Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/295/13971
US Plans To Recolonise Iraq
TONY BLAIR has promised to establish a democratic Iraq in three stages. This is the same person who said 'no war on Iraq without United Nations (UN) approval'.
As the socialist reported last week, the US administration has already mapped out post-Saddam Iraq. Essentially, Iraq will be under US military occupation and run by former US general, arms contractor and apologist for Ariel Sharon's repression of the Palestinians, Jay Garner. This is stage one. But Iraq is likely to remain on this 'first base' for some time yet.
There will be 23 ministries, each one headed by an American with four Iraqi advisers mainly drawn from exiles clustered around the Iraqi National Congress, which is funded by the Pentagon.
Exiled Iraqi and convicted fraudster Ahmed Chalabi, is likely to be an adviser in the Finance ministry. Rumsfeld's pal Chalabi has not lived in Baghdad since 1958 but as Garner intends to replace the Iraqi dinar with the US dollar Chalabi's unfamiliarity with the country shouldn't pose a problem.
Many pro-Western Iraqis are dismayed that they will play second fiddle to US bureaucrats. They hoped to rule the roost themselves.
Many European Union members, especially France and Germany who fear the loss of influence in the region, want the UN to run post-war Iraq. However, despite his diplomatic fence-mending, US secretary of state Colin Powell has made it clear he favours "a UN role, but not UN rule".
Under military occupation democratic rights for Iraqis eg independent political parties, trade unions, media, etc will probably be refused in order to 'stabilise' the country and to prevent the return of the Baath party. Any genuine workers' or socialist organisation critical of the new regime will probably have to operate covertly.
THIS PAPER has consistently argued that the invasion of Iraq is a 'war for oil'. The US and British governments are acutely aware that a large number of their populations agree with this view, hence all the statements from Bush and Blair that Iraq's oil revenues would be put into a trust fund to benefit Iraq's people.
This is all window dressing. The real questions are: who will run the oil industry? Which companies will secure concessions to extract the oil reserves? Will the revenues be used to service Iraq's $110 billion foreign debt? (At present there is a rush by market dealers to buy Iraq's debt.)
Undoubtedly, the governments of France, Russia and China are concerned that the oil concessions will go entirely to Anglo-American energy conglomerates. And at a production cost of only $2 a barrel these companies will be making big money.
Moreover, controlling Iraq's oil production would enable the US to keep the world price of oil low, both weakening the OPEC oil cartel and cheapening energy costs for capitalist manufacturers.
Of course, retaining Iraq's oil industry within the country's present boundaries means denying Iraq's Kurdish population its own state in the north.
So that's what Iraq could look like, post-Saddam. A US protectorate that denies democratic rights to Iraqis, uses the oil wealth to benefit international capitalism and, once again, prevents the Kurds from achieving a separate state.
PENTAGON LAWYER Michael Mobbs is set to take charge of 11 of 23 ministries under the US occupation. Mobbs has campaigned to have US citizens imprisoned without charge as part of the 'war on terrorism'.
Former CIA boss James Woolsey is also tipped to play a leading role in Iraq's occupation.
Speaking about the Middle East, he said:
"Over the years... we'll make a lot of people nervous. Our response should be 'Good. We want you nervous.
"We want you to realise now for the fourth time in 100 years, this country and its allies are on the march'".
In The Socialist 12 April 2003: