Iraq is Bush’s Reflection Pond

By Mike Whitney

09/22/06 "Information 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 Hussein.”

“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 city.

Is this democracy or tyranny?

What will it take before we leave these people alone and stop the suffering?

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 jailors?

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 testicles?

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 Washington.

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