War & Premeditated Genocide
by James Petras
Z magazine, March 2003
According to UN estimates, over 10 million
Iraqis will be killed, injured, displaced, or traumatized by the
U.S. war of aggression. It is highly likely that U.S. military
intelligence figures coincide with UN figures. Washington has
put in place a military plan involving hundreds of war planes
and a sea armada directed to dropping thousands of tons of explosives
on Iraqi cities, towns, essential infrastructure, and defense
installations. The mass media around the world report each and
every ground, air, and sea deployment in greater or lesser specificity.
U.S. public officials openly speak of the systematic destruction,
plunder, and prolonged occupation of Iraq.
Genocide-massive, systematic destruction
of a people and a nation -is planned down to the last tactical
detail. The minutely calculated costs of troop movements, bombing,
and population displacement is determined by economists who then
estimate the war's impact on the national budget, future oil revenues,
and the length of the occupation and its projected costs.
This is scientific pre-meditated genocide,
similar to what took place in Nazi Germany at the Wannsee Conference
of January 1942 when the high command decided on extermination
of the Jews. The major difference is that Washington's decision
on genocide precedes the war and is widely publicized by its executioners.
The architects of annihilation come from
a plurality of ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds: two are
blacks, some are Anglo-Saxons, several are Jews, and one is Latin
American. With the exception of Powell, all avoided military service
or any combat role during the Vietnam War. All have been previously
involved in planning or supporting previous wars of aggression
or military atrocities.
During the Vietnam War, Powell wrote a
report justifying the My Lai massacre - the U.S. Army's slaughter
of hundreds of unarmed peasants. During the Reagan administration,
Rumsfeld was a strong advocate of military intervention and support
of terrorist surrogates in Central America, Asia, and Africa.
Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle designed the strategy for the
systematic destruction of the Palestinian state as advisors to
Likud - a policy since put in place by the Sharon regime.
What in the past were theoretical exercises
in ethnic cleansing, planning, localized massacres, and fabricated
justifications are now fused into a systematic doctrine of international
What matters to the genocide elite is
not primarily oil or Wall Street, but unlimited power and world
domination. They see no evil on the extreme right, only allies
like Sharon. They see evil and "obstacles" among critical
NATO partners like Chirac and Shroeder. They patronize and promote
their ignoble and servile vassals in Eastern and Southern Europe.
Bush seeks the complicity of the American people in order to proceed
with his genocidal invasion of Iraq. The militarist elite move
in military formation toward the systematic destruction of an
entire nation with a high sense of impunity and blind arrogance.
But their advisers and publicists have
brought to their attention that the people are restless. Hundreds
of thousands of citizens have taken to the streets in all the
major cities and many of the small towns throughout the U.S. The
genociders at first dismissed those reports as "the usual
leftists." But then hundreds of thousands of others, including
prominent writers, artists, former ambassadors, and generals joined
their voices to those in the street. The genociders became shrill-they
moved to deny the detonator of active public opposition: "ban
the street protests," "deny them all media coverage."
They fabricate more audacious lies, give more press conferences,
write more belligerent speeches, and send Bush to read them wherever
a safe audience can be guaranteed.
The genociders are becoming more hysterical
as they face "obstacles" in NATO and the UN and growing
opposition on the domestic front. They feel that they are running
against the clock, the longer the Europeans delay the genocide,
the greater the public awareness of the horror of the undertaking
and its implications, the more likely that the opposition will
grow to millions-beyond the control of the mass media and the
police. They want genocide now: they are obsessed that all their
planning, their fantasies of world power and a Middle-East under
Anglo-Israeli control, free of Arab resistance will go to naught-that
they personally will fail and go down in history as the genociders
who were defeated by their own people.
At the cupula of power, the leaders of
Europe and the U.S. argue over the conditions and timing of war:
the U.S. mobilizes the Eastern European satellites it has inherited
from the former USSR, while the French, German, and Belgian governments
count on the vast majority of the voters opposed to war. Washington
and Britain call up the military reserves and mobilize right-wing
Christian and Zionist fundamentalists, while English, French,
Italian, and Spanish trade union confederations threaten strikes
and mainstream Christian churches join with millions of citizens
locking arms across nations in civil disobedience and protest.
The pending war in the Middle East is
not simply an imperialist colonial conquest, though it is all
of that. It is a clash between barbarism and civilization: the
outcome and consequences of which will not be limited to the military
result in Iraq. We are looking at a historic confrontation between
the advocates of genocide, who believe in one, two, many Afghanistans
and Iraqs, and the burgeoning opposition of millions of humanity,
their best writers and intellectuals, the noble and worthy among
their religious and spiritual spokespeople and, above all, their
natural leaders among the popular classes.
There can be no compromises, there will
be no end, until and when, either the world embraces a civilization
cleansed of imperialism, genocide, and ethnic slaughter or we
descend to an inferno of a world ruled by psychopaths who see
war as a means for perpetual domination.
Wherever we live and work, we must become
engaged because the empire is everywhere, from Northern Mexico
to downtown Buenos Aires, from the oil fields of the Middle East
to the banks in Jakarta. So too the people's movement is everywhere.
In the streets of Rome, London, Paris, Madrid, Athens, Seoul,
Manila, New York, and hundreds of smaller cities and towns, millions
of workers, urban poor, peasants, retirees, members of the middle
class and students have mobilized.
The confrontation has been joined. We
are living history. I believe we will win. Not from visionary
faith, but from the conviction that what we are fighting for represents
the best of humankind.
James Petras is the author of numerous
articles and books. He teaches sociology at SUNY Binghamton.