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Iraq, 9-11 and U.S. Foreign Policy
by Brian Risman, Publisher and Founder, The Law Journal UK
The U.S. ignored the spread of Iraqi fundamentalism and the threat of 9-11 to its own people because of a corrupt foreign policy focusing on enemies and insulting friends. The focus must change towards democracy and away from promoting discredited corporate interests.
Clearly, the U.S. occupation of Iraq has gone terribly wrong.
The initiative is now in the hands of the Islamic uprising. The Islamic groups strike with impunity, while U.S. military predictions of crushing the insurgents have turned, in several cities, into stalemated ceasefires. The U.S.-sponsored Iraqi police and military have dissolved almost immediately in the face of the rebellion, many of the recruits joining the winning side, namely the insurgents.
In response, the U.S. is keeping troops longer in Iraq. President Bush, looking desperate in a rare televised news conference, stammered excuses about Iraq and the apparent incompetence of the intelligence community -- and the White House -- in warning the country about the 9-11 attack on the United States.
Ah yes, the 9-11 debacle. Americans, and the world, have been shocked by the revelations that several briefs presented to the President predicted Bin Laden would attack the United States, and that Moslem extremists were taking flying lessons right in the U.S. But because the terrorists were so rude as not to provide the date, time and location of the impending attack, nothing was done about it.
Or is it unbelievable?
How could the U.S. totally miss something noted in previous articles in this very Law Journal -- that overthrowing Saddam Hussein would eliminate the buffer preventing the westward spread of Iranian Fundamentalism, resulting in an Islamic fundamentalist Iraq?
How could the U.S. ignore obvious intelligence about an attack on their country?
And when the attack started at 8 a.m. North American Eastern Time on 9-11 with the seizure of the planes, that those planes went unchallenged for the 45 minutes to reach the World Trade Centre, and the 1.5 hours to reach the Pentagon?
And that the only U.S. fighting back came from the civilian passengers on a seized plane that crashed in Pennsylvania?
The problem is that the above realities are very believable, because they did occur.
To understand the 'why' of these events, we must examine the sources of the problem, which are U.S. foreign policy and the corporate mentality of corruption.
First, U.S. Foreign Policy has rarely supported the growth of democracy. It is has been oriented to serving corporate interests -- from the United Fruit Company in Latin America in the early 20th century, to the Oil Bandits of today in Saudi Arabia.
Yet the corporate interests are terribly sleazy. From Enron to Martha Stewart, the real threat destroying U.S. power is obvious -- the total and complete collapse of corporate ethics.
My last article pointed out that the U.S. would be far more successful in the world if it promoted democracy rather than its corrupt corporate interests.
Yet the reality is that the disaster with Iraq and 9-11 came about because the U.S. was totally focused on their oil friends in Saudi Arabia -- friends that blessed and funded 9-11 and promoted Moslem fundamentalism worldwide.
The reality is that the U.S. did not care that innocent Americans were going to die on 9-11, because their friends the Saudis were behind it.
The reality is that the U.S. did not consider Moslem fundamentalism growing in Iraq with the ouster of Saddam Hussein, because they were totally focused on "finishing daddy's war" and U.S. corporate oil interests.
It was commendable for the U.S. to promote democracy in Iraq -- but the world and Iraqis saw that the real goal of the U.S. was oil.
Now the U.S. seems to want the U.N. to take a greater role in the future of Iraq, hoping other countries will join in the Iraq debacle. Yet the U.S. has insulted so many potential allies that such support is now questionable. And the lies and deceptions about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction have destroyed U.S. credibility as to its intentions.
Here is an example of insulting friends, while worshipping enemies. There is something wrong about a U.S. Foreign Policy hating their neighbour Canada for its more liberal society and universal health care (angering U.S. health care corporations and drug companies) -- despite the fact that Canada saved 85,000 U.S. travellers on 9-11 -- and yet loving their real enemy from 9-11, Saudi Arabia.
So where do we go from here?
It is clear that the U.S. will have to do what it should have done a year ago -- allow the U.N. to handle the situation. A year ago, as former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien noted on U.S. television at the time, the U.S. had won without a shot being fired by tying Saddam Hussein down with the internationally-sponsored inspections. At low cost. With no body bags.
Now, the U.N. must step into a far worse situation. Order must be restored, and a representative administration must be appointed by the U.N. However, the situation is now so chaotic that the future of Iraq as a democracy or as a secular dictatorship is unlikely. Iraq seems destined to become a Moslem fundamentalist state.
Further, the lesson for the U.S. is to cultivate friends via the U.N., not alienate allies by dumping French champagne and serving 'Freedom Toast' instead of 'French Toast'. The U.S. needs to take a multilateral view of the world, not the unilateral approach prevalent in the last few years.
As well, U.S. foreign policy must focus on democracy, not on criminal corporate interests. Only if the U.S. does so, can it regain its traditional friends in the world. If the U.S. does not, then its future in influencing world events is in doubt.
Lies, corruption and deception destroy credibility. Truth and friendship build power in today's world. The U.S. must realise this reality.
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