Iraqis throw rice, dance to celebrate the end of the American

occupation in the city of Basra, June 30. U.S. forces have now

withdrawn from Iraq's towns and cities.

 

 

L'Humanit, France

America in Iraq: Six Years of Mass Destruction

 

"On Monday, the American army withdrew from all of Iraq's cities. They leave behind a fragile, devastated country both in terms of security and politics."

 

By Hassane Zerrouky

 

Sandrine Ageorges

 

June 30, 2009

 

France - l'Humanite - Original Article (French)

President George W. Bush after landing in the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln to announce the end of major combat in Iraq, May 1, 2003.

 

BBC NEWS VIDEO: U.S. forces leave the cities of Iraq, June 30, 00:02:37RealVideo

On Monday, the American army withdrew from all of Iraq's cities before a final withdrawal of all combat forces in late 2011.The country's security will be ensured by 750,000 Iraqi soldiers and police, who will take possession of the 157 evacuated American bases. Under the agreement signed last year between both countries [the Status of Forces Agreement], Washington will maintain a force of 100,000 troops in Iraq and a significant air power capability. It also stipulates that U.S. forces have the right to intervene only when coordinating with Iraqi authorities. But they leave behind a fragile, devastated country both in terms of security and politics.

 

The withdrawal comes six years after the May 1, 2003, speech given by George W. Bush on the deck of the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln announcing the end of the fighting. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. (Applause.) And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country. he said then. We're pursuing and finding leaders of the old regime, who will be held to account for their crimes. We've begun the search for hidden chemical and biological weapons and already know of hundreds of sites that will be investigated. He then concluded: We've removed an ally of al Qaeda, and cut off a source of terrorist funding. Indeed, Saddam Hussein and some leaders of the ruling Baathe Party were apprehended, tried and sentenced to death. But the question of chemical and biological weapons proved to be a huge lie. As for the restoration of security and the reconstruction of the country, the situation is far from stable. And on the economic front, apart from the oil production under the control of Halliburton, almost everything remains to be done. In short, what, in the minds of Washington hawks was going to be a military walk in the park turned out to be a terrible war of destruction, torture and sectarian conflict, punctuated by the shattering of the country's public institutions.

 

 

A process of disintegration began in May, 2003, when Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator of Iraq, disbanded the Iraqi army and the police and initiated a massive purge of administrative personnel and public enterprises under the pretext of de-Baathification. The country was thus left without even a semblance of administration. On the military front, these six years of occupation have resulted in severe loses for the U.S. military: over than 4,300 marines and GIs have been killed, nearly 50,000, or about half of its ground troops (146,000 soldiers) were wounded, most of whom are handicapped for life. According to Nobel economist Joseph Siglitz, the cost of the war has exceeded $2 trillion. As for Iraqi civilian loses, official sources estimate that 103,000 have been killed, but according to human rights organizations, the number is closer to 500,000.

 

To overcome the insurgency, the American military was forced into a terrible confrontation. So it was in the siege of Fallujah in 2004 and again during the bloody stormings of Ramadi, Al Hamra, Routba and Tel Afar between 2005 and 2008. She [America] resorted to torture, as shown by the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. As for the missing, they are too numerous to count. These six years of occupation have seen, through the adoption of a new Constitution, the introduction of Sharia law, and for women, the annulment of a law passed in 1958 under General Abdul Karim Kassem that granted equal rights to men and women. Islamism, in both its Sunni and Shiite variants, became entrenched and became better organized. Secularism is in retreat. And as in Lebanon, sectarian and religious voting has prevailed in both national and regional elections. Six years during which sectarian divisions have been reinforced, more and more often taking a violent turn, as when the Shiite Golden Mosque in Samarra was destroyed by al-Qaeda's Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in February 2006.

 

 

By the end of 2008, Iraq, as a state and a nation, had given way to a country that is split into three ethno-religious entities: a Shiite South, a central region dominated by Sunnis and in the north, a nearly autonomous state of Kurdistan. And in the background, the capital of Baghdad, where communities are separated by concrete walls. In addition to these geo-religious communities, there exist some pockets that could explode overnight. Such is the case with Kirkuk, an oil-rich region claimed by both the strong Turkish-speaking minority and the Kurds, who want to annex it into the autonomous region of Kurdistan. Turkey has already warned that it will not accept the incorporate of this region into Kurdistan, while neither Iraq nor Saudi Arabia has any intention of remaining passive.

 

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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US June 30, 6:30pm]