The US once again is bombing in Iraq and threatens the country with a "long-term project". The pretense is to stop the extremist Islamic state (IS) movement and “prevent genocide”. The experience – from the US occupation 2003-2011 and from “humanitarian interventions” in other countries – shows that this in fact means continued war against the people of Iraq, with devastating effects on the civilian population. The true purpose is to secure American interests and strengthen military control of Iraq.
The fact that the United States was forced to withdraw its troops from Iraq in 2011 – and that Prime Minister al-Maliki’s regime was forced to reject the demand for impunity for a remaining continuation force – was a significant achievement for the popular resistance. Since then, the United States has worked to regain military control and to carve up Iraq into smaller, more easily controlled statelets and not least to secure control over the oil production.
It is in that perspective the IS should be seen. It is in fact a creation of the UK, the USA, Israel and Saudi Arabia. That has been well documented and confirmed for instance by secret documents publicised by Edward Snowden. At the Al-Mafraq military base in Jordan the US is said to have gathered and trained 20-30 000 terrorists for the war against Syria and Iraq.
After setbacks in Syria the IS are now concentrating on Iraq, committing heinous crimes and providing an excuse for the US to intervene against the locally rooted resistance movement, which has fought for the unity and independence of the country ever since the 2003 occupation.
The IS are a barbaric, reactionary force, which in no way contributes to the liberation of Iraq from the remains of the occupation. Just like US Vice President Joe Biden, the IS wants to extinguish Iraq as a state. Also Israel now openly wants an independent Kurdistan, i.e. to divide Iraq. Is it a coincident that the US is intervening now, when the IS are attacking Kurdish areas?
The IS are expelling Christians from Mosul. They are expelling Yezidis, Turkmens and other religious and ethnical groups. That is another serious crime against the Iraqi people, but the notion that this can be prevented through intervention of the superpower that lies behind the last decade of ethnic cleansing and displacement is an illusion. This dispossession of people is a continuation of the sectarianism and ethnic cleansing that accompanied the US occupation and the structure that was set up by the administrator of the occupation, Paul Bremer. The US has done nothing to prevent attacks against peaceful Sunnis, or against the popular uprising headed by local leaders. On the contrary, they sent weapons to the al-Maliki regime, weapons used to defeat the popular movement and to bomb Fallujah and other cities. Already a few months ago, UNHCR estimated the number of civil sunni refugees forced to leave their homes in the Anbar province to 450.000.
Once again US President Obama speaks about the responsibility of the “outside world” to prevent a looming genocide in accordance with the R2P (“responsibility to protect”) doctrine. That is an argument that has been used in past conflicts to justify imperialist intervention in violation of the UN Charter. In this case too, that argument lacks credibility. If the United States really wants to prevent genocide – why do they not react sharply against Israel’s massacre of Palestinians in Gaza?
The United States has conducted devastating assaults on Iraq. Cities like Mosul, Fallujah, Ramadi, Al Qaim, Samarra, Haditha, Rawa, Baquba, Tal Afar and many more have suffered extensive American bombing. The consequences remain in the form of dead and displaced people, deformed children, ruined infrastructure. Those responsible for these war crimes must be held accountable for their crimes.
Instead of imposing justice, President Obama has shielded the war criminals and continued their policy of war by other means. While the US leaders continue their policy of war with devastating consequences for Iraq and other countries and peoples, they mask themselves as a force for universal good.
The dictatorial regime in Baghdad, appointed through a sectarian constitution dictated by the United States, can never defeat the dark anti-humanitarian forces that IS represent. Only the Iraqi people can liberate the country and re-establish a sovereign independent Iraq. That presupposes a secular, democratic government of national unity, irrespective of religion or ethnicity.
We demand an end to the US war policy and justice for Iraq. The war criminals must be put on trial.
We demand an end to all foreign intervention in Iraq, from IS, but also from the USA, Israel, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
We call for support for the popular demands for respect for human rights – for Christians, Sunnis, Shiites, Arabs and Kurds, and others.
Solidarity with the Iraqi people for a free, united and independent Iraq!
Iraq Solidarity Association
The statement in Swedish
Published by BRussells Tribunal