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Review: “Secret Iraq”
« on: October 18, 2010, 11:09:37 PM »
Review: “Secret Iraq”

Workers' Daily Internet Edition

BBC Two recently ran a two-part series called “Secret Iraq”. It was billed as a documentary series that sheds new light on the dramatic story of Iraq, and is presently available on iPlayer.

The programme in tracing the brutal development of the occupation of Iraq was a devastating indictment of the Anglo-US aggressors. The Anglo-American invading forces unleashed a cruel war on Iraq which inflicted untold destruction, pain and suffering on both Iraq and its people. It showed how Britain and the US had wrecked all aspects of Iraq’s coherence and nation-building project, threatened to destroy Iraq’s civilisation and culture and turn this region of the Middle East into a theatre of sectarian conflict. In this context, the self-justifications of Tony Blair which it shows are sickening.

The programme, while presenting this shocking reality, at the same time did not disclose the full criminality of the occupying forces, for instance the shooting of ambulance drivers and the bombing of a health clinic in Falluja. Similarly, it was not able to show the full extent of the undercover operations, and therefore presented a misleading picture that made it appear that Muslims who had lived side by side worshipping at the same mosques suddenly started blowing each other up. The death squads in the police were created by the US occupiers in the time-honoured fashion of the imperialists, who were organised and paid to create sectarian conflict. Throughout Iraq, the US military established "checkpoints" – the tactic well-known and reviled throughout the world for its arbitrary and often deadly use against the Palestinian people. They not only provide the military with impunity to kill civilians, but also to humiliate all those forced to pass through the checkpoints as part of their daily lives. And the programme repeated the disinformation that the main enemy of the Iraqi people has been Al Qaeda.

In spite of this terrible situation in which hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been killed, the resistance still fought the occupation and the US and British armed forces. The British were forced to withdraw so that they could deploy troops to Afghanistan, in which they are vainly attempting to create similar civil conflicts. The programme did not show the opposition from the troops themselves and the military families to being involved in these unjust and criminal conflicts.

The role of Britain can be compared to that in the north of Ireland where state operations and infiltration were both in operation and difficult to distinguish, and they were there to stir things up and keep the people divided, the people who would otherwise resolve their problems, or at least their problems are their own business. The programme depicted the rescuing of undercover British special forces, who had been dressed as Arab civilians with a car full of explosives, in Basra as a heroic exercise. It glossed over the just anger of the Iraqis, and what this incident exposed as the bombings and assassinations carried out by the occupation.

Britain, of course, was the imperial power that invented the brutal policy of divide and rule, and its criminal involvement in Iraq goes at least as far back as the beginning of the 20th century. At the same time, the occupying forces have not been able to create an Iraq after their own image, and still face incalculable difficulties in implementing their occupation strategies, how to install a government as a proxy, and so on. No such imposed system can be a solution to the problems of aggression and occupation.

The conclusion could be drawn from “Secret Iraq” that the occupation strategy has been to destabilise the whole region, so as to favour imperialist control, but the occupiers with their self-serving pretexts have not been able to guarantee such control. Certainly the programme demonstrates how the intervention of the US and Britain has created hell. At the same time, however, its message was that the Iraqi people are determined to continue the resistance, begin anew, and finally achieve the goal of being in charge of their own destiny. The anti-war movement must continue to insist that Britain for its part must pay reparations for its crimes and that its own war criminals be brought to justice.