Reprint from Volume 35 Issue #4 of The Worker newspaper - published by The Workers Party U.S.A
U.S. Ambassador Lays Out Goals for Protecting U.S. Administrative Machinery in Iraq
February-23, 2021 - While the use of overwhelming military force by U.S. imperialism to subjugate Iraq met with some outward appearance of success, the U.S. government is facing growing difficulties in its career of nation-building in Iraq. U.S. troops are facing a classic guerrilla style campaign as well as persistent political demonstrations to oppose the U.S. presence in the country.
All the blood that's been spilled in Iraq since March 19, 2003 is on the hands of U.S. imperialism. The purpose of this nearly 20 year bloodbath imposed by the U.S. presence in Iraq, although nominally being carried out to preserve order and tranquility, is to advance the exploiting, imperial interests of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class – to open the world up to U.S. capitalism in the name of blessing the world with "American democracy."
Alongside the training of Iraqi military reinforcements for this purpose, the war in Iraq continues. U.S.-Iraq forces keep killing the Iraqi people, carrying out mass reprisals, etc. The multinational corporations are being given a free hand to take over the Iraqi economy and to call for the blood of any Iraqi who tries to prevent them from enriching themselves.
The February 16 remarks of Ambassador Richard Mills of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations at a UN Security Council Briefing reveal these aims all the more clearly:
"Since this is the first time the Biden Administration has addressed the issue of Iraq in the Security Council, let me begin with laying out our goals for Iraq.
"The Biden Administration supports a strategic partnership with a stable, democratic Iraq. The Administration will be a steady, reliable partner that supports Iraq’s anti-corruption and economic reform efforts, strengthens regional relationships, holds accountable human rights violators and those who abuse human rights, provides humanitarian assistance, backs efforts to control militias and to control Iran’s destabilizing activities, and advises and assists Iraq’s counterterrorism forces.
"Among its top priorities, the United States will seek to help Iraq assert its sovereignty in the face of enemies, at home and abroad, by preventing an ISIS resurgence and working toward Iraq’s stability.
"For the United States, this means supporting Iraq’s efforts to hold credible, inclusive, and peaceful elections. The Iraqi government is taking firm steps toward this goal, we believe. In late 2019, when Iraqis took to the streets demanding political and economic reforms, the Iraqi government responded, in part, by planning early elections, now scheduled for October 2021. These scheduled elections will be critical in establishing a responsive and representative government.
"The United States welcomes the recent letter submitted to the Council by the Government of Iraq requesting UNAMI to provide election observers for its October elections. We support international observation of Iraqi elections to ensure that the elections are free, fair, and credible, and look forward to working with Iraq, the Council, fellow members, and the UN to determine the most feasible form such an effort can take.
"UNAMI has already been providing, we believe, excellent technical assistance to the Iraqi government, to ensure that the elections scheduled for October are free and fair, and working with the government to increase public trust in the elections process.
"The United States recognizes and supports the critical role that UNAMI plays in assisting the government’s election preparations, which is why we are providing a $9.7 million grant to support UNAMI in its efforts. We thank the other countries who supported UNAMI as well, but we also want to encourage all international donors to contribute to UNAMI to help it and Iraq prepare for these important elections.
"The report we’ve just heard on elections preparations, however, again highlights the complicated situation in Iraq. It is essential to create a conducive environment for elections so that they are credible, peaceful, and inclusive. One of the highest barriers to a conducive environment, however, is the presence of armed militias, violent extremists, and spoilers. Iraq’s electoral administration and key security personnel should work closely to plan for and coordinate around securing the elections, and this work must begin immediately alongside other preparations for the electoral process.
"A conducive environment means that we must address Iran-backed militias and Iran’s destabilizing activities in Iraq, as well as the remaining ISIS elements. These groups undermine the public’s trust in the government and in the October 2021 elections. They are killing Iraqi citizens, and depriving Iraq of much-needed economic relief and foreign investment. No one is immune. They also have attacked UN convoys and targeted both diplomatic personnel and NGOs seeking to assist Iraq and Iraqis. Just yesterday, as we’ve heard, an attack claimed one civilian contractor and injured several members of the Coalition, including one American service member.
"As Secretary Blinken said yesterday, the United States is outraged by the rocket attack in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region. We express our condolences to the loved ones of the civilian contractor killed in this attack, to the others who were injured, and to the innocent Iraqi people and their families who are suffering from these acts of violence. The United States pledges our support for all efforts to investigate and hold accountable those responsible for these heinous actions.
"We appreciate UNAMI’s ongoing documentation of humanitarian abuses and of human rights violations, and its accountability efforts, including supporting a strengthened judiciary and addressing enforced disappearances.
"The United States remains committed to Iraq’s economic development. Low oil prices, COVID-19, and the security situation have each contributed to Iraq’s current, unsustainable economic position. The United States has provided Iraq more than $706 million since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2019, and more than $2.4 billion in both humanitarian and development assistance since 2014. This assistance helps provide critical shelter, essential healthcare, emergency food assistance, and water, sanitation, and hygiene services across Iraq, and has supported the safe, voluntary, and dignified return of displaced persons, including members of ethnic and religious minority groups.
"Real recovery, however, means real reforms to end corruption.
"Economic reform efforts will only be strengthened by concrete steps, including the establishment last year of a permanent committee to investigate corruption. Endemic corruption undermines economic progress – as well as trust in political bodies – and the permanent committee demonstrates, we believe, the government’s political will to fight endemic corruption in Iraq. We commend the Iraqi government for its efforts, and encourage committed action – in accord with Iraq’s constitutional protections for human rights and due process – to ensure the independence, the impartiality, and the adequate resourcing of the committee.
"Let me end by saying, Madam President, the United States will remain a steady, reliable partner for Iraq, and for the Iraqi people – today and in the future."
Our blood simply boils when we see U.S. imperialism try to blame its brutal crimes, wanton bombing, and deliberate destruction of Iraq on others. Our blood simply boils when we see the unrestrained chauvinism of the ambassador as he tries to legitimize waging an aggressive, colonial war against the Iraqi people and demanding the right to render administrative tutelage until such time as the U.S. aggressor decides that the victim of its aggression has learned the right values.
Neither the guns nor the lies nor the fascist logic of the colonialists can conquer Iraq. This lesson will be taught to U.S. imperialism by the Iraqi liberation struggle itself. Their struggle demands the support of all who hold democracy and humanity dear.
The struggle against U.S. imperialism is one struggle involving many fronts. The U.S. war and colonization of Iraq is an integral part of the global war program of the U.S. government which is a thorn in the side of the peoples everywhere. As long as the U.S. presence in Iraq continues, calls to end the war will continue to issue from the four corners of the globe and increasingly mature anti-imperialist organization will continue to be created.
In the U.S., the Democrats and Republicans impose the war program on the people. Through the two-party monopoly the capitalists have rigged the political system to ensure that only the representatives of big business control the seats of government. Precisely because there is so much opposition amongst the American people, the capitalist politicians put on a show, pretending to argue over the agenda. But both "sides" of the "debate" remain within the limits of the needs of monopoly capital.
In the U.S., the war program of the government is intensifying all of the contradictions inside the country. The capitalists are militarizing the economy, robbing the public treasury and further attacking the economic rights and wages of the workers all along the line. The government is increasing its arbitrary police powers, criminalizing political dissent, attacking civil liberties and democratic rights, attacking immigrants and national minorities. What recent experience teaches is that millions and tens of millions of Americans want an end to their "own" government's war and militarism, but that they lack the political means to achieve this aim.
The very social existence of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class – the big banks and multinational corporations which dominate economic life – is completely bound up not only with the exploitation of the U.S. working class, but also with the superexploitation and domination of countries the world over. 1/3 to 50% of the profits of the U.S. based multinationals comes from overseas investments. Under this system, the mineral wealth, the land and other natural resources of whole countries is owned by the U.S. capitalists.
Because the productive forces – the very means of life – are owned by the foreign companies, the laboring classes have no choice but to toil for the monopolies. Thus, the wealth of such countries and the labor of their peoples goes to enrich the U.S. monopolies.
To police this system of economic domination and privilege U.S. imperialism has established a network of 500 military bases in other countries. U.S. nuclear submarines and warships span the globe and U.S. weapons fill the skies and outer space. Hundreds of times, the U.S. has waged aggressive wars to "protect" and expand this empire.
The war program of the U.S. government, centered in Iraq, is not only shifting the burden of U.S. capitalism's economic failures onto other countries, it is in turn intensifying the contradictions and rivalries between competing imperialist powers and threatening to bring them to the bursting point. U.S. imperialism's campaigns of terror against the national liberation movements, its violations of the sovereign rights of the peoples, its unrestrained aggressiveness and brutality, its disregard for public opinion, its trampling underfoot the mores and principles of international law constitute the fundamental features of its so-called "war on terrorism." This war program is sowing the seeds of a new inter-capitalist, inter-imperialist war fought to see which robber and exploiter will control the most economic territory and empire.
The burning, urgent question facing the anti-war movement of the American people is to build up the independent pro-active movement which fully expresses the ardent aspirations of the people to live in a world of peace and friendship. The objective of this movement is a real anti-war government which makes a radical break from the parties of war and imperialism.