Israel is not a member of the powerful coalition, (which includes such giants as Micronesia, Estonia and the Solomon islands) that has gone "to liberate" Iraq under American leadership. Bush and Sharon in fact have no interest in reminding people of the role of Israeli in this war. There are two good reasons for this.

It now appears that in many parts of Baghdad the Iraqi military forces seem to have collapsed as a viable force of resistance. There is still fighting in some areas and the "coalition" forces are wary of declaring that the war is over. There may still be some surprises in the next few days, but it is clear that we are on the verge of an important turning point. Here Roberto Sarti compares the experience of the siege of Beirut in 1982 by the Israeli army with what is happening today in Baghdad.

Baghdad lies shattered and bleeding. The bloody battle appears to be entering a decisive phase. The final result was never in doubt, but the time scale over which the military action would unfold and the cost in lives could only be revealed by the march of events.

The media are busy informing us that the war in Iraq is practically over, bar a few "mopping up operations". It is clear that now the central command of the Iraqi army has collapsed. As is always the case, as it becomes abundantly clear that the war is lost, the top officers flee to save their skins and abandon the lower ranks. These have fought bravely in many instances against overwhelming odds. Thousands of Iraqi soldiers have lost their lives in a desperate attempt to stop the invaders. Thousands of others have abandoned any attempt to stop the unstoppable.

The media has shown a lot of pictures of looting in Iraq, especially in the days immediately following the fall of the regime. Of course, the real looting was taking place in a much more organised and systematic manner. The first things the US military “secured” were the oilfields, underlining why they were really there.

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