PRAVDA.Ru, August 27, 2010
Several years ago, leaders in Washington shaped an entire advertising campaign to invade and occupy Iraq. The set of lies and accusations that later proved false were the backbone of the American script. And now, as then, many media outlets are repeating the American version without flinching.
Therefore, Obama's statements and moves, announcing with much fanfare that he is fulfilling his promise to withdraw troops from that country are cheered by that same news media that once also "saw" Saddam's relations with al Qaeda, weapons of mass destruction and other false arguments of those who then were never heard from again.
It was George Bush who declared in the past that "the war has ended" and now we are repeating the same song after the announcement of Obama. And all this prepared with a triumphant victory speech and presenting the current situation as the final victory of the United States.
Some intend to present the current situation as close to stability, but the only thing that has stabilized is that there is a situation of war, close to a low intensity war, the result of which Iraq and Afghanistan have once again changed their roles. If for some years the Iraqi centrality placed Afghanistan in a secondary role, now, according to U.S. strategy, the roles may be reversed.
Recently, a local journalist pointed out that there were some signs that could substantiate this alleged stability. It was mentioned about the gradual recovery of Abu Nawas, the famous area of the capital on the banks of the Tigris which concentrates a good apart of the nightlife, or the road to Baghdad to Tikrit or linking the capital to Najaf, two-routes that a few years ago were classified as "very dangerous" and apparently its traffic has "normalized." But, at the same time, he admits that the extraordinary installation of sixty military checkpoints on the road has been instrumental to the situation.
The desperate search of the occupants for a picture of victory, a picture that from the beginning of the occupation resists them, makes them present "another" reality of Iraq, in line with the script designed from Washington.
Nevertheless, Iraq shows another reality. After three wars, thirteen years after the criminal embargo with the bombing of the U.S. and Britain and the last seven years of foreign occupation, we find a failed state, unable to provide the people with necessary services and run by a political lobby that uses the umbrella of so-called "security" to hide all their miseries and shortcomings.
And if the recent occupation has been the final push that has put Iraq on the brink of the abyss, we should not forget that the previous steps (embargo and seizures) have been keys to destroying the country. Well beyond the current situation, genocide against the Iraqi people is the direct result of implementing these strategies.
Today, "thanks" to these policies, the agricultural sector, once one of the pillars of the Iraqi economy, is destroyed and the population is forced to abandon their fields and consume imported products with the rising cost that this entails. The IMF has also "collaborated" in the impoverishment of Iraq. Its actions have made the price of gasoline soar, when in the past its purchase was subsidized by the state.
Environmental degradation and its implications for the population also tends to erase the picture. The effects of depleted uranium used by the occupants during the period prior to the invasion, or those who inflicted all the restrictions of the embargo are part of that "new reality" with fatal consequences. Furthermore, the destruction of the agricultural sector has brought an increase of desertification and sandstorms that sometimes force the closing of public buildings and airports due to the lack of visibility.
And other aspects of Iraq, since there are thousands of exiles (and their difficulties in returning), internally displaced persons, unemployment, almost daily attacks, the fear of "the other" (a direct result of the sectarian politics of these years), or uncontrolled privatization of all strategic sectors of the country "disappear" from the guidelines set from Washington in dealing with the alleged U.S. withdrawal.
With an incompetent and corrupt political elite, with an army in the process of reconstruction, but unable to assume its role without the support of the occupants, and a clear institutional deadlock, to speak of normalization in Iraq is a sarcasm.
So the fine print of the Obama announcement calls into question the statement made. How can you claim that U.S. combat troops are leaving Iraq? Anyone who defends this thesis does it for ignorance or for a specific special interest. The truth is that 50,000 American soldiers will remain in that country who have conveniently changed their name (combat troops are now going to be called assistance brigades). Calls have emerged for permanent bases in Iraq like mushrooms and Washington has no interest in abandoning them. The U.S. embassy in Baghdad is one of the largest worldwide, with very mixed personnel.
To all this we must add also the presence and the arrival of thousands of "mercenaries" and other members of private security (sometimes also presented as advisors). And do not forget that the absence of an Iraqi armed force causes the local army to depend entirely on the "air services" of the U.S. (which will last at least until 2018), or the role they have to play in so-called 'units of special operations" that will remain in Iraq.
The occupation of Iraq is illegal under international law, something that many have wanted to forget. The consequences of the strategy of the occupants is a suffering Iraqi society, with fatal consequences.
This self-proclaimed victory leaves behind a trail of blood, a country devastated, ravaged, plundered and divided. A society that will take a long time to heal the wounds, but that today closely collaborates to demand the withdrawal of all occupation forces from its territory.
Above all, it presents to us a country that is still the center of interests and maneuvers of foreign powers, all ready to capitalize on the situation to their advantage. In this sense it will be necessary to see the maneuvering in the coming days with countries like Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and realize that the U.S. is willing time and again to implement "covenants against nature" in defense of their interests, and especially at the expense of the people of Iraq, who will continue to be affected by the tragic consequences of their politics.
Other players will also attempt in the coming months to profit from media attention, especially before the news about the country goes off to focus on Afghanistan instead, and plunges Iraq into a kind of "low intensity warfare" that erases it with a pen stroke and the wires of the media.
Translated from the Spanish version by: