By 2007 over 3.9 million people, or 16 per cent of the Iraqi population, had become uprooted. Of these, around two million fled Iraq to flood neighbouring countries, and about 1.9 million are refugees inside Iraq. The 2012 UNICEF survey of Iraqi households found that between 800,000 and a million Iraqi children under 18 have lost one or both of their parents. The estimated number of orphans across Iraq ranges from 400,000 (according to the Baghdad Provincial Council), to five million (according to Iraq’s anti-corruption board). Due to the lack of any genuine national reconciliation and basic trust, a sustained and stable political settlement in Iraq remains unfeasible, so Iraqis are falling back on previous institutions and patterns of behaviour relied upon when faced with fear and uncertainty.
By the time Washington was preparing to draw down forces in Iraq, wrote Robert Tollast in The National Interest on 31 December 2012, “elements of ISOF (the U.S-trained and equipped Iraqi Special Operations Forces) were already being used as a private army by Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki.” Over the preceding 12 months Maliki ordered the arrest of bodyguards of the Finance Minister Rafa al-Issawi while government forces and tanks intimidated the residences of Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi and Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq. These events led radicalised groups parading themselves under titles like al-Qaeda of Western Iraq and Syria to take advantage of popular outrage to fuel increasingly radicalised and increasingly violent rebellion. Together with similarly disaffected Yemenis and Libyans many have joined the Saudi and Qatari financed Salafist groups attempting regime change in Syria and Iraq under the covert guidance of NATO.
The U.S, U.K, Turkey, and the European Union are determined to save the ailing Petro-dollar by preventing the completion of Iran’s Pars gas field pipeline, through Iraq and Syria to the Mediterranean. Should the Pars pipeline go online and remain under Russian, Iranian, Iraqi and Syrian control, then Russia would control approximately 40 per cent of Europe’s gas consumption, and with a Russian allied Syria, Russia would also be able to take part in the development of major gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean Levantine Basin.
And at last, it all becomes clear.