Thursday, April 10, 2003

Nice to see the scenes of Iraqis celebrating the fall of Saddam in Baghdad. However along with this thought I would like to add a word or two of caution. Reality is not black and white, good or evil, up or down, or if you will, Superman and Lex Luthor. Reality states that the ousting of Saddam Hussain, as a standalone fact, is fantastic news. Reality might also lead some to say that not all becomes well simply because a good thing occurs. Some would have you believe that all those who oppossed a thing that has an element of good must therefore represent un-good (for want of a better word). Ah ha! Its the "with us or against us" mentality! Or put more simply: Hollywood playwriting. As the sapient and slightly less-Hollywood wizard Gandalf the Grey once remarked, "Even the very wisest cannot see all ends." Or rather the very un-Hollywood Professor Tolkien did. And it was a very erudite observation indeed. For instance, the US employed the principle of pre-emption in its justification for attacking Iraq. If the sheriffs of the world can claim pre-emption as a legitimate defence than why shouldn't, say, North Korea latch on to the same thinking? What say you regarding the complete disregard for International law? Or the way the UN, the only long-standing international diplomatic body in human history, talking-shop or not, has been swept aside in a brazen display of unilateralism? How does the use of cluster bombs and depleted uranium alter that black and white picture? Time to break out the grey-scale...

Pitching America's and Britain's military might against the threadbare Iraqi army was always likely to produce these excellent scenes. Hmm, okay. But let's not sit back and happily gulp down everything that gets shoved down our throats from this point onwards. The true challenges start here. As Iraq becomes a vacuum of power the military must impress control without turning itself into a permanent fixture. And looting and revenge could become a merry backdrop to the global fallout of this one.

A truly representative Iraqi government would reflect the 65 per cent Shiite Muslim majority of the population. Incidentally, neighbouring Iran, a fully paid up member of Bush's Axis of Evil, also has a majority of Shiite Muslims. Read: Iranian factor of Iraq War. Will the US allow an Iraqi government sympathetic to Iran? Or will Iran seek to defend their Iraqi Shiite neighbours from political repression if America seeks (as it has done oh so many time before) to exert its influence on the politics of the region it helped "stabilise"? It is worth remembering that the US tried to meddle in the affairs of these two countries before. The US actively encouraged Saddam Hussain, then friendly with the US as a nice big oil producer and arms customer, to invade neighbouring Iran which was under the grip of the Ayatollah Khomeini because the Carter Administration thought the action might encourage the release of the U.S. diplomatic hostages held by Teheran. A noble cause many would say. So Saddam invaded, encouraged that he was receiving American help. But he, er, didn't quite get as far as the Americans had advised. Despite intelligence and arms the Iranians were winning. In hindsight the reason for this might have been that the US was also arming Iran. The US was oficially neutral and providing arms to any side let alone both was just a tad illegal. (We'll look over Operation Staunch which was a US-led attempt to dry up the weapons supply to Iran by pressuring allies to stop them selling arms. Ironically this meant the US arms dealers made even more money. But, as I say, we'll let that one pass without comment.) And providing Iran with intelligence was another American trick. Er, well actually the US was providing real and false intelligence to both sides. In the North of Iraq meanwhile, the Kurds were not exactly siding with our Mr Hussain. So he gased a village or two to show the fighters that he didn't stand for any shit. And so the US, er, how do I say this? Well, basically they gave Saddam Hussain a billion dollars after this.

A million died in the conflict. Read: The US and the Iran Iraq War.

The Iran Iraq War was not good versus evil. Black and white does not apply. Both were repugnant regimes.

Notice how reality is grey.

And now cease wondering why the Middle East is so bothered by American intervention in the region.

Charging and its team of researcher entities has uncovered a delightful conspiracy theory which adds considerably difficult economic figures together to achieve the proverbial one and one equals two. The Iraq War, it claims, is an oil currency war with the US' goal being to prevent OPEC converting to the Euro as its currency standard for shifting barrels of oil. A change that might bring with it devastating repurcusions to the US economy. I'm no economist but it's really fascinating stuff... In September 2000 Iraq did indeed shift from selling its oil in Dollars to selling it in Euros. North Korea also decided to start trading in Euros recently. Read: The real but unspoken reasons for the Iraq War - OIL U$ Dollar vs. Euro.

Yet the delightfully rewarding sites do not stop there folks. Feast your eyes upon the genius offerings of The Temple of George W. Bush. I bow in the general direction of this marvelously witty slice of the Internet.

And Media Whores Online. "The site" it claims "that set out to bring the media to their knees, but found out they were already there." Yes I know I work in the media...

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