and see our overflowing morgues and find our little ones for us...
may find them in this corner or the other, a little hand poking
out, pointing out at you...
Come and search for them in the rubble of your "surgical" air
raids, you may find a little leg or a little head... pleading
for your attention.
Come and see them amassed in the garbage dumps, scavenging morsels
Come and see, come..."
"Flying Kites" Layla Anwar
The US Military
has won every battle it has fought in Iraq, but it has lost the
war. Wars are won politically, not militarily. Bush doesn't understand
this. He still clings to the belief that a political settlement
can be imposed through force. But he is mistaken. The use
of overwhelming force has only spread the violence and added to
the political instability. Now Iraq is ungovernable.
Was that the objective? Miles of concrete
blast-walls snake through Baghdad to separate the warring parties;
the country is fragmented into a hundred smaller pieces each ruled
by local militia commanders. These are the signs of failure
not success. That's why the American people no longer support
the occupation. They're just being practical; they know Bush's
plan won't work. As Nir Rosen says, "Iraq has become Somalia."
The administration still supports Iraqi President Nouri al-Maliki,
but al-Maliki is a meaningless figurehead who will have no effect
on the country's future. He has no popular base of support and
controls nothing beyond the walls of the Green Zone. The al-Maliki
government is merely an Arab facade designed to convince
the American people that political progress is being made, but
there is no progress. It's a sham. The future is in
the hands of the men with guns; they're the ones who have divided
Iraq into locally-controlled fiefdoms and they are the one's who
will ultimately decide who will rule the state.
al-Maliki government is merely an Arab facade designed to convince
the American people that political progress is being made,
but there is no progress. It's a sham. The future
is in the hands of the men with guns.
the fighting between the factions is being described
as "sectarian warfare", but the term is intentionally misleading.
The fighting is political in nature; the various militias
are competing with each other to see who will fill the vacuum left
by the removal of Saddam. It's a power struggle. The media likes
to portray the conflict as a clash between half-crazed Arabs
- "dead-enders and terrorists" - who relish the idea of killing
their countrymen, but that's just a way of demonizing the enemy.
In truth, the violence is entirely rational; it is the inevitable
reaction to the dissolution of the state and the occupation by
foreign troops. Many military experts predicted that there would
be outbreaks of fighting after the initial invasion,
but their warnings were shrugged off by clueless politicians
and the cheerleading media. Now the violence has flared up
again in Basra and Baghdad, and there is no end in sight.
Only one thing seems certain, Iraq's future will not be decided
at the ballot box. Bush has made sure of that.
US military does not rule Iraq nor does it have the power to
control events on the ground. It's just one of
many militias vieing for power in a state that is ruled
by warlords. After the army conducts combat operations,
it is forced to retreat to its camps and bases. This point
needs to be emphasized in order to understand that
there is no real future for the occupation.
The US simply does not have the manpower to hold territory or
to establish security. In fact, the presence of American
troops incites violence because they are seen as
forces of occupation, not liberators.
the army conducts combat operations, it is forced
to retreat to its camps and bases. This point needs
to be emphasized in order to understand that
there is no real future for the occupation.
that the vast majority of the Iraqi people want US troops
to leave. The military has destroyed too much of the country
and slaughtered too many people to expect that these attitudes
will change anytime soon. Iraqi
poet and blogger Layla Anwar sums up the feelings of many of the
war's victims in a recent post on her website, "An Arab Women's
the gates of Babylon the Great, you are still struggling, fighting
away, chasing this or the other, detaining, bombing from above,
filling up morgues, hospitals, graveyards and embassies and borders
with queues for exit-visas.
Iraqi wishes your presence. Not one Iraqi accepts
news for you Motherfuckers, you will never control Iraq, not in
six years, not in 10 years, not in 20 years... You have brought
upon yourself the hate and the curse of all Iraqis, Arabs and
the rest of the world... now face your agony."
Anwar; "An Arab Women's Blues: Reflections in a sealed bottle")
Is Bush hoping
to change the mind of Layla or the millions of other Iraqis
who have lost loved ones or been forced into exile or seen their
country and culture crushed beneath the boot heel of foreign occupation?
The hearts and minds campaign is lost. The US will never
be welcome in Iraq.
to a survey in the British Medical Journal "Lancet," more than
a million Iraqis have been killed in the war. Another four million
have been either internally-displaced or have fled the country.
But the figures tell us nothing about the magnitude of the disaster
that Bush has caused by attacking Iraq.
long as the occupation persists, so will the fighting. The
claims that the so-called surge has changed the political
landscape are greatly exaggerated.
is the greatest human catastrophe in the Middle East since
the Nakba in 1948. Living standards have declined precipitously
in every area - infant mortality, clean water, food-security,
medical supplies, education, electrical power, employment etc.
Even oil production is still below pre-war levels. The invasion
is the most comprehensive policy failure since Vietnam; everything
has gone wrong. The heart of the Arab world has descended into
chaos. The suffering is incalculable.
main problem is the occupation; it is the primary catalyst
for violence and an obstacle to political settlement.
As long as the occupation persists, so will the fighting. The
claims that the so-called surge has changed the political
landscape are greatly exaggerated. Retired Lt. General William
Odom commented on this point in an interview on the
Jim Lerher News Hour:
has sustained military instability and achieved nothing in political
consolidation... Things are much worse now. And I don't see them
getting any better. This was foreseeable a year and a half ago.
And to continue to put the cozy veneer of comfortable half-truths
on this is to deceive the American public and to make them think
it is not the charade it is... When you say that the Lebanization
of Iraq is taking place, yes, but not because of Iran, but because
the U.S. went in and made this kind of fragmentation possible.
And it has occurred over the last five years... The al-Maliki
government is worse off now... The notion that there's some kind
of progress is absurd. The al-Maliki government uses its Ministry
of Interior like a death squad militia. So to call Sadr an extremist
and Maliki a good guy just overlooks the reality that there are
no good guys."
Lerher News Hour)
The war in
Iraq was lost before the first shot was fired. The conflict never
had the support of the American people and Iraq never posed a threat
to US national security. The whole pretext for the war
was based on lies; it was a coup orchestrated by
elites and the media to carry out a far-right agenda.
Now the mission has failed, but no one wants to
admit their mistakes by withdrawing; so the butchery continues
will have to be international tribunals to determine
who is responsible in the deaths of over one million Iraqis.
administration has decided to pursue a strategy that is unprecedented
in US history. It has decided to continue to prosecute a war that
has already been lost morally, strategically, and militarily. But
fighting a losing war has its costs.
America is much weaker now than it was when Bush first took
office in 2000; politically, economically and militarily. US power
and prestige around the world will continue to deteriorate until
the troops are withdrawn from Iraq. But that's unlikely to
happen until all other options have been exhausted.
Deteriorating economic conditions in the financial markets are
putting enormous downward pressure on the dollar. The corporate
bond and equities markets are in disarray; the banking system
is collapsing, consumer spending is down, tax revenues are falling,
and the country is headed into a painful and protracted recession.
The US will leave Iraq sooner than many pundits believe,
but it will not be at a time of our choosing. Rather,
the conflict will end when the United States no longer has the capacity
to wage war. That time is not far off.
Iraq War signals the end of US interventionism for at least a
generation; maybe longer. The ideological foundation
for the war (preemption/regime change) has been exposed as a baseless
justification for unprovoked aggression. Someone will have
to be held accountable. There will have to be international tribunals
to determine who is responsible in the deaths of over one
Mike Whitney is a well respected freelance writer living in Washington
state, interested in politics and economics from a libertarian
perspective. He can be reached at [email protected].
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