The occupation of Iraq, still illegal and immoral by any sense of human understanding, has now run into its fourth bloody and horrific year, becoming a quagmire for America and a vast killing field for Iraqis. Indeed, for Iraqis, America’s invasion and subsequent occupation has been and will continue to be one massive war crime, an onslaught of criminality against humanity not seen since World War Two. It is they, the Iraqi people, who have undergone tremendous hardship, and it is they who will continue to suffer in horrific ways, due to the lunacy and delusions of America’s miscreant leaders. Indeed, hell on Earth has been imported into Iraq without so much as a care, concern or bother from the American people, without so much as a protest or two by the world entire.
For America and her people, on the other hand, to say that the Iraq debacle is the greatest strategic disaster in American foreign policy history is an understatement, for the implications of America’s defeat at the hands of Iraqis have only now begun to be seen, with its reverberations to be felt for years to come. What was once considered a cakewalk by an arrogant nation, basking in the glory of exceptionalism and ignorance, blinded to reality by addictions to materialism and televised charades, instead turned into an inextricable sand trap that threatens to turn a New American Century into the Last American Decade.
The occupation of Iraq has and will continue to severely cripple America, both in treasure and blood, bogging it down in a grueling guerilla war of attrition for years to come. Already the war and occupation has lasted longer than America’s involvement in World War II. Already it has cost, in only four years, over one trillion dollars. Already, America’s military is overstretched, overstressed, overburdened and overworked. So far, close to 3,500 troops have died, with up to 30,000 maimed and injured; tens of thousands of personnel have been forced to serve more than two tours of duty. The psychological costs to thousands of soldiers will never be quantified, as will the societal damage done by people returning home with different minds, different lives and altered circumstances.
Yet in spite of the apparent defeat, the apparent debacle taking place in Iraq, the American leviathan, that corporatist element within the parameters of the state, that elitist cabal embedded in predatory capitalist markets, will not allow itself or the nation to be extricated from Iraq, for the price of such a calamity would be disastrous. For the Iraq War was first and foremost a war for control of oil, that most important of natural resources, that devil’s excrement needed to run the engine called modern human civilization.
It is the devil’s excrement that sustains modern civilization; its births Empire and makes overlords of those that control it. It is also a truism that those who seek the power of modern empire must make a deal with the devil to drink blood from its veins. It is this deal with the devil that invariably resurrects violence, destruction, suffering and the worst in human wickedness.
Empire’s Gas Station
As such, to purposefully give up such a prize as the oil fields of Iraq, along with its perfect strategic location, would be tantamount to giving up on a burgeoning empire, something the elite and the corporatists of the nation are not yet ready to do. Controlling the oil markets of the world, along with the spigots, pipelines and oil fields of Iraq, dictating supply and demand to the globe, possessing the power to control the amount of oil a rival or rising superpower is allowed to have, and establishing a beachhead for further attempts at acquiring yet more oil and gas, this time in Iran and Central Asia, is too tempting a proposition for America’s elite to extricate their armies from Mesopotamia. In truth, to leave Iraq would be to leave behind all delusions of a New American Century. It would be akin to declaring defeat to Russia and China, in essence granting these rising powers Iraq’s oil fields on a silver platter and cementing the precipitous fall of the American Empire itself.
Iraq is too valuable, in the minds of America’s elite and her corporatists, to simply walk away from. For all intents and purposes, therefore, Iraq has become America’s 51st state, a colony that will act as America’s gas station for decades to come. Iraq is destined to become the grease that provides the lubrication needed to run the great American engine. It will act as America’s aircraft carrier, the easier to patrol the world’s most strategic region. In time, Iraq will be used to invade, threaten, hold hostage and/or conquer the oil fields of Iran and those of the central Asian basin. From Iraq America’s new national security infrastructure, such as pipelines and refineries, can best be defended from any barbarian horde. Iraq is today the gateway towards attaining the Empire the elite and the delusional have always envisioned. It is the gateway towards power, control and untold wealth.
Of course the sacrifice of American treasure and blood is and will continue to be of no significance to those possessing the delusional blueprints of a New American Century. After all, it is not their children sent off to war, becoming cannon fodder, returning in a body bag, with missing appendages, burned bodies or psychologically maimed minds. It is not their wages being taxed in order to pay for the ever-expanding corporatist army. It is not their hard earned money being expropriated so that energy giants can further enrich themselves to the tune of tens of billions of dollars in profits every year.
To the elite way of thinking, the sacrifice of 3,500 dead soldiers, most poor and working class, from rural cesspools or urban jungles, is a minor and inconsequential inconvenience, along with the injury of 30,000 more, in the pursuit of Empire. These brave and oftentimes naïve and brainwashed soldiers are simply the expendable tools of wealth accumulation and empire building, the robots needed to pull the levers and push the buttons of the vast arsenal of killing machines developed by the military industrial complex. They are cannon fodder used not for defending freedom and democracy, but for defending the corporate bottom line and its shareholder wealth. In a nation of 300 million people, the death in Iraq of 3,500 soldiers, or 30,000 for that matter, is of little importance to the elite who see poor men and women as a means to an end. They are the collateral damage sacrificed in the name of predatory and debauched capitalism. They are the catalysts for corporatism to thrive.
Sadly, America will remain in Iraq for decades to come, occupying sand and dune, living behind massive concrete walls, inside enormous embassies and bases, all built to protect the ultimate prize of the 21st century: oil. Iraq is now a giant American forward operating base, a geostrategic prize from where the delusional elite can amplify their presence both in the Middle East and the Caspian basin. From Iraq the oil and natural gas fields of Iran are but a stone’s throw away. From Iraq and Afghanistan Central Asia becomes easier to threaten and control, easier for its energy resources to be exploited and defended against potential adversaries. From Iraq it is easier for the rising empire to contain, control and check the advancements of Russia, China and India.
The future death of thousands of American soldiers, and the maiming of tens of thousands more, is a reality that will inevitably come in the years ahead, will be but the price of doing business, of maximizing profit and power, of controlling the black blood necessary for empire to rise and breathe. Thousands dead and tens of thousands maimed is of little consequence or importance to those whose vision of delusion includes an empire greeted by the world as liberator, with flowers and candy thrown at its feet. Sacrifices need to be made for the sake of consumerism and materialism, for gluttony and greed, after all. Just not for the elite that steer the American ship. The trillions of dollars that have already been spent, and those trillions that will invariably be needed in the future will of course be taken from the American people, their treasure pillaged, their wages raped in the pursuit of empire. It will be us, the common peasant, that will be forced to absorb the present and future costs of delusions of grandeur and self-aggrandizing hubris. It will be our children who will have to sacrifice freedom, rights and blood.