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Iraq Needs an Independent Government, Not Training
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Will US occupation troops really leave Iraq? That’s the question that Washington is so far unable to answer. The White House says the official date of the long goodbye is this month, August 2021.

Donald Trump announced a pullout of US troops while still in office but his deadline was simply ignored by the new Biden administration which has also been under mounting pressure to end the two-decade US occupation of Mesopotamia. Left wing Democrats wanted a full end to the war the US has waged since 2003. Right-wing Republicans, blissfully unaware of Mideast realities, urged more troops be sent to Iraq.

After losing some 4,431 troops and 8,000 mercenaries (aka ‘contractors’) and 1,145 troops from allied nations dragooned into the Iraq conflict, and 31,994 wounded – many with serious head wounds from roadside bombs – Washington switched gears in Iraq and adopted the old British Imperial system of colonial rule.

The Britain Empire created Iraq in the 1920’s from the wreckage of the dying Ottoman Empire to secure possession of Mesopotamia’s abundant oil. At the time, the mighty Royal Navy was converting from coal to oil. Iraq became Britain’s vast fuel depot.

A new figurehead king from the Hashemite tribes was put into power by London, backed by a local constabulary, British garrison troops and, most effectively, the Royal Air Force.

In the 1920’s, Winston Churchill approved RAF fighters to bomb restive Arab and Kurdish tribes with mustard gas and poisonous Yperite. The British eventually crushed domestic resistance in Iraq while shamelessly denouncing fascist Italy for also using poison gas against Libyan nationalist rebels.

The RAF bombed and staffed rebellious Iraqis right up to the late 1940’s. British air power played a key role in crushing the nationalist uprising in Iraq by Rashid Ali, who was smeared a pro-fascist by Britain’s imperial press.

The US eventually adopted the low-cost British colonial system for ruling Iraq. US warplanes were stationed at up to six former Iraqi airbases, becoming the principal enforcer of the occupation. US troops were thinned out. By 2020, this job was done so skillfully that the US presence in Iraq became almost invisible.

Iraq was occupied by western forces but it looked like an independent nation with a US-installed president and executive branch. Kurdish areas in the north became virtual US-run mini-states. The demented ISIS movement was totally stamped out by US airpower and Iranian militias. As a thank you, the Iranian military supremo in Iraq, Gen. Qasem Soleimani, was ordered murdered by President Trump after being lured to Iraq for supposed peace talks.

Iraq was one of the most advanced states in the Arab world and a US ally – before 1991. Today, it lies in ruins, smashed to pieces by US airpower, civil wars, and sectarian conflict.


President George W. Bush was convinced by militarists, notably Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, after intense pressure from pro-Israel groups in the US and their media accomplices, to invade Iraq. The Washington hawks planned to use US-occupied Iraq as a central base for dominating the entire Mideast and grabbing its oil.

The golden victory in Iraq promised by the neocons turned to ashes, leaving Washington stuck deep in an ungovernable ruined nation that had even to import oil. At one point, the off-the-rails neocons in Washington even claimed Iraq had a fleet of ships in the Atlantic Ocean carrying ‘killer’ drones that were about to attack sleeping America.

Iraq was so battered and demolished after three decades of bombing and wars that it was worth almost nothing. Faced by the threat of more guerilla warfare, the new older, wiser US administration of Joe Biden announced it would pull all remaining US combat troops from Iraq, but leaving 2,500 behind for ‘training’ and embassy security (the heavily fortified US Baghdad Embassy is one of the biggest in the world). Osama bin Laden called the US embassies in Baghdad and Kabul, ‘modern crusader castles.’

‘Training’ is a bad joke. Iraq has been at almost constant war since 1980. Iraqis need loyalty, pride and patriotism to be effective fighters. Who needs training from the armed forces that got whipped in Vietnam and now Afghanistan? Iraq needs a real national government rather than a bunch of corrupt stooges and foreign agents in Baghdad. President Saddam Hussein predicted that the US would face the ‘mother of all battles’ in Iraq. He was right.

• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, Iraq, Iraq War 
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  1. Jim H says:

    ‘The golden victory in Iraq promised by the neocons turned to ashes.’ — Eric Margolis

    It’s great to find a new essay by the well-informed Eric Margolis.

    How strange that despite their epic failures, neocons still steer US foreign policy.

    Even as we speak, they are ginning up new hostilities against Iran, after what Pat Buchanan has called a Gulf of Tonkin incident.

    Good luck in avoiding another epic disaster. The Israelis are barking and slobbering, jerking at their leashes, which never fails to make the mindless U.S. join them in howling at the moon.

  2. Alistair says:

    It’s all about Israel; Iraq under Saddam Hussein was a loose cannon, so it had to be taken out to accommodate Israel; that’s why the US shed American blood and spent trillions of dollars to dismantle and destroy the fully functioning state of Iraq.

    In the last 20 years; Iraq and Syria, two major and well functioning Arab states in the Near East were put into state of disarray and uncertain future — to provide some 50 years of instability in the region, so Israel could further build its asymmetric leverage in the region, to pursue its expansionist policy of ethic cleansing with zeal.

    Although, China and Russia, and other minor powers like Turkey and Iran could put a dent on such grandiose Zionist’s ambition; nevertheless, the future of Iraq depends on the Zionist-Americans in Washington whom follow the grand strategy of the world Zionism in the Middle East.

  3. Notsofast says:

    … george w. bush was convinced by militarists…. i don’t believe this to be the case, remember the project for the new american century was founded in 1997 and of the 25 original signatories (including jeb bush) 14 were given positions in the bush administration, including cheney and rumsfeld (may he rot in hell). all of this was in the works years before these same neocon scum stole the 2000 election. don’t forget where cheney and rumsfeld come from in the first place the nixon and ford administrations where daddy bush became c.i.a. director.

  4. Malla says:

    What I found interesting is that most Iraqis do not hate the West after all that has happened. Most hate Israel. One person says all the problems in the World are done by America and Israel. One Iraqi man in the first video says Western people are good but Western Governments are crap.
    Many of them admire Western countries along with Syria, Turkey and Egypt.

    Which Country Do You HATE The Most? | IRAQ

    Which Country Do You LOVE The Most? | IRAQ

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