It was always about oil


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Category: International Date: 07 Nov 04


Mr Bush faces a clear choice at home. He can treat his mandate as a blank cheque to govern in the interests of the conservative (and for conservative read, in many cases, anti-black) voters, who backed him in such numbers—shaping a conservative majority on the Supreme Court, waging war on legal abortion, amending the Constitution to prevent gay marriages, unpicking affirmative action, limiting and marginalising dissent still further, flirting with the notion of declaring the USA an explicitly Christian, English-speaking nation.


Or, he can recognise the greater wisdom and the greater long-term security that mutual respect and bipartisan reconciliation will provide to a United States, and to a wider world, in which the belief in America's manifest destiny is not shared with such fervour as it is among evangelical conservatives—or even shared at all.


We have few illusions about the course he will take.


My heart caved in when I heard about Bush’s victory. My cynical self knew he would win. America loves a gun-waving cowboy. My hopeful self dared to believe in Kerry’s victory.


Why should you care so much, asked a friend? What’s it to do with you? You’re not American. True.


I care because America matters. Because it is a superpower with the grinding clout of tanks world-wide; because American media have penetrated the thinnest walls in the farthest reaches of the world; because globalisation has accelerated cultural penetration like never before.


And let’s concede. This is a big victory by a large margin of 3.5 million votes.


Let’s get one thing clear. This was a fight not for an election victory in a democratic country, but a fight to save innocent lives abroad.


A shocking study led by Les Roberts of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, last week, has revealed that about 100,000 Iraqi Civilians—half of them women and children—have died in Iraq since the invasion, mostly as a result of air strikes by coalition forces.


Think of the horror invoked by the death of 3,000 Americans after 9/11. Now double, triple, quadruple, multiply those figures, and think of the blown apart images of children and mothers.


Think of the weeping mother shown in Michael Moore’s film Fahrenheit 9/11 who weeps in front of the White House for her son who died in Iraq, along with over 2,500 others from the “coalition forces” (the US and UK) For what? Oil.


There were many who fought back. Not in Iraq but in America and Britain, playwrights, novelists, journalists, begging the Americans to see reason.


Moore’s documentary provided the Americans mountains of evidence that Bush refused to go after the real culprit of the 9/11 terrorist attack—Osama Bin Laden (despite promises to “smoke him out,” demonstrated “intricate financial connections” between Bush and the Bin Laden family, left us in absolutely no doubt that the decision to bomb Iraq was always about the oil.


America bombed Iraq, while a biased American media reported it. Saddam was always an evil dictator. But no links were established between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein.


No weapons of mass destruction were found. Why bomb Iraq when your perpetrator is from Afghanistan? Why add 100,000 more to Saddam’s mass graveyards? Oil.


A major American network reported a survey in which most of Bush’s supporters site “morality” as their prime reason for voting for him.


The irony is that “church-going” people, voting for Bush, fit the profile of the anti-black, anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-stem cell research, anti-non-Christian, pro-draft, Americans to whom Iraqis are non-people.


John Kerry has asked for the healing to begin. With what? We have no illusions left at all.



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All Articles Copyright Ira Mathur