On March 20, 2003, the US imperialists started the second war to subjugate and destroy Iraq with a merciless “shock and awe” bombing campaign. The bombing campaign was brought live to the homes of people of the US and the whole world through television. Through this brutal show of military power, the US imperialists wanted to send the message to all peoples and countries of the world that they would meet the same fate as the people and government of Iraq if they came in the way of the US strategy for world domination.
Today, the US imperialists are cynically talking about a “rules based international order” which Russia is allegedly violating in the ongoing war in Ukraine. The US wants the countries and peoples of the world to forget that the US launched the bombing, followed by invasion and occupation of Iraq, without the sanction of the United Nations. At that time, three permanent members of the UN Security Council— Russia, China and France — were unwilling to approve the invasion of Iraq. The majority of countries and peoples of the world too were opposed to it. The US violated the sovereignty of Iraq, with the support of Britain, in wilful disregard of the United Nations, as well as world public opinion. In order to create an impression that this unjustifiable war had international sanction, it created a so called “coalition of the willing” — consisting of the US, Britain, Australia and Poland — under whose banner this war was carried out.
According to the United Nations Charter, all members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state. The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) declared that the invasion of Iraq constituted a flagrant violation of the prohibition of the use of force. It expressed its “deep dismay that a small number of states are poised to launch an outright invasion of Iraq, which amounts to a war of aggression.” The then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan stated in September 2004 that: “I have indicated it was not in conformity with the UN charter. From our point of view and the UN Charter point of view, it [the war] was illegal“.
In order to justify its unjustifiable act, the US government concocted a big lie that Iraq had stockpiled “weapons of mass destruction”, that is chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. Later developments showed that not only did Iraq not possess such weapons, but that the US and Britain knew this for a fact, well before they launched the war against Iraq. According to a memo of 26 July, 2002, of a meeting of the British Cabinet, the head of the British Intelligence Service (MI6) reported, after his visit to Washington, that “Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.” In other words, the US had decided to invade Iraq and overthrow the Saddam Hussain regime. The accusations, that Iraq was supporting terrorism and had stockpiled weapons of mass destruction, were a concoction to justify this.
The US imperialists have carried out the most monstrous crimes against the Iraqi people. Millions of Iraqi people lost their lives in that war. Millions more were turned into refugees driven into refugee camps both within Iraq as well as in neighbouring countries like Syria. The health care system was destroyed. The waters of the rivers that nurtured this ancient civilization have become polluted. The soil has been contaminated with radioactive material deliberately released by the occupation forces. Lakhs of children have died due to malnutrition and disease. Lakhs of women have been widowed. The libraries and museums of Iraq, which once housed the invaluable treasures of this ancient civilization, were ransacked and looted.
The US occupation forces set up hundreds of detention centers in Iraq, wherein tens of thousands of patriots and fighters for liberation were subjected to unspeakable torture and subsequently murdered. They captured and murdered Saddam Hussain after a kangaroo trial. Faced with great resistance from the Iraqi people to their war of occupation, the US imperialists instigated sectarian warfare amongst the people of Iraq and put into motion their plan to redraw the map of West Asia. They created, funded, armed and set into motion terrorist groups such as ISIS to smash the unity of the peoples and justify US imperialist crimes against various peoples and nations.
One of the main reasons why the US decided to invade Iraq and overthrow the Saddam Hussain regime, was the decision of Iraq in November 2000, to carry out its oil trade in Euros instead of dollars. A year earlier, in 1999, the European Union with Germany and France in the leadership, had established the Euro as the common currency of the EU. The rise of the Euro threatened the position that the US Dollar enjoyed as the currency of international exchange. By switching to Euro as the currency of trade, the government of Iraq was trying to create a division between Germany and France on the one hand, and the US and Britain on the other, on the issue of sanctions. Germany and France were, in fact, not in support of the US invasion of Iraq. It must be remembered that after the first Gulf War ended in 1991, the US imperialists imposed brutal economic sanctions on Iraq, inflicting enormous suffering on the people.
Numerous independent commissions for justice across the world have indicted the successive US governments forwar crimes against the Iraqi people. However the war criminals like Bush and Cheney and their successors have not been punished. The US imperialists and its allies followed the invasion and destruction of Iraq with the bombing and destruction of Libya, and the brutal murder of the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. US imperialism and its allies have armed and financed various oppositional forces as well as terrorist and fascist groups to carry out regime change in Syria, Venezuela, Ukraine, Georgia and various other countries. All this must be seen in the context of the drive of US imperialism to establish a uni polar world under its dictate.
Today, the US imperialists and its allies who have a track record of wreaking death and devastation not only in Iraq, but in many other countries, are pretending to be champions of the rights of the people of Ukraine. The US is trying to expand NATO eastwards right upto the borders of Russia, to threaten and destroy Russia. It is whipping up unprecedented war hysteria against Russia. It has imposed extremely harsh sanctions on the Russian people and forced its European and other allies to fall in line. It is trying to force Germany and the EU to stop buying gas from Russia, in order to weaken both Germany and Russia. It is deliberately instigating Ukraine against Russia, and sabotaging all efforts of Russia to arrive at a political settlement of the problems between Russia and Ukraine. It is threatening and putting pressure on the governments of various countries of the world to fall in line with its anti-Russia campaign.
The drive of US imperialism to establish its domination over the whole world is threatening to wreak devastation and destruction on an unprecedented scale. The peoples of the world who stand in defence of human rights and democratic rights, including the right of nations to self determination, must unitedly expose and oppose this disastrous course.