Bush Administration, Extortion and Iraq

Now it appears that the thugs who man the Bush administration have decided to resort to outright extortion in order to pummel the Iraqi government into accepting the indefinite stay of the US occupation. Patrick Cockburn in the Independent today that the US is using $50 billion held in the US Federal Reserve Bank to coerce the fledgling Baghdad government into accepting the egregious plans which have been drawn up with the sole objective of turning Iraq into the US’s own personal gas station, with complete disregard for the rights of Iraqis and their nation’s sovereignty. The plans include: 50 permanent US military bases, control of Iraqi air space, complete legal immunity for American troops and mercenary armies such as the heinous and irredeemably pernicious Blackwater from Iraqi law, and the freedom to arrest and detain whomsoever they wish without consulting the Iraqi government.

“Iraq’s foreign reserves are currently protected by a presidential order giving them immunity from judicial attachment but the US side in the talks has suggested that if the UN mandate, under which the money is held, lapses and is not replaced by the new agreement, then Iraq’s funds would lose this immunity. The cost to Iraq of this happening would be the immediate loss of $20bn. The US is able to threaten Iraq with the loss of 40 per cent of its foreign exchange reserves because Iraq’s independence is still limited by the legacy of UN sanctions and restrictions imposed on Iraq since Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in the 1990s. This means that Iraq is still considered a threat to international security and stability under Chapter Seven of the UN charter. The US negotiators say the price of Iraq escaping Chapter Seven is to sign up to a new “strategic alliance” with the United States.”

Bush has even gone to the lengths of describing, what is for all intents and purposes a “treaty”, as an “alliance” so that he isn’t compelled to submit it for Senate approval. Could his contempt for democratic institutions be any more flagrant? Such blatant and despicable imperial arrogance is reminiscent of the Chinese Opium Wars when the British unilaterally imposed the opium trade despite the illicit substance’s ban by the Chinese government for the good of the Chinese people and their national interests. Iraq almost certainly will become an American client state; many Iraqi politicians even believe that the treaty will be enacted into law in exchange for a few paltry concessions, but that protest will be minimal. One can only hope that such a bleak picture will not be realized. When will the madness end?

“The Opium Wars…also known as the Anglo-Chinese Wars, lasted from 1839 to 1842 and 1856 to 1860 respectively,[1] the climax of a trade dispute between China under the Qing Dynasty and the United Kingdom. British smuggling of opium from British India into China and the Chinese government’s efforts to enforce its drug laws erupted in conflict.

China’s defeat in both wars forced the government to have to tolerate the opium trade. Britain forced the Chinese government into signing the Treaty of Nanking and the Treaty of Tianjin, also known as the Unequal Treaties, which included provisions for the opening of additional ports to foreign trade, for fixed tariffs, the recognition of both countries as equal in correspondence, and the giving of Hong Kong to Britain. The British also gained extraterritorial rights. Several countries followed Britain and sought similar agreements with China. Many Chinese found these agreements humiliating and these sentiments are considered to have contributed to the bloodthirsty Taiping Rebellion (1850-1864) which was deemed the worldwide second tier most bloody revolt after WWII, with an estimated death toll of 20-30 million[2], the Boxer Rebellion (1899-1901), and the downfall of the Qing Dynasty in 1911.”


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