Iraq: Who Destroyed the ‘Cradle of Civilization’ ?


Once upon a time, there was a country which was known as the ‘Cradle of Civilization’. A country whose civilization flourished long before those of Greece & Rome. A country so beautiful that the Hellenes would have blushed. A country , that despite being mostly arid was bountiful with vegetation, good weather, abundant wildlife, and water resources. A country with a far more literate population than the surrounding countries of the middle-east. A country which gave to the world inventions like the first accurate calendar, the wheel, maps and most importantly the first schools. A country where women had traditionally more freedom than their counterparts elsewhere in the region. A country that is home to the world’s second largest oil reserves. Lastly, a country that is now unfortunately burning in flames with millions of lives lost and thousandothers rendered homeless. I’m referring here to the Republic of Iraq .

The world at large has always seemed interested in Iraq especially, the United States ( All thanks to the Iraq’s rich oil reserves which have the potential to make its leaders extremely powerful ). U.S has intervened in the past and there is now a possibility of a third intervention. The current situation in Iraq can prove deadly for a lot of countries including the United States. It’s ethnic and sectarian divisions have deepened even more this time. Plus its neighbourhood comprising Syria is not doing well itself. If US intervenes this time, it might end the fanatics but not the fanaticism of the region. Last time US did defeat the Al Qaida forces in the region but didn’t destroy them and today the entire region is witnessing a dangerous uprising because of a lethal terrorist organization called the ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) which is horrifically violent. ISIS was basically a part of Al Qaida group but became much more powerful after Laden’s death, and today it’s the wealthiest and the most deadly terrorist outfit in the world.

I personally feel, had the George. W. Bush administration not attacked Iraq in 2003 in search of ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ (which were never found by the way because there were none and this was a fact confirmed by the top Intelligence agencies of the world) Iraq would be in a much better spot today. As for Saddam Hussein, he would have made sure that terrorist groups like ISIS don’t take over Iraq. What was the whole point of being at war with Iraq and capturing its leader, when the situation now is even more grave ? It amazes me as to how an organization like ISIS became so powerful when all this while the US forces were in Iraq? Iraq had its problems even before the US intervened but the country was still liberal in a lot of ways. Now the radical groups from Saudi and other adjacent countries have taken over and the ISIS wants Iraq to become an Islamic state. The invasion of Iraq was completely erroneous and the political advisors of the Bush administration were misguided. I agree that the Bush government did get rid of a tyrant dictator but it also killed way more innocent people than even Saddam Hussein killed. People were killed in the name of insurgents, when in actuality they were innocent women and children. The public mind in USA was brainwashed, convincing people that it’s a war on terror  a retribution for 9/11 and that invading Iraq was in the best interest of the world. But the question is was it ?

I mean the US government that time fooled its people and the world, claiming that Iraq is under the rule of an unstable and dangerous leader so an invasion is the need of the hour. I’m going to give a case here of an exactly similar leader. But I can vouch neither the US nor the rest of the world will dare touch either him or his nation. I’m referring here about North Korea and its supreme leader Kim Jong un. Try doing it to them and the repercussions would be fatal. Thank goodness that North Korea doesn’t have oil , otherwise there was just no stopping that nation.  Anyway, my point is that the entire exercise of the Bush government attacking Iraq is rendered moot since an extremely beautiful and prosperous nation has over the years turned into an absolute disaster. A civil war can break down any moment now. There are people from various nations either trapped, abducted or executed. There are children who might have otherwise been intellectually and creatively curious but are now orphaned. There are women who once enjoyed a liberal atmosphere where they could educate themselves and make progress but are now either killed or trafficked into prostitution. There are men who should have been busy working a livelihood for their folks but are now being mass executed right in front of their families. Lastly, there is the youth who should have been watching the FIFA World Cup right now ( since football is extremely popular in Iraq) but are now holding arms and ammunition.

Saddam Hussein might have been the craziest of leaders but the man knew the geopolitics of Iraq. He was the impetus behind turning Iraq from a mere Arab nation to the most advanced Arab country in history. Iraq was always better than its neighbours. Healthcare facilities were excellent. Education was imparted right from the primary level up to the university, completely free of charge. Iraq was a nation where more human rights were granted to its citizens than any other Arab nation, especially in the areas of religion and liberation of women. The New York Times had thus, once called Baghdad “The Paris of the Middle East. Toppling Saddam Hussein was the biggest misstep US committed and now Iraq has to face people, I call pre-historic barbarians . I’d never thought a day would come when I’d have to support a man like Saddam Hussein over President Bush. Sometimes, I feel that the biggest Weapon of Mass Destruction in Iraq was Mr. President himself. The day Saddam was caught President Bush had said, ” the world will be better off without you, Mr. Hussein.” Today Iraq has gone worse, and so has the world. 🙁



Akriti Mattu


  1. Thank you!! I have been saying exactly this for years! Word for word. You are preaching to the choir here.

  2. well the blame shud fall squarely on USA , as it has destroyed a country.. whatever Sadaam was he was holiding the country as one and now it looks like a civil war is on the horizon and maybe separation of countries between Sunni and Shia ..

    all because of OIL .. I genuinely feel BUSH shud be tried for war crimes and other leaders who were with him.. as it is out there were no weapons when iraq was attacked yet no one has been found guilty or tried in court ..

    and as we see look what USA did in afghanistan .. all because of oil the problem is no one is there to Ask them

  3. I am in complete agreement with you. I have written extensively on the subject of Bush, Blair, Iraq and the foolish arrogance of believing one system fits all.
    I have every sympathy with the poor souls of Iraq who have seen their comfortable middle class, food on the table, lives destroyed by malicious backward bullies and their greedy, immoral and idiotic friends. I know that there are people, once friends, who i will never see again as they and their families now reside, if they still live, in a hell where death is a daily unwelcome visitor. A hell we gifted them.
    If i ever came to power Blair would in front of the Hague by the end of the week with every one of his cohorts alongside forced to account for their role in this villainous debacle and face the consequence.

    • Reading about Iraq these days and hearing about it in the news disgusts me. The western world completely wreaked a good nation. Then there are people like Dick Cheney who give the most lame statements on Tv about Iraq. Sad that a lot of those people have zero value for life.

      • I had Iraqi friends at the time of the invasion in ’03. I said that surely it was a good thing, removal of a “tyrant” and the bringing of wonderful democracy.
        They set me straight and, sadly, exactly what they predicted would happen has happened.
        I’ve been very vocal on the subject, to the point of repetition, but, we’re still making the same mistakes, looking to make them again and so I shall shout til I’m hoarse and type until my fingers are nubs. if people aren’t listening then they wont get bored of repetition!

  4. Well argued! Unfortunately, America is the problem not the rest of the world. A friend of mine always says, if you meet an asshole in the morning, you have met an asshole. If you meet them all day long you are the asshole. Well I reckon it is the same thing with the label terrorist. And if you check , America are branding everyone else terrorists all day long !!!

  5. This a very well researched article.
    It is clear by now that the states has strategic interests in such nations. It works cowardly towards meeting those interests under the guise of restoring humanity. What it ultimately does is create a havoc and ruin everything. US has got an ‘anti-midas’ touch. The nation represented by hypocrisy demands an apology to the world.

  6. I don’t even know where to begin here because this is much bigger in scope than just Iraq or Americas desire for oil (which is a giant lie because America has many untapped oil reserves that would be far cheaper to obtain than importing oil from Iraq but that has to do with Henry Kissinger striking a deal with the Saudis in the early 70’s and is an entire other discussion). I was in Iraq in the late 90’s with the US military and you are correct, there were no weapons of mass destruction and the US government knew that but they wanted to impose sanctions on Iraq to starve the people and force Saddam to comply with western demands and they needed a reason the world would accept. You see Saddam was installed into power by the CIA just as Al-Qaida was started, funded and armed by the CIA so ISIS is no different. The problem was that Saddam thought he could suddenly stop being an American intelligence puppet and actually run the country the way he saw fit (and you are right again that he did great things for the Iraqi people despite being a sadistic psychopath). The best way to get the middle east on the world banking system and accept western capitalist culture was to create an enemy where there was none and then fight that enemy until people were so sick of perpetual war that they would accept anything western leaders presented as a “solution”, commonly known as the Hegelian dialectical method. We are living through a giant charade, a play on the world stage and the new boogieman has become Islamic extremism or “terrorists” which the west continues to redefine until almost anyone can be labeled a terrorist if they speak out against oppression and what amounts to human slavery as the bankers who pull the strings behind the curtain like OZ play a game of Risk with human lives to consolidate power and wealth until the entire planet is theirs. Iraq, Syria, ISIS, these are just components of a much larger plan for the reshaping of the entire middle east and you can read all about it in the book “The Grand Chessboard” by Zbigniew Brzezinski written in the early 90’s or The Project For A New American Century which essentially took Brzezinski’s ideas and implemented them into policy during the first Bush Administration and which was used to justify The Patriot Act.

    • You nailed your comment when u wrote this –

      “We are living through a giant charade, a play on the world stage and the new boogieman has become Islamic extremism or “terrorists” which the west continues to redefine until almost anyone can be labeled a terrorist if they speak out against oppression and what amounts to human slavery as the bankers who pull the strings behind the curtain like OZ play a game of Risk with human lives to consolidate power and wealth until the entire planet is theirs.”

      It’s a very thoughtful perspective and I am in agreement except the part where u mentioned that US had absolutely no interests in the oil reserves of the country. USA has its own reserves , surely does but to gain control over the second largest oil exporter in the world isn’t only about the ‘reserve’ but also about power. A lot about power actually. It is for this reason that US has been trying so hard to break an organization like OPEC. The idea was to break up and sell off Iraq’s oil fields, ramp up production, flood the world oil market – and thereby smash OPEC and with it, the political dominance of Saudi Arabia. Before the 2003 invasion, Iraq’s domestic oil industry was fully nationalized and closed to Western oil companies. A decade of war later, it is largely privatized and utterly dominated by foreign firms.For the first time in about 30 years, Western oil companies are exploring for and producing oil in Iraq from some of the world’s largest oil fields and reaping enormous profit. And while the U.S. has also maintained a fairly consistent level of Iraq oil imports since the invasion, the benefits are not finding their way through Iraq’s economy or society.

      THANKS for your insight and time. To have somebody from the US military who has a first hand experience in Iraq is really nice.

      • You’re very welcome! I’m also an energy economist and I agree with everything you said about OPEC and American corporate interference but you have to remember that it was America who helped to create OPEC and allowed them to keep US oil companies out as long as they agreed to denominate oil in US dollars. Just like when Nixon went to China and signed deals with the Chinese government promising to ship American manufacturing to China costing millions of Americans their jobs and essentially de-industrializing his own country. You have to remember that there are no countries, not really, they appear as separately governed nation states but truly there is only one side and that is the small group of international banking families who have been shaping this world for quite some time by using governments as puppets to carry out their own geo-political agenda which benefits nobody but themselves. Our leaders have been bought and paid for for so long it’s not even worth trying to pinpoint a specific time. They keep up this masquerade of nations fighting nations because it’s how they direct change on a global scale without the people of those nations being aware of the reality. I could rattle off countless books written by the very players themselves where they openly admit this is what they are doing but nobody ever bothers to read them or do their own research because it’s easier to believe the lie and demonize the individuals like yourself who are trying to wake people up and speak the truth. Just keep doing what you’re doing, you aren’t alone in the fight for truth and justice!

  7. Unfortunately, I’m just a bystander from India but I feel for the people who were killed without any fault of theirs. Had it actually been my fight, I’m not sure how far would it go because the world today is an extremely dangerous place and some of the leaders secretive and volatile. I’m anyways a rebel so I generally play the devil’s advocate but I’m not sorry for it. No point living a life of fear 🙂

    Iraq has faced what I call, the most grave violation of human rights. It really upsets me.
    Your point about no real separate countries but banking families governing all, I completely agree. I mean even the US president is a puppet in their hands. This whole idea of cronie-capitalism is dangerous for people but it will stay and anyone who opposes it is in great trouble. As for US, I really like the country . I totally do but what happened in 2003 projected US as the ‘big daddy’ of the world. A bully that keeps intervening and bashing.

    It’s really awesome to have an intellectual like you giving me your feedback from your experience .

  8. Being of Hawaiian/Chinese descent, I have always felt somewhat removed from the white culture here in America.

    Until 1949 when the United States annexed the Hawaiian Islands, they had been ruled by a monarchy begun by King Kamehameha. American businessmen wrested power away from the last reigning monarch, Queen Liliuokalani, who was held captive in her own residence, Iolani Palace.

    My world view is based upon this historical perspective.

    Business drives everything, including politics. Look at the Tea Party Movement here in America. Begun by citizens looking to improve their lot in life, it’s been hijacked by the Koch brothers, billionaires with money to burn on pushing through their own agenda.

    Money is truly the root of all evil. The wealthiest among us have the power to destroy the world as we know it. It’s my hope that some of them will continue to let their moral compasses guide their consciences.

    At this juncture…it’s a crap shoot. Or so it seems…

    • We can only hope that our powerful world leaders still have their conscience , even though depravity is what they’re made of at this point in time.

  9. they knew they were going in long before reports of wmd’s …..I was working at a shop in new mexico near the airbase, and asked when we were going into Iraq—he said they had their marching orders for March. it wasn’t about waiting to find proof of weapons. so there’s plenty in U.S. that knew what was being done. Bush and his Texas cronies…..right now we need to stomp on Isis for you. I don’t know when comes to outcomes and who is to blame for what……but you are correct that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all government and some nations evolved to dictatorships for a reason. the Isis will be taken out but you are probably right that Iraq needs a strong leader again in order to find stability after all the upset. I’m sorry, we should have known better but too many here in power had dollar signs in their eyes.

  10. Superbly written with so much of in-depth knowledge about Iraq….hats off to your writing talent

  11. Ok. You got me curious and now, here I am. You have an intriguing weblog. Will have to go through some posts in detail before I drop some comments off in random.
    Keep it up!

      • OK. I read this post. Its comprehensive and amazingly very well written. You are not a journalist are you? Because I don’t know females who are this articulate on international issues without domain competence. Either way, thoroughly enjoyed the post. Wish if I could add something here, but am limited by my understanding of Iraqi geopolitics… So… 🙂

        • No, you did a great analysis on Iraq 🙂
          As for me being a journalist, no i’m not. I’m a student of literature 🙂

  12. US policing and intervention has done no good to the world or the nations like Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq in particular. In its pursuit of bringing peace in the region, it has almost destroyed the basic framework of the country. Consequently the region has become more susceptible to militant, terrorist invasion as is evident.
    keep up the good work girl 🙂

  13. Hi Akriti, You have written a piece that deserves to be read. I have thought a lot about whether I would respond to this or not given the seriousness of this matter. I did not want to sound like a politician who avoids the hard questions, but I also did not want to sound like a traitor to my country. I can only tell you that I think any war, any killing (I don’t even want to kill insects) is not aligned with my heart and what I think that we as a country or the world as a whole has any business dealing with. I live in New Jersey and I could see the smoke from the twin towers wafting by my town. I had numerous connections to souls who were lost that day and it changed my life. I do not necessarily agree with the way things were handled and I do not like where I believe this conflict is headed.
    So I will offer prayers for healing. And I will not think that one person can’t make a difference because I have seen one person make a difference many times throughout history and in my personal life as well. I will continue with my own healing and hope…and pray…that it will affect others who need healing as well.
    Thank you for your hard work writing this blog…thank you for offering all to comment. Thank you for reading my blog. Blessitude

  14. Hi Akriti,

    BhagareBaingan from Twitter here. Very nice post and I feel compelled to respond. Primarily because can we ever blame an outside power for doing whatever is in it’s interests? I believe we should not, for every power since the dawn of history has been playing this game. The strong interfere in neighbouring kingdom’s and try to control the world. The weak either protect their interests or become tools in the hands of the stronger.

    That’s the way it has always been and I think we should make out peace with that. I mean what have the people of Iraq been doing since the US attack? I think blaming other countries and breastbeating is too simplistic and as an Indian I would not want my country to fall into this sort of a trap of believing 1000 conspiracy theories and blaming the entire world for what we ourselves are not able to change.

    This was a case of ‘The US giveth and the US taketh away’. They backed him and inflated him when they wanted a weapon against Iran and then they went after him when he became too big for his boots and started threatening regional stability (as well as other US puppet states). As an Indian was it good for me? No, because no radical elements were coming out of that territory/had training camps there or were being inculcated in Jihad. Moreover, if Iraq had taken over Kuwait the price of oil would have gone down (which was the main thing Saddam had threatened them with) and as an Indian that would have been great for us.

    But the picture you have painted of Iraq ignore many many shades that existed in Iraqi society. Was the attack on Iraq a bad thing? Yes and no. Yes, because it destroyed a rare secular and stable nation and has now opened the way for an increasing influence of the Ayatollahs and of Iran’s corrupt and theocratic ‘evil’ state (Note I say the state and not the people. The people of Iran are amongst the most civilized and liberal folks I have met. I have been there).

    On the other hand, ask the Kurds if it was a good thing or bad? For the first time in their history they are now on the verge of full independence. If things play out the way I think they will, I see Iraqi Kurdistan making a grab for full independence (it will definitely lead to further instability down the line with Kurds specially in Turkey, the Iranian Kurds are a little more assimilated.) Also keep in mind, the Kurds are not Arabs and are not radicalized in a religious sense. Their independence has only become possible because Saddam’s iron fist has been removed.

    Also, ask the many expatriates/Iraqi refugees who were scrounging for a living in Dubai and Qatar or other western capitals. They were the guys who had been terrorized and driven out of Iraq by Saddam. The guy was a psycopath. Don’t forget, the country was stable, but it was also kept that way by an iron hand. (refer stories of him randomly shooting parliamentarians just to spread terror, Uday and Qusai beating up sports teams, him killing his own son-in law, his kids picking up women on the streets etc.) It was rich and prosperous but it was a rich and prosperous reign of terror.

    The way I look at it is that it’s impossible to come to a definite conclusion about who is at fault or what happened? It is also of no practical benefit. This is life and this is the way it has always been. I believe we should only look at it in terms of – is it good for India?

    In that sense, yes right from the start US is to blame for it’s meddling. Iranian revolution, Syrian civil war, the rise and fall of Saddam US has a hand everywhere but I believe it’s for the good. the US backs deeply unpopular, undemocratic and thoroughly corrupt families throughout the Middle East but what is the alternative.

    Many of us fear that the alternative is groups like ISIS or the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Is that good for India, Israel or Iran? I doubt it. But that also is a multi-layered story for groups like ISIS are in turn funded and ideologically driven by some of the rhetoric of the Saudis- one of the top puppets of the US. I guess I could go on and on…but basically what I wanted to say is that reality is never as one-dimensional as US bad guy, destroyed great country.


    • Thanks for your point of view and for your time. Here’s mine –
      When US itself accepts now, that 2003 was a mistake and that the opposition should have not allowed the Republicans to go forward with the invasion, i guess my point of view is justified here. I personally have nothing against US as a country but what happened in 2003 was the biggest violation of human rights and the world at large, including US is accepting that now. In fact something similar is going to happen in Afghanistan soon, since the US troops are about to leave and the Taliban there has become even more deadly this time.
      As for painting a picture of Iraq, not really. Nothing has been painted. These are facts. In fact i am admitting that the nation had a tyrant as a leader but that tyrant was much better than the outsider who intervened and wreaked havoc. If you ever get a chance to hold a conversation with any Indian diplomat who has served in Iraq, will tell you what the country was and what it has been turned into now. So to say that Iraq would be doing no better even if the US did not invade is a huge understatement.
      You mentioned that, “what were the Iraqi people doing?” Well that’s quite an insensitive statement. I’ll give u an example. The Kashmiri Pandits were driven out of their homeland in 1990 coz’ the radicals took over plus the government didn’t do squat and ever since are living in different parts of the country and the world (successfully though). So do we ask them now what were they doing and why didn’t they do anything about the situation? Doesn’t work that way because we have the government for that. The maximum a common man can do is hold agitations and strike a dialogue with the government . But other than that the entire power is vested with the government. I took the Kashmiri Pandit example because I am a kashmiri pandit myself and unfortunately i’ve not even had the chance to visit my homeland till this date. Anyway, this is still India, in the middle east the power with the government is absolute.
      You also mentioned something about conspiracy theories; I’d like to point out a few facts here –
      Since the end of the Second World War, American political leaders and opinion-makers have led the public to believe that the aggressive use of overt and covert military force are essential tools of US foreign policy. As the US citizens reel from one military disaster to the next, sending their loved ones off to war, killing millions of innocent people and destabilizing one region after another, each new administration assures them that it has learned the lessons of the past and deserves our support and sacrifice for its latest military strategy. But the web of myths, euphemisms and ever-growing secrecy behind which our leaders feel compelled to hide their war policies belies their claims to have learned the lessons of Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan or anywhere else. The disaster of two World Wars brought the world’s leaders together to sign the United Nations Charter, the Geneva Conventions and the Nuremberg Principles. They saw war as an existential threat to the future of mankind, as it still is. So the U.N. Charter expressly prohibited the use of military force by any country against another. For the next 45 years, the U.S. could only justify its wars by self-defense of an ally (as in Vietnam) or U.N. action (as in Korea). The U.S. conducted wars in secret (as in Central America), but that led to a guilty verdict at the International Court of Justice and an order to pay war reparations to Nicaragua – reparations that remain unpaid, like the $3.3 billion that President Nixon promised to Vietnam.
      In place of the “peace dividend” that most Americans hoped for, the end of the Cold War perversely encouraged delusions of a “power dividend” and “full spectrum dominance” in Washington. U.S. leaders exploited public grief and panic in the wake of September 11th to reclaim the use of military force as an accepted form of international behavior, if only for themselves and their allies. Under the ill-defined parameters of the “war on terror”, they now claim the right to use military force in ways that have long been outlawed by the U.N. Charter. But the Charter has not been repealed. Aggression is still a crime, whether it is conducted by drone strikes or by a full-scale invasion of another country.

      The reality of the “accumulated evil” unleashed on the people of Iraq by the “supreme international crime” of aggression has been painstakingly obscured behind a tapestry of lies. Their military leaders may be chronically unable to win a war in another country, but they sure know how to wage a propaganda war in America.

      Fantastical notions of the accuracy of “precision” weapons obscured the widespread slaughter and destruction of the invasion, which unleashed 29,200 bombs and missiles in the first month of the war and killed tens of thousands of civilians.
      Reports by the Iraqi Health Ministry in 2004 that occupation forces were killing far more civilians than were killed by “insurgents” were efficiently suppressed.
      Epidemiologists who estimated that 650,000 Iraqis had died by 2006 were ignored or dismissed. As the war went on, the number of dead probably reached a million by 2008.

      U.S. troops were brainwashed to link Iraq with September 11th and thus to see Iraqis resisting the illegal invasion and occupation of their country as terrorists like the ones who attacked New York and Washington. A Zogby Poll in February 2006, three years into the war, found that 85% of U.S. troops in Iraq believed that their mission was “to retaliate for Saddam’s role in the 9/11 attacks.”

      U.S. rules of engagement in Iraq flagrantly violated the laws of war. They included: “dead-checking” or killing wounded resistance fighters; orders to “kill all military-age men” during some operations; “360 degree rotational fire” on streets packed with civilians; standing orders to “call for fire”, meaning air strikes, even on villages or apartment buildings full of people; and Fallujah and other areas were designated “weapons free” or “free fire” zones, where thousands of civilians were killed.
      The U.S. recruited, trained and deployed at least 27 brigades of Iraqi Special Police Commandos, who detained, tortured and murdered tens of thousands of men and boys in Baghdad and elsewhere in 2005 and 2006. At the peak of this campaign, 3,000 bodies per month were brought to the Baghdad morgue and an Iraqi human rights group matched 92% of the corpses to reported abductions by U.S.-backed forces. U.S. Special Forces officers in Special Police Transition Teams worked with each Iraqi unit, and a high-tech command center staffed by U.S. and Iraqi personnel maintained U.S. command and control of these forces throughout their reign of terror.

      – In 2006 and 2007, U.S. forces worked in tandem with the Special Police Commandos (by then rebranded “National Police” following the exposure of one of their torture centers) in Operation Together Forward I & II and the so-called Surge to complete the ethnic cleansing of Baghdad. The U.S. occupation deliberately targeted the Sunni Arab minority in Iraq, eventually killing about 10% of Sunni Arabs and driving about half of them from their homes. This clearly meets the definition of genocide in international treaties. We must therefore add the crime of genocide to the prospective charge sheet of American crimes in Iraq.

      Basically, the Bush regime expected a short “cakewalk” war to be followed by the imposition of a puppet government and permanent US military bases.
      Instead, US military forces were confronted with an insurgency that had denied control over Iraq to the US military. On March 9, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the man who has been totally wrong about Iraq, told Congress that if the unprecedented violence in Iraq breaks out in civil war, the US will rely primarily on Iraq’s security forces to put down civil war.
      What Iraqi security forces? Iraq does not have a security force.
      The Shia have a security force. The Sunnis have a security force, and the Kurds have a security force. The sectarian militias control the streets, towns and cities. If civil war breaks out, which kind of has now, the “Iraqi security force” will dissolve into the sectarian militias, leaving the US military in the middle of the melee.
      Is this what “support the troops” means?
      President Bush’s determination to remain in Iraq despite the obvious failure of the attempted occupation puts Bush at odds with the American public and with our troops. Polls show that a majority of Americans believed that the invasion of Iraq was a mistake and that their troops should have been withdrawn. An even larger majority of the troops themselves believe they should have been withdrawn.
      Thus, Bush’s invasion of Iraq was a mistake. Bush’s attempt to cover up his mistake with patriotism ultimately discredits his patriotism.

  15. Akriti,

    I agree with all the facts you have talked about. Nor am I defending the US. Everyone knows the 2003 war was a bogus war. In fact, I find no rationale in it at all except that US got an even firmer hold on Iraqi oil with which to manipulate worl oil prices and a presence in the region for whatever it was worth.

    No one gave it the right. Yes, it was gross human rights violations. All your points accepted. They cannot be debated. The change pre- and post war change in condition of Iraq was horrifying. I am aware of all that. I was working in Dubai and travelled through the Middle East; heard accounts from seniors in the company about the change in Iraq. Nor do I believe that they actually had weapons of Mass destruction. Everyone knows that’s hogwash. In fact, Iraq was already very ramshackle w/ bad roads, old cars, lack of medicines etc. due to the sanctions imposed right after first world war. I am not trying to justify any of that.

    All I am trying to say is that reality is much more complex and one should not reduce it to simple moral judgments and that such moral judgments have no place in dealings between nations. I personally believe that wars, meddling and evil has and will always exist in affairs involving human beings, just as much as good exists.

    Consider what the shape of the world would have been if instead of US the Arabs had been the paramount power in the world. I have no doubt they would have been meddling in the world’s affairs, would have been mired in wars and no doubt India would have been in chaos. Hell, if India was the superpower it would have been behaving the same way.

    My point is, that there is no point in judging these things in good or evil. My point of view is will it help me and my country? Yes, I believe so… if Iraq is partitioned and Kurdistan emerges independent- Iran’s influence grows and there is this big Shiite area of influence to counter the Saudi wahabbis it will be great for India as long as ISIS does not get a base in Tikrit and Mosul.

    Coming to the point about KP’s, I know you are a Mattoo. But I do believe that neither individuals nor communities, nor nations should cry or complain over wrongs done to them.
    The world is at is, to say that it should be better or fair is just wishful thinking.

    The KP’s were a highly visible minority in Kashmir that was strongly attached to India and were economically and educationally ahead. Being a minority and owning property they were easy and lucrative targets and so propaganda and different agendas came together to drive them out. Now, even the GOI doesn’t give a fuck and the KP’s were basically left on their own to rebuild their lives. The cause of KP’s is not even acknowledged or seen or given any mindspace in India. When do you hear of KP’s in India? Usually, if there is money to made by politicians or bureaucrats from some scheme.

    Why? Because that is the way of the world. And that’s exactly what I am saying. There is no room for ethics or morals or human rights here, specially when it comes to dealings between countries. It’s all a sham and if you expect the world and specially countries to behave like that then you are just too naive.

    I didn’t mean to be harsh etc. when I talked about KP’s. Please don’t take my views in any other way. What I really liked about your blog is that there is very little hypocrisy/Political correctness etc. and the attitude of calling a spade a spade. Hence, jumped into a discussion that i found interesting.


    • I get your sentiment but the thing is that atleast theoretically ethics do exist , thats is why the UN charter was formed in the first place . How far it is implemented is a whole different story. And yes wars exist and human violations happen but they can never be justified. As for the Arabs taking over, maybe the world would have been a worse place than it is today however since that situation hasn’t arisen , i won’t comment. I’d rather give my point of view on the existing facts – right or wrong. Rest are all assumptions.

      As for Kp’s one thing i know and can say proudly is that inspite of the exodus and the atrocities, our progress did not stop. Each one of us is self made. Best part is we didn’t allow the exodus to stop our professional, personal and emotional growth. Had the exodus taken place of a different community, i’m not sure whether the same amount of progress would have been possible or not since every region, every community in our country is different.
      As for the GOI. only a fool can get convinced at the false promises they make. Not that Kashmir can’t be fixed but the politicians don’t want to fix it.

      Thanks for your genuine feedback. I appreciate it

    • Thanks for your comment.

      On the Israel- Palestine issue, many commentators have observed that the conflict over Israel/Palestine is not, essentially, a religious conflict. However, religious traditions are invoked to justify nationalistic claims and grievances. Religious tradition, with its symbols and loyalties, is fundamental to the identities of both Arabs and Jews, even for those who do not define themselves as traditional or observant. And the land they both claim and love is, after all, considered “holy” by most Jews, Christians, and Muslims.Unlike many liberal Western societies, the Jewish and Arab cultures in Israel/Palestine are not conducive to total separation of religion and state. Throughout the Middle East, religion is a public concern, not just a private pursuit. There are pluses and minuses to this, as there are in the complementary reality that Americans take for granted. Even in Israel, whose culture is more Westernized than Palestinian society or Arab culture generally, the religious dimension is close to the surface. As a Jewish state, it is a hybrid of secular democratic political norms, the enlightened fruits of modernity, and ancient covenantal wisdom from Sinai. The homecoming of Jews to Israel has created a new The homecoming of Jews to Israel has created a new setting in which Jews can define who they are and relate to Christians and Muslims out of that self-understanding. The political turmoil deflects the deeper cultural and spiritual energies that Jews and Palestinians could otherwise invest in national renewal.The intermingling of religion and power politics corrupts both. Invoking God’s name to justify harm to others perverts everything that is sacred. But protracted conflicts have always generated this spiritual contamination, which is exacerbated by political violence. The problematic elements of the different Abrahamic traditions add fuel to the fire.In our world today, the mixture of religion and nationalism is dangerously combustible.

  16. Iraq is an artificial national entity (as all nations are, but in this case even more so). Colonial Europe formed so many of the countries in Africa and Asia arbitrarily, boxing together ethnic groups with deep hatreds of one another. Oil is the great curse of the region, bringing great wealth to a few but making it a place ripe for exploitation. Exploitation breeds justified resentment, which warps into radicalism as people seek a language for their rage.

    As another has mentioned, the one bright light I see coming from this situation is the possibility of Kurd independence, long fought by Turkey, who is apparently jealous of any last remnants of the Ottoman Empire, and so does not wish to encourage their own conquered Kurd population.

    • Well the president of the Kurdish region of northern Iraq has asked his parliament to prepare for a referendum on independence, potentially paving the way for the break-up of the country. But how far that goes, is yet to be seen. Thanks for your input here.

  17. Come back Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi (if only) all is forgiven. Those abominable dictators at least kept the lid on an even worse menace to humanity.

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