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What Petraeus and Bush Left Out - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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After weeks of media preparation, leaks, and staging the event in a theatrical way and using very vague and manipulative language that hides the important facts instead of revealing them, the reports of Petraeus-Crocker came to embody a simple and certain fact which is the United States is in Iraq to stay so long as the oil reserve in Iraq are expected to last – a hundred years- and that the United States will use Iraq to try and reshape the entire region in a way that serves an expansionist Israel and the interests of oil and arms companies in the United States. This conclusion was very clear in the address delivered by President Bush to the Nation on “the Way Forward in Iraq” on Thursday Sept. 12, 2007 where he said: “This vision for a reduced American presence also has the support of Iraqi leaders from all communities. At the same time they understand that their success will require U.S. Political, economic and security engagement that extends beyond my presidency. These Iraqi leaders have asked for an enduring relationship with America. And we are ready to begin building that relationship- in a way that protects our interests in the region and requires many fewer American troops”.. Bush later warns that if the U.S. were to withdraw its troops it may leave Iran to dominate the region and would leave extremists to “control a key part of the global energy supply.” Obviously, extremists here means nationalists who want to control their national resources. Thus, it has become clear that the American occupation of Iraq aims at controlling a “key part of the global energy supply” and at dominating the region. It was noteworthy that Bush did not mention WMD, Saddam or Democracy which were the initial pretexts for launching this war!

In order to achieve these objectives the U.S. army destroyed the social, cultural and historical matrix of Iraq causing the death of a million Iraqis, the maiming of another million and the displacement of over 4 million Iraqis both inside and outside Iraq. But how could Petraeus – Crocker or Bush see that, as none of their families is sick with the smell of blood on the streets, and non of their children is killed or maimed, and non of them is threatened with the cholera, or cancer or diseases which are sweeping the Iraqi society?

Furthermore Iraq is used as a card for members of Congress to score more political points in their election campaigns as no one truly knows what is going on in Iraq, because it is too dangerous for any American to stroll on the streets, but not dangerous for Iraqis to live there! It was baffling that the Petraeus -Crocker reports and the address of president Bush made no mention of the human catastrophe which has befallen the Iraqis due to this terrible war on them. It is a holocaust against innocent people who did nothing to deserve it.

The future strategy of Petraeus-Bush is to make of Iraq an advanced base to threaten neighboring countries and to liquidate the Palestinian national rights and prevent the Lebanese from reaching an agreement and reshape Belad al Sham as Israeli-American occupation wants it to be, void of all creativity and excellence, and a poor puppet to Israeli-American hegemony.

This new stage is characterized by identical stands between Israel and the U.S. governments towards the region. As Haaretz is ranking American presidential candidates according to the Israeli factor (Haaretz sept. 13, 2007), Levni, the foreign Minister of Israel, is never tired of inciting countries against Iran and any national movement which works for independence and real sovereignty. The war on terror is used to terrorize anyone who doesn’t join these forces of hegemony over the region and its resources.

What Petraeus and Bush did not say is that our region is heading to a long struggle between forces of occupation (Israel and the U.S.) and national liberation movements which are fermenting in the region. The Middle East now is where South America was thirty years ago. In less than thirty years the Middle East will be where most countries in South America are today, led by nationalists who use their national wealth solely for the welfare and prosperity of their own people. On the path to get to that point there will be plenty of pain for everyone, especially for the indigenous people of this region, the Arabs, but what can people do if occupying powers refuse to learn from history?

Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban

Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban

Prof. Bouthaina Shaaban is political and media advisor to the Syrian presidency, and the former minister of Expatriates. She is also a writer, and has been a professor at Damascus University since 1985. She received her PhD in English Literature from Warwick University, London. She was the spokesperson for Syria. She was nominated for Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.

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