Liberators or Invaders?

It is important to show that the average Iraqi – not just the extremist – and not just the Saddam Hussein supporter wanted us out of Iraq. Here is the data.

Apologists for the invasion will argue that American troops were welcomed as liberators against a dictator, but polling data in 2008 indicates otherwise. In addition, quotes from more recent figures will show the diversity of forces that hold this position.
Average Iraqi

In March of this year ORB conducted a poll for the British Channel 4, asking Iraqis what they would like to see happen with the Multinational Forces. Seventy percent said they want the Multi National Forces to leave, with 78 percent of this group wanting them to leave within six months or less and 84 percent within a year. Thus about six in ten of the whole sample said they want the troops out within a year or less.

A disturbingly high 61 percent of Iraqis said that they approved of attacks on US troops.

From an Iraqi Ba’athist Perspective

It seems that the authorities in the US are motivated by aggression that has been evident for more than a decade against the region. The first factor is the role of those influential people in the decision taken by the President of the US based on sympathy with the Zionist entity that was created at the expense of Palestine and its people and their humanity. – Saddam Hussein

The consecutive American administrations were led down a path of hostility against the people of this region, including our own nation and we are part of it. Those people and others have been telling the various US administrations, especially the current one, that if you want to control the world you need to control the oil. – Saddam Hussein

It seems to me that this hostility is a trademark of the current US administration and is based on its wish to control the world and spread its hegemony. People have the right to say that if this aggression by the American administration continues, it would lead to widespread enmity and resistance. – Saddam Hussein

From a Syrian Ba’athist Perspective:

Article 1

Isis “didn’t start in Syria, it started in Iraq, and it started before that in Afghanistan” – Bashar Assad

Article 2

He (Assad) accused the French government and others (meaning Americans) of “supporting those jihadists that they called moderate opposition.”

The people who are supported now, who have Western armaments, they became ISIS, they were supported by your state [France], and by other Western states. – Bashar Assad

From the perspective of the Iraqi Regime

We do not need foreign ground combat forces on Iraqi land. – Haider al-Abbadi

Shiite Miltas on Americans:

Shi’ite militias pledge to fight U.S. forces if deployed

Weapons of mass destruction were not found, the invasion was condemned as a result and Saddam was found to be, true to his Ba’athist ideology, unaffiliated with Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda came in as a result of the invasion, not as a condition for it and later formed ISIS/ISIL. Unlike Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath party, ISIS/ISIL is very extreme and some people who oppose the first invasion in retrospect support a second one. The reason to oppose a unilateral invasion by the US in large part is related to trust issues that arose from the previous one. The boy may not be crying wolf, but the people in Iraq and Syria have every reason to think he is. To get around these trust issues, alternate tactics will be explained, which contrast the approaches of both Bush and Obama and show how they were both wrong and compounded each other.

Firstly, to put the amount of meddling by the US in perspective, Al Qaeda, which never was in Iraq under Saddam Hussein but got in after the US invaded, was able to transform into ISIS as a result of the fracturing and splintering Iraq’s institutions and later American attempts to create and fund an opposition to Assad’s Syria. Already we have two attempts, one ‘successful,’ by the US to change neighboring regimes and Al Qaeda first and then ISIS have gained a foothold where they were not earlier. This is not counting Libya. In the case of Syria, they were advertised as ‘moderate rebels,’ which implies that they got into Iraq by pure chaos but the United States had an intentional role of planting them in Syria. Yet suddenly America is coming to save the day? Suddenly America is here to fix things, when it just broke things? The next leader may have sincere intentions, however people subjected to earlier US meddling will not be trusting.

Years and years of people ignoring the institutions of people in the middle east has caused substantial distrust towards Americans. Americans feel they have the right, ability and possibly malicious motive to randomly create governments out of thin air. The truly indigenous factions, if they call for intervention, call for Russia under Putin to intervene instead of the US. This is because the United States has a history of nation wrecking and ignoring the institutions in the region.

Related to the fact that America directly created the situation it is now trusted to ‘clean up’ are the lessons that should be learned but may be ignored. The first lesson is that if America is to fix this in the future, it has to stop the idea that it can magically create fake institutions. That was the Barack Obama strategy. The second lesson criticizes another feature – unilateralism – which was the Bush strategy. These lessons are particularly relevant in the middle east. The thin air organizations under Obama in a best case scenario would have been a waste, but actually turned out to be a worst case scenario. This was aided by Bush’s previous unilateralism which brought Al Qaeda to Iraq. This was the worst case scenario in that the ‘moderate rebels’ did not just deceive, they directly lead to Al Qaeda / ISIS gaining more power under Obama than they had already gained under Bush when ‘Al Qaeda in Iraq’ had been created. Now it became ISIS/ISIL. This may have been something imperialists wanted, because it opens an excuse for the US to come back. Sensible people understand that ISIS is extreme, but only pawns immediately assume that America should unilaterally fix it.

If one is looking to involve America in an effort to combat ISIS without following the previously outlined failed strategeis of Bush and Obama, then the solution is to first form an ‘internal coalition’ with real institutions only (no ‘moderate rebels’) and back the internal coalition with an external coalition. If the arrangement is not run from the inside out (with support of institutions) and is run from the outside in, it will fail. An obstacle to such an internal coalition is that Iraq and Syria are largely in states of civil war now because of American meddling. If not enough Iraqis can form the coalition across both shiite and sunni areas then Iraq may have to redraw its borders, however this may not be necessary as Saddam Hussein had the coalition he needed (both Shiites and Sunnis were in his deck of leaders). This is not an issue in Syria, as Assad already has the coalition he needs and it includes both Sunnis and Shiites. Only after the internal coalition is made should it be backed by an external coalition, which must be diverse. A wider coalition is needed and America cannot have a residual, long term objective. Subverting these checks and balances may undermine the legitimacy of the coalition in the eyes of ISIS’s opposition in Iraq and Syria. Iranian influence could become an issue as well, so the coalition would need to be designed in a way that prevents Iran from expanding objectives beyond the reversal of ISIS. In other words if Iran seeks to ‘redefine’ all opponents of Iran as being “ISIS,” such as people with ideologies similar to Izzat Ibrahim Al-douri and Saddam Hussein, the coalition should prevent Iran from broadening the objective.

The main problem with making a coalition is credibility. ISIS could not have come into existence without America, yet ISIS is indeed an anti-American organization. ISIS is not, however, the only opponent of US influence in Iraq and Syria. Because of this, ISIS is gaining the support of people who otherwise oppose them, whose main objective is the removal of foreign powers instead of ISIS’s version of Sharia law.

Attempts to include voodoo institutions like the ‘moderate ISIS rebels’ must be stopped. At best these organizations deceive and at worst end up spreading ISIS and Al Qaeda as they have, which either infiltrate or get planted. A coalition of indigenous institutions must be used because to not use it will cause large issues of mistrust in the geographic areas targeted, given America’s role in breaking what it is supposedly now ‘fixing.’ The coalition should include the Assad regime, Russia and whatever Iraqi Ba’ath supporters are willing to reconcile with Assad (who leads a DIFFERENT Ba’ath party) instead of ISIS.

Continued advancement of imperialist policies, both by creating ISIS and attempting to destroy it unilaterally, will only succeed in making the United States out to be a perpetual invader and turn all Iraqis (and Syrians) against the US. This is because there is no good reason for the average Iraqi and Syrian to assume that the US is genuinely there to destroy only ISIS. From their vantage point America could be there just to get back in, which will lead to collaboration between ISIS and their opponents. Why should they trust that we’re only after ‘terrorists’ after the actions of Bush? A unilateral invasion by America will turn the opponents of ISIS in Iraq and Syria against a common enemy (which may take priority over fighting each other) because at a minimum the US is blamed for the instability and possibly accused of fomenting it purposefully to create a back door for imperialism. Iraqi Sunnis should rebuild the institutions that Bush destroyed, they should include Shiites in this coalition and this will not be possible if America ‘leads from the front.’ At the same time, America must stop insisting that ‘Assad must go.’ A return to Obama’s strategy will shuffle terrorists around the region portrayed as ‘rebels’ against a ‘dictator.’

Metal Gear @ February 12, 2016

2 Comments to “Liberators or Invaders?”

  1. Metal Gear says:

    I primarily blame the US for the Iraq disaster, but I secondarily blame the fact that Saddam was a little too excessive in his suppression of opposition. Because of this, people will say they invaded to protect people’s human rights, which is bullshit, but which is an argument they wouldn’t have if Saddam was more careful.

  2. Metal Gear says:

    Trump is very right on Russia, Assad and Syria and so there is some evidence that he reasons things through. He’s right that Saddam Hussein and Moamar Gaddafi should have been left in power. However, the Jury is still out on his position on what to do in Iraq now. Is he throwing the first Iraq war under the bus to start a second? “Bush broke it, I can fix it.” These are reasonable questions, not accusations, because as I said, the jury is out.

    If Trump supports a ground invasion against ISIS, it would be a disastrous policy. I think Putin can have influence here. Whether he hasn’t thought this through or he’s looking for an excuse to get back in, it’s hard to say, but the bottom line is that it won’t take long for the US to become the most hated player in the region and then people will gang up against the US instead of ISIS. This is because people know that the US meddling caused a lot of this to begin with. This is why Russia must lead and the US, at most, should assist Russia.

    People who otherwise would fight each other will unite just to oppose America. It happened before and it will happen again. And not without reason, since the US is rightly blamed for a lot. Ask yourself whether Al Qaeda was in Iraq under Saddam Hussein (the answer is no). Ask yourself if Iranian Shiite Militias have pledged to kill American troops or not (the answer is yes) Ask yourself what the average Iraqi thought (the average Iraqi wanted us out).

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