Sunday, 22 August 2010

'US troops to leave Iraq'. Not quite...

50,000 US troops are still to remain. And part of the void left by the departing troops is to be filled by private security contractors. According to one estimate there is already in Iraq a 'surrogate army' of 150,000 private security contractors.

The US troop withdrawal is more about appearance than reality. And that reality is the primacy of US strategic interests.

Iraq commentator Michael Schwartz points out while the US been forced to scale back from its 'most ambitious transform Iraq into a ferocious ally of the U.S. and Israel, and use it to attack Iran. They still want to have 50,000 troops in Iraq as a strike force in the Middle East and for Iraq to be a linchpin of American control over oil production…The goal remains to pump 12 million barrels a day out of Iraq to break OPEC's control of the international oil system.'

Hannah Gurman blows away the smoke about the US reducing troop numbers because its occupation has been a 'success'. Sanitation, safe drinking water, a regular supply of electricity remain for millions of Iraqis a memory of what life was like under Sadaam. The country's healthcare system, once the pride of the region, has been literally taken part; 'new studies reveal soaring cancer rates in Fallujah and other cities that were heavily targeted by U.S. forces. This news comes against the backdrop of a mass exodus of doctors from the country. Twenty thousand of Iraq’s 34,000 registered physicians left Iraq after the U.S. invasion. As of April 2009, fewer than 2,000 returned, the same as the number who were killed during the course of the war. The shortage of doctors in Iraq is just one facet of the much bigger population displacement as a result of the war. As of January 2009, there were still 2 million Iraqi refugees living outside of the country, and as of April 2010, there were 2,764,000 internally displaced people living in Iraq.' 

The human cost of this war to the people of Iraq has been anything between 5-10 million people 'murdered, maimed, homeless, unjustly imprisoned, tortured and impoverished'. Tell that to Tony Blair at his next book signing.