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Farewell from NWL Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake
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The Iraq War ten years on: A turning point for US imperialism
Wednesday March 20, 2013 00:14 by T
Today 19th March is 10th Anniversary
Today marks the tenth anniversary of the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq. Ten years ago, the world watched the “shock and awe” bombing campaign light up the nighttime sky of Baghdad with billowing clouds of flame and smoke.
This campaign and the bloody ten years of occupation that followed had a devastating impact on what was once among the most advanced societies in the Middle East. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians were killed and millions were made homeless.
The American military’s conduct of the war produced crimes of staggering dimensions. This included the turning of Fallujah, a city of 350,000 people, into a free-fire zone, the bombarding of its occupants with white phosphorus shells, banned by international law, and the summary execution of wounded prisoners. Ten years later, the rates of child cancer and birth defects in Fallujah are similar to those in Hiroshima following the US atomic bombing.
Today is the 10th anniversary of the war of aggression by the United States and Britain in Iraq where over 1 million people were killed. The WSWS website has a special perspective article that underlines once again the complete criminality of this venture. The summary and text below are taken from the report and are a stark reminder of the underlying barbaric forces and contempt for life that the elite and powerful have in these countries. They are many orders of magnitude worse than psychopaths.
The leaking of stomach-turning photographs from Abu Ghraib lifted the veil on the barbaric character of the war, which included the systematic use of torture, death squads and sectarian massacres to terrorize the Iraqi population into submission.
People in Iraq continue to die from the sectarian violence unleashed by the war as well as from the destruction of infrastructure that has deprived them of clean water, health care and other essentials of life. One million children under the age of 18 have lost one or both parents, and hundreds of thousands suffer from grievous wounds.
In the US itself, in addition to the deaths of nearly 4,500 troops, 34,000 soldiers came home wounded and hundreds of thousands suffer from psychological trauma.
All of this killing and violence was carried out on the basis of lies, summed up in the claim that the Iraqi government was concealing “weapons of mass destruction.” These false pretexts for war were no less criminal than those used by Germany’s Third Reich to justify the invasion of Poland and other countries targeted at the outset of World War II.
If the Nuremberg precedents established in the trial of the surviving Nazi leaders at the end of that war had been followed, all of those responsible for the invasion of Iraq—in the first instance George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice—would have been placed on trial and, at the very least, sent to prison for the rest of their lives.
In the United Kingdom, the same fate would have befallen former Prime Minister Tony Blair and others in his government.
While the Nazis were guilty of a war of aggression in Europe that produced genocide, Washington’s war of aggression against Iraq resulted in sociocide—the systematic decimation of an entire society. Following more than a decade of punishing economic sanctions, the full power of the American military was employed to tear what was left of the country’s economy, infrastructure and social fabric to shreds.
The entire establishment media was complicit in the launching of the war, repeating pretexts for aggression that it knew to be false. In particular, the New York Times played an indispensable role in legitimizing the actions of the Bush administration and manufacturing “evidence” of nonexistent Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Noted opinion makers like Thomas Friedman of the Times and Richard Cohen and Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post deeply involved themselves in promoting war.
Once the invasion had begun, “embedded” journalists served as propagandists for the US military, while carefully concealing the war’s atrocities and its devastating impact.
This war, staggering in the criminality of both its planning and execution, marked a critical turning point in the history of American imperialism. Though it ended in chaos, with the lies used to justify it thoroughly exposed and, in operational terms, the war widely considered a total disaster, it nonetheless laid the basis for the intensification of the war in Afghanistan and the ever-expanding eruption of American militarism across the planet.
Iraq was a predatory imperialist war. It was carried out as part of a long-developing US strategy for reorganizing the Middle East to secure American interests and control over the region’s vast energy resources....
The full text can be read at the link below