by Ted Rudow III,MA ( Tedr77 [at] aol.com )
Saturday Sep 4th, 2010 11:00 AM
President Obama declared an end to the combat mission in Iraq Tuesday night in the second Oval Office address of his presidency. Although tens of thousands of US troops, special operations forces and private contractors remain in Iraq, Obama announced that Operation Iraqi Freedom is now officially over.
While the US invasion and occupation of Iraq over the past seven years has inflicted multiple disasters on the country, many argue that the US assault on Iraq really began twenty years ago with the US-imposed economic sanctions. The best estimate of "excess child mortality" -- the number of children under five who died during the sanctions who would not have under Iraq's economy and policies before sanctions -- is between 670,000 and 880,000. Very few people have been aware of exactly how the U.S. worked to maintain these sanctions over more than a decade.
But with 50,000 combat-ready American troops still in country, the occupation seems far from over. The Obama administration will insist that those are not combat soldiers engaged in a combat mission. But if you’ve got twenty or thirty or forty thousand foreign troops stationed on your soil, I mean, if it looks like an occupation, and it smells like an occupation, and it sounds like an occupation, it’s an occupation.
Ted Rudow III,MA