FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

How America Has Changed Iraq

“If the United States leaves Iraq things will really get bad.”

This appears to be the last remaining, barely-breathing argument of that vanishing species who still support the god-awful war. The argument implies a deeply-felt concern about the welfare and safety of the Iraqi people. What else could it mean? That the US military can’t leave because it’s needed to protect the oil bonanza awaiting American oil companies as soon as the Iraqi parliament approves the new written-in-Washington oil law? No, the Bush administration loves the people of Iraq. How much more destruction, killing and torturing do you need to be convinced of that? We can’t leave because of the violence. We can’t leave until we have assured that peace returns to our dear comrades in Iraq.

To better understand this argument, it helps to keep in mind the following about the daily horror that is life in Iraq: It did not exist before the US occupation.

The insurgency violence began as, and remains, a reaction to the occupation; like almost all insurgencies in occupied countries — from the American Revolution to the Vietcong — it’s a fight directed toward getting foreign forces to leave.

The next phase was the violence of Iraqis against other Iraqis who worked for or sought employment with anything associated with the occupation regime.

Then came retaliatory attacks for these attacks.

Followed by retaliatory attacks for the retaliatory attacks.

Jihadists from many countries have flocked to Iraq because they see the war against the American Satan occupiers as a holy war.

Before the occupation, many Sunnis and Shiites married each other; since the occupation they have been caught up in a spiral of hating and killing each other.

And for these acts there, of course, has to be retaliation.

The occupation’s abolishment of most jobs in the military and in Saddam Hussein’s government, and the chaos that is Iraqi society under the occupation, have left many destitute; kidnapings for ransom and other acts of criminal violence have become popular ways to make a living, or at least survive.

US-trained, financed, and armed Iraqi forces have killed large numbers of people designated as “terrorists” by someone official, or perhaps someone unofficial, or by someone unknown, or by chance.

The US military itself has been a main perpetrator of violence, killing individually and en masse, killing any number, any day, for any reason, anyone, any place, often in mindless retaliation against anyone nearby for an insurgent attack.

The US military and its coalition allies have also been the main target of violent attacks. A Department of Defense report of November 2006 stated: “Coalition forces remained the target of the majority of attacks (68%).”

And here is James Baker, establishment eminence, co-chair of the Iraq Study Group, on CNN with Anderson Cooper:

Cooper: And is it possible that getting the U.S. troops out will actually lessen that violence, that it will at least take away the motivation of nationalist insurgents?

Baker: Many people have argued that to us. Many people in Iraq made that case.

Cooper: Do you buy it?

Baker: Yes, I think there is some validity to it, absolutely. Then we are no longer seen to be the occupiers.

In spite of all of the above we are told that the presence of the United States military has been and will continue to be a buffer against violence. Iraqis themselves do not believe this. A poll published in September found that Iraqis believe, by a margin of 78 to 21 percent, that the US military presence is “provoking more conflict that it is preventing”.

Remember that we were warned a thousand times of a communist bloodbath in Vietnam if American forces left. The American forces left. There was never any kind of bloodbath.

If the United States leaves — meaning all its troops and bases — it will remove the very foundation, origin, and inspiration of most of the hate and violence. Iraqis will have a chance to reclaim their land and their life. They have a right to be given that opportunity. Let America’s deadly “love” embrace of the Iraqi people come to an end. Let the healing begin.

WILLIAM BLUM is the author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, Rogue State: a guide to the World’s Only Super Power. and West-Bloc Dissident: a Cold War Political Memoir.

He can be reached at: BBlum6@aol.com

 

 

More articles by:
July 17, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Trump & The Big Bad Bugs
Robert Hunziker
Trump Kills Science – Nature Strikes Back
John Grant
The Politics of Cruelty
Kenneth Surin
Calculated Buffoonery: Trump in the UK
Jim Kavanagh
Fighting Fake Stories: The New Yorker, Israel and Obama
Daniel Falcone
Chomsky on the Trump NATO Ruse
W. T. Whitney
Oil Underground in Neuquén, Argentina – and a New US Military Base There
Doug Rawlings
Ken Burns’ “The Vietnam War” was Nominated for an Emmy, Does It Deserve It?
Rajan Menon
The United States of Inequality
Thomas Knapp
Have Mueller and Rosenstein Finally Gone Too Far?
Cesar Chelala
An Insatiable Salesman
Dean Baker
Truth, Trump and the Washington Post
Mel Gurtov
Human Rights Trumped
Binoy Kampmark
Putin’s Football Gambit: How the World Cup Paid Off
July 16, 2018
Sheldon Richman
Trump Turns to Gaza as Middle East Deal of the Century Collapses
Charles Pierson
Kirstjen Nielsen Just Wants to Protect You
Brett Wilkins
The Lydda Death March and the Israeli State of Denial
Patrick Cockburn
Trump Knows That the US Can Exercise More Power in a UK Weakened by Brexit
Robert Fisk
The Fisherman of Sarajevo Told Tales Past Wars and Wars to Come
Gary Leupp
When Did Russia Become an Adversary?
Uri Avnery
“Not Enough!”
Dave Lindorff
Undermining Trump-Putin Summit Means Promoting War
Manuel E. Yepe
World Trade War Has Begun
Binoy Kampmark
Trump Stomps Britain
Wim Laven
The Best Deals are the Deals that Develop Peace
Kary Love
Can We Learn from Heinrich Himmler’s Daughter? Should We?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Franklin Lamb, Requiescat in Pace
Weekend Edition
July 13, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Brian Cloughley
Lessons That Should Have Been Learned From NATO’s Destruction of Libya
Paul Street
Time to Stop Playing “Simon Says” with James Madison and Alexander Hamilton
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: In the Land of Formula and Honey
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s Intellectuals Bow to the Queen of Chaos 
Michael Collins
The Affirmative Action Silo
Andrew Levine
Tipping Points
Geoff Dutton
Fair and Balanced Opinion at the New York Times
Ajamu Baraka
Cultural and Ideological Struggle in the US: a Final Comment on Ocasio-Cortez
David Rosen
The New McCarthyism: Is the Electric Chair Next for the Left?
Ken Levy
The McConnell Rule: Nasty, Brutish, and Unconstitutional
George Wuerthner
The Awful Truth About the Hammonds
Robert Fisk
Will Those Killed by NATO 19 Years Ago in Serbia Ever Get Justice?
Robert Hunziker
Three Climatic Monsters with Asteroid Impact
Ramzy Baroud
Europe’s Iron Curtain: The Refugee Crisis is about to Worsen
Nick Pemberton
A Letter For Scarlett JoManDaughter
Marilyn Garson
Netanyahu’s War on Transcendence 
Patrick Cockburn
Is ISIS About to Lose Its Last Stronghold in Syria?
Joseph Grosso
The Invisible Class: Workers in America
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail