US military chief mocked on Iraq claims
A Baghdad ceremony marks the official end of the US military mission in Iraq on December 15, 2011.
The major Swiss newspaper reports that the US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was mocked during an address for claiming that American troops established security and stability in the war-torn Iraq.
“After a lot of blood spilled by Iraqis and Americans, the mission of an Iraq that could govern and secure itself has become real,” Panetta said during a ceremony held on December 15 in Baghdad to mark the withdrawal of US military forces.
According to the St Galler Tagblatt daily, the remarks came following more than nine years of bloodshed in Iraq where US troops left a war-torn and destroyed country behind.
The paper further said that following the occupation of Iraq, the US military forces not only destroyed the Iraqi army but also ruined the social structures of the country.
The US military officially declared the end of the mission December 15, following through on President Barack Obama's year-end deadline announced on Oct. 21.
More than one million Iraqis have been killed in the US-led invasion and subsequent occupation of the country since 2003, according to the California-based investigative organization Project Censored.
Washington claimed the military action was carried out to find and destroy weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the country while former dictator Saddam Hussein's Baathist regime was still in power.
However, no WMDs were ever discovered in the country and yet the US-led military occupation of Iraq continued under variety of pretexts, including the establishment of 'democracy', fighting terror, nation-building, and bringing peace and security.