Iraq and Ten Years of Liberation
Here it comes, the wide-eyed look of shocked innocence…why do “they” hate us so much? After all we did liberate them from Saddam who was absolutely the worst example of depravity.
Ten years after the invasion of Iraq (let us not dwell on Afghanistan for now), we have nothing but unimaginable destruction, mayhem and slaughter at record scales, to show for what we have done, let’s see how and what we did there…
Before the invasion, Iraq was a thriving nation with modern amenities, systems that were more advanced than most countries in the region. Iraq had civil services that ran smoothly…a Police that kept law and order, transportation, healthcare, education that rivaled the best among most nations.
It was our plan to destroy the infrastructure of the entire nation. “infrastructure” means everything that makes things work; destroy power generation, destroy bridges and roads, destroy all manufacturing plants; if it moves, destroy it, if it makes something, destroy it.
Iraq was, as our leaders promised, “pushed back to the Stone Age”.
We told our own people, who were desperate to see only the best in America, that we were saving all humanity, that if Saddam were to continue to lead Iraq, he would use his “Weapons of Mass Destruction” (WMD) on his neighbors including (gasp!!) ISRAEL and quite possibly, the US itself. We told the nation that anyone who did not support our attempts to “stop” this megalomaniac, was unpatriotic, against “Freedom” and “Democracy” and worse, a supporter of terrorism. Democrats, ever mindful of their re-election and ever cowardly in the face of a so-called, “pro-defense” stand by the Republicans and with 9-11 still echoing in their ears, ran for cover, signing on to anything with a “Patriot” stamp on it.
Our leaders never talked about the actual human cost, to remove this “evil” person.
We invaded Iraq. It was pure slaughter, the Iraqi military was largely a paper tiger, it stood no chance in the face of our military behemoth. Our pilots fired on anything that moved, slaughtering masses of Iraqi soldiers who were clearly running away on foot. We literally, took no prisoners.
In almost no time, Iraq was blown into a rubble of submission and our forces rolled in, along with the “Coalition of the Willing”, a hodgepodge of small nations that needed American money and some European nations who could not say “No” to Rome. Britain was the only other country that was as anxious to destroy Iraq as the US.
We rolled in and took positions all across Iraq. our soldiers protected the Interior Ministry and the Oil Ministry buildings, leaving the people to loot and destroy anything else they wanted. If you ever wanted to see anarchy from a safe vantage point, that was the time.
Taking incompetency to its lowest levels, the Bush regime appointed L. Paul Bremmer as the viceroy to Iraq. The first thing Paul Bremmer did…with permission (possibly under orders) from the Bush Administration, was to move towards the “de-Baathification” of Iraq, by summarily firing the entire Iraqi military and civil service.
Never in the history of mankind, has a similar irresponsible decision been made.
Historically, conquering forces would absorb the military of the vanquished nation while the leaders would be imprisoned or executed. Even after WWII, when Germany and Japan were occupied, their militaries and civil service under a certain rank, were left untouched (except for those involved in war crimes).
Not in Iraq. Everyone was fired the military was told they were out of a job and that was it. No US leader, military or civilian, seemed to have thought of taking over the garrisons and taking control of the hardware of the Iraqi military before firing them all.
Officers and soldiers took whatever they could lay their hands on and left; Iraq was suddenly swimming in weapons and munitions of all kinds and when the cycle of internecine revenge and retaliation began, there were plenty of means to get the jobs done on massive scales.
It did not take long for Iraqis to look at the occupying soldiers as oppressors instead of liberators. US forces first started attacking Shias along the Iranian border, thinking any Shia is an Iranian ally and Iran is an enemy, therefore, every Shia is a hostile.
In the meantime, the Sunnis regrouped and started attacking US forces because they regarded the occupation as an affront and because so many of them had been financially hurt by being laid off.
Now the US was fighting both Shia and Sunni. The US made friends with Shia leaders and started to attack the Sunni holdouts.
Soon, the US saw that the Shia leadership was getting too strong and was starting to dictate terms of occupation to their occupiers; time to bring the Sunnis in. The US began to arm and group Sunnis.
While these role-changes were taking place, the US was busy attacking any groups they saw as hostile, killing men, women and children without regard, the US attack on Fallujah is probably the worst example of such an attack by the US. In the beginning, the US forces dutifully noted innocent civilian casualties of their attacks, but as these number grew, the military issued orders to not count any civilian casualties. The puppet Iraqi “government” echoed the orders and decided to not keep any civilian casualty records either.
According to the Department of Defense in their daily-updated casualty list (http://www.defense.gov/news/casualty.pdf) for Iraq and neighboring areas as of March 20th 2013, the number of US:
- US Forces killed 4,409
- DoD Civilians killed 13
- US Forces wounded 30,926
Clearly, these numbers do not include the tens of thousands of US soldiers who return home with Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD), may of whom are still unable to get recognized as injured.
These are the only numbers America appears to be concerned about, OUR losses. The Government propaganda would have us believe that we invaded Iraq in order to rid the world of the worst possible example of humanity (see how well we succeeded?) and to bring the enlightenment of “Freedom and Democracy” to the benighted people of Iraq.
Ten years after our invasion of Iraq, as we leave the country in 2014, to its uncertain fate our list of accomplishments there stand as far below Zero, as is imaginable.
True, Saddam is no longer and neither is his support base. Iraq is destroyed…”pushed back into the Stone Age” as promised; no infrastructure, no law or order, no economy. Its education system, the foundation of any nation’s future is practically non-existent, civil service is worse than it was before the British first took it over after the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1922. The military and the Police are a hodge-podge of people cobbled together, without the discipline or training that is required of such services and the nation itself is torn apart along sectarian lines; Shia, Sunni and Kurd with prospects of a united nation of Iraq, more within the realms of fantasy than reality.
The US has spent TRILLIONS of dollars in its pursuit of the great “War!” in Iraq, enriching its military industry to legendary standards, but leaving the US buried deep in debt, hemorrhaging more money by the day.
Ten years after our “liberation” of Iraq, all we can think of, are our wounded, our dead and our money. We condemn Iraq for not showing sufficient gratitude for the sacrifices we made, to liberate them and those Americans who criticize our adventures in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and numerous other countries, are dismissed as unpatriotic, terrorist sympathizers.
The losses Iraq has suffered are never mentioned in “accepted” circles; the media, the politicians and all those who are today pandering to the great sacrifices of our lionized troops.
Almost a million Iraqis died as a direct result of our sanctions placed on Iraq since 1991, in a failed attempt to force the removal of Saddam Husain.
It would be most optimistic and conservative, to suggest that the post-invasion Iraqi casualties were anything less than 1-1.5 million; our very patriotic CBS News parrots an “official” count of 150,000 Iraqis dead through February 2009, while the much respected Guardian reports 655,000 while some other sources have the number at a million or more.
The Iraqi Health Ministry says about three Iraqis were injured for every dead Iraqi, but we know that the Pentagon reluctantly admits about ten US soldiers wounded for every one death and so, it would not be unusual to count at least ten injured Iraqis for every one dead…or, about Five MILLION injured and many times more, traumatized Iraqis.
These are the numbers that nobody brings to the table for discussion, the numbers that the US military dismisses as necessary “collateral losses”, the numbers America and its political leaders prefer to avoid while focusing on our own 4400 dead.
Nobody mourns the Iraqi “sacrifices”, even the Iraqis are too traumatized to feel their own losses.
These are the true costs of getting rid of Saddam Hussain, of bringing the non-existing “Freedom and Democracy” to an ungrateful Iraq.
Reluctantly, Iraqis are conceding that terrible as they were, things were not so bad under Saddam. Perhaps some day in the distant future, America will also agree that the invasion of Iraq was a criminal enterprise and all the blood and money that we mourn today, was an utter waste.