Has the American invasion and occupation of Iraq provided freedom and liberty for its people?
Does the average Iraqi have more freedom today than they had under Saddam Hussein's oppressive regime?
What does freedom mean to you? Do they have freedom of assembly, the press, religion? Do they even have freedom to travel the streets, find food, clean water, and basic utilities, or even the freedom to make use of the much-touted energy resources of their native lands?
Americans don't ask these questions. The American Press generally avoids them as well. Americans question how German citizens could have so easily bought into the group-think propaganda of Hitler and yet we, as a people, close our eyes to the violent truths of American Imperial conquests.
Despite all the heartwarming images of purple fingers, despite the early footage of Iraqis toppling the statue of Saddam, our intentions and actions in Iraq continue to do more harm than good and they [our illicit intents] become more clear to the rest of the world daily. As citizens, we cannot close our eyes in impunity forever.
The truth is that before America began its violent "re-making" of the Middle East, Baghdad, for instance, was a relatively peaceful city with clean water, working electricity, functional hospitals and Universities – and people were able to live decent lives. There was not freedom of assembly, but neither is there now. There was not freedom of the press, but [in the name of 'temporary restrictions' to protect Iraqi and US national security] there is not now either. Some freedoms of religiosity have fledgling starts but there is violent warfare as a result and the US has no interest in providing either a good example of how to resolve them nor thoughtful discussion of the matter. Rather, we fuel the discord when it suits our needs, we make shifting alliances with different violent and intolerant factions – and we even arm and support them when we see a selfish advantage.
It is certainly true that Saddam and his sons were tyrannical monsters who claimed absolute authority to torture, kill, and exploit their perceived enemies within the populace. I won't make the obvious comparison here, but the fact remains that – five 'freedom building' years later – the newly violent Baghdad is much worse off in nearly every regard (including the *increase* in the number of feuding groups that all claim 'absolute authority to torture, kill, and exploit their perceived enemies'). The *only* place that gets 24-hour electricity these days is the gargantuan embassy-city of the conqueror-occupiers (the United States). Even the once secure hospitals regularly lose electricity because our only true concern is that we finish the mission of establishing permanent military bases (and "diplomatic" hegemonic city-states) from which to continue re-shaping the Mid-East in order to more surely control energy, water, shipping, and other resources in the region all in the name of our own "national security".
Does this sound like exporting freedom and liberty to you? What should American citizens do about it? And, honestly I hope somebody has some encouraging comments for me because, what can we do about it?
P.S. Don't get me wrong. I know that many (from my experience, the vast majority) of our good men and women in uniform go 'over there' and do the right thing. They bring hope, order, and love to a war-torn people (generally sidestepping the complication that we brought the war in the first place). I've seen the pictures. I've read the stories. I have personal knowledge that many such stories are certainly true. But this breaks my heart more because it drives home the ease with which the architects of these Imperial conquests are able to successfully use good people for illicit causes.