Recalling the US invasion and occupation of Iraq and minding the current US aggression in Syria

ILPS Statement on the 13th Anniversary of the US War of Aggression against Iraq and the Iraqi People

Issued by the Office of the Chairperson
International League of Peoples’ Struggle
Prepared by Commission No. 1:
The cause of national liberation, democracy
and social liberation against imperialism and all reaction

On March 20, 2003, the US, together with its allies–the UK, Australia and Poland — invaded Iraq and deposed the Ba’athist government of Saddam Hussein, despite the resounding call of millions of people taking to the streets in more than 3,000 cities around the world to stop the invasion.

Having failed earlier to get UN Security Council approval, the US cobbled together a hodge-podge of stooges it called the “coalition of the willing” to carry out its war of aggression against Iraq. The invasion was based on the lie that Saddam Hussein was in possession of “weapons of mass destruction” (WMDs) This lie would later be fully exposed when no such WMD’s were discovered in Iraq after the invasion.

The real reason for the Iraq invasion and overthrow of the Saddam Hussein government was because the latter stood in the way of US complete control of Iraq, the country that ranks second among the ten countries with the largest proven oil reserves. The US war for oil resulted in the massacre of 1.5 million Iraqis, injury to another million and displacement and refugee-ization of 5 million within Iraq and in neighboring countries.

By launching this war of aggression, the US is guilty of the most serious war crimes according to international law. In the execution of the war, US forces committed the most heinous crimes against humanity such as the massacre of civilians, torture of prisoners of war and the use of weapons of mass destruction.

US forces used white phosphorus bombs and depleted uranium ammunitions. The former killed people over wide areas by slowly burning through the skin. And the latter caused cancer among the population for a long time. In the city of Najaf where some of the fiercest battles were fought, a team that conducted an investigation found that “every residential street in several neighborhoods has seen multiple cases of families whose children are ill, as well as families who have lost children, and families who have many relatives suffering from cancer.”

Young unemployed Americans were used as canon-fodder for such wars of aggression in the interest of big capital. The US government has admitted that 4,448 US soldiers were killed, while 32,221 of them were injured. Furthermore, 3,400 contractors also died as a consequence of the US practice of privatizing aspects of war making, including military service, awarding billion-dollar contracts to such companies as Dick Cheney’s KBR/Halliburton that provided logistical support for the US invasion forces in Iraq. Many of the US soldiers who survived the US-Iraq war have suffered from post traumatic brain injury and post trauma disability.

The US spent an estimated USD 3 trillion for the war on Iraq, while denying needed social services in health and education for the American people.

As in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya in preceding years, the US is currently engaged in a catastrophic war in Syria where the Assad government stands in the way of US imperialist pursuit of “full-spectrum dominance” in the Middle East/West Asia.

It is obsessed with seeking the overthrow of the Assad regime by every foul means to serve the interests of the US and Zionist Israel. The latter occupies the Golan Heights that belong to Syria and wishes the overthrow of every government that supports the Palestinian people.

Using its proxies, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, which in turn finance and arm numerous Jihadist groups among them Daesh, Al Nusra Front , Al Qaeda and others, the US has tried for five years to orchestrate the ouster of the Assad government. But it has been stymied by the support of Russia and Iran for the Assad government and was prevented in 2013 from bombing Syria on the pretext of protecting the Syrian people from chemical attacks which had in fact been staged by the anti-Assad forces.

Russia disproved that the attacks had been made by the Syrian government and went further by persuading the latter to give up its old stock of chemical weapons previously supplied by the Soviet Union. The US organized, armed and funded the ISIS or Daesh in 2013 to pose as the Sunnite foil to the governments inspired by Shiite and Alawite forces, to attack the Syrian government and to keep the Middle East in a continuing state of chaos for US manipulation, intervention and arm sales.

But since 2014 the US has been compelled to take a position against the Daesh after this beheaded Western journalists and massacred Christian communities. Under the pretext of fighting its own Daesh creation, the US has obtained the license to conduct bombing raids against pro-Assad forces. So has Turkey against the Kurds and the forces of the Syrian government. It is only the Syrian government, Russia and France that have been earnestly bombing the Daesh..

It remains to be seen whether the current truce being arranged mainly by the US and Russia will actually lead to a peaceful resolution of the tangled warfare that has arisen in Syria. The US and its allies are maneuvering to strengthen the anti-Assad forces. Russia has demonstratively withdrawn some of its military forces from Syria but retains key military bases. Russia and Iran continue to support the Syrian government.

No matter how clever US imperialism is, it has been unable to monopolize situations and dictate results in its favor. It is suffering heavily the costs of war in the different arenas of conflict which it has instigated and embroiled itself. Its aggressive acts have not stemmed but have accelerated its strategic decline. Its stepped up war production and aggressive wars have only served to aggravate its economic and political crisis.

New economic powers such as Russia and China have emerged to challenge US global hegemony. Inter-imperialist contradictions are sharpening. At the same time, governments in the oppressed countries are asserting national sovereignty against imperialist impositions and national liberation movements are waging armed struggle. Even in the imperialist countries, the people are increasingly opposing the wars that their governments are waging in their name .

On the 13th anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) calls on its member-organizations to intensify the resistance to US-led wars of aggression and armed intervention. All ILPS member-organizations must support the forces in the oppressed countries fighting for national and social liberation against imperialism and domestic reaction and likewise the progressive anti-war movements in the US and other imperialist countries.

We call for an end to US imperialist plunder and war. US military bases in Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa, the Asia Pacific, Latin America and the rest of the world must be dismantled. Only in a world liberated from the scourge of imperialism can a just and lasting peace be achieved.

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