the followed excerpted from
by Kathy Kelly
Voices in the Wilderness
"They know we own their country. We own their airspace...We dictate the way they live and talk. And that's what's great about America right now. It's a good thing, especially when there is a lot of oil out there we need."
--Air Force Brigadier General William Looney, head of the US Central Command's Airborne Expeditionary Force, which directs operations keeping Saddam Hussein's troops from flying south of the 32nd parallel
The above quote prefaced a recent edition of an anarchist publication called Eat the State. We wonder, does General Looney's blunt arrogance at least offer us some further insight into a basic dictate which the US and Britain have for the people of Iraq? Distilled from recent state department remarks and a massive PR campaign surrounding passage of Resolution 1284, the message reads something like this:
"It's fine for the UN to call for a weapons free zone, but we'll ensure that the only steps toward achieving that goal which are implemented are those that ensure that Iraq is to be a weapons free zone. We have no intention of stopping weapons sales to our allies in the region. We will have you surrounded with weapons of mass destruction, but you will have none. We'll be happy to take your oil, but we will have final control over how the revenue from your oil is spent. This is your punishment for having invaded Kuwait, despite the fact that it was only recently part of Iraq."
Iraqis hear this message from two countries, the US and the UK, which, for hundreds of years, have repeatedly invaded countries all over the world that were never part of their territory.
If the Iraqi government agrees to UN Resolution 1284, they must envision becoming subject to long term domination by the US and Britain which can use their voting powers in the UN Security Council to form an economic and military protectorate over the government of Iraq.
Small wonder that the government of Iraq, still an independent country, rejects that neocolonial formula for domination. Quite likely, the US and Britain designed Resolution 1284 anticipating Iraq would never accept it.
Who or what can jar General Looney and others from believing that since the US is the worlds' sole superpower, any ultimatum it issues must be accepted?
Ironically, Ms. Albright herself offers words of wisdom as regards what happens when, as a means toward an end, innocents are killed. Here are her remarks to leaders of the American Muslim community, December 21,1999, at a special Iftaar Dinner hosted by the State Department: "Killing the innocent does not defeat terror; it feeds terror. You are making new enemies when what you need are friends."
Ms. Albright's remarks epitomize the State Department's profoundly flawed habit of emphasizing perceived or actual harms to US national interests while completely ignoring ways in which US policies harm and kill people in, for example, Iraq.
We ask, might they and their advisers ever develop a fresh perspective as regards peacemaking in the Middle East, one which emphasizes fair play, equitable trade exchanges, and advocacy for disarmament by all parties to conflicts in the Middle East? Will we ever see serious moves toward US disarmament, with acknowledgment that as long as weapon sales to Middle Eastern countries prop up the US economy, US calls for disarmament by Iraq sound mighty hollow?
Will they ever hear these words as an admonishment for the US: "Killing the innocent does not defeat terror; it feeds terror. You are making new enemies when what you need are friends."