By Eric Margolis
November 18, 2019 "Information
Clearing House" -
Victor Hugo said of the devastated Balkans in the
19th century: ‘The Turks have passed by here. All is
in ruins or mourning.’
Welcome to modern Iraq.
The British were always
masters of efficient imperialism. In the 19th
century, they managed to rule a quarter of the
Earth’s surface with only a relatively small army
supported by a great fleet.
Many of their imperial
subjects were so overawed by the pomp and
circumstance of British rule that they often
willingly cooperated, or at least bent the knee.
Call it colonialism 101.
Ardent students of Roman history, the British early
on adopted the Roman strategy of ‘divide et impera’,
divide and conquer. The application of this strategy
allowed the British Empire to rule over vast numbers
of people with minimal force.
In my last book, `American
Raj,’ I sought to show how the American Empire was
using techniques of the British Imperial Raj (raj =
rule in Hindi) employed in India to control the
Mideast. Now, we are seeing the same strategy in
Few talk or think about Iraq
these days; the media ignores this important but
demolished nation. Iraq, let’s recall, was the
target of a major western aggression concocted by
George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Britain’s Tony
Blair, financed and encouraged by the Gulf oil
sheikdoms and Saudi Arabia.
Most people don’t
understand that Iraq remains a US-occupied nation.
We hear nothing about the billions of dollars of
Iraqi oil extracted by big US oil firms since 2003.
For the US, Iraq was a treasure house of oil with
12% of world reserves. It was OPEC’s 2nd largest
Recall one of the
leading neocons who engineered the invasion
of Iraq, Paul Wolfowitz, claimed the US
could finance its entire invasion of Iraq
(he estimated the cost at about $70 billion)
by plundering Iraq’s oil. Today, the cost of
the occupation has reached over $1 trillion.
Wolfie is nowhere to be seen. Meanwhile,
President Trump says the US will grab
Syria’s oil fields. Wherever it may be, oil
is as American as apple pie.
So where did all the money
go? A large amount for corrupt Iraqi politicians and
more for the ten plus US bases in Iraq. Perhaps a
modest payoff for neighboring Iran, and Iraq’s Shia
clergy, or helping finance Iraq and Syria’s ISIS.
But that still leaves a huge amount of unaccounted
cash from oil plundered by the US. One day we may
In recent weeks, Shia and
Sunni Iraqis have been rioting to protest continuing
US proxy rule via a Washington-installed puppet
regime in Baghdad that, curiously, also has some
Iranian support. As of this writing, 120 Iraqis have
been shot dead and some 6,000 wounded. This while
scores of Palestinians are being killed by Israel in
In the Cheney-Wolfowitz’s
plan, Iraq was to serve as the principal US military
base to control the entire Mideast, Iran and
Afghanistan. This didn’t happen because of fierce
Iraqi resistance to US-British rule. But the US has
still kept some army, marine and, most important,
air bases in Iraq. Supposedly ‘independent’ Iraq is
not allowed modern air or armored forces and its air
space remains under US control. The US troops that
were recently sent to Syria came from the Iraq
garrison – a small version of Dick Cheney’s imperial
Ever since the
2003 invasion, Iraq has been ruled by a succession
of US-appointed figureheads who have proven as
corrupt as they are inept. During the war, the US
destroyed most of Iraq’s water and sewage systems,
causing some 500,000 children to die from
water-borne diseases, wrecking much of its industry
and commerce, leaving millions of men unemployed.
Public services have broken down.
Before the US
invasion, Iraq led the Arab world in industry,
farming, medicine, education and women’s rights. All
that was destroyed by the ‘liberation.’
I was in Iraq in 2001 and
2003 and saw how much it had developed in spite of
the draconian rule of Saddam Hussein. I was one of
only a few journalists trying to dispute the western
lies about Iraq. The dim-witted Iraqi secret police
threatened to hang me as a spy – after I revealed
their germ warfare plant at Salman Pak had been set
up and was secretly run by British technicians.
Today, Iraq is far worse off
than during the days of Saddam Hussein. It is being
plundered and exploited while its people suffer. So
much for ‘liberation.’
Eric S. Margolis
is an award-winning, internationally syndicated
columnist. His articles have appeared in the New
York Times, the International Herald Tribune the Los
Angeles Times, Times of London, the Gulf Times, the
Khaleej Times, Nation – Pakistan, Hurriyet, –
Turkey, Sun Times Malaysia and other news sites in
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