NEWS YOU WON'T FIND ON CNN

The Solution to Iraq

By Sadiq H. Wasfi, Ph.D and Dahlia S. Wasfi, M.D.

12/13/06 "
Information Clearing House" -- -- Four years ago, we were told by our government that American national security was in grave danger from Iraq. We were told that Iraqis had weapons of mass destruction and were close to achieving nuclear technology. The Bush administration linked “9/11” and “Iraq” so many times that at the time of our illegal invasion, 70% of Americans believed Saddam Hussein was responsible for the 2001 attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center. We were told lies then, and we’re being told lies now.

The Problem

The main problem in Iraq today is not civil war but the brutal, illegal occupation by American forces. The divisions between the Sunni and Shia sects of Islam are more than 1400 years old, and throughout that history, there has never been armed warfare between them until U.S. forces invaded. It is American forces who are directing and arming the Iraqi police and army, and it is American forces who by law are responsible for maintaining law and order. The Iraqi police are largely composed of militiamen from the private armies of former CIA operatives Ahmed Al-Chalabi (Iraqi National Congress), Iyad Allawi (Iraqi National Accord), and Nuri Al-Maliki (Hezb’Dawah). There are also Iraqi Police Commando Units—aka death squads—who are being trained by American Special Forces.

Who benefits from our soldiers staying in Iraq?

Is it the Iraqi people? By 2004, a report on Iraq issued by our own Government Accounting Office (GAO) confirmed that the majority of Iraqis had fewer basic services like electricity and water than before our invasion. In 2005, doctors were reporting that under the U.S.-controlled Ministry of Health, their supplies were significantly worse than during the period of economic sanctions! And the latest cluster-sample survey published in the British medical journal Lancet (a scientifically-sound study) estimates the Iraqi civilian death toll at 655,000 after 3.5 years of occupation. The highest estimates for the toll of Saddam Hussein’s killing sprees were around 300,000, and that was over 30 years. It should come as no surprise that a secret poll done by the UK Ministry of Defense in 2005 found that 82% of Iraqis want U.S. troops out. Another 2006 study showed that 60% of Iraqis support attacks against occupation forces—much like the sentiment here towards the Redcoats in the 1700’s. No, the occupation does not benefit Iraqis.

Is it American soldiers who benefit from staying? It doesn’t help the nearly 3000 who have died in an illegal war based on lies. It doesn’t help the over 30,000 mentally and physically disabled for the sake of war profiteers (www.iraqforsale.org). It doesn’t help those dying from exposure to depleted uranium, denied their benefits because the Veterans Healthcare Budget came up 1 billion dollars short last year. It doesn’t help those who suffer from the nightmares and flashbacks of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and it certainly doesn’t help those who found suicide a better option than continuing forward in emotional and sometimes physical agony.

Do the American people benefit? Citizens who have had their hard earned tax money stolen by greedy corporations? Defense contractors like Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman and war profiteers like Halliburton, its subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root, and Bechtel have our tax money to the tune of over $300 billion. But there isn’t enough money to buy armor for the soldiers’ vehicles, and American families are buying their kids Kevlar vests so they might not come home in flag-draped boxes.

We are not safer. Our own CIA has established that the new Iraq under U.S. direction is a “terror breeding ground.” Since 2005, American military officers have said that the war for hearts and minds is lost. And now Army and even Marine generals have made official statements that the “military war” is lost. What Americans have “won” is the reputation for being an arrogant bully, and a murderous and racist one at that. The seeds of hatred have been sown in our name.

The Solution

The recently released report of the Iraq Study Group echoes the military assessment that the status quo in Iraq is hopeless. But their proposals are non-starters, since our history of occupation in the Arab World from Palestine to Iraq shows our bias for outside interests and our lack of credibility to take part in negotiations. The time for diplomacy was March 2003. After the death and utter destruction that “liberation” has brought to Iraq, we have no choice but to exit and exit now.

Our obligation to the people of Iraq, to the people of America, and to the rest of the world is the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of troops and mercenaries (including over 100,000 mostly U.S. private contractors) from Iraq. Ideally, a large multi-national force that excludes all neo-colonialist European countries should be created to establish law and order—a job we failed to do—and disarm the aforementioned militias within the context of a political consensus. A new Iraqi government will emerge as it has historically following centuries of invasions of Mesopotamia, likely comprised of representatives whose groups are now vying for power. We are responsible for bringing chaos and atrocity to Iraq. It is up to Iraqis—and Iraqis alone—to shape their future.

No human being, regardless of race, creed, skin color, ethnicity, or religion, accepts humiliation and subjugation. As such, our military death toll will grow until the day when the rape and pillage of the “New American Century” ends and the troops come home. How much more agony should we force the children of Iraq and America to take.

Dr. Sadiq H. Wasfi is a professor at Delaware State University. He was born in Iraq, and became a U.S. citizen in the 1980's. Dr. Dahlia S. Wasfi, his daughter, was born and raised in the U.S. and is currently an activist living in Denver, Colorado. For more information, please visit her website at www.liberatethis.com.

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