10 Reasons the US has Lost  the War in Iraq :


by Brendan Shea


11/22/04 "ICH" -- 
1) 100,000 dead Iraqis:
A stomach-churning study by the Lancet medical journal released in late October concluded that
100,000 Iraqi civilians have died since the US invaded Iraq in March, 2003. Alas, the study has barely been reported in the ‘free’ mainstream US media. And similar to the Holocaust deniers, right-wingers are dismissing it as anti-war propaganda.
In fact, the only time you’ll hear right-wingers discussing dead Iraqis is when they talk about the “400,000 mass graves” the “Coalition” “found.” Problem is, 400,000 mass graves haven’t been found, as Tony Blair finally admitted in the summer. The bogus claim, which he made in December, 2003, has thrived in the right-wing media echo chamber in Britain and the US . And, surprise, surprise, it even found its way into an official US government

My question is this: How many “insurgents” are fighting the "Coalition" because they have had innocent family members die at the hands of trigger-happy “Coalition” troops? How many now have nothing to live for except to avenge their deceased loved ones? Oh, I don't know, maybe 50,000?
2) Iraqis view US as Occupiers:
Last April 3,500 Iraqis from all of Iraq ’s ethnic groups were polled on whether they viewed US forces as occupiers or liberators. 71% said the US is an occupying force  (81% if the Kurds are discounted). The poll was conducted before Abu Ghraib and before the US slaughtered 600+ civilians in Fallujah in April, 2003.
3) High-Profile Murders:
The latest atrocity at the hands of US forces in Iraq is the cold-blooded
murder of an unarmed, wounded “insurgent” in a Fallujah mosque. If Muslims are offended by people failing to take their shoes off in a mosque, then I’m guessing brain matter and skull fragments might be a tad more objectionable. The military calls the incident “tragic.” The military’s apologists say the Marine had every right to shoot the man because he was “playing dead.” Judging from the video, it doesn’t really look like the man was a threat. But apparently, the punishment for “playing dead” in Iraq these days is execution. The loathsome Bill O’Reilly said the Marine should be “praised” for his actions.
But it’s not like this is the first time a story like this has been reported; it’s just the first time one has been publicized. A month or so ago, the LA Times
reported that two soldiers shot a wounded Iraqi teen-ager to death with their M-231 assault rifles to “put him out of his misery.” The boy’s crime? He was guilty of collecting garbage. The soldiers involved are facing murder charges. But how many similar acts of violence have gone unreported? Who knows. One thing we do know is that 100,000 killing Iraqis alienates a lot of people.
4) Saddam Planned for Guerrilla War:
“Had we to do it over again, we would look at the consequences of catastrophic success – being so successful, so fast, that an enemy that should have surrendered or been done in, escaped and lived to fight another day.”—
George W. Bush.
So the “catastrophic success” was that the Iraqis didn’t play by the rules by not rolling over and surrendering to King George when he dressed up in his flight suit and declared “major combat operations” over.
Of course, the ease with which the US military goose-stepped into Baghdad completely destroyed Bush’s claim that Iraq was a “grave and gathering threat.” The invasion was akin to a Heavyweight boxer fighting a blind Flyweight.  
Saddam understood this, which is why in July, 2002 he sent out a
memo to his Baath Party officials that said “ Iraq will be defeated militarily due to the imbalance in forces.” Thus the only way to fight the US , Saddam concluded, would be by “dragging the US military into Iraqi cities, villages and the desert and resorting to resistance tactics.”
And the rest is history.
5) Abu Ghraib:
The event that will haunt America for at least a generation. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was wrong when he said that the invasion of Iraq would “create 100 bin Ladens.” In the aftermath of Abu Ghraib, perhaps he should’ve said “1,000,000 bin Ladens.”
6) “Free Market” Failure / Paul Bremer:
The war was to be a “cakewalk.” The Iraqis were to welcome the “Coalition” with flowers and sweets. Saddam’s socialist policies would be  a distant memory once the Iraqis saw the benefits of the “free market.”
Russia worked so well, so the neo-cons said, “Hey, let’s give it a shot in Iraq , too!” Their point-man in Iraq , Paul Bremer, instituted economic 'shock therapy’ only weeks after “shock and awe.” He disbanded the army and put Iraq ’s public companies up for sale. The result? 70% unemployment. And what have Iraq 's bitter, angry and unemployed young men chosen to do with all their spare time? Join the resistance.
7) Trigger-Happy US Troops:
Checkpoint shootings, which have killed untold numbers of women and children, are simply dismissed by the US military as “tragedies.” In September, when Blackhawk helicopters fired into a crowd in a Baghdad neighborhood killing 13 and wounding 60, the military couldn’t even keep its story
In reality, these spree killings occur not because of “mix-ups,” but because the US military decided 50 years ago that the most effective way to fight wars was to transform soldiers into robotic, unthinking, killing machines.
Chris Floyd
reports that after WW2, Pentagon number crunchers, guys like Robert McNamara, were dismayed that only 15% of soldiers had fired their weapons at the enemy. Something had to be done to fix this “low kill ratio.”
Henceforth, the military began to instill in the soldiers a “Kill, Kill, Kill!” ethos. They did it by “incorporating the latest techniques for psychological manipulation, new training programs were designed to brutalize the mind and habituate soldiers to the idea of killing automatically.” It paid off in only a few short years. The “kill ratio” during the Korean war jumped to 55%. In Vietnam it was 95%.
Mission accomplished, indeed.
An army of trigger-happy soldiers is great for arms manufacturers; not so great if the endgame is to win “hearts and minds.”
8) Privatization of the Military
Mercenaries, not British forces, are the second largest contingent in the “Coalition.” They earn about three times what GIs make,  a situation that has led many in the special forces to quit the military in order to join the
“private sector.”
Mercenaries aren’t accountable to military laws or regulations. For instance, the Army Times reported that some mercenaries in Iraq are using banned bullets.  Last year, one unlucky “insurgent” in Baghdad died when one of these bullets “
entered his butt and completely destroyed everything in the lower left section of his stomach ... everything was torn apart.”
Mercenaries also played a big role in the Abu Ghraib scandal. One of the prison’s interrogators, who worked for the American company CACI International, was implicated by the
Taguba Report, the military report named after the general who investigated the sickening crimes. The report concluded that the CACI interrogator “clearly knew his instructions [to the GIs] equated to physical abuse."


If you aren't angry yet, this should do it: last August, CACI announced record earnings.
So why, exactly, are there so many “private contractors” in Iraq ?  Because the war planners (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz) didn’t send the correct number of troops that  were needed to secure the country after the invasion. This decision, I believe, was made because their goal was always to have large numbers of mercenaries in Iraq . The less accountability the better. The War Party doesn't care about the safety of the GIs or the lives of the Iraqis; they only care about profits and enriching their friends in the private military industry -- friends whose companies protected Halliburton's  "projects" in place like
Burma when Cheney was the CEO in the 1990s.
9) Resistance Infiltration in the Iraqi National Guard:
The current situation at the Karmah military barracks in Fallujah is but one of many of examples of resistance infiltration in the "New Iraq." Karmah houses US Marines and members of the Iraqi National Guard (ING). The Marines call it “ Camp Poison .” The idea is to get both groups working together, going out on missions, etc. But many of the guardsman have been arrested for working with the resistance, while the Marines “are convinced that the ING knows where many of the IEDs are planted, and even say they have caught guardsmen in the act of laying mines,” the Daily Telegraph
So if the "New Iraq" is dependent upon the building up the Iraqi National Guard (like Bush says), how, exactly, is this supposed to help the US ?


It won’t.


10) The Death of Margaret Hassan:


“If Margaret Hassan can be kidnapped and murdered, how much further can we fall into the Iraqi pit?” – Robert Fisk.

The murder of Margaret Hassan, a woman who spent her entire adult life helping Iraqis, who spoke Arabic, who became a Muslim, who married an Iraqi, and who opposed the UN for its genocidal sanctions against the Iraqi people, clearly demonstrates that the US occupation of Iraq has produced nothing but hatred and savagery.


Well done, George.  


Brendan Shea lives in Victoria , BC : He can be reached at e-mail:

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