Editorial from Irish Political Review, December 2004

Crusading Against Evil

The war against evil in Iraq last year was a war against what the British Foreign Secretary now calls the "Fascist police state" of Saddam Hussein. Ireland was a party to that war by facilitating the transport of US military personnel and armaments to the battlefield. This year the evil that is being made war upon in Iraq consists of the elements which were liberated by the destruction of the "Fascist police state". The liberation became an occupation when the invading liberators hung about, installed a Government which they had brought with them in their baggage train, and set about making laws for the selling off of Iraqi property to rich foreigners at bargain prices. The liberated people of Iraq are now called by various names: insurgents, rebels, fanatics, murderers.

The United Nations refused to authorise the invasion before the event, but it subsequently authorised the Occupation, and UN personnel were actively attempting to normalise the US puppet Government as the legitimate State of Iraq when the Iraqi resistance/rebellion/insurgency etc. demolished UN headquarters and drove the organisation out of the country. The first puppet Government headed by Chalabi (who had Eoghan Harris as an adviser) was then discredited, and was replaced by a second puppet Government with which the US invasion force had prudently equipped itself. Allawi has no more credibility than Chalabi had, but it seems that the US will see things through to the bitter end with him. It commands overwhelming military power, and will use that power to whatever degree is necessary—necessary to avoid loss of face, not to prevent defeat. American military defeat is simply not a possibility.

The old regime of the Republican Party was not supportive of last year's invasion. They knew that Saddam was no threat to neighbouring states, and that the stability of Iraq under the Baath party was not something to be dismissed lightly. And James Baker (Secretary of State under Bush Snr.) reminded people of how he warned Saddam before the 1991 war that, if he engaged in all-out resistance, using all his weaponry, Iraq would simply be obliterated by the superior US weaponry, including w.m.d. if necessary. The threat was credible because the USA, as top democracy in the world, knows no restraint in these things. It is the only state which has used nuclear weapons. It did not use them to ward off defeat, but to accelerate a victory which was already certain. And it used them exclusively against civilian populations. So the threat was credible. And Saddam responded rationally to it—and was therefore not the incalculable madman of last year's war propaganda.

The US will use its overwhelming military power in whatever way seems useful to it, and it expects that the moral influence of brute force on the populace of Iraq will elicit a sufficient degree of passive compliancy to enable its puppets to pass muster as representatives.

Brute force is certainly one of the great moral influences in history. Sometimes it brings about total compliance in the long run, but sometimes its effect is only short term—but, as Lord Keynes said as the British Empire was nearing its end and could only proceed from hand to mouth: in the long run we are all dead. The moral effect of the system of terror established in Ireland by the Williamite conquest of the 1690s lasted for a century and a half. But, since it failed in the end, there is obviously another source of moral influence in the world.

The conditions of civilised living in Iraq were systematically destroyed by the invading forces last year. The purpose can only have been to reduce the society to chaos with the object of reconstructing it as a compliant democracy, subservient to the Anglo-American world. The reconstruction is proving more difficult than anticipated. The elements of Iraqi life which had resisted the liberal secularism of the Baath regime became active when the state was destroyed and are an obstacle to democratic/individualist atomisation and regimentation. The Occupation forces are finding it difficult to do what they want, and they are determined that the elements which they liberated from Baathist liberal secularism shall not have their way. So the chaos continues.

And what moral standards apply in chaos—a chaos deliberately induced by those who moralise against it? A famous and influential English political philosopher held that a strong State was the indispensable condition of civilised living, and that, without such a state, life was "nasty, brutish and short". And Hobbes, during his eventful lifetime, supported whoever at any moment offered the prospect of a strong state: Charles I, Cromwell, and finally Charles II.

The heirs of Thomas Hobbes took an active part in destroying a Western-oriented regime in Iraq, and preventing its replacement by an Islamic regime—and Ireland did what was required of it. And Margaret Hassan disappeared in the chaos. Shortly before that Ken Bigley was executed. On the same day that Bigley was killed, an Iraqi wedding party was wiped out by an American bomb—an event that barely registered in the news.

Ken Bigley worked on an American military project, but the case of Margaret Hassan excited more disgust: was she not dedicated to the welfare of the Iraqi people? But the matter was more complicated than appeared. Margaret Hassan had worked for the British Council in Iraq before the 1991 war, and subsequently she became Director of Care in Iraq. The British Council is a propaganda organisation of the British State committed to furthering its interests world-wide. Care is a "non Governmental Organisation" engaged in charitable works. But, during the 1990s, it came to rely very heavily on Government funding. The chief contributor of its multi-million budget is the United States Government, with the British Government running a close second. Contributions from charitably-inclined members of the public now account for only a fraction of its huge budget. It is now a state-funded body, and it is therefore natural that it should render services to the States which fund it. And those services are rendered in areas where the states themselves are regarded with hostility.

A few years ago Care was found to have engaged in espionage activities on behalf of the United States in Kossovo. Despite that, and despite the refusal of Care as an organisation to condemn the present invasion of Iraq, Margaret Hassan continued in active membership. She condemned the invasion, but that was only a personal gesture. The organisation whose activities in Iraq she directed tacitly supported the invasion, engaged in normalising activities under the Occupation, and refused to withdraw when the Iraqi resistance indicated that all such activity would be treated as hostile.

One might express moral outrage that Ameranglia uses charitable organisations for espionage or propaganda purposes, but that would be hypocritical. Bush and Blair see themselves as engaged in a war to rid the world of evil, and as between good and evil there is no legitimate neutrality, and no entitlement to do good works which succour the forces of evil. They pay the piper, and they insist that he must play a virtuous tune. On their own terms what they are doing is beyond criticism.

The most evil thing in the world today is this notion of evil which inspires the activities of the Anglo-American combination and carries their activities beyond the sphere of rational calculation. What we see today is not mere power-politics in pursuit of definite interests. It is what Bush named it before his advisers got at him—a Crusade: the final fling of Christianity to establish total dominance in the world. Hobbes described the Catholic Church as the ghost of the Roman Empire presiding over its grave—or words to that effect. The present situation might be described in similar terms with relation to Protestantism, whose cultural residue is rampant in the world a century after the rise of Darwinism in England gave it the coup de grace as a system of actual belief. Its posthumous revival may be dated to 1917, when Britain unbalanced its mind by gaining possession of the Garden of Eden and associated territories, and issued the Balfour Declaration awarding Palestine to the Jews in preference to its inhabitants.

A few years later it persuaded the 'world', in the form of the League of Nations, to confirm that award. After 1945 the Socialist Government in Britain tried to call off the project, which was certain to lead to mayhem in the Middle East, but the United Nations General Assembly, controlled by President Truman and Stalin, insisted it must go ahead. The 'world', in the era of general democracy and national rights, decided to oust one people from a territory they had inhabited for over a thousand years and insert another people in their place. Of course evasive language was used, but everybody involved knew what was being decided.

Did League of Nations and United Nations resolutions impose a moral obligation on the Palestinians to accept ethnic cleansing peacefully and with a good heart, and to offer no resistance to genocide? Or is that a question that should not be asked?

It is largely because of the consequences of the conquest of the Garden of Eden by Britain that the world now lives in a moral morass. And even if, against all realistic expectations, a rudimentary and subordinate Palestinian state is now established by Washington, that will not erase the history of the last 87 years.

A possible beneficial effect of the irrational American preoccupation with Iraq is that Iran might be equipped with the mean of defending itself when Ameranglia gets around to dealing with it. Only weapons of mass destruction are adequate means of defence today. And the only real w.m.d.s are nuclear weapons.

Half-a-century ago Ameranglia overthrew a democratic regime in Iran and installed a puppet dictatorship. The dictatorship signed the non-proliferation treaty. The United Nations agency for nuclear matters is now holding Iran to the deal made with the dictatorship, and trying to keep it defenceless for Washington.

It is obvious that there can be no return to anything like stability in world affairs until a wide range of states become capable of defending themselves.

Both India and Pakistan developed nuclear weapons a few years ago, and were condemned for doing so, and had sanctions applied against them. But, when the time came for them to have their next war, they didn't have it. They were deterred by the probable scale of the consequences.

There can be no semblance of equality in international affairs while the great majority of states lack the means of self-defence. And nuclear weapons have an unprecedented equalising power. Such are the facts of life brought about by the exercise of British and American power during the last century.



Crusading Against Evil.

The Irish Times: Its Lies And Evasions.
John Martin

Lest We Forget …
Michael Stack

Concerning Major McDowell: Letter of W.K.K. White to Sir Andrew Gilchrist. 7 November 1969.

An Cor Tuathail: In Praise Of Beann Éadair.
(Compiled by Pat Muldowney)

Kilmichael: Beating The Retreat.
Jack Lane

The 'White Nigger' Story .

McGreevy's Legacy.
John Martin

The Birth Of Amerope .
Desmond Fennell

Getting The Important Things Wrong.
Brendan Clifford (Review of Ferriter Book)

Short Cuts (Bush Victory; Credit Unions; Khruschev & Irish Times; Appeal).

The Remembrance Festival.
Seán McGouran

The Week In Torment.
Seán McGouran

Index 2004.

Labour Comment
Edited by Pat Maloney

Work And More Work

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