The Fifth Anniversary: Plunder in Reverse


Neither the giant media moguls nor the Pulitzer-quality suave journalists thought of connecting the 5th anniversary of the fall of Baghdad (the so-called Garden of Eden on earth) by the 21st century Anglo-American invasion, to its previous historic rapes.

The latest fall of Baghdad on April 9 to the US-led coalition was not the first time the city had fallen to invaders over the course of its long history. The British attacked Iraq twice, first in 1917 and again in 1941. Before that, the Halagu-led Mongols sacked Baghdad in 1258 only to return again between 1393 and 1401 under Tamerlane.

The British as always were there to colonize the land, loot the treasures and subjugate the populace. However, the current occupation assumes more poignancy and stands in stark contrast to the previous ones in that neither Halagu nor Tamerlane ever promised liberty and democracy, as did we.

When Saddam’s arrogant statue fell, some Iraqis wanted to believe such promises in earnest. Soon scaffolds were seen erected at the site and a sign read: “Najeen group is starting practical steps to build Iraqi civilization anew.” Najeen (the saved ones) were those who wished to believe the promises made by the invading forces. Five years on, and the country plunged into chaos and violence, one wonders, what happened to the monumental promised revival of Iraqi civilization.

More agonizing is what it has done on the home front. After wasting more than 700 billion dollars and still counting, the curse of this war has not only reached our shores but has also made deep inroads in our lives. The pall of ignorance-led misery has only thickened. Yes, it is still painful and yet if you think about it, the attacks of 9/11 were all but symbolic. Bin Laden and his comrades knew precisely how to hurt us. All he did was to orchestrate a chain of events and we fell for the most expensive blindfold in the modern history: it is called IRAQ.

In case nobody noticed, by invading Iraq we plundered ourselves. Now, call it the arrival of recession, home-mortgage crisis, economic meltdown or, soaring energy and food prices, by enticing us into Iraq, we all can clearly see who is really winning the war on/of terrorism. Certainly it is not us.

Abdul-Majeed Azad is an academic who comments on the absurdities he sees in politics.