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IRAQ - AN OUTSIDER'S PERSPECTIVE

IRAQ - AN OUTSIDER'S PERSPECTIVE

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Published by Firoze H.

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Published by: Firoze H. on Nov 07, 2006
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05/08/2014

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Probably the most important and divisive issue in the 2006 United StatesCongressional election is the problem of Iraq. The Democrats are portraying it asa political and military misadventure of gigantic proportions. For theRepublicans, it's a moral crusade ordained by God's representative on earth – whosometimes goes by the name of George W Bush. Oh yeah, it's also about democracyand all that jazz. Both are wrong. The war in Iraq is about what wars have alwaysbeen about since the dawn of history – conquest of territory and its wealth. Or it should have been. Before and just after the invasion of Iraq, cynicsdeclared that it was all about Iraq's oil. Well, if it had been, maybe US wouldnot have found itself in the mess it is in today. The Bush administration did notheed the lessons of history. It had to go back just two centuries to the heyday ofthe British Empire. The imperial British conquered a good portion of the world inthe 19th Century – and they made so bones about it. They invaded – or connivedtheir way into- an "uncivilized" country, in Asia, Africa or the Middle East, withthe sole purpose of exploiting that country's wealth – and cheap labour – andrepatriating the profits back to their homeland. Everything else was incidental.Take the current situation in Iraq. The so-called civil war would not havebothered the British too much. They would probably have been content to let the"natives" fight amongst themselves, while they stood on the sidelines and justmade sure things didn't get out of hand. Less bother for them in the long run.It's probably what Cheney and Rumsfeld would do too. Unfortunately, for them and for the American public, George Bush got "religion" –and lost the script. "Occupying" another country was plain wrong, according to hisway of thinking. America went into Iraq, not for itself, but for the long-suffering Iraqi people. America wanted to shower them with the fruits of democracyand freedom (not to mention 300 billion dollars). America's motives had to be pureand virtuous. Maybe Bush genuinely believed that – and still does. But it does notwork that way in the real world. You cannot post 150,000 of your country's troopsin a foreign land and expect them to be hailed as liberators and benefactors bythe local population. And if you are going to be perceived as the "bad guys"anyway, you may as well act like them. Get tough and show them who's boss. So what have been the real "fruits" of democracy and freedom in Iraq? 60,000 Iraqidead – and counting. Over 3000 US soldiers dead and dying in a meaningless warthey no longer have any control over. See how they had to roll over recently, whenthe Iraqi Prime Minister "ordered" them to stop manning checkpoints to find theirkidnapped colleague. And who are they fighting for anyway? For the Iraqi's whodidn't want them there in the first place and continue to resent them? Or forAmerica, that no longer knows quite what it wants? It is just letting itself getoverwhelmed by events on the ground. Sure, the US cannot pull out now. The lossof face alone would hand the Islamists a propaganda victory beyond their wildestdreams. But it will have to eventually – maybe after sacrificing 5000 Americanlives. And what will it leave behind: a free and democratic Iraq? Forget it.Probably a country split into three among the Kurds, the Sunnis and The Shias.Shia Iraq will be a client state of Iran – one of the countries on Bush's axis-of-evil list. And speaking of Iran, it is likely to emerge as the biggest beneficiary out of

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