How to Destroy a Nation: Iraq
The invasion and destruction of Iraq in 2003 enraged the world. No event since the Vietnam War probably inspired more anti-war opposition or alternative media or underground press as it was known in the Vietnam Era. I was among those steadily radicalized. The Orwellian idiocy of the Bush administration and the Media which labeled an invasion a liberation, created massive opposition. Little appreciated at the time was that the invasion was only the latest phase in a long term plan to destroy Iraq. It's no exaggeration to call it a plan either or rather plans, Iraq is only one piece on the chessboard of Southwest Asia (the Middle East) plans with Names such as the Yinon Plan, the Clean Break, made by such infamous groups as PNAC. Unfortunately studying the plans in depth would require an entire article in themselves. I highly recommend you search for Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya's work on the subject he has a genius for deconstructing attempts to stir up ethnic and religious rivalries. Here is one classic example
Basically these plan's call for redrawing the map of the middle East along sectarian and Ethnic lines. They originated in Israel. Divide and conquer was a maxim developed by the Romans to destabilize the people along their boarders much like the Americans, NATO and Israel today they sent out cash to stir up trouble. The European imperialists adopted similar strategies to maintain control of their overseas empires. Israel paranoid about it's small geographic size and frankly hungry for expansion became even more obsessed with this strategy. Most empires have more interests in stability but Israel and increasingly the US seek to sow Chaos and failed states all over the world. Ukraine is only the latest example. The plan in Southwest Asia is to break up Iraq, Iran, Syria, even allies like Turkey or Saudi Arabia into smaller warring states. Despite being Targets the Saudi's and Turkey are major partners of Israel the US and NATO in sowing hatred and chaos in the region and in fact in an Arc of crisis stretching from Africa throughout Eurasia and involving covert NATO wars on Russia and China. (See Christoph Germann's indispensable New Great Game Roundup site for weekly updates on these little known events in Central Asia.)
Destroying Iraq was thus part of a much greater plan. It had a central importance in this attempt by Israel, America, NATO and the GCC monarchies like Saudi Arabia and Qatar to stir up Conflict between Sunni and Shia between Arabs, Kurds, Turks, Baluchs, Persians, Baluchis, Pashtuns etc. Iraq's fate was interwoven with that of Iran. An important start for the destruction of Iraq was 1979. The shah fled on January 16, 1979. The Iranian revolution came to power. Saddam Hussein also came to power in 1979 he had been an important Baath party official and cousin of Iraq's ruler Ahmed Hassan al Bakr. There was some opposition within the Baath party to his rise to power on August 8 1979 he crushed that opposition in a brutal and theatrical purge. The CIA and the US made him a close ally. The next year with American support he launched an invasion of Iran. The Israeli's doubtless rejoiced the utility of the Iran Iraq war in stirring up Shia and Sunni tension in the region was explicitly stated in Plan Yinon which came out in early 1982. Before we see the complete destruction of Iraq now would be the appropriate time to discuss the state of Iraq on the Eve of War. Although the Baath party was brutal and ruthless with any challenge to it's rule, It also ruled over an Iraq that was the most educated in the region, Health care was also the best in the region. Iraq was a secular country it's people were fond of drinking and they remain notorious chain smokers. Women were well represented in the professions and Iraq had a large and educated middle class. Thirty years later education has been decimated, health is in ruins, starvation violence and chaos reign.
The war Iran Iraq war played a vital role in this plan to destabilize Southwest Asia. It went on for almost a decade. A million people died. Tensions were stirred between Shia and Sunni in Iraq as some prominent clerics openly supported Iran. Brutal repression by the regime created lasting hatreds. The long war doubtless demoralized the Iraqi army which was to fold so quickly in 1991 and 2003. Iraq was able to win using chemical weapons supplied by American and European corporations. The CIA provided satellite intelligence on where and when to deploy chemical weapons. Meanwhile they had also begun to sell Israeli weapons to Iran in the hopes that american hostages might be freed. Israel had been supplying Iran all along part of their traditional strategy of allying with non arabs in the region. Iran had managed to alienate the Soviets and the US. Secretly of course the Iranian revolution and the Nicaraguan revolution also in 1979 probably served a vital role in then US national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski's great game scheming. Thus the US supplied one side of the conflict while it's supposed ally supplied the other. This served to weaken both states. There was a tremendous amount of death and destruction.
No sooner had Iraq won the war then the US began scheming to provoke another one this time with Kuwait. Kuwait had been created by the British solely to steal Oil and weaken Iraq strategically. The British and French literally redrew the Map of the Middle east during World War One. I'm reminded of the arrogance of the renaissance pope who divided Africa and the Americas up between Spain and Portugal (Portugal got Brazil and Africa Spain the rest of the Americas.) Like the Pope they didn't bother to consult or even inform the local inhabitants. Now the US pushed the Kuwaiti's to act in a provocative manner. They sabotaged Oil prices when Saddam needed the revenues to rebuild, they demanded payment for debts while refusing to pay their own debts. They also drilled into Iraqi territory to steal Oil. They refused any attempt at negotiation a standard US proxy game (Syria, Venezuela, Ukraine ) what Pepe Escobar calls "The Drop Dead School of Diplomacy". Meanwhile US Ambassador April Glaspie (who would go on to supervise dirty wars in Africa) basically told Saddam that the US wouldn't care if He invaded but in Diplomatese for the sake of plausible deniability. Saddam took the bait and did what every Iraqi leader had wanted to do since the 1958 revolution overthrew the british Puppet king Faisal. He invaded Kuwait, probably he planned to give most of it back except certain disputed areas, after he had wrung some concessions out of the Kuwaitis.
Instead of course he was vilified as the new Hitler. America's cold war rival The Soviet Union had now Fallen and Russia was receiving A first hand lesson in how to destroy a nation from the new Hyper-Power the US's economic advisers and intelligence agencies. President Bush wanted to demonstrate his "new world order" (a phrase popular among so called foreign policy experts like the CFR and Conspiracy theorists) Basically the complete destruction of Iraq would show the world what would happen to them if they got out of line, also allowing the Military Industrial Complex to demonstrate it's value in the post cold war world. Of course secretly it was also a war on behalf of the Israel Lobby. Saddam had the largest military in the region of course it's power was an illusion but that's never stopped what I like to call the "Hysterical school of politics" as practiced in Israel where years of Media brainwashing have convinced the Israeli public that they are liable to exterminated at any moment. For example the furor over Iran's nonexistent Nuclear weapons (Israel is One of the worlds top Nuclear Powers) or the infamous nonexistent Iraqi weapons of Mass Destruction. Whether or not Iraq truly posed a threat Israel wanted it destroyed. It wants all it's neighbors destroyed eventually.
Iraq was subjected to a 3 month attack by much of the world. New military strategies were played out where vital civilian Infrastructure was destroyed. Nafeez Ahmed has documented in his "Behind The War on Terror" how the Pentagon did studies on the effects of destroying Iraq's water Sanitation facilities discovered millions would die then deliberately destroyed the water sanitation facilities. All of the elements of Civilized life were attacked and in 3 months the war did more damage then the entire 9 year Iran Iraq War. Targeted were Hospitals, Civilians packed air raid Shelters, apartments, Food warehouses the Electricity Grid, and everything else. Meanwhile the media with it's talent for turning truth on it's head pretended that the US and it's huge alliance of countries used their precision weaponry, to avoid harming civilians. The smart bomb was the Hero of the Day.
After the war there were US Inspired uprising by the Shia in the South and the Kurds in the North. The US cynically abandoned the Shia uprising to it's fate they didn't want to tip the balance of power in Iran's direction. The kurds on the other hand they protected and Israel and America began to feed their dreams of a Kurdish homeland. The Kurds have the tragic history of constantly being used and abandoned by various powers in the region. Most recently America and Iran had abandoned them in the mid 70's after Iran had been using them as a proxy force against Iraq. Iraq agreed to the Shah's terms in a boarder dispute and the Kurds were brutally suppressed with thousands killed. This inspired Kissinger's famous understatement "Covert action should not be confused with Missionary work." Of course unfortunately I must observe that often Missionary work is Covert Action whether of the traditional religious sort or their NGO "humanitarian" descendants. In any case the nearly independent Kurdish region would be a valuable asset in attempting to split up Iraq and was Used as a base in attempts to Destabilize the Iraqi government. The Iraqi Kurds would become clients of the US and Israel. Despite being betrayed yet again in the mid 90's they remain valuable US allies. The Kurds can be used to destabilize Syria, Turkey, and Iran as well as Iraq. Of course that doesn't mean that all Kurds in the region are US allies it depends on the country and faction.
More important for the immediate future of Iraq were the brutal sanctions imposed. They aimed to prevent the repair of Iraq. Through sheer ingenuity the Iraqi's managed to get their electricity back up in only 3 months by Canibalizing old parts. Their water treatment system could not be brought back. Food could not be imported. Disease and starvation ran rampant over 2 million people died. The economy was destroyed and the educated began to flee the country. Economic hardship increases tensions in society, the IMF was just as vital in destabilizing Yugoslavia, Rwanda, or today Ukraine as the CIA and the NED. What was imposed on Iraq resembled a medieval siege not mere Austerity, Nafeez Ahmed includes an Amazing alphabetical list but it's 2 pages long so You'll forgive me for not reproducing it here just a few examples: books, pencils, baskets, spoons, telephones, toothbrushes, watches, dishwashers, hats, music cds, trash cans. Most importantly they banned chlorine needed to purify the water. Just imagine every item in your house and or work and you'll have a good idea of what was banned.
Under the influence of the sanctions Iraqi society rapidly changed. Before the war Iraqi children's major health problem was obesity now it was malnutrition. That and the effects of treating water tainted with Raw sewage. The sanctions continued up until the 2003 invasion and Occupation. By the time of the invasion a new Iraq had increasingly taken shape. From secular it had become far more religious. This could have unintended consequences this was when Moqtada Al Sadr's father Mohammed Sadiq al Sadr. was allowed to establish a mass movement by Saddam before being brutally executed the second of the Sadr Martyrs the first was his Father in Law Muhammed Baqr al-Sadr. Muqtada would play a major role in forcing the US to abandon it's plan's to permanently occupy Iraq. There is a tendency to demonize all islamists even in the alternative media. Not all islamists are head chopping Tafkiri pawns of the US Israel and the GCC. Hezbollah, Iran and the Sadrists have provided effective resistance to empire. Still the general trend was towards more sectarian tension. After the invasion although Muqtada would denounce it he would be unable to stop his followers from being involved in the sectarian cleansing of Baghdad.
Iraq was also poor desperate, with Crime on the rise. It was a hollow shell. This did not stop it being portrayed in the Media as a threat to the world once again Saddam Hussein was portrayed as a new Hitler about to blow up New York or Washington with an Atom Bomb. The media did not point out the absurdity and yet another war began. They called it a war even though the Iraqi army made secret deals not to fight. Pepe Escobar who bravely was in Iraq shortly after the invasion observed that if only the American's had agreed to leave within six months and to hold elections their might not have been the massive resistance that emerged. But America thought out of the chaos it could create an Iraq to it's liking or at least that's what they pretended. Personally I think the Goal was simply to Create a massive disaster in Southwest Asia that would destabilize Iran, Syria, Turkey in accord with the Yinon Plan and other such plans.
Amazingly despite pouring Billions into the country the economic situation got even worse then it was during the sanctions period. Actually not amazing the corporations and Iraq's new and typical puppet government simply stole all the money. Amazingly despite all the troops of the sole hyperpower the country careened into chaos. Actually not amazing America's Saudi Allies were funding the Sunni Resistance, doubtless with secret CIA, Mossad involvement. Meanwhile the US was training and funding the Shiite Death Squads of the Badr brigade. The US military was just another particularly viscous faction that shot any Iraqi it came across this is not an exaggeration they warned everyone to stay out of their path or die. They also destroyed whole cities like Fallujah. Like Vietnam Iraq became an Overt and Covert battlefield. The same Phoenix program tactics of death lists and Death squads. Combined with good old fashioned American firepower the death toll was over a million. Casualty numbers have always been politicized in the Ancient world the enemies casualties were exaggerated your own played down. Today enemy Casualties are always reduced allied proxies casualty numbers (like Syrian rebels) increased and labeled civilian casualties. Special forces and mercenary deaths are omitted. They also love to blame the people their proxies kill on the enemy. Thus any Casualty number is always unreliable. Still by my rough estimates at least 3 and half million Iraqis have died as a result of the wars and sanctions. Millions more became homeless refugees.
Three years after the end of the occupation the covert war continues. The US NATO Israel and the GCC are funding Sunni terrorists to destabilize Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. They also supply the Maliki government with weapons although he is to close to Iran for their liking. The Kurds continue to seek to Break away. The disintegration of Iraq continues and I wouldn't be surprised to see yet a third invasion some day. For now our crazy strategic goals have been achieved from a strong State Iraq has become weak, an Educated country has become ignorant, a secular country has become a hotbed of intolerance, an orderly albeit Tyrannical country has become totally Chaotic. a prosperous country has become poor, a healthy country has become sick. Here it should be remembered that every country that the US and NATO attack they leave behind a radioactive legacy from their depleted Uranium munitions literally waging war on the populations genes causing massive increases in deformity, disease and infant mortality. Imperialism is waging war on humanity itself. We must fight for a future in which their are no more destructions of entire nations like Iraq. Unfortunately all over the world from Venezuela, to Thailand, to Syria, Afghanistan, the Congo and Ukraine more nations have been targeted for complete social destruction.
Sources I read Patrick Cockburn's Iraq trilogy Out of the Ashes, The Occupation, and Muqtada al Sadr they have major mainstream Biases (For example throughout Out of the Ashes written in 1998 he gives the impression that Iraq really did still have weapons of mass destruction) still they paint a vivid picture of the Chaos that ensued. Nafeez Ahmed gives an excellent account of the Period between 1991 and 2003. He also correctly pointed out before the invasion that there were no weapons of mass destruction. Pepe Escobar's Iraq reports are both Beautiful and Terrifying available free on Asia Times website. He was there in 2003 then again during the surge. He also wrote a book on Iraq called red Zone Blues. Read every article of this modern Day Marco Polo. And of course read Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya for a deep Geopolitical and sociological view of things. I'm almost done reading all of his articles in the archives of Global Research they provide a real education on geopolitics. I apologize for oversimplifying his complex views.