THE OCCUPATION OF ITS LANDS?
our most important achievements in approving the agreement." Nuri al-Maliki
History is replete with the most bizarre claims, like the one above by the Iraqi PM. Yet, he’s not alone to wallow in acts of infamy. When destruction and occupation have become synonymous with ‘liberation’ then language, and the ideas generated through it and by it, has lost their primary role of synthetizer -as well as of mediation- purveying information contents. Language has been reduced to form without content! It and political language it generates, in particular, have partaken in the split personality characteristic of its speakers. The communicative message has been blurred, one has to look for what was left out of the message rather than for what was included in the highly rarified codification. Arabic as a language and consequently its speakers, are infected with rare if widely recognized disease, the floury exaggerations of rhetoric which perverts signified and converts the signifers into units of the message privy of the qualifiers to its truth fulness or less, which’s turns it into exactly their opposites meanings.
How many uncounted crimes have been committed in the name of the People? How many missteps have been mistaken for calculated risks? How many slippery attempts and aborted starts have been sold as concluded? How many masqueraded shameful surrenders that have been passed on as genuine liberations? How many locals have abetted and facilitated the invasions to their lands? Et Cetera, et cetera! The Iraqis today are only the latest in the line that leads back to Troy. Call it character traits, call it cultural weakness that worked on the Arabs by inflicting them with bug of or the scourge named servitude. Perhaps the ingrained tribal make up combined with bedouin nihilism have prevented the developing of higher forms of cultural feelings -expressions- such as national pride, and thus Arabs remained prone to swings of moods hung between a highly religious discharges and market demand to their services. Depending on how desperate the situation was and how the stocks of the servitude were offered, the balance of who pays more, swing one way or the other between God or the Invader, who was seen to pay more. Again, an example of such behavior can be observed in what is taking place, as we speak, in front of our eyes, among Iraqi tribes, ethnic groups, and the various sects, in the way of letting themselves being manipulated, bought and sold, for peanuts of false promises.
This may come as counter to what commonly held views. The lore of people’s collective wisdom and sense of right was celebrated, through the ages, as the stuff of ultimate aspirations Though the cliches of people wanted this and people wanted that still abound, nevertheless, their luster seems to have suffered the patina of time and as such has become mere fodder stuff for politicians’ use when hoodwinking their naive and gullible constituencies. So is with the half- truth, as: People never fault nor their wisdom ever lags. A Tunisian bard once said: If People willed to live / Providence must answer the call! The disconnect between the lore and the factual was never that far off. Just look around in the never-never-lands of the Arabs, if they’re not the firsts then must be not far behind where people’s collective judgment has been floundering since their original ancestor -Ismail- who having been abandoned by his dad Abraham, in a barren valley, to the dogs, so to speak, had to fend for himself by any means available! The tragic scandal, from all places on earth, has to take place, this time around again, in Baghdad, the historical seat of the Caliphs and the once capital to what some still call ‘Islamic civilization,’ where the just minted ‘Parliament’ -the impugned collective will of what’s left of once proud people- has just showed what a hodge-podge and fractured society’s collective deliberations may lead to: by rubbing insult to an already injured people -this time big one! Since this parliament’s inception, under occupation, has been issuing streams of questionable -if at times also- embarrassing deliberations, but the vote to legalize the Occupation and thus legitimized the Invasion and Destruction of a country -once known as Iraq and now is merely referred to as Eye-raq- was going to enter beyond doubts the annals as the worst to all deliberations, and the mother to all blunders? And while Iraq was being raped its brothers, sisters and cousins all were turning their faces around pretending nothing untoward was happening to her - as if actually was enjoying the action.
The somnolent world of the Arabs, once more, never short of surprises, has broken another of its Guinness records, by keeping mum on what’s just taken place in front of their eyes, if they ever saw, and at the throw of its ears, if they ever heard. To the extent that it wouldn’t be preposterously out of the range or imagination, if that Brits-designed and tribally-run ineffectual organization, the Arab League, were found to have advised its member-state, Iraq, to go with the flow and sign the Deal! Another shameful absurdity has come to pass and Baghdad, once again, has been blundered a second time (?) in front of the entire world of the Arabs and non-Arabs alike, without anyone even raising an eyebrow or questioning the atrocity - if not legality and morality- of such futile and purposeless acts -fiction has, in the feeble imagination of the Arabs, overridden any expectation of reality.
There appears to be a pattern slowly but persistently emerging and taking shape since at least the 1967 disaster. The peeling off, one by one from the herd of the Arab statelets that may have a potential to perhaps one day mounting some threat to the prearranged scheme of things, and preestablished order The second most important Arab state, after that of Egypt, has just been destroyed, emasculated and added to the camp of those blatantly working against any nationalist aspirations. Another Arab state has just been turned against its own people and the rest of the Arabs. All in the name of that sacred Lady-with-Torch: freedom and democracy! If Arabs don’t go to democracy, democracy will seek them in spite of themselves. The tragic and absurd turn gripping democracy in that part of the world is, it has come rolling and roaring by air and sea and every other means, to add salt to an injured wound and rub it as deep as it’s possible to go. The
last thing the pestering wounds of Baghdad needed were the bombers and tanks. Democracy has thrown her traditional garb, if she ever had one, and rode on modern means of destruction to bash into Baghdad claiming her absolute right to the place. Call it gunboat diplomacy, call it the fate of weakness, whatever, it has made mockery out democratic means -when these latter have been used to undermine the spirit if not the essence of what democracy itself is all about -this rude and crude process has damaged the cause of democratization for at least a generation.
Who gained and who lost out of all this. All indications point to, so far, Zionism’s scored one more in its unrelentless drive to further demoralize the area and undermining its genuine collective aspirations. As to imperialism and imperialists, they also have scored big, another success story in showing how the inchoate states can easily be isolated, chalked to death, and dismantled with the help of its own citizens and neighbors. Imperialists, notwithstanding their highfalutin lip-service to various causes, never meant what they said nor said what they meant. Their brand of Democracy, or at least ‘Mob-cracy’ Iraqi version - which they’ve shoved at the barrel of the gun- has been dealt perhaps a near fatal stroke, in addition to a bad hand and a bad reputation. The intent was never liberation nor democracy nor modernization, otherwise how to make sense of the mockery they’ve made to discredit all of these plus a score of others as well. A bad rap in the eyes of those who supposed to embrace these aspirations, the wretched half of humanity. The straw which broke the camel’s back was the latest acts of the so-called Iraqi Parliament. Rest assured ‘democracy’ has buried itself when it’s just accepted to the enslaving of its own people -it’ll be eternity before one can argue the merits of democracy to liberate minds as well as lands.
The consolation if there’s any! a government that’s blatantly the product of the CIA’s contriving and the Parliament (which also was contrived under occupation) both have very little grounding in the realm of legitimacy. If they behaved the way they did it’s because they both were paying their dues and platitudes, to the power which had installed them in the first place. If members of these forums went to the extent to okay their own nullification, further indication to the sham game ‘s hollowness. These guys may have realized their predicament: after all, they’re merely quislings dancing at the tunes of somebody else’s drumming. As to the day of reckoning, that’s awaiting these guys -when they’ll have to answer for their bizarre vote, and a historical precedent- well, that would be another day? Once again, it’s worth repeating it, a piece of factoid: a ‘government,’ a ‘parliament,’ a ‘judicial system,’ etc. imposed by invasion and propped up by a continuous occupation, a sovereign and free state don’t make.
To boot! A state, as Iraq’s today, still in the grip of the vise, not even in control of its own financial matters, is in no position to enter into binding agreements. Just to illustrate this point, take, for instance, Oil Revenues and who controls them. If there’s any sine non qua for sovereignty, a state must control and be able to decide as well as of why and how to collect and spend such funds. But Iraq doesn’t have the upper hand on its only resource, oil revenues. Therefore, one may ask how can then a state in that position be expected to sign binding agreements with anybody, much less its invader and current occupier. FYI, Iraqi oil revenues are still kept in an account, called Development Fund for Iraq at the New York Federal Reserve Bank account -a UN Board oversees it- and run by Western Financial Experts, yeah! with no single Iraqi on the board! Out of this account 5% goes for ‘compensations’ and the rest goes to the pockets of the many gangs and bandits, Iraqis and otherwise that are roaming Iraq.
The Arabs used to say: If one doesn’t have something, ipso facto cannot give it back. Nor an occupied country would be expected to be free. A government which lacks the minimum trappings of power cannot be expected to wield much of the traditional role of sovereign state. A country that’s incapable of protecting itself, is definitely incapable of asserting its people’s rights. That much was made clear when the so-called Iraqi government willy-nilly has been made a Trojan Horse to the continuous Occupation.
The scenario, out of the imperialist book, followed by all invading powers, first invade, destroy, then install a puppet government. The next step was going indigenous, that’s, giving the occupation a local face. From recent memory: Korea , Vietnam, Afghanistan, and now Iraq. Recruiting local faces to serve the occupation was found to be more effective to pacify the unruly and to repair a tarnished image of the occupying power. The Occupier assumes the mantle of the power behind the throne or the rulers of the local ruling clique -ruling the ruleres! If this was not the case, a destroyed Iraq would be hard pressed to okay the continuation of its own devastation. Perhaps the intense campaigns of "shock and awe" has worked their purpose in persuading the Iraqis to give up any claim to self determination. Iraq was left with one option, viz, to offer its stamp of approval and lend its emasculated local lackeys as validators to the continuous occupation and to their own as well as the country’s enslavement.
Hobson’s Choice! The Arab World is caught between a rock and hard service, between continuing rotting in its vomit or accepting a forced Modernization. But ‘liberation’ from outside, by foreign powers, can perhaps dismantle a regime, hang a dictator, destroy a country, without ever reaching deep into what constitutes a soul, the essence, of a social set-up to change it. The essence of a culture resides way down in the abysses of time and memory to be found and dug out by the pure and crude uses of force, to reach it. It needs other ways perhaps by tantalizing its sense of pride and teasing its dormant consciousness to awaken.
Though history has also shown some claims to outside interventions. When societies were in the grip of modernization but divided along ideological fault lines to which way to take, as in Korea and Vietnam. The outsiders may tip the balance one ideological side or another. But if a society still drowsing, under a crude dictatorships, foreign interventions can only aggravate further internal fragmentation. The traditional cohesiveness of these societies will further weaken and their present set-up gets looser and the sagas of people’s power remains only myth far from reaching. Iraqi’s example will be pondered in the annals history and of democracy for the time to come. If anything else, Iraq has finally given a valuable lesson to the developing world: a form of democracy not to be emulated and another nail in the coffin of the illusion that true Liberation and Freedom - treated like goods and imported like any other commodity- could be obtained relatively easily without humongous amounts of sacrifices.
Needless to say that for the region it’s a huge set back equivalent to the 1967 defeat and the subsequent setbacks: Kissinger’s brilliant knocking off of Egypt out of the equation of the area, and the rest of the proliferated other minor and major setbacks and treaties binding one or another of the statelets to the logic and dictates of the winners. Suffice it to say for the United States, the Iraqi Strategic Agreement to date was the biggest geopolitical advance after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Having a strategic alliance with what’s seen as the hub of the ‘ Arab-Muslim World’ and at the center of the Energy Reservoir was a stroke of genius, if not of luck, or both in the least. But, as it’s said, luck comes only to those who deserve it. The USA has worked hard to get here. Since the late1970's -and even before- Carter had decreed the Middle East as an integral component of American National Security concerns. The present treaty is the latest affirmation or confirmation! to the Carter’s Doctrine - the Middle East as American National Security backyard- is still the primary region for the USA to focusing its attention to and to flex its muscles on. To control energy supplies, for itself and the rest of the world, the only superpower wouldn’t hesitate to use whatever it takes to make the control as tight and waterproof as it ever can be.