US troop withdraw does not change situation in Iraq – Iraq veteran
US combat troops have withdrawn from Iraq, a step in the right direction toward concluding the war in Iraq, said Vice President Joe Biden to a group of US veterans. This comes as a US soldier was killed near Basra.
In 2003, then President George W. Bush said the war was over and declared the mission a success. Adam Kokesh, an Iraq War veteran, said that at that time the war ended and the operation in Iraq became an occupation.
“In 2004 in Fallujah where there was intense fighting it was not a force on force battle. It was an occupation, there was a resistance to the occupation, and you see it continue today. And what’s sad is that the true nature of the presence there really has not changed too dramatically in six years, the basic premise is the same,” said Kokesh.
He continued, explaining that the continued war and occupation has cost the US tax payers and the US economy and that the drawdown in troop numbers will cause an increase in the number of State Department employees and government contractors on the ground in Iraq.
In his speech, Biden said “Some said that our drawdown would bring about more violence. Well, they were wrong. Because the Iraqis are ready to take charge.”
Kokesh said the remarks were a bit off base, since there was no true drawdown. Those that left were simply the last brigade labeled as a combat group; there are a record number of contractors and over 50,000 US troops still on the ground.
“The violence, in terms of what you will see on the headlines in the United States media about how many soldiers have died every day, yes that will go down. Generally when there are less, troops less of them get killed. But, what you’re not going to see is the number of contractors that are killed that are still performing the basic tasks of oppression and exploitation that are the basis of our presence in Iraq,” said Kokesh.
The idea that a reduction in violence will now take place, argued Kokesh, is simply not accurate because the fundamental dynamics in Iraq have not changed.
In addition to his comments on the Iraqi withdraw; Biden further stated that Iran’s influence in Iraq is minimal.
“It’s pretty easy to dismiss Biden out of hand at this point,” said Kokesh. “He has no idea what he’s talking about here.”
Iran certainly has a visible influence on Iraq, argued Kokesh. An influence is natural based on the geography and history of the two nations.