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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/12/20

How the US Runs Iraq

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From Smirking Chimp

What ever happened to Iraq? Is it not an independent country with a democratic government thanks to the 2003 US invasion? So says Washington.

The murder of senior Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani suddenly shone a strobe light on "independent" Iraq, and what we saw was not pretty.

Welcome to the new Imperialism 101.

Iraq's population is estimated around 39 million. The pre-war Iraq of 2003 was broken into three parts by the US-British invasion: the Shia majority; Kurds in the north; and Sunnis, with scatterings of other ethnicities. Iraq remains fragmented into hostile groups.

Its Shia are confusingly allied to the US and Iran. The killing of Maj. Gen. Soleimani by the Americans has thrown this alliance of convenience into confusion. Iraqi Kurds are close to the CIA and Israel's Mossad intelligence. The Sunnis are left adrift, without any foreign patrons except for other feeble Arab states.

The US maintains a modest garrison of 5,000 infantry in Iraq and 3-5 air bases, as well as the gigantic fortified US Embassy in Baghdad's heavily guarded Green Zone which contains one of the world's largest CIA bases. Angry mobs demonstrating in front of the embassy triggered off the chain of events that led to Trump's murder of Gen. Soleimani. That an impeached president should be murdering foreign figures is a question that Congress must ask.

Before he was murdered, Osama bin Laden called this monster Baghdad embassy and its twin in Kabul, "crusader fortresses." That is indeed their role, and to serve as the nerve center for all Mideast operations by the US. Iraq enjoys some of the world's largest oil reserves. Where the profit from Iraq's mammoth oil exports go remains a closely guarded secret.

Combined with Saudi Arabia, also controlled by the US, Iraq gives Washington control of the bulk of Mideast oil. The US no longer relies on oil from the Mideast, being self-sufficient at least for now. But dominating the Mideast gives the US huge influence over China, Japan, India, and Europe, all of whom import oil from there. This is the main pillar of US world power and the supremacy of the dollar.

Returning to Iraq, Washington has imposed an air exclusivity zone there. Real control of flat, largely barren Iraq comes from the air. US war planes based there and in Qatar can blast anything that moves in Mesopotamia. Imperial Britain ruled Iraq the same way, using the RAF to smash all opposition to the British-installed puppet ruler in Baghdad. In the 1920's Churchill even authorized the RAF to use poison gas against rebellious Iraqi Kurds (as well as Afghan Pashtun tribes).

US-ruled Iraq is not allowed to have a real air force, only a handful of light aircraft. The same ban applies to Afghanistan. Iraq's so-called army, a mob of unruly militias of the type the Ottomans used to call "bashi-bazouks," is of little military value though partly equipped by US weapons. They are increasingly being attacked by US warplanes.

The US really runs Iraq from three large air bases that were the target of the recent bloodless Iranian missile attacks. Iraq's current US-approved prime minister Abdul-Mahdi and its feeble parliament have voted for the ouster of all US forces from Iraq. Good luck to them. Washington will likely ignore Iraq's supposedly "democratic" government and continue to act as the sultan of Iraq.

Iraq has become the central military base and inexhaustible oil reservoir for the US that was envisaged by the Bush administration and its neocons. That is a major step in the total US domination of the Mideast and its energy resources.

Israel has achieved its long sought goal of removing Iraq from the confrontation over Palestine. With Egypt under a US-imposed dictator, that leaves only demolished Syria to stand up to Israel. The Saudis are gleefully stabbing their 'brother' Arabs in the back, as they always have done.

Never in the past half-century have we seen the Arab states so pathetically feeble. Never have we seen Israel so strongly guiding US Mideast policy, including the murder of Gen. Soleimani.

 

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1 people are discussing this page, with 2 comments  Post Comment


Susan Lee Schwartz

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There is much observable realities in what you say.

but ... the judgement/conclusion: " Feeble?" and not just feeble, but Pathetically feeble?"

I found his article about Iran and trump, interesting... as I read it moments before reading your analysis about this moment in which I find myself!

The whole article is very interesting, as it offers a different look, at Iran; a different perspective...

Donald Trump's Iran Problem: "For two years, the Trump Administration has also exerted "maximum pressure," through sanctions and isolation, to force new concessions from Tehran. It boasted of its success in November, when protests against Iran's ­deteriorating economy and bad governance erupted across the country; the regime killed hundreds of people, and injured and jailed thousands more. But the assassination of Suleimani reignited nationalism in Iran; millions of people turned out to mourn the General's death and to rally around the theocracy. Last Tuesday, Tehran retaliated by firing more than a dozen missiles at two military bases used by U.S. forces in Iraq. No one was killed in the attack, and Washington and Tehran both signalled that they wanted to avoid escalation, but the prospects for diplomacy grew more distant. (In an unintended consequence, Iran also appears to have shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane taking off from Tehran, killing the hundred and seventy-six people on board.)

"Iran also has time and geography on its side. "We are historic interlopers. We come and we go," Robert Malley, the president of the International Crisis Group, said. "The notion that we could sustain our forces in a multifront, multi­year, unpredictable struggle in the Middle Eastgiven the politics in this country, and the fact that most Americans don't think this is of vital interestis illusory."( FYI: On Thursday, the House of Representatives voted 224 to 194, largely along party lines, to limit the President's powers to make war on Iran. A similar resolution is expected in the Senate. Neither would be binding, but both reflect anxiety in Washington about the consequences of further hostilities.)

"The Islamic Republic marks its forty-­first anniversary next month. Historically, Washington has been able to inflict greater pain, but Tehran has shown a greater capacity to absorb it. (being so pathetically feeble s they are.)

The United States has figured out how to react to a militia or to kill a commander, but it still hasn't figured out how, creatively or proactively, to deal with the nation of Iran."

"Iran's goals remain what they were in 1983. 'Military action like this is not sufficient," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said of the missile strikes: 'What is important is ending the corrupting presence of America in the region!' And Tehran is much more capable today. It has evolved into the world's leading practitioner of "gray zone" activitiescovert and unacknowledged military operations, proxy attacks and cyberwarMichael Eisenstadt, of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said last week. "The United States has struggled to respond effectively to this asymmetric way of war."

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 12, 2020 at 8:13:17 PM

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Susan Lee Schwartz

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and I am riveted by what is ongoing. Seven Days in January: How Trump Pushed U.S. and Iran to the Brink of War -

and allthe jabber, jabber habber: What War Powers Does President Trump Have?A legal expert on the killing of Qassem Suleimani, President Trump's Iran policy, and the executive power of the Presidency.

Should the U.S. Expect an Iranian Cyberattack? Cyber weapons do not have to be cutting edge to lacerate a community, a company, or a country.

and then there is this one from a different perspective about wiz up in Washington.:They Fear Someone Will Go There and Tell the Truth,' Says Iran's Top Diplomat as Trump White House Bars Him From US"You can speak with American people from Tehran too and we will do that," said Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif."

Just sayin... a lot to take in....

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 12, 2020 at 8:14:25 PM

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