The scores of Iraqis killed in recent American-led airstrikes in the northern city of Mosul, at the center of an offensive to drive out the Islamic State, has the Pentagon scrambling to justify participation in extra-legal, arbitrary and summary executions. Some 230 civilians, mostly women and children, lost their lives, ranking the operation among the highest civilian death tolls since the United States invaded Iraq in 2003.
U.S. Intervention Fuels the Islamic State
The criminal war of aggression by the U.S. government and allies helped to create the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) says former UN secretary general Kofi Annan:
“I was against this invasion and my fears have been founded. The break-up of the Iraqi forces poured hundreds if not thousands of disgruntled soldiers and police officers onto the streets… The aim of creating democracy without the existing institutions ushered in corrupt sectarian governments.”
Too many people are accepting an expansion of the U.S. war machine on the basis that “something has to be done about ISIS.” The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham is a response to U.S. occupations, bombs, economic exploitation, and support of every reactionary regime in the Middle East. The wars on Afghanistan and Iraq (and more recently Syria) have only strengthened the basis on which ISIS operates. But no party in the fight, not Islamic militias or the new Iraqi government paid for by the United States has “right” on its side.
No Good Can Come of Military Action in the Middle East
The invasion of Iraq in 2003 was conducted in a lawless way, destroying 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.
U.S. intervention 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.
War on Iraq has never helped the Iraqi People
Bombings, economic strangulation through sanctions, and occupation of Iraq for almost 3 decades (since the Gulf War in 1990) 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 in 2014, based on the lie that Islamic fundamentalist groups represent an immediate threat to the U.S.
The drums beating for more war are very loud. And there is a crying need for there to be a strong counter to this, representing people in the U.S. who refuse to let the cruel and horrible actions of Islamic jihadists be a justification for supporting further aggressions by the U.S. and its allies, whether that be more drones, more invasions, more bombing strikes purportedly aimed at “bad guys” but which consistently and continually create a mounting civilian death toll.
The U.S. military presence in Mosul is doing nothing to stop the violence of ISIS, and no good can come from the continued war; but a world of good can come from people in this country standing up against it. End the U.S. War of Terror.