Obama’s extraordinary achievement in Iraq [1 of 2]

Bush dispatched harmless young American soldiers, with their full lives ahead of them, to kill Iraqis and in the process, around 4,500 Americans, were killed and around 30,000 young American men, some married with families, returned home maimed, burnt, mentally crippled and destined to suffer for the rest of their lives. 



by Latheef Farook


Obama’s extraordinary achievement in Iraq?

Killed 1,455,590 Iraqis and 4,801 Americans, rendered two million Iraqi widows, five million orphans, raped thousands of women, destroyed infrastructure, law and order collapsed, quarter of the population lives in extreme poverty and the once almost developed country pushed back to stone age. The wars cost U.S. taxpayers around $4 trillion- $ 80 billion a year over a period of 50 years. This comes at a time when around 65 million Americans survive on food stamps.

The US President Barack Obama described the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq as “extraordinary achievement” and mission accomplished”. Reality is that this was a shameful defeat for America. Obama is leaving behind thousands of armed U.S. private contractors and the potential for violence is real. According to some reports   the withdrawal was to clear the Iraqi airspace for Israel to launch a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

The question is what was America’s mission in Iraq and what did they accomplish?  Iraq, a land where many great ancient civilisations such as Mesopotamia, Sumer, Akkad, Babylonian and Assyria flourished between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers for more than 7,000 years, has been ruthlessly raped and ravaged for more than a century by the European colonial powers, especially Britain followed by the United States to loot its oil wealth. 

Following the US engineered Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, Iraqis were subjected to untold misery and hardships with more than one-third of the population exposed to malnutrition, epidemics, and miscarriages and declining life expectancy. The UN sanctions killed more than 500,000 children.

It was under this circumstance that President George Bush Jr invaded Iraq in March 2003 under the false pretext of   eliminating the nonexistent weapons of mass destruction. According to US media reports, Bush and his team of neo cons had planned a regime change in Iraq even before assuming office. Ex-UN weapons inspector Hans Blix described this as an   ‘illegal’ war.

The U.S.- led invaders moved into Fallujah, a town of a few hundred thousand people just north-west of Baghdad in April 2003 and took over a local secondary school to use as their headquarters. On the evening of 28 April several hundred townspeople defied a military curfew and staged a rally to demand that the school be reopened. Rocks were thrown. U.S. soldiers stationed on the roof opened fire on the crowd and kept shooting for a long time, killing 17 people and wounding more than 70. U.S. troops also fired on a demonstration held to protest these deaths two days later. The city became a focal point of early resistance to the American occupation. Image above: Children born with birth defects — linked to the U.S. assault on Fallujah.

The American forces indiscriminately bombed Iraqi cities with unprecedented intensity and within days the war battered people were once again deprived of water, electricity, medicine, food and even shelter. Day in and day out the skies over Iraq rained bombs  which shook the earth and relegated once thriving cities into bloody human abattoirs. Child survivors, many of them maimed for life, remained haunted by the nightmare of the gruesome catastrophe. Screaming in fear and panic, they simply could not comprehend why they were being subjected to such horror and heartlessness.

Then there emerged shocking pictures of American troops’ gang-raping Iraqi women.  These hapless women were forcibly dragged out of their homes, screaming in terror, stripped naked and gang-raped by the very people who had ostensibly been there to protect them. Nonetheless, such criminal depravity had been committed by so-called civilised uniformed personnel representing the most powerful military nation on earth.

Among the victims, were ordinary housewives, mothers and daughters – all brought up in a decently conservative society and whose religious traditions have always valued feminine purity as a prerequisite for a happily wedded life? Did the Americans who perpetrated these appalling crimes ever stop to wonder that their victims were the same kind of women as their mothers and sisters at home?

Hundreds of thousands of innocent men and women were arbitrarily arrested and subjected to the most sadistic and savage forms of torture, which brought swift condemnation from all over the world.    

The US forces used the most vicious interrogation techniques including hooding, stripping detainees naked, subjecting them to extremes of heat, cold, noise and light, and depriving them of sleep – in violation of the Geneva Conventions and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. This heartless routine that included infliction of pain, discomfort and humiliation has expanded in all too many cases into vicious beatings, sexual degradation, sodomy, electrocution, near drowning, and near asphyxiation. Several detainees had died under questionable circumstances while in incarceration. 

 Obviously, these bestial crimes were kept under wraps until Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh published a series of exposé articles illustrated by damning photos of the torture by US military police of prisoners in the Iraqi prison of Abu Ghraib near Baghdad.

It all started with a few disturbing pictures of naked prisoners piled on top of each other, others hooded and wired with electrodes. The photographs included images of a hooded prisoner with wires fixed to his body, nude inmates piled in a human pyramid – a lewd type of Karma Sutra circus where the performers were forced into simulating mass sexual techniques. The harrowing pictures also showed a dog savagely attacking a prisoner and other inmates being forced to masturbate or simulate sex with each other.

The destruction of Iraq had been so meticulously planned, embracing every aspect that one of their main aims was to physically eliminate academics, professionals and other intellectuals from the society for generations to come. Around May 2003, there were reports that Israel’s secret service Mossad arrived with a list of names and addresses of professionals such as university lecturers, professors, scientists, doctors, lawyers, engineers and other intellectuals, and went from house to house, killing them in their sleep. In many cases, they used sharp weapons to cut the throats of husbands in the presence of wives who were killed later.

American forces looted museums and robbed more than 17,000 very valuable historic artefacts. They armed Shiites and Sunnis and provoked civil war. According to many reports, 2,000 doctors killed and 5,500 academics and intellectuals assassinated or imprisoned.

Besides massacring innocent civilians, the US troops mercilessly slaughtered Iraqi soldiers who had surrendered, but unfortunately, for the world, no one will know exactly how many Iraqis perished in this carnage. They even burnt birth, marriage, death, land, company, industrial and vehicle registration offices and all other such places to create chaos.   

In Fallujah, a city of 300,000 people, the American forces dropped even cluster bombs and used phosphorous weapons that caused severe burns in the military’s most intense urban fighting since the days of Vietnam. Within ten days Fallujah had been laid waste, a hell on earth of shattered bodies and destroyed buildings while the city entered history as the place where US imperialism carried out a crime of immense proportions. The head of Turkey’s Parliamentary Human Rights Committee said this genocide surpassed those of Pharaoh, Hitler and Mussolini.

An eyewitness account stated that US forces used artillery barrages, air strikes with 2,000-pound bombs and air-to-surface missiles together with volleys of tank fire. Homes, apartment buildings and nearly half of the city’s 120 mosques have been destroyed or severely damaged. Human corpses, bloated and rotting, littering the streets where they fell were gnawed at by starving dogs while parents were forced to watch their wounded children die and then bury their bodies in their gardens. They not only shot women and old men in the streets but also shot anyone who tried to retrieve their bodies.

Next:  Obama’s extraordinary achievement in Iraq [2 of 2]

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