Monday, March 13, 2006

At war in Iraq - foreign policy u-turn

Here is what a blogger, “citizen of Mosul” wrote in his blog on March 9th:

"What happened yesterday, (Thursday) afternoon, about 5:00 PM is beyond justification.My uncle, the only living one from my mother’s side, is about 80 years old, a healthy, handsome and good looking gentleman. He was in his way to bring his wife home; she was in a visit to her parents, when he was shot by American soldiers, he was alone in his car, no eye witness, several bullets penetrate his car, three of them penetrate his body, he died immediately.Iraqi police were there, they found his ID, and his mobile, with phone list, they called my cousin, a university Prof. who went to the postmortem unit at the main hospital to receive the body, the American officer there told him "we are sorry."It is as simple as this, they are sorry and every thing is settled, no problems, as far as the victim is an Iraqi.There is another similar accident when the American Soldiers shot a family consisting of a man, his wife and his daughter and killed them all.(this happened this week at Alhadba district in Mosul)"

The war has been called a “necessary” war in those Western media that defend it; the soldiers are compared to firemen who have to put a fire out. Saddam Husein was an awful dictator (which surely he was), and there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The latter justification for war has turned out to be a lie. Therefore the first one is increasingly taking its place. Also in Denmark, where prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the King of Spin, has gone to some length to use exactly that reason. This is not just firemen at work putting out a fire, as the report from Mosul, and many others with it, show. The firemen have themselves been responsible for starting the fire with the “Shock and Awe bomb campaign at the start of the war, and innumerable military operations since. Iraq is in a worse mess than it was in Saddam's time. American taxpayers can wave goodbye to 200 bn. $ of good money that should have bought them safety for oil deliveries so they can continue making American highways unsafe in their SUVs.

Danish troops are not as unpopular in the Basra area as US and British troops are in other places in Iraq. But it is of importance to the Americans that the Danes participate. The Americans use the Danes as legitimation for the war to other "peaceful" NATO members. Before the G8 meeting in Scotland last summer G. Bush visited Denmark, and this was an important part of the Americans' propaganda war to justify the whole thing. Denmark, Italy and Britain were important allies, because they could be used by Rumsfeld in his Old Europe – New Europe demonization. A few weeks before the outbreak of war, January 30th 2003 the European Parliament made a decision (287 votes to 209) on Iraq in which it rejected unilateral military action. It did not consider the violations of UN resolution 1441, as pointed out by the weapons inspectors, a sufficient ground for military action. A preemptive strike would be against international law according to the decision. Unfortunately the European Parliament does not have a say in foreign policy. There is no European foreign policy, only some consultative mechanisms. The European powers could display their disagreement, with Britain and Denmark following the Americans, and Germany, France, Belgium and Luxemburg adopting a more critical line that made the Americans furious: “If you’re not with us, you’re against us”.
Innocent as it may appear, the Danish military adventure in Iraq has turned traditional Danish foreign policy into a virtual U-turn. Denmark (or Danish NGO’s) has helped freedom fighters in the 3rd world on numerous occasions. Denmark was instrumental in starting the boycott of South African goods a couple of decades back, thus helping in the downfall of the apartheid regime. The ANC freedom fighters were considered terrorists by the white African government.

Until the change of government in Denmark in 2001, Denmark was the country that gave most money in development assistance to poor countries, - more than 1 per cent of GDP, thus surpassing the target set by the UN. When the liberal-conservative government took over, these development programmes were cut back drastically.

This foreign policy u-turn is, together with the rising wave of islamophobia among some groups in Denmark, partly responsible for the cartoons. It hasn’t got much to do with freedom of expression, but rather with mockery of foreign cultures.


Blogger Steven said...

Heya cosmic. You sound like a very groovy open minded individual, puls I like ducks! I just wrote you another reply if you are interested. It was quite a bit of work!

Please read with an open mind.

Best wishes. :)

10:31 AM  

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