“We’ll be greeted as…really unwelcome tourists!”


June 30, 2009 by billie789

You know, come, look around, camp for a few years, spend a lot of cash, shoot some of the local fauna and then, please leave.

Scene in Baghdad this morning

But what about all the good work we’ve accomplished in 6 short years and still need to finish? The rhetorical band-aids we put on gaping flesh wounds, the schools we blew up and rebuilt, the bridges and highways and power plants that were destroyed and never rebuilt even though American contractors received millions and millions to do the work. Baghdad has fewer hours of electric power each day now than it did before we “liberated” the Iraqis.

“Iraq, where 2.5 million people have fled the country as refugees, lost a large part of its population in the fighting, its intellectual richness with the death of over 400 Iraqi academics and its social diversity with the collapse of sanitation infrastructure.   

The infrastructure of Iraq has been devastated since the occupation started six years ago. Although Iraq is rich in oil resources, oil prices increased by 2000 percent in a year and people have to wait in miles-long lines for hours to get a gallon of fuel. In fact, the Iraqi economy had started to decline after the economic embargo imposed between 1991 and 2003. And the 2003 invasion stroke the deadly blow to the economy. 

Fuel shortages in Iraq, a country with rich oil resources, indicate that economic plans are not working, not to mention the political instability. The Iraqi economy is being structured to finance the ongoing war, to pay reparations of the war and to meet expenses of occupying forces. Iraq was producing two million barrel per day (bpd) prior to the war, while it is producing 500,000 bpd now.   

Official figures put the number of the unemployed at 30 percent, while independent sources say unemployment is about 50 percent. Lack of surges in prices of basic foodstuff and foreign food aid have so far prevented hunger outbreaks. Production has almost halted and there is no investment. Even the capital Baghdad receives power for only six hours a day.     

Today in Baghdad…at least they look snappy in the outfits we bought for them.

Children are the prime victims of the occupation. Six years on, the Iraqi children are not celebrating the end of Saddam’s despotic regime. One and half million Iraqi children were made refugees, 11 percent became workers and 33 percent dropped out of the education system over the last five years. The number of children made orphan by the occupation has reached five million and the number of women made widow to one million. There has been a substantial increase in the number of woman deaths and suicides, while chaos and authority vacuum have caused a huge increase in honor killings. In short, social breakup has caused huge destruction and instability in Iraq that cannot be reconstructed in five decades.”  *

So, now comes the day when our troops pulls out of Iraq’s cities and fade to the sidelines while Iraqi’s step up. What about ” all the good work our troops did?”  No “thank you” parades, no awards ceremonies, no keys to the city, no streets named after American politicians or military leaders.

If I didn’t know better, I’d say these people are ungrateful!  After all, we were supposed to be greeted as liberators and now look at them!

Glad to see us go, for some reason.


*source=İHH İnsan Hak ve Hürriyetleri İnsani Yardım Vakfı (Turkish Humanitarian organization).

11 thoughts on ““We’ll be greeted as…really unwelcome tourists!”

  1. Randy Spiker says:

    Yeah, glad to see us go. But wait, there’s more!!! Flash…… new conflicts in Afghanistan will require more troops in order to be successful.

    Same logic, different theater.

    On a serious note, it’s interesting you posted this today. While I was out in the field (working) I started thinking to myself of what this planet would look like if we had done nothing in Iraq, right down to leaving Saddam alone to do whatever he wished. Any thoughts? Give it some serious reflection. Go back and remember how many UN resolutions he broke, many dealing with nuclear facility inspections. Then there was the thousands of Iraqis slaughtered under his command. Think back to his defiance and the way he would sabre rattle. Most neighboring countries were frightened to death that this guy was gonna pull off another Kuwait at any time for the simplest provocation. I don’t claim to have an answer to my question, I’m just wondering what might have been.

    One thing not mentioned in your piece is how do the people of Iraq feel about Saddam now. Is there a large contingient of folks that wish he was still in power with all the harm we’ve done to Iraq?

    Just curious.

  2. Stu says:

    How did we manage to stage those spontaneous celebrations in the streets as we pulled Saddam’s statue to the ground? Some very clever PR work! I bet Iraq’s olympic athletes miss those “good old days.”

  3. bill says:

    So much of our American perceptions of things are colored by partisan translations that foreign press and aid organizations seem to have a more clear grasp of reality there.

    We’re so bogged down in partisan bickering over what went wrong and what went right that it’s difficult to know if Iraqis are glad we’re leaving because we’re a target and we draw fire or if they’re happy to take over a bit more of their own destiny…liberated at last.

    And, yes, our pull-out is a bit of a forces-redirect to Afghanistan, where the Taliban and Al Qaeda used the opportunity of our Iraq obcession/distraction to grow back into power and threaten the entire region’s stability. More work for us.

    Our fight was always in Afghanistan. Other than deposing a dictator we didn’t trust or like, I’m coming away hard-pressed for any measurable, productive accomplishments in Iraq. If we’re into nation-building and taking out dictators, there’s a list of people and countries who need to be “liberated.”

  4. Randy Spiker says:

    My questions were not of a partisan nature Bill but more like “devil’s advocate”. Had nothing to do with “translations” or any other mumbo-jumbo. I was asking a serious question as to what the world would look like today had we left Iraq alone? This question does require much reflection into what was going on that finally led up to the invasion. I have no dog in this fight so lighten up.

    That’s all!

    Peace :-)

    And don’t you think that had we directed our energy towards Afghanistan, which is what much of the conventional wisdom says was the path we should have taken, that the Al Queda’s and Talibaners would have just set up shop somewhere else? I personally see no “perfect” solution to this regardless of which avenue we went down or where we might go in the future. Do you?

  5. bill says:

    WTF are you talking about? I didn’t address your questions. I was talking about the partisan bickering in our country, Randy, not this blog. I was making general statements about the flow of facts and acknowledging that we will have to send more troops to Afghanistan, where they should have remained, and been fortified, all along.

    As far as what the world might have looked like with Saddam still in place, who the fuck knows? He was a dangerous dictator who held everyone in contempt. But he also kept warring tribal factions at bay (the ones who went nuts and car-bombed everyone in Iraq) kept Iran in check and, much to his credit in my book, scared the living shit out of the candy-ass Saudis, who, to this day, are known Al Qaeda supporters. Nearly all of the 9-11 killers were Saudis. Osama Bin Laden is a Saudi. Saudis, in their hearts, believe Al Qaeda to be a purified group of ultra-conservative Muslim warriors.

    In the end, he was nowhere ready to fight a real army and should have taken his money, his idiot, murderous sons and skipped town.

    • Randy Spiker says:

      Sorry, I guess I misinterpreted your post but ease up there fella. You sound as if you’re about to blow a gasket.

      As far as the Saudis and the rest of the middle east, let’s just Nuke it. Bunch of worthless Goat herders! ;-) (j/k)

  6. bill says:

    No problemo. Your first paragraph misunderstood the purpose of my comment, so, I said something. Hard to put any emotion in a post where I can’t underline, bold or italicize for effect.

    Not really ready to blow anything ;-)

  7. esarsea says:

    After generating a comment, if you are logged in, you will see a small, lowercase “e” to the right of the date and time of your comment. Click on that e and you can edit your comment, and have many of the same tools available to you as when generating a post. You can bold, use italics, strike out etc…

  8. bill says:

    I do know everything, just not that.

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June 2009

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