At the beginning, the occupation
of Iraq was that of a classic war of predation. But today, the impossibility
of peacefully exploiting the oil resources and the cost of maintaining
an extremely large contingent has made of it a financial pit. Nevertheless,
the US has decided to continue on and to pay the price. This shows,
aside from its long-term strategic objectives, that there is an
indirect economic interest in their military deployment. This demonstration
of force is indispensable in order to safeguard the unique status
of the dollar, alone capable of compensating for the instability
of a United Statesian economy on its last legs.
The economic imperatives that conducted the US and several vassal
states to invade Iraq have been the object of numerous analyses,
most of which are wrong or incomplete. The neo-conservatives tried
hard to refute the claims that the war had no other goal than the
pillage of Iraqi oil. They pushed forward the idea that the oil
is sold on the international market at the going price, respecting
the rules of competition. Moreover, anyone can see that the Coalition
has not been able to exploit Iraqi oil as they wished and that,
nevertheless, it persists and is getting bogged down in a costly
occupation. The reality is therefore more complex and a close examination
of the macro-economic processes at work is necessary.
For certain aspects the invasion of Iraq is a classic predatorial
war. The administration of a conquered country by a private provisional
Authority, based upon the model of the East Indian Company, is firmly
within the Anglo-Saxon tradition.  The allocation of contracts
for the rebuilding of the country to companies like Haliburton,
paid for by the profits from the exportation of Iraqi oil, permits
the reintroduction into a dying United Statesian economic system
of a source of real value, and not simply speculative profit. Washington’s
foreign debt has reached abysmal proportions: twenty years ago household
debt in the US was equivalent to half of the economy of the country.
Today, it has reached 85%, debt for which the Treasury must compensate
by importing $2.6 billion of liquidities each day, principally thanks
to the system of recycling petro-dollars . From this we can better
understand why states like Iraq, Iran, and North Korea, that had
envisaged transferring their dollar reserves into euros, were accused
by president Bush of forming an “Axis of Evil”.
However, the resistance is hindering this predatorial activity,
and, in any case, the riches open to pillage cannot suffice to compensate
for the instability of the US economy. As well, the Bush Administration
must maintain an influx of foreign capital to its soil by rendering
investment attractive. To do this, the administration first lowered
the cost of labour, guaranteeing a high level of profit. For this,
it must lower the salary base and social charges. The balance sheet
for the first term of the Bush Administration reflects this: the
number of unemployed increased prompting the population as a whole
to give up a part of its social coverage, which led to a clear reduction
in the cost of labour.
That is why the candidate Bush was supported by big industry. To
the contrary, the premature announcement, November 2, 2004, of a
possible Kerry victory, the candidate favourable to an increase
in social protection for more modest electors, translated into a
general lowering of prices on Wall Street. The Democratic candidate
was supported by large speculators, like Warren Buffet and George
Soros, who get their revenue from the growing inequalities in the
world and who are not interested in the internal economic health
of the US.
Secondly, in order to preserve the confidence of foreign investors,
the Bush Administration deployed its military force . Capital
doesn’t like risk, and there is no better sanctuary than the
country that wishes to rule the world by force. Permanent war confers
an all-mighty image that acts as a veritable magnet for capital.
But contrary to the Gulf War, where the costs were repaid by the
financial contributions of the member States of the Coalition, the
rest of the world is paying indirectly for the invasion of Iraq:
attracted by US power, foreign investors place their extra dollars
in US Treasury Bonds, thus transferring a large part of the cost
of the war to foreign countries, including those who opposed the
Most “liberals” [Economic liberals, neo-liberals –
translator’s note] in the world supported the invasion because
it was motivated by a world-wide profit crisis. They had realized
several years earlier that the “dot com” economy produced
only artificial profits, and that the future lowering of net energy
production globally around 2010 (the beginning of the decline of
world oil production) would have as its consequence an unprecedented
contraction in the world economy . From which came the simple
calculation: if we can’t increase global wealth, we must lower
the number of people who benefit. It is the same reasoning that
led the proponents of zero growth, and before them the neo-malthusians,
to propose different, humanist and, of necessity, collectivist solutions.
But one thing is certain, that the agenda for “sustainable
development” failed long ago, precisely when the world’s
population growth surpassed that of available resources, that is,
in the early 80s.
To avoid the collapse of their economy, the United States has no
other choice than to prepare itself to repress a generalized insurrection
against the capitalist interests of an ever-shrinking minority.
It is a situation that Samuel Huntington anticipated, in 1957, in
his work Soldier and the State: The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military
Relations. At that date, he was already affirming that the US Army
had as its vocation not the defence of its population or its territory,
but the defence of the economic interests of the multinationals.
Just as the militarization of the Hitler regime permitted Germany
to brutally rebound from a profound economic crisis by attracting
capital, principally from the US, in the same way the militarization
of the US guarantees to foreign capital that it will be safe as
long as it remains on United Statesian soil. In parallel, the army
is placed in the service of capital by opening markets that were
formerly nationalised, and then, eventually, by maintaining chaos
and terror – when its power is not accepted.
If we return to the example of the 1930s, Hitler’s Germany
had attracted US capital based upon the promise of a military response
to the Bolshevik peril. In the same way, in 1999, large industrial
groups invested in the war in Kosovo in the hope that NATO would
subdue and open the final socialist economy in Europe. And it was
again in the perspective of the privatization of another vast public
sector that the Anglo-Saxon employers invested in the invasion of
Iraq in 2003; a privatization that was led by the Pied Piper, L.
Paul Bremer III, assisted by East European experts who had participated
in the liquidation of the socialist economies, such as the ex-Bulgarian
president, Peter Stoyanov or the ex-Russian Prime Minister Yegor
The question that torments the strategists in the war rooms in
Washington today is that of knowing by what means they can most
efficiently control the populations of the new strategic colonies.
The neo-conservatives consider the invasion of Afghanistan a success
in terms of return on investment: control of the country was had
with little cost by subcontracting the fighting out to low-paid
local war lords rather than by deploying high price GIs with large
transportation costs. On the other hand, in Iraq, Saddam Hussein
prepared his country for guerrilla war, putting into place beforehand
the necessary structures for an insurrection, forming, according
to the US Army’s own jargon, a “counterstate”
. Believing that they could avoid the error of Vietnam, where
the CIA alone waged counter-insurgency operations through most of
the war, the Pentagon thus decided, given the size of the task,
to confide the mission of counter-insurrection to the regular army
. According to a very military and bureaucratic logic, all means
possible must be put at the service of a clear objective. Several
failures forced the Pentagon to take up this solution: in the first
place, it was up to the intelligence services to neutralize the
political leaders. The files listing Ba'athist leaders, carefully
compiled by Ahmed Chalabi, came to nothing because the Ba'ath Party,
foreseeing the insurrection, had doubled its structure. This explains
the political fall from grace of Chalabi after the searching of
his house by Coalition forces that doubted his good faith.
Next, the strategists watched on as the insurrection achieved its
first strategic victory in its first phase : because the essential
elements of the political and military structure of the resistance
had been left intact after the invasion, they were able to infiltrate
the collaborating Iraqi security forces and rally the population
by provoking murderous actions by the occupation forces. Today,
after the “Guernica” of Fallujah, there is no possibility
that the majority of Iraqis will ever accept the occupation or the
It is therefore an initiative saturated with contradictions that
was recently approved behind the walls of the Pentagon: hand out
to the conventional military forces a manual that is supposed to
aid them in conducting the counter-insurrection . The manual
recuperates diverse theoretical elements accumulated during the
course of the last decades’ conflicts, in particular those
from Vietnam, trying to adapt them urgently to the Iraqi context.
This redefinition of the role of the US Army, now being forced to
make up for the absence of a real Iraqi collaboration force, is
a contradiction in itself because the soldiers that bombard a country
can hardly win the confidence of its population themselves. Nevertheless,
given the size and organization of the resistance, it must above
all limit the damage brought on by the manu militari control of
the population, and explain to the strong arms of the army in what
way this type of mission differs from those to which they are used.
It isn’t a simple thing because the Iraqi resistance is active
throughout the entire country, in different phases according to
the region and the population. The resistance wages a war of position
(Phase III) in Fallujah or Mossul while waging one of strategic
defence (Phase I, which includes sporadic actions, principally against
collaboration forces) in Baghdad. Mao’s original theory of
guerrilla warfare implies that even if the guerrillas don’t
evolve from one phase to another in clear ways and may be active
in different phases at the same time, the simultaneous activity
of the resistance in different phases signals an evolution of the
conflict in its favour.
As efficient work of political intelligence gathering, supported
by targeted actions by special forces, is the only way to wage a
victorious counter-insurrection, we are forced to conclude that
the guerrilla war is lost for the United States. From this sombre
balance sheet, we are forced to conclude that the Pentagon has chosen
to terrorise the Iraqis by military force in order to maintain,
at whatever the cost, its control over the second largest oil reserves
in the world and to keep its economy afloat. All the apologies of
the Democratic electorate of the US will change nothing: we are
watching the pure and simple destruction of a people and a country
in the name of capital and fossil fuels.
 « Qui
gouverne l'Irak ? » by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire, 13 May
 See « Economic
"Armageddon" Predicted », by Brett Arends, From
the Wilderness, 23 November 2004.
 « Le
talon d'Achille des USA », by L.C. Trudeau, Voltaire,
4 April 2003.
 See « What
is new in today's imperialism ? », by Peter Hudis, News
and Letters, November 2003.
 See the article « Les
ombres du rapport Cheney », by Arthur Lepic, Voltaire,
30 March 2004. A point of view that is fed by the public
reports of the CIA announcing an immament reduction of global production.
 « Buts
de guerre et bilan stratégique de l'attaque de l'Irak
» by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire, 6 October 2003.
 See the article « Opération
Phénix », by Arthur Lepic, Voltaire, 16 November
 See the article « Faute
de collaborateurs, les États-Unis sacrifieront leurs fils
», Voltaire, 15 November 2004.
 The Maoist theory of insurrection, notably adopted
by the Viet Cong and then by the Bathists in Iraq, distinguishes
three phases in the insurrection’s development: Phase I is
strategic defence, Phase II is overt confrontation, and finally,
Phase III is the formation of regular troops to wage an offensive.
 The manual is available for download
on the site of the Federation of American Scientists.
English translation by Signs of the Times