by Eric Margolis
Gen. Jumper let the cat out of the bag. While President George Bush hints at
eventual troop withdrawals, the Pentagon is busy building four major,
permanent air bases in Iraq that will require heavy infantry protection.
Jumper's revelation confirms what this column has long said: The Pentagon
plans to copy Imperial Britain's method of ruling oil-rich Iraq. In the
1920s, the British cobbled together Iraq from three disparate Ottoman
provinces to control newly-found oil fields in Kurdistan and along the
London installed a puppet king and built an army of sepoy (native) troops to
keep order and put down minor uprisings. Government minister Winston
Churchill authorized use of poisonous mustard gas against Kurdish tribesmen
in Iraq and Pushtuns in Afghanistan (today's Taliban). The RAF crushed all
It seems this is what Jumper has in mind. Mobile U.S. ground intervention
forces will remain at the four major "Fort Apache" bases guarding Iraq's
major oil fields. These bases will be "ceded" to the U.S. by a compliant
Iraqi regime. The U.S. Air Force will police the Pax Americana with its
precision-guided munitions and armed drones. . . .
The U.S. reportedly offered the 15 Sunni delegates $5 million each to vote
for the constitution -- but was turned down. No mention was made that a
U.S.-guided constitution for Iraq would violate the Geneva Conventions.
Chinese Taoists say you become what you hate. In a zesty irony, the U.S. now
finds itself in a similar position as demonized Saddam Hussein. Saddam had
to use his Sunni-dominated army to hold Iraq together by fighting Kurdish
and Shia rebels. His brutal police jailed tens of thousands and routinely
Today, Iraq's new ruler, the U.S., is battling Sunni insurgents, ("al-Qaida
terrorists," in the latest Pentagon doublespeak), rebuilding Saddam's
dreaded secret police, holding 15,000 prisoners and torturing captives, as
the Abu Ghraib outrage showed.
Eric Margolis, "Newest U.S. Colony Ruled
by Air Power," Toronto Sun, April 28, 2003
Jonathan Power, "War of Civilizations?,"
International Herald Tribune, October 29, 2004
Michael Meacher, "America is Usurping the Democratic
Will in Iraq," Independent, April 5, 2005
Enver Masud, "Saddam Hussein's Palaces: 'It's
Deja Vu All Over Again'," The Wisdom Fund, May 1, 2005
Alain Gresh, "This Was the Most Glaring Scandal
of All," Guardian, August 19, 2005
Anthony Shadid, "Night Draws Near: Iraq's People in the Shadow of
America's War," Henry Holt and Co. (September 7, 2005)
["There's a line from history that nearly everyone in Baghdad remembers:
'Our armies do not come into your cities and lands as conquerors or enemies,
but as liberators.' The speaker was Major General Sir Stanley Maude, the
British commander who in 1917 entered the capital to end Ottoman rule ...
The idea has proved memorable. So has the aftermath, a legacy that Iraqis
ruefully note. The British remained in Iraq and in control of its oil for
decades." The fact that the Bush administration uttered almost exactly the
same line about its intentions was, of course, also noted in Baghdad.--Gary
What went wrong," salon.com, September 13, 2005]