vendredi 28 mars 2008

Iraq: Five years of intentional destruction - Vijf jaar oorlog. Vijf jaar vernietiging. Vijf jaar verzet.


Dirk Adriaensens, member of the BRussells Tribunal executive committee (12 Maart 2008)

Een aantal mythes die de VS hebben gehanteerd om de invasie en bezetting van Irak te rechtvaardigen, zijn reeds doorprikt. Andere blijven nog steeds overeind. Vijf jaar oorlog is het gepaste moment om enkele voorgekauwde denkbeelden in vraag te stellen. De meeste mensen weten nu wel dat Bush en zijn Administratie gelogen hebben. De Bush bende heeft exact 935 keer gelogen tussen 11 september 2001 en 19 maart 2003 om hun invasie te rechtvaardigen. Media-spotters hebben dat precies berekend.

Zo waren er geen massavernietigingswapens, waren er geen banden met Al Qaeda en was het ook al geen oorlog om democratie te brengen. Dat laatste heeft Alan Greenspan, ex-baas van de FED, voldoende duidelijk gemaakt. Het was de olie die de belangrijkste drijfveer was voor de invasie.

- de oorlog is voor de Neocon VS-strategen geen fiasco, maar een succes. Enkel het massaal volksverzet heeft roet in het eten gegooid.

(originally published:
Iraq: five years of intentional destruction.

Many people think that the Bush Administration had no plan for post-war Iraq. I believe this is not true. The total destruction of the country and the annihilation of its people were part of the agenda.

Army and police were disbanded, ministries plundered (except the Ministry of information and oil). All that is needed for the organisation of the society has been destroyed, looted, burned, rapidly and with high precision. Then the whole Iraqi Administration was dismantled by the “debaathification” campaign. Capable middle class functionaries in every domain of society were fired and replaced by an incompetent and corrupt workforce, selected along ethnical lines, faithful to the occupation. According to the Annual Corruption Ranking report of 27 september 2007, Iraq is the third most corrupt country in the world.

All this was part of the plan, in accordance to the ideologists of the neocons. Michael Ledeen: “creative destruction is our middle name, We do it automatically. . . . It is time once again to export the democratic revolution." Or even better formulated by Adam G. Mersereau, an attorney and former mariner: "Total war not only destroys the enemy's military forces, but also brings the enemy society to an extremely personal point of decision, so that they are willing to accept a reversal of the cultural trends. The sparing of civilian lives cannot be the total war's first priority. . . . The purpose of total war is to permanently force your will onto another people."

According to a recent opinion of William Kristol, one of the PNAC ideologists, there’s only reason to be optimistic for the US. Almost all the goals that were planned, have been achieved: Iraq destroyed, total control over the country, permanent military bases, the biggest US embassy in the world, massive privatisations, even the agriculture has been given to Monsanto, a new constitution was drafted, supervised by the US and the oil law in the phase of being approved soon.

The Iraqi resistance

Game, set and match for the US? No, not quite. The only factor that has been underestimated by the US is the national popular resistance against the occupation. This resistance has forced the US to spend 3 trillion dollar. This will plunge the US and the world in an ever deepening economic crisis.

Here are some recent statistics from February 2008:
- 166.895 coalition troops (157.000 US soldiers)
- 200.000 mercenaries (contractors)
- Iraqi army: 197.254 soldiers
- 200.132 Iraqi security forces, including the notorious special police commandos

The “surge” in 2007 was not only a surge in the number of soldiers, but also in the number of airstrikes a (a rise with 500%) and a surge in the number of refugees and Internally displaced persons (a rise with 272%).
In short: more than 750.000 army and police cannot guarantee the safety of the people in Iraq and can not stop the Iraqi resistance. Why?

The average number of attacks have increased in the first part of 2007 to about 185 per day. That is 1300 per week, and over 5500 attacks per month. 75% of the recorded attacks, (here based on the quarterly reviews to congress only) has remained directed at the occupation forces directly, and further 17% at the Iraqi government forces. The remaining, 8% are directed at unspecified civilian targets. It is this that makes the media.

Civil war or counter-insurgency?

According to several polls, the majority of the Iraqis is convinced that sectarian tensions will diminish when the occupation troops leave. According to most Iraqis there is no civil war in Iraq and sectarian tensions are created and encouraged by the occupiers.

How do they do it? Who are the different actors who destabilize the country? Who creates the conditions for a civil war? Let’s try to find out.

A. Militias.

Long before the invasion, the US and its allies were involved in the training and arming of tens of thousands of militias and anti-Iraq collaborators. The most conspicuous of these militia groups are:

1. The Iraqi National Congress (INC) led by Ahmed Chalabi.

2. The Iraqi National Accord (INA) led by Iyad Allawi, the U.S./Britain most preferred ‘strongman’.

Both groups constitute of Iraqi expatriates (including ex-Ba’athists), trained and armed by the U.S. and Britain.

3. The Badr Brigade, the armed wing of the Da’awa/SCIRI religious 'parties' led by Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, Ibrahim al-Jaafari and Nuri al-Maliki. This group constitutes of thousands of Iraqi expatriates and illegal Iranian immigrants expelled from Iraq in the 1980’s. The group is trained and heavily armed by Iran and the U.S.

4. The Kurdish militia (the Peshmerga) led by warlords were trained and armed by the U.S. and Israel.[19]

There is also the Sadr movement (known as the Mehdi Army), led by Muqtada al-Sadr. The movement has been accused of many crimes and sectarian killings since the Sadr movement entered the political process.

Since the invasion, each militia group has mutated into several groups of death squads and criminal gangs such as the Wolf Brigade, the Karar Brigade, the Falcon Brigade, the Amarah Brigade, the Muthana Brigade, the Defenders of Kadhimiyah, and the special police commandos. They are armed and financed by the U.S. and its allies, and fully integrated into the Occupation. Each group is carefully used by the occupying forces for terrorising the Iraqi civilian population in a campaign designed to erode the civilian population’s support for the Iraqi Resistance against the Occupation. U.S. military sources have openly admitted that the population, where support for the Resistance is high, “is paying no price for the support it is giving to the [Resistance] … We have to change that equation”, (Newsweek, 14 January 2004). In other words, Iraqis civilians are deliberately targeted for rejecting the Occupation. [20]

B. British terrorists in Iraq.

An article in the Sunday Telegraph points towards clear evidence British special forces are recruiting, training terrorists to heighten ethnic tensions. An elite SAS wing with bloody past in Northern Ireland operates with immunity and provides advanced explosives [22]. Some attacks are being blamed on Iranians, Sunni insurgents or shadowy terrorist cells such as "Al Qaeda” [23]. It is led by Lt. Col. Gordon Kerr, heading the Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR), a large counter-terrorism force made up of unnamed "existing assets" from the glory days in Northern Ireland and elsewhere. And America's covert soldiers are right there with them, working side-by-side with their British comrades in the aptly named "Task Force Black," the UK's Sunday Telegraph reports. [21]

This confirms what many have speculated for a long time, that Britain and the US are deeply involved in bombings and attacks inside Iraq.

C. Facilities Protection Services (FPS).

There is also the claim of Iraq's interior minister Jawad al-Bolani, speaking to a small group of reporters in Baghdad on October 12 2006, who blamed the Facilities Protection Service, or FPS, a massive but unregulated government guard force whose numbers he put at about 150,000. [24] "Whenever we capture someone, we rarely find anyone is an employee of the government ministries," Bolani said. “When they are, they've turned out to be mostly from the FPS, with very few individual, actual incidents involving anyone from the Ministry of Interior or Ministry of Defense." [25]

Private US and UK security firms are closely allied to Mr. Bremer’s ‘Facilities Protection Service’ programme in Iraq. Newsweek (24.04.06) suggested 146,000 belong to this ‘security’ force. And recent figures put the number at 200.000. The former Interior Minister, Bayan Jabr, associated the FPS with the endemic ‘death squads’ operating inside the police forces, which are hastening the disintegration of Iraq [26] So definitely these mercenaries are involved in covert operations.

D. Special police commandos.

According to Greg Jaffe of the Wall Street Journal, the “special police commandos” are being used throughout Iraq and have been conducting criminal assassinations known as the “Salvador option” with the full knowledge of U.S. forces. At the end of 2003, when it became clear that the US would face tough resistance against their occupation, part of a secret $3 billion in funds—tucked away in the $87 billion Iraq appropriation that Congress approved in early November 2003—went toward the creation of a paramilitary unit manned by militiamen associated with former Iraqi exile groups. Experts said in 2003 already that this could lead to a wave of extrajudicial killings, not only of armed rebels but of nationalists, other opponents of the U.S. occupation and thousands of civilian Baathists—up to 120,000 of the estimated 2.5 million former Baath Party members in Iraq. According to an article published in New York Times Magazine in September 2004, Counsellor to the US Ambassador for Iraqi Security Forces James Steele was assigned to work with a new elite Iraqi counter-insurgency unit known as the Special Police Commandos, formed under the operational control of Iraq’s Interior Ministry.

From 1984 to 1986 then Col. Steele had led the US Military Advisory Group in El Salvador, where he was responsible for developing special operating forces at brigade level during the height of the conflict (…) The Police Commandos are in large part the brainchild of another US counter-insurgency veteran, Steven Casteel, a former top DEA man who has been acting as the senior advisor in the Ministry of the Interior. Casteel was involved in the hunt for Colombia’s notorious cocaine baron Pablo Escobar, during which the DEA collaborated with a paramilitary organization known as Los Pepes, which later transformed itself into the AUC, an umbrella organization covering all of Colombia’s paramilitary death squads. [29]

On April 30 2006, the Organisation for Follow-up and Monitoring wrote: “After exact counting and documenting, the Iraqi Organisation for Follow-up and Monitoring has confirmed that 92 % of the 3498 bodies found in different regions of Iraq have been arrested by officials of the Ministry of Interior. Nothing was known about the arrestees’ fate until their riddled bodies were found with marks of horrible torture. It’s regrettable and shameful that these crimes are being suppressed and that several states receive government officials, who fail to investigate these crimes.”

E. The occupation forces.

The British medical journal The Lancet reported on 11 October 2006 that the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq has led to the deaths of between 426,000 and 794,000 Iraqis. “While recision about such figures is difficult, we can be confident that the excess deaths were above 390,000, and may in fact be as high as 940,000. The vast majority (92 per cent) of the excess deaths were due to direct violence. (…)” 31 percent of those killed were actually slain by U.S. and "coalition" forces.

Iraqis in the volatile al-Anbar province west of Baghdad are reporting regular killings carried out by U.S. forces that many believe are part of a 'genocidal' strategy.

Harassment from U.S. forces is a greater threat to the work of the Iraqi Red Crescent than insurgent attacks, a senior official of the Red Cross-linked humanitarian organization said.

So the occupation forces certainly aren’t in Iraq to protect the Iraqi people. Much to the contrary.

F. Criminal gangs.

The last group in this list are the ordinary criminal gangs, who do f.i. kidnappings for ransom money. They play a marginal, but instrumental role in the current instability in Iraq. Because none of the crimes committed are investigated, the victims have the impression that law and order are non-existent in the “new Iraq”. So most of them flee the country with their families. I mention ordinary criminality at the end of this list because ordinary criminals – and there are a lot of them in Iraq - are the only group that is not structurally linked to the occupation and its stooges. But thesez bandits can do their crimes with impunity, under the eyes of 750.000 security forces, without fear of being caught or prosecuted. This feeds the suspicion among the Iraqis that the occupier at least tolerates these crimes in order to create as much chaos as possible, for the sole purpose to defeat the resistance.

6. Conclusion

All these actors help to destroy the Republic of Iraq, kill and expel its people, annihilate its middle class, all this with the active (or tacid) support of the US occupation authorities, in a campaign of counter-insurgency that resembles the many “dirty wars” of the US during the past 50 years.

So instead of bringing stability to Iraq, the US occupation is doing everything it possibly can to create chaos and terror, to incite civil war and sectarian strife, in order to defeat the National Popular Resistance and to break the aspirations of the Iraqi people to live in a sovereign state and decide its own future.

Consequently the only possible road to a solution is the total and immediate withdrawal of all foreign troops from Iraqi soil. US forces must negotiate an immediate withdrawal with the Iraqi resistance. The peace movement has to understand that these demands are crucial to achieve a peaceful solution.

Dirk Adriaensens.

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