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 Mar 24, 2003 23:26 PST 

                         James Roger Brown

“"It wasn't even a fair fight. I don't know why they don't just
surrender," said Col. Mark Hildenbrand, commander of the 937th Engineer
Group. "When you're playing soccer at home, 3-2 is a fair score, but
here it's more like 119-0."” (Reuters, “Battles Rage in Iraqi Cities,
Bodies Litter Desert.” Washington Post Online, March 23, 2003.

The lies of President George Bush’s Iraq foreign policy are becoming
manifest. The above statement by Col. Mark Hildenbrand was made after
military operations began in a nation whose people Bush administration
Officials have repeatedly claimed and assured us were crying out for
“regime change.” The telling lie is that active fighting exist not only
at the advancing front line but in the rear of US lines. This fighting
is the result of sleeper units that allowed themselves to be overrun so
they could emerge and attack US supply operations and support personnel.

If the Bush Administration’s pronouncements on the will of the Iraqi
people had been the truth, a path would have opened up straight to
Saddam Hussein’s hiding place. There would also be no one attacking US
forces behind the lines, since they have all been “liberated” from
Saddam’s direct control.

The truth is that everything we have seen to date has been for the
emotional gratification and economic enrichment of the Bush league
Chicken Hawks. On March 21, 2003, the $500 million plus “Shock and Awe”
fireworks display finally took place. The stated goal of “Shock and Awe”
is to psychologically destroy the enemy soldier’s will to fight. The
result was the destruction “five miles” of government offices and other
valuable real estate in downtown Bagdad that could have been used in the
reconstruction of Iraq. These demolished structures will have to be
rebuilt or replaced by American corporations, like Vice President
Cheney’s former employer Halliburton
(http://www.moveon.org/moveonbulletin/bulletin1.html), already
contracted to rebuild and administer “liberated” Iraq. The subsequent
vigorous fighting against US forces implies the psychological goal of
“Shock and Awe” was not accomplished. It did arouse the Chicken Hawks in

Perhaps the Bush Administration could take as a model the solution
corrupt Oklahoma politicians devised and used in the late 1800s and
early 1900s to assist American Indians in managing their income from the
oil pumped from Indian land. Under legislation enacted for the purpose
of stealing their money under color of law, court orders were obtained
declaring adult Indians receiving income from oil wells to be
incompetent. Once the order was obtained, a benevolent Oklahoma citizen
could adopt the adult Indian as they would a child and help them by
becoming administrator of their oil revenue.

In this spirit of such benevolence and goodwill, American corporations
could adopt as wards thousands of Iraqi citizens each. Individuals hired
and paid by these corporations could take over the important personal
affairs of Iraqi citizens declared incompetent, such as deciding who to
vote for in the new democracy and casting ballots on their behalf. Of
course, as with the Oklahoma American Indians, they would have to
administer any oil revenues due the Iraqi citizen.

The differences between social processes in Western industrialized
societies and tribal or clan societies are critical in situations like
the one in Iraq. Assuming that Western social processes can be imported
into an inter-tribal political reality has led to diplomatic blunders in
the past and will do so now.

Probability based social projections do not work in tribal societies.
They only work to the extent they do in Western style industrial
societies. The reliance upon western social experience and analytical
methodology by President George Bush, his supporting League of Chicken
Hawks and their fundamentalist Christian idiot savant support staff is
going to come to grief in Iraq in a more spectacular manner than in

Iraq has no single identity affiliation common to all its inhabitants.
Iraqis have complex identities with linguistic, religious, ethnic and
tribal or clan components. Linguistic divisions are Arabic, Kurdish,
Assyrian, and Armenian. Religious divisions are Shiite (60%*), Sunni
(32%), minority religions (3%) and Secular (no religion). Ethnic
divisions are Arab(75%), Kurdish (15%), Turkoman and Assyrian.

Two essential components necessary for national unity, a common language
and a common primary identification with a nation rather than a tribe or
clan, do not exist in Iraq. Resistance to the United States invasion of
Iraq will be determined by this complex individual identity and will
probably be in direct proportion to the benefits derived from the
current social structure in Iraq. Sunni and Kurds who have had access to
neither power nor benefits may genuinely welcome “liberation,” but the
meaning for them will not be the same one attributed by the Bush
Administration and American Soldiers. Others will feign gratitude and
avail themselves of every opportunity to strike back when they believe
they will not be detected.

Lack of this basic understanding will become a growing source of grief
for President Bush and the troops on the ground in Iraq. The bafflement
expressed by Col. Mark Hildenbrand at the strength of Iraqi resistence
in the face of overwhelming firepower may well be transformed into
amazement by evolving events.

For a concrete example of the evolving disaster, we have the arrogant
stupidity of the Bush policy regarding the treatment of Al Qaeda
prisoners merging with the diplomatic blunder of invading Iraq without a
declaration of war from Congress or an authorizing UN resolution.

Iraq now holds American prisoners of war.

After having stated that the Geneva Conventions and other international
law do not apply in the war on terrorism, President Bush now demands
that American soldiers captured in a foreign nation without any legal
justification for their presence be treated as required by international
law he him self has rejected.

Members of the Bush Administration and conservative think tanks have
repeatedly referred to Iraq as a “terrorist regime.” The Iraqi
government could very well put American POWs on trial as war criminals
or virtually any other thing they choose to do and cite President Bush
and American officials as justification.

While no American should want our soldiers to be mistreated by Iraqis,
Bush has essentially forfeited any legal or moral authority to object to
anything done to American POWs. Prisoners taken by US Forces in
Afghanistan have been deprived of Red Cross visitation, mail, legal
representation, held in Cuba in open cages, and have been displayed on
US Government web sites bound with chains on every limb and with bags
over their heads.

The Bush Administration’s tactic of manipulative predictions that the
Iraqi government is falling apart is in the process of coming back to
bite them. The American expeditionary force is meeting increasing
resistance. It is entirely predictable that the clans who will lose
power and wealth if Saddam is removed, extremists and foreign volunteers
will fight and fight viciously to the death.

The fact that organized resistance is taking place in “liberated” areas
has very ugly implications. It implies the existence of a plan the
participants believe can defeat the American military. Some elements of
this possible plan have now emerged. Iraqi military units, tribal
fighters and foreign volunteer units dedicated to operate behind our
lines remained in hiding as the American front line troops passed by.
They emerged to do damage this weekend. Other such units, including
Iraqi special forces may remain in hiding.

The most damaging event has been Iraq capturing American and British
POWs, especially after “Shock and Awe” was demonstrated on Baghdad. The
video of the POWs shown on Al Jazeera communicates to the Arab world
that behind the wall of superior weapons technology American soldiers
can be killed. The consequence will be rising confidence that America
can be destroyed with enough persistence.


The Shiite, Sunni, Arabs, Kurds, Turks and Assyrians are not going to
suddenly love one another upon the removal of Saddam Hussein. They are
unlikely to love one another in the next decade or century. None of them
are going to develop any fondness for Israel. This will be the reality
regardless of who replaces Saddam Hussein.

In this political reality, anyone attempting to establish an effective
government in Iraq must find a long term solution to these strong
fundamental differences. The United State or United Nations attempting
to govern Iraq must solve the same problems faced by Saddam Hussein.

Installing a democratic process based upon public elections will result
in decisions made along religious, ethnic and tribal or clan lines. The
reality is that the administrative policies adopted by Saddam Hussein
are probably the most effective means to unify such a diverse
population. These policies were essentially the same ones adopted by the
Communists to rule the diverse peoples in the former Soviet Union. As
with the Soviet Union, removing the control mechanisms of Saddam Hussein
in Iraq will result in the re-emergence of all the religious, ethnic and
tribal conflicts.

Anyone who thinks that Western style democracy will suddenly take root
in Iraq will have to face the same brutal reality now emerging in
Afghanistan. Political processes that work in mass market industrialized
societies do not transfer to tribal, clan and religion based politics.

This is immediately obvious when one looks about for an individual to
replace Saddam Hussein as leader of Iraq. Virtually all the potential
candidates are identified with a specific ethnic, tribal or religious
division. Regardless of what one might think of Saddam’s methods, they
were effective at making him the commonly identified leader of Iraq to
the extent that he can command loyalty and serve as an example of
resistance in the face of a technologically superior invading enemy.


There will be some limited positive consequences to the invasion of Iraq
and removal of Saddam Hussein.

1. The UN economic sanctions imposed upon Iraq will end.

2. Humanitarian aid will eventually be provided to starving Iraqi

3. Saddam’s personal reign of torture, terror and brutality will end,
probably to be replaced by the terror of old ethnic, religious, and
tribal scores being settled in the power vacuum.

4. The marsh habitats in Southern Iraq destroyed by Saddam to punish the
Marsh Arabs for their rebellion may eventually be restored.

* CIA Fact Book,

©Copyright by James Roger Brown, March 24, 2003. All rights reserved.
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