People Must Oppose the Deadly Bombings by the U.S. Aggressors in Iraq



Editors’ note: As we post this article on the U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria this past weekend, tensions have been quickly and dangerously escalating. On New Year’s Eve, thousands of people protesting the U.S. bombing surrounded the heavily fortified American embassy in Baghdad—the largest U.S. embassy in the world. They reportedly threw rocks at the embassy, drew graffiti on the walls, and demanded that the U.S. get out of Iraq. A group of protestors broke into the embassy compound, setting fires and smashing windows and doors. The group eventually left the embassy compound, but the protestors said they were going to camp outside to press for their demands.

U.S. officials immediately blamed Iran for the embassy protest. Trump tweeted that Iran “will pay a very BIG PRICE! This is not a Warning, it is a Threat.” The U.S. announced the deployment of 750 additional troops to the region, where the U.S. already has a huge force of nuclear-armed warships, fighter bombers, and thousands of troops. This is a very volatile and dangerous situation, and brings even more urgency to the need for people to oppose U.S. aggression and war moves. Stay tuned to


On December 29, the U.S. military carried out bombings from the air on three locations in northern Iraq and two right across the border in Syria. U.S. officials declared that the airstrikes—which reportedly killed 25 people and wounded about 50—were a reprisal for a rocket attack on a U.S. base in Kirkuk, Iraq, in which one U.S. contractor was killed. The U.S. has blamed a pro-Iranian group in Iraq for the attack on its base. Trump’s secretary of state Pompeo declared that “we will not stand for” Iran taking “actions that put American men and women in jeopardy.”

But who has actually been responsible for the deaths of millions across the Middle East? Look at the enormous toll from U.S. actions just in Iraq over the last two generations: The 100,000 and more killed during or immediately after the 1991 Desert Storm invasion. The estimated 1.2 million Iraqis, including 500,000 children, who died from starvation or disease in the 1990s due to U.S. sanctions and destruction of Iraq’s electrical and water systems. The astronomical number of Iraqis who have been killed or died as a result of the 2003 U.S. invasion and occupation, and the ongoing conflicts that they touched off: 2.4 million, according to the most accurate studies available. All this doesn’t even include the 105,000 Iraqis killed in the 1980-89 Iran-Iraq war, which the U.S. rulers fueled in pursuit of their own interests.

Last weekend’s airstrikes in Iraq and Syria are part of this bloody history of American war and aggression in Iraq and the Middle East. And they take place at a time when the Trump/Pence fascist regime is continuing to ratchet up tensions, escalate aggression, and heighten the danger of a potentially devastating war against Iran.1 Iran is a Third World country ruled by a reactionary Islamic theocracy that oppresses the Iranian people, supports reactionary forces around the region, and does not represent any liberating alternative to global capitalism-imperialism. But that doesn’t change the fact that the U.S. is the biggest aggressor and oppressor and represents a far greater danger to the people of the region and to humanity overall.

What gives the U.S. the right to set up bases halfway around the world in Iraq—and elsewhere across the globe, some 800 bases in over 80 countries—and declare that anyone who attacks them is an “aggressor” who is subject to devastating military attack? This is gangsterism in service of the U.S. rulers’ need and drive to lord it over the world—in particular, controlling the Middle East, with its vast oil reserves and strategic location, has been crucial to the power and dominance of the U.S. empire for decades.

All people of conscience, especially in this country, need to oppose the U.S. attacks in Iraq and Syria, and any further threats and aggression by the U.S. And there is a basic point of orientation that people in the U.S. need to take up when “our” rulers try to round up support for their actions against people of other countries:

American Lives Are Not More Important Than Other People’s Lives. 
–Bob Avakian, BAsics 5:7


1. For background, see previous coverage including: “America—the Lying, Deal-Breaking Aggressor in the Persian Gulf” and “How Long Must This Go On? Tankers Damaged in Persian Gulf—America Again Ratchets Up Threats, Danger of War Against Iran.” [back]




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