Reprint from Volume 36 Issue #6 of The Worker newspaper - published by The Workers Party U.S.A
The Weight of the U.S. War on the Lives of the Iraqi People Increases
June 23, 2022-Information released this month about a recently completed study, signed off on by the United Nations Development Program, shows that a new purse of $700 million has disappeared from Iraq's national banks. According to the acting Iraqi Commission for Integrity the disappearance is accounted for by “forgery, embezzlement, manipulation, money laundering and abuse of position." International officials in charge of Iraq's "reconstruction" acknowledge robbery from Iraq's public treasury of at least $400 billion since March 20, 2003. However the extent of plunder is widely believed to be many times greater.
The root problem, of course, is that U.S. imperialism has been allowed to turn Iraq into a neo-colony.
In 2003, U.S. imperialism installed a new political and economic model by force of arms, seeing the country as a strategic military asset for extending its economic and military power throughout the Arab world, and for seizing control of the economic infrastructure and natural resources which belonged by birthright to the Iraqi people.
From the day that U.S. troops first occupied Iraq, the U.S. government began to wage a brutal war of aggression on the Iraq people and impose a neo-colonial regime on them. The U.S.-installed reconstruction regime deregulated the banking industry, as it did with many other sectors of the economy. New laws, imposed illegally under foreign military occupation, removed most of Iraq's infrastructure from state-ownership and placed it in the hands of primarily American capitalists. Before the close of 2003, U.S. companies were already counting the worth of their contracts in billions of dollars. Prior to the invasion, Iraqi government had eliminated foreign ownership of its industry, invested in an extensive social safety net including free health care, and had no income or sales taxes imposed on the people.
To be sure, the new and growing levels of poverty in Iraq after these programs were slashed under "reconstruction" are no secret. Part of the arsenal of the bourgeoisie on the ideological front in the U.S. is to expose problems in Iraq. In fact the bourgeoisie have created a big propaganda campaign out of “exposing” what everyone already knew about what tragedies U.S. regime change war would bring to the Iraqi people. All the “exposures” are designed either to promote racist anti-Muslim hysteria or to call for even more foreign management of natural resource and selling-off of state-owned companies. It seems that the more the situation deteriorates the more claims are made about the superiority of Washington's program for U.S.-Iraq economic and military integration through force of arms. These chauvinist perspectives are used to "legitimatize" the pillaging and plunder of Iraq and follow the usual perverted logic of the U.S. imperialists who look in the mirror and then try to attribute the criminal reflection they see onto their victims.
Today, Iraq remains a keystone in U.S. imperialism's military strategy. So too, with huge U.S. bases not only in Baghdad, but also at Fallujah and throughout the land, the U.S. Treasury Department and the World Bank have been able to liberalize regulations concerning the creation of joint stock companies through partnership with foreign banking interests and otherwise make good on their early promises to guarantee that in Iraq "the steps they are taking are major steps forward in terms of creating an environment for investment."
In order to maintain its military and economic domination of Iraq, U.S. imperialism is waging a war of aggression in order to suppresses the sovereign national rights of the people. According to U.S. law, enacted by executive order without the ratification of the U.S. Senate, Iraq is a junior partner of the U.S. and the federal government has unrestrainable power to determine everything - to redraw the map of Iraq, to keep Iraq's economy at the disposal of the U.S. monopolies, to outlaw political parties, etc., etc. The people have no say so in deciding any of the vital economic, political, military or other issues.
The U.S. war and occupation is contributing to the sharpening of contradictions and the heightening of tensions on a world scale. Locally, it aims at preventing the restoration of the sovereignty and independence of the country, at terrorizing the Iraqi people and keeping them under the thumb of U.S. imperialism.
However, the grinding oppressions relentlessly exercised upon the Iraqi workers of all descriptions and the ever-worsening character of the much-bepraised U.S. regime change and reconstruction mission are being brought to light by the struggle of the Iraqi people. And in the U.S., the so-called anti-war leaders who play the role of fire-fighters by repeating the same old tired chauvinist lines such as "we freed the Iraqi people from a tyrant regime", "we are spreading democracy throughout the Middle East", and "we can't leave until the job is done" are being isolated in event after event. The ongoing strength of the Iraqi resistance shows that the future is bright. The Iraqi people will not be conquered. The Iraqi people will win their struggle against the U.S. neo-colonialists and their puppet government.