Americans Killed by Cops Now Outnumber Americans Killed in Iraq War ~ Read more: http://bit.ly/18GjLSn
Sunni fighters led by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have been on the offensive across northern Iraq, leading to widespread alarm about Iraq breaking apart.
In response to the crisis, several revolutionary Marxist and socialist organizations from the region—the Revolutionary Socialists (Egypt), Union of Iraqi Communists (Iraq), al-Munadhil-a (Morocco), Revolutionary Left Current (Syria), Leftist Workers League (Tunisia) and Socialist Forum (Lebanon)—issued a joint statement calling for revolutionary working-class unity against both sectarianism and imperialism. Here, we reprint their statement, which appeared originally at the al-Manshour website.
Some demonstrators aren’t convinced American troops won’t be sent to Iraq given the country’s history in the region.
It’s déjà vu all over again at Park Street in Boston where people gathered to protest what’s happening in Iraq - more than a decade after American-led troops toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein.
"I’ve been doing this for 11 years and it’s an absolute tragedy to come back here again and to do it, to protest against another invasion of Iraq and utter destruction," Sofia Arias said.
President Barack Obama is now sending 300 military advisers to help the Iraqi-government deal with Sunni insurgents.They will join the more than 200 American troops guarding the US Embassy and other interests.The president insists that US combat troops will not be returning, although he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of airstrikes.
THE DRUMS of war are sounding again in Washington.
In the span of a week, military forces led by the Sunni fundamentalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have gone on the offensive across northern Iraq, taking control of some of the biggest and most oil-rich cities in the country.
By Wednesday, June 18, Barack Obama was meeting with congressional leaders to tell them he didn’t need congressional approval for whatever military means he might decide to deploy—based on Congress’ authorization of the use of military force against Iraq that passed in 2002—which Obama had only recently called on Congress to repeal.
Obama said that the only measure he ruled out was sending U.S. troops back to Iraq—but then announced he had dispatched a few hundred U.S. military personnel. Obama also ordered an aircraft carrier and two guided-missile ships into the Persian Gulf, off Iraq’s coast, and said he was weighing whether air strikes—possibly by drone, possibly by human-operated aircraft—should be used to defend the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki against a Sunni insurgency that is the product of years of bloodshed in both Iraq and Syria.
The strain of Sunni fundamentalism that drives ISIS is reactionary and repulsive. But this is the predictable outcome of sectarian divisions that the U.S. relied on—in fact, promoted—during its years as Iraq’s colonial overlord.
Meanwhile, Maliki’s regime—installed and blessed by the U.S. in the years before American troops withdrew in 2011—has almost no support outside of Iraq’s Shia-dominated areas. Of course, while the U.S. was forced to withdraw combat troops, it still operates the world’s largest embassy in Baghdad, which employs 15,000 people.)
… But in the end, the U.S. war caused enormous loss of life and suffering—many hundreds of thousands of Iraqis dead and millions more driven from their homes—cost a staggering $3 trillion, inadvertently strengthened the regional influence of U.S. rival Iran, and now threatens to pull apart Iraq and the web of regional alliances that the U.S. has largely benefited from over the course of decades.
For the people of Iraq and the rest of the region, who daily live with the consequences of “constructive chaos,” the return of the U.S.—whether in the form of troops, air strikes, economic sanctions or anything else—can only mean more suffering.
Rory Fanning, a former U.S. Army Ranger and author of the forthcoming book “Worth Fighting For: An Army Ranger’s Journey Out of the Military and Across America”, challenges the calls for the U.S. to return to Iraq and “get the job done right.”
Sami Ramadani: We coexisted peacefully for centuries, and need neither brutal dictators nor western intervention.
… Every tribe in Iraq has Sunnis and Shia in its ranks. Every town and city has a mix of communities. My experience of Iraq, and that of all friends and relatives, is that of an amazing mix of coexisting communities, despite successive divide-and-rule regimes.
The most serious sectarian and ethnic tensions in Iraq’s modern history followed the 2003 US-led occupation, which faced massive popular opposition and resistance. The US had its own divide-and-rule policy, promoting Iraqi organisations founded on religion, ethnicity, nationality or sect rather than politics …
… Until the 1970s nearly all Iraq’s political organisations were secular, attracting people from all religions and none. The dividing lines were sharply political, mostly based on social class and political orientation.
Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) – an organization comprised of individuals who served or continue to serve in the US Military following September 11, 2001 – calls on Congress, the President, and his administration to reject the use of violence and militarism in response to the current outbreak of violence in Iraq.
Many of our members deployed to Iraq during the recent US occupation. Those of us who were there know first hand that US military solutions in Iraq do not serve the interests of the Iraqi people. We advocate for the self-determination of all people, in this case the people of Iraq. Any solution to this crisis must come from them.
When the United States invaded and occupied Iraq, the formerly secular country was destabilized. The United States and the Department of Defense intentionally created and agitated sectarian divisions that would not have otherwise existed. The result of this is what we see today, and Iraqi civilians are paying for it.
Iraqis have been paying with their lives for this war since March 2003. After 10 years of US occupation they were left with little relief. Their economic infrastructure was destroyed and new work to repair it has been awarded to US corporations and contractors, instead of to Iraqis. Iraqi labor unions face frequent retaliation, and an entire generation of children has been born with severe birth defects in places like Hawija. No one has been held to account. No effort has been made to clean the waste left behind.
When it comes to arming “freedom fighters” the US has a tendency to act as a fair-weather friend; today’s freedom fighter becomes tomorrow’s terrorist and justification to pursue an illegal invasion. Instead of creating more chaos, we should be solving the problems that already exist. Instead of installing another puppet president, the United States should be cleaning up environmental contamination, investigating allegations of torture, and allowing democracy to blossom in both government and labor, without US intervention.
Instead of wasting $4 trillion fighting the Iraq War, we could have ended world hunger for three decades.
The U.S. is urgently deploying several hundred armed troops in and around Iraq and considering sending an additional contingent of special forces soldiers as Baghdad struggles to repel a rampant insurgency, even as the White House insists anew that America will not be dragged into another war.
… President Barack Obama notified Congress on Monday that up to 275 troops could be sent to Iraq to provide support and security for U.S. personnel and the American Embassy in Baghdad. About 170 of those forces have already arrived and another 100 soldiers will be on standby in a nearby country until they are needed, a U.S. official said.
While Obama has vowed to keep U.S. forces out of combat in Iraq, he said in his notification to Congress that the personnel moving into the region are equipped for direct fighting.
And separately, three U.S. officials said the White House was considering sending a contingent of special forces soldiers to Iraq. Their limited mission — which has not yet been approved — would focus on training and advising beleaguered Iraqi troops, many of whom have fled their posts across the nation’s north and west as the al-Qaida-inspired insurgency has advanced in the worst threat to the country since American troops left in 2011.
Chelsea Manning speaks out!
However, the concerns that motivated me have not been resolved. As Iraq erupts in civil war and America again contemplates intervention, that unfinished business should give new urgency to the question of how the United States military controlled the media coverage of its long involvement there and in Afghanistan. I believe that the current limits on press freedom and excessive government secrecy make it impossible for Americans to grasp fully what is happening in the wars we finance.
This truly is the BEST and most CLARIFYING article available for understanding the unraveling situation in Iraq from a genuinely antiwar and progressive standpoint.
An intensifying civil war—with its roots in the U.S. invasion and occupation—is ripping Iraq apart and threatening sectarian conflict across the region.
provides the essential background for understanding Iraq’s crisis.
via Kevin Ovenden:
We should stand ready.
Yes - the politics of the Middle East are complicated. Did anyone who spoke of 2011 being a world historic event ushering in a “process” think it would be otherwise? This is an epoch in Arab politics of the kind that is demarcated by the anti-colonial movement, the rise of Arab nationalism and Nasserism, or the growth of neo-Islamism. Of course it is going to be complicated.
In such circumstances, it is worth remembering some simplicities. Here are six:
1) Should this military action take place, it will make things worse.
2) The targeting and materiel are in the hands of the Pentagon, acting in the perceived interests of the US state and capital. They are not in our hands. They are not in the hands of anyone who may mistakenly cheer them on, on the grounds that it will lead to unintended consequences or in other ways be of benefit to them. It will be of benefit to no progressive force.
3) It may well be in that category of military madness that makes things worse in manifold ways: a) perhaps bombing several different opponents in order to “restore some military balance”, or b) sufficient to antagonise and legitimise those who are in the crosshairs, but not sufficient to stop them - merely to encourage.
4) Yes - it is perfectly possible that Damascus, Baghdad and/or Tehran will either urge on bombing ISIS or adopt a permissive silence over the operation. So what a) none of the regimes in Damascus, Baghdad or Tehran or their recent forebears have been loadstones for anti-imperialists or socialists. Baghdad was part of the US war against Tehran to contain the Islamic Revolution; Damascus was part of the US war against Baghdad in 1991; Tehran looked the other way in 1991 and 2003, when the US occupied Baghdad; the forces central to the current government in Baghdad supported the “Great Satan” executing the “Little Satan” (Saddam) and so on, and so on. And the US has routinely attacked former allies and Frankenstein’s monsters of its own creation.
5) Military action arising from a failed politico-military strategy is not less dangerous and less in need of clear anti-imperialist opposition than that arising from a confident, hubristic strategy (such as the Project of the New American Century, acted upon in 2001 and 2003). In fact, such circumstances historically have been more likely to lead to major escalation. The Ausrto-Hungarian ultimatum to Serbia in June/July 1914 was a reaction to the weakening of its empire in the Balkans, not a conscious plan for expansion.
6) Should this military action take place, it will make things worse.
[Yes - 6 is a repetition of 1, but some things bear repeating.]”
President will decide on military package ‘in the days ahead’ to halt rapid advance of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant