Iraq: the war is not over!
It's too funny. For years, the anti-war left was demanding the US "end the war" in Iraq—as if it has any power to do so. Now the Obama administration takes credit for exactly that, and the corporate media play along: "Obama Pledges Continued Support For Troops As Iraq War Ends," Fox News; "Obama keeps his promise to end the 9-year war," Daily News; "At Iraq War's End, Wounds Are Still Fresh for Falluja," New York Times, etc. Never mind that the supposed US "withdrawal" isn't even that—thousands of private contractors and hundreds of military advisors will be left behind. But, even more to the point, look at what is actually going on in Iraq...
On Dec. 14, the day the "withdrawal" became official (with a flag-lowering ceremony in Baghdad), a double car-bombing in Tal Afar killed at least two and wounded some 30. The second bomb was timed to go off as a crowd gathered after the first one, exacting maximum casualties. (AP, Dec. 14)
On Dec. 13, three bombs tore through oil pipelines in Basra, forcing drastic production cuts at Iraq's largest oil field for the second time in two months. Rumaila's production has been slashed by 600,000 to 700,000 barrels per day after the South Oil Company shut down the damaged lines, which carry crude to the Zubair 1 storage facility. (Iraq Oil Report, Dec. 14)
On Dec. 2, radical Islamist mobs attacked 28 shops of Assyrian Christians, Chaldeans, Armenians and Yazidis in the towns of Zakho and Dohuk, in Kurdistan. Several shops were torched or demolished, and 37 were wounded. After the attacks, outraged citizens attacked and destroyed local offices of the Islamic Union of Kurdistan. (Kurdish Media, Dec. 12)
On Nov. 22, a local shepherd was wounded when Turkish warplanes bombed the Qandil area of Iraqi Kurdistan. Local authorities said at least six Turkish war planes carried out raids near several villages. (Kurdish Media, Nov. 22)
UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women Yakin Ertuerk said Dec. 1: "Iraqi women have seen their rights eroded in all areas of life while the world observes from afar. The ongoing conflict, high levels of insecurity, widespread impunity, collapsing economic conditions and rising social conservatism are impacting directly on the daily lives of Iraqi women and placing them under increased vulnerability to all forms of violence within and outside their home... [V]iolence against Iraqi women is committed by numerous actors, such as militia groups, insurgents, Islamic extremists, law enforcement personnel, members of the family as well as the community." She cited ongoing sex trafficking, forced and early marriages, "honor killings," and abduction for sectarian or criminal reasons. (IRIN, Dec. 1)
Does this sounds to you like peace?
US military deaths in the Iraq war are put at 4,482. (AP, Dec. 13) CBS upgraded its estimate of Iraqis killed in the war (so far) after being called out on low-balling it by Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). CBS now cites figures higher than half a million Iraqis killed since the US invasion.