16 March 2013

NEW YORK – This month marks the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War.

In October, 2002, I wrote a cover-story about Iraq for the first issue of American Conservative Magazine, entitled “The March to Folly.” My article predicted the impending invasion of Iraq would be a disaster for all concerned.

The only victor of war with Iraq, I wrote, would be Israel, whose nuclear monopoly and regional domination would be assured. So it has come to be.

Iraq was split into Shia, Sunni and Kurdish regions. Anger against the US reached new intensity. The titanic bill for the Iraq War was $1 trillion, all of it hidden in the ballooning US national debt. Nearly 5,000 US soldiers were killed; some 50,000 wounded, many with grave brain injuries. Iraqi casualties are uncertain, though the total is likely over one million.

Parts of Iraq are contaminated by US and British depleted uranium munitions. Diseases, wiped out under the late Saddam Hussein, have returned. Saddam’s sadistic secret police have been replaced by almost equally cruel security forces of the US-backed Baghdad regime. Once among the most advanced Arab nations, much of Iraq today is ruined. At least it no longer threatens its neighbors.

Amazingly, America’s right wing and media still hails this disaster as a victory. Many Americans still believe the Bush administration’s lies that Saddam Hussein was behind the 9/11 attacks. Some also still believe Iraq had weapons of mass destruction that threatened North America.

The politicians who concocted this war, namely George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Britain’s Tony Blair, have escaped any criminal censure for misleading their people into a conflict whose goal was to grab Iraq’s vast oil reserves and crush an enemy of Israel.

Similarly, the many print and TV journalists and commentators who acted as cheer-leaders for the war and its bodyguard of lies remain prominently in public view today. So too the so-called military experts who championed the war. Instead of slinking away after the war, they simply switched their aim to Iran.

Most shockingly, the insidious role of the pro-war neoconservatives in promoting the war was never fully revealed to Americans. Yet for a time, a pro-Israel neocon cabal linked up with aggressive big oil men like Cheney and Rumsfeld to drive the US into a totally unnecessary war against former US ally, Saddam Hussein. Israel’s leader, Ariel Sharon, thundered, “the road to Tehran lies through Baghdad.”

The small number of American journalists, Mideast analysts, CIA and State Department experts who dared challenge Bush’s absurd claims about Iraq’s supposed nukes and “drones of death” lost their jobs and have been sidelined to this day.

This writer, for example, was one of the first to assert in public that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction and no means of delivery even if it did. For my pains, I was blacklisted by a major US national TV network for whom I had regularly broadcast. Other blacklistings followed.

Bush’s modern-day Crusade against Iraq discredited the mainstream media in the eyes of many younger Americans and led to their growing reliance on their internet. Polls showed that only 24% of Americans trusted media to tell them the facts. The US media, with key exceptions, had followed the old Soviet media in acting as a mouthpiece for the government instead of a tribune for the public.

The Iraq War accelerated the militarization of US society and conduct of foreign affairs, and further curtailed individual freedoms endangered by the attacks of 9/11. It left the US saddled with a crushing debt. While bridges and roads across America were crumbling, the US was spending $80 billion on “rebuilding” Iraq. Nearly all this money was stolen and never seen again.

The crushing of Iraq, a small nation of 24 million rent by rebellion and wrecked by sanctions, was shamelessly trumpeted by the US media and politicians as a titanic victory for American arms akin to World War II. The aged US Republican leader John McCain, made giddy by the jolly little war in Iraq, sang, “bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.”

As King Pyrrhus exclaimed in 279 BC after a brutal, bloody battle, “one more such victory and we are lost.”

copyright Eric S. Margolis 2013

This post is in: Great Britain, History, Iraq, Mideast, Military and Security Affairs, USA

6 Responses to “The Mother of all Battles”

  1. renevers says:

    Depleted Uranium (DU) as a problem? Nonsense , after the war was over it was investigated and there was not much uranium found in lungs and blood etc. Even the isotope balance of the found Uranium was in accordance with the normal mixture of isotopes. If there would have been a contamination problem with health issues because of the Use of DU it should have been able to measure that effect. It was not there. A lot of the problems in Irak where due to the collapse of the health system, bad food in the aftermath and possibly the environmental effects of classical pollution by soot and heavy metals from the burning of oil-wells. DU use is a propaganda related and is an INTERNET hype problem .. All Uranium is blacklisted, even natural Uranium.. It is in the soil at an average of 3 ppm. So uranium is not even rare, or DU pure man made. DU (mostly 238) is even LESS radioactive than natural uranium, as the reactive uranium (235) was removed in enrichment plants to to play its role as a fission fuel in reactors. Uraniums radioactivity is very low as the halve time is large.
    It is an alpha emitter so it must be in the lungs to cause a problem.
    Most of the medical problems that were regarded as DU related proved to be impossible to be caused by DU.

  2. I was just reading a story about the total failure of the Iraqi war 10 years later.It pretty much sums up what Mr. Margolis has been saying all along……


    I hope more and more truths start to emerge especially regarding the Afghanistan conflict and any other ensuing “wars” that have followed.

  3. Nearly 5000 US soldiers are crying from their graves for the justice, that should be done on their behalf as well as for the countless victims in Iraq, a lot of whom suffered a far more cruel death. And yet, all this barbarism remains unpunished. Worse, the soldiers, who thought they were risking their lives for their country, were made to commit murders on behalf of their superiors, who ultimately have those crimes on their conscience, if indeed they have one.
    And we have not even mentioned the still ongoing cruelties in Afghanistan. Is it not a bit ironic, that that mighty American war machine cannot defeat that ragtag bunch of savages there, if we are to believe the description of those ‘backward’ people?
    I have read some horror stories about the treatment some of the maimed for life veterans receive from their government. A soldier is only a hero for a day and then remembered one day a year, except for the grieving family members they leave behind. If the only country, that comes out ahead of these wars is Israel, is it then not logical to assume, they have more to do with the initiation of those wars, than is being admitted? How does that tie in with those dancing Israelis on that bridge leading to New Jersey on 9/11?
    “The politicians who concocted this war, namely George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Britain’s Tony Blair, have escaped any criminal censure for misleading their people into a conflict whose goal was to grab Iraq’s vast oil reserves and crush an enemy of Israel” I read here. And what about the vast wealth of natural resources, that sits under the Caspian sea? Could that not have been the reason for attacking Afghanistan? The CIA- trained jihadist Osama bin Laden was used as a scapegoat. Would it not have made more sense to attack the country of his birth? Why should the Afghan people have to be punished for having a foreigner on their soil? Why not have a chat with the good friends in Ryad? Or go after Germany, where some of the alleged ‘terrorists’ were supposed to have resided temporarily.
    What puzzles me is, that the US dares to even express a desire to attack Iran now? Don`t they realize, that they have gambled away any and all credibility with these last two wars, even with the most simpleminded?
    The fact, that Eric got blacklisted, speaks volumes and he is not the only one to have this happen to, but thankfully the voice of his conscience could not be made to shut up, nor the one of his intellect. In fact, it takes a heroic conviction, to dare swim against the tide of the propaganda of the despots.
    What is the definition of fascism again?

  4. Yes I remember very well that day when the coalition of the willing (Countries pressured by the US) began bombing Iraq back to the Ice Age.They almost succeeded.There is still outrage that George W. Bush and his cronies were not tried with war crimes against humanity.But I guess when it comes to war,the victor decides who will and will not be prosecuted.As Mr. Margolis mentioned there were never any WMD found,whatsoever.Any WMD that Saddam had were ordered destroyed by the UN after the first Gulf war.Washington knew this and also the fact that the American people can be coerced into believing anything.Even if they were told that they were being targeted by Saddam Hussein..,which they swallowed hook line and sinker.Also the fact that the 9/11 attacks were fresh in the minds of the American people.It has already been proven that Washington had prior knowledge of these impending attacks but did nothing.As a matter of fact they sent all their air power out on exercises far away from the intended targets in NYC.This can be researched and found on the web.

    But sadly as time goes by more and more is forgotten and other wars were started and all with false pretenses that America would be under attack….which proved to be nothing but outright lies anyway.Going back to the war against Iraq,Saddam Hussein had to be silenced and the sooner,the better.Dead men tell no tales.First he was a useful ally to go to war with Iran at the behest (no doubt) of the israeli government who is still to this day frantically trying to convince that Iran will soon possess a nuclear device and use it against Israel.Utter garbage this is.Iran would be obliterated if they struck first with Israel’s 300+ nuclear stockpile that they have…although they will not admit having them…or not having them.So to this day Iraq is still a dangerous place to live as Mr. Margolis had mentioned with the depleted uranium that was used by the coalition to pierce armoured tanks,where it was very effective but killed and gravely injured innocent civilians…especially women and children.In war there are no real winners….only the rich that just got richer and at the cost of so many people including the young US soldiers that were brainwashed by their superiors about the imminent danger that Iraq poses.Sadly many of them are now living at home in poverty abandoned by the very criminals in Washington that sent them overseas to face either imminent death or severe psychological problems that many of them are now forced to live with….while trying to maintain a family.Utter disgrace this war was…inhuman…illegal and anything else bad one can say about this war.

    I just hope that President Obama doesn’t fall into any trap in his upcoming visit to Israel to speak with Netanyahu (another war monger) to start another diasterous war with Iran… a nation that hasn’t started a war in over 300 years.One thing that I will NEVER forget is the attack on an Iranian Airbus by the USS Vincennes from the Gulf of Hormuz,where the Iranian passenger jet was shot down while flying in Iranian airspace.The official lie was that it was mistaken for an Iranian fighter jet threatening the USS Vincennes.This was NEVER the case…just an excuse with the captain of the Vincennes receiving a Medal for his Bravery…or should I say cowardice.Thank you Mr. Margolis for this column…the American people (and the world) must never forget these criminal acts.

  5. dormus jessop says:

    Media self censor and American willfull ignorance trumps the truth hands down! At least you can take some comfort in joining a long list of men that paid a high price for telling the truth. In the good old days men like Bertrand Russel were put in jail for speaking out aginst war. Many famous people like Mark Twain and Martin Luther King have had their anti war anti empire writings jailed in the Orwellian Memory Hole. I wonder if Obama’s girls have read his anti Vietnam speech? Reading Clarence Darrow for the defense who said the “Truth will set you free” then later to “the truth will make you mad” did not mind making people mad; he was not afraid of their anger,resentment,hatred. He enjoyed wading in perhaps he could make them mad enough he might make them mad enough to start thinking for themselves! P.S. Just read “kill Anything that Moves by Nick Turse about the Vietnam war its a scathing account of US war crimes they too in the Orwellian Memory hole! The freedom of the pres mantra we hear all the time is a joke they along with lawyers are to protect the power elite to all comers the truth be damned!

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