The State of Iraq Today by Guest Blogger, John Mesler
Iraq: March 2013
As I've watched the events unfold in the Middle East over the past 24 years it has become alarmingly clear to me that we didn't invade Iraq in 2003 because we thought they had weapons of mass destruction. We lied.We knew they did NOT have them. Well, at least 6 or 7 "decision and policy makers" knew they didn't.I will explain this the best I can but we now know that mostly every other nation in the world(including the United Nations weapons investigative team which included Scott Ritter) knew it back then. But Still we invaded. The US, the UK , Saudi Arabia and Israel were in on the plan. The plan I'm speaking of is called the Plan for the New American Century (PNAC) and to understand exactly what it is I would suggest that you google General Wesley Clark's speech in which he mentions 2 meetings he had in 2002 with a liaison from then Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld office.Generally speaking that plan(which was laid out in about 1997) called for the US to control 7 countries including Libya, Syria ,Iraq and Iran.
I believe that the architects of the plan (Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz and others) were so sure that the anti-Muslim, anti-Mid-east feelings among Americans brought on by media lies over the past 25 years would allow them to get away with almost anything. If they created a big enough lie they could get the American people to "go along" with their plan.They had to act fast and they did. 9/11 served as the perfect "incentive" to begin their plan.I also believe that they had the perfect president to "sell" this plan to the people. I may be wrong but I believe President George W. Bush believed the lie. He simply doesn't have the intellect or talent to lie so convincingly to the American public. He was the perfect president at the perfect time for the real "evil doers", Cheney and company. In1953 when we were involved with over-throwing the democratically elected leader of Iran, Mossadegh, it was easier to get away with the covert actions that our CIA carried out.The only surprise there was that it took 26 years for the Iranians to over-throw our puppet, the Shah of Iran and begin their own Islamic revolution.Today we have become much craftier .We use the corporate owned (and controlled) media to garner popular support. You may come to the same conclusion as to what's really been going on in Iraq from 2003 to this day.I believe we attacked Iraq hoping that it would bring about exactly what is occurring there now. Chaos.Rumsfeld had to know we wouldn't be "showered with flowers" from thankful Iraqi's, as he stated in 2003.Our plan, in my opinion, was to create more turmoil in the mid-east so we could "install" yet another puppet regime.We had to know that Maliki would do what-ever we asked and that he would need our help in doing so.I wont get into the complicated issues now of ideological analysis and the imperialist-capitalist nature of the use and its rulers neoconservatives, neo-liberals, and Zionists who plan these wars and stand behind them , all driven by greed. Nor will I get into what is the comprador nature of Arab reaction such as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia who place themselves willingly in the service of imperialism against the interest of their own people and of the Arab nation. The help I speak of comes in the form of selling more weapons to Maliki's sectarian government and in return we get protection for the "green zone" (the largest area of it's kind in the world which is home to the US Embassy,private military contractors and major US consulting companies.It's size is 3.9 sq. miles) ,a guarantee of keeping the oil flowing to us from the worlds second largest oil reserve and Israel benefits by keeping these countries weak and in constant turmoil,thereby "distracted".In a way, what we've created in the mid-east is like a 5 ring circus. As all your attention is on one act you have little or no idea what's going on in the other 4 rings. MEDIA LIES AND HALF-TRUTHS
Before I get to the events unfolding in Iraq today let me give an example of how the role of the corporate controlled media plays on public opinion and therefore on how it makes it easier for governments pass laws and execute policy for war. I'll very briefly go back to the first invasion of Iraq by the US in 1991. Many of us were "on board" because of the following 4 lies. .
Lie number 1)
The first rule of getting the American public to agree to go to war is to de-humanize or demonize the enemy. We all heard about how Saddam Hussein deliberately gassed his own people (the Kurds) in the north of Iraq. Truth is ,he didn't. In 1988 the 8 year war between Iraq and Iran was raging,taking a serious toll on both sides with no one winning. War seldom ever has any winners. The town of Halebja ,Iraq, was attacked and over-taken by the Iranians. According to Steven C. Pelletier , who was the CIA's Senior Political Analyst on Iraq during the 8 year war and was also a professor at the Army War College from 1988 to 2000, the gassing came about in the course of a fierce Iranian-Iraqi battle. At first he thought it was the Iraqi's who used chemical weapons to try to kill Iranians who had seized the town and that the Kurdish civilians who died had been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Collateral damage, as they say. They WERE NOT the targets as we had all been told!But as time went by the story changes.The US Defense Intelligence Agency investigated and found that it was IRANIAN GAS that killed the Kurds…not the Iraqi's! Some dispute this but at the very least all experts agree that the Kurds were collateral damage and not the targets.
Time to pull at our heart strings. Remember the young girl who came forward and told stories of Iraqi soldiers raping women in the Al-Adan hospital? The same girl who was brought before congress by Congressman Lantos .She then claimed that the Iraqi soldiers took more than 40 new born babies out of the incubators and tossed them onto the cold, cement floor. Well, it turned out that Kuwait had hired a US public relations firm,Hill and Knowlton, paid them 1 Million dollars a month and trained the girl to lie. That 15 year old girl ,named Nayirah, turned out to be Nayirah-al-Sabah.The daughter of the Kuwait's ambassador to the United States.
Before I get into lie number 3 I'd like to try and explain why Saudi Arabia, an Arab country and part of OPEC, would allow our military bases to be built there.After the OPEC oil embargo of 1973 a company called Chas T.Main sent someone to Saudi Arabia to negotiate a plan that would guarantee that Saudi oil would never stop flowing into the United States. According to John Perkins ("Confessions of an Economic Hit Man") he landed in the KSA sometime in 1974. A secret deal was worked out. The KSA would deposit billions of it's dollars into a US bank. We would use only the interest to build a modern infra-structure and energy grids. At that time Saudi Arabia had no garbage collection system so Perkins set up Waste Management(a garbage collection company based in Texas) to collect and dispose of Saudi Arabia's garbage. In exchange ,Saudi Arabia agreed to never stop the flow of oil into the United States. Because the surrounding countries were furious over the KSA breaking away from OPEC (as far as the US is concerned) they quickly recognized the need for protection and almost as a last thought allowed us to build military bases with American troops stationed there.Those troops didn't leave until 2003.
Lie number 3)
President Bush claimed that as many as 120,000 Iraqi troops and 850 tanks were in the south of Kuwait and poised to attack Saudi Arabia.Then the Defense Department upped that number to 250,000 troops and 1,500 tanks! According to Peter Zimmerman these numbers were greatly exaggerated and Iraq had no intentions of invading Saudi Arabia but Bush's lies may have been told to scare Saudi Arabia into letting us send as many as 500,000 US troops into the KSA to lunch our massive attack.It worked as Saudi Arabia didn't blink an eye.
I feel I must say again at this point that I love my country but I sometimes have problems with our government.Before I get into the 4th and final lie lets consider the time line., In December of 1989 the United States invaded Panama. A sovereign country.Why?It wasn't because Noriega used or sold drugs, as we had claimed. God, we knew that about him for years and years.In fact, Noriega most likely even worked for the CIA for a time.After Jimmy Carter had worked out a deal to return the Panama Canal with beloved Panamanian leader ,Omar Torrijos,many were furious.None more than the Reagan administration and when Torrijos began entertaining thoughts of letting Japan upgrade the canal to shorten the waiting time it meant US companies like Halliburton, Bechtel, Root and Brown,Stone and Webster and other hugh contractors might be missing out on an opportunity to make big money.It is widely suspected that the CIA had Noriega plant a bomb in the plane that took Torrijo's life on July 31st ,1981.Then when Noriega began those same talks with Japan it was the last straw. In December ,1989 we invaded Panama.Defense Secretary Richard Cheney (who was a chairman at Halliburton) put the death toll between 500 and 600 innocent Panamanians but independent human rights groups put the number much higher. Their number of dead was between 3,000 and 5,000 and 25,000 left homeless. We will never know as the US did not allow media into the area until it was cleaned up. For us to claim that Iraq invaded Kuwait 6 months later to take it back was a little hypocritical,in my opinion.
Lie number 4)
We were all told by President Bush and his administration that Iraq was aiming to take back the territory it lost in 1947. We were told Saddam was intent to have Kuwait once again be a part of Iraq . It simply wasn't true. During it's 8 year war with Iran, as I've said before, both those countries were weakened in many ways .Kuwait was helping Iraq by paying them large amounts of money throughout this period to support Iraq's war efforts.. When the war ended Kuwait wanted that money repaid immediately. Iraq asked for some time a it needed to "get back to normal".Kuwait refused to wait and began extracting oil from Iraqi wells. Iraq warned them to stop but still did NOT invade,. Instead Iraq lodged complaints to the UN Security Council and to the United Nations.Then Iraq requested a meeting with the US ambassador. The US indicated it would NOT interfere with what Iraq "Had to do" , and added it would not interfere in Arab issues. Saddam understood this to be a green light. Remember now, Saddam had already warned Kuwait. The "Trap" had been set. All wars are started by lies, myths, propaganda and de-humanizing the so-called enemy. As you now know ,all 4 tactics were swallowed hook, line and sinker by the American public.
There were many atrocities committed by the US in the 1991 invasion but none worse than the bombing of the Amiriya shelter in Baghdad.Early in the morning on February 13th, 1991 the US dropped (2) 2,000 pound laser guided bombs (Bunker busters) onto (then into) the shelter.400 Iraqi civilians were killed. Mostly women and children and another 200 were severely injured.How much more pain and suffering could we cause? Unfortunately Iraqi's are still suffering.Now that I've established our lack of credibility when it comes to reporting the truth lets move on. You've read the 4 lies which led to gaining the American publics support for the 1991 invasion. We now know there were never any weapons of mass destruction that led us to support the 2003 invasion.Now our media is lying about who the(so-called) Iraqi-Iranian government is really fighting..
IRAQ TODAY (2014)
It's bad enough that so many Iraqi's in the Fallujah area are suffering from Maliki's(the current Prime Minister of Iraq) regime and his Iranian militia's today but let me take us back to April and November of 2004 for a moment.Back then ,Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld told out troops (and the British troops) that we had to clear out foreign fighters from Fallujah. That's the very same lie we are still using in Fallujah and through-out al-Anbar (Ramadi) Province today.Back then we launched operation"Shake and Bake" against the entire city of Fallujah where Iraq citizens (who wanted to free Iraq of it's occupiers) were fighting . Most Fallujah residents trying to get by, day to day.We used white phosphorus and depleted uranium in both battles (April and November, 2004) and by December the slaughter had been complete. Today the birth defect rate is alarming. Prior to 2004 there was an average of 4 or 5 birth defects a month. TODAY THERE ARE 2 TO 3 PER DAY because of the WP and DU used by US troops. To find a complete report on the atrocities committed and how we wouldn't even allow those Iraqi's who survived bury their dead I would suggest finding a report written by Dr. Muhamad Taqeq al-Darraji. He now lives in Italy but at the time he served on the city council of Fallujah and served as a defender of human rights.. He left prior to the November massacre.
Between 2006 and today Nouri al-Maliki has been letting Iranian fighters enter Iraq without visa's. There are even Iranians serving in his current government.Among the first to enter and serve was Ali al Adeeb. He entered and was given Iraqi citizenship almost over night. His real name is Al Yazdi and he is from Yazd City in Iraq.Maliki's long range plan is to "Persian-ize " (Iran ins are Persian, not arab.There is a long history of bitter rivalry between these two cultures) Iraq .There are now thousands of Iranians fighting for Maliki throughout Iraq .Most are in the western areas and Anbar fighting.In 2006 Farsi was often heard (the language spoken by Iranians) in the prisons where torture of Iraqi citizens was rampant. Qassem Soleimani (Commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard) was often seen in Iraq and he continues to travel back and forth between Iran and Iraq to this day A friend of mine(Hayfaa Ahmed) was a refugee in Ashraf City. She has personally seen these Iranian militias in the refugee camp. As soon as the US forces left (late 2011) ,these Iranians would enter the camp and randomly kill the elderly men and women. She was lucky to escape with her daughters and is now living in Germany. She longs to return to Iraq one day and I pray she can.
The pre-2003 Iraq is now considered to have been paradise by most Iraqi's compared to the fighting that is now increasing by the day.Between US sanctions (in the early 1990's) and all the fighting, nearly 3 million Iraqi citizens have perished. 3 MILLION!! The Iraqi's are now united in their fight to finally free Iraq from it's US/Iranian puppet, Nouri al-Maliki.However ,now the media is continuing to either lie or report only half-truths by stating that the "Iraqi army" and Maliki are fighting mostly "terrorists". Yes, there are some terrorists but they are mostly Iranian militia .The fight by the Iraqi's is particularly united in the western parts of the country where Maliki is currently using weapon's bought rom the US government to kill Iraqi citizens now ,under the pretext of fighting al-Qaeda and it's followers.The fighting has increased from around September ,2013, when the Iraqi people announced the establishment of areas to join the uprising against this corrupt government. They are determined to stand their ground.Speaking from the European Parliament in Brussels,Straun Stevensen recently said:"Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is waging war on his own people.His Shia led government,with the backing and encouragement of his puppet-masters in neighboring Iran,is engaged in a genocidal military campaign against the Sunni population whom Maliki has branded as terrorists. Men, women sand children are being massacred in cities like Fallujah and Ramadi in relentless bombing raids,rocket attacks and tank battles, under the pretext that these people are all members or supporters of Al Qaeda.The americans have fallen for this ruse hook, line and sinker and are rushing in supplies of automatic weapons ,tasks, aircraft and rockets to help Maliki's killing machine" Where I differ is the "Americans have fallen for this ruse" line. Our government (and media) know exactly what is going on!!!
A few weeks ago (January ,2014), soon after Maliki's visit to America it was announced that the start of military operations against terrorism and al-Qaeda in the western region would intensify. All of the involved parties (The US, Israel, Iran, Iraq ,Saudi Arabia to name a few) know that al-Qaeda is not stationed in any cities (big or small) but rather in remote areas in the vast desert of Anbar. Specifically, these operations were directed against the people in the cities of Fallujah and Anbar.
Another friend of mine living in Baghdad (I'll call him Akkadian) tells me that al-Maliki's government has been desperately looking to draft more people into's it's the so-called "Iraqi army". That has so far proven to be unsuccessful. 2 weeks ago he witnessed the bussing in of Iranians who are not required to obtain visa's. Once in, they stay in Iraq and offer tactical support to the small number of al-Aqaeda in Anbar and then join the fight against Iraqi's.He also noticed something he found to be strange. In the northern part of Baghdad ,workers are demolishing the Shirine of el Kadhimaian. The "official" reason is that they want to enlarge it but he has discovered that that's only partially true. Yes, they want to enlarge it but the reason is to house many of these illegal Iranians flooding in.Then ,on January 25th ,Maliki's forces bombed a children's orphanage in al-Karma. It goes on and on.January's death toll isn't including the people killed by the military in the continuing assault on Anbar. Citing a security source, NINA reports that hospitals have received 141 civilians have been killed in Ramadi and Falluja alone this month with another 509 injured and the reporter added that this can not be considered as final number because there are dead and wounded in areas which could not be moved to the hospital. Through yesterday, Iraq Body Count counts 1037 violent deaths in Iraq so far this month. It's doubtful many counts will include the 141 civilians killed by the bombings and shellings from Maliki's forces. NINA also notes military shelling left 3 civilians dead in Ramadi with eight more injured. In fact, (a) it's left many civilians dead, injured and homeless (over 150,000 people have fled their homes) If they try to flee to Baghdad the'll be stopped since the military is preventing anyone entering Baghdad from Anbar), (b) it started the last week of December and it's ongoing with no clear end in sight and (c) he lost control of Falluja, Ramadi, other parts of Anbar and also of Baghdad.
I don't think anybody really knows with certainty what our "end game" is in Iraq. Or in Libya, Lebanon and other surrounding countries for that matter. The Israeli government no longer has strong presidents (Saddam Hussein and Kadhafi)) who refused to be subservient to the west, to worry about.What I do know is that the chaos we created is killing more and more innocent Iraqi citizens every single day and somehow we have converged our interests there with the interests of Iran.Something else I know is that most Iraqi people like Americans. Somehow they are able to differentiate between our government and the American citizens. I'm not sure we'd have that capacity had we been invaded by a foreign country but I hope we can use that fact to secure a healthy relationship with them in the future.It's supposed to be a government by and for the people but that is now a far cry from what we have here in the US these days. My hope is that more Americans will eventually discover the truth about what we did and what is continuing to happen to the Iraqi people. If enough of us can reach out to our representatives in Washington perhaps we can make a real difference. We don't need to send in troops. Iraq doesn't want that. But if we can stop selling weapons to the al-Maliki government and stay completely out of Iraq there might be hope. Not just for Iraq but for the US and Iraq to actually work out some kind of a normal, supportive long lasting relationship. Let the Iraqi's free them selfs of al-Maliki and the Iranians. Then, and only then, can we hope for a fresh start. But we must discover the truth first and we'll never find that on main stream media. I will continue to give updates as often as I can.
There are many Iraqi citizens I need to thank. Many are still in Iraq and you all know how much I respect and appreciate you. I must thank Dr. Muhamad Tareq al-Darraji, Akkadian, Hayfa Ahmed and Al-Waleed Khalid for their continued help and friendship. If anyone would like to contact me for more info my e-mail address is: email@example.com