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Lessons From Before the War And After

Instead of trying to understand the American priorities, to be able to wisely cooperate with them - but that's too late now - the Arabs insisted, during the two summits, on the priority of solving the Palestinian issue, while they helped Saddam to get out of his bottle...
Lessons From Before the War And After
Salameh Nematt, Al-Hayat, 2003/04/28

Before the war broke out, the Arabs asked the U.S. not to wage war against Iraq without giving the latter convincing alternatives that could achieve America's strategic goals without the actual fighting. They ignored, or pretended to ignore, the importance of the suggested Arab alternatives that fulfill the goal behind the decision of war. They ignored, or pretended to ignore, the importance of the American move to destroy the increasing power of a system like Saddam's in the Middle East. Saddam used his oil for the past 12 years to accomplish what he couldn't accomplish in the invasion of Kuwait and its occupation, and that on the expenses of the diminished American power in a region that possesses 60% of the oil reserves in the world. Didn't the Arab governments (with the Turkish and Iranian governments) stop two years ago the smart sanctions plan that aimed to rediminish the powers of Saddam's regime which started to get out of the box where the U.S. put it in 1991? Didn't these governments ignore the American warnings about continuing to reorganize the Iraqi regime, and that's what the Arabs did during the Oman Summit and the Beirut Summit, while Turkey and Iran continued to smuggle the Iraqi oil and enhance the power of Baghdad's regime?

Instead of trying to understand the American priorities, to be able to wisely cooperate with them - but that's too late now - the Arabs insisted, during the two summits, on the priority of solving the Palestinian issue, while they helped Saddam to get out of his bottle: commercial contracts between Iraq and six Arab countries during the past 2 years, opening the pipeline between Iraq and Syria... and the Iraqi rewards to the intifada martyrs' families and other rewards willing to buy the regional power on the expenses of the Iraqi people, economically, politically and socially crushed. Of course, the crying Arabs on the fate of Iraq now didn't appear on the rewards and generous 'Saddamist' bribes to the beneficiary country, as well as thousands of Arabs and non-Arabs, such as George Calloway, who played the role of the fifth line in their countries to help Saddam and his regime, nor the deals made with billions of dollars in Russia, France and others to buy their pro-Baghdad positions.

The Arabs insisted on the priority of Palestine, despite the problems that followed 11/9, and didn't succeed in convincing Abu Ammar with the necessity to stop the suicidal operations. The result was the destruction of Palestine by Sharon and his gang who benefited from the green light America gave to rebuild the Palestinian occupied territories. They may not have understood that Palestine. Whatever it did or happened to it, isn't an American priority, for it doesn't threaten 2/3 of the oil reserves of the world which the U.S. consumes the quarter.

The inability to understand what the rebellion on the vital interests of the sole super power in the world, forgetting about the legitimacy of those interests, might lead to consequences similar to what we witnessed and still witness today in Iraq.

Saddam's regime is gone for good, and the U.S. troops might leave as they did after the freedom of Kuwait, Kosovo and Afghanistan. However, it would be na´ve to think that the U.S. won't return in case it noticed someone has still not learned from the Kuwaiti freedom and the Iraq 'freedom,' or that someone still insists on ignoring the sole superpower's interests. This lesson is also applicable to Israel, for despite of Washington being a strategic ally to Israel, its most important interest is to achieve regional stability that is decisive for a final solution to the Palestinian issue. Thus, Israel's allies in the U.S. try to create conflicts with Syria to prevent working on the Palestinian issue.

The truth is that Arafat's decision to concede a share of his powers to Mahmoud Abbas after five months of lingering, and Syria's decision to smoothly cooperate with the U.S. after one week of the political campaign's escalation, could both show that the lessons from the war on Iraq, and the ones before it, did not go to waste.

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