Today, You Still Own Iraq

The idea that Iraq has achieved sovereignty is as false as the U.S. President’s insistence Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, or that the U.S. military’s mission is accomplished.

2004.06.29

Prior to
the invasion of Iraq, Secretary of State Colin Powell reportedly warned
President Bush that if he invaded Iraq, “you’ll own it all.”1
Powell was right. The idea that Iraq
achieved sovereignty yesterday is as false as the President’s insistence Iraq
had weapons of mass destruction.2
Or that our mission was
accomplished.

Sovereignty?
Today, 138,0003 American troops
are stationed in Iraq. And more may be requested.4

The only true power for the foreseeable
future will remain those U.S. soldiers, commanded by U.S. officers. This is the
definition of occupation, and it will continue to inflame the
insurgency.

We own
it. And we’re paying for it. So far, more than $150 billion5, and the requests
for more just keep coming.6

The old
Republican Palace—Iraq’s White House—is becoming part of the new U.S.
embassy7, the largest in the
world.8
This despite an Iraqi government
demand9 that we return the
palace to them. (Incidentally, $184 million in embassy construction costs were
diverted from programs for safe Iraqi drinking water.10)

Handover?
Hardly. Every U.S. soldier, Coalition employee and private contractor will be
immune from Iraqi law.11

And we’re leaving behind more than 100
U.S. edicts12—covering
everything from crime to foreign affairs—designed to perpetuate U.S. power
for years to come.13

Iraqis
looking for leadership free from U.S. control will also be sorely disappointed.
Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has been on the CIA payroll for years.14

Maybe that’s why, in a recent
independent poll15,
Iraqis rated him
16th among 17 of that country’s potential leaders. Last in the poll: the new
President Ghazi Ajil al-Yawar.

Perhaps someday, Iraqis truly will enjoy sovereign control of their
country. We fervently hope so. In the mean time, yesterday’s hurried handoff is
looking more like a fumble.


1Woodward, Bob.
Plan of Attack.
Simon & Schuster.
April 19, 2004.

Thomas,
Evan. ‘I Haven’t Suffered
Doubt’. Newsweek.
April 26 issue.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4767542/


2
Nichols, Bill.
U.N.: Iraq had no WMD after 1994.
USA Today.
March 2, 2004.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2004-03-02-un-wmd_x.htm


3
Yaukey, John.
U.S. to cede authority but retain troops
with power transfer. Gannett News
Service. USA Today.
June 24, 2004.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2004-06-24-iraq-trasfer-qanda_x.htm



4
U.S. official: Fallujah strike
almost got al-Zarqawi: More
violence could mean more troops.
CNN. Friday, June 25,
2004. Posted: 2:36 PM EDT

http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/06/25/iraq.main/
:

“As
many as 15,000 troops could be deployed to Iraq if the insurgency continues to
intensify, CNN has learned. About 140,000 U.S. troops are in
Iraq.”



5
Paying the Price: The Mounting
Costs of the Iraq War. A Study by
the Institute for Policy Studies and Foreign Policy In Focus.
By Phyllis Bennis and the IPS Iraq Task
Force. June 24, 2004.

http://www.ips-dc.org/iraq/costsofwar/index.htm


6
Iraq, Afghan wars will cost up
to $60 billion next year, congressional analysts says.
AP News / USA Today.
June 27, 2004.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2004-06-27-war-costs_x.htm
:

“The
projection by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is more than double
the $25 billion President Bush has so far requested for the wars for
2005…. White
House officials said early this year that they expected to spend up to $50
billion for the conflicts next year. Administration officials have since said
they expect to seek more than that, with the next request coming after the
November elections. They have specified no numbers.”


7
Drummond, James.
Baghdad’s green oasis of peace.
Financial Times.
June 25 2004.

http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1087373279123


8
Yaukey, John.
U.S. to cede authority but retain troops
with power transfer. Gannett News
Service. USA Today.
June 24, 2004.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2004-06-24-iraq-trasfer-qanda_x.htm



9
Drummond, James.
Baghdad’s green oasis of peace.
Financial Times.
June 25 2004.

http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1087373279123


10
Weisman, Jonathon and Ariana
Eunjung Cha. Washington Post.
Rebuilding Aid Unspent, Tapped to Pay
Expenses. April 30, 2004.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A54692-2004Apr29.html
:
“So
far, occupation officials have reassigned $184 million appropriated for
drinking-water projects to fund the operations of the U.S. Embassy after the
provisional authority is dissolved June 30.”


11
El-Tablawy, Tarek.
U.S. Transfers Sovereignty to Iraqi
Govt. AP News.
June 28, 2004.

http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?BRD=1078&dept_id=151021&newsid=12122482&PAG=461&rfi=9
:

“On
Saturday, Bremer signed an edict that gave U.S. and other Western civilian
contractors immunity from Iraqi law while performing their jobs in Iraq. The
idea outrages many Iraqis who said the law allows foreigners to act with
impunity even after the occupation.”
Wright,
Robin. U.S. Immunity in Iraq Will
Go Beyond June 30. Washington
Post. June 24, 2004.
Page A01.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A757-2004Jun23


12
El-Tablawy, Tarek.
U.S. Transfers Sovereignty to Iraqi
Govt. AP News.
June 28, 2004.

http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?BRD=1078&dept_id=151021&newsid=12122482&PAG=461&rfi=9
:

“As
Iraq’s highest authority, Bremer had issued more than 100 orders and regulations…”


13
Chandrasekaran, Rajiv and
Pincus, Walter. U.S. Edicts Curb
Power Of Iraq’s Leadership.
Washington Post. June 27,
2004. Page A01.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A8665-2004Jun26.html
:

“U.S.
administrator L. Paul Bremer has issued a raft of edicts revising Iraq’s legal
code and has appointed at least two dozen Iraqis to government jobs with
multi-year terms in an attempt to promote his concepts of governance long after
the planned handover of political authority on Wednesday.”


14
The Washington Post, Feb. 1,
2004. A Big Man To Watch In
Baghdad. By David Ignatius.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A23-2004Jan30.html



15
From a poll conducted in May
by the Iraq Center for Research and Strategic Studies (ICRSS) reported in:
Ghosh, Aparisim.
“Who’s Iyad Allawi, and Why Should He
Run Iraq?” Time Magazine.
Baghdad.

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,644477,00.html

Author: MoveOn.org & Win Without War

News Service: Win Without War

URL: http://www.winwithoutwarus.org/html/new_owniraq_source.html