I can predict a whole lotta hate mail coming my way soon via NST’s Letters pages, as happened the last time.
This is Abdul Razak Abu Samah’s letter that appeared in the NST, 24 Dec 2009:
There’s no moral justification for this oil venture
THE oil deal between Petronas and its partners and the Iraqi authorities (“Petronas in giant Iraq oil deals” — NST, Dec 12) has caused some to raise their eyebrows not only from the point of view of the legality of the Iraqi government under international law but the morality of the deals per se.
The Iraq war has always been a contentious issue ever since the country under Saddam Hussein was invaded and occupied by the United States and Britain.
They defended the invasion on the grounds that they needed to take a pre-emptive strike against Saddam to destroy his weapons of mass destruction.
But those weapons never existed. The Americans themselves have admitted as much and the United Nations has confirmed it. The war was unnecessary. It was a grand design to seize what the US and Britain needed most: oil.
And to give effect to their scheme, they had to get rid of Saddam. Or else, they considered him a threat to Israel and he had to be eliminated. This is the irrefutable conclusion.
They could hardly say otherwise once the reason for the invasion and occupation became indefensible.
The status quo that has been established in Iraq is, therefore, a government with an Iraqi face but with the heart and soul of the American and the British.
The latter, seeing the immorality of it all, are slowly walking out, leaving the Ame-ricans behind (and it looks as if we are walking in instead).
But the war goes on. Iraqis who are loyal to Saddam are waging an underground war against the occupying forces but thousands of Iraqis have been killed.
On what moral threshold, therefore, are we seen to be a party to enjoying the fruits of an illegal and unjust war?
If worldly gain and riches are the criteria in our endeavours, then would it not be correct and legitimate also to make Israel our trading partner?
What is the difference? Under such a cloud of clashing causes and moral values, who are we to blame then if the Malaysians working there become the target of suicide attacks?
The contractual terms in the oil bargain may stipulate the work to begin after the American troops have left Iraq, but there is no clear time frame when this will happen.
ABDUL RAZAK ABU SAMAHBohor, Pahang
And this is my response which basically says, why punish Iraqis just ‘cos you hate Bush?
Some parts the NSt editors removed from my original added back in in Italics. Some helpful links I added into the text for reference. Minor changes to style left as NST version, but overall the vast majority of my original text was left as is.
(NST links become defunct after a period.)
IRAQ: US-led invasion has saved lives
SCOTT THONG YU YUEN, Ipoh
I AM not in any way justifying the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the United States and Britain. However, I am of the opinion that Abdul Razak Abu Samah (“There’s no moral justification for this oil venture” — NST, Dec 24) is misinformed about what is going on in Iraq.
First, it is a misconception that weapons of mass destruction were the only reason given for former US president George W. Bush’s invasion. Among the many other factors cited by the US Congress were Saddam Hussein’s infamous atrocities carried out on Iraq’s civilian population, his non-compliance with countless United Nations resolutions (including firing on enforcement planes) and his now proven sponsorship of various terrorist organisations. Honestly, why didn’t the UN take “multilateral” action itself instead of allowing the US to start a “unilateral” invasion?
Second, it is a gross insult to insinuate that the Iraqis are little more than Anglo-controlled sheep. Iraq underwent nationwide democratic elections with 79.6 per cent turnout to choose their new government, and the UN rejected any allegations of fraud. By Abdul Razak’s same standard, is Malaysia’s government also illegitimate because as a former British colony that underwent British-approved elections and British-agreed independence in the 1950s, we have ‘a government with a Malaysian face but with the heart and soul of the British’?
Third, I find it hard to accept that “the war goes on” because “Iraqis who are loyal to Saddam are waging an underground war against the occupying forces”. Has Razak never heard of the Anbar Awakening, where the Iraqis themselves decided to end the reign of terrorism by rising up against al-Qaeda en masse? Imagine that: the Iraqis sided with the “occupying forces” over the “freedom fighters”. Madness, surely!
[Interlude: Michael J. Totten: Anbar Awakens Part I: The Battle of Ramadi - ...the mosques in the city went crazy. The imams screamed jihad from the loudspeakers. We went to the roof of the outpost and braced for a major assault. Our interpreter joined us. Hold on, he said. They aren’t screaming jihad against us. They are screaming jihad against the insurgents.]
Also, if people would open their eyes, they would know that the situation in Iraq is actually more peaceful today than any time in the past 30 years. An official report by the defence, interior and health ministries estimates that from Nov 1 last year to Aug 31 this year, there were just 3,045 Iraqi casualties — a rate of just 304.5 deaths per month.
In comparison, the murder rate in peacetime South Africa is five times greater at 1,512.3 deaths per month.
Not only has violence in Iraq dropped to pre-invasion levels, the death rate is in fact far lower than during Saddam’s rule (3,035.1 deaths per month or 10 times greater) and when UN sanctions were in place (9,259.3 deaths per month). The UN sanctions were thus a far greater killer of Iraqis than Saddam, Bush and Blair put together. - why no condemnation from Abdul Razak?
A quick calculation will find that the invasion actually saved more Iraqi lives than it took. On Oct 14, the Associated Press reported the Human Rights Ministry’s findings where from the beginning of 2004 to Oct 31 last year, 85,694 Iraqis were killed (1,477.5 deaths per month).
By extrapolating the earlier mentioned death rates, we can estimate that if the American-led invasion had not ended both Saddam’s rule and the UN sanctions, a total of 836,019 (206,387 added to 629,632) Iraqis would have died from Jan 1, 2004 to Aug 31 this year.
Taken against the figure of just 88,739 deaths during that period, we can therefore determine that 747,280 fewer Iraqi lives have been lost due to “Bush and Blair’s war of aggression”. Three-quarters of a million lives saved — maybe that’s why a BBC poll in March found that 56 per cent of Iraqis think Bush’s invasion was wrong, but 42 per cent think it was right and 85 per cent describe the current situation as “very good or quite good”.
And finally, shouldn’t we let the past be the past? Why punish the Iraqi people just to spite Bush and Blair, who are both no longer in office? Is Razak suggesting that no one should do business with the Iraqi people until some unspecified time in the distant future? Wouldn’t that be just another round of senseless and ruthless sanctions?
After two decades of Saddam’s brutality, another decade of inhumane sanctions concurrent with his continued despotism, and then close to seven years of suffering under terrorist attacks, is further depriving the Iraqi people really the moral thing to do? Why not ask them what they want instead of imposing our own prejudices on them?
Yes indeed, Warmonger Bush saved 750,000 Iraqi lives – see it for details and calculations that were used. An attempted submission under that title had failed to be published earlier on.
I will close with some photos of Peace in Iraq: