It would probably be difficult to prove Israel?s direct role in driving the United States to go to war against Iraq, but no one doubts that the Jewish state is the third winner of this war, after the U.S. and Britain.
Regardless of the accuracy of the information that was leaked by the Israeli media about the participation of Israeli officers in discussing the war plans, the information that is circulating in the Arab world confirms that Israel placed at the disposal of the Americans intelligence information about Iraq?s military capacity, and provided them with details about its experience from the invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and the siege of Beirut, as well as about its practices during its invasion of the Palestinian territories last year. Moreover, it quietly provided the Americans with storage facilities for their weapons, and made available its airports and seaports for the transfer of military hardware to the battlefield.
There is no doubt that the American war plan that was implemented in Iraq will be studied in war colleges of several countries as a successful operation. Yet images of such operation reveal a great deal of similarity between the practices that the invading American forces followed in Iraq and those practiced by Israel in its wars against Lebanon and the Palestinian areas. Both of them depended on superior firepower to subdue the population by way of striking terror into the heart of civilians. Both also intentionally humiliated the civilian population by installing checkpoints on the roads and in making civilians wait for hours before being allowed to continue their journeys. And just as the Israeli do with the Palestinians, the Americans made sure to cover the eyes of the detainees, and to place bags on their heads while tying their hands behind their backs in an obvious effort to break their morale.
In addition, preparing the world public for the American invasion followed the pattern employed by the Israelis ahead of their invasions of Lebanon and the Palestinian areas. In 1982, a determined campaign was unleashed by the Israelis to depict Lebanon as a center for terrorists, while last year the Palestinian areas were described as being under the sway of a corrupt Palestinian leadership that employed terror as a mean to achieve its political objectives. Yasser Arafat was depicted as a tyrannical leader who wasted the money of the Palestinians on terrorist activities, and to indulge himself and his followers. Similar charges were made against Iraq and Saddam Hussein before the American invasion, in addition to accusing that country of owning weapons of mass destruction, thus threatening the international community. And while no one disputes the charges of George Bush and Tony Blair against Saddam Hussein being a corrupt tyrant, such characteristics apply to many rulers that the U.S. and Britain consider friendly.
Still, the military tactics that the American and British forces used in order to storm Iraqi cities are similar to the ones used by the Israelis to attack Beirut, Nablus, Ramallah and other Palestinian towns and villages. Both sides carried out their aggression in three phases. The first phase involved isolating the ‘target’ and cutting off its electricity and water supply, and preventing civilians who leave from returning. It was accompanied by a psychological war that aimed at breaking the will of the people to resist. Civilians were deliberately targeted, after which sorrow was expressed. The second phase included penetrating the weak areas under heavy fire, and pretending to give up the plan to invade only to rapidly assault the ?target?. The third phase involved occupying the Iraqi cities and to take up positions in sensitive areas to be followed by mopping up operations.
It seems that the Bush administration is determined on implementing the Israeli theory in its entirety. It has appointed a ?military governor? to Iraq, the retired General Jay Garner, Israel?s friend. Garner?s declared mission is to organize the affairs of the population, while his true mission is to supervise the theft of the country?s wealth. But it is Saddam Hussein who carries the main burden of responsibility for the fate of Iraq. The American-British invasion wouldn?t have been possible had it not been for the services he rendered to the U.S. by his invasion of Iran and later of Kuwait, thus allowing the U.S. and Britain to control his country and manipulate the prices of oil in the international market.
And regardless of his intentions, Saddam Hussein caused huge damage to the Arabs, and helped create another cause to divert the attention of the Arab from the Palestinian question. Also, Syria and Lebanon lost their strategic significance, while the former is now under intense American pressure in order to remain silent on the American occupation of Iraq. In addition, Israel will reap the benefit of the American domination over Iraq by gaining access to Iraqi oil, while Sharon tries to drive the American administration to help his in making Syria submit to his demands to withdraw its troops from Lebanon and to disarm Hizbullah, as well as to make the ‘road map’ a tool to control the Palestinians.