Three themes stand out in Iraq’s history over the last century, in the light of the present U.S. plans to invade and occupy that country. First, the attempt by imperialist powers to dominate Iraq in order to grab its vast oil wealth. In this regard there is hardly a dividing line between oil corporations and their home governments, with the governments undertaking to promote, secure, and militarily protect their oil corporations. Second, the attempt by each imperialist power to exclude others from the prize. Third, the vibrancy of nationalist opposition among the people of Iraq and indeed the entire region to these designs of imperialism. This is manifested at times in mass upsurges and at other times in popular pressure on whomever is in power to demand better terms from the oil companies or even to expropriate them. The following account is limited to Iraq, and it provides only the barest sketch
Since September 11, 2001, there have been many accounts of the ways in which the alignment of global power is changing or will be changed by the U.S. war on terrorism. Most of them take as their starting point the options facing the wealthy and powerful nations of the world seeking to control an ever larger share of the world’s resources. Behind the Invasion of Iraq is written from a different perspective, and one that makes possible a far more comprehensive point of view.