In Baghdad as I write this it is early Thursday evening, about 7:00 pm Thursday November 27, 2008. Add 8 hours to current US eastern standard time to calculate Baghdad time.
It is also about five and half years since George Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq, claiming falsely to want to "liberate" Iraq, while beginning the occupation that has resulted in the deaths of more than a million Iraqis and more than four thousand Americans.
Since the invasion Iraqis belonging to all social factions and walks of life have been trying to throw their occupiers out of the country. They may finally, after all these years, be on the verge of doing exactly that.
But at what cost?
Yesterday the Iraqi parliament delayed a vote on the SOFA pact until today, then earlier today passed the agreement, but subject to a national referendum of Iraqis that could very well finally result in the end of the occupation because of the power and persistence of popular resistance.
Yesterday, in US-Iraq: The Big Picture, "Professor Michael Schwartz compare[d] the terms of the US-Iraq security pact - assuming the US will abide by them - with the initial, grandiose neocon plan which would have Iraq as an American colony peppered with US military bases projecting power all over the Middle East. He stresse[d] it's unlikely the Pentagon and US Big Oil will abandon their dreams of Iraq domination."
Operation Iraq Liberation (OIL) would have been an apt codename for Bush's invasion, but under any codename and whatever the lies and justification used, Iraqis have had enough, and the whole criminal adventure has also resulted in the repudiation and collapse of all the grand plans of Bush, the neocons, and PNAC, although it has yet to result in the arrest and trial of George Bush for war crimes. But grand plans or no, the oil men will not quit, and are still determined to control whatever oil resources in Iraq they can.
Neither will Iraqis quit, however, and the incoming administration of President-elect Barack Obama would do well to remember the power and persistence of popular resistance movements, both in Iraq, and at home, and not make a similar mistake in Afghanistan, and remember that it was not the oil companies who won him election, but popular movement.
The Real News and Michael Schwartz examine Iraq popular movement resistance to the US-Iraq security pact and how instrumental it has been for years in blocking the Bush administration agenda:
Real News: November 27, 2008
Iraq: from SOFA to resistance
Michael Schwartz examines the Sadrists' reaction to the US-Iraq security pact
In the final part of this series, professor Michael Schwartz stresses how Iraqi popular resistance was crucial from the beginning in blocking the Bush administration agenda, and how the Sadrist movement led by Muqtada al-Sadr may decide to fight the occupation beyond the signing of the security pact.
Michael Schwartz is a professor of Sociology and the founding director of the Undergraduate College of Global Studies at Stony Brook University (SUNY). He has written extensively on the war in Iraq for publications including Mother Jones, Asia Times, ZNet and TomDispatch and is the author of War Without End: The Iraq War in Context (Haymarket, 2008).