Iraq is Bush’s Reflection Pond
By Mike Whitney
Clearing House" -- --
Martial law is not liberation. Baghdad has been in a state of
virtual lockdown since thousands of American Occupation Forces (AOF)
were deployed to the city in a futile attempt to establish
security. In the last two months, the number of dead appearing
at the Baghdad morgue has skyrocketed; nearly 6,600 Iraqis
brutally tortured and killed in July and August alone. In terms
of population, this is the equivalent of 79,200 American
casualties. Simply put, it is a massacre. Still, the AOF
continues to execute its bloody mission with impunity regardless
of the horrific cost.
Occupation is not freedom; it is servitude enforced at gunpoint.
By every objective standard, life was better under Saddam
Hussein. The people had reliable sources of electricity, clean
water, food and medical supplies. Employment was high, crime was
low, schools were open, markets were bustling and the socialist
regime provided education and health services to the destitute.
Iraq was a dictatorship, but it was far superior in every way to
the holocaust unleashed by the American invasion. In view of the
ongoing devastation of infrastructure, the callous disregard for
human life, and the absolute absence of personal security;
Saddam’s Iraq must now seem like Nirvana.
Every part of the American occupation has failed. The only
project which has succeeded has been the propaganda campaign
which continues to frame the conflict as “the central battle in
the war on terror”. This is a lie. Even high-ranking government
officials have admitted that foreign fighters (terrorists)
comprise a very small segment of the total resistance. The vast
majority have joined the struggle to end the American occupation
and restore Iraqi national sovereignty. 70% of the daily attacks
in Iraq are on occupation forces. However dismal the fighting
between the ethnic and religious groups may seem, it is
secondary to the viciousness of the occupation.
The resistance is growing in strength despite the massive
casualties, despite the torture and imprisonment, despite the
indiscriminate bombing of civilians and infrastructure, and
despite the largest counter-insurgency operation in American
history. A confidential Pentagon assessment has shown that in
2003 Sunni support for the resistance was only 14% of the
population. A recent poll now shows that figure has risen to
75%. There is near unanimity among the 5 million Sunnis that
killing Americans is justifiable in order to end the occupation.
A new report confirms that the use of “violence and torture has
increased exponentially” since the 2003 invasion. According to
political analyst Barak Ibrahim, “The human rights situation has
worsened considerably when compared to former President Saddam
“If we go deep into the cause,” Ibrahim added, “we will find in
the end that the presence of US troops in the country has
generated revolt and loss of patience by fighters and only when
they leave will we be able to talk about improving security.”
Ibrahim’s comments prove that the United States is a greater
purveyor of human rights abuses than Saddam, a fact that is
distressingly clear in recent appearances by George Bush who now
defends torture at every opportunity. Ibrahim’s remarks are
reinforced by Manfred Nowak, United Nation’s chief anti-torture
expert, who described the present human rights situation in Iraq
as “completely out of hand.”
The western “embedded” media has attempted to shift the blame
for the growing incidents of torture and killing onto the Shiite
and Sunni militias, but this is misleading. Sectarian violence
is the logical consequence of a brutal occupation. America has
spawned a culture of cruelty and impunity which has corrupted
every part of Iraqi society. The AOF intentionally fuels the
ethnic animosities as a means of achieving its overall political
objectives, which are the division of Iraq into smaller
more-manageable regions, and crushing all indigenous resistance
groups through the application of extreme violence.
The media is wrong. The problem is not sectarian fighting or
civil war. The problem is the American occupation.
American forces are now enclosing Baghdad within a 60-mile long
mound of dirt that will be ringed with concertina wire and
watch-towers. Every citizen will be forced to produce biometric
identification and undergo retinal scans to enter or leave the
Is this democracy or tyranny?
What will it take before we leave these people alone and stop
Enough is enough.
Are we afraid that perhaps one military-aged male between 15 and
65 slipped away and wasn’t sufficiently kicked or clubbed or
dressed in women’s underwear for the amusement of his foreign
Are we worried that perhaps one Iraqi family is still intact and
hasn’t lost a member or two to the roaming death squads, the
trigger-happy mercenaries or the myriad bombing raids?
Are we concerned that one blameless victim eluded the hooding,
the electrodes, and the Belgian Sheppard’s snapping at his
When will this ghoulish parody of liberation come to an end?
Iraq has descended into utter chaos. Its people are forced
endure unspeakable misery every day. The battered and disfigured
bodies, which appear on the streets or are plucked from the
rivers, all bear the fingerprints of their American executioner.
The Baghdad morgue, with its corpses stacked three-high, is
little more than a reflection-pond for the assassins in
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