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: : 15/04/03  : : Terjemahan: Muzammil Haji Daud

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Bagaimana Amerika Kalah Perang

http://www.liberalslant.com/wrp041403.htm

sedang diterjemah....)

Oleh: William Rivers Pitt - 04/14/03

Stesen-stesen TV bersama-sama akhbar-akhbar di seluruh negara menunjukkan keceriaan di Baghdad. Diktator itu, Saddam Hussein, telah dijatuhkan dari kekuasaannya. Pengacara berita TV menyamakan kejadian itu dengan keruntuhan Tembok Berlin dan pembebasan Paris oleh tentera bersekutu semasa perang dunia ke-2. Tidak kisahlah orangramai yang menumbangkan patung Saddam Hussein itu hanya beberapa ratus orang sahaja, atau seluruh kejadian itu satu penipuan media yang dilakonkan. Tangkapan gambar jarak jauh dataran dimana "pesta" itu berlaku menunjukkan bandaraya yang musnah dan lengang dengan hanya sekumpulan penduduk yang kecil jumlahnya sahaja. Perasaan rakyat Iraq yabf sebenar boleh dirumuskan oleh teriakan seorang wanita terhadap seorang pemberita dari UK Independent: "Baliklah ke negara kamu. Keluarlah dari sini. Kamu tidak dialu-alukan disini. Kami benci Saddam dan kini kami bencikan Bush kerana dia telag memusnahkan bandaraya kami."

Perang keatas Iraq telah dicanang dan diteruskan oleh pentadbiran Bush dengan dua sasaran jelas diatas meja. 1) Kita. pertama dan utamanya, berada di sana untuk merampas dan memusnahkan sebarang dan semua senjata-senjata pemusnah awam; 2) Kita berada di sana untuk "membebaskan" penduduk Iraq dan menubuhkan sistem demokrasi. Alasan untuk seluruh senario ini ialah tanggapan pentadbiran Bush apa yang kita baik adalah adil dan bermoral.

Kita perlu, pertama-tamanya, menjelaskan keadaan kita agar kedudukan moral AS mengenai isu ini boleh dijelaskan. Saddam Hussein tidak dikalahkan. Dia tidak dijatuhkan, dijinakkan, atau dimusnahkan. Saddam Hussein dibuang kerja, dilepaskan dari jawatannya oleh sebuah negara yang memberikan jawatan kotor itu kepadanya pada tahun 1979. 

Apabila Shah Iran, seorang lagi pekerja Amerika Syarikat, digulingkan oleh kumpulan revolusi fundamentalis diketuaio Ayatollah Khomeini pada tahun 1979, America telah kehilangan rakan setiaunya yang boleh mematahkan pengaruh Soviet di Timur Tengah. Pada tahun yang sama Saddam Hussein mengambil alih pemerintahan Iraq, dan dengan serta merta Amerika mendekatinya untuk meneruskan pertembungan dengan USSR. Dalam kata lain, dia diberikan jawatan. Pada 22hb September 22, 1980, Hussein menyerang Iran dengan teruk untuk menakluk kawasan-kawasan strategik di sepanjang perigi-perigi minyak berdekatan Khuzestan. Pada masa yang sama, Hussein bertindak sebagai alat untuk polisi Amerika dan ia cuba menjatuhkan Khomeini untuk menghentikan pakatan berbahaya Iran/Soviet.

Hubungan baik antara Iraq dan Amerika berterusan ketika pentadbiran Reagan pada tahun 1980an. Kita membekalkan data risikan kepada tentera Iraq yang menerangkan secara terperinci susunan perang tentera Iran. Kerajaan Amerika dan pihak perindustrian swasta membekalkan Iraq cara-cara untuk membina senjata-senjata berbahaya yang dikehendaki Hussein. Kita sedar Iraq menggunakan senjata kimi ketika berperang dengan Iran, dan terus membekalkan mereka data risikan. Malahan, pada tahun 1984 Iran membawa usul ketetapan Majlis Keselamatan PBB mengutuk penggunaan senjata kimia oleh Iraq. Iraq meminta Amerika Syarikat untuk memastikan masyarakat antarabangsa tidak hiraukan serangan-serangan kimianya, dan supaya tiada nama negara disebut dalam ketetapan itu. Ketetapan versi Iraq/Amerika diluluskan pada hari itu.


Pada tahun yang sama orang awam Amerika mengutuk penggunaan senjata-senjata itu. Walaubagaimanapun, kutukan itu diiringi kenyataan berbunyi: Amerika Syarikat mendapati keengganan rejim Iran sekarang untuk melupakan hasratnya menghapuskan kerajaan yang sah di Iraq sebagai tidak menepati tabiat biasa antara negara-negara dan asas-asas moral dan keagamaan yang didakwanya."

Arkib Keselamatan Kebangsaan menerbitkan beberapa dokumen yang dikeluarkan dari klasifikasi rahsia pada Februari 2002 yang menjelaskan hubungan baik diantara pentadbiran Reagan dan Saddam Hussein dan Iraq. Arahan Keputusan Keselamatan Kebangsaan 114 bertarikh November 26, 1983, "Polisi AS tehadap Perang Iran-Iraq," menjelaskan hasrat-hasrat Amerika: Keupayaan menunjukkan kekuatan tentera di Teluk Parsi dan melindungi bekalan-bekalan minyak. Tiada rujukan mengenai senjata kimia atau hak-asasi yang disebut. Arahan Keputusan Keselamatan Kebangsaan 139 bertarikh April 5, 1984, "Langkah-langkah untuk Mempertingkatkan Kedudukan AS dan Kesediaan untuk Bertindak terhadap Perkembangan Perang Iran-Iraq," menumpukan lagi kepada kebolehan tentera AS memasuki Teluk Parsi dan mempertingkatkan keupayaan pegumpulan risikan. Arahan itu mengarahkan persediaan "pelan tindakan untuk mengelakkan kejatuhan Iraq."

Saddam Hussein ialah seorang pekerja yang bernilau sehinggakan pentadbiran Reagen menghantarkan utusan peringkat tinggi ke Iraq untuk memastikan hubungan baik berterusan. Utusan itu ialah Donald Rumsfeld, yang dirakamkan oleh CNN pada 20hb September 1983, sedang bersalaman dengan Hussein. Walaupun Rumsfeld berkata pada 21hb September, dalam satu temuramah CNN, "Dalam lawatan itu, saya mengingatkan beliau mengenai pengunaan senjata kimia, malahan, berbincang pelbagai perkara lain," dokumen-dokumen mengenai pertemuan pada September 1983 dari Arkib Keselamatan Kebangsaan menunjukkan tiada disebut pun mengenai senjata kimia antara kedua-dua lelaki itu.

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Khubha-khutbah Bush mengenai hal moral dalam kes ini gagal jika dikaji dari sudut fakta-faktanya. Saddam Hussein would not have existed were it not for the energetic support of the United States. We didn't defeat Hussein. We fired him. The fact that he was a valued employee for so long, the fact that we averted our eyes as late as 1988 to his use of chemical weapons, the fact that we gave him vital intelligence data so he could more accurately and effectively use those weapons, and the fact that we gave material assistance via government and private institutions for the creation and promulgation of said weapons, all burst the bubble of righteousness the entire debate has been contained in. Bush can talk all he wants about the evil Saddam Hussein. There is little argument with the appellation of that adjective to that name. Yet it was America who allowed him to become so, and the moral arguments surrounding his firing are indelibly tainted by these sad facts. The Kurds in Halabja who were gassed to death in March of 1988 can level a damning finger of blame as much at America as at Hussein.

As for the location and destruction of these chemical weapons, it can be said at this point that the Bush administration has suffered an incredible array of embarrassments in this matter. American forces have investigated 14,000 suspected weapons sites during the Iraq invasion, and have not located so much as a teaspoon of prohibited weaponry. The Bush administration pointedly ignored the facts in this matter and whipped the American people into a fearful frenzy. According to Bush, Hussein had 25,000 liters of anthrax, 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin, 500 tons of sarin, mustard and nerve gas - all nightmares that were just waiting to be used in New York or Los Angeles. The hood ornament on this push to war has been utterly discredited thus far, as not a speck of evidence backing these claims has been located.

We are supposed to forget about that now, because according to the new spin, the war was never about these weapons. It was about freeing the Iraqi people. It is clear by now that Iraq is no longer ruled by Saddam Hussein, but let us take a step further and analyze the newfound 'freedom' of the Iraqi people.

At this moment, the city of Baghdad is in utter chaos. The Museum of Antiquities in Baghdad, repository of over 5,000 years worth of cultural and regional history, has been utterly destroyed. Mesopotamia and its people have lost an immeasurable portion of their history with this terrible act, one that could have been stopped by a few Marines outside the museum. That simple precaution never happened. Beyond that, the looting has had a darker social edge. The strata of society in Iraq has seen for years the minority Sunnis who claim Saddam Hussein as their own ruling over the majority Shia. The orgy of looting that has broken out in Iraq is, basically, the Shia robbing the Sunni. An ever-rising boil of gunplay between these two groups is putting a match to the fuse of religiously-based civil war, and the American troops have done nothing to stop it except recruit members of Hussein's feared police force to try and restore order. So much for regime change.

This is exactly the scenario that led to the attacks of September 11. America dared the Soviets to invade Afghanistan by sending mujeheddin guerillas against the communist Afghan government. The USSR did invade, falling into Zbignew Brzyzinski's "Afghan Trap," and smashed the country to flinders. In the devastated aftermath, America did absolutely nothing to heal that shattered nation, and the vacuum was eventually filled by the Taliban and Osama bin Laden. The rest is a history that seems destined to be repeated as we pointedly ignore the rising tide of lawlessness and anarchy, caused directly by our actions, in yet another country.

Further exacerbating the tensions is the hard talk coming out of Washington regarding a coming attack on Syria. Baghdad has not yet stopped bleeding, and the hawks want to take on Damascus. Syria has its own downtrodden Shia segment within the society, and the Shia in Iraq will not take kindly to their kin across the border coming under siege. In the end, though, the Shia do not matter. Despite all the happy talk about democracy in Iraq, no such birth will take place there if the Bush administration has anything to say about it. Democracy, or majority rules in the western sense, would create a Shia fundamentalist regime rule. The Shia share cultural allegiance not only with a segment of Syria, but with the mullahs who rule Iran. A Shia Iraq would ally with Iran, creating a strategically untenable situation. The Bush administration knows this all too well, and has been lying with its bare face hanging out every time it speaks of democracy in that bruised country.

Instead of democracy, the Bush administration has a two-pronged leadership thrust in mind for Iraq. The first stage will see Iraq ruled by an American named Jay Garner, former weapons manufacturer and avowed proponent of the failed 'Star Wars' missile defense shield. Garner, a unilateralist hawk who shares a brain with Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, is also on record as supporting a number of the harsher measures Israel has taken against the Palestinians. Opinions on this matter vary, of course. It is all too clear, however one may feel on that matter, that in a part of the world where the Palestinians are seen as martyred victims, having a man like Garner running the show in Iraq gives the appearance that America believes the best way to deal with the Palestinians is with bulldozers and helicopter gunships. This will not sell in the Mideast marketplace.

After Garner will come Ahmed Chalabi, head of the Iraqi national Congress and Rumsfeld's first choice for final ruler of Iraq. Chalabi is an interesting pick. His Shia background makes a great many people in the State Department, the CIA and the Middle East nervous. The degree to which Chalabi will kowtow to American interests at the expense of the Iraqi people is also of concern; Chalabi, Rumsfeld, Perle and Wolfowitz have been brothers in arms for years, and Chalabi seems all too likely to do their bidding instead of tending to the needs of Iraqis. Finally, there is Chalabi's dubious Enronesqe background. He was convicted of 31 counts of bank fraud in a Jordanian court and sentenced in absentia to 22 years in prison. Chalabi has not set foot in Iraq since 1956.

Raise your hand if you see democracy and liberation in all of this. There is little to see. To be sure, the murderous tyrant has been removed. In his absence, however, there is the complete breakdown of social order; there is the beginnings of a civil war; there is no thought whatsoever to instituting any form of representative government; there is not even the pretense of an attempt by American forces to do anything about the social catastrophes that are unfolding, except hire back the 'thugs' who were supposedly the cause of the war in the first place; there are thousands and thousands of Iraqis who are now dead or maimed, all of whom have families and friends, all of whom see this war for what it truly was. This is not freedom by any standard.

We lost the war.

We defeated the Iraqi military, to be sure, and we fired Saddam Hussein. We have lost the real war, the important war, the war against those who attacked us on September 11. We lost the war because we betrayed the international community, whose help we desperately need in this wider war, by lying to them about Iraq's weapons and by disregarding their legitimate concerns. We have lost the war because our actions have given aid and succor to Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, whose agents were and are nowhere to be found in Iraq despite the avowed words of the Bush administration. We have lost the war because the Iraqi people themselves already understand that the 'liberation' they were promised is as false as the evidence we used to invade their country. We lost the war because our moral standing to make it in the first place was utterly bereft of substance. We lost the war because the rest of the world sees the American government for what it is a mob of hyperactive right-wing extremists with an army to play with and a dream of global dominance glowing like coals in their eyes.

There is no victory here. We lost the war before the first shot was fired.

William Rivers Pitt is a teacher from Boston, MA. He is a New York Times best-selling author of two books - "War On Iraq" (with Scott Ritter) available now from Context Books, and "The Greatest Sedition is Silence," available in April 2003 from Pluto Press. William is a contributing writer for Liberal Slant. He is also on the writing staff at www.truthout.com  E-mail him at: williamriverspitt@hotmail.com  or visit his website: http://www.willpitt.com/ 

Find more articles by William Rivers Pitt in the Liberal Slant Archives


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