The current anniversary of Operation Iraqi Freedom - namely, the so-called American invasion of Iraq 20 in March 2003 - is not a round date. The overthrow and execution of Saddam Hussein, destroyed and ransacked Baghdad, 4801 coffin, covered with a star-and-striped flag and officially brought to the US - and there were also “secret” coffins that are not counted in official statistics - it seems historylittle associated with today's day.
But events in Ukraine once again make this very “history” relevant, since “Iraqi freedom”, if we discard its military component, is not much different from the game that Washington plays in Kiev.
Similar goals, the main of which is “building a real democracy”. Similar methods - long preparation and active use of the "fifth column". But in the end, all that we, in fact, saw in Iraq for all the years of the American occupation: corruption, chaos, a ruined economy and the "colonial administration". The main beneficiaries of Iraqi Freedom are transnational corporations and American politicians. The people of Iraq, having paid for "building democracy" with hundreds of thousands of dead, maimed and fled the country, received nothing. But he learned the main lesson: Washington’s intervention has nothing to do with “helping the Iraqi people”.
“Ten years ago, a national tragedy occurred in Iraq,” states the former ambassador of this country in Russia, Abbas Kunfud. - Death walks in Baghdad from the first day the American authorities came to Iraq. The invasion of Americans discredited the values of which they spoke. Now in Iraq the words "liberal", "democrat" are simply abusive. You want to say that a person is bad, say that "democrat" ".
At what price will the Ukrainian people pay for getting rid of the illusions about the “caring West, selflessly coming to the aid of the Ukrainian democracy”?
It has long been no illusions about the fact that his article can convince someone. The maximum you are counting on is to make you think, giving facts and drawing parallels.
Ukraine was involved in “Iraqi Freedom” like no other of the countries of the former Soviet Union.
A few hours before the invasion of the international coalition, 19 in March 2003, representatives of the Verkhovna Rada supported the meeting with President Leonid Kuchma, and subsequently voted for his decision to send a chemical and bacteriological protection battalion to Iraq’s Kuwait battalion. In the summer of the same year, the composition of the Ukrainian contingent in Iraq itself was increased to a brigade of one and a half thousand people. But the Ukrainian elite did not make any conclusions about the true goals of the American invasion of Iraq, about the ways in which the US political class achieves its goals, about what the American construction of democracy turns into. Part of her most worried about how to win the approval of Washington. What was achieved, at the beginning of 2005, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said at a meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Boris Tarasyuk: “Ukraine’s decision to withdraw troops from Iraq will not affect relations between Kiev and Washington ... We are grateful to Ukraine for its participation in the Iraqi operation. While far from all countries have expressed such a desire, Ukraine has joined those states that provide stability in Iraq. ”
Well, and another part, as is always the case in full accordance with the saying about war as a “native mother,” no less successfully solved the problem of raising the level of one’s own well-being. Not only that Washington seriously financially "invested" in the Ukrainian contingent, and then paid all the expenses - about 3 million dollars - on its withdrawal from Iraq. So, even after the return of the Ukrainian “peacekeepers”, an inspection conducted by the military prosecutor’s office revealed a shortage of weapons, ammunition, equipment and property on the way out of Iraq for more than 9 million hryvnia - about 1,8 million dollars at the then exchange rate.
In short, everyone tied to the Ukrainian participation in “Iraqi Freedom” was busy, there was no time left for conclusions about the “dark side” of American intervention. And in vain.
As these parties, after careful consideration from the angle of the coup in Ukraine, begin to look different, becoming not just facts of modern history, but also quite eloquent refutation of the myths about American foreign policy operations in Baghdad and Kiev.
Like eleven years ago, so today they are trying to convince us that the US intervention in Iraq and Ukraine was a sort of US response act, improvised, an act caused by external circumstances.
In Kiev, by repressions against the “euromaidan”, in Baghdad, by the “failure” of the mission of the UN inspectors in March 2003.
But even during the administration of Bill Clinton, five years before the invasion of Iraq, the Republicans and the Bush family, through funds under their control, began funding the Iraqi opposition and began to form an "Iraqi government in exile."
In the summer of 2002, the Americans conducted a large-scale “Millennium Challenge” exercise, the main action of which took place on a terrain similar to the Iraqi Nevada desert, spending 235 millions of dollars to conduct maneuvers. At the end of the same year, the “Internal View” staff exercises in the Persian Gulf followed, during which troop control systems were tested while “repelling aggression with the pursuit of the enemy on its territory”.
Do not even forget about such trifles as "trophy teams." In the spring of the same, 2002, Thomas Warrick, Advisor to the Secretary of State, Colin Powell, prepared a special report for his boss. It was about the fact that the historical values stored in Iraqi museums may be lost during the “riots and uprisings”, and therefore the United States should take care of “taking them under protection and moving to a safe place” in advance. About nine thousand artifacts from Baghdad museums that disappeared after the capture of the Iraqi capital by American troops are still, by the way, listed as missing. Apparently, a comfortable and safe place has been found for them that they will never return to Iraq again.
Preparations for “Iraqi Freedom” were also conducted in the UK, whose prime minister, Tony Blair, was one of the main lobbyists of American aggression among his European colleagues and business circles.
The now declassified documents of Downing Street confirm: plans for the exploitation of Iraqi oil reserves were discussed by ministers of the British Cabinet and the largest oil companies in the world a year before London took the lead in invading Iraq.
Five months before the invasion, in March 2003, Baroness Elizabeth Simons, then Minister of Commerce, told British Petroleum that British energy companies should receive some of Iraq’s vast oil and gas reserves as a reward for Tony Blair’s readiness to support American plans on regime change in the country by the military. And on November 6, 2002, the Foreign Office openly invited representatives of the oil business to "discuss opportunities in Iraq after a regime change." The minutes of the joint meeting said: “Iraq has great oil prospects. BP really wants to get there, and the company is concerned that political deals may deprive it of this opportunity. ”
There was no suddenness or impulsiveness, therefore. Preparations for the intervention began long before its official announcement. As, actually, in Kiev, it suffices to recall the financial investments of the USA in the "young Ukrainian democracy" and the efforts that Washington and its NATO partners spent on "forming a civil society" in Ukraine.
Fussing around this “civil society”, which in Baghdad, in Kiev, pursued and is pursuing goals that have nothing in common with “freedom and rights”. Both in Iraq and Ukraine, a two-tier structure of the “fifth column” was being formed. The first level is the infantry, "civic activists" whose main task, as in Alexander Galich's compassionate song, is "to go out to the square at the appointed hour." Enchanting political adventurer from Iraqi dissidents, Ahmed Chalabi, whose activities were paid for from the Republican party funds under Bill Clinton, convinced the US Congress that “Iraqi civil society is now ready to meet Americans as liberators. It is only necessary to allocate dollars for the development of the "human rights movement." “Give Iraqi National Congress protection against tanks Saddam Hussein, give us the means to feed, shelter and heal the liberated population - and we will give you a free Iraq, without weapons mass destruction, with a free market economy, and do it completely disinterestedly! "- Ahmed Chalabi appealed. And was heard.
Congress allocated through the "American Development Agency" two million dollars to promote democratic ideals. And 97 millions - for armament and special training of future “freedom fighters”, of which Ahmed Chalabi and the structures under his control got 12 millions.
Well, the second level of the “fifth column” was the Iraqi security forces, generals of the armed forces, guards and special services, which, in fact, Saddam Hussein surrendered at the right moment to the West.
It was on them, on the “second level of the fifth column,” that the lion's share of the financial flows of “supporting Iraqi resistance to totalitarianism” was going. They also covered and “coordinated” his “resistance”. Just as later, their Ukrainian colleagues from the Security Service began to do this, in the depths of which there was a committee to coordinate actions with Western non-governmental organizations.
"Support for young Ukrainian democracy," "promoting liberal and market values," "helping to resist totalitarian Russia" ... The motives by which Washington justifies its intervention in Ukraine is almost an exact speculation that the Western media talked about the reasons for intervention in Iraq. The George W. Bush administration assured the rest of the world that a regime change in Baghdad should be conducive to the coming to power of a strong, stable, pro-American, democratic government. That the captured country will soon turn into an ideal model of democracy for the rest of the Arab states, which will strive to conform to it.
True, this was said a little later, when it became clear that the initially stated reasons for the invasion, the "arsenals of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction" and "the involvement of the Iraqi regime in the 9 / 11 terrorist attacks" were never proven.
However, both what was said at the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and what the “democratizers” began to talk about their goals a little later, had nothing to do with reality. The wealth of Iraq, its resources, the possibility of making money on “building democracy”, new contracts for transnational corporations and firms associated with politicians from the Republican administration - this was the driving force of “Iraqi Freedom”.
The “colonial blitzkrieg” is a new phenomenon in world politics. I will decipher: for several years, the country has been squeezed out “to dryness”, magnificent financial flows are being deposited by private contractors in the same breathtaking golden rain.
This is what the "export of democracy" for Iraq turned into. It is well known that "Iraqi Freedom" cost the United States a trillion dollars, 4801 soldier killed and over 32 thousands of people wounded. But for private corporations like Halliburton, Betchel, Blackwater and another legion like "building democracy" in Iraq turned into super profits. Plus, a pleasant bonus from looting, when, for example, gangs of “black archaeologists” under the protection of the American army conducted barbaric excavations of archaeological monuments when antiques and jewelry were seized. In a word, everything is in the spirit of the good colonial traditions of the XIX century, but at the modern pace.
And then in the West and in Baghdad there were those who passionately supported the “export of democracy”. Harvard professor from our “former”, Michael Ignatieff, wrote in the days of “Iraqi Freedom”: “I support this war in the name of human rights. The question is to clearly understand the interests of 26 millions of citizens of this country. "
Having come up with some ideal “spherical horse in a vacuum,” the liberal lives with him, completely denying the realities of politics and calling “propaganda” any criticism regarding the Western “forces of good and light.” Even if they are based on blatant facts. About, for example, that the victims of "Iraqi Freedom" among the civilian population were, according to various estimates, from one hundred to three hundred thousand people. The fact that, following the results of 2008, on the eve of the end of the American occupation, Iraq with the 1,6 index officially became the second most corrupt state in the world. The fact that professors from Iraqi universities who had fled the country in 6700 from 2003 returned only around 300 today. What a professorship! The country has not returned four million refugees who left her during the "building of democracy" by the military contingent of the West.
The country has so far not really restored the infrastructure, health care and education systems. The colonial “divide and rule” principle used by the Americans, encouraging them to separatists and tribal leaders led the country to a sluggish civil war. Since January 2013, 7 has killed thousands of civilians as a result of the attacks.
The most important and undigested lesson of “Iraqi Freedom” is that most Iraqis now live worse than eleven years ago.
This is not the price of democracy, no matter how hard they try to convince us otherwise. This is the price of American intervention, the goals of which never coincide with the interests of a country becoming a victim of the export of Western “liberal rights and freedoms”.
This time I'm not talking about Iraq. Or - not only about Iraq.