Thursday, March 13
Liberate? For centuries we've been 'liberating' the Mideast. Why do we never learn?
Robert Fisk, The Independent, March 10, 2003

On March 8, 1917, Lt. Gen. Stanley Maude issued a "Proclamation to the People of the Wilayat of Baghdad". Maude's Anglo-Indian Army of the Tigres had invaded and occupied Iraq - after storming up the country from Basra - to "free" its people from their dictators.
"Our armies do not come into your cities and lands as conquerors or enemies, but as liberators," the British announced. ...

... What is it, I sometimes wonder, about our constant failure to learn the lessons of history, to repeat - almost word for word in the case of Gen. Maude's proclamation - the same gratuitous promises and lies? A copy of Gen. Maude's original proclamation went under the hammer at a British auction at Swindon last week,
but I'll wager more than the 1,400 pounds sterling it made that America's forthcoming proclamation to the "liberated" people of Iraq reads almost exactly the same. [...]

Iraq Deja Vu: Reincarnation of Failed 1930s British Policy
Issam Nahashibi & Abdelatif Rayan, Counterpunch, March 13, 2003

By all US media accounts, Saddam Hussein's days are numbered. Moreover, Pentagon pundits predict a massive US victory over Saddam's rusty military machine.

Will Bush's Iraq policy bring a real victory to crown America's hegemony in the Middle East and elsewhere? Could history be our guidance.

Bush's Iraq policy is reminiscent to the 1930s British "re-occupation" of Iraq. By March 1921, almost four years after they invaded Mesopotamia, the British created Iraq as a new entity managed by "a suitable Arab" who was a member of the Hashemite clan, King Faisal I.

...For 'him' and his hard-line advisors, removing Saddam presents the US "with a historic opportunity" that is "as large as anything that has happened in the Middle East since the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the entry of British troops into Iraq in 1917," expounded Makiya.

...If history is our guide, the Iraqi people will defy this plan just as they resisted the British 1930s plans that failed to maintain a "suitable Arab regime" because the original British sin, creating the Palestine problem, is still with us
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