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June 30, 2008

New Tomdispatch


The Good News in Iraq
(Don't Count on It)
By Tom Engelhardt

On March 19, 2003, as his shock-and-awe campaign against Iraq was being launched, George W. Bush addressed the nation. "My fellow citizens," he began, "at this hour, American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger." We were entering Iraq, he insisted, "with respect for its citizens, for their great civilization and for the religious faiths they practice. We have no ambition in Iraq, except to remove a threat and restore control of that country to its own people."

Within weeks, of course, that "great civilization" was being looted, pillaged, and shipped abroad. Saddam Hussein's Baathist dictatorship was no more and, soon enough, the Iraqi Army of 400,000 had been officially disbanded by L. Paul Bremer, the head of the occupying Coalition Provisional Authority and the President's viceroy in Baghdad. By then, ministry buildings -- except for the oil and interior ministries -- were just looted shells. Schools, hospitals, museums, libraries, just about everything that was national or meaningful, had been stripped bare. Meanwhile, in their new offices in Saddam's former palaces, America's neoconservative occupiers were already bringing in the administration's crony corporations -- Halliburton and its subsidiary KBR, Bechtel, and others -- to finish off the job of looting the country under the rubric of "reconstruction." Somehow, these "administrators" managed to "spend" $20 billion of Iraq's oil money, already in the "Development Fund for Iraq," even before the first year of occupation was over -- and to no effect whatsoever. They also managed to create what Ed Harriman in the London Review of Books labeled "the least accountable and least transparent regime in the Middle East." (No small trick given the competition.)

Before the Sunni insurgency even had a chance to ramp up in 2003, they were already pouring billions of U.S. tax dollars into what would become their massive military mega-bases meant to last a millennium, and, of course, they were dreaming about opening Iraq's oil industry to the major oil multinationals and to a privatized future as an oil spigot for the West.

The rest.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at June 30, 2008 09:43 AM

Its only money and few thousand AMERICAN lives, some of whom weren't even citizens. Concider it an investment in the future, like stock in Enron---good as gold.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at June 30, 2008 02:28 PM

Without IMPEACHMENT OF BUSH AND CHENEY, WE're gonna be there a long, long time. I suggest that most prople think little about Iraq during their day to day routine. The few that have relatives serving or have themselves served are interested of course but the rest, unless its tied to their wallet or gas tank think little about it. Its just another news story on the TV. They really don't want to face the reality of what has happened, and will just sit in front of the tube while a freight train rolls over this country. Isn't that what has acutally happened over the last 7 1/2 years? 2 elections stolen--nothing, TREASON AFTER TREASON committed---nothing, even the world wide protests in the run up to the war, maybe 2 million people involved leaves 298 million just watching and doing nothing--uninvolved. a long, long time, it'll be expensive, it will continue to be bloody, but it'll be a long, long time. THAT'S YOUR future, and mine, and its gonig to be a long, long time.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at July 1, 2008 02:11 AM