Almost exactly two years ago, when everyone knew that the Bush regime had already decided to invade Iraq, Arab League Secretary-General Amr Musa warned that such a move would “open the gates of hell in the Middle East.”
Much of the U.S. press was already tumescent by that time, having been prepped by New York Times fluffer Judith Miller about Saddam Hussein‘s big and long weapons of mass destruction. So the reaction to Musa’s words was predictable. The New York Daily News sneered at Musa and daydreamed of the “tempting opportunity” of “taking out a half dozen tinpot Middle Eastern dictators at one blow.” The paper also spewed vitriol at the chickenshit French and Germans, as in this passage:
The best contribution the Fourth Reich can make is to serve as a role model for the Arab Axis: Germany is living proof that even the most debased society, led by the even most fanatical dictator, can—once it is militarily squashed—simulate civilized behavior.
What else would you expect from Daily News publisher Mort Zuckerman? He’s chairman of the war-hawk Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, which sadly is under the control of right-wingers in this particularly dangerous era.
Well, it’s two years later, and Amr Musa, at an Arab League meeting in Cairo on Tuesday, declared, “The gates of hell are open in Iraq.”
Open for business, too, as we’ve previously noted. (See Halliburton, Dick Cheney, Joe Allbaugh, and Richard R. Burt in previous Bush Beat items for examples of that.)
But leave those profits for a second and listen to these prophets rounded up by The Herald Sun in Melbourne. In “Iraq Anarchy Grows,” Australia’s biggest daily paper quotes a variety of analysts who agree with Musa.
Hasni Abidi of Algeria, for example, says, “There is a risk of a Somalia-ization of Iraq. Each political party has its own armed militia; the country is in the hands of gangs.”
Remember the “Green Zone” the government troops set up around Madison Square Garden to protect the Republican National Convention delegates from their fellow Americans? Well, there’s one of those in Baghdad, encompassing the U.S. embassy and the puppet regime we installed, and it’s just one piece of evidence, says Abidi, that “the transfer of sovereignty was illusory.”
Abidi is director of the Geneva-based Study and Research Center for the Arab and Mediterranean World. But don’t listen only to Arabs. The paper also quotes Mark Heller, an analyst with Israel’s Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, as saying that the only options in Iraq are either “brutal repression” or what the paper called “some sort of power-sharing deal between Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds.”
As if the current U.S. government is interested in sharing power of any kind. And the other option noted by Heller isn’t necessarily under anyone’s control. “Brutal repression” isn’t just a policy. It also just happens when you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time. Take last Sunday in Baghdad, when a U.S. chopper launched rockets and fired machine-gun rounds into a crowd.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 16, 2004