Incalculable Consequences …

Professor Michael Schwartz has a great “guide” to developments in Iraq over at the Asia Times, which is fast becoming my favorite English language news source for world affairs …

The piece is remarkably well-considered and reveals exactly how those who refuse to consider the legitimacy and consequences of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq will never produce a satisfactory analysis of what is going on there … As I have said before, if they don’t want to be honest about what happened then and what is happening now, why should anyone care what they think should happen “next”?

Some highlights:

Administratively, the Iraqi government has no existence outside Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone – and little presence within it. Whatever local apparatus exists elsewhere in the country is run by local leaders, usually with little or no loyalty to the central government and not dependent on it for resources it doesn’t, in any case, possess …
As for resources, with 85% of the country’s revenues deriving from oil, all you really need to know is that oil-rich Iraq is also suffering from an “acute fuel shortage” (including soaring prices, all-night lines at fueling stations, and a deal to get help from neighboring Syria, which itself has minimal refining capacity). The almost helpless Iraqi government has had little choice but to accept the dictates of American advisers and of the International Monetary Fund about exactly how and what energy resources will be used. Paying off Saddam Hussein-era debt, reparations to Kuwait from the Gulf War of 1990, and the needs of the US-controlled national army have had first claim …
Neither the Iraqi government nor the US-led occupation has a significant presence in most parts of Iraq …
The real violence often only arrives when the occupation military makes its periodic sweeps aimed at recapturing cities where it has lost all authority and even presence …
One might say that the war has converted one of Bush’s biggest lies into an unimaginably horrible truth: Iraq is now the epicenter of worldwide terrorism … With this terror triumvirate at the center of Iraqi society, we now enter the horrible era of ethnic cleansing, the logical extension of multidimensional terror …

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