US forces in Iraq suffered 24 deaths in Iraq in May, more than any month since September 2008.
The total number of US casualties since the 2003 invasion is now over 4,300, along with tens of thousands of seriously wounded.
US forces are due to be off the streets of the cities and main towns by the end of June, while combat operations across Iraq are due to end by September 2010.
The US withdrawal from the cities and then from the country will coincide with a growth of the insurgency, as those who opposed the US invasion mobilise to drive out those who arrived to rule Iraq for the imperialist powers on the backs of US tanks. The timetable for this has been set by President Obama who has pledged to remove all US troops from Iraq, other than those involved in training, by the end of 2011.
In fact, the flight of the US puppets has begun. Iraq’s former trade minister has been arrested at Baghdad airport on corruption charges as he was about to leave the country.
Hundreds of billions of dollars have been embezzled and placed in Swiss bank accounts as insurance against the revolution.
Earlier this week, the ‘Commission on Public Integrity’ said arrest warrants had been issued for some 1,000 allegedly corrupt officials, 50 of whom are senior government figures.
There are already severe tensions between northern Iraq’s Kurds and the Shia-led government in Baghdad.
Iraq’s self-ruled Kurdish region has started exporting crude oil to foreign markets. Private companies chosen by the Kurdistan Regional Government will pump up to 90,000-100,000 barrels per day (bpd) from two northern oilfields.
Apart from Mr Talabani, no representatives of Iraq’s Shia Arab-led central government were at the launching ceremony, underscoring the ice-cold relations between Baghdad and the US-sponsored Kurdistan Regional Government.
The disagreements over oil contracts are part of a wider struggle over land, power and the country’s massive oil reserves.
Iraq has the world’s third-largest oil reserves, but only produces up to 2.4m bpd – which is below the level sanctions-hit Iraq reached before the US-led invasion in 2003.
Meanwhile, Harith al-Dari, the Association of Muslim Scholars’ secretary general, has replied to a call by Abd-al-Amir al-Rikabi, the Iraqi National Democratic Trend’s secretary general, inviting Al-Dari and the resistance forces to work inside Iraq.
He responded: ‘I received a fax from you on 23 May 2009, in which you talk about an initiative that you are planning to take.
‘The initiative involves calling on the national Iraqi forces opposed to the occupation to return to the country and practice their natural right of opposition inside Iraq, as though there is a legal government in the country under which these forces are asked to practice the right of opposition.
‘But you neglected a number of facts on the ground, including the fact that Iraq is occupied by the United States, and the government in Iraq is the government of the United States: This government is protected by it, works according to the system put in place by it, is commanded by it, and supports its body through the US land, sea, and air forces. . .
‘The occupation entered Iraq by iron and fire, airplanes and tanks, and therefore will not get out unless in a similar way. The resistance, which might not be equal to it in weapon power, surpasses it in the power of will, the solidity of determination, and the adamant nature of its intention. . .
‘Regarding your fear of the possibility of a civil war after the departure of the occupation if no dialogue is held with these politicians. . . If these politicians think of staying in Iraq and raising arms in the face of the many faithful Iraqis from various components, who are defending their country, the people will not support them.’
There is no doubt that the puppet regime will be forced to leave with their protector, then the real job of reconstructing the country and placing it in the first ranks of the struggle to drive imperialism out of the Middle East can begin.