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imperialism & war

The Void That Attracted The U.S.

On the eve of the September 11 attacks and even after them, it seemed that two candidates are to fill this void: radical forces related to Al Qaeda or the U.S.
The Void That Attracted The U.S.
Abdallah Iskandar, Dar Al-Hayat, 2003/04/16

The Anglo-American military operations in Iraq ended so quickly that they surprised even the most optimistic planners in Washington and London. The progress on the ground of the offensive forces was not only due to their military superiority, but also to the great collapse of the defensive forces, a collapse that happened long before the confrontations took place on the fronts.

Military experts in the world stupidly joke about the defensive plan of the collapsed regime in Baghdad, to a point where some of them described it as the worst in history. Yet, there is another reality that preceded the collapse and the attack, and even the crowds in Kuwait.

This reality relates to situation in Iraq, since the end of the first Gulf War in 1991. This reality was obvious to all the inspectors and experts in the world, except to the demised leadership in Baghdad.

This situation was first characterized by the regime's loss of capacity to modernize its military equipments, due to the sanctions' regime. The rest of it, or what has been saved of it after Gulf War, became just a scrap with traditional maintenance.

It was second characterized by an accurate air inspection of what was going on in Iraq, within the context of inspecting both air embargo regions in the South and the North, which will probably be the two essential fronts in any potential attack.

It was third characterized by the weak, or bad political performance of the Iraqi demised leadership and its total isolation from its surroundings, in addition to failing to admit their weakness at both the political and financial levels. This performance doubled the catastrophic human results of the sanctions and the political results of addressing the internal situation with tyranny, especially the total popular isolation and not being ready to defend it.

The result of the above is a state of emptiness at the authority or its substitutes level, and at the level of controlling the oil resources of the country that depend henceforth of the UN oil-for-food program. The leadership practically lost the capacity to control the events, as it used to happen in compromises on international inspectors and the relations with neighboring countries (insults or praise). The only to remain were militias (among which are the Republican Guards) in the streets, after the official army and its high-ranked leaders were removed for reasons related to the conflict for the authority and internal balances.

This is how the Iraqi situation on the eve of September 11 attacks was: totally empty. The dismissed President Saddam Hussein lost the ability of directing the country, clinging to a quasi-authority without any guarantee and without the whole Iraqi opposition being, and still, in a position of filling the emptiness (this is why the interim government will last longer).

Furthermore, as a result of the Gulf War and the challenges Gulf countries faced after the Kuwait invasion, the ability of these countries to act was destroyed, in addition to the capacity of influencing the Iraqi internal situation as a continuous source of threatens. The Arab League, i.e. the Arab states that might play an efficient role in the crisis, couldn't do the right thing to gill the regional emptiness.

Iraq, along with the region that contains the biggest oil reserve in the world, became in a terrifying state of void... that could attract just anyone.

On the eve of the September 11 attacks and even after them, it seemed that two candidates are to fill this void: radical forces related to Al Qaeda or the U.S.

The radical forces, despite mobilizing young people ready to die, are still unable to form a state that goes beyond the security issue in the Gulf, i.e. they are still unable to repeat the Afghani experience related to Afghanistan's conditions and its regional situation.

The U.S. remained, because it is powerful and has several resources and interests, the only one that is able to fill the void, in Iraq and the region.

It seems that what was said about the oil interests in the Gulf, the attempt to fight radicalism, the desire to implement democratic regimes, the emergence of the Christian right close to Zionism in the U.S. and the hawks ruling its administration etc. is right. However these justifications are available anytime. The only thing that justifies the U.S.' decision to attack Iraq right after the suicide attacks on Washington and New York is the political and military void in Saddam Hussein's regime, which failed to tackle the country's crisis since the Kuwait invasion, a weakness that reached its peak and became obvious after the September earthquake... This void is what attracted the Americans!

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