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AUSTRALIAN
MARXIST
REVIEW

Journal of the Communist Party of Australia

ISSUE 59October 2015

GENOCIDE IN IRAQ Vol.2 “The Obliteration of a Modern State” By Abdul Haq al-Ani & Tariq al-Ani

A review by Dr Vera Butler

Victors are not prone to objectivity when recounting events which lead to their dominance. This is all the more so when the opponent is in disarray, is divided and unable to put a cogent argument in its defence.

Events in the Middle East, ever since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, have been shaped by external powers – chiefly Britain and France, the USA, and since 1948 by the new state of Israel.

It is, therefore, instructive to listen to the voices of the losers, those who fought for national independence against hegemonist ambitions of Western powers, who relied on the rules of the United Nations and the Security Council to protect their interests. Abdul Haq al-Ani and Tariq al-Ani provide a concise overview of awakening Arab nationalism after World War II, and the counter-forces which lead to the nefarious destruction of the secular state of Iraq.

As the authors point out, an understanding of events in Iraq is relevant to current conflicts in Libya, Syria, Ukraine. They all are evidence of ongoing Western attempts to rule over strategically important countries and their resources – if necessary, by force of arms.

Remarkable is the authors’ focus on the influence of Israel on Western strategies in the Middle East and beyond – an argument highlighted by Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to the US Congress prior to the Israeli elections on 17th March 2015, in total disregard of conventions applying to intra-government relations, with the US president simply being ignored.

Author Abdul-Haq Al-Ani, an Iraqi-born, British-trained barrister and a PhD in International Law, deals in some detail with the question of Iraq’s right to international remedy for crimes of aggression, crimes of using WMD, crimes against humanity, and crimes that breach basic human rights.

Arab Nationalism

The events which challenged a political order imposed by colonial rule were not religiously motivated, but were a signal of awakening Arab nationalism.

Thus the Egyptian revolution of 1952, led by army officers, deposed British stooge King Farouk, and in 1956 their leader Gamal Abdul Nassir nationalised the Suez Canal, which continued to function, regardless of outcries of Arab incompetence. Britain, France, and Israel attacked Egypt but withdrew under international pressure.

Nassir’s foreign policy was marked by Egypt’s neutrality in the Cold War confrontation, and support of the Non-Aligned Nations movement, and established the short-lived United Arab Republic with Syria.

At home, Nassir had distributed land to needy fedayeen, regardless of Muslim Brotherhood hostility, and changed Egypt’s constitution to legitimise republican rule.

In Algeria, the 1962 revolution put an end to French colonial rule, and in 1968 the Libyan People’s Revolution brought Mua’mmar Al-Ghaddafi to power in a country richly endowed with oil.

Britain in Iraq.

After the setbacks in Egypt, Britain devised a new stratey for the Middle East. In 1955 the Baghdad Pact – the Central Treaty Organiosation or CENTO – was established, comprising a block of pro-British regimes, namely Iraq, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan.

In 1958, Iraqi officers ousted the Hashemite monarchy. General Qasim reclaimed 99% of Iraqi oil from the foreign companies operating there; he set up the first unit of the Palestinian Liberation Army, to regain the lands usurped by Israel, and declared Kuwait to be part of Iraq that had been alienated by Britain, as Saddam Hussein was also to claim later. At that time, too, the socialist-oriented Ba’ath party came into being; and Iraq was on the way to becoming a secular, independent Arab polity.

Palestine: the Jewish problem (Zionism)

The authors see Zionism as an active political movement with a clear ideology, the most powerful political player in the world. They maintain that the Zionist-controlled capitalist system supports the Zionist political agenda: to convert all of Palestine into a purely Jewish state. That makes a mockery of publicly professed liberal-democratic principles.

Britain, like the United States, affirmed its total and unconditional support for the new state of Israel, a reliable Western power base in the Middle East. The strategy was to ensure Israel’s safety among surrounding Arab nations, by exploiting inter-Arab, inter-muslim conflicts. An example is the support for Saddam Hussein’ attack on Iran in 1980 – a war that lasted for eight years. There is the unyielding antagonism of the Muslim Brotherhood against the secular state; and the historical conflict between sunni and shia muslims still festers today and is financed by Saudi Arabia, the sunni oil power dedicated to the Wahabi version of Islam.

The instability of alliances among Arab nations invited the interference of Western-sponsored organisations with the professed intent to spread democracy, but there were reasons to suspect ulterior motives, claim the authors. There was the International Crisis Group founded by US strategist Zbigniew Brtzezinski and financier George Soros, a Rothschild protégé. The “National Endowment for Democracy”, operating in Iraq, was described by W. Blum as a “Trojan Horse” for US government interference with recalcitrant governments, world-wide. [1]

Already in early 1997 America’s neo-conservatives (the neo-cons) founded the “Project for the New American Century” (PNAC), with the declared aim of total Zionist hegemony in the Middle East and the overthrow of the Ba’athist-oriented regimes in Iraq and Syria.

Yet the eventual outcrop of this “divide-and-rule” policy has not been a balance of power between contending interests, but the fearsome advance of Islamic State, an extremist species of murderous terrorism in its claimed pursuit of a new caliphate.

Preparations for the invasion

The long-term preparation for the assault on Iraq confirms the authors’ view that this was not merely some punishment for 9/11, but a plan to remove Saddam Hussein from power as an inconvenient impediment to the Zionist strategy of subjugating the Arab world. Yet the biggest bounty was Iraqi oil, as events were to show.

For some 12 years Iraq was exposed to aerial bombardments, to no-fly zones. Already in November 1998 PNAC and CIA director George Tenet accused Iraq of harbouring or manufacturing chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), although they knew the evidence to be falsified.

Some international legitimacy was achieved by involving the Saudis, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the less ostentatious support by Jordan – a collection of military minions who, by themselves, would not have been able to challenge Saddam. British and Australian Special Forces teams got into action, and the CIA was bribing Iraqi officers to defect.

The saga of Iraq’s “weapons of mass destruction”, presented by US secretary of state General Colin Powell to the United Nations, was decisively disproved by international observer teams, including Sweden’s Hans Blix of UNMOVIC.

When on 5th February 2003 Powell presented the UN with “documents” showing Al’Qaida training camps for terrorists in northern Iraq, the intercepted telephone messages proved to be falsified and were equally refuted.

The mendacious search for a casus belli drew mass demonstrations of protest to the streets in Italy, Spain, London, Sydney and Melbourne.

Operation “Iraqi Freedom”

On the 20th March 2003 Shock-and-Awe descended upon Iraq.

The overall number of US personnel deployed was to reach 466,985, plus 40,906 from Britain, 2050 from Australia, 31 from Canada, and 180 from Poland.

According to UN estimates, a total of between 1,100 and 2,200 tons of depleted uranium were dropped over Iraq, plus neutron and phosphorus bombs, causing massive (and never accounted-for) civilian deaths.

On 5th Aril 2003 US units entered Baghdad.

In 1998 the US Congress had passed the “Iraq Liberation Act” – a bizarre definition, seeing that some three years after the fall of Baghdad the new Iraqi Ministry for Planning reported that by 2006, 6% of inhabitants of the once prosperous country lived in poverty, 54% on an income of less than one dollar a day, and the World Food Program was feeding 8 million people who were wholly dependent on the daily rations distributed by the Public Distribution System, Under Ba’athist rule, for 35 years Iraq was practically free of corruption – yet today it is rife, including the judiciary and trafficking in women.

The unbelievable scale of looting Iraqi museums under the occupation was not stopped, in spite of Iraqi curators’ pleas; they were told there were direct instructions from Washington not to interfere. The same applied to universities and their rich collections of historically unique libraries, to Iraqi architecture, to hospitals and to public amendments. such as water-and electricity supply. [2]

The authors argue that the extent of such destruction was not incidental but part of a strategy to push Iraq back to pre-modernity, not simply a regime change. Leaving Iraq a politically fragmented, social wasteland, was making control over oil so much easier.

Failure of the Security Council

The UN Charter was written by the victors of World War II. The Security Council’s five permanent members – America, Britain, France, Russia and China – each has the right of veto. Because decisions have to be unanimous, a veto annuls the acceptance of resolutions submitted for consideration.

On the 8th November 2002 the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1441, authorising new WMD inspections. Iraq accepted.

When the US, UK, and Spain sought a new resolution, France, Russia and China, as well as other, non-permanent members, opposed it.

Although the decision to invade Iraq had been made,it was still deemed desirable to do so formally, with UN approval. When missiles hit Iraq and troops invaded from three sides of its border on 20th March 2003, one of the largest invasions since World War II, the Security Council did not react in any way. What was the reason? The authors suggest that its members well understood that any action on their part would be futile, considering the power of veto held by the US and Britain.

The destruction continues

Till today Iraq has remained a killing field. Sanctions killed people because of lack of medicines and food. Now Saudi money stirs sunni-shia conflicts.

Dirk Adriaensen of the B Russell Tribunal drew on a survey conducted by “The Lancet”, which concluded that up to 2010, 1.45 million Iraqis have been killed, 7.7 million became refugees, 5 million orphans, 3 million widows, 1 million missing – all in a country of about 30 million. The US, which has refused to publish any figures of civilian casualties, criticised the “Lancet” report as “deeply flawed”. However, Sir Roy Anderson, the UK’s Chief Scientific Advisor to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) backed the “Lancet” report, considering that its research methods are close to “best practice”.

The grab for Iraq’s oil

When imperialist Britain occupied Iraq in 1918, they made sure there would be no negotiations regarding their full ownership of Iraq’s oil reserves. They enforced a treaty giving them 99 years of exclusive rights.

This state of affairs lasted till 1958, when after General Qasim’s coup renegotiations started. However, failure to reach an agreement , Qasim promulgated a revolutionary law, Law 81 of 1961, taking away the companies’ rights to all as yet unexploited oil.

Between 1975 and 2003 Iraq exploited, produced, refined and exported its oil without needing the assistance of foreign oil companies.

According to a recent study by the Center for Global Energy Studies, and Petrolog & Assoc., Iraq has a known oil reserve of nearly 3,000 billion barrels/day pumping for the next 300 years, for the cost of as little as $1 per barrel, inclusive of all production costs, and a 15% return, Iraqi oil is the cheapest in the world to produce. General John Abizaid former commander of CENTCOM, who was responsible for Iraq, said: “Of course its about oil. We can’t really deny that.”

A Modern State has been obliterated

Iraqi genocide has been treated with a “conspiracy of silence” by Western media, in spite of overwhelming evidence of continued torture, murders, and untold misery of the people. There have been assassinations of academics, doctors, scientists. The depletion of Iraq of its intelligentsia leaves the CIA, MOSSAD of Israel, and private security companies operating under US State Department licences, as the most likely suspects, conclude the authors.

Nothing similar has happened since 1258, when the Mongols under Hulagu Khan [3] ransacked Baghdad and destroyed its culture, till 2003, when George W. Bush came as a 21st century “hooligan”.


Vera Butler PhD, Melbourne, Australia.

GENOCIDE IN IRAQ Vol.2 “The Obliteration of a Modern State” by Abdul Haq al-Ani and Tariq al-Ani. Published by Clarity Press Inc., Atlanta. Ga. USA 2015

  1. W Blum: Rogue State: the National Endowment for Democracy, Common Courage Press 2000.
  2. Ismael, Shereen T., and Ismael, Tareq Y.(Eds), 2010: Cultural Cleansing in Iraq, Pluto Press, p.69.
  3. Grandson of Genghis Khan

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