Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Immoral, Brutal, Inhuman, Despite Zionist Media
Attempts of Embellishment
By Ramzy Baroud
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, December 31, 2011
Someone ought to let mainstream news producers know that
the nearly 4,500 US soldiers killed in the Iraq war
were not the only victims. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have also
been killed as a result of the unwarranted US invasion, and many more have
been wounded and/or forever maimed.
Chances are, all of these Iraq
war victims would still be alive today were it not for former President
George Bush and his band of neoconservatives. Demonstrating a bizarre mix of
evangelical ambition, cowboy bravado and the
pathological desire to ‘keep Israel secure’, Iraq was destroyed over and
A short report by WTKR, a CBS affiliate
television station in Virginia, cited in an online report in the Los Angeles
Times on December 16, broadcast images of a US flag being furled at a small
US military base in Baghdad. At the ceremony, Defense Secretary Leon E.
Panetta reiterated US sacrifices and rationalized one of the most
destructive wars in recent memory. Numerous news reports also declared that
the Iraq war was over, although some expressed doubts that the Iraqis –
presented as historically, if not genetically fated to be violent – would be
able to handle their own affairs now that the US has ended their
Just a quick recap: The Lancet
survey determined that between March 2003 and June 2006, 601,027 Iraqis died
violent deaths. The Opinion Research Business survey found that 1,033,000
died as a result of the conflict from March 2003 to August 2007. In one
single revelation, WikiLeaks stated that "its release of nearly 400,000
classified U.S. files on the Iraq war showed 15,000 more Iraqi civilians
died than previously thought." This is in addition to the hundreds of
thousands of lives lost in the decade long Iraq siege, and the hundreds of
thousands more who were killed during the first Iraq war between 1990-91.
Numbers aside, the media spin-mongers are busy redrawing the parameters
of the discussion through omission, lies and outright racism. Take, for
example, Loren Thomspon's article in Forbes. Thompson thinks that the war
was a mistake - not due to any illusions about immorality or illegality –
but purely because of practical mistakes involving resources, lack of
resolve, Iraq’s sectarianism and military inconsistency, and the like.
Despite these mistakes, “our intentions were good,” Thompson stated. To
ensure that no one would mistake him for an antiwar ‘leftist nut job’ – the
rightwing media’s perception of anyone who opposes US war for any reason -
he made an interesting assertion:
“What policymakers and a majority
of the U.S. electorate now know is that Iraq never should have been a
country in the first place, so trying to make democracy work there is likely
to be a thankless task” (Forbes, December 15).
and lack of sensitivity (destroying a sovereign country, then denying its
right to have ever existed in the first place – a logic reminiscent of
Israeli behavior in Palestine) - are overriding characteristics of the
American mainstream media’s representation of the Iraq war.
their Los Angeles Times article on December 15, David S. Cloud and David
Zucchino did acknowledge, albeit belatedly, that Iraqis were killed.
However, they also cited the lowest figure they could find (from the Iraqi
Body Count website), and resorted to sweeping generalizations that
inadvertently laid the blame of the violence on Iraqis themselves. “With the
Americans gone, it is up to (the Iraqis) to help control the country's
endemic violence,” they wrote.
Yes, “endemic”, meaning “natural to
or characteristic of a specific people or place” (Dictionary.com). If Iraqis
are prone to violence because of their cultural, religious or even genetic
makeup, why did the daily body counts of Iraqis begin in March 2003, the
date of the US invasion? Who made the decision to go to war, turning
violence into an “endemic”? Certainly not the Iraqi people.
wasn’t the Iraqis who sowed the seeds of their own sectarian conflict
either. This was also part of a strategy aimed at redefining the US military
role from locating (non-existent) weapons of mass destruction to fighting
terrorism, while concurrently putting out the fire of sectarian violence.
In crude military terms, the Iraq war might be over, but as far as
the Iraqi people are concerned, it is not. The experiment, which began
nearly nine years ago with a “shock and awe” bombing campaign, will manifest
itself in future US policies. The entire region has grown to become the
backbone of an American empire on the decline.
influential book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, Naomi
Klein described how the war on Iraq was meant to construct a model for the
Middle East. It was an experiment, the success of which could influence the
geopolitics of the whole region. In the chapter entitled, "Erasing Iraq: In
Search for a ‘Model' for the Middle East," Klein describes the attempt at
destroying and then resurrecting the country to fit the mould sought by
those who administered its fall. She concluded Part 6 with the following
statement: "So in the end, the war in Iraq did create a model economy…it was
a model for privatized war and reconstruction — a model that quickly became
Writing in the FoxNews website under the title,
‘Iraq: Victory or Defeat’, Oliver North, had little space for empathy, and
certainly none for the Iraqis. “Who won?” he asked. “Short answer --
America's soldiers, sailors, airmen, Guardsmen and Marines and the American
people whose sons and daughters served in Iraq.”
It is this type of
irrational patriotism, and intellectual hooliganism that made the war
possible in the first place. And it will continue to facilitate future wars,
followed by false victories.
As for the millions of Americans (and
many more around the world), who fearlessly and courageously objected to the
war, they will continue to do so. If the US is to redeem any iota of
credibility in the world, it must cease perceiving war as a mere strategic
opportunity. War is brutal and inhumane. It is
costly on many levels, and its terrible consequences are likely to prevail
through generations - as the future of Iraq will surely, and so sadly,
- Ramzy Baroud (www.ramzybaroud.net)
is an internationally-syndicated columnist and the editor of
PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter:
Gaza's Untold Story (Pluto Press, London).