By the wonderful Bebichan
Suggestions that America will be out of Iraq by 2011 have started spreading through the media. This just shocks and amazes me since everyone thinks that 2011 is an early exit for the US troops that have suffered enough in a country that showed them no welcome and will not mourn their exit.
The plans that were made for the Iraqi Invasion had no intention of involving some form of an exit-since the elimination of Iraq's only hope.
America started with their first invasion plan which I have entitled "Plan A-quickie-coup-cum-invasion" this suggested that America would be in and out of Iraq in three days, that was bound to fail as soon as someone mentioned "three days". There was no way the neo-con administration would achieve all it wanted to in such a short period. A man named Falah Aljibury was put in charge of-under Saddam's nose- interviewing Baa'thists for the part of Iraq's next Dictator. It was simple and straight forward-Put the puppet dictator in charge and say that Iraq is being Liberated-everybody is to stay in office and everything is to stay the same...that everything being "the oil ministry".
After it became obvious that it wouldn't be possible to gain the control that was required over Iraq in three days, the next plan came into sight-"Plan B-the Corporate Invasion (a free market Miracle plan)". This plan ordered all state owned companies-basically anything worth having in Iraq-be privatized and later be open for foreign...(American)...ownership. This changed the 3-day idea to about a Years invasion, with no exit plan and only one aim-"Privatization, asset sales, leases and management contracts, especially those in the oil and supporting industries". This made it clear that even if America didn't invade for the Oil-they sure as hell weren't leaving without it! And so began on the 17th of March 2003:
Operation Iraqi Liberation-O.I.L.
The starting idea for this was perfect and worked with helping Iraqi people to restore their country-and this is all that was wrong with it. The plan started off flawless...beautiful if i may say so myself...General Jay Garner was put in charge of post-invasion Iraq and was to arrange elections, work on domestic problems and draft plans for the economy. He had a major plan of his own and that was to ignore the Oil agenda as started by the Bush Administration: "It's their country...their oil." Garner had about 20 years of experience behind him working with the Iraqis, he was known by the Iraqi people and had an understanding of the culture and system in Iraq-which is a vital thing that the people who were later in charge lacked. The first things Garner was noted saying as he crossed the Iraqi border into Iraq was: "You prevent the epidemics, you start the food distribution program to prevent famine and you try to get elections going".
Garner knew that Iraq was filled with about 150 or so tribes (Sunni, Shi'aa and Kurdish) and that each of these tribal leaders had to be part of the decision making process post invasion-as these were the tribes that would clash and collide if they weren't involved. There was a 90 day plan to hold out meeting from the grass roots of Iraqi society...amongst these tribal leaders...to start negotiations and begin assembling things that all of them would agree on and accept, basically putting Iraq in the hands of the Iraqi people.
After those 90 days elections would be held, and the people could vote on who they wanted to run their country. To further this plan, ministry officials would be kept intact-(since they had the most knowledge of running their ministry's), the army (which amounted up to about 500,000 men) would be used to secure the borders and work along side the American/British armies in policing the streets-effectively introducing a state of martial law on Iraq. Martial law seems a bit rash, but it would have prevented the outbreak of two things that were the start of the catastrophe we have in Iraq today: Crime and looting. All in all there would be no over all "debaathification" of Iraq. Post 90-days when the elections had been held and a new government was kept in tact, the country would not have run riot and the government would have found it a lot easier to take complete control. However, the idea of putting the future of Iraq in the hands of the Iraqi people was absurd to the Bush administration-and meant that their agenda would not be effectively carried out.
Of course, you cannot start an agenda trying to rob the people of their assets if you have them negotiating and starting a peaceful democratic future on their own...you have to get them divided and hating each other, divided and killing each other.
The Oil Agenda
And so, Jay Garner-Iraq's only hope- was replaced by a Paul Bremer-the mind behind the catastrophe. Here we have a nobody, with no experience, and no brains, drafting the post-Invasion Iraq plan.
So here we have an ignorant man who thought that anybody hired under the Saddam regime was a terrorist-and his aim was to get rid of them all "anyone who would remind the Iraqi people of Saddam's evil leadership"- doing us a favor in his opinion. However, what he ended up doing was getting rid of people who only worked for things linked to Saddam's leadership because that was their only option and their only way of making money, and people that worked for "things to do with the Saddam Regime" formed a huge amount of the population.
Bremer's first move was to eliminate this "foolish" idda of getting Iraqi tribal leaders involved in negotiations and instead he formed his own puppet government-filled with criminals and terrorists of course- National election would have to wait until 2005-thus delaying any form of an exit which would have started rolling much much sooner had the Garner plan been used. This delay would allow just enough time for meddling in the economic sides of things, namely oil. When the Brit's occupied Iraq, they learnt one thing that was overlooked by this occupation, "you don't have to give Iraq to the Iraqi's...but then, as the British learned, you'd better expect them to shoot at you". Denying the Iraqi's freedom of Elections, was the birth of terrorist organizations. The Shi'a people formed the "Mahdi Army" in Najaf and were some of the first enemies of Bremer and the Bush administration. Religious leaders in the Najaf province where this all started were able to tame any kind of violence...But Bush decided that taunting people was the best way to go, "Bring 'em on" he said...and so they did. Order 2 consisted of firing the army of 400,000-500,000 armed men and leaving them to take to the streets angry, moneyless, no compensation for the loss of their jobs and nothing to feed their families with. Mass protests broke out across Baghdad and Iraqi soldiers threatened violence if they didn't 1. get their Jobs back or 2. get some form of compensation. Of course these demands were not met, and so the insurgency thrived. See the idea that Bremer had in his mind was that these people don't want to work with America and will only turn against them-the reality was that the army was awaiting commands from the American army so that they could help.
After this the main aim was the introduction of laws that would mean any future government could not undo any changes made by the occupiers after the occupation ended-if it ever will. Iraq's banks were sold of to foreign companies, assets were dispersed amongst-again-foreign companies and everyone got a piece of the Iraqi pie, except for the Iraqi's. Trading laws eliminating tariffs and quotas were introduced-which led all Iraqi run businesses to go bankrupt-no free market nation in the world would do this, and yet to Bremer it seemed like the perfect idea. Unemployment soared to over 80% and the people were hungry.
"You've got 15 million people without food, but does anyone care? ...All they tell you is that "Saddam is gone and you should be happy!" Well thank you very much and that's all good- but tomorrow you need to eat and feed your family"(Iraqi Citizen).
To sum this all up: The insurgency was created by poor tactics and plans generated by an administration that was packed with ignorance and cared for nothing but their money-making agenda, there was no intention for an exit until those plans were secured and it was final. Even with the elections in place at the moment in the USA and the hope that if Obama gets the presidency the troops will go home...everyone is over looking the fact that a mess was created and Iraq is still a disaster. A withdrawal plan 5 years ago if there weren't any "agenda's" to rob the Iraqi's of everything, would have been feasible. But since that agenda took over, it brought with it disaster, making it apparent that an exit within the next 3 years is perhaps doable but absolutely insane. Rather than trying to create a whole exit plan after one administration screwed up-how about eliminating that "OIL" agenda and doing what should have been done in the beginning: Put Iraq's future in the hands of the Iraqis. Selling off Iraqi companies and taking control of Iraqi oil-which is what is in the plans-will mean there will be no official exit, insurgencies will continue and Iraq will stay as it is. The exit plan for 2011 includes the following: "If Iraq still needs America post 2011, they have to remain there". So there is a small print, and a vital one at that, because as it stands Iraq DOES need America....just perhaps an America without an agenda that fits their own needs. If that agenda is eliminated there will be hope for a 2011 exit...but I just can't see that happening as things stand.
Greg Palast- "Armed Madhouse"