THE US has sent 75 Hellfire air-to-ground missiles to Iraq, with many more on the way. They are to be used to try to prevent Al-Qaeda establishing an Islamic Caliphate in western Iraq, which is to be part of a feudal state stretching into northern Syria.
Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for the US State Department, has confirmed the missile shipment and also said that the United States was planning on sending ScanEagle drones. ‘The United States is committed to supporting Iraq in its fight against terrorism through the Strategic Framework Agreement,’ she said, referring to a 2008 pact between the two nations.
She added: ‘The recent delivery of Hellfire missiles and an upcoming delivery of ScanEagles are standard foreign military sales cases that we have with Iraq to strengthen their capabilities to combat this threat.’
The Iraqi government launched its operation in the largely desert province of Anbar following last weekend’s killing of a senior military commander, a colonel and five soldiers in an ambush by Al-Qaeda.
The Maliki regime is in a desperate situation after 8,000 people have been killed by bomb blasts in Iraq in 2013. Al-Qaeda has been waging a sectarian war to divide Iraq by bombing Shi’ite mosques and killing Christians, touching off retribution attacks against Sunni areas.
This is taking place seven years after the execution of Saddam Hussein, on December 30th 2006, after his regime was overthrown by an Anglo-US military invasion in 2003.
Saddam was an enemy of Al-Qaeda as is the Syrian Ba’ath party led by Bashar al Assad. There was no Al-Qaeda in Iraq under Saddam. Iraq was a modern secular state, with free education and a free advanced healthcare system. It had a Christian minority, which has since then been largely driven out of the country – but under Saddam had full religious freedom. There were also equal rights for women, and there were women MPs in the Iraqi parliament.
Its oil wealth was in the hands of the state and used to develop the country. Its regime, however, was Arab nationalist in character and was not willing to put its oil wealth at the disposal of Wall Street and the British banks. It therefore became the number one enemy of the western powers.
When Al-Qaeda attacked the Twin Towers in 2001, it was immediately seized upon by President Bush as establishing the perfect scenario for attacking Iraq. This attack was based on a lie, that Iraq had wmds, and had to be attacked and disarmed to avoid disaster.
Tony Blair and the UK Labour government played a central role in the attack – it could not have been mounted without them.
Iraq was destroyed on the lying basis that it had wmds. The modern, advanced Arab state was then handed over to imperialist collaborators, who have opened the door to Al-Qaeda.
The same was then done to Libya. It was first of all disarmed of its wmds by Tony Blair. He pledged that a new page had been turned and Libya was welcome to enter international imperialist society.
Once disarmed, Libya was attacked and Gadaffi murdered, handing the country over to Islamists and Al-Qaeda who are driving it back by a century.
After Libya came the Ba’athist regime in Syria, another modern country with women’s rights and religious freedom. However, it is anti-Israeli and anti-imperialist.
What is plain is that imperialism prefers to deal with Arab feudalists not nationalists, and that to get rid of the nationalists it is prepared to allow Al-Qaeda to rule, and with it the mass murder of ‘Takfiris’ and Christians.
The cases of Iraq, Libya and Syria prove the point. They are now destroyed countries. Where there were once modern states there are now ruins and mountains of corpses, produced by wars and counter-revolutions initiated by the US and the UK ruling classes. These allowed the most backward forces to emerge.
Imperialism wants a backward Middle East because it knows that it can dominate it. Better Al-Qaeda than Saddam, Gadaffi or Assad is its policy.
Blair even continues to insist that what is happening in Iraq is the teething troubles of democracy! And that he would do it all again!
Workers in the UK must support Assad against imperialism and work for a better world by overthrowing imperialism and capitalism and replacing it with socialism.