April 04, 2003: The Real Reasons for the War on Iraq as the Second Act of Bush's "New War"

Iraq newsletter 19

Aktiver Widerstand gegen Bushs Irak Krieg1. According to statements of the US military leadership, the airport in Baghdad was taken over,  thereby accepting the death of more than 500 people. The brutality and the enormous costs of US war conduct leave no doubt that the USA is determined to wage war until the bitter end using all available means. For a long time all the officially given reasons for the war have been proved to be unfounded. Neither could the so-called weapons of mass destruction that have been put forward as a pretext again and again be found anywhere. Why do mainly the American and British governments feel obliged to wage this war at all costs?

2. The biggest leading international oil companies of the world are ExxonMobil (USA) with a share of about 15 per cent of the world market, RoyalDutch/Shell (Great Britain/Netherlands) and BP (Great Britain) with shares of more than 10 per cent of the world market respectively. These consortia of BP, Shell and Exxon were expropriated in Iraq in 1972 in the context of the nationalization of industry in Iraq with the result that they were left out when concessions were granted for the exploitation of the Iraqi oil wells. In addition to French oil companies, new contracts were concluded mainly with seven Russian oil companies which, together with Total Fina Elf (France), meanwhile possess more than 50 per cent of the Iraqi oil concessions. Concessions were also granted to Chinese oil companies which joined the ranks of the biggest one hundred monopolies in the world within a few short years by means of an aggressive policy.

Today the biggest international monopolies are dependent on dominating the world market and, for this reason, on eliminating their competitors. Only international companies that dominate the world market can push through maximum prices far above value by means of this monopolization and thus secure enormous monopoly profits. This is the reason for the real worldwide battle of annihilation which is taking place between the international monopolies. This is also fought out by means of war, if necessary, as is now happening in Iraq.

3. The domination of the Middle East is of strategic importance for the US claim for world domination. This region, with Iraq right in the middle, has two thirds of all oil reserves of the world and one third of the natural gas reserves. After Saudi-Arabia, Iraq itself has the second biggest deposits with a producer price of 1.50 dollars per barrel, which is far below the average world market price of 5 dollars per barrel. While the USA’s dependence on oil imports will be  rising from 39 to 62 per cent in the next 15 years, the main oil exports of the Gulf region are presently going to Europe and Asia. With the military control of the region, the USA would enormously strengthen its own position and would be able to make its main rivals dependent on its oil tap and dictate the prices. The cause of the war on Iraq is the rivalry between the leading imperialist powers  and the leading international monopolies for supremacy in the Gulf region.

5. Unlike US finance capital, Russia, France and Germany managed to expand their trade relations with the Middle East and Iraq during the last years. Russia became the biggest partner in trade and the rejection of the US war preparations by the Schroeder government had an effect ” like the promotion of exports" (Juergen Friedrich, Chamber of Commerce in Dubai) for German enterprises in the Arab region. Russia, France and Germany, therefore, are not prepared to give way to US imperialism. For this reason, as the main oil purchaser, they cannot accept the transformation of Iraq into a US protectorate.

6. Since the beginning of the war, the struggle for the postwar order in Iraq has been intensifying. The Russian minister of energy demanded the "immediate return of Russian enterprises into Iraq when the war is over. They should continue their work there."  Yesterday in German parliament, Chancellor Schroeder also laid claim to a German participation in the "reconstruction of Iraq". The demand that this can only take place under UN mandate is clearly directed against the US claim to predominance. The oil fields Rumaila, Majnoon, West Quma, Bin Umar (Nahr Umar), however, to which exclusively Russia, France and China have concessions, are now occupied by British troops. US imperialism,  as well, leaves no doubt that it has not waged the war in order to leave over the control of Iraq to others afterwards. Contracts that have already been concluded for the "reconstruction" of the industry were awarded to US enterprises like Bechtel, Schlumberger and Halliburton were awarded these contracts. The leading US arms companies Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman can reckon with war dividends when the deadly missile arsenals for the next war have to be filled up again.

7. In the meantime, the imperialist character of Bush's "New War" can hardly be concealed in the bourgeois media either. E.g. Hans-Ulrich Joerges writes in the magazine "stern" (14/2003): When after September 11, Bush announced a war lasting for ten years the world considered this to be "an overreaction of the seriously injured hyperpower. (...) Now everybody is  beginning to realize: They are serious, they want more. Iran, Syria, Saudi-Arabia, Lebanon, North Korea". The USA has declared war on these countries because they oppose the total opening up of their countries to the imperialist penetration or have business dealings with other international monopolies.  After the war on Afghanistan, the war on Iraq is only the second act of Bush's New War. The psychological war preparation against Syria and Iran makes clear that other acts will follow.

8. The recently published book "Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods) over the `New World Order´´" by Stefan Engel deals with the dilemma of the USA:

"The reorganization of the international production entails a new phase in the struggle of the international monopolies and imperialist states for the redivision of the world. This intensifies the general danger of war. (...) The policy of the USA to declare war on the whole world for an indefinite period with the "New War" manifests the fundamental weakness of the imperialist rule. The more US imperialism resorts to the method of worldwide direct military control and oppression, the more the numbers of fronts are increasing on which it will have to defend itself against the onslaught of the working class and the masses of people and wear itself down." (p. 530, German edition)
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