Another Sovereignty Transfer Charade in Baghdad

130,000 GIs Stay Put on Iraqi Soil

'This war [in Iraq] is the most important liberal, revolutionary U.S. democracy-building project since the Marshall Plan. ... it is one of the noblest things this country has ever attempted abroad." ' Thomas Friedman in New York Times 30 November, 2003.

'Despite the agreement with Iraq, the United States would continue to have fighting forces in Iraq and Afghanistan beyond 2012. --The reality is that we're going to have 10 Army and Marine units deployed for a decade in Iraq and Afghanistan.' US Gen. George Casey, Army chief of staff on May 26, 2009.

Iraq is extremely vulnerable now. A poorly handled exit "would be catastrophic. Shutting down a nuclear reactor is a whole lot simpler than exiting Iraq- Nagl, President, Center for a New American Security, Washington, D.C.

"( Saddam) Hussein stated Iran was Iraq's major threat due to their common border and believed Iran intended to annex Southern Iraq into Iran. The possibility --was viewed by Hussein as the most significant threat facing Iraq' According to just released FBI files of interviews with President Saddam Hussein in US custody. Viola, Post US led invasion Shias now dominate South Iraq .

'It is the sort of thing we came to expect from the Bush administration, which oversaw the destruction of the entire twentieth-century historical record for Iraq, as well as crushing and destroying under tanks and helicopters entire libraries of ancient Iraqi civilization, a crime I have dubbed "cliocide '-Prof Juan Cole of Michigan University.
'The shine has started wearing off the "Green Shoots" story that has propped up stock markets and helped various countries pretend that further developments aren't imminent. As various US states approach different stages of bankruptcy, the time for governments to change policies is dawning.' Chan Akya in Asia Times

First Transfer of 'Sovereignty' to Iraq on 28 June, 2004

"It was by force that the sons of Osman seized the sovereignty and Sultanate of the Turkish nation; -- Now, the Turkish nation has rebelled and has put a stop to these usurpers and has effectively taken sovereignty -in its own hands." Kemal Ataturk to the Grand National Assembly, Ankara in 1923

People and media have such short memories. The first charade of transfer of sovereignty to Iraq was conducted in a secret, short and pre-poned ceremony from 30 June to 28 June in Baghdad. Wrote New York Times; 'At 10:26 a.m. on 28 June, L. Paul Bremer III, (US Viceroy), head of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq 'restored formal sovereignty to Iraq in a simple meeting deep inside the heavily fortified area known as the Green Zone, Mr. Bremer handed Dr. Iyad Allawi (Prime Minister) a leather-bound note from President Bush, indicating that the Coalition Provisional Authority led by Mr. Bremer since last May was dissolved.'

After the brief secret ceremony 'Mr. Bremer flew by helicopter to Baghdad International Airport, boarded an American C-130 military transport and left the country. The entire ceremony, witnessed by no more than a few dozen people, lasted less than 30 minutes.  '

'At a ceremony later, Dr. Allawi celebrated his accession by promising that "a national unity and tolerance and brotherly behavior and spirit of peace and prosperity will prevail-- Dr. Allawi and Sheik Ghazi al-Yawar, the new Iraqi president, and other members of the new government took the oath of office before a slightly larger audience.

'Under the terms of the United Nations Security Resolution declaring the occupation ended, Mr. Yawar and his colleagues regained full control over their country, its people and borders. But for all the assurances on Monday, they are still largely dependent on the United States and other countries for their solvency and security in the face of a guerrilla insurgency.

'Even with Mr. Bremer's departure and the dissolution of the Coalition Provisional Authority, the American government and John D. Negroponte (the new American ambassador here, who arrived soon after the ceremony and re-established diplomatic ties with Iraq for the first time since Mr. Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990.) will retain enormous influence here, staffing an embassy that the Americans say will be the world's largest and controlling the distribution of more than $8 billion in reconstruction aid.'

Five Years On, Another Fake Transfer of Sovereignty on 30 June, 2009

'The withdrawal of some U.S. combat troops from Iraq's cities is welcome and long overdue news. However, it is important to remember that this is not the same as a withdrawal of U.S. troops and contractors from Iraq.

'U.S. troop combat missions throughout Iraq are not scheduled to end until more than a year from now in August of 2010. In addition, U.S. troops are not scheduled for a complete withdrawal for another two and a half years on December 31, 2011. Rather, U.S. troops are leaving Iraqi cities for military bases in Iraq. They are still in Iraq, and they can be summoned back at any time' Democrat Congressman and former Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich

On 30 June, 2009 another fake transfer of sovereignty was organized by the US occupation forces in Iraq. After the March 2003 US led illegal invasion of Iraq, against the UN charter and opposition in UNSC and elsewhere, Iraqi troops are assuming control of security in the country's towns and cities. Under this charade, US troops have been withdrawn to bases and will not patrol the cities. Over the past few weeks 86 US military bases in Baghdad were closed or handed back to Iraqi command. On May 19, the Christian Science Monitor reported that Iraqi and U.S. military officials virtually redrew the city limits of Baghdad in order to consider the Army's Forward Operating Base Falcon as outside the city, despite every map of Baghdad clearly showing it within city limits.

In any case under attack from Iraqi resistance, patrolling had been minimal and the GIs mostly stayed put in the bases or went out to open spaces and pretended 'search and kill 'missions. The Status of Forces Agreement setting the June 30 deadline signed under George Bush watch last year leaves a lot of discretionary decisions to the Americans.

Some Joy and Celebrations in Iraq's Enduring Misery

Iraq's Prime Minister, Nouri Maliki, declared 30 June "National Sovereignty Day" and ordered a public holiday. People sang and danced and set off fireworks to celebrate the 'day of national sovereignty' as U.S. troops prepared to leave cities and hand-over security to the Iraqi government.
Fireworks exploded over the city with several thousand people crowding central Baghdad's Zawra Park. Convoys of local police stood on the back of their armored trucks, dancing and waving their scuffed assault rifles to the rhythm of Iraqi folk music.

On stage came famed Iraqi singer Salah Hassan, who returned after a decade for the celebrations. Invoking the hard times of invasion and brutal occupation, he crooned: "Iraq is loyal to us . . . the people of Iraq love their country." "I wish I can walk on Sadoun street with my friends again, Iraq is for Iraqis only, I hope that my soul can become a bird to visit you ," he sang

Yes, there is some 'satisfaction.' "It's a turning point of Iraq and Iraqi history," says Gen. Dahfur, commander of the 22nd Brigade of the 6th National Police Battalion. "I want to state to the American people that June 30 is a victor for Iraq and America."

But in reality, the pullback won't be far over the horizon. The 2nd Brigade, for instance, has relocated its forces only five to seven miles from their original bases, back to Camp Victory in southwest Baghdad. Other U.S. units across Iraq will indeed disappear from urban landscapes, settling in giant forward operating bases.

And if Iraqi forces get in trouble, all they have to do is ask. US troops would still provide logistical support to Iraqi ones. The American's quick reaction forces would provide bomb-sniffing dogs , unmanned aircraft surveillance and helicopter gunships among other things. Special Operations teams will continue surgical strikes in coordination with their Iraqi colleagues for years to come.
Observers and analysts in Washington point out that US will maintain its many and some massive bases in Iraq,( Afghanistan and Pakistan) for years to come. Meanwhile, France has set up its first permanent naval base in Abu Dhabi, the capital of United Arab Emirates, with around 500 French defense personnel to effectively control the Strait of Hormuz, which connects the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.

In essence, the French base will augment the U.S. military presence in this volatile region and will compliment the U.S. plan to maintain its military presence to secure the area. Soon Obama administration will trot out enough reasons for retaining military bases in Iraq.

According to U.S. Energy Information Administration, an average of about 15 tankers carrying 16.5 to 17 million barrels of crude oil pass through the Strait of Hormuz every day. That represents 40% of the world's seaborne oil shipments, and 20% of all world shipments. The French base will also become one of the key support points for an international naval task force fighting piracy off the Somali coast. The reasons for the piracy are quite different than claimed in Western corporate media.

Matt Schofield of USA's McClatchy Newspapers suggests that U.S. must now work to ensure:

  • Iraqis have a government they can support. That will mean helping Iraq build basic services, focusing on things as simple as clean tap water.
  • Iraq remains a single, united nation. The Kurds up north must agree that Kirkuk, an ancient city with near-religious importance to them, should be neutral, shared territory and not the capital of a new autonomous region.
  • The terrorist group known as the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) does not stand in the way of improving relations with Turkey. Failure to get Turkey more involved in Iraq could have a cascading effect on Middle Eastern relations. Iraq must be left a nation in good standing with Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, or it risks falling under the sway of Iran.
  • Iraq's oil wealth climbs and is shared equally by Shiites, Kurds and Sunnis. The oil and subsequent riches will attract more foreign investment. Turkey is the likely candidate to be primary among the investors, but the rest of the region must be involved.
  • Europe gets involved in the reconstruction of Iraqi society -- in active training of police, courts and bureaucracy, and in investment. In short, Europeans must get over their invasion petulance.
  • The gains made in security continue. That means Iraqi forces remain well outfitted, well trained and on the streets. A coalition of nations must be prepared to continue the training of Iraq's military.
  • Some U.S. troops stay behind. Even a small presence could make a big difference, if deployed strategically.

'These are tall orders -- a bombed mosque, the assassination of a few key figures, a major fallout in the region could overwhelm all good intentions.

With proper planning, it is possible to leave a nation with deep divisions but capable of surviving and thriving. For the U.S., that would eliminate the specter of an unwanted quick return. '

Bahaa al-Aaraji, a member of Parliament and a follower of anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, doesn't see any hope for a good exit. "It is too late," he said. "Iraqis now simply wait for the American withdrawal to begin life. I don't believe, though, the Americans will ever leave Iraq."
Many in Iraq share his belief. They simply don't trust the U.S. to do what it says it will do.
US will not leave unless forced to. No Imperial power has ever left voluntarily.

US will Hang On to the Iraqi Goose which Lays (Black) Gold Eggs! Oh Yah

The primary reason for the illegal invasion of Iraq was its oil resources. With Osama ben Laden and Al Qaeda calling for withdrawal of US troops from the sacred soil of Saudi Arabia, occupation of Iraq and exploitation of its oil resources, the second largest in the world, and control of the strategic space in the region, was an old US strategic policy objective. And it was doable as Dick Cheney told Prince Hassan of Jordan before the invasion. To hell with international law and Geneva and other conventions.

Following its awe and shock aggression and USA's 'glorious' victory in Baghdad, (with US defense budget being $500 billion compared to 5 billion of Iraq, with Iraq's defenses dilapidated after UN sanctions and air attacks since 1991), thus crowed Gen Colin Powell and many US leaders, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz bragged in Singapore that the official causes enumerated for the invasion were just bureaucratic excuses. The main objective was Iraq's oil resources . Wolfowitz also told a Congress panel -- that Iraq was a country that "floats on a sea of oil," adding that "The oil revenue of that country could bring between 50 and 100 billion dollars over the course of the next two or three years. We're dealing with a country that could really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon." The invasion would pay for itself.

Before the invasion, General Eric Shinseki testified to the Senate Armed Services that it would take 'several hundred thousands soldiers' to secure the peace in Iraq. But Wolfowitz, also recently appointed chairman of the State Department's International Security Advisory Board called Shinseki's warning 'wildly off the mark.' He also predicted that American troops would 'be greeted as liberators.' Gen Shineski was soon sidelined and eased out.

The Pentagon originally estimated the cost of a war at about $ 50 Billion. Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution said this was fine as an invasion cost, but added that a U.S. occupation could cost $5-$20 billion more per year. In September 15, 2002, Lawrence B. Lindsey, Assistant to the President on Economic Policy, estimated the cost of a war in Iraq to be $ 100-$200 billion. Wolfowitz and others laughed it off as too high.The current estimates of real cost could turn out to be according to Stiglitz and others 2 to 3 trillion US dollars and rising.

In his 531-page memoir, 'The Age of Turbulence ' former Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan, admitted: "I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil." He was lambasted in US for telling the truth.

In the memoirs of Paul O'Neill, George Bush's Treasury Secretary (2001-2003), written by John Suskind, is mentioned among others relevant documents circulated in January 2001, to National Security Council members, including O'Neill, one prepared by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) that had already mapped Iraq's oil fields and exploration areas, and listed American corporations likely to be interested in participating in Iraq's petroleum industry. All this was before 9/11.

Another DIA document in the package, entitled "Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts," listed companies from 30 countries -- France, Germany, Russia, and Britain, among others -- their specialties and bidding histories. The attached maps pinpointed "super-giant oil field," "other oil field," and "earmarked for production sharing," and divided the basically undeveloped but oil-rich southwest of Iraq into nine blocks, indicating promising areas for future exploration.

A January 2003 plan for Iraqi oil drafted by the State Department and oil majors recommended formally maintaining the state-owned Iraq National Oil Company, which was established in 1961 -- but open it up to foreign investment after an initial period in which U.S.-approved Iraqi managers would supervise the rehabilitation of the war-damaged oil infrastructure.

It may be recalled that after entering Baghdad following US air and artillery mayhem on hapless Iraqi people ,US allowed a general looting of the city ,including destruction of many museums and sites of Arab, Islamic and Mesopotamian world heritage , because in Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's words 'many bad things happen 'but the Iraqi Ministry of oil and its oil fields were fully protected by US troops.

'It is the oil , stupid' US journalist Jason Leopold wrote recently ;

' [An] April 2001 report, "Strategic Policy Challenges for the 21st Century," was prepared by the James A. Baker Institute for Public Policy and the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations at the request of then-Vice President Dick Cheney. In retrospect, it appears that the report helped focus administration thinking on why it made geopolitical sense to oust Hussein, whose country sat on the world's second largest oil reserves.

"Iraq remains a destabilizing influence to the flow of oil to international markets from the Middle East," the report said. "Saddam Hussein has also demonstrated a willingness to threaten to use the oil weapon and to use his own export program to manipulate oil markets . . . The advisory committee that helped prepare the report included Luis Giusti, a Shell Corp. non-executive director; John Manzoni, regional president of British Petroleum; and David O'Reilly, chief executive of Chevron Texaco. . . [the notorious crook] Ken Lay, then chairman of the energy-trading Enron Corp., also made recommendations that were included in the Baker report.'

Leopold then added; 'The New Yorker 's Jane Mayer later made another discovery: a secret NSC document dated Feb. 3, 2001 - only two weeks after Bush took office - instructing NSC officials to cooperate with Cheney's task force, which was "melding" two previously unrelated areas of policy: "the review of operational policies towards rogue states" and "actions regarding the capture of new and existing oil and gas fields." [The New Yorker, Feb. 16, 2004]

By March 2001, Cheney's task force had prepared a set of documents with a map of Iraqi oilfields, pipelines, refineries and terminals, as well as two charts detailing Iraqi oil and gas projects, and a list titled "Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts," according to information released in July 2003 under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the conservative watchdog group, Judicial Watch.

Ironically the 30 June deadline for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq's cities coincided with an attempted auction in Baghdad of some of the country's huge oil fields to Western companies like Exxon Mobil, Chevron and British Petroleum. The contracts could facilitate large-scale exploitation of Iraq's energy resources by US and other MNC's since Iraq's oil industry was nationalized in 1972. On offer were 20-year rights over six fields that hold more than five billion barrels of easily and cheaply extractable oil.

In an apt analogy, Larry Goldstein of the US-based Energy Policy Research Foundation told the New York Times last week: 'Asking why oil companies are interested in Iraq is like asking why robbers rob banks'because that's where the money is.' Iraq's total oil reserves are estimated to be at least 115 billion barrels. Its reserves of natural gas are at least 3.36 billion cubic metres
The program to develop its oil fields did begin on 30 June, but only one deal was struck during a much-hyped but ultimately disappointing international oil auction. Iraq offered six oil and two gas fields to foreign firms in the country's first international oil licensing round in over three decades. It was for about 43 billion of Iraq's 115 billion barrels of crude reserves.

BP and its Chinese consortium partner CNPC won the auction for development rights for the 17.8 billion barrel Rumaila field. They agreed to take less money for the oil they will produce. Under the service contracts, the companies are paid a per barrel price for production over a minimum target level. BP and CNPC had bid $3.99 per barrel, but slashed their price to the $2 per barrel payment sought by the oil ministry. Their only rivals for the fields, a consortium led by US giant Exxon Mobil, refused to amend its offer of $4.80 per barrel on target production of 3.1 million barrels per day.
The auction has been fiercely opposed by many of the country's lawmakers, trade union leaders and workers which has not pleased the Iraqi oil officials appointed by puppet Iraqi Government, which lives inside the Green Zone and many of its members reside outside Iraq.

It is nothing but neo-colonialism. But would the Americans succeed! US and Iraqi authorities have failed to increase production much beyond the level of Saddam era as a result of strikes, non-cooperation and regular sabotage. Lot of production leaks out to various militias, mafias and other groups.

As from now, from approximately 130,000 U.S. military personnel in Iraq, those deployed in Iraqi cities will now garrison elsewhere in country. Iraq now boasts of over six hundred Iraqi military and security personnel, whose quality of training is suspect. Many have come from sectional militias, with little representation from Sunni Arabs. Any one conversant with military training knows that it takes years to drill raw recruits into a fighting combat force. Iraqi army has been given little training in artillery, armor, air and naval fighting.

US Air Force controls Iraq's airspace and US Navy controls Iraq's territorial waters.U.S. military had built 3 years ago no less than 55 fully functional military bases in Iraq, with funding in place to build many more. Furthermore, U.S. troops aren't even leaving the cities altogether. Reports confirm that U.S. tanks will continue to patrol the areas outside of the 'green zone' and the Baghdad airport. The streets of major cities will still be patrolled by U.S.-trained Iraqi soldiers manning checkpoints everywhere .Whenever the Iraqis 'request help', U.S. military troops will be right back on the streets just as before.

Cost of Iraq War to USA

According to, on 2 July, 2009

  1. Number Of Iraqis Slaughtered In US War And Occupation Of Iraq "1,331,578"
  2. Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged) In U.S. War And Occupation Of Iraq 4,321 (Many tens of thousands are seriously injured and maimed for life.)
  3. Cost of U.S. War and Occupation of Iraq; $682,875,443,357

The war has produced a litany of crimes, from Gulags like Abu Ghraib and other prisons, destruction of cities such as Fallujah, the attack on densely populated suburbs like Sadr City; to the unleashing of Shiite death squads to depopulate Sunni areas in Baghdad. The country has been economically destroyed. Unemployment and underemployment stand at between 30 and 50 percent. In a country of 25 Million over 7 million people live on less than $2 a day, and malnutrition and disease are rampant. The invasion and occupation has created one million widows, 5 million orphans and 4 million refugees, more than half in Syria and Jordan, others internal, a result of ethnic cleansing, instigated and encouraged by occupation powers and their policies of divide and rule.

Washington is acutely aware that a large majority of Iraqis bitterly oppose the US presence in the country (Most polls reconfirm that regularly.) US is reportedly pressuring Maliki to abandon a promise to hold a referendum on the Status of Forces Agreement, as it would be overwhelming rejected.

There are also sharp differences between the rival Shia, Sunni and Kurdish factions of puppet Iraqi rulers over the allocation of oil revenues and other sources of wealth. The most explosive tensions centre on the insistence of the Kurdish autonomous region that it get control of the northern oilfields around the city of Kirkuk'two of which were among the six fields offered for auction.
The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) has denounced the auction as 'unconstitutional' and warned that companies are 'ill-advised' to enter into any contract in Kirkuk to which the KRG is not also a party. The outbreak of an ethnic civil war in the north cannot be ruled out, nor can the US military operations to suppress such a development. In week preceding 30 June, over 200 persons have been killed in violence by human bombers and others.

I had written a piece on 15 July ,2003 for Asia Times .com 'Iraq's history already written'

When US administrator L Paul Bremer unveiled Iraq's 25-member governing council in Baghdad on Sunday, ' It looks like the beginnings of the rule by the British Governor Sir Percy Cox in the 1920s, after the British had carved out three provinces of the Ottoman empire after its collapse in World War I. After a long national resistance, King Feisel II - of a British-appointed dynasty - and his prime minister, Nuri-as Said, were overthrown and killed in a 1958 military takeover.'

UK troops exit Iraq with tails between legs

"This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper'
  ' T.S. Eliot at the end of "Hollow Men" in 1926.

British history is full of military interventions around the world .Many times in Iraq itself i.e., during World War I (1914-18) in Mesopotamia; in 1941 during World War II; and with USA after the Gulf War of 1991. History has just repeated itself.

The British who had colonized Iraq after the WWI ,joined the 2003 illegal invasion, even when on the eve of hostilities, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had indicated it was really not necessary. On last April 30, in sweltering heat, after six years, Britain formally handed over control of the Iraqi port city of Basra to US Army command. Since 2003, 179 British soldiers have been killed in action in Iraq, in addition to many thousands of Basra Iraqis. Britain's Iraq operations cost the UK around 7 billion pounds (US$10.4 billion).

Wrote Robert Fisk in 'Independent' of 1 May, 2009 ;'I remember going to the famous Basra air base to ask how a poor Iraqi boy, a hotel receptionist called Bahr Moussa, had died. He was kicked to death in British military custody. His father was an Iraqi policeman. -- Which is why yesterday's departure should have been called the Day of Bahr Moussa. Yesterday, his country was set free from his murderer. At last.

'History is a hard taskmaster. In my library, I have an original copy of General Angus Maude's statement to the people of Baghdad ' $2,000, it cost me, at a telephone auction a few days before we invaded Iraq in 2003, but it is worth every cent. "Our military operations have as their object," Maude announced, "the defeat of the enemy [Ottomans]... our armies do not come into your cities and lands as conquerors or enemies, but as liberators." And so it goes on. Maude, I should add, expired shortly afterwards because he declined to boil his milk in Baghdad and died of cholera.

'There followed a familiar story. The British occupation force was opposed by an Iraqi resistance ' "terrorists", of course ' and the British destroyed a town called Fallujah -- Here, for example, is a letter written by Nijris ibn Qu'ud to a British intelligence agent in 1920: "You cannot treat us like sheep... it is we Iraqi who are the brains of the Arab nation... You are given a short time to clear out of Mesopotamia. If you don't go you will be driven out."

'So let us turn at last to T E Lawrence. Yes, Lawrence of Arabia. In The Sunday Times on 22 August 1920, he wrote of Iraq that the people of England "had been led in Mesopotamia into a trap from which it will be hard to escape with dignity and honor. They have been tricked into it by a steady withholding of information... Things have been far worse than we have been told, our administration more bloody and inefficient than the public knows." Even more presciently, Lawrence had written that the Iraqis had not risked their lives in battle [against Ottomans] to become British subjects. "Whether they are fit for independence or not remains to be tried. Merit is no justification for freedom."

The Neo-con driven Bush Administration showed its legal, moral and intellectual bankruptcy in planning and executing the invasion . Rumsfeld always tried to cut corners and neo-colonize cheaply , stinging on providing protective armor to GIs. Letters of condolences on GI deaths were sent with his Xeroxed signature. A few months before the invasion President Bush even did not know the difference between Shia and Sunni .He was but a putty in the scheme hatched by the neo-cons as a former neo-con Jude Wanniski and reputed economist and journalist wrote to me in 2005.

Occupation Case Studies: Algeria and Turkey , 7 January, 2004

When most western and other misinformed and info-challenged commentators were comparing Iraq with the situation in Japan and Germany after WWII and how a Marshal Plan like action would make Iraq a liberal capitalist democracy, I had written the above piece that instead ,the resistance in Iraq would be more like in Turkey under Ataturk after the WWI Ottoman defeat and its occupation by UK led Allied Forces and the FLN resistance against French colonists in Algeria after WWII , which after a bloody decade long resistance won independence in 1962. One million in a population of eleven million lost the lives in the struggle for freedom.

The resistance will build up in Iraq and continue .USA's departure from Iraq will be hastened by the decline and fall of its economy .The resistance by Iraqi patriots has led to Washington's quagmire along with defiance by Iran, Syria , Hezbollah and Hamas are major factor in decline of US credibility, military and economic muscle and super power status. Tributes must be paid to the Iraqi resistance who are making sacrifices to free their country from brutal and wanton occupation and exploitation.

USA's unregulated corporate culture and greed has led to an anomalous situation when rest of the world funds US trade deficit, equivalent to its defense expenditure (almost equals that of the rest of the world put together), which is then used to threaten and encircle the Globe with its war machine and its bases abroad . Something has to give in soon. Asia Times 27 August,2002

An entire region from Jordan to Iran is on the brink of catastrophe as it awaits one man's decision on how he will pursue his family' vendetta .India's former Ambassador to Jordan looks inside the Pandora's box which George Bush holds in his hands. Editor, Asia Times .

As early as August 27 ,2002 when Bush and Tony Blair were beating war drums against Iraq ,I had warned that Pandora's box would be opened in the region. It is easy to start a war but difficult to predict its outcome. 'For the Bush family, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is the tempting Apple in the Middle Eastern Garden of Eden. The results of succumbing to the temptation to take a bite could be as disastrous as they were for Adam and Eve' George Bush has slinked back to his Texas ranch after playing havoc in the Middle East and with USA itself.

I had concluded

'With its vast military-industrial complex, the US needs constant conflict, i.e., wars or near wars, to justify its staggering expenditure. The only superpower, with the most destructive power at its command in history, has pretensions to be an imperial power without the grace or obligations that go with it. After the stunning events of September 11, it is behaving like a raging bull, as if its manhood had been castrated. But the enemy al-Qaeda, with its tentacles around the world, remains free and hidden. Attacking Iraq would give the impression that the flagging "war on terror" is going somewhere. As Bush found in Afghanistan, whacking foreigners is popular with many Americans and wins votes. Iraq and hapless Iraqis would fit and foot the bill. Moreover, an attack would distract attention from financial scandals which threaten to enmesh both president and vice president. To many, it seems that the US administration represents but narrow corporate interests, and already, in this respect, the impending war seems to be going rather well. ( 27 August, 2002 )

George Bush's successor, Barrack Obama, product of the Chicago Jewish machine, can do little, a creature in the hands of military-industry, energy and other corporate interests .What US needs and will get is a systems change. It will come but after what a turmoil abroad and at home.


While based in Ankara, in 1994 after presenting my letters of my concurrent credence as the first ever Indian Ambassador to Azerbaijan's President Aliev, I called on resident Ambassadors in Baku.  I was received by the US and UK ambassadors in large new Embassies. Israel also had a big Embassy, being enlarged and renovated to keep watch down south on Iran, but most ambassadors were still housed in hotel suites. When I called on the ambassador of the Russian Federation, he received me in two small suites of rooms in Hotel Intourist, at par with of two/ three star hotel. This is what the Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the world power till a few years ago, the mighty Union of Socialist Soviet Republics had been reduced to in one of its own former provinces. America's fall, it is already in decline, would be interesting to wait and watch for. Verily, time and history are great levelers.

K Gajendra Singh, Indian ambassador (retired), served as ambassador to Turkey and Azerbaijan from August 1992 to April 1996. Prior to that, he served terms as ambassador to Jordan, Romania and Senegal. He is currently chairman of the Foundation for Indo-Turkic Studies. Copy right with the author.


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