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‘Lasting Pride’ For the Hell We Left in Iraq

John Glaser

April 24, 2012

“We’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq, with a representative government that was elected by its people.” – President Barack Obama, Fort Bragg, N.C., December 2011 [1]

"You will leave with great pride – lasting pride." – Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to U.S. troops, December 2011 [2]

I’ve written [3] repeatedly [4] about the terrible dictatorship [5] and lasting sectarian violence [6] Washington left in Iraq after the troop withdrawal of December 2011. Contrary to the lies of these indecent politicians, the enduring effects of the illegal U.S. war in Iraq are still causing havoc and bloodshed throughout the country. Iraq is neither secure, nor is it a democracy as was promised by warmongers in Washington.

A new Congressional Research Service report [7] takes a look at post-withdrawal Iraq and at one point lists the most high-profile incidents of sectarian violence:

On February 7, 2012, the AQ-I affiliate Islamic State of Iraq claimed responsibility for two of the deadliest attacks on Shiites since the U.S. withdrawal—on January 5 and January 14, 2012, which killed 78 and 53 Shiite pilgrims, respectively. In one of the most complex attacks in recent months, on February 23, 2012, bombings in 12 Iraqi cities killed over 50 persons; based on the method and scope of the attacks, Iraqi observers attributed the attacks to AQ-I. AQ-I claimed responsibility for a broad series of attacks—encompassing six cities—on March 20, 2012; over 40 persons were killed. Another spate of attacks took place in Baghdad and Kirkuk on April 19, 2012, killing about 36 persons.

As for the record of the government (other than what’s included in the above hyperlinks), the report had this to say:

The State Department’s report on human rights for 2010 released April 8, 2011, largely repeated the previous year’s characterizations of Iraq’s human rights record as follows: "Extremist violence, coupled with weak government performance in upholding the rule of law, resulted in widespread and severe human rights abuses." The State Department report cited a wide range of human rights problems committed by Iraqi government security and law enforcement personnel, including some unlawful killings; torture and other cruel punishments; poor conditions in prison facilities; denial of fair public trials; arbitrary arrest; arbitrary interference with privacy and home; limits on freedoms of speech, assembly, and association due to sectarianism and extremist threats; lack of protection of stateless persons; wide scale governmental corruption; human trafficking; and limited exercise of labor rights.

All this, as America continues to give [8] money and weapons to the Maliki government. What exactly do U.S. troops have to be proud about?



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