Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Observer: Bush's Strategy Seen Through the Iraq War

In its ongoing war against Iraq, the Bush administration's firm determination, quick action, tough language and rude diplomacy are rarely seen in international relations. The arbitrary action by the great and powerful nation claimed to be responsible for international faith was not taken on impulse but was out of careful consideration, it is pursuing a super-strategic goal with major influence on the United States and the whole world.


In its ongoing war against Iraq, the Bush administration's firm determination, quick action, tough language and rude diplomacy are rarely seen in international relations. The arbitrary action by the great and powerful nation claimed to be responsible for international faith was not taken on impulse but was out of careful consideration, it is pursuing a super-strategic goal with major influence on the United States and the whole world.

While emphasizing the necessity of the ongoing military action, President Bush repeatedly stressed from the very beginning that even if all others were against this action, the United States would go it alone, and it must do so even if there were casualties to be suffered by US soldiers.

Such a great determination is by no means made for depriving Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, nor for replacing the Saddam Hussein regime, still less liberating the Iraqi people at the expense of the lives of American soldiers. Many people can clearly see that the United States has a deeper aim of getting oil, but it is far more than oil alone, there is a lot behind all this.

Oil is the strategic material of paramount importance, the Middle East is a decisive strategic region. The world's largest oil-producing area is in the Middle East, which accounts for two-thirds of the world oil reserves. The United States also produces a lot of oil itself, but its oil consumption also ranks first in the world, it relies on 55 percent oil import, most of which come from the Middle East. Many countries lack or short of oil rely even more on oil from the Middle East. Obviously, anyone who controls Middle East oil can manipulate and even strangle the economic lifelines of some countries.

The United States has built up its overwhelming military advantage, the ongoing Iraq War is a display of only part of its military strength, it has been proved that nobody, including most member countries of the UN Security Council, can dissuade or stop the arbitrary action of the United States. If America further controls the Middle East and the region's oil, it can guarantee its strategic advantage in the world, there is the possibility for the United States to manipulate the economic lifelines of some important countries, such as various West European countries, Japan and China which consume huge amounts of oil. The day when American empire will rule the world is not far off, what a goal the Bush administration is looking forward to!

To attain this goal, the United States must be certain of the right time, get hold of an excuse and approach this target step by step, Iraq has long been the object the United States wants to seize. It failed to take advantage of the opportunity to storm and occupy Baghdad at one go during last Gulf War, some Americans, in and out of power, complained about and regretted this, now the hawks are in power in the United States, the time has come at last.

Iraq's oil reserves rank second in the world, second only to Saudi Arabia. Saudi's proven oil reserves are about 250 billion barrels, making up one-fourth of the world total, the proven oil reserves of Iraq are around 112 billion barrels, experts analyze that actually it may reach 200-300 billion barrels, capable of advancing at equal pace with Saudi Arabia.

The United States had long ago established special relations with Saudi Arabia, if Iraq is included into its sphere of influence, then the oil that may come under US control will make up half of the world total, this is both an envious and terrifying prospect.

So, Iraq is a hotly contested spot for the United States. Saddam's dark rule in Iraq has given people a handle and provided the United States with a high-sounding excuse for launching large-scale offensive, though launching a naked armed aggression against a sovereign state under this excuse is illegal and unjust. It appears that the 21st century will remain an epoch of power politics, it is still unknown when the curtain of the human historical tragedy staged by the disgraceful powerful country in the 20th century will descend.

The Iraq War has not ended yet, but the United States brazenly declared that it would exclusively seize the trophies because he had conquered the country and that it has decided to assign US army man to act as the Regent in Iraq, just like General MacArthur in Japan in those years. The United States will basically take on everything from military occupation, political control to economic manipulation. The future Iraqi government born under such circumstances will inevitably be a pro-American regime. The Iraqi opposition party abroad, the All-Iraq Congress Party, has demanded that the US armed forces extend their occupation of Iraq for at least two years. This opposition party naturally is one of the political parties participating in administration which the United States prefers, the leader of the party has been transported back to Iraq by the United States. It seems that US interest can be firmly rooted in Iraq.

Even Britain, US staunch partner in the war advocates that the United Nations should participate in leading the postwar reconstruction of Iraq, but Bush simply ignores the United Nations, because the latter does not follow US command, and instead stands in the way of the United States. He has repeatedly stated that the United Nations is a superfluous organization of no importance. Richard Perle, Bush's trusted follower and major official of the US Defense Department, simply stated in an article dated March 21, he said: Thank God, the United Nations has died. Of course, to put a facade on the United States, Bush would not oppose the United Nations doing some relief work, helping the United States in defending and consolidating its rule over Iraq.

Besides its long-term strategic interests, the United States can immediately reap many profits. Let's take up the question of oil. The United States keeps on prating that Iraq remains the owner of oil, however, the actual power for controlling oil will inevitably fall into the hands of the Americans. The United States has indicated that the management power over Iraqi oil enterprises' investment and profit can only be held by American corporations, as regards the participation of other countries, they should follow American arrangements. It is mentioned here in passing that both President Bush and Vice-President Cheney maintain close relations with large American corporations, they had taken from these firms huge sums of funds for the election campaign. Before he became the vice-president Cheney had served as the president of the US Halliburton Energy Co. This comprehensive company dealing in a variety of energy products is the largest similar company in the world. Sixty-eight percent of its income comes from abroad. After the last Gulf War, it participated in the project of the reconstruction and restoration of Kuwait. This time, former US Defense Secretary Perle illicitly distributed related contract for Iraq's reconstruction to this company, after this matter was recently exposed, Perle was forced to resign from his post as chairman of the staff bureau in charge of defense policy. The war hasn't ended yet, but the fight for war trophies has begun among the Americans themselves.

Oil enterprise is only one of the projects. Iraq's comprehensive restoration covers a very wide area, war-damaged projects, facilities, buildings, as well as the restoration and creation of old and new enterprises involve numerous companies engaged in contracted projects, orders for goods, investment and development, the United States can take on all of them. The scale of Bush administration's initial plan for the "reconstruction of Iraq" can be compared favorably with the "Marshall Plan" for the reconstruction of Europe undertaken by the United States after World War II. The International Development Program has given US companies contracted expenses reaching over US$1 billion for the reconstruction of Iraq's roads, bridges, seaports, airports and public utilities. According to UN estimate, US$30-US$100 billion will be needed for Iraq's reconstruction in the next three years. These sums do not include the benefits of war to be directly obtained by the US Defense Department and large munitions companies through the war.

The first step of Bush's "grand" strategy is near completion. His second step probably remains in the Middle East, but he will possibly use another method to create a pro-US regime. With a vigilant eye, the whole world adopts a wait-and-see attitude.

By People's Daily Online

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