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The US will be in a mess, a year from now if invading Iraq, says Sandra Mackey
By Hassan A. El-Najjar
Sandra Mackey, a freelance journalist and author of several books about the Middle East, spoke at Dalton State College yesterday about Iraq, the subject of her latest book, "The Reckoning." She presented facts about how the modern Iraqi state was created by the British in 1921. She also analyzed the demographic structure of Iraq, mainly talking about the three major population groups: the Sunni Kurds and Arabs in the north and the center and the Shi'a Arabs in the south. She pointed out that the Iraqi Shi'a fought against Iranian Shi'a during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, which means that their Arab nationalist affiliation was stronger than their religious affiliation.
Ms. Mackey's presentation was followed by a question and answer session, which turned to be as interesting as her short presentation. When asked about the role of oil in American foreign policy toward Iraq, she recognized that the US policy is affected by oil interests but she didn't elaborate on that. Another question about the influence of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on American policy toward Iraq, she acknowledged that the "road to Baghdad passes through Jerusalem." She also added that the civilian senior officials in the US Department of Defense, not the military commanders, are the hawks who are pushing for war. But she didn't link the two issues, that is civilians in the Defense Department (Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Pearle) and the Israeli interests, despite the fact that they have stated their position several times to restructure the Middle East in favor of Israel.
In answering one question about her prediction of what the United States would be like in terms of the policy toward Iraq, a year from now, Sandra Mackey answered that it would be a "mess." She stated that Iraq doesn't pose a threat to the US, there will be chaos in the Middle East, and the US will be perceived as an imperialist power.
No questions were asked about why really ... really ... really America is going to war against Iraq. Sandra Mackey did a good job refuting the administration's excuses: weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and links to Alqaeda. She said that Iraq has chemical and biological weapons but so do many other nations. Nobody has ever given evidence about any Iraqi nuclear weapons or about links between Iraq and terrorism, and particularly links to September 11, 2001 attacks and to Alqaeda. If this is the case, then what are the real reasons? She alluded to the influence of the pro-Israel civilians in the Defense Department and agreed to a suggestion from a questioner that it is oil that the US power elite are after. She didn't elaborate on either of the two issues.
In deed, an attack on Iraq may relieve the Israeli government from the world pressure that opposes its brutal occupation of Palestine. It may provide a cover for Sharon to execute his final solution to the conflict, that is evicting Palestinians to Jordan. More important is that a regime change in Iraq (after the destruction of that country) will remove a formidable enemy of Israel, which will enable Israel to maintain its regional superpower status as the only state that has weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. But most important of all is that Israel has all kinds of weapons of mass destruction, chemical, biological, and nuclear, and the means to deliver them. However, nobody dares to raise the question about the possibility of disarming the most aggressive nation on earth, Israel, which brings us to square one: who dares to speak about Israel's influence on the US government. This influence has so far pit the US against Arabs and Muslims for the sole benefit of Israel. This is really what is missing in the public discourse among the elites and journalists.
All in all, Sandra Mackey is a rare voice among freelance journalists and book authors in the US. Although, she is not as outspoken in criticizing the US ruling elite as professors in the academia, she has educated her audience and readers about Iraq and the Middle East in a way that does not conform to the "let's go get them and their oil" cry, which is prevalent in American media coverage and book authorship.
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