We keep hearing justification for detaining Iraqi citizens, abusing them, and even torturing them under the explanation that "this is war" and "horrible things happen in war". If so, who are we at war with? Are we at war with the people of Iraq? Why has the U.S. Congress not declared war with Iraq as required by the U.S. Constitution?
Apparently, we ARE in a de facto war against Iraq, as we continue to treat all Iraqis as the enemy. We imprison them without cause; just because they are "the enemy". The U.S. is at war with Iraq, and much of the U.S. population approves of this war and approves of any means necessary to win this war. But, why are we pussy footing around and doing it extra-legally? Why are we waging war on the cheap? Why don’t we have 250,000 soldiers or more over there and why have we not totally subjugated the country so that we can declare victory?
And then, what will we do once we have "won"? Since we are in a de facto war against Iraq and its people, on what basis do we declare victory? Obviously "mission accomplished" is not the same as victory. Obviously waging war for the purpose of deposing Saddam Hussein and his Baathist Party is not tantamount to victory, as Saddam Hussein is in custody and rumours are flying that prominent Baathists party members are being reinstalled in positions of authority. Obviously, ridding Iraq of weapons of mass destruction is not indication of victory, as we have proved that there were no weapons of mass destruction in all of Iraq when we invaded. So how can we declare victory?
Or, do we even want to declare victory? Do we have a Federal administration and a country that is so warmongering that it seeks perpetual war as an excuse to perpetually control Iraq and its wealth? We must seriously consider this possibility. There appears to be no basis on which the U.S. military will be withdrawn from Iraq in the foreseeable future, and we see no reason why Iraqi nationalists (patriots, freedom-fighters, insurgents) would cease warring against the U.S. occupiers. So, obviously, we are at war with Iraq, with no prospect of winning the war at present, and no prospect of ending the war. We are apparently prepared for perpetual war without victory!
It all begins to make sense when one understands that America can win a financial victory without winning the war, but only if the war continues, the occupation continues and the costs of the war are reduced. The mere loss of lives of American soldiers and citizens is not factored into the cost of war by the U.S. government, or even by the proposed Kerry administration. The cost of war is defined by the cost of equipping and staffing and transporting and fighting as subtracted from the gross financial gain by seizure of Iraqi oil and economic activity (wealth) that is siphoned off into U.S. and British corporate and national interests.
What George W. Bush has done by starting this illegal, unncessary war, is that he has made a financial investment. To end the war now risks the entire investment. To make this war work for the purposes intended, the Iraqi oil production must be greatly increased over the next few years, and American influence over the entire workings of the Vichy-style pro-American government must see to it that repayment to America of its financial costs compensates for the defense expenditures incurred to date.
Remember, the Saudis and the Kuwaitis and other nations paid for the financial costs of the Gulf War after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. There is no such arrangement for this war. No outside nations will repay America’s financial expenses in conducting this war, so America must take what it wants and do so over many years to make this war pay for itself.
In the meantime, Iraqis who object to the arrangement fight the occupation and the payback. These Iraqis become known as "insurgents" and even "terrorists". However, the naked eye and the untrained American eye cannot distinguish Iraqi friend from foe, or Iraqi family man from insurgent. The only solution is to treat them all as enemies and never mind whether they pick up a few rocket propelled grenades and kill a few American troops. America is not going to lose the military battles because of any number of casualties caused by dissident Iraqis.
From the point of view of the American administration, America loses if it does not get what it came to Iraq for — oil, wealth, control, influence. If the American public tires of the gore (not Gore but gore) and ends the war through political means, it will all have been an ugly waste. If America gets the material benefits and strategic regional benefits of this war, it will have been an ugly, criminal victory, but the American government is willing to accept ugly, criminal victories when the payoff is huge.
Bush will not end this war, and niether may Kerry. This is a corporate-inspired war and it is being fought for all the usual reasons, and the cost of abandoning this war will be unthinkable for the Carlyle Group investors and all the other players of note who used every trick in the book to get their dirty, and profitable war.