U. S. Imperialism Foments Sectarian Violence
The following article is reprinted from "The Worker," newspaper
of the Workers Party (March 27, 2006.)
The capitalist media is filled with stories about "sectarian violence" and "civil war" in Iraq.
This propaganda is used by the capitalists to try to justify the U.S. occupation and to attack the Iraqi people as "unfit" and "unready" to rule themselves.
But the facts show that the intensification of civil war and sectarian violence are part and parcel of the U.S. colonial strategy; they are more of the deeds, the crimes, of U.S. imperialism.
From day one, the U.S. occupying authorities have fostered and strengthened the most reactionary classes and forces in Iraqi society. The U.S. armies have set up a government headed by notorious CIA agents such as Talabani, Chalabi, Allawi, etc. The U.S. is building a large, U. S.-armed and U.S.-commanded puppet army and police force. The core of this puppet army is based on former fascist generals.
On the other hand, the parties which oppose the occupation are illegal and the Iraqi people are hunted, killed, tortured, and imprisoned.
This is, of course, one of the basic tactics of imperialism. Whenever the U.S. or other imperialist powers take control of another country, they ally themselves with and give strength to the most reactionary classes inside the country. The foreign aggressors and local exploiters work together to suppress the laboring classes and other democratic sectors who struggle for independence, freedom and social progress. As in Iraq, the imperialists provide the arms while the local reactionaries round up manpower and lend "legitimacy" to the colonial regime. The foreign and local capitalists share in exploiting the people.
Thus, in every country, the presence and influence of U.S. imperialism heightens the civil conflict, polarizing the society. Throughout Latin America, U.S. imperialism is notorious for bringing to power or propping up such fascist regimes as the Duvaliers in Haiti, Somoza's and his National Guard in Nicaragua, Pinochet in Chile, etc. In Korea, U. S. imperialism continues to partition the country. In the Middle East, the U.S. has sponsored such fascist regimes as the Shah of Iran, the Saudi Arabian monarchy, Saddam Hussein, etc. Recent history provides countless examples exposing the absurd, doublespeak logic of the U.S. government when it claims to be "bringing democracy" to Iraq or any country. For the last 50 years and more, U.S. imperialism has been the main bastion and support for reaction and fascism. It is the sworn enemy of democracy and the liberation struggles of the peoples.
Indeed, the civil war in Iraq is intensifying. The U.S. occupation has polarized the entire country. On one side, the vast majority of Iraqi people - the workers, the poor and downtrodden, all who defend the independence and honor of the nation - are opposing the U.S. occupation. On the other side, the reactionary, exploiting classes have put themselves at the disposal of the occupiers and are helping to kill and subjugate their own people.
Part and parcel of the U.S. war strategy is to create sectarian violence to sap the strength of the people and justify continued U.S. occupation. From day one, the U.S. talked about the "need" to partition Iraq along sectarian lines. The entire constitutional and political strategy pursued by the U.S. (such as doling out political privileges and building armed militias along sectarian lines) is designed to foment sectarian rivalries. Recently, the head of the UN human rights monitoring group in Iraq revealed that the U.S. has trained Iraqi government death squads which systematically seek out Sunnis for torture and murder.
This tactic has been used repeatedly by the U.S. and British imperialists - in Ireland and India, in Yugoslavia and Palestine, etc.
Such sectarian violence does not arise from the life of the overwhelming majority of Iraqi people who live, work and struggle under the same conditions and who everyday are strengthening their unity through the common struggle against the occupier. From the beginning, the resistance forces and the broadest sectors of Iraqi public opinion have repeatedly blamed the sectarian violence squarely on the U.S. occupiers and called for the united resistance of the Iraqi people. For example, after the attack on the Golden Mosque, Sunnis and Shiites mobilized together to protect their mosques and neighborhoods. Influential Shiite cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr blamed the U.S. for the attack and called on people to "protect both Shia and Sunni shrines....My message to Iraqi people is to stand united and bonded, and not to fall into the Western trap. The West is trying to divide the Iraqi people....there is only one enemy. The occupier."
It is the struggle against the U.S. occupation and against U.S. imperialism which is the path for resolving the civil conflict. Forcing the U.S. troops, out of Iraq, lock, stock and barrel is not only necessary for the independence of the country, it is also the way to break the back of the internal, reactionary classes and open the path for progress.
This task will be achieved by the liberation struggle of the Iraqi people.