aggression against Iraq conducted under many pretexts, also signals that when a super-state transforms itself from an aggressive traditional imperialism to a homicidal over-militarized hyper-imperialism that abides by no rules of the natural laws of humanity or acknowledges no boundaries to its aims and finalities, it is going to do that at its own peril. The messianic belief of US politicians in the validity of their techno-war against a country that they already destroyed through a pervious war, and twelve years of embargo and sanctions is misleading at the origin. The Iraqi carnage may produce two interrelated reactions that include: 1) the inevitable rapid moral and social entropy of the system that produced a pre-designed mayhem with ramifications that the passing of time will not erase, and 2) the galvanized determination of world nations to reject the hyper-imperialist model that imposes its will by war, bribery, and intimidation.
While pro-Israel and war advocate Thomas Friedman of the New York Times calls America’s war of terror against Iraq, “America’s war by choice”, the pro-Israel and co-architect (the other one is Paul Wolfowitz) of the Iraq war project Richard Perle thanks God for the death of the United Nations. (He ignored to mention that this UN is the same one that gave illegal birth to Israel by caesarean cut through the Arab-Palestinian uterus thus setting in motion disastrous events that are now culminating in America’s new aggression.)
Well! Now that the war by choice is under way and the UN is dead, what are we to do next? Friedman and Perle actually oversimplify the matters as they avoid divulging to the American people one big issue: the meaning of the new Israeli war by its American proxy. The implications, contradictions, consequences, and fallouts of Israel’s indirect war against Iraq, are gravid with many unknown serious ramifications that the coming generations, the world over, will find it hard to explain, cope with, or overcome.
The “mother of all contradictions” in this war is Saddam Hussein’s historical role. The fascist dictator that the US brought to power, underwrote his war against Iran, allowed him to go Kuwait, defeated him in a major war, left him in power, kept his country under devastating sanctions, and is now in war with him again, has emerged as a genuine icon against the US-British colonialist and imperialist war of conquest. In essence, by not bowing down to America’s dictates and facing war that may sever his power and life, Saddam is actually fighting on behalf of an entire world rendered sheepish, impotent, and cowardly by fear and intimidation. While major powers such as Russia or China became ghosts in front of the American onslaught, Saddam became the standard-bearer and a lone fighter against a military giant that intimidates the hell out of the world. While Arab leaders beholden to, and shackled from their feet and ears to US orders bend fearfully and respectfully to lick the bottoms of the American and Israeli boots, Saddam, emerges as a nationalist fighter who keeps his head high! What a scenario!
Another contradiction is the United Nations. Maybe the UN is dead; but no one walked at her funeral either. It is interesting to note that if we were to discount the US and the UK, no other Security Council member requested an immediate convening of the world body to denounce the breach of the UN charter by two important states of its founding members! When Iraq invaded Kuwait, the whole world was on its toes and the SC immediately condemned the invasion and requested Iraqi withdrawal. What happened now that the US and UK are invading Iraq?
If power can intimidate, fear can paralyze; thus was the fate of the UN as the Bush Administration reduced it to nothingness and then ripped the flesh off its osteoporotic skeleton. Just have a look at the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, a weak, meek, superfluous, and sanctimonious figurehead who apparently believes that he still counts a crumb of importance. Is not about time that he lives up to his responsibility and resign with dignity in protestation over the US abuse of him and of the UN under his watch? No need to answer; shame, nowadays, is rare to find in world political systems and public personalities where an all-encompassing perversion of the truth, collusion with absolute power have become an acceptable business tool.
In another sickening sign of our time, how pathetic it is to watch the tentacles of hypocrisy of major powers and Middle Eastern countries extending their reach to cover their shameful dealings with the US in view of future opportunities generated by war. It appears that since the war is proceeding, the European powers who raised all the uproar against the American war, are now waiting for it to end so they can start their business deals with Iraq no longer under Saddam’s rule but under the American rule! This simply means that whether or not they accept America’s war, they are, nonetheless, indirect participants in its execution and declared finality. The posturing prior to the war was a matter of tactics and not related to principle or morality. Consequently, the popular adage: “if you cannot beat them join them” is the new soul of the current international system that by surrendering to the US, it hopes to stay alive by breathing through the American nostrils.
The struggle against the hyper-empire and its design to submit all nations to its will by wars and intimidation will, no doubt, fail for one main reason that derives its formulation from no other source than physics: Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that “for every force there is an equal and opposite force.” It is more than probable or even certain that the American wars of Zionism will encounter an opposite force that will impose a stalemate on their thrust, or force them to retreat; but not before thousands upon thousands will have died in vain!
B. J. Sabri is an Iraqi-American peace activist. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org