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Iraq – Is Today the “Still Before the Storm”?

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During his time in his office as 43rd President of the United States, George H. W. Bush formulated a concept which he called the “New World Order”; he envisioned a one world government, and considered that such government could be brought about within a few decades. Bush’s son, President George W. Bush, may have been influenced by that concept when he chose to respond to terrorist attacks of September, 2001, with a preemptive military strike upon Iraq, and upon the Iraqi President, President Saddam Hussein, in the Presidential Office since 1979, having served as Vice-President from 1968 until 1979.  Bush followed his instinct, ignored substantial issues and followed that course, with the goal of eliminating Hussein, whom he viewed as a criminal, and the additional goal of “Democratization” of Iraq, which is consistent with the plan of a “New World Order”.

At the time of the invasion of Iraq by the West, the Iraqi Air-force was buried under desert sands. Iraq was not enriching uranium, and as inspectors from the West on the ground discovered, Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. The Iraqi Air-Force to this day is not able to defend its borders. Staff Lieutenant General Anwar Ahmed recently told reporters that “The Iraqi Air-Force is not prepared to deter any foreign attack.” He indicates the Air Force will not under any circumstances be up to modern standards until the year 2020.

Bush was able after years of destruction and bloodshed to influence the installation of a government in Iraq that was viewed as Iraqi in origin, but was yet friendly to the West, and Western concerns. Radio Free Europe reports that President George W. Bush visited Iraq in January of 2005 to meet with the newly elected Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, whom he praised. Bush said the world was hearing the “voice of freedom” from the Middle East. He praised the courage of the Iraqi voters, saying they had “firmly rejected the anti-democratic ideology of the insurgents.”

The al-Maliki administration ruled Iraq for some five and a half years, until Parliamentary elections seven months ago. The United States avowed to let the people of Iraq decide their fate; the United States pledged non-involvement in fair and democratic elections. The Parliament was elected. Painfully, this Parliament is evenly divided between those in support of al-Maliki, and those who favor a return to the pre-invasion rule. The al-Maliki supporters have only a small majority. The 50/50 Parliament found difficulty in functioning. American General Patraeus, now at the head of the troops in Afghanistan, indicates that the U.S. now again will continue to influence Iraq, which must include the newly elected Parliament, in a pattern consistent with Western Thinking.

Iraq has been home to continuous successive civilizations since the 6th century B.C. The region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers is commonly considered the cradle of civilization and is the birthplace of writing, and of the wheel.

It is conceded that Bush’s plan for “Democratization” has met with some success. Many Muslims now support the al-Maliki government, with the increased security and the promise of freedom that it offers. Other Muslims though, yearn for the return of the earlier rule, perhaps embittered by the bloodshed and destruction of recent years. Those who are beginning to reach out for the security of the Westernized rule are in danger of being quashed by the insurgent labor of traditionalist Sunni groups; there may be danger of a new and bolder sectarian civil war. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been accused by the Sunni leadership, including Atheel al-Nujaifi, Governor of the northern Ninevah province, of arresting opponents, and pressuring the courts; he views al-Maliki as a “caretaker”, with “no mandate or parliamentary oversight.” Hayder al-Mulla, a spokesman for the Sunni-backed Iraqiya group, demands that al-Maliki and his allies “give up the post” of Prime Minister to acknowledge what they call the “narrow election victory” of Ayad Allawi, Iraqiya’s leader. Allawi served as prime minister just after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

There too has been talk of a Sunni “Awakening”; a force of former anti-Western insurgents who have switched sides to fight with the Americans against al-Qaida, the powerful anti-Western terrorist group with strong membership in Iraq. But these pro-freedom “Awakening” forces are now meeting with opposition. One member, National Public Radio reports, received a letter signed by The Islamic State of Iraq, an umbrella group for al-Qaida, saying that he would be killed – his house would be burned to the ground, with all those inside it, because he had “sold himself, and honored the occupier”. We are aware too of a Shiite bloc preparation to press ahead in forming a government in the framework and make-up of the pre-invasion years. Progress is not irreversible.

Our concern at this time is that this division may lead to bloodshed and new chaos for the long-suffering people of Iraq. We hope such bloodshed will be avoided. Now we are in a tentative period holding hopes of a new era for Iraq; but powerful forces and emotions are still in conflict. Will the silence hold? Will we witness a great new day in Iraq, or is this only the still before the storm?

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About John Lake

John Lake had a long and successful career in legitimate and musical theater. He moved up into work behind the camera at top motion pictures. He has done a smattering of radio, and television John joined the Blogcritics field of writers owing to a passion for the liberal press, himself speaking out about the political front, and liberal issues. Now the retired Mr. Lake has entered the field of motion picture, television, and video game (now a daily gamer!) critique. His writing is always innovative and immensely readable!
  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz Alan Kurtz

    John, I beg to quibble with the historical revisionism of your first paragraph.

    But first, a factual correction: George H.W. Bush was our 41st President; his son was 43rd.

    Now to the revisionism. You write that George W. Bush “chose to respond to terrorist attacks of September 2001 with a preemptive military strike upon Iraq.”

    Wrong. The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, a mere 26 days after 9/11 and very much in direct response to that heinous attack.

    The Iraq War, however, did not commence until March 20, 2003, more than eighteen months after 9/11 and based on the false pretext that Iraq’s reputed (and ultimately nonexistent) WMD threatened regional security.

    You’re conflating two very different events here, John.

  • John Lake

    Had Bush’s invasion of Iraq been merely an action to unseat Hussein, it was an extreme example of over-kill. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were killed defending their homes, their families, their culture. Tens of thousands of American Fighting Forces were killed or injured. In fact, the invasion of Iraq was designed to sooth the pain of Americans who suffered the extreme shock of the attacks of September 11.
    Iranian President Ahmadinejad recently made remarks to the United Nations that the overthrow of Hussein could have been accomplished with considerably less bloodshed.
    It is noteworthy that when Private First Class Jessica Dawn Lynch was captured by the Iraqi on March 23, 2003, she was rushed to medical attention, then released to the Americans. When Iraqi were captured, they were confined without trial for years; some were tortured.

  • doug m.

    Iraq was intended to soothe the wound of 9/11? Then why did it take so long to get going? Do you have any proof because that sounds like nonsense?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz Alan Kurtz

    In fact, the invasion of Iraq was designed to sooth [sic] the pain of Americans who suffered the extreme shock of the attacks of September 11.

    If a proposition cannot be proved through evidence, it fails the “fact” test and remains strictly in the realm of conjecture. Such is the case with your statement above.

    Given 7½ years of charges, countercharges and all-around obfuscation by the Bush administration, it is impossible for mere mortals to determine what the U.S. invasion of Iraq was designed to do. We must rely instead on contemporaneous accounts of what was publicly asserted by our leaders on this score.

    Six months after the invasion began, President Bush reiterated what he’d said all along, “There’s no question that Saddam Hussein had al-Qaeda ties.”

    However, Bush also acknowledged, “We have no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the September 11 attacks.”

    In reporting these remarks on 9/18/03, BBC News mentioned that “a recent opinion poll found that nearly 70% of Americans believed the Iraqi leader was personally involved in the attacks.”

    Obviously, Bush and Cheney had their cake and ate it too. On the one hand they insinuated–and the Vice President often did more than insinuate–that Saddam was behind 9/11. On the other hand, when pressed for proof, the President admitted there was none. The only thing that really mattered in this shell game was that 70% of Americans lost sight of the facts and bought in to the lie.

    Fortunately for us, as Bush himself observed in a speech in Nashville, Tennessee, a year after 9/11, “There’s an old saying in Tennessee … I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee … that says, fool me once, shame on … [pauses] … shame on you. Fool me … [pauses] … You can’t get fooled again.”

  • John Lake

    In sooth, it’s all very frustrating. Mr. Kurtz has been so kind as to make my argument, so I can get on to something else.
    sooth — archaic for true.
    “In sooth, I know not why I am so sad.”

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz Alan Kurtz

    John, that’s nonsense and you know it.

    Your “argument” was that the invasion of Iraq was designed to soothe the pain of Americans shocked by 9/11.

    I didn’t make that argument for you, and you failed to make it for yourself. Your comment #5 is therefore just a copout to let yourself off the hook.

    Yeah, get on to something else, John. You’re useless on this thread.

  • Clavos

    Snap!

  • John Lake

    Mr Kurtz seems to take pleasure in his pointless nit-picking. He himself linked (BBC link 1) the site which provided the following:
    Random statements from the BBC article which Kurtz skimmed through:
    Critics of the war on Iraq have accused the US administration of deliberately encouraging public confusion to generate support for military action. …
    “But if the public believes that they were given the wrong impression by the administration, then there may be a political cost involved with the presidential campaign under way, our correspondent says. …
    “Many Americans believe that some of the hijackers were Iraqi – when none were – and that the attacks had been orchestrated by Baghdad, despite any concrete evidence to support that. …
    “This confusion has been partly attributed to, at best a lack of clarity by the administration and at worst, deliberate obfuscation, correspondents say….
    “As recently as last Sunday, Vice-President Dick Cheney, refused to rule out a link between Iraq and 11 September, saying ‘we don’t know’….
    “…And Mr Bush denied there had been any attempt by his administration to try to confuse people about links between Saddam Hussein and 11 September. ”
    ____________________________________

    That particular BBC article contains an internal link to a second BBC artice (BBC link 2) which includes:
    “Mr Bush has never directly accused the former Iraqi leader of having a hand in the attacks on New York and Washington, but he has repeatedly associated the two in keynote addresses delivered since 11 September. Senior members of his administration have similarly conflated the two. ….
    “A recent opinion poll suggests that 70% of Americans believe the Iraqi leader was personally involved in the attacks.”
    AND:
    “Despite his stated rejection of any clear link between Saddam Hussein and the events of that day, Mr Bush continues to assert that the deposed president had ties with al-Qaeda, the terrorist network blamed for the 11 September attacks.”