An attempt on the life of Iraq’s Prime Minister, a disputed election, the gunning down of unarmed demonstrators, and a broken US withdrawal promise have all highlighted the chaos of Iraq today, but some are still pretending as if the US-Iraq war has ended.
In the early hours of Sunday morning, three drones were said to have been used as part of an assassination attempt against the current Iraqi Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, injuring at least 7 people in the process. This came following large-scale protests across Iraq’s Capital, Baghdad, on Friday, in which Iraqi security forces had opened fire and injured at least 124 people, killing an unspecified number according to some sources.
The demonstrations came in rejection of last months elections results, which saw a resounding victory for the ‘Saeroun movement’ of popular Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. Parties loyal to the Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU/PMF), saw significant losses in their seats in parliament and claimed that voter fraud occurred, with some accusing the United Arab Emirates of interfering with the election results.
Although the Iraqi PM, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, did announced and launch an investigation into the shootings, he has largely been blamed for having been implicated, and many directly accuse the PM of orchestrating the attacks on unarmed demonstrators. The circumstances behind the assassination attempt have also sparked much debate as to who was truly behind the attack. This has primarily come out of suspicions surrounding the failure of US C-Ram air defense systems not being activated, nor their sirens until after the explosions were heard, as the PM’s residence is located inside the US Embassy’s Greenzone.
Immediately after the assassination attempt the PM said: “I was and still am a redemption project for Iraq and the people of Iraq. The missiles of treachery will not discourage the believers and will shake a hair of the stability and determination of our heroic security forces to preserve people’s security, achieve justice and set the law in place,” stressing the need for dialogue in Iraq.
Anti-Iranian media, including Saudi-State news outlet al-Arabiya, attempted to attach immediate blame to groups like Kataeb Hezbollah and other groups attached to the PMU. But all fingers seem to point not to Iranian aligned PMU militias or parties, but instead at the United States, according to the PMU affiliated Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba Party.
Not only have Iran, Syria, Lebanese Hezbollah, Palestinian Resistance Parties and Yemen’s Ansarallah, allies of the Iran-backed PMU, condemned the assassination attempt, but it seems that PMU parties are coming out very strongly in condemnation and accusing the US of being behind the attack.
The suspicions of the US government being involved in the assassination attempt have to be taken seriously, not only because of the US air defenses seemingly having faltered on all levels at the time, but because the framing of the attack would have worked to severely divide Iraq if the assassination attempt was successful. It may not have mattered who was truly responsible if the attack would have succeeded, chaos would have broken out and it may have immediately appeared to have been the PMU’s response to the gunning down of their demonstrators.
If the US government was responsible, in full or in part, it may explain why such basic drones were used to pull off the unsuccessful operation. By using these types of drones, it would make the attack seem like an attack carried out by a rogue militia and would fall in line with the types of strikes carried out, believed to be perpetrated by the PMU, on US forces earlier this year.
According to Iraq’s President, Barham Salih, who spoke to US President Joe Biden in September on deepening bilateral ties and cooperation, said “We cannot accept that Iraq will be dragged into chaos and a coup against its constitutional system,” addressing the attack in a tweet. Moqtada al-Sadr added that the attack was committed with the aim to “return Iraq to a state of chaos to be controlled by non-state forces”.
But the reality is that Iraq is controlled by non-State forces. In fact, there is nothing free or democratic about Iraq. Since the US invasion in 2003, which toppled the former Iraqi President, Saddam Hussein, the American regime forces have not left the country alone and continue to control its local, as well as national, institutions in an indirect manner. Through the power of its so-called NGO’s, described by former Secretary of State, Colin Powell, in 2001, as a “force multiplier”, the US government has effectively set up a system of chaos and societal control in Iraq.
After pillaging Iraq’s resources and selling them off to its corporations, the US decided to issue countless reconstruction contracts, worth roughly $60 Billion. These contracts were allocated for the sectors of water, electricity systems and of course oil, spanning through to everything from female empowerment workshops, to school uniforms, anti-corruption efforts, and civil society organizations. Naturally the abundance of funds were exploited by everyone from the corporate elites, down to local community leaders in Iraqi villages. This created an environment of outright corruption, which lingers until this day, not only that, but it provided the US government a means, through the likes of USAID, to essentially bankroll a US dominance on the civil society level and influence every aspect of Iraqi life.
On top of this, the US government not only fanned the flames of sectarian hatred, which was barely in existence before its invasion, but implemented a Confessionalist political system just as the French colonialists did in Lebanon. This system is built to designate a power sharing, across government, between religious sects, and is in accordance to their populations statistically. As was the case historically, the US placed additional focus on what is now known as Iraqi-Kurdistan, backing the ‘Kurdish Regional Government’, all as a means of fragmenting and weakening the country. The boundaries of Iraq were first decided by the UK and Prince Faisal, specifically with the aims of sectarian division in mind, the US has simply jumped in to work on what the United Kingdom started with their Arab puppets.
Now, the US Biden administration has admitted that they are not leaving Iraq, despite promising to withdraw from their combat mission inside the country. Not a surprise, but definitely alarming to say the least. Instead of the US government being held accountable for its actions, the Western media and the media of the Arab reactionary regimes, are attempting to place all the blame for Iraq’s current chaos on Iranian backed militias and corruption internally.
This approach is outright propaganda, not only against Iran and its allies, but also attempts to cover up the US role in making Iraq the corrupt and violent nation it is today. The terrorism of the US empire did not end in 2003, at the end of the official US occupation, with the so-called “nation building”, or when the US began limiting its troop numbers. The terrorism continues today, and the corruption infests every aspect of Iraq. Unless the US government is permanently driven from Iraqi soil, including its so-called NGO’s and businessmen, Iraq will never be free, peaceful, nor democratic — by design.