"The mantra, soon to be repeated in speech after speech by President Bush and his subordinates in the buildup to war was that his administration would be "trading in freedom." "Free trade" and "free markets" were synonymous with "freedom," and the United States was willing to implement this theory with military force. It was pure imperialism, which the advocates of the Bush Agenda had been waiting for decades to implement."
~ Antonia Juhasz, The Bush Agenda.
~ Antonia Juhasz, The Bush Agenda.
Lately I've had numerous conversations with friends about the real meaning of America's spreading of democracy throughout the world, and particularly now, in the Middle East. As events have unfolded over the last several months, it has become painfully clear to us that the US uses the idea of spreading democracy as the sugar-coating on its bitter pill of global warmongering-for-profit.
As regards the situation of the Kurdish people, this warmongering-for-profit has had a devastating effect for decades, resulting in the murders of hundreds of thousands of Kurds by such American allies as Saddam Hussein and the Turkish regime. Warmongering-for-profit is the sole reason why the US has rejected the PKK ceasefire and its proposal for a democratic resolution to the Kurdish situation under Turkish occupation.. Warmongering-for-profit is the sole reason why Saddam Hussein was executed for the murders of 148 Shi'a, instead of for the murders of 182,000 Kurds during Anfal. Warmongering-for-profit is the reason why the US is attempting to create further destabilization in "Iraq," by violating Kurdish territory in order to manufacture a crisis with Iran.
There are very few who actually benefit by this means, although there are many who are brainwashed into believing the marketing campaign which holds that the US only acts for the purposes of "spreading democracy," "creating regional stability," "liberating populations from dictators," or "furthering human rights." The few who benefit are leaders in the American corporate world and the American government. The people of the world, including Americans, are the ones who suffer for the benefit of these corporate and governmental parasites.
With yesterday's post about Lockheed Martin's warmongering-for-profit in mind, and remembering the role that Lockheed Martin is now playing in the continuation of Turkey's genocide of Kurds, there is a related BuzzFlash interview with Antonia Juhasz at Working for Change:
BuzzFlash: You believe our foreign policy is driven by economic interests, not spreading freedom, even though, as a public relations tool, the United States says we’re trying to fight for freedom or spread freedom. As I understand your argument, the rhetoric of freedom is a nice tool to justify foreign policy.
Antonia Juhasz: Right. As many administrations have done before him, the Bush Administration uses the word "freedom" as a master stroke -- a term to encapsulate everything good and warm and fuzzy that Americans like to think that they are about. But in fact, I would say that the Bush Administration is only interested in spreading freedom for U.S. corporate interests and removing barriers to corporate access to countries across the globe. In that way the Bush Administration is following a very standard agenda that other presidents have followed before him.
I argue in the book [The Bush Agenda] that what makes the Bush Administration unique is its fairly unprecedented hybrid of corporate executives running the government. The members of the Bush Administration, including the President, have long histories as corporate executives, as do the leading members of the President’s Cabinet and people throughout the administration. The hybrid of corporate and government executives also makes the Administration’s view of the government as simply an extended arm of U.S. corporate interests. What makes the Bush Administration unique beyond that is its willingness to overtly use the U.S. military to advance those interests.
[ . . . ]
. . . [W]hat I’m arguing is people throughout the world witnessing and experiencing U.S. policy -- economic, political and military -- is seen quite clearly as solely advancing the interests of the United States, and it creates anger and hostility.
. . . [E]conomic policies are witnessed by people and experienced by people around the world as tools of imperialism. Just as the presence of U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia is witnessed as a tool of imperialism, so is the occupation of Iraq. There’s a distinction that I’m making which is not, as I said, that poverty breeds terrorism, but rather imperial economic policies breed terrorism.
[ . . . ]
I believe that the scale of the [Iraq] invasion is unique because the economic goal is so much more profound in Iraq.
U.S. oil companies and U.S. administrations have wanted their hands on some of the world’s largest reserves of oil in Iraq for decades. Now, however, the war in Iraq has successfully altered and overturned Iraq’s economic infrastructure. I certainly believe that is the heart of this Administration’s agenda in Iraq, and this Administration’s agenda in the Middle East.
[ . . . ]
. . . [T]here are many definitions of "intervene." And there are many ways to be a good liberal or progressive and seek resolution of atrocities around the world that have nothing to do with military invasion or occupations. There are options that have everything to do with international negotiation, international pressure, international legal means of influencing other governments, and governments that are acting outside of the realm of accepted legal norms, which is what is happening in the Sudan.
Read the entire interview at the link above, and take a look at Antonia's book, The Bush Agenda. It's currently available as a hardback copy, but will be available as a paperback, according to Amazon, in May.
There are more interviews with Antonia Juhasz at her website.
Warmongering-for-profit is another reason why Kurdish forces--regardless of whether they are pêşmerge or Kurdish Iraqi Army units--should not go to Baghdad. There's more, from the LA Times:
Most of the fighting in Iraq is between Shiite and Sunni Arabs, but Kurds, most of whom are Sunni Muslims, fear that could change if they are seen as players in the country's main struggle.
"I don't think it's wise," said Mahmoud Othman, a Kurdish lawmaker in Baghdad. "This is a Sunni-Shiite conflict."
Most Kurdish troops are not acquainted with Baghdad, many speak neither Arabic nor English, and their participation could create an even deeper conflict between Kurds and Arabs, he said.
[ . . . ]
The idea of using Kurdish troops to quell violence in both Shiite and Sunni neighborhoods of Baghdad originated in backroom talks among the country's main power brokers. With a chance to live their dream of autonomy, Kurdish lawmakers were extremely reluctant to take part in the plan. But Iraqi officials as well as U.S. military and political officials argued that if they failed to participate, it would show their lack of commitment to the nation.
Word of the planned deployment took Kurds by surprise. In their small but prospering northern enclave, they shook their heads over the prospect of getting involved in a conflict that has bedeviled the most powerful army on Earth.
"If America and the Arabs aren't able to stop Sunnis and Shiites from killing each other indiscriminately, then what use will it be to send in our forces?" asked one Kurd in an online forum.
"We do not need to have our young men getting killed in a civil war between Sunnis and Shiites," read another posting. "They are both our enemies."
"[C]reat[ing] an even deeper conflict" is the entire purpose of sending Kurds to Baghdad, because a deeper conflict equals greater profits for US corporate interests. Furthermore, why doesn't someone stand up to these Arabs, and their American allies, and tell them point-blank that Kurds are not part of the Arab Nation, never have been, never will be, and that no, in fact, we don't have any commitment to their nation? It is a very simple thing to do.
Avoiding a "deeper conflict," making the world safer, and winning the war are not the points, as noted in Le Monde Diplomatique:
We know that militarily counterproductive tactics in civil wars may also bring political benefits: the continued existence of a reviled enemy — Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, Revolutionary United Front in Sierra Leone, interahamwe militia or Chechen terrorist/rebel — may help to justify the suppression of democratic freedoms and free speech. President Putin has tightened his control of NGOs in Russia in the name of defeating terrorism and subversion. Maintaining the enemy can be even more useful than defeating it.
In the global war on terror, too, making money has been a key aim. US interest in Afghanistan is inseparable from the oil and gas fields of the Caspian, just as US interest in Iraq is linked to the oil. Beyond that, fresh legitimacy has to be found for the vast US military-industrial infrastructure that burgeoned during the cold war (another profitable war in which the enemy was rarely directly engaged). The demon-du-jour has been redefined as fundamentalism, rogue states, drugs, narcoterrorists, al-Qaida, Hizbullah. The terrorist remains elusive but the targets for retaliation — Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran or Lebanon, Iran — are readily found on a map.
As Le Monde Diplomatique cites the Iraq War as a diversion from the war in Afghanistan in order to "maintain the appearance of winning," we should ask if the recent operations in Somalia, and the raid in Hewlêr are meant to create diversions to "maintain the appearance of winning" in Iraq? The raid in Hewlêr was an insult to the people of the only stable region in Iraq, although the intended target was not the Kurdish people per se. But by attempting to create a new diversion in South Kurdistan, the US indicates its eagerness to betray the Kurdish people yet again, for its corporate interests. The intended target of the Hewlêr was Iran. More from Le Monde Diplomatique:
That brings us to Iran. A recent Time magazine report highlighted reasons why the US might be expected to “reap a whirlwind” from attacking Iran: the likelihood that Iran would retaliate by fomenting terrorism, inciting Hizbullah, creating mayhem in Afghanistan and Iraq, and blocking oil from movement through the Persian Gulf. The feature added fatalistically: “From the State Department to the White House to the highest reaches of the military command, there is a growing sense that a showdown — over its suspected quest for nuclear weapons, its threats against Israel and its bid for dominance of the world’s richest oil region — may be impossible to avoid” (3). The message is that no one wants war, but it is coming anyway. We are invited to re-experience the sense of ominous inevitability that preceded the attack on Iraq.
Are we really so in love with destruction, so fond of our favourite nightmares that we cannot hold back from actions that we know will be self-defeating?
Are the Southern Kurdish leaders really so in love with destruction that they will proceed with the self-defeating program of sending Kurds to die in Baghdad for American corporate interests? Of course, just to make sure that this whole plan will become a major screw-up, let's not forget who's going to be in charge of the US military for the upcoming disaster. It will be none other than General Petraeus. As the Wall Street Journal softens up its readers to expect great things, a close reading should properly fill one with dread:
In 2004, a similar but broader effort at integration between U.S. and Iraqi forces was planned in Anbar province by Marine Maj. Gen. James Mattis. The Mattis plan is summarized in the middle of the Army's new Counterinsurgency Manual, released just last month. The manual's drafting was overseen by Gen. David Petraeus, who will now direct the U.S. military effort in the neighborhoods of Baghdad. It's not a coincidence. The manual describes in detail the purpose, theory, tactics and problems (including spikes in violence and casualties) likely to emerge during the new counterinsurgency strategy.
[ . . . ]
Whether the U.S. should have done this back when Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his foreign suicide bombers emerged is a legitimate question. The point is this: The Iraq violence has not been running like an untended open hydrant. Some of our best and brightest have been thinking hard about how to shut the valve. Last month AEI released a plan reflecting similar counterinsurgency ideas by military specialist Fred Kagan and the Army's former vice chief of staff, Gen. Jack Keane.
The neocons at AEI are the ones who were behind this mess since before Day 1, and now the WSJ is saying that their plan is similar to the one in Petraeus' new counterinsurgency manual? Yikes! They should send Lockheed Martin's Board of Directors to Baghdad, and let them be supported in combat by a selection of Lockheed stockholders, and together they can end the Arab civil war. After all, it's about time that these parasites actually worked for their money instead of simply sucking their profits out of the blood of their victims. By the way, the Mehdi Army has already figured out how to deal with the "counterinsurgency".
Friday, there was another development in the case of Dr. Kristiina Koivunen's deportation from Turkey, from Helsingin Sanomat:
The Finnish Embassy in the Turkish capital Ankara has sent the Turkish Ministry for Foreign Affairs a sharply-worded diplomatic note concerning the arrest and inappropriate treatment of Finnish Kurdistan expert Kristiina Koivunen.
In the note, Finland protests the ban on entering the country that was imposed on Koivunen, and notes that the decision was not presented to her in writing, as required by international practice.
The Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs says that Koivunen should have been notified of the ban when she was entering the country, and not when she was already in Turkey.
Koivunen was also not given her deportation order in writing. Instead, she was flown out of the country on her own plane ticket, and not at the expense of the country from which she was being expelled.
Koivunen was arrested in mid-December in the Kurdish region of Turkey, where she was collecting material for a book on Kurdistan. Koivunen, who had written her doctoral thesis on Kurdistan, has published two other books on the region.
Somebody should tell the Finnish government that, when dealing with a Mickey Mouse country like Turkey, don't expect proper diplomatic or political procedures when they decide to deport one of your citizens. Besides, the Ankara regime rarely does anything for genuine purposes unless it has to do with genociding Kurds. Everything else is done for show because no one really lives in Turkey; they are just actors in a play. Hence the deportation of Dr. Kristiina was an act, designed to humiliate her and Finland. The problem is that such actions backfire because they underscore the fascism of the Turkish state.
Finally, Şîrvan at Kirmaşan has more on fuel cuts in Iranian-occupied Kurdistan. This is a very serious problem because, as the Amed Municipality website reports, this is the worst winter for the region in 77 years.