United States is getting ready to attack Iraq. A year after the Twin Towers attack
Juan Chingo
La Verdad Obrera N° 108

After September 11, Bush's government has evidently taken advantage of the shock caused by the attack to the Towers to put forward a reactionary offensive against the peoples of the world, under the so-called "war against terrorism". The defeat of Afghanistan, the hardening of reactionary measures and the restriction of democratic freedoms by means of exception laws -also used to attack labor rights - the hunt of witches against immigrants, the prosecution of Arab and Muslim communities, the unconditional support to reactionary agents as Sharon, the plan Colombia and the support to the fascist Uribe, along the military campaigns on a global scale, are visible examples of the reactionary character of international situation. However, beneath the surface and warrior speeches, the contradictions expressed and accelerated after 11-9, although with great setbacks, continue being developed.
The world economy slowed down during 2001, similar to the postwar period, -with a small and weak recovery at the beginning of the year - and it is actually on the edge of a new international recession. Meanwhile the risk for a long-term stagnation grows.

The situation in Afghanistan, where the US have achieved to knock down the Taliban regime, the separation of Al Qaeda refuges and the coming to power of a puppet government, is deteriorating, and Bin Laden has not been captured due to the negative of using infantry in the attacks.
In the meantime, after months of isolation and in the framework of a deepening world crisis, the revolutionary days in Argentina and the economical and political effects of the collapse -presented as one of the most successful economic plans by IMF -, has extended to the whole region and has destroyed the so-called Washington Consent, opening potential great challenges in the "backyard patio" of US imperialism.
The Intifada has received strong blows by the Zionist enemy, supported by the antiterrorist policies of Washington and their strong pressure on the Arab bourgeoisies. However, stability of reactionary governments in the region like the Saudi monarchy in Saudi Arabia is wearing down, they have been an ally of Washington for decades in exchange for a secure and cheap provision of oil.
In the US, the corporate scandals of Enron and WorldCom, the fall of the markets, and even the not-so-high earnings of the boom of 1990s are being questioned -in some cases reverted- because of the current stagnation, all these facts are provoking a strong rejection of workers to "Big Business"; this rejection can hit directly the administration and political establishment, bound by all means to the voracious tendencies of the great financial and corporate capital.
At last, one year from 11-9, one of the few aspects where Bush administration showed improvements was the great support and wide international coalition, but it has now disappeared and become its contrary.
An analyst from Financial Times says: "... contrary to the Cold War, where a common enemy built lasting solidarity, the common enemy revealed by the 11-9 attacks has divided the West more than it has united it". (FT 30/08/02 "Divided West").
In synthesis, the hardening of imperialist policies is increasing the tension and polarization at world level. In this framework, Bush seems to have decided that it is time of acting on Iraq. The impressive opposition to Bush's plan -domestic and international-, has not made them revert their unilateral policies, regardless of the actual look for support, consulting the Congress and the members of the Security Council of the UN.
Neither they have replied to the hate provoked by their policies in the Middle East calming the dissatisfaction. Rather they have hardened the policies hoping to defeat the opposition.


The reasons of the strike against Iraq
The reasons for the campaign against Iraq respond to regional and international reasons as well as domestic politics.
Washington seeks to resolve the crisis of the regional status-quo based on the support to the State of Israel and the alliance with Arab bourgeoisie governments who tolerate, finance and give space to Islamic fundamentalism -who were used against the "communist threat" in the past- seeking to change the regime at Iraq to put forward a subservient government allowing to strengthen their interests in the whole Islamic world.
The intelligence agency Stratfor, points out that the Bush administration carries out this attack "... because they believe that a successful campaign against the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein will prove psychological superiority within the Islamic movements and demonstrate the power of U.S.". "The destruction of Iraqi regime will prove two things. First, that American power is overwhelming and irresistible. Second that US is more patient, persevering and much more powerful that the whole Islamic movement... Specially since an attack against Iraq, contrary to stopping Al Qaeda and the militant Islam, it can be accomplished. The wars with any state-nation with big armies are something that the US does quite well. To destroy a highly dispersed global net is something that nobody can do very well. The US cannot support an atmosphere of permanent stagnation". (Stratfor 08/02.)
However, more important than this regional "message", is the meaning on an international level, where a wide opposition of friends and allies as in all the US and the world resists the action of Bush. However, like the US sociologist Wallerstein says: "The point is that, from the point of view of the hawks that now include George W. Bush, the opposition is irrelevant. They are actually happy of carrying ahead without any backups. They want to prove that nobody can challenge the US government and get away with it. They want to demolish Saddam Hussein, no matter what he does or what others say, because Saddam Hussein has stood up against the US. The Hawks believe that, only destroying Saddam, they can to persuade the rest of the world that they are the guardian dog and should be obeyed completely". (Comment N° 96 1/09/02).
Lastly and as a third objective, the war looks for keeping domestic political control.
In conditions of a growing economic and social inequality and popular dissatisfaction with the political system, the US ruling class needs to keep their ideological control and deviating the people's political awareness, channeling his offense towards the "war against the terrorism"; He is now replacing the figure of Bin Laden for Saddam Hussein.
In synthesis, Bush seeks for an almost complete control in this strategic area of the planet - main oil reserves worldwide -reinforcing the rule and influence of US in world matters, looking for co-opting US peoples behind this counter-revolutionary enterprise.


Uncertain result
Bush is getting ready to desolate Baghdad and other cities and to inflict an unheard suffering to the punished Iraqi peoples. The Pentagon believes that this company will lead to a successful war without risk of strong losses, thanks to the military revolution of precision weapons, supported with detection, command and control systems in certain operations. They are encouraged with the failure of the most pessimistic presages in the Gulf War, in the Kosova War and in the recent campaign at Afghanistan.
Undoubtedly the great economic and military superiority against a small semi-colonial country like Iraq who has suffered 11 years of a brutal economic blocking, constantly harassed by the US-British aviation, is overwhelming.
On the other hand, the bourgeois and reactionary character of Saddam Hussein regime, based on the exploitation and oppression of its own peoples, as the Kurds and Shiites, and the enmity with the brother nations in the region -like their fratricidal war with Iran in the 1980s- is an great handicap for Bush and his counter-revolutionary enterprise.
However the difficulties of a punitive operation cannot be underestimated in this region, mainly if the idea is to establish a "change of regime", as proclaimed a thousand times by Bush. Any events increasing the probability of a long and difficult war would cause hesitation: how long will the US last, before beginning to give credit to those who argue that a preventive military action is not worth such a price?

Greater order?
The turn of Bush administration towards a new era of -imperial- military adventures, as consequence of a combination of the vulnerability expressed at 11-9 and their unequal military power, is no guarantee of a stable world order, in spite of the great reactionary forces acting for this.
The US are going for a quick victory in Iraq that opens a process of new regimens totally submissive to imperialism, in the same way that the military defeat of Argentina in Malvinas in 1982, began a cycle of transitions to pro-imperialist bourgeois democracies after the wearing out of the military dictatorships.
However, contrary to the Southern Cone of Latin America where this change only affected the regimens, a prone Iraq runs strong risks of disintegrating as unified state. If the US does not decide to establish a protectorate and to post more than 200 thousand occupation troops for a long term -counting on the experience at Afghanistan and due to the great costs and risks, nobody seems to want this-, an Iraq post-Hussein would be subjected to the disintegration of the internal and external ethnic forces that could tear it apart. This result would threaten the regional regimens to greater instability.
These are the difficulties of the US to designing a war plan.
In second place and with regard to the international order, the divergences between the US and Europe both in the economic level and in the matter of security, there are differences in the alliance of the two main imperialist poles with long term consequences. The analyst William Pfaff points out: "Anything that happens to Iraq or ' after Iraq' the western Europeans and the North Americans seem now to be clearly on divergent tracks. This is not particularly surprising. This relationship is weakening since the end of cold war. This would happen sooner or later". (IHT 5/09/02).
Lastly and mostly important, a US intervention without a strong international consent, only supported in the strength of their military force, can only generate a greater rejection and resentment in world masses. Because of the increasing misery of peoples in the whole planet after two decades of neoliberal offensive and the undisguised US corrupt democracy and corporations, are making anti-US feelings grow strongly.
A war against Iraq may do so even more. Zbigniew Brzezinski -former consultant of US national security- points out in the newspaper Washington Post, that a preventive attack to Iraq could have deep unbalancing effects in the whole structure of international relationships. Our enemies -he said-, would present the US like a "global gangster".
The wild-warrior style of Bush can open up in the next period very reactionary situations; however, an hegemonic power that bases its rule only in military power, produces hostility in most of the planet, it cannot guarantee a stable ruling and will be subjected to permanent clashes.