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Biden's rebranding of US occupation of Iraq as 'strategic partnership' should fool no one

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

By John Wight

 

Empires are forged in blood and maintained with gold, and those states whose leaders allow themselves to become proxies of an empire, under the guise of ‘strategic partner’, are accomplices in their own neo-colonization.

The people of Iraq need no lessons in suffering, which under Saddam’s dictatorship was child’s play compared to the hell unleashed on them by Washington and its UK ally in the wake of 9/11. Prior to this pivotal event, throughout the 1990s, the Iraqi people had endured some of the cruelest sanctions ever imposed on a people at the hands of an ‘international community’ that allowed itself to be recruited and used to advance not the cause of democracy or human rights or stability, as claimed, but rather the cause of US imperialism and hegemony.

The recent announcement by US President Joe Biden that the US combat mission in Iraq will end by the end of 2021 would, you might think, be the catalyst for if not celebration at least some kind of closure on the part of the Iraqi people.

However in the company of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa -al-Kadhimi in Washington, Biden’s statement to reporters as part of this announcement that “Our [new] role in Iraq will be…to be available, to continue to train, to assist, to help and deal with Isis as it arises,” would have raised the eyebrows, if not anger, of every self-respecting Iraqi.

For in truth, the US occupation of Iraq, as Biden revealed with the aforementioned, is not ending, but it is continuing in a different guise. And as for words such as “assist” and “help” when it comes to describing the role of US military forces in Iraq, just imagine Scipio the Younger assuring the surviving 50,000 enslaved citizens of Carthage, after first destroying the city and killing 62,000 of its people in 146 BC, that he and his army were now going to assist and help them.

One million dead Iraqis, the millions more maimed and displaced, and the countless number killed in the sectarian carnage unleashed by the US-led war and occupation of the country, bear witness to the fact that Washington sits at the apex of the most brutally destructive empire the world has ever known and whose idea of assistance is the assistance of the morgue.

Sadly, Mr. al-Kadhimi is now well on course, with his acquiescence in Biden’s plans for maintaining a US military presence in Iraq, to go down in history as a man who, metaphorically speaking, danced on the graves of his own countrymen, women and children. How else to describe the leader of a people devastated by an invasion and prolonged occupation embracing the country responsible as an ally and ‘strategic partner’ afterwards?

Not satisfied with abasing himself at the feet of the Biden administration in Washington on military matters, Mr. al-Kadhimi also made it known that he wants another US oil company to replace Exxon-Mobil, after the latter announced that it was selling its 32.7% stake in the West Qurna 1 Iraqi oil field, one of the country’s largest.

Hearing this, Biden and his acolytes must have been delighted to know that in Baghdad sits a leader who prioritizes US strategic and economic interests over the interests of his own people.

Biden and the US military establishment are using the threat of ISIS as a pretext for maintaining a military presence in the region with Iran, Russia, and China in mind. This is the real motive for this newly announced ‘strategic partnership’ with Iraq, one that instantly turns Mustafa al-Kadhimi into a US proxy.

Iraq’s security and stability will not be advanced one iota by a continued US military presence in the country, regardless of the form it takes or in what capacity it operates. Iraq’s security and stability will instead be imperiled as a result of such a military presence – and understandably so.

Washington does not have friends; it has clients and proxies. Washington does not believe in partnership and cooperation; it believes in ownership and domination. The historical and empirical evidence where this is concerned leaves no doubt of it.

The decimation of Iraq was a crime of the ages for which not one of those responsible has ever faced so much as one day of justice. With this in mind, Iraq’s current prime minister had a very important and historic choice to make when it came to dealing with the perpetrator of this crime: reject in the name of the dead and the dignity of the living, or embrace in the name of subjugation and opportunism. In choosing to do the latter, Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi has opted for ignominy over honor.

The people of Iraq and the wider region deserve better than the craven submission to an imperialist juggernaut of destruction whose leaders believe has been divinely ordained to rule and kill at will.

They deserve much better

 

John Wight is an author and political commentator based in Scotland.

(The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)


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