THE IRAQ WAR READER: A History of War Crimes and Genocide. The Unleashing of America’s New Global Militarism
Michel Chossudovsky and Finian Cunningham
ONLINE INTERACTIVE I-BOOK
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GLOBAL RESEARCH ONLINE INTERACTIVE READER No. 5
THE IRAQ WAR READER
A History of War Crimes and Genocide
The Unleashing of America’s New Global Militarism
Michel Chossudovsky and Finian Cunningham (Editors)
I-Book No. 5, May 2012
The adage that “it is the victors who write history” in matters relating particularly to war and conflict is something of a euphemism when applied to recent military campaigns conducted by America and its NATO allies. For what is disputable – no, let us say repugnant – about the official accounts of these events is not merely a difference in emphasis or nuance on the matter, which the adage may infer. It is rather that the victors’ version of history is a wholesale fabrication, an obscene travesty of actual events. It is not a case of victors writing history, more one of victors “violating history”.
Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and what is unfolding covertly in Syria and Iran stand out as egregious examples of how the dominant Western powers are not just writing history with a certain self-reflecting vainglorious bias. They are instead concocting events in such a way as to completely distort the facts of history. It is fair to say that in many ways what is taking place is an inversion of realities and language.
“Peace-keeping” really means “war-making”; “protecting human rights” really means “bombing civilian centers”; “upholding international law” really means “committing crimes against humanity”. Accusations of “tyrants”, “miscreants”, “rogues” and “renegades” are hurled likes bricks in a glasshouse by perpetrators who arrogate the privilege to call themselves “civilized, democratic, law-abiding governments”. What needs to be contested, therefore, is not some kind of half-baked history, pitted here and there with flaws and hubris, but rather what needs to be challenged is out-and-out willful propaganda purporting as history.
In this new Interactive Book No 5, Iraq: A History of War Crimes and Genocide, we show how the policy of successive US governments and their Western allies towards Iraq illustrates this grand criminal deception; we also show how such unaccounted-for gargantuan crimes against humanity have not just decimated the social conditions for millions of Iraqis, but have also poisoned international law and are having far-reaching impacts on the democratic rights of citizens globally. We contend that it is not just imperative to bring Western political and military leaders to account through legal prosecutions for the purpose of restitution for the people of Iraq; it is imperative that we do so for the sake of ending an ongoing global war agenda conducted by these same Western powers, and for the restitution of democratic rights for all citizens in all countries.
The devastation of Iraq and the unfettered aggression by Western capitalist powers towards other countries is very much an integral part of the unfolding devastation of social conditions in North America and Europe under the diktat of a class war by a global elite. Understanding what really happened in Iraq, and why, is a vital part of understanding how and why the mass of people need to fight for democracy in the US, Europe and elsewhere. These far-reaching issues including an examination of the evolving Orwellian Police State apparatus in Western countries will be the object of a separate forthcoming I-Book.
Concealing Genocide As War
Take the most basic of words used in common parlance with reference to modern Iraq – the “Iraq War”. The word “war” normally refers to combat between two comparable adversaries contesting over competing claims. But in the case of Iraq that country was invaded without provocation on the basis of knowingly falsified allegations by an overwhelmingly superior military machine – a multiple war crime. The “shock and awe” aerial bombardment that proceeded against a civilian population is another multiple war crime. The US-led NATO military campaign from 2003 until 2012 in which at least 1,000,000 Iraqi civilians, men, women and children, were killed compared with 4,500 US troops cannot be referred to in any meaningful way as a “war”. To do so is to employ an obscene Orwellian euphemism to describe what really happened – that is, genocide.
However, search the annals of Western mainstream media and no such simple truths can be found. Reams of newspaper copy and video footage refer endlessly to the Iraq War and they reiterate, with gullible respect, the disingenuous premises pronounced by Western governments and military, thus giving the whole nefarious enterprise a veneer of legitimacy and credibility. At the furthest range of criticism in such media, we might read about how the “Iraq War” was “misplaced”, a “waste” or a “tragedy”. But we will not read that it was genocide perpetrated by war criminals in Washington, London or other Western capitals based on conscious lies and willful fabrications. Truth is censored.
In this new Interactive Book we draw on Global Research’s extensive archive to give an accurate account of the origins of the invasion and genocidal occupation. The US-led criminal aggression towards Iraq involves four US presidents: George Herbert Walker Bush Senior, William Jefferson Clinton, George W Bush Junior and Barack Hussein Obama over more than two decades. We examine how a once-staunch Western client state became an object for obliteration.
The latter phase of American aggression conducted during more than nine years of US-led NATO occupation involved the most heinous crimes against humanity in a no-holds-barred effort to crush an ancient civilization. This Interactive Book looks at the aftermath of such barbarity and lawlessness, not just for Iraqis and ordinary Americans, but for the Middle East region and beyond.
Our bias is to expose official Western claims and accounts of what happened in Iraq, how and why, with uncompromising criticism. Our bias is to record the experiences and suffering of people in the real world, not what governments and military officials purport to have taken place. We are confident that our analysis presents the real story of Iraq, not only what happened and why, but its far-reaching wider significance for international relations. Today’s increasingly militarist foreign policy of the US, its NATO allies and proxy states across the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa can be traced to the awful precedent that is Iraq.
Australian author and media commentator John Pilger once noted that journalists could be thought of as being tasked with writing the “first draft of history”. Their reports and analyses of events will one day provide research material for historians. This has rather disturbing implications for future retrospective historical accounts of Iraq. That is because the prominent newspapers of North America and Europe and other mainstream media have, by and large, amply recorded verbatim the official narratives on Iraq that emanate from their governments. In other words, when future historians of modern Iraq draw on the archives in the likes of The New York Times, The Financial Times and Le Monde, they will be drawing on a first draft of history that is falsified, propagandized, and indeed calumnious.
Fortunately, the burgeoning of independent media over the past decade has afforded an alternative account of history on Iraq, versions that arguably accord more accurately with actual events. We at Global Research proudly present this volume of wide-ranging articles on Iraq as an antidote of truth to the “victors’ history”.
Structure of this I-Book
The Iraq War Reader is the fifth in a new series of Interactive Books from Global Research.In Iraq: A History of War Crimes and Genocide, we have selected over 60 articles from hundreds in our 10-year-old archive that cover the background, prosecution and aftermath of the US-led aggression in Iraq. We have also included a review of key intelligence and policy documents, estimates of mortality resulting from the US led occupation (Lancet Report), key videos, photographic evidence and scientific reports pertaining to war crimes.
The book is structured in Ten Parts, these together with highlighted chapters include an analysis of the historical background of the 1991 Gulf War, the atrocities committed during the "sanctions regime" (1991-2003), the extensive crimes committed against the Iraqi people during nine years of military occupation. The latter include the carpet bombing of urban areas, the planned devastation of the Iraqi economy including the confiscation of the country's extensive oil reserves, the programmed demise of State institutions including public health and education, the targeted and systematic assassination of the country's scientists, engineers and intellectuals, the ruin of Iraq's research and academic institutions, the pillage and theft of Iraq's archeological heritage.