From A World to Win News Service

Motley Crew: The "International Coalition" in Iraq

Revolutionary Worker #1211, August 24, 2003, posted at

The U.S. government and the bourgeois press have been saying that "terrorists and mercenaries" from all over the world are going into Iraq. But the following article by A World to Win News Service (August 11, 2003) exposes how the U.S. troops and a motley crew of soldiers from other countries supporting the U.S. occupation make up the real terrorist forces in Iraq.

Puppet troops from U.S. satellite countries and others from secondary predators hoping to extend their reach under American auspices are part of a division the U.S. appointed Poland to lead, to be stationed in the mid-south, between the American and British sectors. The Iraq war is unpopular in Poland, but that government has been promised a chance to help bleed Iraq. U.S. Vice President Cheney's former construction company, Halliburton, the prime contractor for Iraq, has signed a deal with Polish firms. But that's just the starter. "We have never hidden our desire for Polish oil companies to finally have access to sources of commodities," Polish Foreign Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz admitted in an interview. Access to Iraqi oilfields "is our ultimate objective," he said.

The U.S. is also paying Poland in cash for its services.

One detachment already training in Kuwait under Polish command is from Ukraine. An Orthodox priest blessed them as they boarded the aircraft in Kiev. When Ukraine sold weapons systems to Iraq before the war, the U.S. slammed its president, Kuchma, as a thug who has opponents and journalists murdered. This troop deployment has apparently healed relations.

Spain is leading a subunit of the international division. Its first troops to arrive in Iraq wore shoulder patches with the cross of St. James of Compostela, a Catholic saint known as "the Moor killer" who helped conquer Spain for Christian warlords, inaugurating an era of darkness and religious persecution. In one of history's earliest acts of "ethnic cleansing," Arabs and Jews were driven out and Christians suspected of "heresy" were burned at the stake.

Under Spanish command will be troops from El Salvador, Honduras, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua, former Spanish colonies now under Yankee domination. In the sixteenth century Spain became a world power by plundering South America. Now its strategy is to get the U.S. to let it share as a junior partner in today's investor-led looting of the continent.

Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands are sending officers as a way to give them battleground experience and strengthen their armies. Italy will also send troops despite the outcry at home. Italian forces will serve under the command of the UK, against whom Italy fought for control of the Middle East in World War 2. Japan decided to send soldiers as well, although the constitution forbids it from taking part in any war. This put an end to half a century of official pacifism. It furthers the country's current drive to build up powerful armed forces capable of fighting for Japanese interests against Third World countries. President Koizuma promised to pay three-quarters of a million dollars to the families of each soldier killed in combat.

The governments sending troops are very consciously taking their place alongside Bush's America in its bid to reshape the world. Some governments that really wanted the rewards of sending flesh to feed the U.S. war machine have not been able to because of fear of endangering their own rule--for example, Turkey and India. Not even the most servile Arab governments dared send men. Although the future line- up of nations won't be the same as the composition of this division, its formation is a significant political and military event.

But the coalition is not very impressive. Altogether 13,000 troops from 19 countries have been promised, according to the U.S. government. This is less than a third of what the U.S. needs and sought from some 40 countries. Instead of being able to reduce its forces, the U.S. already foresees having to send more, replacing some of its full-time soldiers with reservist National Guard brigades.

This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
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