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Stuck in the Desert with Nowhere to Go

Watching the military parades held in Iraq’s cities earlier today to celebrate the departure of the US troops and noting the deaths of four more Americans during the withdrawal it was all too easy to think that the wheel has turned full circle.  Iraq is headed by a strongman who intends to stay in power come what may, not unlike Saddam though representing a different constituency.  The country continues to be one of the most corrupt in the world and electricity and water are in short supply, worse even then during Saddam’s latter days. 

US interests have hardly been served by the six year occupation.  Apart from defense contractors and a few oil companies it is hard to imagine that anyone sees any benefits.  4319 Americans and at least 90,000 Iraqis killed violently since 2003.  At a cost of maybe as much as $5 trillion when all the bills are paid by our grandchildren.  Saddam’s secularism has been replaced by a Shi’ite dominated power structure and Iraq’s role as an Arab bulwark against Iranian hegemony is just a memory.  The Christian minority, protected under Saddam, has more-or-less fled the country.  Iran has benefited most from America’s takedown of Saddam.  And yet there are 130,000 US troops remaining in their fortress-bases outside the cities, there to help maintain order, apparently.  Bring them home and tell the Iraqis to use their oil money to hire more police.  The whole Iraq adventure made no sense when it started and makes even less sense now.  Cheney is getting a $2 million advance for his memoirs.

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#1 Trackback By Crunchy Con On June 30, 2009 @ 8:42 am

The waste of Iraq…

Philip Giraldi observes a sad truth about the US partial withdrawal from Iraq. Excerpt: Iraq is headed by a strongman who intends to stay in power come what may, not unlike Saddam though representing a different constituency. The country continues……

#2 Comment By Leslie On June 30, 2009 @ 8:54 am

I wonder why so many conservatives supported the invasion? In hindsight it wasn’t too hard to figure out that Iran would become too powerful as a result of a weaker Iraq. I guess Cheney was able to convince the feeble minded that Iraq’s oil reserves would pay for the whole miserable adventure—even though that is against international law.

#3 Comment By eep On June 30, 2009 @ 12:28 pm

What did flipping the Iraqi power structure from Sunni to Shiite accomplish (if anything) for those seeking to project American power in the Middle East?

#4 Pingback By Goodbye to All That – The Opinionator Blog – NYTimes.com On June 30, 2009 @ 1:34 pm

[…] at the American Conservative, Philip Giraldi sees few if any reasons to celebrate today: “U.S. interests have hardly been served by the six year occupation.” Apart from defense contractors and a few oil companies it is […]

#5 Pingback By We’ve Packed Our Toothbrush and Our Slippers « Around The Sphere On June 30, 2009 @ 2:30 pm

[…] Philip Giraldi in TAC […]

#6 Comment By Thomas O. Meehan On June 30, 2009 @ 11:19 pm

Philip, Do you know where the displaced Iraqi Christians are going; Lebanon, the US, Jordan? I think we owe these people some measure of support. Where can they go in the region and be safe?

#7 Comment By Philip Giraldi On July 1, 2009 @ 6:52 am

Thomas, it is my understanding that most are finding their way to Europe where some Christian charities have been effective in getting them asylum status. Many Christians in the Middle East are also fortunate in that they have family members already in Europe, making it easier to emigrate. Few make it to the US because Washington continues to nurture the fiction that Iraq is a perfectly safe place to be, granting very few immigrant visas. Thriving Christian communities that traced themselves back to the first century were still in place in Iraq only five years ago but now they have pretty much ceased to exist.

#8 Comment By Ante Bragd On July 3, 2009 @ 8:58 am

O. Meehan
A lot of refugees come to Europe as Giraldi says. Sweden for example, has accepted about 25 000 Iraqis, mostly Christians, while the US have accepted about 500, atleast according to the news here in Sweden. You might think the US would take some responsibility since it started the war

#9 Comment By peter On July 6, 2009 @ 2:01 pm

A very large number of Iraqi refugees remain in Syria, particularly Damascus. This has led to dramatic inflation with a number of related consequences due to the large unemployed group of foreigners.

#10 Pingback By BobWaldrop.net » Blog Archive » Thoughts on Iraq On July 30, 2009 @ 11:46 am

[…] Philip Garaldi, writing at the American Conservative, has some pretty astute observations about the situation there. . . (Hat tip to Rod Dreher) Watching the military parades held in Iraq’s cities earlier today to celebrate the departure of the US troops and noting the deaths of four more Americans during the withdrawal it was all too easy to think that the wheel has turned full circle.  Iraq is headed by a strongman who intends to stay in power come what may, not unlike Saddam though representing a different constituency.  The country continues to be one of the most corrupt in the world and electricity and water are in short supply, worse even then during Saddam’s latter days. US interests have hardly been served by the six year occupation.  Apart from defense contractors and a few oil companies it is hard to imagine that anyone sees any benefits.  4319 Americans and at least 90,000 Iraqis killed violently since 2003.  At a cost of maybe as much as $5 trillion when all the bills are paid by our grandchildren.  Saddam’s secularism has been replaced by a Shi’ite dominated power structure and Iraq’s role as an Arab bulwark against Iranian hegemony is just a memory.  The Christian minority, protected under Saddam, has more-or-less fled the country.  Iran has benefited most from America’s takedown of Saddam.  And yet there are 130,000 US troops remaining in their fortress-bases outside the cities, there to help maintain order, apparently.  Bring them home and tell the Iraqis to use their oil money to hire more police.  The whole Iraq adventure made no sense when it started and makes even less sense now.  Cheney is getting a $2 million advance for his memoirs. […]

#11 Comment By Kathleen On August 10, 2009 @ 11:25 am

Instead of going to prison for lie that have resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths, injuries and millions displaced. Cheney still making millions.

Obama, Holder, Whitehouse, Leahy, “no one is above the law” hollow words