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Support the deserters, not the troops!

Jeff Rey, March, 2010

A response to "The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - imperial project or security effort?" (The Montreal Review, January 2010)


One thing overlooked in your conclusion is the security of supply. To suggest that our troops are there because of the threat of terrorism is laughable; Iraq was as religious as modern day Quebec and was often threatened by neighbouring states for its liberalism. To date, the notion of WMD has been unfounded. As for Afghanistan, although a base of operations, none of the masterminds have originated from here.


Interestingly, Saddam was placed in power by the Carter administration as a balance to Iran. Through Saddam, public education and universal health care were introduced along with a broadening of women's rights and autonomy. When first invaded during the early 1990s, Saddam set oil wells ablaze. During Clinton's tenure, chlorine and alum were placed on the Prohibited chemicals list and locations receiving shipments were destroyed - these happened to be water treatment facilities. When Iraq was invaded by George W. Bush, oil wells and pipelines were the first to be secured - before banks, museums, schools, or hospitals. Ironically yet predictably, since the invasion, there has been a resurgence in radical Islam.

 In Afghanistan, the US was quite happy to supply weapons, ammunition, and training to the Taliban during  Reagan's era, as long it was an affront to the communist ambitions of the USSR.

You may recall George W. Bush's premature "Mission Accomplished" speach in early 2003. Obviously, the US did not anticipate much resistance. Since that time, the involvement of other countries has increased along with the cost of the effort. Because none the big oil companies from the US are state owned, it is inconsequential whether or not they were awarded contracts. Lukoil is a publicly traded stock with service centers across the US.

For the mission to truly be seen as a success therefore, an improvement in human rights is inconsequential (look how we have ignored most of Africa or have been courting China). Whether or not there are open and free elections is really a photo opportunity. No, for the mission to truly be seen as a success, the governments of Afghanistan and Iraq must stay sympathetic to American interests being a steady supply of energy (Afghanistan being a supply route to Turkey and thereby the Mediterranean Sea) without threats of embargoes or unions with non-sympathetic suppliers (ie: Venezuela).

Support the deserters, not the troops!


The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - imperial project or security effort?

We hear loud voices in media who argue that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which the U.S. is waging in the recent decade, are imperial offensives. The power and influence that America has today can be connected easily with the argument that the U.S. is a new imperial power. Actually, this argument is so popular that it is boring to repeat it again, and again. The idea of America as  an imperial power is a cliché. But what is America on the international stage is still an interesting question. If America is an imperial power, are the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan an expression of imperial interest?..| read more |


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