by Miguel de Icaza

Yesterday Stephen Colbert's had the editor for some jingoistic web site, and one of the comments that he made caught my attention. He said something along the lines of "We have no problem against the Iranian people".

And I was reminded of Bush's statements from 2002:

The United States has no quarrel with the Iraqi people; they've suffered too long in silent captivity. Liberty for the Iraqi people is a great moral cause, and a great strategic goal. The people of Iraq deserve it; the security of all nations requires it.

There might have been "no quarrel", but it does not seem that Iraqis got a great deal out of this.

A well timed cartoon appeared on Reddit today:

Since the US seems to be in a path to extend the war to Iran (Condoleezza Rice seems to be avoiding a direct answer to Senator Webb), the following excerpt from from 2003 seems relevant:

The government of Iraq, and the future of your country, will soon belong to you.

The goals of our coalition are clear and limited. We will end a brutal regime, whose aggression and weapons of mass destruction make it a unique threat to the world. Coalition forces will help maintain law and order, so that Iraqis can live in security. We will respect your great religious traditions, whose principles of equality and compassion are essential to Iraq’s future. We will help you build a peaceful and representative government that protects the rights of all citizens. And then our military forces will leave. Iraq will go forward as a unified, independent and sovereign nation that has regained a respected place in the world.

The United States and its coalition partners respect the people of Iraq. We are taking unprecedented measures to spare the lives of innocent Iraqi citizens, and are beginning to deliver food, water and medicine to those in need. Our only enemy is Saddam’s brutal regime --- and that regime is your enemy as well.

In the new era that is coming to Iraq, your country will no longer be held captive to the will of a cruel dictator. You will be free to build a better life, instead of building more palaces for Saddam and his sons, free to pursue economic prosperity without the hardship of economic sanctions, free to travel and speak your mind, free to join in the political affairs of Iraq. And all the people who make up your country --- Kurds, Shi’a, Turkomans, Sunnis, and others --- will be free of the terrible persecution that so many have endured.

The nightmare that Saddam Hussein has brought to your nation will soon be over. You are a good and gifted people ---the heirs of a great civilisation that contributes to all humanity. You deserve better than tyranny and corruption and torture chambers. You deserve to live as free people. And I assure every citizen of Iraq: your nation will soon be free.

George W Bush
President's Message to the Iraqi People
April 10, 2003

Ignoring the political angle (the lies and deception of the administration) there is still an issue of execution.

These people have drank their own kool aid, they almost seem unable to accept that they should stop digging the hole they are in. It feels like the government is in the hands of Jim Jones and they are doing anything in their power to convince people around them to follow them.

It seems that war with Iran will happen.

My prediction based on the news from the past two weeks is that they will either provoke the Iranians to get their casus belli or an appropriate incident will be manufactured.

History of Iran

Patrick Cockburn's Occupation: War and Resistance in Iraq book contains a colorful popular saying.

The popular saying was something along the lines of Iraq was a religious country ruled by a secular government, while Iran is a secular society ruled by a religious government.

I found "All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror" a fascinating read.

The 1953 CIA coup on the democratically elected and populist Mohammad Mosaddeq had repercussions that went beyond 1953.

The overthrow of Mosaddeq and the appointment of the Shah lead to the the Savak repression police. This in turn lead to 1980's Islamic Revolution and the Hostage Crisis, which would lead to the funding of Saddam's war against Iran (the motives for the war, the lies and deception used to push Iraq into the war are described in great detail in Robert Fisk's "The Great War for Civilization" book).

Posted on 01 Feb 2007