Democratic Underground  

Cut the Ties that Bind
April 10, 2002
By Michael Shannon

No satirist living or dead could do justice to the farce now being played out by the governments of the United States and Iraq. Any effort to create a fictional relationship as Byzantine and parasitic as this one would be dismissed by even the most forgiving reader as too fantastic to be taken seriously. But this is no figment of a particularly fecund literary mind, this is as real as it gets. Being waged for stakes that go far beyond rabid nationalism and unbridled greed; this is a matter of life and death.

There were two announcements today that clearly define the underlying plot lines of this tragi-comedy. In the first, Saddam Hussein announced that Iraq would be suspending all shipments of oil for a period of thirty days or until Israel ends its military actions against the Palestinian territories. In response to this fateful decision White House spokesman Ari Fliesher said, "It's a reminder about the need for America to have an energy policy that is independent of such threats." A statement that transcends duplicity and comes dangerously close to condoning a crime of monumental proportions.

It is the fact that the individual nation most negatively effected by the cutoff of Iraqi oil is none other than the United States itself that is the most telling. That our leadership, both corporate and political, has not long ago severed all commercial ties with the regime of Saddam Hussein -- and by failing to do so left us exposed to "such threats" -- can, at best, be described as an inexcusable failure in judgement. And at worst it is an act of treason.

From the moment President Bush declared that "any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be considered a hostile regime" the battle lines were clearly in place. Or so it seemed. Yet in the days and weeks that followed -- in spite of practically daily denunciations of the Hussein regime as being evil incarnate -- American corporations have been a major player in the support of Iraqi state-sponsored terrorism. How so? By continuing to purchase upwards of 700 thousand barrels of Iraqi oil a day. (See Mr President, Tell the Truth -- March 30, 2002 ) A figure that with oil prices being at their current levels computes to approximately 25 millions dollars every twenty four hours or 9 billion dollars annually.

According to the CIA, 95% of Iraqi foreign exchange is in the sale of oil. In other words; without the sale of oil their net flow of dollars would dry to a trickle. And yet due to the mendacious avarice of some of America's leading oil companies -- Exxon Mobil, BP, Chevron, Marathon, Philip et al -- the people of the United States have to this point unknowingly contributed nearly one third of all Iraqi income.

What does Hussein do with this money? By his own admission he pays the families of Palestinian suicide bombers a cash bounty -- just recently raised to twenty five thousand dollars -- for their satanic sacrifices. A reality that led Mr Bush to declare, " Those governments like Iraq, that reward parents for the sacrifice of their children are guilty of soliciting murder of the worst kind." Mr President, what say you about a government that would permit its people to inadvertently provide the funds for such a demonic solicitation?

And as despicable as such bounty payments are they are not the greatest source of the fear and loathing directed at Mr Hussein. We are told over and over again that the principal threats lies in Iraq diverting a sizable portion of their oil income to the production and, or, purchase of weapons of mass destruction.

Mr President, how can you possibly reconcile the contention that Iraq is a hostile regime while at the same time ignoring the fact that by permitting American corporations to continue to profit by and lend support to it is what provides it with the financial support to exist in the first place? They are entirely incompatible arguements. For if the former is untrue, then you are guilty of orchestrating a malicious campaign of misinformation that knows few equals in American history. However, if it is true that Iraq poses a clear and present to the peoples and interests of the United States then your guilt is magnified ten fold by allowing them to strengthen themselves at our peril.

Pardon my temerity sir but I feel obliged to remind you that the Constitution of the United States is explicit in defining treason; "shall consist only in levying war against the United States or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort."

The irony that it took an act of our enemy for us to cease providing direct financial aid to their cause is beyond my ability to fully express. What remains within the power of my pen is to demand that you to live up to your own rhetoric.

"I call on all governments to do everything in their power to stop terrorist activities, to disrupt terrorist financing." George W Bush, in the Rose Garden of the White House, April 4, 2002.

Mr President, I call on our government to do exactly that for I for one can not stomach the thought that I will soon to forced to beg the forgiveness of some grieving American mother because it was my money which paid for the bullet that killed her child. Can you?

Contact Mike Shannon @

Printer-friendly version
Tell a friend about this article Tell a friend about this article
Discuss this article
Democratic Underground Homepage