|SocialismToday Socialist Party magazine|
Saddam's regime has crumbled (as we go to press, 11 April) under the impact of the US-British invasion, though fierce, sporadic fighting continues in Baghdad and other cities. Scenes of Saddam’s statues being torn down have been beamed around the world to convey images of ‘liberation’. But covering the tottering monument with the US Stars and Stripes, however briefly, also signalled the arrival of an occupying power.
The fate of Iraq as a US protectorate is already foreshadowed by emerging US plans for post-war reconstruction and the handing out of lucrative reconstruction contracts to a favoured handful of US corporations. At the same time, leaks from the State Department reveal that Washington has already drawn up plans for the privatisation of Iraq’s state-owned national oil company, which will allow Big Oil to grab the country’s huge oil assets.
IN A US Central Command briefing on 22 March, General Franks reviewed the military objectives of ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’. Seventh on the list was “to secure Iraq’s oil fields and resources”. In fact, two days previously US and British special forces had taken control of the key oil and gas installations on the al-Faw peninsula. In truth, that was the first objective of the US-led invasion.
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Cover cartoon: Alan Hardman
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