The “New” Iraq
By Ghali Hassan Countercurrents.org
Seven years after the illegal invasion of Iraq by the Anglo-American fascist armies, it is clear today that the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Iraqi nation was premeditated and unprovoked act of naked aggression aimed at expanding U.S.-Israel Zionist power. These barbaric crimes ‘should never be forgotten and never be forgiven’.
“By violating international laws and conventions in 2003 in order to attack a defenceless nation for no reason [other than serving Israel’s Zionist-fascist ideology], George W. Bush [and Tony Blair were] reclaiming those most primal instincts that had led the Mongol barbarians Hulagu and Turko-Tamerlane to destroy Baghdad in 1258 and 1401 respectively. And by going back to the law of the jungle, Bush [and Blair] did not just destroy Baghdad and the whole of Iraq, but [they] also instigated a treacherous plan against the precious legal and institutional heritage that mankind has been laboriously building since the Treaty of Westphalia of October 24, 1648, generally considered the founding document of the nation-state and the first attempt at outlawing the right of might”, writes Tunisian journalist Hmida Ben Romdhane (La Presse de Tunisie, April 11, 2010). Unlike the destruction of Baghdad by the barbarian Mongols, the destruction of the Iraqi society by the West’s most recent militarised religio-fascist alliance of George Bush and Tony Blair is an act of terrorism that will live in infamy.
There is no doubt that the barbaric attack on Baghdad in March 2003 will remain one of the most violent acts of terrorism in history of mankind. According to U.S. officials, “Shock and Awe” was aimed at terrorising the entire Iraqi population and intimidating Iraq’s neighbours, particularly Syria and Iran. After 13 years of genocidal sanctions, that deprived Iraqi children and the population as a whole of essential medical supplies and nutrition, Iraqis are virtually defenceless in the face of overwhelming violence.
It is estimated that the 13-year long U.S.-Britain imposed sanctions – coated with the United Nations despicable colour – caused the death of more than 2 million innocent Iraqi civilians, including the death of more than 600,000 infants under the age of 5 years.
The sanctions were accurately described as the real weapons of mass destruction (WMD). According to John Mueller and Karl Mueller, the brutal and inhumane sanctions against the Iraqi people have caused far more deaths over time than the combined use of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons in the two world wars (Foreign Affairs, May/June 1999).
Unsatisfied by the enormous atrocity and resilience of the Iraqi people and their government, the U.S. and Britain concocted a pretext (WMD and link to terrorism) to justify an illegal act of aggression to occupy Iraq. After the pretext was exposed as a lie, the U.S. and U.S. accomplices concocted new pretext to justify the illegal aggression, the West “moral responsibility” and concern for the welfare of the Iraqi people. The so-called “Responsibility to Protect” or R2P – not applicable to the Palestinians – was the same concept used by the German Nazis to justify Nazi terror. The difference was that the Nazis were allegedly “protecting ethnic Germans” in Poland and Russia.
Not since the Fascist army of Adolf Hitler invaded and occupied parts of Europe has the world witnessed such barbaric violence and destruction as that being perpetrated by the Anglo-American fascist armies. For most Iraqis today, living under U.S. military Occupation is no less brutal than Poles or Russians were living under the brutal Nazi occupation that most Westerners considered barbaric.
Prior to the invasion, Iraq was subjected to a massive and vicious propaganda campaign. The country was portrayed as a pariah state by mainstream-Zionist media and their despicable journalists distorting facts and promoting aggression. Iraq’s late president Saddam Hussein was demonised and used as a moral compass to justify Anglo-American aggression and war crimes.
Western opportunists and America’s apologists who pretended to be “against” the Anglo-American aggression and hide behind the “No War for Oil” Zionist deception have long fallen in line. The so-called “liberal class” and “progressives” have often described the murderous Occupation as a “failure” and “incompetence”, praised the U.S.-staged fraudulent elections and attacked the legitimate Iraqi Resistance as “violent insurgency” and “bigoted Sunnis”. Their criticism of the Occupation and U.S. imperialism has always been an intellectual cowardice. If the U.S. failed to impose its Zionist-imperialist agenda on Iraq, credit must go to the Iraqi Resistance. It shatters the myth of invincibility of the ‘world only superpower’.
From time to time the “liberal class” and “progressives” criticise Barack Obama’s policies and calling him ‘worse than Bush’, as if Obama has the power to make changes to U.S. criminal policies. The motive is to manipulate the public and deflect attention away from the anti-Muslim Zionist ruling class that control the centres of power and finance in America. We all know that Obama has no real power to make changes. He is just another product, a tool, of the Zionist ruling class. Indeed, the Obama Administration is the most Zionist administration in U.S. history.
After seven years of hibernation, the “liberal class” and “progressives”, including Israel’s apologists are back to show their loyalty (backflipping), attacking Iran and condemning Iran’s alleged “rigged” elections. It is important to remember that Iran doesn’t pose threat to any nation, but Israel with its fascist ideology and an arsenal of nuclear weapon posed a threat not only to entire region but to the world. The same Zionist propaganda that led to the aggression against Iraq is being recycled.
The Zionists’ (the architects of the war) murderous strategy in Iraq was to destroy the fabric of the Iraqi society, and turn Iraq into a colonial dictatorship subservient to U.S.-Israel Zionist power. There was no “failure” or “incompetence” on the part of the U.S. government, as suggested by the loyal “opposition”. The destruction of Iraq was planned at least two years before the aggression in 2003. It was driven by the neo-conservative and neo-liberal ideologues (in lay terms, Zion-fascists) with strong ties to Israel’s fascist regime. “They openly stated that their top priority was to advance Israel’s agenda, which, in this case, was a U.S. war against Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein, occupy the country, physically divide Iraq, destroy its military and industrial capability and impose a pro-Israel/pro-U.S. puppet regime”, writes American sociologist James Petras.
As a result of the illegal invasion and seven years of murderous Occupation, an estimated 1.5 million defenceless Iraqi civilians, mostly women, children and young men, have been murdered, with the majority by the invading Anglo-American armies. It is the most premeditated and barbaric mass murder of innocent civilians in the history of human civilisation. The “new” Iraq is a nation of orphans and widows. Collateral Murder Redux
Furthermore, many American official and international organisation have quietly acknowledged that the destruction of Iraq’s cultural heritage was deliberate and premeditated. It was designed to remove Iraq’s history as the birthplace of civilisation. Even Adolf Hitler never thought of committing such heinous crimes during the Nazi occupation of Europe. Priceless cultural artefacts may have been stolen by Nazi officials but never destroyed. In Iraq, Museums and galleries holding the history of world civilisation were trashed and looted. Libraries were ransacked and books were burned in masses. It was all performed under the watchful eyes of the invading armies. As James Petras noted: “[T]he destruction of the scientific, academic, cultural and legal foundations of an independent state means increasing reliance on the Western (and Chinese) multinational corporations and their technical infrastructure – facilitating imperial economic penetration and exploitation”.
In the “new” Iraq, Iraqis are living in a climate of fear and terror today. From the outset, the Occupation fomented violence in order to destroy the Iraqi society. Before the invasion, Iraqis lived side-by-side in every city and town regardless of ethno-religious backgrounds. They intermarriage and live in a cultural and mosaic society. To encourage anarchy and insecurity, the occupying army disbanded the Iraqi Army, police and security forces and replaced them with Kurdish warlords, political gangsters, imported death squads, and religious militias. “The ‘war of all against all’ served the interests of the U.S. Occupation forces”, writes James Petras. From the outset of the Occupation, the U.S. sought to control Iraq through violence and the colonial policy of ‘divide and rule’ by handing out political positions to expatriates along strictly ethno-religious lines. The so-called “political process” was designed to achieve this division of Iraq.
By propping up corrupt criminals, religious fundamentalists and terrorists who were parachuted into Iraq by the invading armies, the American and to a lesser extent the British governments were able to hide behind a facade of corrupt expatriate stooges and blaming them for the Occupation-generated violence and crimes. Corruption is one of the most effective colonial tools, brought into Iraq to deflect attention away from the Occupation. Transparency International has ranked (the ‘new’) Iraq as the fourth most-corrupt nation in the world in its annual survey. Indeed, the creation of a corrupt and illegitimate puppet government inside the Occupation Headquarter (known as the ‘Green Zone’) aimed at transforming Iraq into a “failed state” that needs Western interference and “help”.
Expatriate stooges were appointed and encouraged to compete against each other for the title of Iraq’s “strongman”. The more violent and corrupt the “strongman” the more accepted by the U.S. administration. Hundreds of young men are disappearing every month (if not every week) into “secret” prisons, where they are routinely tortured, raped, humiliated and many of them later murdered. Amnesty International (AI) and Human Rights Watch (HRW) were the first to blame the puppet government for crimes committed under the radar screen of the occupying forces while they remain silent when Iraqis are tortured, raped and massacred by U.S.-British invading armies. Both, AI and HRW reports on Iraq were consciously prepared to exonerate the occupying armies and depict Iraq as a “sovereign” nation marred by violence and violation of human right law.
Violence will continue to engulf Iraq’s major cities; just enough to justify the ongoing murderous Occupation, serves U.S.-Israel Zionist interests and diverts public attention away from the Occupation. Furthermore, to enforce colonial divisions and facilitate the liquidation of anti-Occupation Resistance leaders, the U.S. occupying army used Nazi-like methods to separate populations along ethno-religious lines by erecting walls around neighbourhoods in Baghdad and other cities. For example, the Capital Baghdad with its marked ghettoes and perpetual violence is a mirror image of Warsaw under Nazi occupation under wretched living conditions.
Deterioration of Living Conditions
Since 2003, living conditions in Iraq continue to deteriorate. Once a middle-class nation, Iraq has been deliberately reduced to a state of abject destitution. In the “new” Iraq, nearly half the population live in extreme poverty. A report by the British charity organisation, Oxfam, shows that 43 percent of Iraqis lives in absolute poverty and some 8 to 10 million Iraqis need emergency aid. The country is still under the genocidal sanctions. The official unemployment rate is more than 50 percent of the Iraqi active population. The illegitimate puppet government’s own statistics revealed that 45 percent of Iraqis live in absolute poverty lacking the necessities to survive. Nearly 62 percent (15.8 million) of Iraqis ‘completely depend’ on the food rationing system to survive from month to month. The system was created by President Saddam Hussein to confront the genocidal sanctions and avert mass starvation. Despite the reduction in the number of food and non-food items by the illegitimate puppet government, many Iraqis still depend on the system to survive.
After seven years of murderous Occupation and deteriorating living conditions, Iraq is suffering the worst refugee crisis in history. “Iraq would be the world’s second-worst crisis, as the report points out, second only to Afghanistan, and ahead of Sudan. So the strain on Iraq’s neighbours, particularly Jordan and Syria, and to a lesser extent on Lebanon is immense”, said Jessica Mathews, President of Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a U.S. propaganda think-tank known for its pro-Israel Zionist bias. At least 2.7 million Iraqis are internally displaced (by violence) and living in conditions of extreme poverty, enduring constant attacks and eviction from temporary shelters. An estimated 3 million able Iraqis have fled Iraq into exile in neighbouring countries. Only a small number of Iraqi refugees were allowed into those Western nations who pretend to have “liberated” Iraq. The majority of Iraqi refugees have found a safe haven in Syria and Jordan. Most of Iraqi refugees are in ‘legal limbo’, unable to work and with no hope of returning to their country. The primary causes for Iraqi refugees’ flight are violence, lack of access to water, sanitation, electricity, health care and education.
Targeting Iraq’s Education
Iraq’s education, once the best in the region, has been the target of the Occupation. Iraq’s education has been dismantled by the invading armies and their collaborators. The Iraqi curriculum has been changed to distort history and depicts the U.S. and Israel as democratic and civilised societies by covering up their war crimes, flagrant violations of international law human rights, violent ideology, corruption, growing inequalities, gross injustices and racist policies at home and abroad. It is estimated that only 30 percent of the 3.5 million students were attending schools. The majority of the dropouts are female. According to a report by UNESCO, school attendance prior to the Anglo-American aggression was nearly 100 percent. The crisis is exacerbated by the increase number of orphaned children. There are at least 5 million Iraqi orphans, many of them live on the streets.
Iraqi universities and colleges have been besieged by U.S.-created extremists and criminals. Tens of thousands of prominent Iraqis, including academics, doctors, teachers and political personalities have been murdered in cold blood in a U.S-Israel orchestrated assassination campaign dubbed “DeBa’athification”. Many had to leave Iraq for safety reasons, which contributed to brain drain.
The planned campaign was designed not only to kill Iraq as a nation by destroying Iraq’s human resources and independence, but also removing the base of the Iraqi Resistance to the Occupation. Professional Iraqis who survived the murderous campaign have left the country, leaving an education system in a state of collapse. Students are being graduated in masse without the necessary professional knowledge, especially those who work in the health care services. “There is really a huge difference between now and the times of Saddam Hussein, when medical graduates left college with competence to treat any patient”, said Professor Fua’ad Abdel-Razak of Baghdad university (IRIN, 16 May, 2007). Before the invasion, education and healthcare with modern health facilities were universal.
Deterioration of Iraq’s Healthcare
Iraq’s healthcare system has deteriorated at an alarming rate with a devastating impact on the health of the Iraqi people. The deterioration of the healthcare services has seen a marked increase in mortality. According to UNICEF, under the Occupation, Iraqi children are now dying faster than before invasion. One in four children under five years of age is chronically malnourished. One in eight Iraqi children die before the age of five, and millions of Iraqi children are affected by post traumatic disorder. “Healthcare in Iraq since 2003 is worse than during the sanctions. At that time we had little equipment and medicine, but in the last three years we have lost almost all the specialists”, said Dr Majeed al-Naomi in a Baghdad clinic. It is estimated that at least, 25 percent of Iraq's 18,000 physicians had left the country since the invasion in 2003 which is devastating the healthcare system.
Furthermore, Thousands of tons of white phosphorous shells, ‘depleted’ uranium (DU), napalm, cluster bombs, and neutron bombs were dropped on Iraqi population centres, including Baghdad Basrah and Fallujah. The Anglo-American armies used more than 1700 tons of DU during the 2003 invasion on top of more than 320 tons of DU used in 1991 attacks on Iraq. In the natural environment, these weapons-grade particles have extremely long half-lives and there is strong evidence of their detrimental effects on the health of the Iraqi people.
Iraqi officials are reporting incidences of cancer, deformed babies and other health problems have risen sharply since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. Many suspect the causes are contamination from weapons used in years of Anglo-American criminal wars and unchecked pollution. In Fallujah, Iraqi children are suffering from brain damage, deformity and cancer. An Iraqi doctor said that the rate of deformity and cancer among children in Fallujah is extremely high when compared with the rate of cancer ad deformity of that in 2003. A spike in the number of births of stillborn, deformed and paralyzed babies there has alarmed doctors. Fallujah was the target of two massive assaults by the U.S. military. In Basra, Doctor Jawad al-Ali said: “We have seen new kinds of cancer that were not recorded in Iraq before the 2003 war, types of fibrous (soft tissue) cancer and bone cancer. These refer clearly to radiation as a cause.” In Basra, Leukaemia cases were up by 600 percent since 1990.
Access to clean water remains inadequate in many parts of the Iraq. According to the World Bank survey, 87.5 percent of the population have no adequate water supply, and 20 percent proper sewage disposal. In many parts of Iraq, including Baghdad and Basra, the water, soil and air are contaminated with radio-active particles caused by DU shells without adequate healthcare services the situation is rapidly worsening for the most vulnerable Iraqis, including women and children.
The Status of women
According to UNICEF, before the Anglo-American invasion, “Rarely do women in the Arab world enjoy as much power and support as they do in Iraq”. After seven years of U.S. Occupation, the status of Iraqi women has deteriorated beyond belief. The U.S.-imposed constitution has stripped Iraqi women of all the civil and basic rights that they enjoyed before the invasion and condemning them to statutory second-class citizens. Unemployment among Iraqi women is nearly 80 percent. A report by the Organisation for Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI) released on the fourth anniversary of the Anglo-American invasion stated that: “women of Iraq have gradually lost most of their 20th century gains and privileges in the last 4 years of occupation”. You would think European Islamophobes who pretend to support Muslim women “liberation” in Europe would be concerned about Iraqi women’ rights under Occupation. Instead, they are engaged in a fascist campaign of anti-Muslim hatred to justify Western war on Muslims.
According to Professor Maha Sabria of Al-Nahrain University in Baghdad, "The status of women here is linked to the general situation. The violation of women's rights was part of the violation of the rights of all Iraqis. [...] At the same time women do not have freedom of movement because of the deteriorated security conditions and because of abductions of women and children by criminal gangs”. (Inter Press Service, 12 March 2010).
Furthermore, as a result of the U.S. Occupation and its violence, there are 2.5 million widows in Iraq, the highest in the world. According to the United Nations, in 2006, 90 to 100 women were widowed each day by the Occupation and its collaborators. Many of these widows do not know what happened to their spouses and most of them receive no assistance from the puppet government.
Throughout Iraq, women are living in fear of their lives and dignity. Kidnapping and rape are the common crimes under the Occupation. Over 10,000 women have suffered detention at the hands of U.S. forces and their Iraqi collaborators. The majority of detainees remain without charges. They are tortured and abused on regular basis. (See my: Iraq: A cluster of torture prisons, Online Journal, March 08, 2006). The situation for Iraqi women reflects the country’s situation under U.S. military Occupation.
Elections and Colonial Dictatorship
The recent U.S.-staged illegitimate elections were conducted in an atmosphere of terror and execution perpetrated by the Occupation forces and their collaborators. The final outcome of fraudulent elections was ensured. Like the 2005 elections, the 2010 elections were widely regarded, both in Iraq and outside Iraq, as rigged and fraudulent elections. The elections designed to legitimise the Occupation and validate a corrupt U.S.-imposed colonial dictatorship led by U.S. stooges. With a puppet government in place, the U.S. can claim that Iraq is sovereign and that U.S. Occupation of Iraq is legitimate (See my: Iraq's Fraudulent Elections, New Matilda, January 19, 2005; Iraq: A Colonial Dictatorship, Global Research, April 29, 2005).
Unlike Iran recent free elections that have been condemned as “rigged” by the Zionist media and Western opportunists, Iraq’s fraudulent elections – under murderous foreign military Occupation – were promoted and praised as “democratic”. While Iyad Allawi, the U.S.-created thug claimed “victory”, prolonged post-elections’ wrangling is the norm. He has called for the privatisation of Iraq's industries and Iraq’s oil and gas resources. Before he was parachuted into Iraq, Allawi was a Western-paid terrorist based in Europe. He still is a paid terrorist. In Iraq, Allawi and his associates were involved in terrorism, including the bombing buses used by schoolchildren. Whatever, there is no evidence that a puppet government will demand an end to the Occupation. Meanwhile, Nori al-Maliki, the Iranian quisling has not giving-up his chance to continue serving U.S. and Iran interests from his office in the ‘Green Zone’.
Meanwhile, Obama’s “commitment” to troops’ withdrawal by the end of 2011 is flawed. It is a propaganda designed to manipulate the public and promote the perception that Iraq is a free and sovereign nation. The Occupation continues, but it is “invisible occupation”, as Priya Satia of Stanford University rightly called it. “In reality, most of the ‘withdrawing’ forces are merely relocating to forward operating bases where they appear to be hunkering down for a long entr’acte [pause] offstage in expensive, built-to-last [military bases]” (Financial Times, July 01, 2009). “But Iraqis are too shrewd to fall for invisible occupation again: indeed they never fall for it the first time ... in 1932”, added Satia. Moreover, the so-called “Status of Forces Agreement” between the U.S. military and the puppet government is a fraud, because it was never ratified by the Iraqi people. It is a deal between an occupier and a puppet government.
American military bases are being built (against the wishes of the Iraqi people) to enforce a permanent colonial occupation and to serve U.S.-Israel Zionist interests. Since 1991, “the U.S. has not just been building bases to wage wars, but has been waging wars to leave behind the bases. The effect has been to create a new U.S. military sphere of influence wedged in the strategic region between the E.U., Russia and China. The Pentagon has not been building these sprawling, permanent bases just to hand them to client governments”, writes Professor Zoltan Grossman of Evergreen State College. There are nearly 300 U.S. military bases in Iraq; many of them are the size of small towns. American advisors (at least 1,400 CIA agents) will remain stationed in the largest embassy in the world in the centre of Baghdad as a symbol of U.S. imperialism. In addition, there are at least 100,000 mercenaries (‘private war contractors’) fanning violence throughout Iraq.
Finally, the impacts of the murderous Occupation on the lives of the Iraqi people are reflected in numerous Western polls that revealed a significant majority of Iraqis despise the presence of U.S. troops and mercenaries and want an end to the murderous Occupation. Hence, without armed resistance, it is unlikely the U.S. will end its illegal colonial Occupation of Iraq. The legitimate Iraqi Resistance to the Occupation will continue until Iraq is liberated.
The premeditated and deliberate destruction of Iraq in pursuit of U.S.-Israel Zionist expansion constitutes a war of aggression that resulted in genocide. The ultimate responsibility of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Anglo-American fascist armies in Iraq rests with those who deliberately planned and executed an act of unprovoked aggression. George Bush, Tony Blair and their accomplices are guilty of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. Their crimes are reminiscent of the crimes committed by Nazi leaders. In civilised societies they would be hanged for their crimes.
The Iraqi people have the right to live in a sovereign nation free of repression, torture and terrorism; to enjoy justice and respect for human rights, and prosperity. The only condition to build a new Iraq for all Iraqis, proud of its history and Arab identity, is the liberation of the Iraqi people from U.S. colonial Occupation.Ghali Hassan is an independent writer living in Australia.