U.S. Launches New Offensive In Iraq

May 15, 2005

On May 7, U.S. troops launched a largescale offensive against Iraqi villages along the Euphrates river in western Iraq.

This military operation, described by U.S. officials as the biggest campaign since the destruction of Falluja, included a large number of troops supported by fighter jets and helicopter gunships. On May 13, U.S. warplanes "flattened" a housing complex in the village of Qaim. U.S. F-15 fighters dropped 500-pound bombs and F/A-18 fighters strafed the village, while helicopter gunships fired rockets and machine guns into buildings. Hundreds of Iraqis have already been killed or wounded during the offensive.

But U.S. marines are meeting stiff resistance and counter-attacks from the local Iraqi population. In the town of Ubaydi, mortar fire and "heavy pockets of small arms resistance" reportedly kept Marines pinned down. According to one U.S. official, U.S. tanks were unable to cross the river due to "well-organized and well-equipped insurgents fighting from rooftops and inside sandbag bunkers."

In fact, the U.S. occupation is facing resistance not just in the western desert but all over Iraq. This resistance is all-sided and waged on many fronts -- in political demonstrations and economic struggles, on the cultural and ideological fronts, and through armed resistance. In Baghdad, U.S. bases and military convoys are coming under increasing attack, and the U.S.-puppet Iraqi army and police stations throughout the country are becoming daily targets. On May 13, Iraq's "interim prime minister," extended a state of emergency which imposes nighttime curfews and gives security forces powers of arrest without warrants.

After 25 months, over 160,000 U.S. troops remain in Iraq, attempting to support an occupation which has brought nothing but war, torture, poverty, and suffering to the Iraqi people.

Over 100,000 Iraqis have been killed as a result of such savage methods as the wholesale bombing of heavily populated areas, collective reprisals against families and whole towns, mass imprisonments, etc. Whole cities have been practically levelled. Iraqi's infrastructure, including its water and sewage systems, electricity, health care system, schools, etc., has been destroyed and U.S. weapons have spread nuclear contamination throughout the country.

This devastation is the result of the conscious policy of the U.S. government which aims at terrorizing the Iraqi people and imposing colonial rule on the country. From day one, U.S. corporations have rushed in and claimed ownership of the country's economic resources, controlling its currency, its oil wealth, its factories, telecommunications systems, etc. While banning political opposition and hunting down its opponents, the U.S. has imposed a puppet government on the Iraqi people. Permanent U.S. military bases are being built both to "protect" U.S. domination of Iraq and to threaten countries throughout the Middle East.

But the Iraqi people have shown that they will not accept U.S. domination. Their resistance -- their struggle to regain national independence and sovereignty -- will continue until U.S. troops are forced out of the country. The task of the American people is to demand the immediate, unconditional withdrawal of all U.S. and foreign troops and to support the struggle of the Iraqi people for genuine sovereignty.