America's War Against Itself - 21 March, 2003

America will certainly win the war. One need not be a highbrow military expert to compare figures. A country that spends 400 billion dollars on armaments will undoubtedly defeat a country with the military budget of 1.4 billion dollars.

The USA, with its stealth bombers and laser bombs, is simply doomed to defeat Iraq, with its rusty Soviet-made weapons.

The USA has launched a new war of the 21st century at a time when it leads the world in terms of military might. But the US administration has launched this war at a time when its political standing at home and abroad is faulty.

A small group of people around the US president, convinced of the coming of the "new American age," did not wage a reasonable diplomatic campaign to prepare the world for the strike at Iraq. Prosecutor America sentenced Defendant Iraq to execution without proving a single of charges brought against it. Such "evidence" as the purchase of aluminium pipes and the import of uranium from Nigeria were proved false. The USA failed to win even the so-called moral majority of nine countries in the "jury" - the UN Security Council.

The US "proceedings" against Iraq failed dismally in the eyes of the world. Today the anti-Iraqi coalition consists of 45 countries (15 of them too ashamed to name themselves), but this does not mean that these 40-odd countries do not see that the USA is not playing by the rules or norms of international coexistence.

In other words, Washington is trying to replace the established system of international security by "the law of the fist," as President Vladimir Putin described it, and the fragile but real trust of the global community in the USA with unconditional subordination to its economic and military might.

In this sense, the war began not on March 20 but long before that date.

Suffice it to recall the recent chronicle of the US ruptures over its might. The Bush administration ignored Europe on the issue of global warming, Russia on the issue of ABM defence, and developing countries on the issue of pharmaceutical deals. It crossed its signature from the agreement on the creation of the International Criminal Tribunal because US troops need to shoot at Afghans and Iraqis without fearing persecution by another Carla del Ponte.

This is what the past two years gave us.

There is vast evidence that the aggression against Iraq is only the beginning. After it, no country will feel safe about its sovereignty. In August 2002 a respected source in the Bush team told Newsweek: Everyone wants to go against Baghdad, but genuine boys would like to go against Teheran. In February 2003 the Israeli newspaper Haaretz cited Undersecretary of State John Bolton as saying in a conversation with Israeli officials that after routing Iraq the USA would "deal" with Iran, Syria and North Korea.

The "axis of evil" does not end in Iraq. And even the most glorious victory in Iraq will not make the neo-conservatives in the Bush team forget about this.

What they do not understand is that the USA has actually launched a war against itself, against its prestige in the world community and the growth of global sympathy engendered by the September 11, 2001 tragedy, and against the unity of the counter-terrorist coalition.

A recent poll by the Washington-based Research Centre for the People and the Press registered an incredible growth of anti-Americanism in nine countries (France, Germany, Russia, Turkey, Poland, Italy, Spain, Britain and the USA). The overwhelming majority of the people do not approve of President Bush's foreign policy and his personal rating, which rose sky-high in Western Europe after the September 11 tragedy, has plummeted, says Centre Director Andrew Kohut.

Anti-Americanism is shifting from a reasonably political plane to a mystically religious one. Common Europeans see the USA nearly as the devil that has risen to steal the world from the forces of good. Theologians who tend to demonise developments see as the sign from the Man up High the fact that Catholic France, Confucian China, the predominant part of the Moslem world and Christian Russia are protesting against the US aggression in Iraq. In Russia, 87% denounced the war and only 2% supported it.

Public opinion has split the USA into approximately equal halves. Observers are shocked by antagonism in modern American society and anti-war passions that have not been in evidence since the Vietnam War. Americans started protesting against the Vietnam War only when it was nearing its end, when lead coffins started arriving in hundreds. Today only the first few dozen of cruise missiles have been launched against Iraq but America has already expressed its outrage in 400,000-strong manifestations and protests by liberal intelligentsia, scientists and actors.

Even the red carpet of the Oscar ceremony, the traditional holiday of the rich and beautiful, is being rolled down; the audience will be dressed modestly and the scenario is being cleansed of Steve Martin's jokes. It is rumoured that the ceremony may be cancelled for fear of turning into a political demonstration.

What will happen to public opinion and reputation of the Bush team after the lightning victory (if it is possible) if the USA has been split in two already now? What will happen when the payday comes, when the USAwill have to stop the civil war between the Shias and Sunni, between the Kurds and Arabs, the Bath members and their opponents? Bush will not be able to put the blame on Saddam Hussein.

Can the USA find anyone to take the throne vacated by Saddam who would not be immediately killed by aspirants from a rival tribe?

And how would the USA stop the onslaught of international terrorists, who will certainly rush to Iraq just as pilgrims flock to Mecca?

What if the quick victory in Baghdad provokes the fall of regimes in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, which are loyal to the USA, not to mention Pakistan that has nuclear missiles?

At 5:33 a.m. Moscow time on March 20, America opened not an age of "generous hegemony," as George Bush put it, but Pandora's box.

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