Reprint from Volume 34 Issue #8 of The Worker newspaper - published by The Workers Party U.S.A
Defeating U.S. Aggression Against the Iraqi Nation - More of a Burning Question Than Ever
May-25, 2020 - While billions of dollars are spent in the U.S. to think up and churn out endless propaganda to make the causes of the U.S. war in Iraq seem very complicated, the simple truth is that the dividing line is between the vast majority of Iraqis, who are fighting for freedom and independence on the one hand, and the U.S. invaders, their allies and lackeys on the other.
Today, there are 2 fundamental contradictions in Iraqi society: 1) the contradiction between U.S. imperialism and the Iraqi nation; and 2) the contradiction between the reactionary, exploiting Iraqi upper class and the exploited and downtrodden masses. The U.S. war of aggression and occupation has linked these 2 contradictions closely together and brought both to the bursting point. The only way forward for the nation and people of Iraq — the only way to resolve these contradictions — is through the war of resistance and national liberation against U.S. imperialism and its lackeys. This is the path that the Iraqi people have already taken and the only way to support independence and democracy in Iraq is to support this struggle against foreign occupation and its puppet government.
When the U.S. Department of Defense took political power in Iraq in May of 2003 through the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) headed by Paul Bremmer, this served to bring about the era of recolonization proceeding in Iraq today. In violation of the basic principles of the UN Charter and international law, the CPA began by implementing measures to destroy the country's secular constitution and replace it with a religious one. Other early processes included the privatization of the country's state-owned enterprises (which formerly employed 3:10 Iraqi workers), the establishment of a local stock market, and the foreign takeover of the country's banking and financial system. Next, billions of U.S. dollars worth of Iraqi assets were seized in order to begin the process of robbing Iraq's economy in order to underwrite private military and corporate contracts. The CPA then proceeded to try to set up a puppet government of ex-patriot CIA agents, the comprador section of the local capitalists and landlords that wanted to capitulate to the demands of U.S. imperialism, and former generals of the old regime.
A reign of terror was immediately unleashed against the Iraqi masses and their organizations. As of the 17th anniversary of the April Fall of Baghdad, hundreds of thousands of innocent people have already been slaughtered. U.S. imperialism launched its war against Iraq with a "shock and awe" campaign that included dropping 1,300 bombs on the people of Baghdad in one day. It has repeatedly used warplanes, helicopters gunships, missiles and tanks against heavily populated civilian areas. It has besieged cities, carrying out collective reprisals, denying water, electricity, food, medical care and other necessities to the people in cities and towns such as Fallujah and others. It has dropped over 2,200 tons of depleted uranium shells on Iraq, poisoning the people and contaminating the country with nuclear radiation which will last for millions of years.
U.S. imperialism immediately unleashed its attack against the people's culture and values, working day and night to convince the Iraqis that their own ancestors are to blame for the country's misfortunes. But of course this is only a "history" to serve the U.S. "victors" — who are fully responsible for the blight that has been imposed on Iraq through force of arms.
According to the chauvinist axioms of U.S. imperialism, the Iraqi people are incapable of dealing with their problems and ruling themselves. Like the slave-traders, the U.S. imperialists claim that they are enslaving the Iraqi people in order to save them. Imperialism can never explain or admit that the Iraqi masses are not only determined to end U.S. occupation but are more than capable of organizing themselves and fighting for liberation.
Yet the U.S. high command plans to impose more fascism and war on the Iraqi people because it knows that they are rising against the occupation. Thus, of course, on May 20 the White House once again sent Congress an extension of the U.S. National Emergency which authorizes protection of U.S. oil companies operating in Iraq. According to the text of the notice sent to Congress:
"The obstacles to the orderly reconstruction of Iraq, the restoration and maintenance of peace and security in the country, and the development of political, administrative, and economic institutions in Iraq continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. For this reason, the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303, as modified in scope and relied upon for additional steps taken in Executive Order 13315 of August 28, 2003, Executive Order 13350 of July 29, 2004, Executive Order 13364 of November 29, 2004, Executive Order 13438 of July 17, 2007, and Executive Order 13668 of May 27, 2014, must continue in effect beyond May 22, 2020. Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency with respect to the stabilization of Iraq declared in Executive Order 13303."
Even as the tens of billions of dollars spent by U.S. and UK taxpayers for training a puppet-army clearly failed to mollify the Iraqi opposition, the aerial bombardment of Iraqi population centers is ongoing. Warplanes continue to regularly strike civilian targets, further killing the people and destroying the country's infrastructure. Entire villages have been razed to the ground as soldiers carry out devastation — burning houses, destroying property, killing innocent people and terrorizing the population. An April 10 airstrike by the UK Royal Airforce demolished several buildings near the ancient city of Tuz Khurma as part of routine "counter-threat" operations. On April 30, U.S.-Iraqi joint airstrikes were carried out in the mountainous regions of northeastern Iraq, killing at least 10 people. Other recent airstrikes were conducted on Beiji, Fallujah, Habbaniyah, Haditha, Huwayjah, Kirkuk, Kisik, Mosul, Ramadi, Sinjar, etc. Military commanders routinely conduct warrantless searches, monitor private communications, carry out collective punishment, mass arrests, and restrict assembly.
Iraqis are now being conscripted and forced to die in the front lines of a U.S. war against their compatriots. Opponents of the regime have routinely been labeled "terrorists" and abducted and tortured, 250,000 people are "missing," and thousands of prisoners of the war are languishing in guardhouses. Iraq's workers are more exploited than ever and peasant labor has been turned into virtual slave labor, forced to work under the most unsafe and unhealthy conditions.
The U.S. government launched this war not because of "weapons of mass destruction," much less to "liberate the Iraqi people," but to grab the oil and set up a "free market" base for U.S. capitalism to further penetrate the Middle East.
The U.S. monopoly capitalist class is 100% responsible for its aggressive, imperialist war on Iraq.
The U.S. launched the war in opposition to the expressed will of the peoples and governments of the world in order to grab more of the spoils of colonialism, to gain new markets and sources of raw materials, to force a new division of spheres of influence and economic territory.
The U.S. monopoly capitalist class — a class which seeks to maximize its profits not only through the exploitation of the American working class, but also through the superexploitation and enslavement of the peoples the world over — needs war.
It needs war to reimpose the colonial system and direct U.S. military rule on other countries.
It needs war to bring the weaker capitalist states and its imperialist rivals further under its thumb.
It needs war to further militarize the U.S. and put the whole of our country's economy at its disposal.
However, even more importantly, the experience of the last decade shows that the Iraqi people will not be conquered. In Iraq, as throughout the world, the people are the decisive force. They are and will continue their resistance until they throw U.S. imperialism out of their country lock, stock and barrel, and regain their sovereignty.
Let the struggle of the Iraqi people against the U.S. war and occupation grow stronger! It has our undying support!
So too, U.S. imperialism's endless aggression in Iraq is one link in a worldwide chain. The fact is that the U.S. government has declared war against the entire world.
Thus, in the course of mobilizing ever-wider sections of people against the war dangers, we must answer the question: "How do we stop the war program altogether?"
This is a political question — a question of who holds the governmental power in the country.
Today, the government is the instrument of the monopoly capitalist class. The very social existence of this class is based not only on the exploitation of the American working class but also on the superexploitation and enslavement of countries throughout the world. Hence, the capitalists' government has set up military bases in 150 foreign countries and stockpiled the most massive arsenal of weapons to "defend" this world empire.
Thus to end the government's aggressive foreign policy, to stop the capitalists from making war, the people must break their political power.
We must bring to power a new government — a people's government.
This battle for power begins with organizing and strengthening our own independent political movement, in opposition to and struggle against the parties of war and imperialism.
Peace and friendship with all the nations and peoples of the world is the sacred aspiration of the people everywhere. But this aspiration can only be realized when the people themselves are in charge of political affairs and governmental power.
Then we can put a stop to imperialism's "war without end" by carrying through a fundamental change in U.S. foreign policy — by withdrawing all U.S. troops stationed abroad and recognizing the sovereign equality of every country.