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Iraq: What was achieved? « Previous | |Next »
December 19, 2011

The U.S. military formally handed over its largest base in Iraq, the ill-name “Camp Victory,” to the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The base sits at the edge of Baghdad International Airport and it was one that the US was never going to leave.

What was achieved by the Iraq war and its military invasion and occupation of a sovereign country in the Middle East?

All I can see is the U.S. military bogged itself down in two disastrous wars in the Greater Middle East in pursuit of global supremacy and its political ties to the Middle Eastern oil states.The US failed to impose its will on the Greater Middle East. It failed to dominate the Middle East or to erect a new order conducive to U.S. interests.


A decade later, a major redistribution of global power is underway. The U.S. is economically weaker, a battered former “sole superpower” still in need of an enemy, still thinking about global energy supplies, and, if anything, more reliant than ever on a military-first policy in the world. Oh, it has a new enemy---China of course--- so the US is beefing up its presence (military and diplomatic) in the Asia Pacific.

Though Washington still speaks in terms of merican global leadership, American exceptionalism, and that never-ending American Century, reality will soon hi the political class in the face--the US is a declining power.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:33 AM | | Comments (7)


Americas problem with China is simple. China doesnt need America for anything unlike the past where countries have needed America which inturn gave them the ablility to establish some form of control over a country China seems at present only interested in creating wealth without indoctrination. At some point China may see the need to give America a job so to speak. At present China would be happy for America to carry on being the world police because at this stage China has no use for being that role.
It is human nature for speculation about who's pecker is bigger when you have two countries like these but we are a long way off calling China the enemy of America when the only real difference is that China is doing well and The U.S is doing badly.

What was achieved...?

Well, in the Middle East... Iran got a ton of influence in Iraq. America was shown to be less than invincible, people throughout the region turned on the sock-puppet dictators, and militant Islam was clearly exposed as NOT being an agent for effective change or progress.

In the US... the right-wing media firmly established itself as THE source of information, the anti-war movement evaporated in the face of chest-thumping nationalism and "support the troops" slogans, the public got dumber and the rich used patriotism as a tool to get much, much richer.

Mission accomplished... domestically at least.

There were, still are, several major benefits for the powers-that-be in the US [and their international colleagues] to be gained from killing people in Iraq [or almost anywhere for that matter].
Firstly the war has cost a huge amount, I've seen $3 trillion dollars soberly asserted.
Somebody got that money, a classic case of 'follow the money' to see who benefited from this gift from the American taxpayers would be instructive. Which is why it isn't done.
Major industries have been effectively 'stimulated', as in the post GFC stimulus, merely to replenish stocks and generate more of the necessary. Materiel ranging from the obvious eg missiles, bullets,bombs, their components [steel, coal etc], to the more mundane such as uniforms, transport, food, booze etc.
Eisenhower's verdict of the US as being run by the 'military-industrial-complex' in evidence once again for the umpteenth time since the time of Ike.
Then there is the effective economic takeover of the Iraqui economy where native Iraqui ownership has been replaced by grateful [grateful to the US politicians that is] companies who now own and profit from that which once did not belong to them. Naomi Klein, among others, wrote a chilling expose of that process being deliberately enacted.
Thirdly, its a lesson to the world from the US leadership [not confined to the politicians only]. Piss us off and this is what we can and will do.
Might do it even if we are not pissed off.
Fourthly, its given the public something to look at, "oooh look a bright shing thing on TV", and think and talk about rather than actually think and talk about the state of their own nation. Minor stuff like debt, incompetent financiers, racism, misogyny, high prison rates, growing inequalities in evrything.
A distracted public is a tamed public. The Romans had the colosseum, the US has baseball and iraq [and Afghanistan and Saddam and Osama and on].
George Orwell described it well.

All in all its been pretty profitable for those who make the decisions in the US and a little bit of collateral damage [lets say a half million people dead or maimed and only a few million homeless] is well worth the investment.

This has been going on in one place or another all my life [do I need to list the places?], I [don't] look forward to the next exciting episode.

The sinister machinations behind the "chad" election of a decade ago ensured the Bush Cheney military and oil clique a chance to hijack the USA for use as a catspaw for its own further ends, after 11/9.
The military and economic shambles that came of the era in no way affects the profiteers, but has cost the US itself $trillions that could have been used productively and inflicted a global recession that costs third world people their lives, in great numbers.

The Americans understand defeat in Iraq as victory and failure as success.They are indifferent to the cost to the Iraqi people and pretty good at forgetting the dark side of the military invasions.

Yet another "achievement"... a lot of new refugees...

The result for the people of Iraq is described in the book Erasing Iraq.