After supporing Saddam's Baathist, Sunni-dominated secular regime in Iraq for over two decades - including through Saddam's brutal suppression of Shiite rebellions, and his genocidal ANFAL campaign that used poison gas on Kurdish towns and refugees (insert photo "Don Rumsfeld, personal emmissary from President Reagan, shakes Saddam's hands" here), the United States under George W. Bush invaded Iraq and REVERSED that policy, eliminating even street-level Baathists from the Iraqi army and police, and inserting SHIITE men and officials in to those positions. The Shiites well remembered not only Saddam's repression, but American tolerance of those mass executions; and (spurred to some extent by Sunni fundamentalists, eg Al Qaida in Iraq and other Sunni attacks), many Shiites formed death squads to ethnically cleanse Baghdad or other towns and cities, just as Arab Sunnis (and Shiite conscripts) had ethnically cleansed Kurds from towns and villages in Northern Iraq during the genocidal "Anfal" camapaign. (Halabja the most well known example of Saddam's poison-gas attacks on Kurdish towns.)
This basic, simple debacle - a massive purge of even street level Sunni officials from government by the American occupation - was greatly encouraged by the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz led early occuption, which featured:
#1. GROSS CORRUPTION in handing out reconstruction contracts, most of which went to politically connected American companies - the 20th Century equivalent of the Oklahoma land rush, where White settlers were given permission by the federal government to homestead territories recently cleansed of native American Indians. Perhaps a more fitting comparison would be to "bleeding Kansas," where the governments of both Slave and Free states encouraged their own citizens to settle in Kansas and Nebraska, leaving the question of legalized slavery to the voters of those states. The violence created by this contest for supremacy on both sides was at times genocidal (massacres and 'ethnic cleansing'), as Southern states were determined to expand slavery, and northern states were determined to prevent that expansion. In Iraq, the Bush administration saw an opportunity to reward supporters with billions of dollars of federal (tax dollar) contracts, in a barely hidden effort to turn Iraq into an American colony.
#2. The Gross INCOMPETENCE of the occupation. Even today, it is scarcely believable that DON RUMSFELD allowed Iraqi insurgents and common looters to cart off tons and tons and tons of explosives, artillery shells, and other munitions from Saddam's ammunition bunker complexes; not only under the gaze of US spy satellites, but even as IAEA weapons inspectors, in both Iraq and in Washington, DC, were BEGGING the US military to SECURE THOSE BUNKERS! Rumsfeld, Wolfotitz, Perle, Feith, and other Penatgon leaders were so enamored of their "crony corruption for administraton supporters" and "Iraq as clean slate to demonstrate Privatization economics" agenda, that they actually allowed massive looting of not only government offices in cities, but ammunition bunkers in the countryside that could be easily guarded! This was but the tip of the iceberg of gross US leadership incompetence in the early Iraq occupation, which incompetence included spending millions of dollars for US contractors to not do work that local, Iraqi contractors would have done for one-tenth the money; failing to get the water, sanitation, and electrical systems up and running in towns and cities; encouraging looting as reprisals against Baathists and Sunnis; and NINE BILLION DOLLARS of Iraqi assetts (cash from US) distributed throughout Baghdad and other cities - with NO ACCOUNTING, oversight, or even receipts! American soldiers and families are today daily paying the bill for the GROSS INCOMPETENCE and CORRUPTION of that early occupation - with Dick Cheney and George Bush touting Iraq as their "leadership success."
<< When asked about General Petraeus' suggestion last week that "Iraqi soldiers and police are very much in the fight," Nuri replied, "I think that's not true at all. ... I have to be honest with you and with everyone else in the world. When I was traveling around Iraq, in Baghdad or anywhere else, I was afraid of the Iraqi army and the Iraqi police more than I was afraid of a militia or unknown men." >>
Iraqi reporter: Baghdad '100 times worse' than a year ago
David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Published: Monday September 10, 2007
Ayub Nuri, an Iraqi journalist residing in the United States, told CNN on Monday that even when he was last in Baghdad in 2006, "the situation was very, very dangerous," but that things are much worse now.
"When I speak to my friends and family these days on the phone, they tell me that it is 100 times worse than when I was there," Nuri stated. "Even the regular people cannot leave their own neighborhoods. ... If you go to another neighborhood, that's completely unknown to you, and you might not be able to come home alive."
When asked about General Petraeus' suggestion last week that "Iraqi soldiers and police are very much in the fight," Nuri replied, "I think that's not true at all. ... I have to be honest with you and with everyone else in the world. When I was traveling around Iraq, in Baghdad or anywhere else, I was afraid of the Iraqi army and the Iraqi police more than I was afraid of a militia or unknown men."
Nuri explained that after the Coalition Provisional Authority disbanded Saddam's army, "They were desperate to recreate another Iraqi army, and in case of desperation, of course, you accept anyone to join your army, and many of them were criminals, many of them were drug dealers, and many of them had ... affiliation only to their own areas." He said that as a result, many Iraqis these days would prefer to have their neighborhood patrolled by a US unit rather than an Iraqi unit.
"I personally do not have any faith or any hope in the Maliki government," Nuri stated, though he emphasized that the problem wasn't just with Maliki. "The Iraqi government is neither willing nor they are able to do anything," he concluded.
The following video is from CNN's Newsroom, broadcast on September 10.