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IRAQ: Past and future

Rosa de Pena speaks about the past of Iraq: "The Baat'h was helped into power by the coup against General Kassim (or Qasim), a coup sponsored by the CIA, which was wary of Kassim's playing close to communists. Some reappraisals of Kassim lead some to believe that the coup was a grievous error, as it replaced someone who was not too brutal for that part of the world, and not willing to get into messianic movements, either Islamists or Arabist, by people who were both, and who gave rise to Saddam Hussein"

RH: In 1958, the army, under General 'Abd al-Karim al-Qasim . rose and killed King Faisal II, the crown prince and the prime minister. A republic was established, and Iraq left the anti-communist Baghdad Pact. The great feudal landholdings were broken up. In 1963 a military junta revolted and executed Qasim. In 1968 a faction of the Ba'ath Party staged a coup. In 1979 Saddam Hussein was chosen as president. The role of the CIA in all of this is a matter of debate. Rosa de Pena may well be correct.

Stuart Rawlings discusses the future: "How can Iraq become democratic under a US military occupation which insists upon thirteen electoral conditions? What if the Iraqi people want a fundamentalist state ruled by an Ayatollah? What if Iraqis want to divide the nation up into three parts-- reflecting the region's true ethnicity rather than the British-imposed borders? What if Iraqis do not want Bechtel to rebuild their nation, and if they do not want America to have any of its oil? Shouldn't an Islamic Iraq have the right to reject America's Christian culture --with all of our crime, drugs, pornography and consumerism? Why should Israel be the only nation in the Middle East allowed to have weapons of mass destruction? For that matter, why should America be the nation which decides who can and cannot have WMDs? Is Bush truly promoting "democracy" and "freedom", or is this pure self-interest? Yes, American money and power can aid in the material development of any new nation. But perhaps Arab pride, morality and .religion are more important".

RH. The Shiites want a Shiite regime and are demanding that the Americans go home. The Christians were able to celebrate Easter, but they wonder how long they will be tolerated. It is unfortunate that in these Islamic countries modern shopping malls and so forth are shown as proof that the countries are abandoning Islam and becoming modern. World opinion is struck by the double standards the US imposes in regard to WMD, desperately trying to prove that Arab countries have them, while being silent about Israel's possession of them. However, the US did not intervene in Iraq simply to have an intolerant Shiite regime like that in Iran impose itself. At the same time, the Israel-Palestine dispute defies all solutions,

The probable outcome is US hegemony over the region, which may well involve more war. Those who deny the existence of a US military-industrial complex should read the article in Insight (15-28/4/03) titled "High-Tech Tools of War. US military technology is more than a decade ahead of every other country's and is advancing so quickly that the rest of the world's forces might never catch up". Military leaders always want to try their new weapons, so it is quite likely that the necessary pretexts will be found. In his press conference today, Rumsfeld excitedly rejected reports of US military plans in the area, but of course he would.

Ronald Hilton - 4/21/03