Operation Iraqi Freedom began on March 20, 2003. The exact nature of this war is the exact opposite of its name. The Iraqis will never know anything resembling freedom coming from the direction of the United States military. The real purpose of the Iraq war was criminal in nature, the theft of the oil in the subsoil and as a geostrategic base for operations against rival imperialisms. Of course, every government needs to camouflage its aggression with all the catchwords from the pacifist dictionary.
What were the ghastly activities of the Saddam Hussein regime that necessitated an immediate invasion? We were assured there were weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and shadowy ties to al-Qaeda. And what evidence did the Bush administration produce to substantiate this invasion? We were given shrill assertions that they didn’t want the “smoking gun” to end up being a “mushroom cloud.” They put the cart before the horse on this one. First, they had to produce a smoking gun! They could have listened to U.N. Weapons inspector Hans Blix who emphatically denied that Saddam was cooking up WMD. As for al-Qaeda, this is a boogie-man that can be leaned on to substantiate any policy.
Fear mongering about the evil, omnipotent enemy, as George Orwell has observed, is always a useful tool for manipulating public opinion and “manufacturing consent.”
But what exactly has been accomplished by the invasion of Iraq? Has democracy been created? Is the population safer than it had been? Devastation on an unimaginable scale has been inflicted on the people of Iraq. According to the website, Iraq Body Count, approximately from 92,941 to 101,433 civilians have died from the resulting hostilities. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimated the war has uprooted 4.7 million Iraqis, that is 16 percent of the entire population! No one can forget the abu-Ghraib prisoner torture scandal that was approved at the very highest levels of government. This is not to mention the devastation of Iraq’s infrastructure. Iraq’s cultural life has been robbed by the destruction of the priceless works of art in their museums during the initial phase of the invasion.
Many people think that U.S. Imperialism is going to leave sometime soon, as indicated by President Barack Obama. This is not the case. A status of forces agreement was approved by the Iraqi government in late 2008. “U.S. combat forces will withdraw from Iraqi cities by June 30, 2009, and all U.S. forces will be completely out of Iraq by December 31, 2011.” (Wikipedia). This is more smoke and mirrors than real policy. In reality there will be plenty of permanent military bases outside of Iraqi cities and a gigantic new U.S. embassy, all to assure that Iraqi “sovereignty” stays within very well circumscribed limits. What are the limits? The desires and interests of American Imperialism. As Global Security notes, “U.S. engineers are focusing on constructing 14 “enduring bases,” long-term encampments for the thousands of American troops expected to serve in Iraq for at least two years” (of course, longer!). Global Security.
The Iraq war is a war of aggression thrust upon the American and Iraqi populations through lies spread by a very well oiled propaganda machine, that is, the U.S. media. The Nazis were tried at Nuremberg for just such an offense. And the principle was established that all the crimes committed on behalf of the war effort flow from the war being designated as aggressive. All of the evil is contained in this initial crime.
George W. Bush and Co., the people responsible for the criminal war in Iraq, need to stand trial for war crimes, for the criminal act of an aggressive war.
The American people, in spite of being diverted by the devastation of the economy with its foreclosures and high unemployment, etc., will have an opportunity to demonstrate their opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in cities all over the United States on October 17.
Bring the Troops Home Now!
Money for Jobs Not War!