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Posted January 19, 2005
Excellent study of the horrors of occupying Iraq
This excellent book gives a vivid picture of the horrors of the US-British occupation of Iraq. It is now three and a half years since Bush promised to get 'the people who knocked these buildings down'. Instead, he attacked the one Middle Eastern country where there was no Al Qa'da. What does the occupation mean? 40,000 prisoners, torture, atrocities, beatings, humiliation, intimidation, killings, death squads, house searches, raids, demolitions. No jobs, no water, no electricity, no rebuilding, no security. Power plants, telephone exchanges, sewage and sanitation systems all still in ruins. The US government pledged $18.4 billion for rebuilding Iraq, but any money goes straight through to firms like Halliburton, which gets $1 billion of taxpayers' money every month, saving it from bankruptcy. (Cheney had bought Dresser Industries for $7.7 billion, without noticing that it owed billions in damages.) Bechtel got the $1.8 billion contract to rebuild Iraq's water, sewage and electricity systems. Both Halliburton and Bechtel have been fined for corrupt practice. Another US firm got a $780 million contract, despite convictions for fraud on three federal projects and a total ban on receiving US government work. The coalition gets ever smaller, the insurgency ever larger: the longer the occupiers stay, the more insurgents there seem to be. Rumsfeld, while publicly promising a swift victory, said in a private memo that the USA is in for a 'long, hard slog' in Iraq and Afghanistan. Cheney said in April 1991, 'I think to have American military forces engaged in a civil war inside Iraq would fit the definition of quagmire, and we have absolutely no desire to get bogged down in that fashion.' It's an old story. T. E. Lawrence wrote in August 1920, 'The people of England have been led in Mesopotamia into a trap from which it will be hard to escape with dignity and honour. They have been tricked into it by a steady withholding of information. The Baghdad communiques are belated, insincere, incomplete. Things have been far worse that we have been told, our administration more bloody and inefficient than the public knows.' We should be demanding that the troops come home, and let the people of Iraq run their country in the way that they want to. Imposing foreign rule is not democratic, but despotic.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.