Re: (OPE-L) Re: Consequences of the War against Iraq

From: Ian Hunt (Ian.Hunt@FLINDERS.EDU.AU)
Date: Sat Apr 12 2003 - 21:38:08 EDT

Dear Jerry,
I agree with your qualifications on long term security for oil
suppies and hegemony of US in Middle east: I was referring to outcome
that the war would  tend to lead to (and expected by US planners) and
that it always subject to countertendencies. I also agree  that if
the emergence of otehr forms of resistance is only a necessary
condition of some alternative to terrorism: as you say, if left wing
resistance to US hegemony increases and loses its way out of
frustration, then there may be some counterproductive leftist
terrorism. I hope the ultimate outcome is one, two, three, Chiapas -
the alternative of more Iraq's will compound this disaster,

>Re Ian's post yesterday:
>  > I don't agree with the conclusion that the result is just total Israeli
>>  hegomony: I would have thought that US  hegemony in the Middle east is
>>  the primary result, from which Israel can expect some capitulations from
>>  Palestinians.
>I agree that the (temporary) success  in striving to regain US
>hegemony (Cyrus)  or preserve US hegemony (Hans and others),
>rather than "Total Israeli hegemony",  is the major context.   Israel,
>although in some ways and times it acts like a "loose cannon",  is
>a proxy for larger imperialist powers in the Middle East.
>Overall, I think that the "Al Jazeerah" assessment (reproduced below)
>reflects the disappointment, frustration, and cynicism in the Arab
>world today.   The resistance early on in the war to the invasion and
>the demonstrations by many millions of people against the war globally
>led many to think that Iraq could win the war or at least wage a
>credible resistance to the invasion for a protracted period.  Many on
>the Left shared this illusion -- indeed, there was much talk on the
>Internet of how the battle in Baghdad would be similar to the battle
>in Stalingrad.  Now that these optimistic fantasies have been
>crushed, many (including, evidently, those who wrote the "Al Jazeerah"
>statement) now have become pessimistic and disillusioned.
>  > Another consequence is that so long as
>>  religiousfundamentalists/chauvinists/terrorists represent the only
>>  resistance to US hegemony in the middle east, there is an increased
>>  prospect of terrorist attacks on the US and its allies.
>Terrorism, though, is not the exclusive franchise of right-wing religious
>fundamentalists and national chauvinists.  One could easily envision
>scenarios -- especially if there isn't a mass movement on the Left of
>workers and peasants -- of terrorist organizations developing (out of
>frustration) from the Left.  Yet, increased terrorist attacks against the
>US and its allies would most likely empower the right-wing more in the
>US and elsewhere and would be used as a rationalization for more
>domestic repression and wars.
>  > I don't know
>>  that we can conclude that the outcome will be a triumph for the stock
>>  market, though it will represent long term security for US oil supplies.
>I agree with the first part of your sentence. The stock markets seem to
>be reacting to short-run developments. Thus when the war was effectively
>ended sooner than was expected, stock market 'euphoria' developed ...
>for a day or two.   In a similar way, when -- earlier on in the war -- Iraqi
>resistance was greater than anticipated,  there were no stock market
>'rallies' on Wall Street.
>I can see why you might think that a result will be to ensure long-term
>security for the US of oil supplies, but there are a lot of possibilities that
>could disrupt that prospect in the 'long term'  (e.g. mass uprisings
>against US-supported regimes in the Middle East).
>  > < snip, JL> They are already making threatening noises about
>>  Syria.
>Yes, that is an ominous development.  And, of course, now that the main
>fighting in Iraq has ended, the US may turn its attention to the two other
>members of  Bush's "Axis of Evil" -- Iran and N. Korea.  Indeed, if the US
>wanted seriously to invade Iran then they already have their military
>forces nearby and could promptly launch an assault.  Meanwhile the
>North Korean government, saying that it doesn't want to suffer the same
>fate as Iraq,  appears to be pushing ahead with nuclear weapons
>development and,  quite possibly, is on a collision course with the US.
>Or, it could be that US attention will now be focused on Latin America.
>To turn a slogan from the Vietnam War on its head: one, two, three,
>many Iraqs?  *Or*  will it be: one, two, three, many Venezuelas? ... *or*
>will it be: one, two,  three, many Chiapas?
>In solidarity, Jerry
>   Here's an assessment from "Al Jazeerah" online at
>  :
>   "The US, the world's super power, defeats the Third
>   World country of Iraq after pounding it for 12 years
>   through sanctions.  Casualties: less than 100 soldiers for
>   US and about 1.5 million Iraqis. Consequences: Total
>   Israeli hegemony over the Middle East, the oil wells are
>   secure, the military industry will be thriving for decades,
>   and the stock markets are ready to take off."

Associate Professor Ian Hunt,
Director, Centre for Applied Philosophy,
Philosophy Dept, School of Humanities,
Flinders University of SA,
Humanities Building,
Bedford Park, SA, 5042,
Ph: (08) 8201 2054 Fax: (08) 8201 2784

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