People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
March 25, 2007
Four Years Of US Imperialism’s Aggression On Iraq
FOUR years ago, on March 20, 2003, US imperialism launched the criminal inhuman military assault on Iraq and soon occupied the country. Ten weeks later, on May 1, 2003, US President George Bush thundered to the world that they have `accomplished’ their mission and the war had ended. Four years down the line, Mr. Bush has sanctioned additional troops to join the military occupation of Iraq and to further mount barbaric attacks against the Iraqi people. This, according to US imperialism, is necessary since the Taliban are seeking “safe heaven” in Iraq.
What an irony? Apart from all other despicable lies told by US imperialism to justify its invasion, an additional factor offered was that the military attack was necessary to eliminate the Taliban. Now, US imperialism is using the pretext of Taliban making new inroads in Iraq as the reason for its continuing occupation. The war that was launched ostensibly to eliminate the Taliban, we are told now that it had, in fact, consolidated the presence of Taliban in Iraq.
This latest pretext for continuing the military occupation of Iraq comes after all other reasons adduced by US imperialism turned out to be gigantic fabrications – that Iraq was producing nuclear weapons; that Iraq had stockpiled weapons of mass destruction; that Iraq had a lethal stock of chemical weapons etc etc.
There is a high degree of controversy, naturally, regarding the number of people who have died as a result of the US occupation. During these four years, while the Iraqi government’s health ministry estimates that nearly 150,000 died by November 2006, the UK medical journal `The Lancet’ published a study saying nearly 655,000 had died by July 2006. Such a huge number of deaths are unprecedented in contemporary history. Close to 3,500 soldiers of the US-led coalition (US: 3188) are reported dead upto March 9, 2007.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has estimated that over 20 lakhs of Iraqis have migrated to neighbouring countries while a similar number are internally displaced. Civic facilities have virtually vanished in Iraq. For a country that did not know of any power shortage under Saddam Hussein has to today contend with the situation that its capital Baghdad has for the last four years not seen the resumption of public power supply. The city survives on generators. The decay in sanitation, water supply and other connected public services has been so drastic that there are dangers of major health epidemics breaking out. The internecine civil strife is on the rise with an implicit US encouragement. The popular resistance against US military occupation continues despite all efforts by US imperialism to impose its military rule. Suicide bombings, car blasts, guerrilla type attacks are on the rise. US occupation is mercilessly destroying Iraqi civil society.
Following the illegal and unjust hanging of Saddam Hussein has now come the news that his Vice President Ramadan was hanged to death on March 19. In the process of trying the war crimes of Nazi fascism in the famous Nuremberg Trials, the international community had scrupulously drawn up the principles on which such trials should be conducted in order to protect the accused from persecution and vindictiveness. The main feature of these principles was, and is, that the accused must be tried according to the law of the land and not according to the law of the occupation force. It is precisely this inviolable principle that has been violated mercilessly in the trials of Saddam Hussein and his associates.
US imperialism is thus guilty today of having unscrupulously violated all international laws and norms in every sphere. But all this is being done for a purpose. As we have been arguing through these columns, for many years, the real objective of US imperialism’s military occupation of Iraq is to seize control of Iraq’s oil riches. This, they seem to have achieved with meticulous redrafting of laws to control Iraq’s oil. Iraq has 80 known oilfields. Under Saddam Hussein, they were all under the control of the State-owned Iraqi national oil company. Reports suggest that the new law being considered by the US imperialism’s puppet regime will leave just 17 of these with the State-owned company. Iraq’s oil resources have, thus, been privatised and placed at the altar of US multinational corporations to thoroughly exploit these resources. Having lost their liberty, the country’s sovereignty, the dignity of leading a decent livelihood, faced with unprecedented insecurity and uncertainty of the future, the Iraqi people are being thus looted of their only resource that could have contributed to improving their lives and future.
These are the modern crimes committed by US imperialism in its efforts to impose its hegemony and convert the world into a unipolar one under its tutelage. No human being who cherishes freedom, dignity, independence and peace can tolerate, leave alone accept, such a trampling of human rights by US imperialism. International solidarity must be strengthened further against US imperialism.