Apr 18, 2005
After two months of haggling, leaders of Iraq's political parties have agreed on how to divide most of the government posts among themselves. As soon as these "new leaders" of Iraq announced that, they got a visit from their boss, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
We may not know everything Rumsfeld discussed with his Iraqi buddies behind closed doors, but his statements to the press reveal at least one message he conveyed to them: Don't mess with the army and police – that is, the new Iraqi army and police which are in the process of being set up by the U.S. Rumsfeld warned Iraq's new leaders against carrying out a purge in the security forces – as they had said they intended to do.
One of Iraq's new vice presidents, Ghazi Yawar, put it more bluntly. Yawar said he was concerned that Sunnis, who "gained wide experience in the security and intelligence services under Saddam," would be dismissed in the name of de-Baathification (Baath is the name of Saddam's party).
In other words, when U.S. officials talk about the necessity of including Sunnis in the new government, they mean Saddam's old thugs who now are ready to serve a new master, the U.S.!
But the same is true for the Shiite clerics and Kurdish warlords that are heading Iraq's new political parties. These "leaders" represent only their own ambitions: to get their hands, and those of their friends, on the loot.
That loot is oil, of course, and that's what these great "leaders" of the new "democracy" have been arguing over for two months. That's why, for example, the Shiite clerics, who have a majority of the seats in the new parliament, had no problem with allowing a Kurdish warlord to take the presidency. What really matters are the two ministries that will control Iraq's major source of wealth – the oil and finance ministries – and the two that will make sure this wealth is kept from the Iraqi people – the ministries of defense and the interior. And now that they have agreed on how to divide up those ministries, Iraq's "fledgling democracy" is supposedly "entering a new phase," according to George Bush.
In the same speech in which he uttered these phrases, Bush also told troops at Fort Hood, Texas, on April 13 that their work in Iraq isn't over yet. In Baghdad, Rumsfeld reiterated the same message: Don't expect U.S. troops to leave any time soon.
No one should expect things to improve for the Iraqi people any time soon either. The war continues. Not a single day goes by without attacks against the U.S. military and their appendage, the Iraqi army and police. Almost on a daily basis, there are also bombings that target Sunni and Shiite crowds, raising the question of a civil war. Falluja, a city of 300,000 razed to the ground by the U.S. last fall, is still in ruins. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been turned into refugees in their own country.
The majority of Iraqis have no jobs, nor any prospects of getting one. Disease and malnutrition plague the majority of the population, especially children. Crime is rampant and out of control. Robbery, rape, kidnapping and murder are part of daily life for most Iraqis.
The U.S. occupation has been a complete disaster for Iraqi people. The U.S. troops have been sent there to make sure that Iraq's oil is controlled by U.S. imperialism and its local cronies. And that turns the U.S. troops into targets of the Iraqi people's anger and hatred.
No, there is no "democracy" or "security" for Iraqi people, nor will there be so long as U.S. imperialism continues to dominate that country. The only way U.S. troops can help Iraqi people, and themselves, is by leaving Iraq, and NOW.