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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Congo Model in Iraq

Did British commandos stage a terrorist attack in Baghdad?

It sure looks that way...

The police attempted to stop the men, who were disguised as Arabs in local garb over their T-shirts and trousers. The men wore black-hair wigs and, according to some reports, typical headresses.

And they also carried a whole lot of weapons, including explosives and other bomb-making materials. They began firing at the police and passers-by.

At least one Basra policeman was shot dead. At least one person in the crowd was shot dead. An undetermined number of others were injured in the gunfight.

The British pair was jailed. Arab television showed the beaten men with bandages on their heads, and their huge collection of weaponry. Basra -- a relatively peaceful city compared to the rest of bloodsoaked Iraq -- had suddenly lost patience with the British occupiers, caught red-handed with all the tools necessary to launch "suicide bombs" against the people.

"...We do not have designs to stay (in Iraq) as an occupying imperial power. Nor are we going to cut and run because of terrorists," Defence Secretary John Reid was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

This event, when viewed through the prism of British colonial and neocolonial history gives the lie to Reid's claim. If you're not there to become an occupying power, why are the bases you're built referred to as 'enduring bases'? If you're not there to become an occupying power, why do you seem to be engaged in clandestine operations with the intent of inflaming sectarian outrage? What other possible motive could there be?

If this is indeed the case, it's exactly what the British did in Nigeria--pitting Hausa against Igbo, Igbo against Yorouba, and so forth...Why? The classic divide-and-conquer strategy.

Look at the British military presence in Africa: Liberia, Sierra Leone, The Congo...Colton, Rubber, and Oil: these precious commondities are always paired with warfare and tremendous exploitation of natural resources by neocolonial powers and multinationals.

What is happening now in Iraq is what could be known as the "Congo Solution".

In the midst of a chaotic civil war in the Congo, multinational corporations have found they can make a handsome profit. The assumption used to be that peace was the necessary precursor to prosperity. The dirty secret of the Congo is that neocolonial powers and multinationals have discovered the opposite is true.

As long as military contractors can provide multinationals with a secure perimeter around a resource-rich area, a containable conflict helps maximize profit.

...Based upon my experience in the developing world, that's my take on it...What do you think?

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