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Behind The Veil: Making Iraq The Next Afghanistan

Behind The Veil

Why Make Iraq The Next Afghanistan?

By Aesha Lorenz Al-Saeed

It seems America and Bush in particular wants to wage war on Iraq, and has spent months trying to convince American citizens and other countries that Saddam is so dangerous that he must be removed at all costs.

Now 100,000 US troops are already deployed, with another 150,000 trained and waiting to go.

It's funny how almost one year ago it was Bin Laden who was the villain who must be removed at all costs for everyone's well being. After massive bombing and thousands of innocent lives lost, Bin Laden and The Mullah are nowhere to be found, and the US didn't achieve its desired goal.

It will be God's will if and when they perish, not Bush's, no matter how much effort the US expends for that aim. Why should the war on Iraq be different?

I wrote in a previous article that most people in the Middle Eastern region don't want Iraq to be attacked, as they don't really consider it a threat any longer. Nor did we people of the region enjoy seeing Afghanistan demolished and punished for Bin Laden’s behavior.

Now must more innocent children and citizens pay the price?

If Saddam's people are complacent about having him as their leader, who is the US to force them to change?

People who have other rulers forced on them often begin to resent it, and many become more patriotic. By past history we know that the leaders the US supports aren't always the best ones, as we have seen in the case of the Marcos' of Philippines, and the Shah of Iran. Thankfully, America couldn't succeed in sustaining their corrupt rule.

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I've spoken to many Afghanis and Iraqis, and no one appreciates all the meddling. There is so much anti-American sentiment about now that almost half of the citizens are even boycotting American products!

JC Penney even recently closed their branch here in Jeddah. So, many businesses will be hurt by the US's highhanded actions.

Bush promised at the beginning of his "reign" that he would push for a two-state solution for Palestine. It seems however, he is more concerned with making money for the big business of using and producing war equipment to injure and maim thousands, while he chases the current villain of the month. Saddam is after all the same man that the US sold chemical and other weapons to during the Iraq-Iran war.

Even if Saddam did have weapons of mass destruction, which none of us have seen the hard evidence of, isn't it only fair that one Arab country would have the same power that Israel possesses as a counter-balance?

With Israel taking more and more territory, and never actually declaring her borders of the State of Israel, it seems Israel is actually the bigger threat in the Middle East, unless the consideration is really oil. Why would Saddam even use his weapons, if he indeed has them, when he knows the whole world would then definitely be against him?

Other US presidents have had enemies, such as Castro of Cuba, Qaddafi of Libya, and Ayatollah of Iran; but they were able to control themselves for the good of citizens everywhere, instead of persecuting chasing them as were Bin Laden, and now Saddam. It seems Bush really loves war games, and may have a personal stake in this.

Obviously war in Iraq will affect other countries in the region, and with King Fahd ill, it won't be a pretty sight if the US decides to move in to control the largest oil fields in the world- in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.

Revolt could well be a possibility due to aggressive US action in Saudi Arabia, but Bush seems to care less about the welfare of the people here.

Most citizens here are much in favor of Crown Prince Abdullah and his ideas. Possibly the US is bothered by his strength of personality or that he isn't as "pliable" as they would like. Perhaps they would even meddle so far as to attempt to put someone else on the throne to the irk and anger of his citizens who support him.

Noble King Faisal was sacrificed to an assassin influenced by the West because of his courageous firm policies against America's Israeli policy. I don't believe the people here would accept another drastic interference in regards to their leaders.

Some people who believe that the war on Afghanistan was a smoke screen to allow the US inside to benefit an oil pipeline route, also believe that the war on Iraq is also a smoke screen for the US to gain more than just troops stationed in Saudi Arabia.

The continuing terrorist attacks inside Saudi are an effort by radical factions to encourage westerners to leave, and hopefully send the US troops packing. Much to our disappointment, the American troops are STILL there, twelve years after the Gulf War has been finished.

Although the Saudi government in recent years has been a loyal friend to the US, producing more oil when prices are high, and less when there is enough oil in the market, people always seem to want more, and perhaps the greed for oil is becoming the most powerful driving force for the war.

The $1 trillion lawsuit filed against Saudi Arabia and some of its Princes by the Sept 11 relatives of victims has also surprised and irked many here. So much so that many Saudis and Arabs are realizing that the US isn't the loyal friend they believed it to be.

It is true that many investors from the Middle East are pulling their money out of the US (up to $200 billion at last count) and are putting it elsewhere. And why shouldn't Muslims help other Muslims instead of letting people benefit who are inadvertently persecuting them or making their lives more difficult?

The facts and figures of all the American and Turkish troops in and around Iraq point to the fact that America is intent on an Iraqi attack and or invasion, and that the Arab world will once again be witness to aggressive involvement in the area, which certainly won't endear the US any more than it already is.

For those of us living here the ramifications will be many. As for now, we residents in the Middle east are forced to wait and watch while holding our breath to see how far President Bush will take this.

Obviously he and the oil mongers don't care about human suffering on a mass scale, and are simply driven by oil greed and a second term in office by trying to please big business.

Possibly the political and economic price of the US world leadership will see its downfall through this ill-advised decision. Instead of solving the Palestinian problem with a two-state solution like the entire world is begging him to do, and gain worldwide respect in the process, he and his cronies would rather drum the war march.

- The author Aesha Lorenz Al-Saeed is a resident of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

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