Tuesday, April 8, 2003

Re: America and Iraq: What the conflict is about

By Firas Saleh

It is not a surprise that the American ambassador to Nigeria, Howard Jeter wrote an article that was published in your esteemed newspaper. His belief is that he could simply convince the Nigerian public with his piece of information, forgetting that Nigerians and in fact Africans have equally experienced American hostility. Even as the current aggression persists, it is not only Iraqis that are suffering but also the Palestinian people who are perpetually under the Zionist military siege, backed by America’s weapons of violence-tanks, warplanes, other lethal equipments etc.

The allegations that Iraq is a threat to its neighbours, that it has weapons of mass destruction; that it is not complying with UN resolutions; that it has links with the al-Qaeda network are simply fabrications imagined by America and publicised by its officials.

The on-going US and UK massacre and destruction in Iraq completely undermine UN Security Council resolutions and entirely contradict international legitimacy, peace and collective security for which the UN claims to stand.

Mr. Jeter’s claim that Iraq refused to be disarmed of the weapons of mass destruction peacefully is untrue. He, by this allegation, failed to acknowledge that Iraq actively and genuinely cooperated with inspection teams even though the Americans never agreed with them. Their resorting to war is nothing short of show of desperate desire to execute an agenda that is motivated by an urge to control Iraqi oil, dominate the Arab World and change the political map of the whole Middle East region. US Secretary of State, Colin Powell recently confirmed this. The chief aim of this, however, is to divert the attention of the world from the crimes of the Zionist entity against Palestinians. This policy is provoked by the Zionist lobby and powerful arms industries in America.

The withdrawal of the UN inspection teams from Iraq and the declaration of war conflict with resolution 1441 of the world body. Besides, the suspension of the humanitarian programme (food for oil) and the removal of the monitoring team (UNIKOM) from the demilitarised zone between Kuwait and Iraq also violate the UN resolutions. The implication of this is to ease the entry of the invading forces into Iraq through Kuwait.

This continuous act of aggression further reveals in clear terms how the invading forces have been bombarding Iraqi social and commercial structures, while civilian residential areas are not spared. In and around Baghdad popular markets (like the Wuse market) have been destroyed with cluster bombs, prohibited internationally, with huge civilian causalities. The international media show pictures of the innocent victims of these crimes, who in most cases are children, women and the aged.

Reacting to this crude show of inhumanity the British Defence Secretary and his American counterpart, after promising to investigate, turned round to blame it on Iraqi troops. Can you imagine such shameless fabrication?

Americans were the first to use atomic bombs against civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, and the first to use nerve gas (orange) against the people of Vietnam. Today they are using depleted Uranium and cluster bombs against Iraqi civilians. They claimed to be fighting war against terrorism but history shows them as the grand terrorist state of the world. They, as a result of their failure, may resort to the use of chemical weapons and then accuse Iraq of having prohibited weapons, as an Egyptian military expert suggests.

What does the American ambassador mean by saying that the US intention on peace is a genuine one, and that Iraq could have averted the war if President Saddam Hussein and his family had gone into exile (shame upon them for such a suggestion)? What political wisdom informed such statement which, in any case, is meant to humiliate Iraqi people and rubbish their right to their leadership? The black history of American terrorism is full of such crazy slogans as "might is right," believing that there is no alternative to war, when even such holy figures as Pope John Paul II think otherwise. Most world leaders were and are still opposed to this aggression. How cold the US ambassador foolishly expect anyone to believe that his criminal government is not against Iraqi people when its troops are killing them in their numbers on daily basis? How could he say they are there to liberate them? Liberate them from whose occupation or oppression? The fact is that they and their British ally are there to occupy the country by force. What sort of democracy is it that permits the use of missiles and bombs against a nation in the name of liberation? These allegations by the US ambassador merely smack of humiliation and colonial arrogance.

Iraq is world’s cradle of civilisation – when Americans still lived in caves. He, the ambassador, seems quite ignorant of the civilisation, Mesopotamia. Iraq needs no lessons on democracy and freedom from these bloody mobs. Contrary to their claims, they have refused to do anything about the plight of Palestinians, where the Zionists are killing women, children and elderly people, while their homes are destroyed.

What is America’s position on Israel’s weapons of mass destruction? What is it doing about the perpetual violations of UN resolutions by the Zionist Israeli state?

It seems the ambassador is in a deep dilemma seeking to convince the public that his country’s main concern is not Iraqi oil, while from day one they have occupied and paid greater attention to Iraqi oil fields in the south.

We, Iraqis, are a great people of a great nation needing no assistance from the Americans. We don’t need them to dictate to us how we rule ourselves or spend our money. Neither do we need them to properly manage our affairs. This arrogant behaviour by the Americans cannot be tolerated by our people.

Does the US envoy remember the piracy done by his government by stealing Iraq’s frozen assets worth $1.04 billion? They even demanded that others do likewise. They also, in disrespect to UN, international rules for fair play and Iraq’s sovereignty, requested that our missions in other countries be closed while our diplomats be expelled. But to their shame and disbelief this has been turned down. This is a demonstration of America’s cowboy policy and law of the jungle in international relations. How would the ambassador say his prayer over the souls of those Iraqi criminally killed in this war, Muslims or Christians?

Lastly, we are confident that the people and government of Nigeria, will not be misled by such false and baseless allegations made by war criminals, which are fond of blood-letting. Nigerians are independent in governing themselves and deciding their local and international policies without external dictations. More so they have clearly condemned this aggression, given its full intent to breeding terrorism.

Firas is the Chief Press Officer of the Iraqi Embassy in Abuja.