Liberation or chaos? [Archives:2004/761/Opinion]

August 5 2004

With all the contrived justifications for the anxious invasion of Iraq now proven as uncontested lies, the Bush administration is still hanging on to the last string in its list of bogus reasons for hastily putting all of America's firepower and might in Iraq. While not fully abandoning the questionable connection of the American Expedition in Iraq with the “War on Terror”, the White House has struck firm to the alibi of “bringing freedom” to the Iraqi people and “instilling a model democracy” that will eventually roll over to all the other states of the region with the speed of a tropical hurricane. Of course, these justifications will not be subject to any hard nosed probing on the intelligence behind it and all the other means of investigation that can be easily undertaken for the justifications with tangible substance (like the Weapons of Mass Destruction, ties to terrorism, etc.). So, President George Bush and most of his team are latching on to the “liberation theme” and thus comforting themselves with the notion that this is something everyone will certainly find little objection to.
Most Iraqis and most outside observers will certainly have no qualms about the removal of Saddam Hussein, but is that in itself a palatable quest, that makes up for all the dire consequences that this “liberation” has brought on Iraq, in particular, and on the region as a whole.
In assessing the dubious claim of fighting terror, the American invasion of Iraq has been actually a blessing to terror that came on a silver platter. Notwithstanding the existence of a force of 150,000 of the finest geared military personnel, Iraq has become an open and free field for terrorists, which everyone agrees would never have been available under Saddam Hussein, regardless of how one may view his autocratic regime. That simply means that most of the fatalities and wounded Iraqis, the majority of them civilian and had nothing to do with the Saddam regime or with terror or even with the American invasion, would still be alive today. So, where is the freedom gained by these tens of thousands of innocent casualties?
On the other hand, the theater given to the terrorists in Iraq helped to provide a vast field for dubious contractors of death, disguising themselves as “Jihadists”, or “insurgents” fighting the occupation, while in reality their victims have mostly been the supposed beneficiaries of their “struggle”. Because of this, the suspicion that the ongoing madness and reckless bloodletting is actually planned for and expected by the sponsors of this misguided American adventure is not at all far fetched. This is reinforced by the almost miniscule casualties that the “insurgents” have inflicted on the occupying force, and the almost zero result achieved by such a large force, with all its sophisticated hardware and other resources, in finding even the slightest clue as to the origins of these murderers (and this is how Islam could, with absolute certainty, describe them), or the constituency of these fly by night groups. In fact, their ferocity and savagery seems to be on an incline. When one adds the rather easy access these death squads have to international communications links and the media, and generous funding at their disposal, as well as the rather free tactical leeway at their disposal the conclusion that the liberation achieved in Iraq has been solely for these sadistic mobs becomes inescapable. Is that then the liberation that Washington wants to spread throughout the region? God forbid that the entire region should have to be blessed with such liberation, and most people in the region will simply take a rain check from Mr. Bush and ask him to pack up his boys and bring them back to the States. There are some observers who also add that the claim that the continued presence of American forces is actually hindering progress for stability to reign in Iraq. With the Iraqis, not enjoying any real semblance of sovereignty, they are unable to direct their full energy towards ending the reign of terror brought on by these merciless mercenaries of death, as they would be if their hands were untied from the tight controls that are still in place by the occupier, regardless of the theatrical “handover”. To add to the tragedy of chaos, which is the real fruit of this uncalled for invasion and continuing occupation, the lot of the “liberated Iraqis”, in any manifestation is for the overwhelming majority of the Iraqis depressing to say the least. The occupiers have spent a mere fraction of the already miniscule amount they allotted to the reconstruction of Iraq. Thus, the conditions of Iraqis in the cities and rural areas ahs reached catastrophic levels in some areas, because of the poor health and sanitary conditions arising out of the destruction of existing infrastructure, let alone the lack of any significant additions thereto.
The ongoing demise of any semblance of normal life surely cannot be viewed as liberation by any means, especially when the haunting menace of sudden death and destruction is looming in the horizons. Many Iraqis that one has come to talk to or hear interviewed in television all paint a horrible picture. Lawlessness, poor or non-existent services, high unemployment, poor and inexcusable health and sanitary conditions and fear of an occupying force that is lacking in its own regulatory frameworks. These are just a few of the consequences of “liberation”. One should add that the latter is creating another element of terror that the Iraqis have to confront, albeit under an official. Accordingly the liberation claim is not substantiated by any of the real dismal conditions the Iraqis must be forced to live on. If that is the liberation Washington wants for all the states of the region, one can imagine how states that are far less endowed than Iraq would fare out under such a venue of mayhem and despair. Freedom does not go hand in hand with chaos and ill contrived ideological adventures, which are contrived by selfish plunderers, who stand to be the only real harvesters from such malevolent and investments of ill intent.