Lebanese Parliamentary leader Wallid Jamblatt said of the attack on the El Rashid Hotel in Baghdad in which Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz was staying. "We hope the firing will be more precise and efficient (next time), so we get rid of this microbe and people like him in Washington who are spreading disorder in Arab lands, Iraq and Palestine,"
Paul Wolfowitz was a principle driver of the case for the American attack on Iraq to depose Saddam Hussein.
This level of anger and is not new. We heard it from George Bush and Paul Wolfowitz, only directed at the Saddam Hussein regime.
The administration sees the world through the eyes of Israel; and Paul Wolfowitz’s first loyalty is not to the United States, in whose offices he serves, but to the government of Israel. The invasion of Iraq served no ones interest except that of Israel, though paid for with American capital and American lives.
The Bush administration told us over and over that American forces would be welcomed with flowers and garlands and opened arms. Bush and Wolfowitz believed the Iraqi people would be so happy to get rid of Saddam Hussein that they would overlook the 10,000 dead Iraqis generated by our invasion, (see http://www.iraqbodycount.net/), by the general lawlessness that everyday takes 70 to 100 Iraqi lives a day, just in Baghdad alone, by the destruction of 5000 year old artifacts dating from the dawn of their civilization, and ours, and by the 13 year old sanction program directed against Iraq which destroyed the Iraqi infrastructure and the Iraqi health care system, know previously as the "jewel of the Middle East." The destruction of the sanitation and health care system resulted in the deaths of some 5000 children and 7500 people per month over a 12 year period as the studies of several UN agencies concluded.
This projection of the Bush administration’s and Israel’s attitude onto the Iraqi people finds a clear expression on the words of invasion apologist John McCain in a March New York Times Op Ed who, after distorting Iraq’s record of compliance with UN Resolution 1442, states, “Isn’t it more likely that antipathy toward the United States in the Islamic world might diminish amid the demonstrations of jubilant Iraqis celebrating the end of a regime…? Wouldn’t people subjected to brutal governments be encouraged to see the human rights of Muslims valiantly secured by Americans…?”
But Mr. McCain was wrong in his understanding of Iraq’s compliance with UNR 1442’s proscription of weapons of mass destruction as he was wrong in his prediction of Iraqis celebrating in the street as they heralded the invaders aiming to make the region safe for Israel, as he was wrong in projecting Bush’s and Sharon’s perceptions onto the Iraqis.
Nor did George Bush do any better. In the 2003 State of the Union Address he said, “and tonight I have a message for the brave and oppressed people of Iraq: Your enemy is not surrounding your country–your enemy is ruling your country. And the day he and his regime are removed from power will be the day of your liberation.” Thus George Bush designated for the Iraqi people that Israel’s enemy was also to be theirs.
Iraq was never a threat to the United States, but the Saddam Hussein regime was perceived as a threat to the state of Israel and an impediment to Israel’s felt need to control and to dominate the states on its border. (See http://www.jamiat.org.za/news/Jul03/JustHowEvilSaddam.htm). Israel also saw the overthrow of Saddam Hussein as way of defeating the Palestinian Intifada by eliminating the Iraqi support for the Palestinians and also as a way to leveraging greater power against both Syria and Iran. Much of this strategy is spelled out in a document prepared for the Natanyahu government of Israel in 1996 by present members of the Pentagon. (See “A Clean Break:a new strategy for securing the realm”, http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/archive/1990s/ instituteforadvancedstrategicandpoliticalstudies.htm.) Israel’s threat to its own hegemony in the region consisted of Iraq, Syria and Iran. That is Israel’s “axis of evil”.
Bush and Wolfowitz were wrong is seeing Iraq as equivalent to the person of Saddam Hussein. That is Israel’s perception and the extent of Israel’s interest in Iraq. Bush missed out on an adequate understanding of the multilayered complexity of the highly skilled and well educated Iraqi people.
It was not Saddam Hussein who was despised in the Arab world so much as it was Ariel Sharon, the "butcher of Beirut" who led the 1982 invasion of Lebanon that resulted in the deaths of 20,000 Lebanese and Palestinian civilians and included the massacres of 3000 Palestinian civilians at the refugee camps of Sabre and Chitila in Beirut.