Subject WHY U.S. WANTED WAR Written 901 pm Feb 20, 1991 by pegguardian in cdpmideast.gulf
Subject: WHY U.S. WANTED WAR
Written 9:01 pm Feb 20, 1991 by peg:guardian in cdp:mideast.gulf
[Sydney] Guardian 9.30 20/2/91
Why US wanted war
by Anna Pha
Article published in Sydney, Australia newspaper "The Guardian"
"The possibility that we might get into a shooting war in Saudi Arabia or
the Middle East is a real one. Our forces are there because we've got major
interests in the world and especially in that part of the world", said US
Defence Secretary Dick Cheney shortly after Iraq's occupation of Kuwait. It
was in pursuit of these "major interests" that the US chose war, that the US
did not give sanctions time to work or negotiations a chance.
The US has not suddenly become a champion of national sovereignty or of
the oppressed and exploited. Neither has the US become a country to uphold
international law or the decisions of the United Nations.
The US refused any serious negotiations in the lead up to the Gulf War.
It shot down every diplomatic effort to find a political solution.
It was the US that refused to accept a withdrawal of Iraqi troops from
Kuwait along with a withdrawal of Israel from the occupied territories in
line with previous UN resolutions.
It was the US that refused over many years and still refuses an
international conference on Middle East problems under the auspices of the
And now the US has turned down without a moment's consideration the Iraqi
offer to comply with the UN resolution to withdraw from Kuwait describing it
as a "cruel hoax".
Why does the US prefer war?
The aims of the US in the region are control of oil reserves, the
destruction of the economic, political and military power of Iraq, to
strengthen Israel relative to all other Arab states, to establish a
permanent presence for US forces in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other states
and, as an added "bonus", the battle testing of its latest high-tech weapons
and military strategies.
The Middle East and world policy of the US has deep roots.
The US emerged from World War II as the most economically powerful state
controlling about 50 per cent of the world's wealth. Germany and Japan were
devastated and posed little threat to the might of the US at that time.
The US set about extending its control and domination around the world. A
world-wide network of military bases was established together with political
alliances to facilitate control.
Third world countries which achieved some measure of political
independence through the national liberation struggles were, none-the-less,
to be kept economically dependent and a source of raw materials for the
The socialist states, which grew in number following World War II, were
surrounded by military bases and besieged by economic boycott, political
ostracism, discrimination, destabilisation and subversion. All this became
known as the "Cold War".
Aggression where "necessary"
Where necessary, the US did not hesitate to embark on military
aggression. In the early 1950s the war on the Korean peninsular was fought.
In the late 1950s they master-minded the attempted 1956 counter-revolution
In the 1960s came the war against Vietnam, the attempted invasion of
Cuba, assistance to the fascist coup in Chile, and in the 1980s came the
interventions in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Grenada, Panama and Angola.
Wherever, progressive governments came to power, the US agencies were on
hand to destabilise and overthrow them. Australia was no exception. We
should not forget the role of the US in the coup against the Whitlam
However, the world did not stand still and in time the economic position
of the US declined relative to the world as a whole and, in particular, when
measured against the re-emergence of Japan, Germany, Europe and the
socialist countries, which also forged ahead in the post-war period.
It was in response to this situation that early last year the White House
presented Congress with its annual National Security Strategy Report which
claimed that the US needed to build up a powerful high-tech military because
of third world powers intent on pursuing their own course.
Middle East ambitions
The report went on to suggest that the US should have the means "to
project power into areas where we have no permanent presence", particularly
in the Middle East. The "Star Wars" umbrella is to be a part of this
high-tech world-wide control system.
Presidents come and Presidents go but the underlying objectives of US
leaders have not changed. Domination of the Middle East is vital to these
aims because of its vast energy reserves, its strategic position and its
As far back as 1948 George Kennan (Head of the US State Department Policy
Planning Staff at the time) observed that US control over oil would help to
provide economic and military "veto power" over Japan.
It was a dispute over oil that triggered Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. The
Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided quotas for oil
production and set a reasonable price, but the US wanted to undermine OPEC
and bring oil prices down. It used Kuwait for that purpose.
Kuwait disregarded its set quota, flooded the market and began to thieve
Iraqi oil by syphoning off oil from the Rumaila field, 80 per cent of which
lies in Iraqi territory. Blood for oil
If the US succeeds in smashing Iraq and replacing the present regime with
its own puppets, retains control over Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other pro-US
sheikdoms in the region, it will control over 50 per cent of the world's oil
This would considerably strengthen the hand of the US in its competition
with Japan and Europe, both major importers of oil.
When the US talks about "stability" and "security" in the region and
about limiting arms sales in future, it is really talking about establishing
a regime which will assist the US, together with Israel, impose its diktat
over all the Arab countries.
The Israel link
Israel plays a vital role in the US strategy. That is why the US refuses
to accept any solution to the war which makes "linkages" with the
Palestinian issue or other Middle East questions.
The US will not accept the emergence of any powerful Moslem country in
the region. It has worked extremely hard to keep the Arab world divided and
has gone to great lengths to buy and blackmail support for the present war.
Deals have been done involving billions of dollars and promises of new
territorial boundaries. The price offered to Israel to delay any retaliation
is also considerable.
There is a strong racist and religious element in the stand taken by the
West which reaches back into history. The present conflict, which in the
eyes of many takes on the character of a struggle between Christians and
Moslems, can have devastating consequences for the future peace of the
world. Generations of hatred may well be in the making, a cause for future
revenge and many new conflicts.
The anti-Arab component
There is a long history to the attempts of Britain and the US to keep the
Arabs down. Soon after the World War II, an Iranian uprising brought a
progressive government to power. The machinations of the British and
Americans brought down the government and established the rule of the Shah.
The Shah's Iran was built up as a powerful military state and as a firm
ally of the US. It was blown to pieces by the Iranian revolution of the
1970s. Since then, Iran has been regarded as an enemy. A defeat for Iraq
will mark the commencement of new efforts to turn the clock back again in
Recently US Foreign Minister, James Baker, accused King Hussein of Jordan
of "changing sides" and threatened to reconsider US aid to Jordan. The
lesson is clear. "Do as we say, or else..."
Threat to Soviet Union
The US has yet another strategic objective. It is to position large and
heavily armed US military, naval and air forces in close proximity to the
southern borders of the Soviet Union.
Despite the praises showered on Mikhail Gorbachev, the Western powers are
not certain of the outcome of the struggle going on in that country. They
support those forces which are attempting to overthrow socialism and restore
capitalism. This has been the major objective of the US and other Western
powers for the last 70 years.
They are putting themselves in a better position to put pressure on the
Soviet Union and to intervene militarily if the opportunity arises. The
noose around the Soviet Union is being tightened.
For all these reasons the US prefers war rather than a ceasefire and a
negotiated peace. Their aim is the unconditional surrender of Iraq or its
destruction. A ceasefire and negotiated peace represents a defeat for the
main aims of the US.
However, there is a big gap between the aims of the US and the
possibility of their achievement. War creates new problems
How long can the US keep Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Morocco on side
in their betrayal of Arab interests? The ferocious bombing, the killing of
thousands of Iraqi civilians and the destruction of the economy of Iraq is
steadily increasing the rage of the Arab and other people.
Many countries want peace and a negotiated settlement. The influential
peace movement cannot be ignored.
Many more problems are being created than will be solved by this war.
Even if the US wins the fighting war, its plans for the Middle East and for
world domination are not assured.
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