Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 25, 2011

The U.S. Military Sends A Message To Iraqis

This NYT piece on U.S. troops leaving Iraq is somewhat funny: U.S. Uses an Insurgent Attack to Send a Message to Iraqis

The statement suggested such rocket attacks had been staged for propaganda purposes to create the impression that the Americans are fleeing under fire after more than eight years of war.

“Terrorists groups are conducting attacks against American forces in order to create a false idea that they have forced us to leave,” the statement said.

So that "impression" is not the reality? What then? U.S. troops are leaving Iraq in parade formations, while being offered sweets and getting showered with flowers?

Further down:

The military has kept the departure timeline a secret, and American soldiers sometimes leave without notice from the bases they share with the Iraqi Army.

At one base in Ramadi, Iraqi and American officers held a low-key farewell party but left the departure time unstated. Iraqi soldiers discovered one morning the Americans had driven away in the middle of the night. “We just woke up and they were gone,” Col. Hisham Abid Fayadh said.

Sneaking away in the dark certainly "sends a message to Iraqis". Though it is probably not the one the U.S. would like to send. But I am quite sure it is well understood. Everywhere.

Posted by b on November 25, 2011 at 11:50 PM | Permalink


And so the curtain inches lower on another Yankee fake war on a defenseless target...
These are the pitiful hardware-obsessed buffoons, cowards and liars who tell us they're going to "confront" China and Russia?

America is beginning to resemble Rodney Dangerfield's Fantasy land.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 26, 2011 12:33:14 AM | 1

Bullying and lying are the unmistakable hallmarks of cowardice.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 26, 2011 12:43:08 AM | 2

Bremer left secretly too

Posted by: alexno | Nov 26, 2011 5:11:02 AM | 3

can't believe the Army would have wanted to stay, but the President ordered them off on the basis of a treatise with another foreign government - sounds like science fiction

so either something will happen that will derail this apparently very slow withdrawal, or something big is happening in the Middle East strategy;

in particular, either the Us is removing its human shields from the field in preparation for an attack on Iran, or there is in place a secret understanding with Iran

I mean, fear of Iran *is* the big issue today in the Middle East, the Us withdrawal from Iraq simply doesn't make sense

could it just be that the Us has really been bombed away from Iraq, that it simply can't defend its presence there? in this case, we are witnessing a defeat analogous to Vietnam, but the media are doing their best to hide it

Posted by: claudio | Nov 26, 2011 7:51:39 AM | 4

A premeditated, unjust war of aggression and conquest, that started with the farce of 'Shock and Awe' and ends with US military forces quietly scurrying away as a thief in the night.

Unquestionably beaten, defeated, and conducting an ignoble shameful retreat, through deceit its retreat hidden from its Iraqi 'allies' and via MSM complicity, its own country.

The US will endeavour to bury this event in history in the memory hole.

In the future, if lucky, at best US forces will be able to do the same from 130 countries around the world in time ... if not ...

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 26, 2011 8:54:33 AM | 5

Of course, American troops are not leaving Iraq, just abandoning a few bases. They will be hiding behind walls in the 'Green Zone' and other hardened bases for as long as the Iraqis will let them.

"American leaders appear to be following the Soviet playbook for the imperial end-game quite faithfully: cringing behind high walls and locked doors, looting the treasury like there's no tomorrow, and, of course, lying their heads off. There are a few moments each century when status quo suddenly becomes status quo ante. We may be living through just such a moment now." Dmitry Orlov

Posted by: no6ody | Nov 26, 2011 9:04:04 AM | 6

The electoral process is in play here. You cannot trust one friggin' thing you hear from the media, or these lying posturing pieces of shit in DC. It is ALL about preparations to place one clown or another in the Oval Orafice.

Who the hell knows WTF is really going to happen in Iraq? They change the "facts on the ground" as often as most of us change our socks. I tend to agree with claudio, that some excuse will be fabricated to forestall a withdrawal. This is especially true if one of these blithering idiots we saw in the GOP "debates" manages to exhibit the requisite amount of partisan buffoonery required to ride their tricycle into the White House.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Nov 26, 2011 9:05:36 AM | 7

Besides, Hillary has amassed an army of her own, that is quite capable of murder and mayhem without the irritating and judgemental eyes of John Q Public dogging their every move. Theres more than one way to skin the truth.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Nov 26, 2011 9:27:47 AM | 8

they must have altered the article over there at the NYTs, since what you quote is not a part of it anymore.

Posted by: Susan | Nov 26, 2011 11:43:07 AM | 9

Contractors Mean US Occupation Will Continue in Iraq

... pointing to the massive number of private contractors the US State Department is hiring for its “private army,” a force in excess of 10,000.

The forces are expected to be used in combat around the nation.

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 26, 2011 1:30:56 PM | 10

glad to see you outraged & glad this ill begotten imperial army reveals itself, in every moment

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Nov 26, 2011 2:35:37 PM | 11

The unwelcome armies slink away like the ghosts of the Roman Legions.

Posted by: Copeland | Nov 26, 2011 7:52:09 PM | 12

@ 10.
Don't get too disheartened.
The reason most of America's fake wars end with so much gnashing of gums, shedding of tears, and vacuous bluster is their Base & Bunker mentality. B & B is a variation on the folkloric "circle the wagons" meme and makes them easy to find, keep tabs on, and ambush.
It is an extraordinarily out-dated and myopic strategy.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 26, 2011 11:29:11 PM | 13

Vietnam was a real-time nightmare for the Base & Bunker buffoons.

There was a period of several years toward the end of that particular fake war during which the vast majority of US boots-on-the-ground operations were a response to Vietnamese ambush plots.

A typical scenario involved leaking a plan to which the Yankees would respond. Vietnam had plenty of dense jungle so it was easy to conceal hundreds of resistance fighters in ONE square kilometer. The ambush op typically commenced during outward transit (which served a dual purpose - reducing enemy numbers and creating the illusion that the mission's goal was 'vital') and continued until the 'expedition' reached the main ambush site. The Viets weren't as obsessed with killing as the Yankees and usually left sufficient wounded Yankees at the scene to make a rescue (and the risk of a secondary ambush) seem worthwhile.
The mobile remnants of the first expedition, if any, were routinely picked off all the way back to their base - the location of which was known to the resistance.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 27, 2011 12:10:38 AM | 14

But I'll repeat myself
At the risk of being crude
There must be fifty ways
To leave your lover
Fifty ways to leave your lover

You Just slip out the back, Jack
Make a new plan, Stan
You don't need to be coy, Roy
Just get yourself free
Hop on the bus, Gus
You don't need to discuss much
Just drop off the key, Lee
And get yourself free

Posted by: Pragmatic Realist | Nov 27, 2011 12:13:21 AM | 15

excellent pragmatic realist.

outrage...10,000? that's enough to keep the fire burning.

Posted by: annie | Nov 27, 2011 2:00:43 AM | 16

I guess now the geniusses plan is to create a "Sunni arc" from Lebanon through Syria to Iraq to keep the "Shiite arc" from Lebanon through Syria to Iraq, Iran in check.

Somehow they can just count 1 to 2.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 27, 2011 5:36:45 AM | 17

contractors without a SOFA are quite a different thing than what the Us wanted;

Posted by: claudio | Nov 27, 2011 5:46:12 AM | 18

@somebody - yes, the Us can exploit sectarian differences in Iraq, just like elsewhere; it's been doing it since Bremer took over, but now the Us won't have the problem of stabilizing a "friendly" government anymore;

but somehow I think this won't be the case; I'm sure there are secret understandings with Iran and with Iraqi Shiites; plus the 10,000 contractors (human shields from a certain point of view), the mega-Us embassy, the oil contracts, Turkey's problem with the Curds, etc; and probably it's not in the Saudis' interest to see Iraq blow up

Posted by: claudio | Nov 27, 2011 6:00:14 AM | 19

More Kabuki from the empire. Huge embassy, many contractors, and above all, who really controls the oil? When the Iraqis storm the embassy and control their own resources, I'll believe the Wests presence there has been limited.

Posted by: ben | Nov 27, 2011 9:33:24 AM | 20

@19 & @20, you are right to follow your instincts and follow the patterns that all too many ignore at their own peril. I suppose it may make powerless people feel emboldened to pretend that the Plutocratic Mercenaries (let's face it, that's what the Western Armed Forces are...both figuratively and quite literally these days) are sneaking away under the cover of darkness, but you don't confront power by fabricating illusions of Power's impotence, if you want to dissolve Power. In fact, a strong argument can be made that by maintaining those illusions of Power's impotence and incompetence, you unwittingly, or wittingly, give cover to Power and thus further empower Power.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Nov 27, 2011 10:10:57 AM | 21

@MB - well, one must try to be objective; indeed, Iraq has been a catastrophe for Us foreign policy; and the occupation is untenable; but it's not a problem of omnipotence or impotence; I think the Us had two constrains it couldn't overcome: Saudi Arabia and Turkey's desire to keep Iraq united; only Iran would have gained by a division of Iraq along sectarian lines;

I think this is also the basis for the Us-Iran understanding (maybe even a tacit one): Iran will limit itself and won't try to fully exploit the situation that the Us' withdrawal creates in the region, and the Us won't attack it; actually, I think this kind of agreement is in place since 2004/2005, when it was clear that the Us occupation was untenable; and this hard reality was what emboldened Ahmadinejad even in Bush years', when he would scoff at Bush's menaces

Posted by: claudio | Nov 27, 2011 11:34:46 AM | 22

Somehow I don't buy this concept of an underlying sinister design that is proceeding as planned, hatched by some nefarious and masked player in the back room.

No. I think our current crop of "leaders" are simply irredeemably corrupt, remarkably incompetent, and obscenely elitist and narcissistic. Things have spiraled out of their control, whether it be their ill-advised military adventures, or an unrecoverable national or global economy in ruin. They are impotent to put out the fires that decades of self-serving malfeasance has ignited on far too many fronts. World societies and governmental structures are not being dismantled systematically by design. They are simply failing, as do all structures that do not recieve proper maintenance and repair. This "thing" is collapsing around us, and we will soon find ourselves far less attentive to global concerns than we are with our immediate spheres and how to survive within them.

I recieved some light hearted jeering, (when I first posted here not so long ago), about the wisdom of putting in a garden, and learning some skills involving self-sufficiency. But, really, what is so ridiculous about such advice? Certainly, there cannot be many here that believe the global condition can continue to deteriorate at its present rate indefinitely. And what is the loss in seeking to attain a comfortable degree of self-sufficiency? Isn't the expenditure worth it, even if the doors do stay open, eternally, (which they will not), at your local Sav-Mart?

Listen carefully as these posturing and embarrassing elitist pigs, our so-called "leaders", read their lines while standing on the stages of a bought and paid for media whore house, whose sole purpose is to advance the agendas of the highest bidders and the deepest pockets. Do you REALLY see within these people the values, the competence, and the integrity it will take to reverse our nation's headlong rush towards the abyss?

I don't even see anyone I'd want as a nieghbor, much less as a President. You want one of these pieces of shit watching your back? Dating your daughter? Being trusted to feed your dog while you're away on business?

Besides, who doesn't like fresh home-grown vegetables?

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Nov 27, 2011 12:10:02 PM | 23

@ remembereringgiap & annie

Peace, good health & 'Still Steel'

As yet unconfirmed, yet highly probable reports that heavy arms and materiel that would otherwise be destroyed rather than shipped stateside (uneconomic) are being 'transferred' to the division sized 'contractors' (State paid and sponsored Mercenaries). These contractors will be far more than mere 'bodyguards' and entirely deniable ...

We wanted the troops out, it became unsustainable, so now the 'uniformed' regular troops are out, see ? However, there has been No Change in policy objectives, merely the range of means to achieve them ...

Sadly, the covert ops will continue, probably even escalate, the direct covert and overt involvement and interference in Iraqi military, economic and political affairs will continue, etc ...

The Empire will not give up on the control of Iraq for its OIL or its geo-strategic value. As IKE stated back in the '50's, the ME is THE greatest prize. Divide and rule, death, will continue.

We most certainly selected, targeted and suborned a myriad of key personnel throughout Iraq for current and future 'contingencies' in the process of recruiting and 'training' them ...

How long until the new US sponsored coup d'etat by the US created and trained Iraqi, Military, Police, Paramilitary and Intelligence services to put a new 'Strong Man' (aka Saddam clone) to unite and 'serve' Iraq and Iraqis ?

I estimate a sponsored coup attempt inside 18-36 months, at most.

And of course a significant portion of the 'withdrawn' troops and materiel are now poised to 'assist' in new expanded permanent military bases just over the Iraqi border in Kuwait ...

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 27, 2011 12:17:32 PM | 24

"However, there has been No Change in policy objectives, merely the range of means to achieve them ..."

The contractors will operate outside the parameters of law. The Secretary of Defense will have, at her disposal, a power that NO United States Secretary Of Defense should have access to. Torture, assasination, false flags.....who can doubt that such an army of mercenaries will not be used thusly? If not, why have such an army?

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Nov 27, 2011 12:25:25 PM | 25

Oooops....meant "Secretary Of State", of course.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Nov 27, 2011 1:27:08 PM | 26

re 24 Outraged

How long until the new US sponsored coup d'etat by the US created and trained Iraqi, Military, Police, Paramilitary and Intelligence services to put a new 'Strong Man' (aka Saddam clone) to unite and 'serve' Iraq and Iraqis ?

I estimate a sponsored coup attempt inside 18-36 months, at most.

The US tried that at the beginning. But it turned out that the selected candidates, Ahmad Chalabi and Iyad Allawi, had very little support in Iraq, and they couldn't find another.

Tha basic problem is that the US forces behaved so brutally that no Iraqi can tolerate them now. Any US-supported dictator will be quickly assassinated. That said, there was and still is a feeling that US troops are more neutral than the sectarian government (though it should not be forgotten that it was the US who started the sectarian war). Some Iraqis do want the US to stay for a little (Sunni Arabs), or permanently (Kurds).

Like it or not, the US lost in Iraq, and will have little say in the country's future. The NYT article was a cover-up, as b says. That some in the US want to regain the position, is not in doubt. I don't see how it can be done.

On the subject of the 10,000 security contractors, I am pretty sure that the Iraqi parliament passed a law that in the future security contractors have to be Iraqi, though I am not going to go looking for a link. No doubt the US embassy will be well protected, but more than that I doubt.

US influence in Iraq is finished. Of course, that may leave them clear to attack Iran, if they are crazy enough.

Posted by: alexno | Nov 27, 2011 2:11:31 PM | 27

"US influence in Iraq is finished"

I think that statement is remarkably naive. CIA, State Department, and mercenary covert operations will continue to influence Iraqi internal affairs.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Nov 27, 2011 2:24:17 PM | 28

Claudio, despite what arm chair wonks may view as specific mistakes, and they very well may be the mistakes they claim, the unimpeachable fact remains, power continues to centralize and consolidate and wealth, its faithful and dutiful servant, continues to concentrate. To believe that what we are witnessing in Iraq is a retreat resulting from failed objectives is naive beyond the pale in light of the more general and greater fact that Power is not diminishing, it is quite the contrary as I have stated above.

It's ironic someone mentioned Rome in an earlier comment. Rome never died....the general idea, that is. The Monks preserved the seedlings for hundreds of years until the soil was fertile enough to support its rebirth.....and here we are, although this time the stakes are infinitely higher.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Nov 27, 2011 3:05:31 PM | 29

I don't know whether I adequately reported on my visit to (Iraqi) Kurdistan at the beginning of November, as I promised. I went to Erbil for a conference, and then to Sulaimaniyya for a visit.

It was clear to me that Kurdistan is heading for complete independence. No doubt with the help of the Israeli (and perhaps US) advisors. It was funny how the Kurds cite their victimisation in the same language as Israelis do. It is only Turkish opposition that prevents a declaration of independence.

In the conference itself weaknesses appeared. The French, who organised the conference, only brought Arabic-French simultaneous translators from Beirut. The Kurds were forced to speak in Arabic, except one, who insisted.

Outside the conference the atmosphere was a little tense. You couldn't approach the airport other than in an approved car, which involved a change of taxi. We went to Sulaimaniyya by the mountain road, as the fast road through Kirkuk was "dangerous".

My point of view is that the Kurds should have their independence, as long as they don't grab land where there are only minority Kurds. According to what I heard, Kurdish security forces are moving into territory occupied by Yezidis (OK, Kurds even if opposed to the KRG) and by Christians (who are definitely not Kurds). The Baghdad government will not, or cannot, defend the Sunni Arabs of Mosul and their minorities.

This is the great problem for the future. Where will the frontier between Kurdistan and Iraq lie? Baghdad is foolish to abandon the Sunni Arabs of Mosul to their fate.

By the way, the recent bombings in Baghdad are intended to suggest that Baghdad remains in confusion and weak. Who knows who did them. Not the Sunnis, who are defeated.

There are many who want Baghdad weak, the Salafis supported by Saudi, the Kurds, the US. However a few bombings should not prevent a return to normality in Baghdad; that is the feeling of my colleagues.

Posted by: alexno | Nov 27, 2011 4:20:38 PM | 30

@MB -

Rome never died

I agree; this doesn't mean the empire, any empire, always wins ... indeed, at the roots of the Iraqi disaster were the neocon dreams of the rebirth of the Roman Empire, our archetypal Empire; Bremer "Governor of Iraq": can you imagine? what an absurd, anachronistic assumption of responsibility of the direction of a foreign land!

the idea of Empire in the era of plutocracy is quite different than the Roman one, though; now that the neocon hubris has been rejected, the Us has scaled back to its usual modus operandi: black ops, corruption, favorable contracts for its corporations, permanent bases, plus the Fmi/Wto/Wb recipes etc etc etc; in one word: wield power without assuming responsibility

But where do you get this notion that centralization of power and wealth is happening always and everywhere, with no conceivable setbacks?

Posted by: claudio | Nov 27, 2011 4:30:31 PM | 31

re 28 POA

I think that statement is remarkably naive.

I've had that argument times beyond counting, since 26 June 2008, the day that Bush published his colonial version of the SOFA, and I said that the Iraqis would refuse. They did refuse, and have continued to do so.

The problem with the conspiracy theory of history is whether the agents (the US) are capable of doing what they are supposed to be able to do. In this case, no. They are out of solutions. They have tried.

Posted by: alexno | Nov 27, 2011 4:48:14 PM | 32


Interesting to read. Thanks and cheers.

Posted by: nobodee | Nov 27, 2011 5:38:52 PM | 33


I forgot to ask about the Turkmen people in Iraq.

Any prognostications?

Posted by: nobodee | Nov 27, 2011 5:54:39 PM | 34

"They are out of solutions. They have tried"

"Influence" and "solutions" are two different things, Alexno. I have NEVER advanced the ridiculous notion that these jackasses are offering "solutions" to anything. In fact, I believe they are quite incapable of creating anything but the opposite of "solutions". But "influence"??? That is where I detect a strong naivette on your part. They WILL continue to "influence" events in Iraq for many years to come.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Nov 27, 2011 8:03:54 PM | 35

There are many who want Baghdad weak

That statement is about ten years old, I'm afraid. Then it makes sense. However, that statement uttered now is complete rubbish. Baghdad is weak, there is no "normal," and Iraq is obviously no longer Iraq. Mission Accomplished.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Nov 27, 2011 10:25:51 PM | 36

re 35

"Influence" and "solutions" are two different things, Alexno.

I meant solutions for themselves, not for Iraq. The US has nothing to say that will help Iraq.

And no, they won't influence Iraq in the future. Only in a very marginal way. You exaggerate American capabilities far too much.

Posted by: alexno | Nov 28, 2011 4:21:42 AM | 37

re 36

That statement is about ten years old, I'm afraid. Then it makes sense. However, that statement uttered now is complete rubbish. Baghdad is weak, there is no "normal," and Iraq is obviously no longer Iraq.

I meant "remain weak", not "become weak".

Anyway, I doubt that Mission was Accomplished in any permanent way.

Posted by: alexno | Nov 28, 2011 4:30:29 AM | 38

Guess the NY Times edited out that last bit about troops sneaking off in the middle of the night, though other sources still have it.

Posted by: hass | Nov 28, 2011 5:18:01 AM | 39

@Hass - funny ain't it?

@all - what will be left of the U.S. in Iraq will be hunkered down in bunkers and hardly be able to move.

The big danger might come from the Mubarrak which the U.S. rebuild and financed for years. If Maliki is clever he will put someone on top of it who is able and willing to clean it up with the necessary force.

Posted by: b | Nov 28, 2011 7:02:24 AM | 40

"And no, they won't influence Iraq in the future"

Yes, the announcement that we are going to pump 6.5 billion intro Iraq next year portends a total lack of "influence", doesn't it? And gee, sure is a good thing our embassy is so big, because it takes a big space to house and feed 10,000 State Department mercenary contractors, doesn't it?

You are offering a fool's argument.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Nov 28, 2011 10:23:14 AM | 41

"But where do you get this notion that centralization of power and wealth is happening always and everywhere, with no conceivable setbacks?"

Mmmm, could it be reality? Seems to me, that not to see the Wests growing influence through resource and financial control around the globe is a bit naive. True, there is resistance, but consolidation of wealth globally, has made the world a very small place, and to play down it's growth is the height of naivete. War has always been a wealth generator for the 1%ers, and the phoney "War on Terror", has given them the excuse they need to push for resource control around the globe. Or is "Globalization" just an illusion? Will the worldwide OWS movement awaken enough peons to change the move towards "one World Government"? Time will tell.

Posted by: ben | Nov 28, 2011 10:43:02 AM | 42

@ben and MB - a general trend is one thing, denying the existence of counter-tendencies and even the possible effectiveness of any form of resistance is wrong and self-defeating; to say "mission accomplished" of Iraq is really off the mark; of course, as with Vietnam, the Us is not called to answer for the destruction and suffering it caused, and so many think that the Us just took a free shot at the construction of a new kind of Empire; but this is a short-sighted assessment; actions always have consequences, and the Us will pay dearly for what it did, and for its refusal to reckon with its responsibilities

anyways, the reality is that the occupation of Iraq was untenable because of popular and widespread resistance, and that such resistance was fueled in first place by the very arrogance and stupidity of the Us authorities

when we'll have the guts of Iraqi Sunnis and Shiites also the plutocratic dictatorship will end - and no police state will be able to prevent this; but it's not only a matter of guts (OWS did display some!): we still have to wade through a poisoned ideological legacy, before a political movement with a mass support and wide appeal can take off

Posted by: claudio | Nov 28, 2011 2:25:23 PM | 43

Claudio, you are putting words in my mouth, or words in my fingers, when you say/write this:

@ben and MB - a general trend is one thing, denying the existence of counter-tendencies and even the possible effectiveness of any form of resistance is wrong and self-defeating

Where do I deny what you say I am denying? Nowhere, that's where. That's a Strawman. To me, the general trend is of utmost importance, and it's what must be reversed, or neutralized, but that cannot be accomplished by claiming victory where none exists.

You then say this:

to say "mission accomplished" of Iraq is really off the mark; of course, as with Vietnam, the Us is not called to answer for the destruction and suffering it caused

What exactly was the mission, Claudio? Are we to believe the mission was the official explanation provided? If so, which official explanation, since there seem to be so many, and they changed with the tide?

As Watson said on the other thread, if perpetual war is the goal, and by association destruction and suffering, then it's not off the mark to call the Iraq escapade, Mission Accomplished. In my opinion, there can be, and are, multiple objectives to any of these military escapades, some of them made official, most of them made privy to only a select few on a need to know basis. Where some objectives may not be met, others will have been accomplished with resounding success. In Iraq, a country was destroyed, a state was failed and destruction and suffering was dealt in spades......and all at a bountiful profit paid for by the generations of U.S. slaves to come.

Yes, I'll say it again, because it's true, Mission Accomplished!!

And of course, none of this is without consequence........that general trend line included. I don't presume it follows its current trajectory into infinity....far from it. It's traveling at the speed of light, like a prodigious fiery comet, into an equally prodigious static entity called System Constraints, and the aftermath of that collision is not suited for mature audiences, let alone children.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Nov 28, 2011 3:27:21 PM | 44

Morocco, you confirm what I thought you said - resistance is futile! the System will collapse because of built-in constraints, you say, whereas the heroic Iraqi resistance didn't make a difference on the outcome: Mission Accomplished!

But what was the Mission? Of course there's a powerful lobby that has to gain by any war, and it did gain enormous profits in Iraq; but the Us also had its own aims as a State, and failed to attain any of them: influence in the Middle East and in an oil-rich country, first of all, and prove the feasibility of a new model of intervention and new paradigms: the "coalition of the willing", the "clash of civilizations", the "new roman empire", the locals greeting their liberators with "sweets and flowers", first Baghdad then Teheran and Damascus, etc; a whole politica project has been wiped away

as far as more traditional forms of war profiteering are concerned, they are basically over with the end of the occupation; you can't set up a drug trafficking ring without Cia stations and permanent military bases, for example; and oil contracts up to now seem to favor the Chinese more than everybody else;

the Us lost legitimation and consensus in the Middle East and in the whole world as a consequence of that mistake; and you can't hold on to power for long after you lose legitimation and consensus; or rather, you shouldn't be able to; there's a political vacuum today but there's no political movement ready to fill it, so it seems nothing is happening;

actually I'm basically pessimistic because our societies appear unable to react, hypnotized or depressed or distracted; I believe that the Sunni resistance basically saved the Us from a one-party dictatorship, but the political world didn't learn anything from it; so things may well end as you say, Morocco, but not because resistance is futile, but because the west has been effectively lobotomized

Posted by: claudio | Nov 28, 2011 4:15:43 PM | 45

Yes, I'll say it again, because it's true, Mission Accomplished!!

That's not right at all. While I agree that the point of Iraq in the end was the Orwellian eternal war, Mission was not Accomplished.

The US began the Iraq invasion at the peak of its power; it appeared to be able to do anything. Now it is seriously weakened. OK by its own acts, but it has happened. Long way to go before it loses its primacy, but now it is only primus inter pares.

You Americans, MB and POA, can't correctly evaluate US power - or at least it so appears from what you say. American power is limited. US troops are being sent to every country in the world nearly, but once they get there they are unable to do anything. In Iraq they hid in fortified bases, rarely going out, and now they're leaving by night. The main power of American forces is unlimited bombardment, which they do of course use. But don't you find it bizarre that for all the bombardment power, they're creeping out of Iraq like they lost?

They have to bully other states into helping them, as b points out in his new post.

Posted by: alexno | Nov 28, 2011 4:36:45 PM | 46

Morocco, you confirm what I thought you said - resistance is futile! the System will collapse because of built-in constraints, you say, whereas the heroic Iraqi resistance didn't make a difference on the outcome: Mission Accomplished!

Another Strawman. Is this the Wizard of Oz? That's not what I've said, or what I'm saying. Resistance is not futile, in fact, quite the contrary, but it must be effective resistance on an incredible, heretofore unseen scale, not some half-baked, lowly denominated fractional and highly fragmented measures. I have yet to see that, and it's getting late in the game.....the fat lady's about to sing, or belch, and it's a route thus far.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Nov 28, 2011 5:15:01 PM | 47

But don't you find it bizarre that for all the bombardment power, they're creeping out of Iraq like they lost?

Yes, I do, and it doesn't compute, and when things don't compute for me, I consider there may be other agendas at play. The operative words there are "may be."

To add a little levity to a somber topic, in the last two posts I've been typing blockade for the embedded quote function instead of blockquote. Is that the Universe sending a message or just Freud reaching out from his grave?

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Nov 28, 2011 5:25:07 PM | 48

it must be effective resistance on an incredible, heretofore unseen scale, not some half-baked, lowly denominated fractional and highly fragmented measures

Morocco, really this is how you would define the Iraqi resistance?

what do you have in mind, the Army of the Lord coming to our rescue?

Posted by: claudio | Nov 28, 2011 5:46:11 PM | 49

@49, it looks like you're the defeatist, afterall.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Nov 28, 2011 6:02:59 PM | 50

no, Morocco; I'm pessimistic because it seems we are unable today to re-create the conditions of a political mass movement in the western societies; but I'm not defeatist because I believe that resistance, there where it manages to organize and mobilize people, always makes a difference, from Iraq to Latin America to Tunisia;

also, my conclusions overall aren't that far from yours, in the sense that I too think that powerful lobbies have been extending their power all along; but this tendency can't obscure the fact that the heroic Iraqi resistance has succeeded in thwarting Us plans and forced the Us army to retreat; so resistance is possible, and that's the only force that can defeat the "Empire"; "Systemic constraints" can only force changes in policies, they can't determine the fall of an empire, only resistance and political movements (Iraq had both) can do that

Posted by: claudio | Nov 28, 2011 7:09:19 PM | 51

I think all those who believe that the Iraqis are steering their own ship of state, with no interference from the West, are very very naive.

Posted by: ben | Nov 29, 2011 2:25:58 AM | 52


I would heartily agree with you - and it also should be stressed that whilst looting the US taxpayer was a nice touch for the war complex, the national credit card is now maxed out.

Posted by: dan | Nov 29, 2011 6:17:02 AM | 53

@53, that's bullshit. The credit card is not maxed any means. There's always more where that came from. What so many fail to recognize is that the dollar is not a fiat currency. Yes, it's no longer backed by gold, but it is backed by something else ever more precious.....OIL. We've been operating on the OIL Standard for quite some time.....just not officially proclaimed. Considering that, who controls the world's supply of what's backing the currency?'s not the U.S.....that's too narrow and's much broader than that. That's right. Yes, it's a dwindling resource, but so long as you contain the lion's share of it, you control any potential rivals, and any suffering that results from increasing scarcity will be inflicted on those with limited, to no access.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Nov 29, 2011 7:22:40 AM | 54

@42, exactly. Here's an interesting discussion of least part of it. The Oligarchs are joined at the hip....many of the current crop being educated at the same prestigious universities. They belong to a a club of Global Oligarchs, and whereas they might not always agree, their allegiance is to the concentration of wealth...and thus Power. If they are forced to make a choice between a peasnt in their own country, or a fellow Oligarch from another country, they will side with the fellow Oligarch....and do.

What should the world do with oligarchs? In Ukraine, some suggest people should appreciate and honor the nice guys for giving thousands of jobs at their plants and mines, building a stadium and splurging on exotic football players to entertain their workers on a weekend. Some can be aggressive or sarcastic about oligarchs and the stories of their villas, yachts, jets and model girlfriends in the print and on silver screens. British investigative journalist Stephen Armstrong calls on the readers of his book titled The Super-Rich Shall Inherit the Earth to look closer at where their billions come from and how much political, not just economic power they have. “We are sleepwalking into a new era of feudalism,” he writes. What matters most is not a bright idea, a genius invention or skills – it is people in power you know.

This is a global system. The essence of Chinese Communism today is the fact that 91% of Chinese millionaires are children of the top officials in the party. 70% of Chinese wealth is in the hands of 0.4% of its population. Once Vladimir Putin made himself comfortable in the Kremlin he went on to fray tycoons. First, it looked like Russian oligarchs would go extinct like mammoths. According to Mr. Armstrong, though, Mr. Putin turned out a paper tiger. Most of the country’s rich survived the first panic attack, gained support in the hard times, and joined the Russian machine churning windfall profits for those in power. The US has its powerful Goldman Sachs whose representatives migrate from one public office to another helping officials to take decisions on huge bail outs to banks including Goldman Sachs that were actually the source of the global financial and economic crisis.

Russian, Chinese, Indian and Brazilian oligarchs most often deal with oil, gas and steel. They have miniature armies of bodyguards, yacht fleets and private aviation. Having enough cash to buy the world, they can avoid government control and taxes. With huge resources and political power in hand, they can change laws or simply move to another country once the jurisdiction they are in is no longer comfortable.

Stephen Armstrong uses an episode from George Orwell’s Animal Farm to illustrate current global socio-economic situation: “we are animals who peek at politicians and oligarchs partying through the window.” On the verge of yet another global financial and economic crisis Mr. Armstrong believes “the question today is not what is best for the economy but how we find a better way to protect democracy.”

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Nov 29, 2011 9:52:17 AM | 55

MB @ 55: Yep! I think too many folks don't get the scope of this "New World Order", made up of oligarchs from around the globe. True, there are still countries insisting on autonomy, but through control of natural resources, the pressure from the 1%ers is ever present. The REAL war needs to be fought against them and their sycophants.

Posted by: ben | Nov 29, 2011 10:50:10 AM | 56

@56, agreed, and pursuant to that, take a gander at Bashar al-Assad's wife, the first lady of Syria. Once you look at their profile, it's hard to believe an attack on Syria is in order, unless it is condoned by them (Bashar and his wife).

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Nov 29, 2011 11:09:45 AM | 57

Thanks MB, she is either "real", or the perfect oligarch rep to fool the peons, as is Obama. Time will tell.

Posted by: ben | Nov 29, 2011 11:21:07 AM | 58

"But don't you find it bizarre that for all the bombardment power, they're creeping out of Iraq like they lost?"
Yes, I do, and it doesn't compute, and when things don't compute for me, I consider there may be other agendas at play. The operative words there are "may be."

Of course, you don't care what the Iraqis might think, the operative factor here, only different opinions in the US.

Posted by: alexno | Nov 30, 2011 7:19:38 PM | 59

@59, who are the Iraqis? You mention the term as though it's monolithic, which is quite insulting to the inhabitants of the parcel of land the British, once upon a time, gave the name Iraq.

Also, what the inhabitants of the land named Iraq think is irrelevant to the discussion. It doesn't matter whether we care about what the peasants think, it doesn't change the Plutocracy's approach. The Plutocracy doesn't give a wit about Public Opinion, so you bringing that up is a Red Herring.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Dec 1, 2011 6:50:10 AM | 60

@MB I have the impression that to bring home your point (which in part I agree with) you are exaggerating a bit ... (I'm referring to most of your recent posts, not particularly the last one)

Posted by: claudio | Dec 1, 2011 11:58:08 AM | 61

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