Dismal failure for imperialism
Today, as we mark the fifth anniversary of the criminal and genocidal invasion of Iraq, it is clear that, despite the best efforts of the US and its increasingly disillusioned junior partner, Britain, the war has proven to be an unmitigated disaster for imperialism. Every strategy of the occupiers has been frustrated and every surge has been broken.
The 36,000 extra troops that landed in 2007 have been totally unable to contain the forces of the Iraqi resistance, which continues to grow daily in strength, stature and experience, and whose world-historic victory over the colonial occupiers is assured. For all the extra troops, for all the black propaganda, for all the attempts to incite civil war, for all the psychological warfare, the resistance refuses to wane.
Last year was, according to official US military figures, the most deadly year for US troops in Iraq since the beginning of the war. Over the course of the year, 899 US troops were killed, along with 46 British troops, bringing the total of US troops killed in Iraq to 3,980 (as of 10 March 2008). Of these deaths, 3,841 (96.5 percent) have taken place since George Bush announced “mission accomplished” on 1 May 2003.
The whole purpose of the war, of course, was to open up Iraq’s immense oil reserves for US and British oil companies. This aim has been frustrated. It is estimated that, while Iraq could produce up to 6m barrels a day (mbd), production currently stands at around 1.5mbd – well below pre-invasion levels of about 2.5mbd.
Between April 2003 and January 2007 there were an estimated 391 attacks on Iraqi oil and gas pipelines, installations and personnel. The US-sponsored oil law, which the Iraqi stooge government has been trying to push through for months, still has not been ratified, due to internal wrangling and massive popular discontent.
And this mess is costing the US over $270m daily – an expense which has helped push the US national debt up to a staggering $5tr. No wonder support for the war in the US and Britain has collapsed.
Meanwhile, the numerical strength of the Iraqi resistance is now (conservatively) estimated at well over 70,000 (four times higher than it was four years ago). The average number of resistance attacks per day has risen to 185 – more than double what it was a year ago.
Arab Media Watch points out that, although the media coverage tends to heavily emphasise attacks against civilians, 75 percent of recorded attacks have been directed at the occupation forces, 17 percent at Iraqi government forces, and only 8 percent at unspecified civilian targets.
In short, the imperialist occupiers have already lost the war, and lost it big time. Everyone, from the ordinary person in the street to some of the most authoritative representatives of Anglo-American imperialism, openly admits that the US has lost the war and the Iraqi resistance are heading towards a historic victory that will reshape the political map of the Middle East and have worldwide ramifications in a manner most unfavourable to imperialism.
Henry Kissinger, the notorious war criminal and a former US secretary of state who has advised the Bush administration on the war in Iraq, said that he did not believe that the US could win a military victory in Iraq. Colin Powell, former secretary of state, has gone on record as saying that the US army was "about broken". A joint report prepared by 16 US intelligence agencies has stated that the US no longer has the option of winning the war.
Disaster for the Iraqi people
Of course, the war in Iraq hasn’t been a disaster for the occupiers alone. The Iraqi people are witnessing the complete destruction of their country.
Violence by the army of occupation, including sectarian violence incited, aided and abetted by the occupying forces, claims the lives of hundreds of Iraqis every day. Over a million have been killed since the invasion and occupation in 2003, to add to the 1.5 million killed by the sanctions that preceded the invasion. Over 2 million have become refugees abroad and a further 2.5 million displaced within Iraq, eking out a miserable existence in bleak shanty towns on the outskirts of Baghdad and other big cities, with no safe drinking water or sewerage facilities. The quality of life for the remaining population is vastly below pre-war levels.
According to Unicef, the UN children’s agency, 2 million children in Iraq are facing poor nutrition, lack of education, disease and violence. Around 30 percent of Iraqi children are suffering from chronic malnutrition. Only 30 percent of Iraqis have access to adequate water supplies (down from 85 percent in 2000, and comparable with Ethiopia (24 percent)). All this puts Iraq – previously a relatively prosperous country with an excellent health record – in the same league as some of the world’s poorest nations.
Baghdad homes have electricity for an average of around three hours per day, and chronic fuel shortages are the lot of the people – in a country with the second largest reserves of oil in the world. The unemployment rate is well over 60 percent. Unicef says that 75 percent of Baghdad children are no longer able to attend school.
The vast majority of Iraqis long for the life they had before the occupiers turned up, vicious sanctions notwithstanding.
The resistance shall prevail
One of the consequences of the war, unintended by the imperialist occupiers, has been the spread and acceleration of the anti-imperialist resistance, not only in Iraq but also in Afghanistan, Somalia, Palestine and Lebanon.
This resistance is making life increasingly difficult for the US and Britain. It can only be a matter of time before the US and its allies are expelled from the whole of the Middle East. No death squads, torture, mass raids, searches, arrests and curfews, no economic blockades or collective punishments, no attempts at inciting sectarian strife or ethnic cleansing, no aerial bombardments or indiscriminate shooting of civilians can prevent the defeat of the Anglo-American imperialist forces.
We in the communist, progressive, anti-imperialist and anti-war movements in the heartlands of imperialism must openly and unambiguously take our stand with the Iraqi resistance – the popular, resilient, courageous and creative force that is driving imperialism out of Iraq and pushing British and US monopoly capital deeper and deeper into crisis.
Victory to the Iraqi resistance.
Long live the solidarity between the British working class and the oppressed masses worldwide.