Organizing An Iraqi Opposition Coup: Failure Disguised as Success
In addition to the initial shock that the world experienced following the Iraqi army's invasion of Kuwait, the world was astonished again to see a new Kuwaiti leadership replacing the old one. The new Iraqi imposed Kuwaiti government was immediately rejected, as it simply failed to meet the minimum requirements that a national entity needs to satisfy the people's aspirations. Almost ten years later, the United States government is using the same losing tactic formerly used by Iraq. This time however, the Americans are creating their own Iraqi puppet government, under entirely different political circumstances.
A four-day conference held last Friday in New York, which is considered to be the first major Iraqi opposition meeting in seven years, was a sign of many failures, although it was described by American officials as a success. The failure was not only apparent in the opposition's fragmented stand, but it also was easily detected by America's foreign policy towards Iraq, which no longer has a clear vision regarding the Iraqi question.
The devastating sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies on Iraq following the Gulf war are indeed facing growing opposition around the world, primarily for their fatal impact on the welfare and the livelihood of the Iraqi people, mainly children. Such awareness is likely to be the reason behind the U.S. hesitance of launching another major military strike in the Gulf, after the realization that a mini war is no longer sufficient to overthrow the Iraqi government led by Saddam Hussein.
The United States is evidently interested in holding onto two objectives: First, punishing Iraq for its past conduct and curbing Iraqi capabilities to develop its industrial and military facilities, regardless of the genocidal cost such an objective has brought about. Second, maintaining its heavy military presence in the Gulf, which has experienced a substantial increase in the last a few weeks. While the United States is no doubt proceeding with its goals, the road toward maintaining their implementation is slow, due to the lack of international support and pro-Iraqi sympathies.
The hefty financial cost of the American approach in its Iraq dilemma which is swelling to over $2 billion a year (according to Sen. Bob Kerry who briefed the Iraqi opposition gathering on Saturday), has largely failed to bring an end to the Iraqi government which as far as the Americans are concerned, is manifested in Saddam Hussein alone.
But why would the United States resort to a weak and a broken Iraqi opposition front in its quest to destroy "Saddam?"
As always, the American government is cautious to supply its people with a moral objective behind its military interference in all of its conflicts. Democracy has so far been the leading justification presented to the American people. Reports of human catastrophes caused by the sanctions were repeatedly validated by United Nations' organizations such as UNICEF. The United States however, eliminated the claims thereafter, stating that the alleged reports of genocide are Iraqi propaganda. Such findings are damning and indeed threaten the survival of "moral politics" which are being exploited by the United States.
In addition to the notion that the use of the Iraqi opposition party is an indication of failing U.S. policy, it also points to the American government's attempt to rehabilitate the moral facade of its costly endeavors. The American administration, by hosting and financing an Iraqi opposition, is aiming to tell its own people that the goal is to institute democracy.
While on Monday Nov. 1, the last day of the conference, the Iraqi National Congress, in an attempt to democratize its image, elected a leadership panel, another group of opposition leaders was flown to Florida to attend intensive courses on Democracy.
The American use of the term "democracy" differs in meaning, based on the needs of United States foreign policy. Although it is evident that the American construction of an alternative Iraqi leadership is far from genuine democracy, U.S. officials are boldly briefing the press on the American image of Iraqi democracy. Although 11 Iraqi opposition parties boycotted the posh New York Sheraton Hotel conference, the conference was doomed to failure before it even started. It was the failure of America's pro-democracy propaganda, which no longer was able to undermine the powerful testimony presented by over one million deaths caused by the American led pro- sanctions alliance.
Topics: Iraq, Saddam Hussein, United States Of America