Monday, December 21, 2015

Iraq’s tragedy

Iraq’s tragedy

Last Wednesday, Iraqi insurgents belonging to the Al Qaeda splinter stormed northern Iraq occupying the cities of Mosul and Tikrit, the hometown of executed President Saddam Hussein, and seizing oil fields in Salahuddin province.  The attack by a large number of insurgents calling themselves the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) saw the US trained Iraqi forces retreating.  Accordingly, the US spent $20 billion to train and equip an army that did not have the grit to fight.   In their haste, the troops left behind American Humvees and helicopters, while gunmen looted the central bank of Mosul of $240 million and took 48 employees of the Turkish consulate as hostages.

The scene is reminiscent of the last days before the US-installed puppet government of South Vietnam fell to the hands of the Vietnamese Liberation forces.  The Iraqi soldiers were seen retreating with the fleeing civilians.  That ugly scene was expected because the US motive for invading that country was not to liberate it from a stubbornly nationalist and patriotic President whom the US and its Western allies calling him a ruthless dictator, but to principally covet its vast oil resources.  
Today, events continue to unfold in Iraq, and slowly, the truth is coming out that the US and its Western allies committed the most heinous crime against the people of Iraq exacting close to a million casualties.  What they did to Saddam is exactly the same to what they are doing to bring down their own installed puppet, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.  The US had an axe to grind against Iran, and that began after the Shiite cleric Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ousted the Shah of Iran.  In no time after the coup d’ etat, the entire US embassy personnel on November 4, 1979 were held hostage by the militant followers of Khomeini.
The loss of the Shah after CIA ousted Mohammad Mossadegh, did not just result in the hostage taking of their embassy personnel, but led to the renationalization of the resurrected Western oil companies in Iraq.  Many believe the US instigated the Iran-Iraq War to make revenge.   In fact, the US became the principal supplier of arms and materials to the army of Saddam Hussein.  On December 20, 1983, Donald Rumsfeld, then a civilian connected with the arms industry, visited Saddam in Baghdad.
In March, 1988, Iraq attacked the Kurdish town of Halabjah with poison gas killing thousands of civilians.  Poison gas was also used to dislodge Iranian forces that were occupying southern Iraq also resulting in numerous casualties.  It was believed that the materials and the equipment to manufacture chemical weapon supplied by the US was identified as “Tabun” Nerve Agent known as “GA.”
The US did not raise a protest, but on the contrary, remained steadfast in supporting Saddam.  Besides, Saudi Arabia was supporting Iraq in its proxy war with Iran with the US silently wanting to please that country, being the biggest supplier of oil to the US and equally the biggest buyer of US-made arms.    One could see that the US was reaping in the theological conflict between the Sunnis led by Saudi Arabia and the Shiites led by Iran while keeping its cozy relations with those autocrat rulers in Saudi Arabia.
Some say, Saddam would not have invaded Kuwait if merely for historical sentiment after it was detached by the British in World War I to form a Sheikdom resulting in denying Iraq of access to the Persian Gulf.  Rather, what prompted the invasion was its discovery that foreign oil companies operating inside Kuwait was caught engaged in slant drilling to steal oil deposited deep inside Iraq’s vast oil field.  Second, Kuwait was violating the OPEC production agreement to bring down the price of oil which was causing heavy financial loses to Iraq which at that time was deeply in debt as a result of its war with Iran.
Despite Iraq’s withdrawal after its defeat in the first Gulf War in 1991, the no-fly-zone and the harsh economic blockade imposed, the US accused Iraq of secretly producing weapons of mass destruction.   The US and its allies without a resolution by the UN Security Council invaded Iraq in March 2003. The US and its so-called “Coalition of the Willing” carried out the most horrific bombing and destruction of Iraq’s major cities and infrastructures. The US even used for the first time depleted uranium as ammunitions which could pierce through thick armor plating like a piece of cake, and could cause cancer to civilians exposed to radiation.  
From Mach 2003 to December 2011, US occupation forces inflicted close to a million Iraqi casualties.  To pacify the majority of the Iraqis who mostly belong to the Shiite Muslim, they installed Nouri al-Maliki as Prime Minister who promptly carried out his assignment to get rid of Saddam and his secular Ba’athist Party, and to denationalize the state-owned oil companies that by the end of the US occupation, ExxonMobil, BP and Royal Dutch Shell were already dividing Iraq’s vast oil reserve among themselves.  Maliki,  a member of the pro-Iranian Dawa Party and involved in the attempted assassination of Saddam’s Deputy Prime Minister, Tariq Aziz, also had his own personal motive to make a revenge which is to make a victory for Iran in a war they lost under Saddam.
The US had to acquiesce in to the political domination of the Shiite for the fact that they constituted the majority in Iraq.  The objective of the US was to secure the widest support from the civilian population, and to ensure that the US had to make that uneasy appeasement with Maliki despite the fact that he appears to be more loyal to Iran.
In the meantime, the Sunnis who suddenly found themselves sidelined, were being magnetized to the orbit of Islamic fundamentalism, which explains why gradually Al Qaeda followers in Iraq have considerably gain influence.  The continued sectarian violence and car bombings have increased making it far more difficult to rehabilitate the country from the ravages of war.  It is believed that Saudi Arabia is supporting the insurgents mostly Sunni and now mingling with known terrorist organizations. It is even suspected that the US, after extricating itself from the Iraq quagmire, is possibly brokering the Al Qaeda just to keep Maliki on guard.
To quote Mike Whitney author of the Biggest Petroleum Heist in History:  “Iraq was the Cradle of Civilization.  Now it’s the cradle of sh*t.  The US decimated Iraq; blew it to bits, bombed its industries, its bridges, its schools, its hospitals, leveled its cities, polluted its water, spread diseases everywhere, killed its kids, pitted brother against brother, and transformed a vibrant, unique country into a dysfunctional cesspit run by opportunists, gangsters and fanatics.”

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