Iraq Watch: Iraq War and Globalization, Humanitarian Worker Kidnapped, Muslim Scholars Arrested in Iraq

The Iraq war and Globalization, 70,000 March against Iraq war in London, Humanitarian aid worker taken hostage in Iraq, Muslim scholars arrested in Iraq

The Iraq war and Globalization

Much discussion and analysis has centered on the Iraq war and how it ties into the larger framework of what is commonly referred to as “globalization.” Certainly, there has been a great deal of overlap between the anti-war movement and the anti-globalization movement. Many of the organizations and structures that were created during the late nineties to confront the IMF and the World Bank formed the infrastructure, which allowed for the rapid development of the anti-Iraq war movement in 2003.

Two new articles written by Foriegn Policy in Focus contributors Stephen Zunes and Mark Engler take somewhat different perspectives on the relationship between corporate globalization and the invasion of Iraq. In his article ‘The US Invasion of Iraq: The Military Side of Globalization?‘, Zunes argues that the invasion of Iraq represents the advancement of neo-liberal economic policies through direct military intervention. Engler agues in ‘Are the War and Globalization Really Connected?‘ that the Iraq war represents a break in the multilateralist globalization model propagated by Clinton, contrasting it with what he refers to as Bush’s imperial model of globalization.

70,000 March against Iraq war in London

In London, thousands of people marched on Sunday against the Iraq invasion in an event that marked the end of the European Social Forum. Organizers said that between 65,000 and 75,000 protesters had taken to the streets for the peaceful march. Sunday’s march was the latest in a series of demonstrations organized by the Stop The War Coalition before and after the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 that was backed by Britain.

Sunday’s demonstration came after 25,000 protesters marched through London in March on the first anniversary of the Iraq invasion. Last November, up to 200,000 people protested in Trafalgar Square when US President George W. Bush was in London for a state visit. Ahead of the Iraq war in February 2003, police estimated that one million people descended on the capital to protest the looming invasion, while organisers said the figure was nearer two million.

For information about the London protests and the European Social Forum, check out UK Indy Media, which is back on-line after having their server seized by the FBI.

Humanitarian aid worker taken hostage in Iraq

Margaret Hassan, Country Director of CARE international in Iraq, was abducted Tuesday morning in Baghdad. Hassan, an Iraqi citizen, worked in Iraq over the last decade implementing humanitarian programs. She was an outspoken critic of the U.N. sanctions against Iraq as well as the 2003 invasion and occupation. According to British reporter Robert Fisk:

Margaret was the enemy of United Nations sanctions on Iraq. She is the symbol of all those who believe that Iraq – a real, free, unoccupied Iraq – has a future; and all we can be told is that she, too, has joined the legion of the unpersons, the “disappeared”, the list of those who, because of their language or the colour of their eyes or their nationality, have slipped into Iraq’s dark hole.

Before the war to remove Saddam Hussein, Margaret was among the many who warned the British Government that an invasion and occupation would produce a humanitarian crisis in a country already severely weakened by the embargoes

Muslim scholars arrested in Iraq

According to Al Jazeera, “US forces in Iraq have arrested a number of members of the Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS) in Iraq after their participation in a conference calling for boycotting Iraqi elections.” At the conference the AMS members issued a statement confirming the right of resistance by the Iraqi people and held the interim Allawi government responsible for “US massacres in Iraq.” The statement also condemned Arab and Muslim governments, who they claimed demoralized their own people by not supporting the people of Iraq. The AMS said that Iraqis should boycott the election due for January if military actions were being carried out against Iraqi cities.

Author: mediamouse

Grand Rapids independent media // mediamouse.org