Sunday, September 05, 2010

PAYOFF FOR IRAQ--The question is what did the US win or lose in the Iraq War so far ? This war is not over,so my calculations remain dynamic.

The way it is to work in colonial wars like Iraq is that the the invader extracts some form of wealth from the weaker country or territory invaded. The Obama Administration has made an official fuss celebrating the withdrawal of US troops down to about 50, 000 remaining forces; these are scheduled to depart sometime next year. There are 4500 special operations troops ready to combat whomever sticks his head up. Additionally, there are still tens of thousands US paid mercenaries.

The fact is historically in the 19th-20th centuries that invaders always get kicked out of their colonies eventually--sometimes with residual rights to the colonies' natural resources. sometimes without them. In the case of Iraq the US has little to show in long term oil exploitation deals with Iraq--about the only other significant resources are fresh water and 350 varieties of Basra dates-
Iraqis have paid have paid a stiff price for killing Saddam, his two boys and uprooting the Sunni dominated Baathist Party. One hundred thousand Iraqis have died in the GWB invasion; there are over a million Iraqi refugees mainly in Syria and Jordan; over 25 percent of its ancient artifacts have disappeared. there is no effective central Iraqi government; prewar UN sanctions on Iraq still are in effect.

Tens of thousands Iraqi were in US detention on centers and harshly interrogated--these folks are mostly back on the streets and have no goodwill toward the US.--my sense is that they are a festering time bombs
Iran's influence has expanded throughout the Islamic world. Without Saddam there is no regional force to check Iran's expanding interests.. Iraq today is a wreck as its infrastructure is in worse condition than before the US invasion. Efforts by the US at reconstruction so far as been a farce replete with massive corruption involving US and foreign contractors.

The US price for the invasion and continued occupation has been over 4000 KIA and over 30,000 wounded, many of whom are long term disabled. A trillion dollars spent--over 9 billion unaccounted or stolen. As the US troops are thinned out the enormity of the corruption becomes more apparent--with AP and the ARMY TIMES running stories that were spiked under the GWB administration. Despite regular decollation by US forces Al qaeda now is ensconced in Iraq from where it has taken its lethal operational lessons to Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia.

UN observers have noted that the UN sanctions combined with US bombardments have reduced the one proud Arab state to a pre-industrial society This situation plays into Iran's hand and delights the sick pro Israel neocons and American Jewish lobbies who want Israel preeminent in the region.. Israelis also prefer US forces in the area to come to their rescue when their country implodes.

If you wish to die and spend for other countries democracy you are indeed foolish or a demented neocon. No oil for the US or functioning democracy in Iraq so far after 7.5 years. Except for toppling Saddam INC, very few US war aims have been met.

President Obama's recent Oval Office speech turned on a peace light declaring the combat phase of the Iraq war over; this is absurd in view of the US forces remaining in Iraq. At the same time local US commanders are assuring those Iraqis loyal to the occupation that US forces remain to fight terror--you can define terror as you wish:sectarian or Al qaeda or the neighbor who killed your donkey.

Obama declared that he does not expect surrender ceremonies . So now we fight wars without the prospect of victory. ART OF WAR Clausewitz should be spinning in his grave at this news, Relax my friends. Have a delicious Basra date--that is the only tangible payoff from the Iraq War so far. Colonel Robert E Bartos USA ret.


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