The Continuing War Against Iraq
Septemebr 23, 1997
By Ibrahim Alloush,
Editor of The Free Arab Voice
The Arab nation is a life force that sprang forth from the confluence of a common history, a common language, a common cultural heritage molded by the Islamic religion, a common destiny, and a common geographical area that extends from Mauritania to Iraq, and from Syria to Sudan.
But unlike other nations on this planet, this Arab nation was not able to express itself politically in the form of the institutions of a nation-state, one centralized nation-state.
Instead, our nation has been divided into scattered fragments of mini-states, twenty to be exact, and some of its land has been under direct foreign occupation as is the case of Palestine.
Thus the borders that separate Arab states should be regarded as virtually artificial. And consequently the regimes that exist within these artificial borders should be regarded as completely illegitimate, except to the extent that they try to overcome these artificial borders.
The creation of the Zionist entity of "Israel" was meant to thwart the unity of the Asian and African wings of the Arab nation, as much as the persistence of Arab disunity perpetuates the existence of"Israel".
To prove this point on the presence of a historical linkage between the Arab-Zionist conflict, on one hand, and the struggle to achieve Arab unity on the other, Viscount Palmerstone, a former minister of Britain, wrote to his ambassador in Istanbul, Turkey, upon the failure to reunite the Arab nation by Muhammad Ali Pasha, a ruler of Egypt from the first half of the 19th century, due to colonial and British intervention:
"The return of the Jewish people to Palestine, represents a bulwark against any evil designs prepared by Muhammad Ali or whoever succeeds him". (British Foreign Ministry document dated 8/11/1940, JB 78-380 No.134).
Upon the division of the Arab Homeland in 1916 by Syckes and Picot, the British and French foreign ministers then, oil had not been discovered yet in Arab lands. Thus the division ensured that any single Arab state on its own would not be able to pose a serious threat to the interests of colonial powers in the region. Each Arab state taken by itself is left lacking either in manpower, capital, water, agricultural land, or some combination of these.
The discovery and nationalization of oil in Iraq made it possible, upon the availability of a determined leadership, to combine several elements of power, and hence pose a strategic threat to colonial arrangements; an option that wasn't available to Nassir, the late president of Egypt, inspite of his unitarian intentions and plans.
Therefore we believe what's taking place now is an attempt to destroy any potential base of Arab unity regardless of the identity of the rulers. The purpose of the massive bombardment as well as the genocidal sanctions has been to destroy Iraq, its scientific and economic installations, its mosques and churches, its bridges and highways, its tankers and oil installations, its factories, its people, its civil society, its state, and its ancient and modern civilization.
What's taking place now is an attempt to rectify and update the infamous Syckes-Picot agreement, and possibly an attempt to break up Iraq into smaller pieces, as was suggested by the former National Security Advisor Zbignew Brizenski in a forum moderated by former president Jimmy Carter towards the onset of the aerial campaign. This is why the allied warplanes kept attacking mainly non-military targets in Iraq, and why the governments of the U.S., Britain, and "Israel", keep on attacking these very same targets nowadays with murderous sanctions.
But Iraq will live on.
And whether the criminals like it or not, Arab unity IS coming...
But in the meantime let's all do all that we can to lift and violate the unjust sanctions against the people of Iraq. It's the least we CAN do.