The Bloody ‘Liberation’ of Mosul

Official Washington deemed Syria’s defeat of jihadists occupying Aleppo a “war crime” but called the U.S.-backed defeat of ISIS in Mosul, Iraq, a “liberation,” yet it too killed civilians and destroyed an ancient city, reports Dennis J Bernstein.

By Dennis J Bernstein

The Iraqi and U.S. governments have declared Mosul as liberated from its ISIS occupiers. But author Vijay Prashad says it’s not so simple: the “liberation” included the slaughter of civilians by both sides and left large swaths of the ancient city — the second largest in Iraq — in rubble and ruins. And ISIS is still entrenched in other parts of the war torn country.

Soldiers fire an M109A6 Paladin from a tactical assembly area at Hamam al-Alil to support the start of the Iraqi security forces’ offensive in West Mosul, Iraq, Feb. 19, 2017. (Army photo by Staff Sgt. Jason Hull)

Prashad is a professor of International Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. He is the author of some eighteen books, including Arab Spring, Libyan Winter, The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South, and The Death of the Nation and the Future of the Arab Revolution.

Dennis Bernstein: Well, Professor Prashad, the prime minister of Iraq calls it a liberation. How would you characterize what we’re seeing continuing to unfold in Mosul?

Vijay Prashad: It’s a complicated situation. The city of Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, a city with great history and character, has been under the control of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The group took Mosul some two years ago. It has taken nine months of concerted fighting to remove the Islamic State group from Mosul. In that respect, of course, it is liberation from the Islamic State.

On the other hand, this war of nine months has been a war of very significant aerial bombardment and immense use of artillery fire. The US Air Force has pummeled the city, particularly Western Mosul, and destroyed large parts of it. There are a million refugees out of Mosul in 19 emergency camps that the United Nations is struggling to maintain. The city has been utterly destroyed. It is very unlikely that the million-plus people will be able to return to their homes. But most strikingly, the nature of the bombardment was so brutal that within a year or two years we are going to see something like the revival of the Islamic State group.

After all, the brutal US military destruction of Fallujah and Ramadi in 2004-2005–which included the use of depleted uranium and perhaps white phosphorous–is what produced the Islamic State of Iraq in 2006. The savage form of warfare used to eject the Islamic State from Mosul this time is not going to mean the end of that group. Instead, I believe it will lay the ground for its reemergence again in a few years.

DB: You refer to the groups Airwars and Amnesty International, who discuss the disproportionate use of weaponry and the extensive, unnecessary killing of civilians.

VP: This is a very important piece of the equation. There are photographs across the internet showing the quite serious devastation in Mosul. But what has already begun to happen is that the Western corporate media have started to indicate that this destruction was caused by ISIS. It is true that ISIS did at first destroy many sites of historical importance in the city, but ISIS doesn’t have the capacity for aerial bombardment. Much of the physical destruction of the city has taken place as a consequence of US aerial bombardment.

Amnesty looked at a series of important bombing raids and concluded in a report published on July 11 that there was needless loss of civilian lives and even claimed to have evidence of so-called “unlawful attacks” in Mosul. The reaction from the US military was swift. Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend very quickly announced that “the United States rejects any notion that the coalition targeted civilians.” What is very interesting about that statement is that a few days later Townsend told the New York Times that in Raqqa, Syria, the United States is bombing bridges, targeting civilians trying to flee the city.

So in the case of Mosul he said that the United States does not ever target civilians and in the case of Raqqa he very cavalierly explains that we are bombing bridges because we don’t want people to flee the city. In other words, we are committing a war crime by trapping civilians in a city that we are now going to bomb very aggressively in order to “annihilate” ISIS.

DB: I believe the exact wording the general used was: “We shoot every boat we find. If you want to get out of Raqqa right now you’ve got to build a poncho raft.”

VP: After Stephen Townsend made his claim that the United States doesn’t commit war crimes, Airwars–a very important group that monitors aerial bombardment–showed there has indeed been extensive bombing of civilian infrastructure in Mosul and in Raqqa, including things like internet cafes, swimming pools, mosques, etc. The destruction of civilian infrastructure is meant to create despair among the population. If this very serious allegation by Airwars is true, we are indeed looking at a violation of the Geneva Convention.

DB: We are talking about what has been characterized by the prime minister of Iraq as a liberation of Mosul but, as you say, there has been great suffering there. Maybe we could step back a little bit and consider the kinds of policies of the Iraqi prime minister and the US that might foster another ISIS in a couple years.

VP: One of the things that American nationals should not forget is that the United States, in an illegal war in 2003, began to systematically destroy Iraq. This is where the conversation should always begin. It is very easy to attribute these conflicts to some pathologies in Islam or to say, well, it’s that part of the world, they have always been fighting, it has nothing to do with us.

U.S. Army forces operating in southern Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Apr. 2, 2003 (U.S. Navy photo)

The fact is that the author of this particular set of tragedies is absolutely the illegal war perpetuated by George W. Bush’s government in 2003. That war not only destroyed the Iraqi state and significant elements of Iraqi society, it also destroyed agriculture and sent many farmers into deep distress. When there was an uprising against these policies in Anbar Province, the crackdown by US forces, led by Jim Mattis, now secretary of defense, was extraordinarily brutal. There was use of depleted uranium, which has produced radiation in parts of Ramadi and Fallujah that is many times higher than the radiation at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was out of this immense destruction of Iraq and the targeted destruction of Fallujah and Ramadi that ISIS emerged in the first place.

When, afterwards, the exiled Islamic Dawa Party emerged in Iraq, it was sidelined and rejected by the Iraqi people. At this point there was an attempt inside Iraq to create a sort of patriotic agenda which was fostered by civil society groups. They emerged in force in 2011 and at this time there was a crackdown against this kind of peaceful patriotic platform. When this crackdown occurred, many people became disillusioned with the Iraqi project and went over to ISIS.

The harsh destruction of Iraq by the United States, combined with the current government’s very sectarian politics and its rejection of the people’s patriotic platform which was put forward in 2011, created a combustible situation which gave energy to the resurfacing of ISIS in 2013-2014.

The current war in Mosul and in Raqqa is not going to destroy ISIS. Instead, it is creating immense civilian suffering. Unless there is a political project that integrates people into some kind of civil nationalism, we are going to see the emergence of very extreme groups in the future. This kind of brutal warfare rarely results in a positive outcome. It has always produced something quite ugly.

DB: I think it is important to take an even broader view of the history of the United States in Iraq and in the region. Let’s start with the very cynical policy of the United States to support both sides in the Iraq/Iran war: Let them kill each other and then we’ll move in and take the resources. The kinds of wars that we have conducted, the kinds of actions that have destroyed this ancient city, the embargo that cost hundreds of thousands of children their lives, the epidemics that stem from our use of depleted uranium….

VP: Depleted uranium is one piece of it, white phosphorous is another. There is just a much higher level of munitions used in Iraq than in other comparable conflicts. I was surprised to read the other day how more weapons were used against Vietnam than in all World War II. It is the stunning volume of weapons used against these societies, with absolute impunity, no sense that they will be censured by anybody! So if the United States uses this kind of weaponry against people whose spirits are broken and whose political projects are rendered hopeless, it is not surprising that they turn to extremism.

Let me give you a parallel example. It is not that, for instance, the Palestinian people have not suffered great indignity, have not been the victims of the worst kind of occupation and oppression. But because there is a unifying political project, the eventual creation of some sort of homeland, that movement has achieved a very great maturity and you don’t see the kind of extremism that one might imagine.

In other words, you would think that after sixty-odd years of the conditions faced by the Palestinians there would be near anarchy in Palestinian politics. But that is not what you see. Wretched conditions in themselves do not lead necessarily to extremist politics. It is the destruction of hope. This is where the character of the American occupation of Iraq has to be brought before an international tribunal. It is not just the bombing or the use of depleted uranium.

The character of the American occupation destroyed Iraqi history, the development of its national identity, the character of its political project. It has set Iraq off the rails of its own historical development. The campaign in Mosul further underscores the tragedy. And the mainstream corporate media seems oblivious to this. They are reporting the battle in Mosul as if they were stenographers of the State Department or the Pentagon.

DB: We’re hearing it is the end of ISIS but we know that ISIS still holds other parts of Iraq and the war continues in Syria. Does the war move now into these other parts of Iraq, do the survivors head into Syria for the final battle?

VP: I want to emphasize two points here: First, Mosul was very definitely not the final battle. In Iraq there will be battles along the road to Syria. ISIS is still quite entrenched in parts of Anbar Province. It is along the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. So there are still fights in Iraq.

In Syria, ISIS is quite spread out. It is not just in Raqqa. It has holdouts around the major eastern city of Deir ez-Zor, it is in Al-Hasakah, it is in various places. Also, ISIS has become a kind of brand. And so there are ISIS outfits in Afghanistan, in Tunisia, in Libya. We haven’t seen the end of ISIS yet.

A protest placard in the Kafersousah neighborhood of Damascus, Syria, on Dec. 26, 2012. (Photo credit: Freedom House Flickr)

The second issue is that this is not just about ISIS. The question is what this kind of war is going to produce in five or ten years. That’s what I am more concerned about. Because there is no political cohesion in Iraq, because there is no plan to integrate this section of Iraqi society, I fear that new forms of extremism are going to emerge. Whatever emerges will certainly be alienated from the government in Baghdad and decidedly alienated from the United States, which they will certainly see as one of the authors of the great destruction.

DB: The BBC is investigating at least one video showing government troops assassinating detainees by handcuffing them and throwing them over the side of a cliff. Human rights groups are receiving numerous accounts of tortures and executions in Mosul. So this is the beginning of the next phase, isn’t it?

VP: Yes, this is already a problem, not only in Iraq but in Syria as well. The national armies in these countries have deteriorated quite significantly. In fact, in Iraq the army was destroyed during the American occupation. These governments have had to rely more on irregular groups and militias, often organized along very sectarian lines. These groups don’t have the training or the discipline and they have little concern for human rights.

Secondly, they have lived through the decade of American occupation, where they have seen US troops performing night raids, driving detainees into factories like Abu Ghraib, etc. It is not merely a question of irregular armies which are misbehaving because they haven’t attended a seminar on the Geneva Convention. The example of the United States has not provided any instruction in respecting human rights.

This is entirely the legacy of three sources: One, that there is no regular army with a strong chain of command. Two, the horrible example of the US military. And three, the Iraqi army during the war against Iran was hardly trained to be a kind and decent army, it was a vicious, harsh army, using chemical weapons against the enemy, for example. These are the sources of the violence and people should not be surprised to see this level of retribution.

DB: As you’ve undoubtedly noticed, there’s a new administration in the United States. Do you think there is any more hope under Trump than under Obama?

VP: Not really. Mr. Trump has said that he wants to see military action “with the gloves off.” He immediately congratulated Iraq on the “liberation” of Mosul and there won’t be any concern about human rights violations or things like that. The United States government is now using the phrase “the annihilation of ISIS.” This is a dangerous phrase which declares open season for people like Duterte in the Philippines authorizing the assassination of people in slums, or the government of Mr. Abadi in Iraq essentially authorizing the assassination of detainees in Mosul. This is a world that Mr. Trump is quite comfortable in.

Dennis J Bernstein is a host of “Flashpoints” on the Pacifica radio network and the author of Special Ed: Voices from a Hidden Classroom. You can access the audio archives at

33 comments for “The Bloody ‘Liberation’ of Mosul

  1. July 24, 2017 at 16:13

    As far as Syria goes, that conflict started because Assad would not let the Saudi’s build a pipeline, can you imagine that, all of these folks (civilians) died because the leader of a sovereign nation did not want to build a pipeline (which is his right) and of course the U.S. got involved because we are beholden to the Saudi’s due to them basically financing our countries way of life by only selling oil in dollars and buying our treasuries with those petro dollars. I would have gladly eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for however long it took to get our financial house in order so we would not have to go through these conflicts that are none of our business that kills a lot of innocent folks and we wonder why we are hated.

  2. July 24, 2017 at 16:04

    All of this because the Iraqi PM at the time ISIS took control, Maliki wanted to make a point, I do not know why the international community does not try this guy in an international court for all of his crimes against humanity which are numerous. This is not to say that the strategies to liberate Mosul were up to par but we have to go to the beginning and correct that so this kind of stuff does not have to happen.

    • Nancy
      July 25, 2017 at 08:53

      If you really want to go back to the beginning, you have to realize that Maliki was merely a puppet of the U.S. who was cast aside when he was no longer useful.

  3. Nancy
    July 24, 2017 at 12:39

    “We had to destroy the village in order to save it.”

  4. July 23, 2017 at 18:07

    Throughout the battle for Aleppo Syrian government forces and their Russian allies did not use aerial bombardment of the city as continuously claimed by the US state department citing NGOs in Britain and Belgium. Meanwhile Syrians and Russians were transmitting livestream video of Aleppo skies over the net for all to see that those accusations were false.
    They provided wahabist militants bent on genocide to leave the fight, this created conflict among them when the zealous executed those less committed militants who contemplated taking the out.
    There were corridors through which non-combatants could leave the encircled pocket of wahabist controlled Aleppo. At first the militants covered the corridors killing those who attempted to flee, but as pressure mounted, militants were forced to focus on defending themselves and civilians escaped by thousands, among them militants were pointed out, beards shaved trying to blend in. Those militants detained were not murdered as has been alleged, but were interviewed by journalists, and those can be found on the net.
    Russian and Syrian tactics are entirely incomparable to US tactics in Iraq, and Raqqa Syria. The Syrian Arab Forces are defending their people, concerned for their welfare. The US is only interested in sowing chaos suffering and pain. The seeds for future chaos suffering and pain.

    • Gregory Herr
      July 23, 2017 at 20:00

      Entirely incomparable tactics and entirely incomparable motives…very good of you to elucidate these all-important differences.


        • Virginia
          July 23, 2017 at 22:01

          I just went to your link, Gregory, to find that it was all about the current bias in Democracy Now’s reporting, particularly on Syria. (One thing not mentioned was DN’s continually talking about Russian hacking, not as alleged but as actual fact.) Your link explains all that, showing the new funding DN now enjoys. I had just posted a comment about DN and Syria on another CN article. I’ll repost it here because it illustrates your link quite well. Quoting myself:

          “Did you all happen to see a Syrian rebel leader, now living in Berlin, on Democracy Now about 3 weeks ago named Abdalaziz Alhamza? I watched and kept wanting him to explain why he became a rebel, but he wasn’t about to answer that question. (I’ve read on CN how the US dropped leaflets.) So I looked him up online. He’s on Facebook, and has about 7500 followers. I asked him what made him become a rebel, if he were pleased with the outcome (reducing his country to chaos with accompanying destruction and deaths), and whether he thought what he did was very different in results than the US invasion of Iraq? Unfortunately he never responded, but a few of his followers did calling me names and asserting that I couldn’t possibly know anything. But why not, all of you if you don’t mind, join me in asking these questions right to the people most intimately involved. This Syrian rebel seems to have it made. He’s a hero living in Germany with a fan club. But does he think about his country — how it’s doing and the part he played in that? He should. As should the US war-deciders! That’s holding peoples — individuals and governments — accountable!”

          And now I add, let’s hold DN accountable. Gregory’s link has an open letter to DN we can all add our names to.

          • Gregory Herr
            July 23, 2017 at 23:00

            Virginia, if he would have answered your question, and answered it honestly, he would have said “the pay was good”.
            What a shame about Democracy Now! Vanessa Beeley is a good voice…along with Eva Bartlett.

          • July 24, 2017 at 00:25

            Yes Gregory’s link was very interesting, Virginia. If even DN is corruptible then the arms of the establishment have become that much longer. Anyway, I signed the petition and made a contribution but on reflection realize the money must go to the petition organizers and unless it goes to DN what kind of influence could it buy?

  5. July 23, 2017 at 15:56

    Of course, I understood that, Bob. Now, this disaster in Mosul, is horrible beyond belief. If the MSM continues not to report this accurately, what can be done? I am truly disgusted with this country. Trump doesn’t know enough to stop this, and Mattis is clearly a war sociopath.

    • July 23, 2017 at 16:07

      Yeah Jessica, I wish I could shed some light on the future but I can only see a dark tunnel ahead. At least we can follow RT America until the censors take it away!

    • Realist
      July 23, 2017 at 18:19

      Jessica, I don’t think it’s by accident that Washington causes so much “collateral” damage in its military operations. It’s a message to the victims: don’t you dare think of opposing the Will of Washington. It may have BEEN your country, but we control everything here now. It’s the same psy-ops tactics that Israel employs with regularity in “mowing the lawn” in Gaza. Moreover, both countries practice this barbarism with impunity because they know the state-controlled corporate-owned media will not mention the atrocities or will paper them over with pure unadulterated bushwah. No, I don’t give purveyors of such wholesale gratuitous violence and mass murder the benefit of the doubt. I was disabused of that patriotic reflex back during the Vietnam War, and the cure took permanently.

      Besides, if Washington had any objective altruistic standards it was intending to apply to these specific countries it has invaded and laid waste, why are the much more murderous and oppressive regimes in Egypt, Israel and Saudi Arabia not only left standing, but patronized and assisted with money and resources to do their dirty work? How can a murderous regime like Erdogan’s Turkey be tolerated in NATO, if the goals of that alliance are merely to spread “freedom and democracy?” And how to explain the intention to recruit clearly fascist regimes inclined to violence in Ukraine and Georgia into that alliance, which looks more like a cudgel to beat down Russia? Washington foreign policy simply wreaks of hypocrisy, hubris and hegemonic designs. Nothing they say is worth listening to, as it is mostly untrue and inherently damaging to the lives of uncountable people in foreign lands.

      Frankly, I don’t see how it is accepted as a given by so many American people that their government should be routinely deciding which clique of thugs should be governing every other country in the world, and that we will annihilate them if they resist our decisions or imposed policies. Of what benefit have these pathological attitudes and actions been to those victim countries or to our own, whose standard of living has been in free fall to accommodate our global military spree? Arguing about how Obama should have micromanaged American troop strength in Iraq is about as useful as a discussion of how many angels can occupy the head of a pin. It is simply beyond the capacity of the United States to occupy and control the fate of the entire Middle East and always has been, no matter what the absurd claims of the infamous PNAC document, not without a commitment to a full blown world war.

  6. Abe
    July 23, 2017 at 13:03

    “Unlike reporting on Aleppo, [corporate media make] no mention of civilian deaths caused by US bombs, no figures, no mention of war crimes, no mention of Trump’s open disregard for civilian casualties. It’s a breathless Pentagon press release that never questions the motives or effect of Trump’s bombing campaign.

    “Obviously, the two instances aren’t exactly the same, but the stark 180-degree difference in how the Russian and US sieges were covered is an object lesson in nationalistic ethos. Because ISIS is seen as an unmitigated evil, and the US as an unmitigated good, no death toll is too high. Indeed—no death toll is even worth mentioning. The Americans rode in, the baddies got theirs, and any costs to human life US bombing may have caused are incidental and unworthy of mention.”

    Corporate Media Largely Silent on Trump’s Civilian Death Toll in Iraq
    By Adam Johnson

  7. July 23, 2017 at 12:38

    Maybe Obama is responsible for withdrawing too soon but if Bush and the neocons had not gone in, in the first place, would this have happened? The horrors of Mosul — and thank you for that article, Gregory — are a most barbaric culmination of this most wretched situation unleashed by the USA. When will the USA be held accountable? When will there be a War Crimes Tribunal? There should be an outcry as never before. While too many Americans complacently watch TV and go on vacation (not the people on CN), and I recently saw a photo of George W. Bush smiling and dancing! Obama is making piles of money in the post presidency.

    • July 23, 2017 at 15:23

      Jessica, I didn’t mean to imply that Obama’s mistake was on an equal footing with Cheney/ Rumsfeld’s evil design but I do think he was remiss in not taking a better hold of foreign policy as any commander and chief should be ready to do. I certainly agree that the invasion of Iraq coupled with the arrogance, ignorance and greed that motivated it was a nadir in American history.

  8. Gregory Herr
    July 23, 2017 at 12:09

    “According to a report published in the Washington Post Saturday, the grim task of recovering the dead from Mosul’s rubble has been relegated to a “25-man civil defense unit with one bulldozer, a forklift truck and a single vehicle to carry the corpses.” The Post reports that the unit has “found hundreds of people suffocated under the ruins of their homes” after they were flattened by US air strikes. Most of the victims are reportedly women and children.

    The head of the civil defense unit, Lt. Col. Rabia Ibrahim Hassan, told the Post that he had asked the government for more equipment and resources, but had received no response.

    While vast resources were expended by the Pentagon on organizing the siege of Mosul and providing the arms and ammunition to lay waste to the city, it is by no means clear that either Washington or Baghdad has any plan to mobilize comparable resources to rebuild it. One Iraqi government official conservatively estimated that the cost of rebuilding Mosul would exceed $50 billion.

    The regime in Baghdad was compelled last May to negotiate a $5.4 billion standby loan with the International Monetary Fund, which demanded sharp austerity measures. The country’s economy contracted 10.3 percent in 2016 as a result of falling oil prices and the destruction wrought by war.

    The scale of civilian casualties, the massive destruction caused by US bombs, missiles and shells, and the reported use by the American military of white phosphorous, a weapon internationally banned for use in populated areas, all point to a US war crime of historic proportions.”

    excerpt from:

  9. Kradek
    July 23, 2017 at 12:06

    ISIS has never been a dominant military power. Until a year ago they didn’t even have a revenue source beyond our Saudi allies. So how did they accomplish what they did? With the aid of the other Sunni fish swimming in the sectarian sea that is today’s Iraq.

    What do these critics want, US troops to conduct the kind of house to house assault that resulted in major US casualties and still left Fallujah in ruins. ISIS could have withdrawn to preserve Mosul. Instead they used it as a defensive position. This article is the same as blaming Russia for the destruction of Stalingrad.

    • July 23, 2017 at 12:35

      “Until a year ago they didn’t even have a revenue source beyond our Saudi allies.” Our Saudi allies= the head of Isis serpent(Wahhabism)

    • Gregory Herr
      July 23, 2017 at 12:42

      The territorial “gains” by ISIS from late 2013 up until September 2015 were accomplished because they were allowed to be accomplished, even after ISIS was hyped as the new big “threat”. The Russians had to come in and do more damage to the fortunes of ISIS in a few weeks than what the U.S. (who had supposedly been “fighting” ISIS) had “accomplished in the previous 12 months. Oil smuggling through Turkey, convoys of Toyota trucks with black flags made in Israel, backing from the Saudis, photo-ops with McCain, and the involvement of the CIA should tell you something.

  10. July 23, 2017 at 10:56

    The article makes several valid points around a theme of what will come back to haunt the victors in an age of indiscriminate drone bombing. As far as Iraq goes, although it was always an artificial country, the destruction in such a brief time period of time of historical monuments at Nineveh, Nimrud, Hatra and other places of Biblical allusion not only boggles my mind but makes me believe it will be much more difficult to hold together a cohesive state without the unifying symbols of a common history. As with neighboring Syria, I can only envision a de facto unity and hopefully somewhere in this new reality the Kurds will finally have a state where they can live in peace.

    • Kradek
      July 23, 2017 at 12:10

      As long as there’s US money for bribes they’ll have the basis for a Muslim state.

  11. Mark Ruklic
    July 23, 2017 at 09:41

    Vinjay Prashad’s statement;

    “After all, the brutal US military destruction of Fallujah and Ramadi in 2004-2005–which included the use of depleted uranium and perhaps white phosphorous–is what produced the Islamic State of Iraq in 2006. The savage form of warfare used to eject the Islamic State from Mosul this time is not going to mean the end of that group. Instead, I believe it will lay the ground for its reemergence again in a few years.”

    It is preposterous, and shows a complete lack of understanding about the political and religious quagmire that existed and continues to this minute in Iraq. Really!? You are blaming US military tactics for creating the Islamic State!? Have you spent any time studying the issues in the region!? Though I am far from being any kind of an authority, I can tell you that there are many reasons Islamic State came to be. Most predominant in my mind is the belief that the Sunni tribe has been excluded from Iraqi politics since the overthrow of Sadam. Books have been written about this subject, and is very difficult for everyone involved – I surely don’t have the answer. I do know the Marines are not soley to blame. For goodness sakes!!

    • Gregory Herr
      July 23, 2017 at 12:04

      Marines follow orders. Tactics come from above. The occupation was characterized by militarized controls including door-to-door terrorism and arbitrary imprisonment, corrupt privatization benefitting Amrican contractors as opposed to Iraqi employment and opportunity, the failure to restore basic services like electricity and sewage (civilian infrastructure had been deliberately destroyed as part of the invasion), the rule of Bremer law that included outlawing the Ba’ath party and disbanding (leaving them unemployed) the Iraqi Army, and the deliberate instigation of insurgency and sectarianism.
      You need to reread this article and understand what Prashad speaks of when he refers to the loss of hope.

  12. July 23, 2017 at 09:34

    John, you mentioned 40,000 people killed, and that’s the number “The Independent” reported. Where is the outrage? We are “led” by war criminals.

  13. July 23, 2017 at 08:22

    It’s very important to remember that this horror started with Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld, as Professor Prashad says. The ignorance and unconcern of Americans about this ongoing atrocity, and the others perpetrated by their Empire of Evil, supported by their tax dollars, is inexcusable. Good question, Realist, when will Washington learn? Can USA ever learn that war is not the answer? Pandora’s Box has been opened and the worst has happened on earth, to me far worse than the prior World Wars. All the while MSM reports the reverse of what has happened, some “liberation”! 21st Century Wire reported that 20,000 civilians had died over the 9 months, in addition to the million in 19 refugee camps. What a shameful country is USA!

    • July 23, 2017 at 11:19

      “It’s very important to remember that this horror started with Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld,”…Yes, I agree, Jessica, but the destruction of Mosul with all its human tragedy could have been avoided if Obama wasn’t so anxious to pull out before it was secured. I believe Realist’s point is correct “it[Washington] can destroy the world with its military, but it cannot occupy it” However, as they already held Mosul American troops were responsible for leaving behind a small contingent to guard against what happened. This, of course, has nothing to do with McCain’s stance of perpetual war(he only got his way after the fall of Mosul when Chuck Hagel was replaced with Ash Carter at DOD)

  14. Realist
    July 23, 2017 at 07:51

    When is Washington going to learn, it can destroy the world with its military, but it cannot occupy it? Not even at the expense of allowing its own infrastructure and societal cohesion to degrade while pauperizing its tax-paying citizenry. America has now physically demolished at least four nations (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria) in this century while severely damaging several others (Serbia, Bosnia, Ukraine, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan) since the late 1990’s with its warmongering policies, but it has not pacified any of them. It only continues to create new adversaries to its imposed hegemony whom it chooses to call “terrorists.” It throws its geopolitical lot in with the world’s other biggest sponsors of fanatical militarism and repression, Israel and Saudi Arabia, and flirts with nuclear war with Russia as a consequence. Meanwhile, it MUST be stretching its credibility with Europe as it demands financially damaging obeisance from these forced “allies” in the form of economic sanctions and increased contributions to NATO. Add to these facts that Washington is spoiling for a fight with China and North Korea, and imposing on its vassal states of Japan, South Korea and the reluctant Philippines, and you have all the fixings for the fall of an empire. Maybe the Donald should take a meeting with the Ghost of Winston Churchill, whose bust he has reportedly restored to the Oval Office, about the rapid dissolution of empires.

    • July 23, 2017 at 17:44

      It is obvious now that the American electorate is the only group which can put an end to the American policy of Full Spectrum Dominance.
      However there exits a conundrum for any future US president who chooses to roll back this policy, and that is Israel’s several hundred nuclear warheads deployed on land and nuclear cruise missile launching dolphin class submarines. This nuclear arsenal is prepared to implement the Samson Option, which threatens to burn the globe in a nuclear fire if the end of Israel’s existence is seen as eminent.
      If Washington chooses to abandon it’s Full Spectrum … policy, the US dollar will suffer against competing economies. If the US dollar suffers, Washington will not be able, or willing to protect Israel, and the Samson Option is no empty threat.
      This responsibility rest squarely on the shoulders of the American electorate.

  15. john wilson
    July 23, 2017 at 05:46

    Mosul is liberated alright, its been liberated of its people. The Yanks have murdered over 40,000 people there with bombs and no one knows (or ever will) how many people have been butchered by the Iraqi army and the terrorists between them. The fact is the Maliki, puppet prime minster who the Americans installed at the end of the so called Iraq war, are entirely responsible for the rise of the terrorists. Maliki was encouraged by the Yanks to take revenge of the Baathists and the subsequent murder spree he and that total idiot, Paul Bremer oversaw resulted in the birth of ISIS.

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