12 Years Since the “Shock & Awe” Invasion of Iraq:
Stop the Endless War!
U.S. bombings, economic strangulation through sanctions, and occupation of Iraq for 24 years are responsible for uncounted deaths – possibly over 1 million – leaving a third of the population displaced, in need of emergency aid or dead. The U.S. began bombing Iraq again the summer of 2014, and then Syria, based on the lie that Islamic State groups represent an immediate threat to the U.S.
The current problem is NOT that the U.S. finally withdrew military forces from Iraq in 2012, but its illegitimate invasions in 1991 and 2003. The US occupation was conducted in a lawless way, destroying their education, legal, medical, water, sewage, security and electrical systems. When Iraqis rebelled, Bush’s “surge” in 2007 handed out arms to Sunni and Shia, supporting death squads on both sides to set them against each other.
The U.S. withdrawal left what had been a relatively secular country split along sectarian lines, with a weak puppet government, and a huge opening for Islamic fundamentalists to push for religious rule.
Islamic State = BAD
U.S. War for Empire = Even WORSE
No party in this fight, not Islamic militias, not the new Iraqi government — paid for by the U.S. — and certainly not the war machine of the U.S. itself, has “right” on its side. Tomahawk missiles fired from US carriers in the Persian Gulf, drone strikes and bombs can only bring unimaginable suffering to the Iraqi people.
We in the U.S. must speak out against any U.S. attacks on Iraq & Syria. By exposing and standing against the lies and crimes of our government, whether by George Bush, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush, we can make a difference in how people see what’s going on.
Months of cable “news” repeating Pentagon press releases, has created a situation where people in the U.S. are supporting more war on Iraq – and now on Syria – based on lies. Huge numbers — enough to elect a Democrat as president in 2008 — had come to oppose the Bush regime’s unjust and immoral war on Iraq.
But now too many people are drawn back into accepting new wars, on the basis that “something has to be done about ISIS.”
The Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) is both a direct result of U.S. occupation and policies. ISIL’s leadership core was also literally produced by U.S. torture in Iraqi prisons; by billions of dollars in U.S. arms strewn about the region; and funded by close U.S. allies Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar, societies where people also have scarcely any rights. The Islamic State offers a disastrous future for the people, and is no damn good.
Bush’s 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) set into motion the drone war, torture, and mass warrantless spying. Under Obama’s interpretation of the AUMF the government is free to wage endless, expanding wars all over the world without geographic limits. All of this imperial military doctrine is absolutely illegal, whether Congress approves it or not.
But U.S. occupations, bombs, economic exploitation, and support of every reactionary regime in the region have done more damage, by far, than any Islamic fundamentalist group in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was the Bush regime that sold the wars on Afghanistan and Iraq — countries which never attacked the U.S. — on the basis of defeating the Taliban and al Qaeda, only to have strengthened the basis on which they operate.
The U.S. military cannot do anything to stop the violence of ISIS. NOTHING good can come from U.S. bombing, and we need to say so immediately and widely. Join us.