Uh, oh! The time might be approaching when the U.S. government will need to invade and bomb Iraq again, with the intent of, once again, achieving regime change and installing a regime that is obedient, submissive, and loyal to the U.S. Empire.
The grounds for this possibility are set forth in an op-ed in today’s New York Times entitled, “Time to Get Tough on Iraq,” authored by Nussaibah Younis, an International Security Program Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center.
One thing comes across loud and clear from reading this op-ed: The author is hopping mad. Why? Because Iraq has turned out to be a disaster, and Yousef is upset that the U.S. government isn’t doing something about it. He wants the U.S. government to get tough with the Maliki regime and force it to get its act together.
What does that mean? It means that Iraq must take the necessary steps to align itself with the U.S. government’s “interests” in the region.
In fact, Younis’ op-ed provides an absolutely fascinating and candid insight into the Iraq disaster.
For example, Younis is angry over the fact that Maliki’s government is permitting Iran to use Iraqi airspace to ferry weaponry to the Assad regime in Syria. He says that the continuation of the Assad regime is contrary to U.S. interests and, therefore, must be ended. That Maliki is facilitating Iran’s support of Assad is outrageous, says Younis.
But wait a minute. I thought that U.S. officials claim that their goal in invading Iraq was to create a free, independent, and sovereign country. Well, okay, they made the claim after their initial invasion rationale — an imminent WMD attack by Saddam Hussein on some American cities — proved to be fake and bogus. Nonetheless, the secondary rationale was trotted out and used to justify the invasion and a 10-year occupation of the country that ended up killing and maiming countless people.
Of course, libertarians never fell for such noble public pronouncements. We understand that the goal of U.S. foreign policy has always been to install pro-U.S. regimes into power — that is, regimes that will do the bidding of the U.S. Empire. The last thing the Empire intends to do is invade countries, initiate coups, assassinate foreign leaders, or incite domestic chaos in foreign countries for the purpose of installing independent regimes or, even worse, anti-U.S. regimes.
Since it was the Empire’s invasion that was responsible for installing the Maliki regime, then Maliki belongs to the Empire. He owes us. He needs to get his head straight. He needs to do what the Empire tells him to do. He needs to understand his duty.
What if the U.S. Empire was supporting the Assad regime? Well, in that case, Maliki’s duty would be clear. He would be expected to get on board and also support the Assad regime.
But of course it might be said that the Empire would never support a brutal dictatorship like the Assad regime. Oh, but it did. In fact, the Empire entered into one of its infamous rendition-torture partnerships with the Assad regime. Just ask Canadian citizen Mahar Arar, one of that partnership’s torture victims.
We also could point to Saddam Hussein, Hosni Mubarak, Bahrain, Yemen, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia for other instances of U.S. support of brutal dictatorships. Or we could look toward Latin America for even more evidence of U.S. support of brutal dictatorships.
The fact is that Iraq is expected to support the dictators that are aligned with the Empire’s dictators and to oppose those who are not on the Empire’s approved list of dictators.
Younis has another fascinating insight. He says that Iraq is descending into authoritarianism. Additionally, he writes, “Maliki’s government is plagued by incompetence, corruption and a contempt for human rights.” But wait a minute! I thought that democracy was supposed to cure all these things. Isn’t that what U.S. officials always tell us when justifying their democracy-spreading campaigns? During the 10 years of occupation, violence, and mayhem in Iraq, didn’t they constantly tell us that U.S. troops were heroes for bringing democracy to Iraq? Indeed, aren’t Americans expected to thanks the troops for their “service” in Iraq?
But the reality, as Younis makes clear, is that democracy is not freedom and it’s not stability and prosperity. It’s simply a means by which people can change public officials without a violent revolution. But oftentimes democracies produce brutal dictatorships, as we see with Iraq. Our American ancestors understood this, which is why the Constitution and the Bill of Rights protect us from the threats to freedom posed by democracy.
While it was clearly not their intention, Younis and the Times have provided an excellent analysis of what U.S. troops accomplished in Iraq with their invasion and occupation. They achieved a horror story. And the troops who died there died for that horror story. And that’s what countless Iraqis died for also.
What should be done about Iraq’s independence and recalcitrance? Younis says that the U.S. government should threaten to cut off $1.7 billion in U.S. foreign aid to Iraq. He also wants to bring “an end to arms dealing with the United States.” But Younis, of course, is being naïve. There is no possibility that U.S. arms dealers would ever permit that to happen.
Younis also recommends that the U.S. government humiliate Iraq on the world stage until it straightens itself out. How realistic is that?
Younis raises the possibility of imposing sanctions on Iraq, and he’s hoping that the next president will consider the idea. Let’s see: the last set of sanctions on Iraq contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children and still failed to oust Saddam Hussein from power. It took a brutal invasion, based on a bogus rationale, to finally achieve that end.
So, how about another regime-change invasion of Iraq, followed by another 10-year brutal occupation?
Alas, Younis doesn’t address that one. I can’t help but wonder why.
Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation.
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