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Ongoing Disaster in Iraq

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The American public is now wringing it collective hands over the ISIS threat in Iraq and Syria. But a more important concern for the nation might be in coming to grips with how ISIS actually came to be; and to do that it is first necessary to understand what was behind W's 2003 war in Iraq. Most Americans who have an opinion believe that the outcome of the 2003 Iraq war resulted from a combination of bad planning and incompetent execution -- a lack of a coherent strategy and tactics which operated at almost constant cross purposes. Some who are more inclined to excuse the Bush administration insist that all would have been well if Obama had just left the troops in place. But the Obama administration negotiated furiously to keep the troops in Iraq and only reluctantly agreed to remove the troops when the Iraqis refused to enter into a status of forces agreement which would give U.S. forces carte blanche freedom from Iraqi law. So it is difficult to see just how Obama's policies differed markedly from those of Bush.

It is, however, somewhat difficult to imagine that U.S. military and administrative policies were as totally ill-conceived and incompetently implemented as the result of the 10-year plus effort would indicate. There have always been questions about the motive for attacking Saddam's Iraq in the days following 9/11. Al Qaeda was not there and there was no obvious Iraqi threat to the U.S. or really any American interests in the region. Saddam had no real power and, if anything, was somewhat of a stabilizing force in the region. It is now quite clear that the justifications for the attack were simply fabricated by Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Pearle and a select group of neocons working closely with them.

For these powerful individuals to have concocted the complex web of lies and deceits necessary to initiate an elective war of aggression in violation of international law there must have been some motive other than simply removing Saddam from power. It has long been known that the neocon clique is largely focused on insuring that Israel remains the dominant and expansive power in the Middle East, but it is difficult to see just how a dramatically weakened Iraq posed any real threat to Israel. At the same time neither Cheney nor Rumsfeld were dyed in the wool neocons, but rather more like fellow-travelers. So, if there was no obvious geopolitical reason for concocting such an elaborate scheme for bringing down the Iraqi government, then there must be some other explanation for these intrigues.

From commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SaddamStatue.jpg: Saddam  Statue
Saddam Statue
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There is another unspoken possibility. It is conceivable that the planned strategy coming from the highest levels of the Bush administration was almost totally successful; that the results achieved were exactly those intended by Cheney-Rumsfeld clique of desktop warriors. But why would anyone desire the kind of chaos which has ensued as a direct consequence of America's intervention in Iraq? Furthermore, why would anyone be willing to sacrifice thousands of American and allies lives and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis in such a futile effort? The answer is simply pure amoral greed. For the neocons chaos in the region solidifies Israel's dominant position in the region and makes the U.S. more dependent upon Israel as an "ally". For Cheney and Rumsfeld the ensuing chaos spelled massive ongoing profits for the war contractors with which they were each associated.

There is good reason for believing this scenario to be true. Immediately following the lightning three-week "victory" in Iraq, the Bush administration appointed a little-known retired general, Jay Garner, to be the U.S. Proconsul in Iraq. Little was expected of General Garner, but much to everyone's surprise he was doing a first-rate job of getting things in Iraq under control and was beginning to restructure the decimated infrastructure and restart its economy. He reinstated the army and began the process of restoring the war-damaged infrastructure. The Iraqis were celebrating in the streets and welcoming American forces as liberators. Garner's successes, however, were not equally appreciated by the Chaney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz triumvirate. They had other plans and could not permit Garner to continue with his work. Thus Jay Garner was fired and replaced by Paul Bremer, a tried and true neocon who could be trusted to carry out the administration's covert policies.

It is now clear that Jay Garner was fired for excessive competence -- a fact long ignored and forgotten by most Americans. Paul Bremer's first act, even before getting to Iraq, was to summarily fire the entire Iraqi army. He sent them home with their weapons and without their pay -- a certain invitation to insurrection, which soon followed. Upon arriving in country his first act was to fire all of the Ba'ath Party members from critical positions in government and industry. In order to occupy positions of authority in government and the private sector in Saddam's Iraq one had to one had to be a member of the Ba'ath Party. Since these were also the only people capable of operating and managing Iraq's industrial, economic and political infrastructure, Bremer's edict absolutely insured that chaos would follow -- and, along with it, billions of dollars in ill-gotten revenue for Halliburton, Blackwater, Brown and Root, and the rest of the privateers given plum no-bid contracts by Rumsfeld and Cheney. Since then, nothing has changed. The policy and the results have been consistently retained regardless of party or president. The corpocracy rules and the military/ industrial/financial complex prosper at the expense of all.

Now we are told that ISIS represents an existential threat to the United States and much of the rest of the developed world and must be destroyed. Little mention is made of the fact that ISIS -- an offshoot of al-Qaeda -- was initially funded and armed by the U.S. in its effort to destabilize and overthrow the Syrian government; or that its leader was held in CIA custody for from 8 months to 5 years depending upon which source one believes. Thus, one does not have to be extraordinarily cynical to come to believe that ISIS, ISIL or IS is just another U.S. proxy to maintain chaos in the Middle East and keep the dollars flowing to the various war contractors which profit from ongoing wars and chaos.

Many Americans assumed that the real motive must have been to gain control of the Iraqi oil fields. But that motive is not supported by the result. Iraq has retained its oil fields and the oil is still being sold onto the world market. However, if one tracks the old adage "follow the money", there is little question who the beneficiaries have been and continue to be.

It now appears that the entire foreign policy of this country is to create and maintain as much chaos and hostility in these regions as possible in an effort to prop up the ongoing theft of funds from this country by private contractors, corporate suppliers, military armament industries and the world's financial titans; and to insure unfettered access to whatever resources the U.S. desires wherever they might be.

These are policies, encouraged and supported by Israel, which have largely been continued and, in numerous instances, expanded by the Obama administration. The military, the intelligence services and supporting contractors now consume ever increasing portions of the federal outlays -- and, for a very large part, the American public is not permitted to know how much is involved or how it is used.

Al-Qaeda was a creation of U.S. policy, America funded it, supplied it with sophisticated weapons and even provided its name; and the American government (elected and unelected officials, at least) will do everything in its power to maintain and support it as a "global threat" -- a "threat" to which the U.S. must devote nearly 50% of its GDP to "defeat" some time in the indefinite future. Ditto for ISIS, which is an outgrowth of al-Qaeda? And now every tiny "terrorist" cell anywhere in the world is identified as an al-Qaeda affiliate or subject to al-Qaeda control. To maintain this constant drain on the people's treasury the American electorate must be maintained in a constant state of fear anxiety. Far too few American citizens recognize that the harder the U.S. fights to stem "terrorism", the more money, arms and personnel that are thrown at the escalating "danger", the worse the problem becomes and the more terrorists appear on every horizon. They could be anyone and anywhere -- constant vigilance is demanded along with ever greater appropriations to fight the increasing menace.

This is clearly not something most Americans want to hear much less entertain. Most want desperately to cling to the shaky idea that America's leaders are good but imperfect people doing the best job they can for the United States and the world. To accept the motive set forth above would conflict with deeply held beliefs about this nation and its government and most are utterly unable to even entertain such a possibility. But, if Americans loosen their government sponsored main stream media induced blinders and examine the results of the nation's various forays into the Middle East and now the Ukraine, it is extremely difficult to maintain the illusion that Americans are the "good guys". It is hard for Americans to conceptualize the fact that this government is no longer of, by and for the people and harder still to accept that America's leaders may well be the epitome of "evil actors" on the world stage. However, if this accurate, it means that the nation's leaders are willing -- and in some cases even eager -- to sacrifice large numbers of American military, unknown numbers of contractors, and several orders of magnitude greater numbers of non-American civilians in order to sustain an economy built on the export and use of military armaments.

 

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Ongoing Disaster in Iraq