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Bombing will not bring peace to Iraq


September 1, 2014

The US bombing campaign in Iraq is being touted as the latest humanitarian intervention in the region. What the US fails to mention is that they are responsible for creating the conditions that led to the humanitarian crisis in the first place.
 
The West is using the bombing campaign to rehabilitate the Iraq War and erase the memory of the anti-war movement from a decade ago. Obama, elected based on opposition to the Iraq War, has used drone attacks to normalize bombing campaigns that now include Iraq. Harper, who failed to push Canada into war in 2003, is supporting the new attacks.
 
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird stated that “Canada continues to condemn the repugnant killing of innocent civilians, including women and children, from Christian, Yazidi and other religious and minority communities in northern Iraq by the terror group (ISIL). We call on Iraqi leaders to come together to govern for all Iraqis, regardless of religion, and for the sake of the security, democracy and prosperity of the Iraqi people.” This statement is pure hypocrisy.
 
Iraq War + intervention in Syria = ISIS
The US invasion in 2003 killed a million people—including the leveling of Fallujah, torture in Abu Ghraib and rape in Mahmoudiya—and left the country in ruins. It was only a matter of time before those conditions would give rise to some new brutality. Harper refused to condemn these repugnant crimes and instead deported US Iraq War resisters.
 
Meanwhile the US imposed a political process on Iraq after the invasion of 2003 that undermined unity. As a standard divide and conquer technique, the US occupiers pushed a sectarian political process whereby political power was apportioned out to groups based on religion and ethnicity—alongside arming sectarian death squads. The rise of ISIS in Iraq is, therefore, a direct result of that process and the brutal US invasion which has brought poverty and misery to the people.
 
ISIS is also a product of Western intervention in Syria. Many of the US allies in the region—particularly Saudi Arabia (which frequently beheads and crucifies dissidents while being armed by the West)—funneled money and weapons to sectarian sections of the opposition to Bashar Al Assad. That provided a strong financial and military base for the creation of ISIS. Again, meddling by the imperial powers has backfired and created a new enemy for the West.
 
The ironies in this situation are plentiful. One of the stated goals of the 2003 invasion was to wipe out “terror” threat in Iraq. Of course, at the time no such threat existed but now that threat is real for the people of Iraq. And we now see the US bombing its own military equipment and fighting on the same side as two of the regimes it has vilified, Syria and Iran.
 
Stop the bombing, support war resisters
What this situation shows is that with each brutal intervention in the region, the US has brought more violence and more suffering. A new round of bombing will not reverse that trend and must be opposed.
 
The anti-war movement made this clear a decade ago: the main threat to peace is Western imperialism, we need to support Iraqi self-determination, stop our government’s drive to war and support war resisters.
 
The same is true today. True peace will only come with a unity government in Baghdad that embraces all different groups regardless of religious or ethnic background—and it is Iraqis themselves who are fighting against the entrenching of these divisions and for greater unity, but they are doing so under some very difficult conditions.
 
We need to oppose any further Western intervention, support Iraq self-determination and support US Iraq War resisters.

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