The Last Word 4

I just heard the Iraqi Foreign Minister on BBC Radio “The World at One”.

He said “That border is disputed. It has been for many years. It has moved. That is why we had this war of maps…We have agreed with Iran that our technical levels will fix this border including in the Shatt-al-Arab.”‘

Interestingly he said that the Iraqi government had asked the US government, several weeks ago, to release the five Iranians captured by US troops. The US is “reviewing the request”.

There could be no clearer illustration that the idea that Iraq has a sovereign government is a sham. That the Iraqi government is not able to stop the US, against its will, capturing and imprisoning foreigners on the territory of Iraq, is sufficient proof that Iraq remains a state under hostile occupation.

How do those who claim that we are in Iraq under a UN mandate to assist the Iraqi government, square this with the exercise of physical force and deprival of liberty by US forces against the express will of the so-called government of the country?

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4 thoughts on “The Last Word

  • NightWatch

    Short answer: Because they can.

    I'm sure you know far better than I, the U.N. is really an enabler of the U.S. and will continue to be, even more so now that Ban is in charge. The USA got their boy.

    But why do we do it?

    Because, God speaks to the Bush folks.

    "God told me to strike Saddam, so I struck him" (G.W.B.). And in the time honored tradition of "a just war"…we get to keep everybody's stuff (63 of 80m known oil fields, etc) and if someone doesn't like it, they can "strike 'em"…with God's blessing.

    Don't forget what Bush said about our Constitution: "Quit throwing the Constitution in my face, it's just a God-damned piece of paper".

  • writeon


    I'm sure you know the answer to your rhetorical question. It's just unpleasant to think about what these kind of answers really mean, and what implications they have for democracy and power relations in society as a whole. Democracy is, and always has been, regarded with caution, and, mostly, open hostility by the powerful.

    Whilst you are using basic logic in your argument and bringing up the concept of natural justice, you are also implying that some kind of equivalence exists between "them" and "us". That if we do something, then we shouldn't be surprised or complain if some other group copies us, and justifies their actions by saying, you did it first, and if it's good enough for you, then it must be good enough for us!

    But it doesn't work like that. Our use of power is legitimate, and theirs is not. We have right and good on our side, and the others do not. It's very basic and very simple. Unfortunately, it's precisely this over-simplification of a very complicated and diverse world that frightens me the most.

    In essence we apply double-standards at will, standards that change from time to time, country to country, regime to regime. It's deeply un-ethical and crassly hypocritical at one and the same time. It's also deeply insulting to our intelligence, both at home and abroad. People in the Middle-East are not fooled for a minute by our words when our actions show our true attitude to them.

    It could be that our hypocracy will prove our greatest weakness.

  • Shillum

    The sailors have been released, and they are now reporting mistreatment. While with the Iranians they reported being treated well. There is one thing that is clear. These sailors are liars. If they lie while with the Iranians, would they not lie when back home under a new pressure group? So if they lie for their own present self interests, how can we know if they ever tell the truth. I would just say, "Show me the cigarette burns, or where they placed the electrodes. I doubt they have come back with any such injuries the Americans are noted for. They do report emotional trauma. Poor things.

  • Rwendland

    On the disputed border, interesting comment in the Guardian today:

    "In the first days of the crisis, Iraqi officials also helped the British to identify the exact boundaries of Iraqi waters, the Guardian has learned, suggesting the British were not as certain of their case as they had publicly claimed.",,20519…

    A very interesting article overall, if it is to be believed. e.g.:

    "Pentagon officials asked their British counterparts: what do you want us to do? They offered a series of military options, … The British declined the offer and said the US could calm the situation by staying out of it. … At the request of the British, the two US carrier groups, totalling 40 ships plus aircraft, modified their exercises to make them less confrontational. The British government also asked the US administration from Mr Bush down to be cautious in its use of rhetoric, which was relatively restrained throughout."

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