16:50 GMT11 May 2021
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    The US combat mission in Iraq officially ended six years ago, but did America ever really leave? Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear speaks with British parliamentarian and renowned anti-war activist George Galloway about the history of US involvement in Iraq and how a campaign of endless war has hastened the destabilization of the country and the region.

    On August 31, 2010, US President Barack Obama announced,"The American combat mission in Iraq has ended. Operation Iraqi Freedom is over and the Iraqi people now have lead responsibility for the security of their country."

    ​Galloway called Obama’s statement "a hollow and meaningless boast," and said that not only has the US continued to bomb Iraq, but, "The sectarian political system the US and Britain imposed on Iraq at the point of their bayonets and from atop their tanks in 2003 persists, and fuels the very war that the United States has ineluctably been drawn back into." 

    "Not just by air power," Galloway continued, "but also by boots on the ground. There are many special forces from Western countries having to fight alongside the sectarian forces that they imposed on Iraq against the people that the very same countries are assisting just across the border in Syria." 

    The parliamentarian described a byzantine policy of fighting violent extremist groups in one country while supporting them in another. He claimed that American tax dollars are “Funding Al-Qaeda with a different name, wearing a different badge. The very same Al-Qaeda that destroyed your twin towers and killed all those people on 9/11." 

    "You really couldn’t make this labyrinthian pattern of double standards up. We’re fighting terrorism in the West and assisting terrorists in Syria while fighting the same terrorists in Iraq."

    Iraq had been bombed constantly, from December 1998 until the "Shock and Awe" campaign of 2003. Additionally, economic sanctions had a devastating impact on the Iraqi people.

    The activist observed that there was no logistical or geopolitical point to this wanton destruction. 

    "I can’t believe there could have been a master plan in all this," he said. "This is not James Bond, this is Austin Powers, this is Mr. Bean. A million people in Iraq died because of the sanctions, between the shooting of 1991 and 2003. Almost 600,000 of those were children. And your Secretary of State, A Democrat, Madeleine Albright, said that this was a ‘price worth paying.’ We can’t summon up the words to describe such a demonic mindset that would actually say that, it’s bad enough thinking it."

    Galloway described how the desolation bestowed upon Iraq spread across the Middle East and into other parts of the globe. 

    "Iraq has been smashed to smithereens and the reverberations continue to course right across the world. Most obviously in Syria, but as far away as Libya on the North African Mediterranean coast, where much of the same miserable picture exists. And all the way in Northern Nigeria and spreading to South and Southeast Asia." 

    "What a disaster our political leaders have delivered for the next generation of our people," said the high-profile former legislator. "And yet, they seem bent upon doing the same thing over and over again, which I think Einstein defined as madness. You’ll get exactly the same result, a result of instability and human misery."


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