And the tougher it gets in Iraq [Archives:2004/727/Opinion]

April 8 2004

Hassan Al-Haifi
One is not sure whether all this chaos that is obvious to the observer of the Iraqi theater was indeed not perceived by the Americans before entering into the Iraqi adventure, for reasons which have yet to become officially made clear.
One is certain, however, that for all intents and purposes the situation maybe considered worse than it was under Saddam Hussein, before the American invasion or in more ways than one just as bad.
This, mind you, is the overall opinion of the Iraqi people; including those who are even promoting American products (see the Guardian Unlimited article by Naomi Klein, posted on April 3, 2004 from Baghdad). Last week the situation in Iraq lent greater weight to the claims that the erratic and senseless invasion and continuing occupation of Iraq is really getting the Iraqis nowhere near the better life the invaders said they were bringing with their tanks and Apache helicopters.
Death seems to be lurking everywhere: in the Sunni Triangle that has shown the most persistent inclination to resist the occupation and now even in the very relatively quiet Shiite areas of Iraq, which once put up the fiercest resistance against Saddam Hussein, a resistance that cost them dearly. What is really going on in Iraq? The problem is that really no one fully can come up with a picture that indicates that Iraq is anywhere near approaching a settled and stable environment, where the vast oil resources of the land would produce the high standard of living and vast opportunities for the Iraqis to have a stake in the natural bounty the Lord has bestowed the land of the Fertile Crescent with. Even agriculture is becoming a difficult venture, because the occupying forces refuse to let the Iraqis spray pesticide to protect their produce. The infrastructure of Iraq has hardly seen any substantial improvement, especially the medical and health care centers, where in some cases the situation is reportedly worse than it was under Saddam Hussein.
Yet the American White House Administration continues to blare out everything is fine and dandy in Iraq and that whatever incongruities are apparent, they were actually expected and represent exceptional sidetracking to the forward gear that Iraq has been put on by, let us not forget, the illegitimate occupation that Iraq has been subjected to, for no justifiable reason to speak of. Why did they not say so before they went to Iraq, if they were truly expected, and if so, why did not they plan for them accordingly?
The worst kind of planners are those who undertake a task without really being prepared for all the outcomes, yet the White House never had a full fledge knowledge of what they were going into and who is to really gain from it all. It seems that the only people gaining are the business tycoons, who are riding along with the occupation, getting substantial profits from contracts that are awarded in shady deals and political entrepreneurs like Ahmed Chalabi, who still gets $350,000 a month for “gathering intelligence”. Yes, like the intelligence he gathered on Weapons of Mass Destruction, which supposedly brought on this chaotic venue in Iraq, and may threaten to bring the whole region aflame.
Now enters the Moktada Al-Sadr rebellion! Out of the blues comes this Shiite leader (one is not sure about his scholastic acumen, from a spiritual sense, for we do not hear him called Ayatollah or any of the adjectives accorded to Islamic scholars, and who suddenly takes on the banner of Shiite resistance to the occupation and throws the observers off-guard for a while. One is not ready to state that the Shiites are happy with the occupation, but the general impression is that the Shiites would not want to fall into the trap of becoming a justification for the American invasion and the eventual showdown with Iran the Neo-cons are craving for.
So, why is Sadr making all this noise and causing so much disarray among the Coalition forces? There are some who suggest that Sadr may have actually been energized by encouragement from the coalition, or intimidated to come to a confrontation with them, just so the Shiites of Iraq can become a nuisance “prodded by Iran”. After all, this is what the Zionists would like to see, because they are the ones who believe Israel was severely hurt by the Shiites of Lebanon and because the Shiites of Iran are dogmatically at odds with the chauvinistic agenda of the international Zionist establishment. Washington these days would never consider having second thoughts about Zionist intelligence that would suggest such a scenario, just like the scenario they came up with on the WMD, as pointed out in some of the American press media, not too long ago!
Did not Washington oblige the Israelis with all their wishes ever since the Bush Administration took on the helms of power in the United States? Look at Iraq now, there are some 70 Israeli “firms” already operating in Iraq, not to mention the military and intelligence cooperation with the “Coalition Forces”.
Yes, we insist that Israel is indeed behind much of the maneuverings of the United States in the region and this is bound to lead to unpredictable ends, for the simple reason that American interests, in general (not the narrow interests that are having a field day now in Iraq) have really nothing to gain from such a lopsided and confusing intervention in the affairs of what was once a sovereign state. Now, can anyone really tell us how Iraq will be sovereign in June with over 100,000 American troops hanging out there and a far messier urban and rural scene with an overhanging aura of violence, as well as a continued daily count of fatalities and wounded due to violent confrontations?