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Plundering Iraq
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Victor Hugo said of the devastated Balkans in the 19th century: ‘The Turks have passed by here. All is in ruins or mourning.’

Welcome to modern Iraq.

The British were always masters of efficient imperialism. In the 19th century, they managed to rule a quarter of the Earth’s surface with only a relatively small army supported by a great fleet.

Many of their imperial subjects were so overawed by the pomp and circumstance of British rule that they often willingly cooperated, or at least bent the knee.

Call it colonialism 101. Ardent students of Roman history, the British early on adopted the Roman strategy of ‘divide et impera’, divide and conquer. The application of this strategy allowed the British Empire to rule over vast numbers of people with minimal force.

In my last book, `American Raj,’ I sought to show how the American Empire was using techniques of the British Imperial Raj (raj = rule in Hindi) employed in India to control the Mideast. Now, we are seeing the same strategy in forgotten Iraq.

Few talk or think about Iraq these days; the media ignores this important but demolished nation. Iraq, let’s recall, was the target of a major western aggression concocted by George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Britain’s Tony Blair, financed and encouraged by the Gulf oil sheikdoms and Saudi Arabia.

Most people don’t understand that Iraq remains a US-occupied nation. We hear nothing about the billions of dollars of Iraqi oil extracted by big US oil firms since 2003. For the US, Iraq was a treasure house of oil with 12% of world reserves. It was OPEC’s 2nd largest producer.

Recall one of the leading neocons who engineered the invasion of Iraq, Paul Wolfowitz, claimed the US could finance its entire invasion of Iraq (he estimated the cost at about $70 billion) by plundering Iraq’s oil. Today, the cost of the occupation has reached over $1 trillion. Wolfie is nowhere to be seen. Meanwhile, President Trump says the US will grab Syria’s oil fields. Wherever it may be, oil is as American as apple pie.

So where did all the money go? A large amount for corrupt Iraqi politicians and more for the ten plus US bases in Iraq. Perhaps a modest payoff for neighboring Iran, and Iraq’s Shia clergy, or helping finance Iraq and Syria’s ISIS. But that still leaves a huge amount of unaccounted cash from oil plundered by the US. One day we may find out.

In recent weeks, Shia and Sunni Iraqis have been rioting to protest continuing US proxy rule via a Washington-installed puppet regime in Baghdad that, curiously, also has some Iranian support. As of this writing, 120 Iraqis have been shot dead and some 6,000 wounded. This while scores of Palestinians are being killed by Israel in Gaza.

ORDER IT NOW

In the Cheney-Wolfowitz’s plan, Iraq was to serve as the principal US military base to control the entire Mideast, Iran and Afghanistan. This didn’t happen because of fierce Iraqi resistance to US-British rule. But the US has still kept some army, marine and, most important, air bases in Iraq. Supposedly ‘independent’ Iraq is not allowed modern air or armored forces and its air space remains under US control. The US troops that were recently sent to Syria came from the Iraq garrison – a small version of Dick Cheney’s imperial dream.

Ever since the 2003 invasion, Iraq has been ruled by a succession of US-appointed figureheads who have proven as corrupt as they are inept. During the war, the US destroyed most of Iraq’s water and sewage systems, causing some 500,000 children to die from water-borne diseases, wrecking much of its industry and commerce, leaving millions of men unemployed. Public services have broken down.

Before the US invasion, Iraq led the Arab world in industry, farming, medicine, education and women’s rights. All that was destroyed by the ‘liberation.’

I was in Iraq in 2001 and 2003 and saw how much it had developed in spite of the draconian rule of Saddam Hussein. I was one of only a few journalists trying to dispute the western lies about Iraq. The dim-witted Iraqi secret police threatened to hang me as a spy – after I revealed their germ warfare plant at Salman Pak had been set up and was secretly run by British technicians.

Today, Iraq is far worse off than during the days of Saddam Hussein. It is being plundered and exploited while its people suffer. So much for ‘liberation.’

(Republished from EricMargolis.com by permission of author or representative)
 
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  1. The great catastrophe in Iraq, apart from the annihilation of another successful nationalist socialist state and the murders and displacement of millions, is the destruction of ancient archaeological sites in the land where civilization began.

    Long after Baathism and Wahabism and capitalism and democracy have been forgotten in history’s rubbish bin, the willful plunder of the Middle Eastern heritage of mankind will be remembered, and the name of the vandals cursed.

    These lines from Euripides’ play The Trojan Women are a fit summary of what we have so thoughtlessly done

    How ye are blind
    Ye treaders down of cities, ye that cast
    Temples to desolation, and lay waste
    Tombs, the untrodden sanctuaries where lie
    The ancient dead; yourselves so soon to die!

    • Replies: @getaclue
  2. “We hear nothing about the billions of dollars of Iraqi oil extracted by big US oil firms since 2003.”
    Here is something:

  3. Great article but Eric fails to mention the role of cruel and criminal Persian Mullas and their collusion with imperialism during both wars against Iraq. It was grand Ayatulla Sistani , the Persian Rasputin of Marjaeya that negotiated with likes of Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and other Zionists paving the way to pillage and plunder Iraq with some of that pillage and political influence diverted to the Anti arab racist regime in Tehran. A pay back to the mullas for their participation in destroying Iraq.

    Some 400 iraqis have already been murdered by the Hashd Shabi, financed and organized by iran, and yet not whimper from anyone about such wholesale slaughter of innocent nationalists by those low life thugs.

    Eric should also include the fact that all of the demonstrators demanding the dismantling of the puppet regime also want to end the criminal sectarian meddling by the neo colonial Anti Arab Persian regime as well . Iran and Iranians out is the main slogan.
    Anyone who truly believes in liberty should lend their moral support to the Iraqi patriots who are trying to rid their country of sectarian filth and virus of the Mullas and ending neocolonial stranglehold .

    There was hope that President Trump with his Nationalist agenda would lend a hand to these wounded Iraqi nationalists and patriots but sadly nothing has happened allowing the criminal Mullas to continue their grip on Iraq and snuffing lives of anyone opposing their medieval sectarianism and brutality.

    • Replies: @the grand wazoo
    , @hoarse
  4. Alistair says:

    The Iraq war was never about liberating Iraq but rendering service to beloved Israel, along with the Global Oil Industry and the US Military Industrial Complex.

    As such, the Iraq invasion had already achieved its main objectives; Israel is secured, she is free to take on the region with ever more impunity — the Oil industry accumulated significant profite; Price of Crude went from $30 in 2001 to near $150 by 2007, which had caused the Financial Crisis in 2008 — and the US Military Industrial Complex had earned an additional US$ 3.2 Trillions in new US Government contracts — not too shabby for the little war with a developing country across the globe; Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz have certainly served their masters well.

    The invasion of Iraq war was never about liberating Iraqis but security of Israel, Oil, and the US Military Industrial Complex; all three objectives have been achieved.

    • Agree: druid55
    • Replies: @PetrOldSack
  5. @Alistair

    which had caused the Financial Crisis in 2008

    Crisis-es are made up, to adjust the books to the Ponzi scheme profiteers benefit. With the approval of the status-quo international players.

    As for everything else, you are right on. Iran was indeed an opportunistic “partner´´ in crime, as the middle class is on US territory. They both, as thirdly South and Central American elites, are contented with the scraps, the leftovers of the table.

    Iran must have been too greedy, or saw a more suited alliance in Russia and China so the US is loosing from that perspective.

    The US power players are getting poorer, accumulating real estate mostly as personal wealth within Western territories. Without securing the gates in the long term, this will break sour. After all it is an anomaly to call the West home, and own more of it, when the shrink wrap is punctured.

    Who can comment on Bolivia in the above context of our comment? After all, tactics are not different there. As a fait-divers, any explanation as to why Morales and thus Russia interests in commerce, the loss of them were swallowed by Russia silently. What was the trade off? Secondly, of lesser importance, why Morales chose Mexico to operate and organize from. The US of course in case must have given it´s approval. Is Morales compromised which could very well be, and the whole of the episode is a theatre? Morales might have had a populus streak, and an innate sense of indigenous pride but his policies are historical rechew, and not quite original.

    • Replies: @Alistair
  6. Alistair says:
    @PetrOldSack

    I agree with you, Crisis are Engineered for a purpose; the Engineered 9/11 tragedy was certainly the impetus for what had followed; the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, the Patriot Act in the US and imposition of the Police State in America, the rise of Oil price, re-emergence of the Military Industrial Complex, and of course the Financial Engineered Crises of 2008 which required the bailout of large Banks at taxpayers expense in the US and the western world. – all followed the 9/11 tragedy — Crisis are Engineered for multiple purposes, we have to be very vigilant !!!

    • Agree: druid55
  7. Patriot says:

    The guys who conceived and implemented the numerous Gulf wars knew exactly what they were doing, and succeeded spectacularly at their goal, which was to completely destroy the infrastructure and society of all nearby countries that could threaten Israel.

    Of course other slimy actors gained as well, as pointed out above, such as oil companies, the military-industrial complex, and some competing states, but the primary purpose was pure evil — a kind of scorched-earth genocide of millions of people in about 6 Muslum countries.

    Not only did the Jews get the “Christian” West to do the fighting (~10,000 dead from Western militaries), and pay for it (~ $4 Trillion), but the Jews also got the various Arab, Persian, and Muslim groups to fight among themselves (Suni vs. Shite, Arab vs. Persian, Saudi vs Yemen), etc. Israel played (and continues to play) both the West and the Arabs for fools.

    Next time you come across a parent who lost a son or a child who lost a father while “Bringing Freedom and Democracy” to the Middle East, thank them for the genocide they accomplished for Israel. Probably 500,000 DEAD children just in Iraq! But I guess, death IS a kind of freedom.

    • Agree: druid55
  8. Muggles says:

    Margolis asserts, as some others have, that the US was in Iraq to “steal their oil.” Or some such nonsense. Yet I have never seen any reliable evidence for that.

    Oil from the Persian Gulf area mainly services China, Japan, India and Africa. Some may get to Europe. In modern times very little is shipped halfway around the globe to the US.

    The US has been self sufficient in oil for nearly a decade and prior to that was nearly so. This is no longer the 1970s. True, the US might act on behalf of the UK or other Europeans, but not to the extent of occupying Iraq. So oil isn’t the explanation. It might seem that way to ignorant lefties who generally know nothing about the oil business in America. Fracking has made foreign oil unnecessary in the US.

    Some hysterics claim that the US remains in the Syrian oil fields to “steal their oil.” Austria has more oil than Syria. It makes zero economic sense to export oil from Syria. Even if there were a means to deliver it to US consumers. All of that was sold locally. While I don’t support continued occupation of either Syria or Iraq, “oil” isn’t the one word all encompassing explanation.

    A few dimwit lefties used to claim that “oil” or some never built pipeline in Afghanistan was the “real” reason we invaded there. Yet zero evidence exists of any oil production there or major pipeline out of the country. Again, we should get out. But at least in the past 20 years “oil” isn’t the all inclusive reason behind US foreign policy.

    • Replies: @Ezio Bonsignore
    , @Csh080
  9. “Yet zero evidence exists of any oil production there or major pipeline out of the country. ”

    The oil pipeline issue was real. Several Taliban leaders had visited the state of Texas on invitation by oil developers to win themover.

    Ghost Wars

  10. @NegroPantera

    What would you have the US do now? Eat the babies. After all it was the US that destroyed Iraq, not Iran. Iran fought an 8 year war against Iraq, a war fought at the behest of the US and Israel. The best that the Iraqis can hope for now is to rid their borders of all US troops. After that Iraq will work out the reconstruction of their nation, and return to its rightful place among soveriegn ME nations. If there is such a thing.
    The peoples of the ME have suffered the wholesale slaughter of 2 generations of their male population, and the poisoning of future generations. This entire world is run by a vast organized criminal enterprise that is very active on every continent. Democracy is dead, and socialism is copted. All that remains is the soil a man’s born to, and there he should toil, for family and God, and defend it with his blood. Anarchy looks good right now.

  11. @Muggles

    You are correct that the US had no need or intention to “steal” Iraqi oil. Oil, however, did indeed play an important (albeit certainly not all-inclusive) role in the decision to invade. The goal was not to extract it for US domestic consumption, but rather to place Uncle Sam’s hand firmly on the tap, and thus give Washington and US oil companies the power to decide who could get it, how much, and at what price. This is a self-evident strategic advantage of major proportion.

    Much the same applies to Syria. Of course the US doesn’t need the meager Syrian oil reserves. But these reserves are Assad’s only source for foreign hard currency. The US wants to control them, in order to deny Assad the resulting revenues.

    As for Afghanistan, this old article (November 2001) is a fairly balanced assessment of the pipeline-related issues:

    https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/pipeline-politics-oil-gas-and-the-us-interest-in-afghanistan/213804

    • Agree: PetrOldSack
    • Replies: @PetrOldSack
  12. Irak was supposed to be a risk-less(from the point of view of the elites) experiment in social engineering,

    but the primary purpose was pure evil — a kind of scorched-earth genocide of millions of people in about 6 Muslum countries.

    Not only did the Jews get the “Christian” West to do the fighting (~10,000 dead from Western militaries), and pay for it (~ $4 Trillion), but the Jews also got the various Arab, Persian, and Muslim groups to fight among themselves (Suni vs. Shite, Arab vs. Persian, Saudi vs Yemen), etc. Israel played (and continues to play) both the West and the Arabs for fools.

    …and it was.

    Next time you come across a parent who lost a son or a child who lost a father while “Bringing Freedom and Democracy” to the Middle East, thank them for the genocide they accomplished for Israel. Probably 500,000 DEAD children just in Iraq! But I guess, death IS a kind of freedom.

    This of course is a non argument, and it is called upon by greater naivity only. Somehow as the deplorables in the same spirit, keep including themselves in “we Americans´´.

    Banks at taxpayers expense in the US and the western world. – all followed the 9/11 tragedy — Crisis are Engineered for multiple purposes, we have to be very vigilant !!!

    The “we´´ will then have to go a few steps beyond voting and endorsing the rules of civility, until the civility again includes the undesirables, or deplorables as one might prefer.

    On oil.

    Margolis asserts, as some others have, that the US was in Iraq to “steal their oil.” Or some such nonsense. Yet I have never seen any reliable evidence for that.

    Oil from the Persian Gulf area mainly services China, Japan, India and Africa. Some may get to Europe. In modern times very little is shipped halfway around the globe to the US.

    Does that make an argument for oil being strategically unimportant to an ambitious hegemon, the dollar, the US?

    The US has been self sufficient in oil for nearly a decade and prior to that was nearly so. This is no longer the 1970s. True, the US might act on behalf of the UK or other Europeans, but not to the extent of occupying Iraq. So oil isn’t the explanation. It might seem that way to ignorant lefties who generally know nothing about the oil business in America. Fracking has made foreign oil unnecessary in the US.

    It makes zero economic sense to export oil from Syria.

    Being sufficient in oil, (fracking being competitive?), would make oil uninteresting as a commodity to the US? The mere trade of oil by itself, and the monopolizing of the financial transactions involved, pushing all possible buyers other then the US to maintain dollar reserves? There are of course a slew of other reasons why trade, and trading oil needs to be a monopoly, if ever there was.

    Austria has more oil than Syria.

    Very interesting, any references to this.

    “Yet zero evidence exists of any oil production there or major pipeline out of the country. ” (Afghanistan)

    The oil pipeline issue was real. Several Taliban leaders had visited the state of Texas on invitation by oil developers to win them over.

    Regarding the above two arguments, who of both commenters has a point.

    But at least in the past 20 years “oil” isn’t the all inclusive reason behind US foreign policy.

    Oil is trade, trade should be done in dollars, so consequently the West (fill your pick of benificiaries), can skim all transactions and maintain a monopoly. This might change in the near future, a substantial part of global trade transactions is going to be handled outside of the dollar. That would prove the point or caduque it.

    A few dimwit lefties

    Count our very own unz.com Andre Vltchek as a prime example. Now China taking over part of world trade, fallanx-ed by Russia, that does not mean these different elites of different parts invented the hot water.

    The peoples of the ME have suffered the wholesale slaughter of 2 generations of their male population, and the poisoning of future generations. This entire world is run by a vast organized criminal enterprise that is very active on every continent. Democracy is dead, and socialism is coopted.

    To be endorsed, get rid of the “we´´ Americans, the supreme naivety of seeing onself as being considered as a civilian, civility, civilization and meet the agression and violence of the system. Hong-Kong, Yellow Vests, Catalonia, they all look good in matter of tactics, and spirit. The Assange situation looks bad and depicts the media class as cowards. It must be the highly processed food, immigration, and feeding on Hollywood that makes US “citizens´´ the laughing stock of the rest of the world(for those in the know).

  13. @Ezio Bonsignore

    Since our comments are in most cases shoved, shoveled, down the comment line, by Sailer to Margolis, over any moderating diva else, you did beat us in correctly assessing part of the issues. Thanks. Yours touched upon the obvious.

    Herr Muggles must be recently back from a trip to the moon. Be generation Y, so not having any historical remembrance. Must have a firm vested interest and a grand and solid foundation in base psychology and how far one can go in parlaying the unz.com readers. A new name with a certain future and a vision for the world.

  14. getaclue says:
    @Observator

    The 500,000 murdered children mentioned something of a “catastrophe” too….

  15. hoarse says:
    @NegroPantera

    Nice try Shlomo. It’s always Iran for you fakes isn’t it? Trolling for Shekels…..

  16. The Roman Empire divided and conquered: in time it divided into two empires – both eventually died. The British Empire followed the same strategy: it lost all its conquests and is now divided itself by Brexit. The US supplanted Great Britain after the Second World War: there is now dark talk of another civil war in America. Empires rise, gain power; once gained power has to be retained; when it is gone an empire struggles to regain it. But no aspiring empire has learned the lesson of history – every empire eventually gets the war it seeks to avoid: utter destruction.
    https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

  17. jo6pac says:

    Irqa war was about raising the price oil for the house suad and other ME so-called friends of Amerika.
    Oil before the war was around $17 per barrel and during the war moved to $50 or more then settled in the high 30 and low 40. The house suad and others doubled their income the plan worked great but also gave Russia a huge boost at the right time and that was the only good thingy that came from the mess. Who knows how many died or became refugges? That’s Amerika goal is to not win the war but to spread death and refugges. Sad.

  18. Csh080 says:
    @Muggles

    So according to what you have written, the U.S. has invaded Iraq for no reason?

    • Replies: @Muggles
  19. Muggles says:
    @Csh080

    In reply to Csh080, yes, the US invaded Iraq for no good economic reason. While some neocons and Bush appointees tried to claim that Iraq would repay the US costs of invasion and removing Saddam via oil proceeds, that never happened. No actual economic rationale of any meaningful analysis was ever put forth for that.

    From what little independent economic analysis was done post invasion, I have not seen any which suggested that the hundreds of billions spent, probably in excess of a trillion, was ever “repaid” by Iraq or anyone else to any extent. Where is the data that the US ever imported any actual Iraqi oil?

    Nations seldom go to war (attack others) for economics, despite what might be claimed at the time.

    There were “reasons” for the Iraq invasion. Economic ones were not the actual ones.

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