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  Thursday, September 24, 2020
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Sunday marked two years since the U.S.-led military coalition invaded Iraq
Sunday marked two years since the U.S.-led military coalition invaded Iraq, in defiance of opposition from Russia, France, and Germany, and the failure of UN inspectors' searching for weapons of mass destruction to find even a whiff of cordite, a weekly, Argumenty i Fakty, reminds its readers. Control of Iraqi oil, rather than the U.S. administration's declared purpose of neutralizing Iraq's WMD stockpiles, was probably the real reason behind the military operation. After all, the U.S. has not invaded North Korea - a country that does have WMD but no oil. However, the U.S. plan to blitzkrieg Iraq and, together with its allies, take control of plenty of cheap oil has ended up in a disaster. The Iraqi resistance has so far foiled all allied attempts to produce even as much oil as before the military operation, while world crude prices have repeatedly beaten all-time records. Importantly, American taxpayers have to pay more and more for the U.S. deployment in Iraq. The military force eats up $4 billion every month, and the 2004 budget deficit was $412 billion. There are few good options left: leaving Iraq would mean a loss of authority, while staying means losing money. Faced with an apparently endless conflict, one-time allies - first Spain, now Ukraine, Poland, and Bulgaria - are withdrawing from the country. It is still unclear when Saddam Hussein will go on trial. One possible reason may be that the U.S. fears that the Iraqi ex-dictator will spill the beans on his secret contacts with Vice President Dick Cheney, his company Halliburton, and with other officials who supplied the Iraqi regime with chemical weapons components later used in Iraq's war with Iran. Now that two years have passed since the invasion, Iraq has all but become a disaster zone. The country is crumbling. Inspired by fresh opportunities to control oil and land, a war could break out at any moment between the Arabs and the Kurds, or the Sunnis against the Shi'ites. Water purifying facilities are out of order and electricity, even in Baghdad, is available only for two to three hours a day. Polls suggest over 80% of Iraqis want to see the Americans leave their country immediately
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