EIGHT and a half years after the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, 21 years after the deadly UN sanctions were imposed on Iraq in 1990, which took hundreds of thousands of children’s lives, and after the 1991 Gulf War, US president Barak Obama has declared: ‘The war is over’.
He told an assembled Airborne Division last Wednesday: ‘For nearly nine years, our nation has been at war in Iraq…Dozens of bases with American names that housed thousands of American troops have been closed down or turned over to the Iraqis. Thousands of tons of equipment have been packed up and shipped out. Tomorrow, the colours of United States Forces-Iraq – the colours you fought under – will be formally cased in a ceremony in Baghdad. Then they’ll begin their journey across an ocean, back home.’
Twenty-one years after the imposition of sanctions and the 1991 Gulf War whose mission was to bomb Iraq back into the stone age, eight years after the start of the 2003 war that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, and after years of the most heroic insurgency, the US has been forced to end the war and the occupation of Iraq without securing any of its strategic objectives.
In fact, the Baathists are as strong as ever – Fallujah wildly celebrated the US withdrawal. The government, meanwhile, is in the hands of those that were allowed to return from exile in Iran to become the government of Iraq, under a deal with Iran that allowed the US to attack Iraq and overthrow the Saddam Hussein regime without any interference, provided the pro-Iranian exiles could return to Iraq.
The only thing that can be said for the US withdrawal is that they outlasted the British military. It was driven out of Basra and southern Iraq in full flight some four years ago.
The Baathists who were removed as the Iraqi government are still very strong and massed in Baghdad and northern and western Iraq, where they will act as a defensive barrier for the Baathist Syrian regime that has been home to some two million Baathist refugees.
All that the UN sanctions, the 1991 Gulf War and the 2003 war achieved was mountains of corpses and the ruination of Iraq, which had been a very advanced country with health and education facilities as good as anything in Europe.
This was all turned into rubble and a giant graveyard in a war fuelled by Bush and Blair’s lies that Iraq had wmds and was a danger to the planet.
Obama, in his speech, remarked on the political changes that had taken place since the invasion.
‘Now, nine years ago American troops were preparing to deploy to the Persian Gulf and the possibility that they would be sent to war. Many of you were in grade school. I was a state senator. Many of the leaders now governing Iraq – including the Prime Minister – were living in exile…’
They were living in exile in Iran and came back to run the country as part of a deal with the Iranian government, along with a number of CIA agents such as Allawi.
Obama was surely joking when he said: ‘Now, Iraq is not a perfect place. It has many challenges ahead. But we’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq, with a representative government that was elected by its people. We’re building a new partnership between our nations. And we are ending a war not with a final battle, but with a final march toward home.’
He recognises that they did not conquer!
He spoke about ‘the precision of our efforts against al-Qaeda in Iraq’, without mentioning that the US invasion brought Al-Qaeda into Iraq. He then said of the Iraq and Afghan wars: ‘That success was never guaranteed.’
There is not the slightest doubt that the US retreat from Baghdad will see the Iraqi revolution leap forward as the Iraqi masses take back the ownership and control of their own country.
We urge the Iraqi masses, Sunni and Shia, to unite to go forward to a workers and farmers government that will use the oil wealth to rebuild the country. We urge Iran to form an anti-imperialist alliance of equals with the Iraqi people, an alliance that will powerfully strengthen the revolution that is taking place in the Middle East and will succeed in liberating Palestine from Zionism and removing the Arab feudal regimes to go forward to a Middle East Federation of Socialist States.