You are herecontent / Why Exiting Iraq Is Not That Hard

Why Exiting Iraq Is Not That Hard


In These Times has published an article by Chris Toensing called "Why Exiting Iraq Won't Be Easy."

Dahlia Wasfi, an Iraqi-American doctor who testified last month before a Congressional hearing on exiting Iraq, has drafted the following reply:

It will be a blessing for Iraq when the last American soldier, mercenary, and businessman leave Iraq. It will not be a “noble course of action” for after invading a country illegally and killing hundreds of thousands in a textbook case of colonialism, we’ve lost the right to even think the word “noble.” And I agree that it won’t be a “panacea for Iraq’s ills.” But it will be the first step in the right direction. And it is easy. Ask anyone who’s been in Iraq, and I don’t mean the Green Zone.

I visited my family in southern Iraq for 3 months between December 2005 and March 2006. I thought I knew what was going on there, but people who have lived their entire lives there don’t know what’s going on. There are at least 11 militias operating throughout the country. Iranians have flooded into Iraq, home to the 2 holiest Shiite shrines in Najaf and Karbala, under the banner of Islamic parties (and maybe one saying “Mission Accomplished”). Occupation forces are there. American CIA agents are there. And Israeli Mossad and military are operating from a heavily guarded base in northern Iraq. And we are training death squads as we did in Vietnam and El Salvador. Iraqis know that every day may be their last, and while any number of sources may pull the trigger, responsibility lies with the United States.

The concept of civil war and sectarian strife is well-described by Iraqi Sami Ramadani, a political refugee from Saddam Hussein’s regime and senior lecturer at London Metropolitan University:

“It is not withdrawal that threatens Iraq with civil war, but occupation…The occupation’s sectarian discourse has acquired a hold as powerful as the WMD fiction that prepared the public for war. Iraqis are portrayed as a people who can’t wait to kill each other once left to their own devices. In fact, the occupation is the main architect of institutionalised sectarian and ethnic divisions; its removal would act as a catalyst for Iraqis to resolve some of their differences politically.”

Toensing describes the “insurgency” as “roughly 20,000 Sunni Arab[s].” However, no uprising can last without popular support, and three and a half years after Baghdad fell, the legitimate resistance to our illegal occupation is alive and well. Toensing describes that sectarian violence worsened after the bombing of the Shiite shrine in Samarra in late February, but the reality I saw on the ground didn’t substantiate that.

The destroyed shrine was for Hassan Askari, descendant of the prophet Mohammed. In Islam, there is one God, Allah, and Mohammed is his messenger; and one holy book he scribed, the Quran. It is illogical that Sunni and Shia Muslims will target each other’s mosques, defile the prophet, or destroy passages from the Quran. Yes, hundreds of Iraqis died in the days that followed this particular crime, but who was directly responsible remains a mystery. In both Baghdad and Basrah, Sunni and Shiite clerics prayed in solidarity. And where were the occupation forces, whose job it is to effect security? For two days following the bombing, tanks that rolled by twice a day were absent; military planes came instead, and did nothing to stop the violence. Toensing writes “[t]o be sure, the current conflict is historically rooted in the deposed regime’s repression.” But the Hassan Askari Shrine remained intact for the 30 years of Saddam Hussein’s rule.

Many Iraqis want the tanks and planes to leave and electricity and water to stay. They want employment, security, and a decent quality of life. As scores of Iraqis die every day, it does not matter if you call it civil war, sectarian strife, or democracy; it is—by design—an American killing field, a smokescreen for stealing oil, and for establishing permanent military bases to defend American business interests. Bring the troops home, or send your own.

______________

I would add:
Here's an argument:

1) The existence of international law is at stake. If the US does not get out soon and is not held accountable for it, then we will have established the right of any nation to aggressively attack any other. We must therefore get out regardless of what happens next.

2) The occupation is the primary source of the violence, much of which is directed at the occupiers and collaborators. Much of the sectarian violence is instigated by the occupation. As long as we stay, it will get worse. When we get out, it will get at least somewhat better. That process cannot begin until the US gets out.

3) Iraq is becoming a launching pad for attacks on Iran, Syria, and other states. Once we've attacked them, the arguments for responsibly continuing to occupy them will begin. The occupation of Iraq needs to end NOW, to prevent those attacks.

4) The Iraqi people want the US troops out, no matter what officials and gang leaders and collaborators have to say. The US people want the US troops out. Every hundred billion $ dumped into this massive crime is a hundred billion $ that could have been spent elsewhere (and in Iraq) saving and improving lives. Reconstruction and reparations do not require the presence of troops, but rather their absence.

David Swanson

Tags

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

DonP The only reason that exiting Iraq will be difficult is that leaders of both political parties are convinced that to assure American hegemony bases must be maintained in the ME for the forseeable future. This is firm American policy and D & Rs are committed/

Not difficult at all. like this:

http://www.smallgov.org/?p=210

"...D & Rs are committed"

You got that straight; but why is everybody in these parts so death-do-us-part with the D's??? Could that be the root of the problem???

http://www.smallgov.org/?p=293

---The Bikemessenger

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Speaking Events

David Swanson at St. Michael’s College, Colchester, VT, October 5, 2016.

David Swanson in Fairbanks, Alaska, October 22, 2016.

Find Events Here.

CHOOSE LANGUAGE

Support This Site

Donate.

Get free books and gear when you become a supporter.

 

Sponsors:

Speaking Truth to Empire

***

Families United

***

Ray McGovern

***

Financial supporters of this site can choose to be listed here.

Buy Books

Get Gear

The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.