The WorldPeace Peace Page
Home About John WorldPeace Contact Us Site Map
Blog Email
WorldPeace Web Design Peaceunite Us (Peace org Index) John WorldPeace Galleries

[WorldPeace World Peace]
A reader's letter published in the Los Angeles Times said it all: "We have learned two things from the war in Iraq. We have learned that the Tigris flows through Baghdad, and the Hubris flows through the White House. (WN photo)...






Where's The Next War?

April 13, 2003

A reader's letter published in the Los Angeles Times said it all: "We have learned two things from the war in Iraq. We have learned that the Tigris flows through Baghdad, and the Hubris flows through the White House." Hubris - the belief that you are so clever and so powerful that you can get away with anything - was certainly the prevailing state of mind in Washington this past week as the Iraqi regime collapsed before the U.S. onslaught. So where is the next war?

There was never any doubt that the United States would win this war: The U.S. defense budget last year was 250 times bigger than Iraq's. Resistance was futile, and most of the Iraqi soldiers who fought and died did so knowing that they were throwing their lives away in a gesture of defiance.

But the next phase of the drama is already taking shape offstage, and is likely to be more painful and difficult for the United States than simply smashing up a Third World army. In the north of Iraq, the Kurds want to control the mainly Kurdish cities of Mosul and Kirkuk because the surrounding oilfields would place an independent Kurdish state on a sound economic footing. Kurdish fighters have already seized Kirkuk - but Turkey, anxious about the influence of an independent Kurdistan on their own huge and restive Kurdish minority, have said that if the Kurds take Mosul and Kirkuk, they invade.

The United States is trying to limit the damage, promising that the Kurdish fighters will be replaced by "coalition" troops in Kirkuk and inviting Turkish army observers to the city, but it won't find it easy to get the Kurds out. This is their best chance for independence in the past 80 years, and they would be mad not to try for it. They have been betrayed by the United States so many times that they feel they owe it nothing, and they say they would resist a Turkish invasion whether the United States helps them or not. There is no sign that Washington has thought this through any better than it did the request (ultimately rejected by the Turks) to let U.S. forces use Turkish territory for the invasion of Iraq.

It gets worse. Any Shiite resistance movement in Iraq is bound to get support from Iran, and there will soon be U.S. troops all along the Iran-Iraq border, only a few hours' drive from Iran's main oilfields. Even if the Bush administration isn't planning another war before the next election, U.S. attempts to stop infiltration across the border from Iran could easily lead to a U.S.-Iran war much sooner than that - and Iran has a relatively united population three times bigger than Iraq's.

Above all, there is the fact that the United States, abetted by Britain and Australia, has launched an unprovoked attack on a sovereign state. That is why most other governments are deeply worried: The American attack on Iraq could be used as a precedent to justify an Indian attack on Pakistan or a North Korean attack on South Korea. The U.S. action in Iraq has fundamentally challenged the rule of law in the world, which is a problem no matter how happy most Iraqis are at the moment - and Washington clearly meant to do just that.

Consider the remarks of former Central Intelligence Agency James Woolsey, a Bush administration insider who was recently mentioned in a leaked Pentagon document as one of the possible administrators of post-war Iraq. Last week in Los Angeles, he described the war in Iraq as the start of the Fourth World War (the Cold War being the third), and warned his audience that "this Fourth World War, I think, will last considerably longer than either the First or Second World Wars did for us."

The real enemies this time, he explained, were the religious rulers of Iran, the "fascists" of Iraq and Syria, and the Islamic extremists of al Qaeda. He made no distinctions between them (though in real life they have very little in common), and he promised a long crusade against them. There was no suggestion that the United States would bother to get legal authority from the United Nations before attacking the sovereign states on his list.

"As we move toward a new Middle East over the years and the decades to come," he said, "we will make a lot of people very nervous. Our response should be, `Good! We want you nervous. We want you to realize now, for the fourth time in a hundred years, this country and its allies are on the march.'"

Eventually the American public is likely to rebel against the continual flow of casualties and the higher taxes that come with this new role of global vigilante, but in the meantime, it is going to be a wild ride.

Gwynne Dyer is an independent journalist in London.

How can we manifest peace on earth if we do not include everyone (all races, all nations, all religions, both sexes) in our vision of Peace?

The WorldPeace Banner


The WorldPeace Insignia : Explanation 

Show your desire for Peace and WorldPeace by wearing something endorsing WorldPeace.  Make your own pin or badge but remember, WorldPeace is one word.  Send me your WorldPeace pin designs and I will display them.

To order a WorldPeace Insignia lapel pin, go to: Order  

To the John WorldPeace Galleries Page

To the WorldPeace Peace Page

al-jazeera aljazeera