Expecting the United States to Voluntarily Leave Iraq is Wishful Thinking


In 1990 Iraq, then under the leadership of its President Saddam Hussein was in dispute with its neighbour Kuwait. The Iraqis accused Kuwait of drilling for oil in such a way as to deplete Iraq’s oil reserves. The Iraqis were incensed by what they perceived as theft of their resources and resolved to take action. Saddam Hussein however, first sought the American view as to his intended actions and was informed by the then United States ambassador to Iraq that the United States was neutral as to the dispute. Saddam Hussein saw that as a green light and invaded Kuwait.

The United States response was the antithesis of what Saddam Hussein had been led to believe. A massive military force was rapidly assembled and Iraq was quickly expelled from Kuwait. Then United States President George HW Bush did not then occupy Iraq. Instead, massive sanctions were applied. Those sanctions resulted in at least half a million Iraqi civilian deaths, including women and children.

The then United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, when asked about these civilian casualties of the allied blockade of Iraq, infamously declared that the price was “worth it.”

The United States and its allies invaded Iraq a decade later on the manifestly false pretext that Saddam Hussein had “weapons of mass destruction” that posed a terminal threat to the West and all it stood for. Twenty years later the United States is still there, along with its allies from the initial criminal invasion and occupation.

This brief history is worth recalling when one evaluates the latest developments in Iraq. The current United States President, Donald Trump, has been issuing, as usual, mixed signals about United States intentions in the region. Some reports have suggested that Trump wants to withdraw United States troops from the country. Those reports should be greeted with a large dose of scepticism. There is virtually no historical precedent for the United States voluntarily withdrawing from any country that it has occupied. The classic illustration of a forced withdrawal was from Vietnam in 1975, but that was only after a multi decade war that killed millions of Vietnamese and left biological time bombs for the Vietnamese people that 45 years later is still inflicting misery and disability upon Vietnam and its people.

Scepticism about any American intentions to withdraw from Iraq (and indeed Syria – another illegal occupation under international law) has been reinforced by recent developments. The Iraqi government finally found its courage sufficiently for its parliament to unanimously pass a resolution that all foreign troops should withdraw from the country.

Under international law a sovereign State is entitled to make such a demand. The Australian government that claims its presence is to “train” Iraqi troops (the same pretext being used in Afghanistan) has declined to accept Iraq’s right to remove them. The fact that all Australian military personnel are in Iraq on diplomatic passports, a fact carefully ignored by the Australian media, says more about Iraq’s attitude to their presence than the professed goodwill of training troops. It would be idle to assume that Australia is in any case acting independently. On this, as in nearly all of its foreign policy, they simply do as the Americans wish.

The United States reaction to the Iraqi demand has also been instructive. According to multiple reports in the Iraqi media, ignored by their Western counterparts, the United States response to the Iraqi demand that US forces leave the country, has been very instructive. Firstly, it was simply ignored. Then Trump made a public speech saying how many billions of dollars the United States had invested in Iraq. If United States troops were to leave, then the US wanted monetary compensation for their “investment” in Iraq.

None of the Western media reporting this demand pointed out the relevant history of the United States engagement with Iraq, much less noting that if any compensation was payable it should be by the United States for their brutality and the illegality of their occupation.

The vulnerability of the Iraqis to the blatant blackmail is that they have billions of dollars held in the United States. As the recent experience with Venezuela shows, the United States has no compunction about confiscating the financial assets of countries with whom it is in dispute.

The latest threats to Iraq’s financial resources will hopefully speed the day when more countries see the blatant bullying and illegality of US actions and place their financial assets elsewhere.

Further revelations have now emerged about the US response to Iraq’s assertion of its sovereignty. One was that the United States is demanding that 50% of Iraq oil production is controlled by the United States, which will of course retain the income from that oil. Trump boasts that the United States is self-sufficient in oil, so the oil sales will presumably be to third countries, with no benefit to Iraq.

A second revelation was that the Iraqi government was going to sell its oil to China with that country also making investments in Iraq’s further development. The Western media have not given this development any publicity, and even less attention to Trump’s response as reported by the Iraqis. According to their Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, Trump demanded that the Iraqis deal with the Chinese not proceed.

Furthermore, again according to the Iraqi account, a refusal by the Iraqis to abide by Trump’s wishes would result in the Iraqi Prime Minister being killed. It is not an overstatement to equate the reported US response to the infamous mafia tactic of “making a person an offer they can’t refuse”, i.e. “obey or we will kill you”.

It is little wonder that these reports from the Iraqi government are not being publicised in the Western media. That the so-called ‘leadership of the free world’ would behave like common criminal gangsters is no surprise. It is however, a reality that the Western media have sought to shelter from their readership.

Why any Western nation, including Australia, would wish to be associated with such gangsterism is inexplicable unless, (a) they approved of such actions; or (b) their leadership feared that any dissent on their part would make them the next target, in precisely the same way as Trump has reportedly threatened to murder the Iraqi Prime Minister. Neither option is edifying but it goes a long way to explaining the behaviour of many Western nations, despite their purported adherence to the “rule of law” and other thinly disguised excuses for intolerable behaviour.

At the time of writing a stalemate had essentially been reached. The Iraqi Prime Minister was still alive although United States armed, financed and supported provocateurs were mounting demonstrations against the Iraqi government.

The Iraqis to their credit have refused to buckle to United States demands and have maintained their contractual commitments with the Chinese. An interesting and potentially significant development in this context has been increased involvement by the Chinese in countries in the region.

If the United States was really a country committed to the rules based international order it would be packing its bags and complying with the wishes of the Iraqi sovereign government whose land they occupy and whose resources they are stealing.

As noted above, history would suggest however, that the United States has never voluntarily left any country, particularly one so rich in valuable resources as Iraq. This saga is far from completion.

James O’Neill, an Australian-based Barrister at Law, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

New Eastern Outlook

Dear friends of this aggregator

  • Yes, I intentionally removed Newsbud from the aggregator on Mar 22.
  • Newsbud did not block the aggregator, although their editor blocked me on twitter after a comment I made to her
  • As far as I know, the only site that blocks this aggregator is Global Research. I have no idea why!!
  • Please stop recommending Newsbud and Global Research to be added to the aggregator.

Support this site

News Sources

Source Items
WWI Hidden History 51
Grayzone Project 309
Pass Blue 290
Dilyana Gaytandzhieva 16
John Pilger 421
The Real News 367
Scrutinised Minds 29
Need To Know News 2994
FEE 5080
Marine Le Pen 391
Francois Asselineau 25
Opassande 53
HAX on 5July 220
Henrik Alexandersson 1093
Mohamed Omar 403
Professors Blog 10
Arg Blatte Talar 40
Angry Foreigner 18
Fritte Fritzson 12
Teologiska rummet 32
Filosofiska rummet 128
Vetenskapsradion Historia 177
Snedtänkt (Kalle Lind) 241
Les Crises 3254
Richard Falk 192
Ian Sinclair 119
SpinWatch 61
Counter Currents 10942
Kafila 557
Gail Malone 42
Transnational Foundation 221
Rick Falkvinge 95
The Duran 10484
Vanessa Beeley 180
Nina Kouprianova 9
MintPress 5817
Paul Craig Roberts 2193
News Junkie Post 59
Nomi Prins 27
Kurt Nimmo 191
Strategic Culture 5544
Sir Ken Robinson 25
Stephan Kinsella 107
Liberty Blitzkrieg 871
Sami Bedouin 65
Consortium News 2685
21 Century Wire 3851
Burning Blogger 324
Stephen Gowans 97
David D. Friedman 157
Anarchist Standard 16
The BRICS Post 1529
Tom Dispatch 578
Levant Report 18
The Saker 4773
The Barnes Review 559
John Friend 510
Psyche Truth 160
Jonathan Cook 162
New Eastern Outlook 4532
School Sucks Project 1790
Giza Death Star 2050
Andrew Gavin Marshall 15
Red Ice Radio 643
GMWatch 2471
Robert Faurisson 150
Espionage History Archive 35
Jay's Analysis 1089
Le 4ème singe 90
Jacob Cohen 215
Agora Vox 17675
Cercle Des Volontaires 446
Panamza 2390
Fairewinds 118
Project Censored 1073
Spy Culture 591
Conspiracy Archive 81
Crystal Clark 11
Timothy Kelly 608
PINAC 1482
The Conscious Resistance 932
Independent Science News 84
The Anti Media 6860
Positive News 820
Brandon Martinez 30
Steven Chovanec 61
Lionel 305
The Mind renewed 452
Natural Society 2627
Yanis Varoufakis 1054
Tragedy & Hope 122
Dr. Tim Ball 114
Web of Debt 158
Porkins Policy Review 447
Conspiracy Watch 174
Eva Bartlett 627
Libyan War Truth 354
DeadLine Live 1916
Kevin Ryan 65
Aaron Franz 254
Traces of Reality 166
Revelations Radio News 121
Dr. Bruce Levine 153
Peter B Collins 1690
Faux Capitalism 205
Dissident Voice 11385
Climate Audit 226
Donna Laframboise 480
Judith Curry 1161
Geneva Business Insider 40
Media Monarchy 2568
Syria Report 78
Human Rights Investigation 93
Intifada (Voice of Palestine) 1685
Down With Tyranny 12848
Laura Wells Solutions 46
Video Rebel's Blog 453
Revisionist Review 485
Aletho News 21853
ضد العولمة 27
Penny for your thoughts 3195
Northerntruthseeker 2594
كساريات 37
Color Revolutions and Geopolitics 27
Stop Nato 4810 Blog 3300 Original Content 7363
Corbett Report 2518
Stop Imperialism 491
Land Destroyer 1254
Webster Tarpley Website 1138

Compiled Feeds

Public Lists

Title Visibility
Funny Public