Galileo Galilei (1564 – 1642).
Alliances are created to enhance interests, and are abandoned just as eagerly when interests shift elsewhere. In politics there is no such thing as permanent alliances, only permanent interests. Saddam Hussein (April 28, 1937 – December 30, 2006) and the US allied themselves to enhance each other’s interests in the Middle East.
The US aided Saddam Hussein with weapons as well as strategic intelligence during the Iran-Iraq war; in return the US secured influence in the region along with cheap oil. Saddam Hussein no doubt was exceptionally talented, very ambitious, ruthless and most of all cunning, willing to pay any price to achieve his goals; these were the reasons he was brought to power by the US in 1979. The Western nations willingly and indeed eagerly continued to help strengthen his grip onto power until he committed the first of his two crimes. That was to invade Kuwait, consequently erasing the border created by the colonialists.
Hence, the primary reason for the First Gulf War was to undo what Saddam Hussein had tried to do, erase the border and unite the region. Iraq, much like the rest of the Middle East has been and continues to be a colony of the West. Iraq was carved out from the relics of the Ottoman Empire by British and French diplomats Mark Sykes and Georges Picot after the First World War.
The entire Middle East was divided into colonies and puppet regimes were installed to ensure Arabs stay divided. The borders exist for one purpose, to restrict the unification of the Arabs and Muslims – serving the famous British divide and rule policy. To be sure, Saddam Hussein was recruited by the CIA to rule over the colony called Iraq. It would seem clear that the Western powers must have underestimated the ambitiousness of Saddam Hussein when they helped him to achieve total power over Iraq.
We could now in hindsight easily argue that Saddam Hussein’s ambitions had no limits; the presidency of Iraq was not enough, he desired much more, he desired immortality, just like Saladin who captured Jerusalem in 1187 by defeating the Crusaders. Saddam Hussein wanted to be among the giants in history, like Salahuddin Ayyubi and Nooruddin Zangi. He made the shrewdest and boldest move in November 2000; he abandoned the US dollar and started to trade the Iraqi oil in euros.
Saddam Hussein knew there would be consequences if he abandoned the dollar, if he challenged US hegemony, if he committed his second crime. The dollar dominates global trade, and Saddam Hussein could not be allowed to meddle with the dollar’s hegemony. The fact is that the US as a global superpower indirectly taxes the whole world via the dollar; the US makes huge financial gains when currencies are bought and sold using the dollar as a medium of exchange. The dollar in other words is used to impose American dominion.
The “reserve currency” status of the dollar is an indispensable element of the American financial, political, and military Empire. The US had no choice but to invade and occupy Iraq to protect the dollar, for the alternative would be no less than a catastrophe, especially if other nations decided to follow Saddam Hussein’s perfidious act and abandon the dollar and trade in euros instead. Saddam Hussein’s maneuver has forced the US into an unwinnable guerrilla war. Saddam’s brilliant play can only be described as the equivalent to checkmate in chess terminology.
It has become apparent that the Iraqi occupation has drained the US treasury and weakened the US forces significantly, and most importantly the occupation has left the US incapable of multitasking. As Saddam had hoped, the US walked straight into a trap as there are now clear signs of the American imperial dream coming to an end. The dollar too is collapsing and soon the euro will overtake the dollar as the world’s dominant reserve currency.
It is amusing to realize that Saddam Hussein did possess after all “weapons of mass destruction.” The most dangerous weapon in his arsenal was not nuclear; it was his strategy, his mind. Yes, we all agree the wars are won and lost not on battlefield but in the mind.
Perhaps soon historians will begin their work of writing how and why the US Empire collapsed. I can confidently predict that Saddam Hussein’s name will be on top of the list. They might very well argue that Saddam Hussein’s brilliant play catalyzed the collapse of the American Empire.