U.S. Strikes Iraq:
Bombs of Domination
Revolutionary Worker #1092, February 25, 2001, posted at http://rwor.org
On February 16, three dozen British and U.S. warplanes attacked five sites, including 20 installations scattered across central Iraq. It was the first wave of attacks near the capital, Baghdad, in two years. The bombings caused death and injury among the Iraqi people, including killing at least two civilians, an 18-year-old woman Aliah Atshan Abdullah and a 30-year-old man Khalil Hameed Alwash.
A Pentagon general called this attack "a self-defense measure"--by which they meant that U.S. planes have a right to fly anywhere they want in Iraq, and a right to destroy any forces that dare challenge them. This claim of "U.S. self-defense" is particularly twisted considering that the installations targeted by the U.S. and British planes were in fact Iraqi radar sites which are, after all, precisely for the self-defense of the national territory of Iraq.
Speaking from Mexico, President George W. Bush said: "It was a mission about which I was informed and I authorized. But I repeat, it's a routine mission.'' Then, adding to the official double-speak, Bush continued, "Our intention is to make sure the world is as peaceful as possible.''
As for the Bush claim that the latest raids are "routine": In one sense, they are all too routine. In the last two years, warplanes of the U.S. and its allies have reportedly flown 30,000 sorties over Iraq. They have started routinely bombing in their so-called "no fly zones" and reportedly killed more than 300 Iraqis and injured 800 over the last two years. On Sunday, February 11, seven people were killed and 17 houses destroyed in air strikes in the south, and on Tuesday, February 7, two children were killed and their mother injured in a bomb explosion in the southern province of Kerbala.
These U.S. and British raids are the latest outrages in a long campaign of serial aggression. The U.S. and its allies have used cold military force and threats for 10 years--trying to dictate to Iraq what its government should be, what products it can import and sell, what weapons its military may have, and even where in their own country Iraq's planes may go. Not surprisingly, neither Iraq's government nor the masses of people there have ever accepted the U.S. and British demands that deny Iraq its most basic rights to national sovereignty. Iraq has long rejected the U.S. idea of "no fly zones" in its national airspace.
Meanwhile, in a larger sense, Bush was lying when he said this attack on Iraq was just "routine." This was a long-planned, carefully considered, highly symbolic opening shot by the new Bush administration. It was intended to be seen around the world.
The U.S. war on the Persian Gulf 10 years ago was intended to establish undisputed U.S. domination over the key oil reserves of the world. And, through the course of its attack on Iraq, the U.S. fought to establish an unquestionable domination over its allied powers, over potential rivals and over all the resources and labor of the Third World. It was called at the time, by the first President Bush, the "New World Order."
Now, 10 years later, this new attack on Iraq comes at a time when the U.S.-supported sanctions on Iraq are increasingly being questioned and even defied. Many countries, including U.S. allies like France, are circumventing the restrictions and calling for them to be lifted. Meanwhile the incredible suffering of the Iraqi people caused by these sanctions have greatly exposed the U.S. in the eyes of people around the world.
The new U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell, is about to leave for a tour of the Middle East. Killing Iraqi people and destroying Iraqi military installations on the eve of his departure is one way to make the U.S. position clear: the U.S. intends to dominate the Persian Gulf, deny Iraq its national sovereignty, and prevent the Iraqi ruling class from rebuilding its military. And the U.S. intends to demand that both allies and rivals in the world toe that line.
The bombs over Baghdad were a murderous act of U.S. domination and aggression--bombs aimed at Iraq, a message aimed at the people and countries of the world.
This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
Write: Box 3486, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: 773-227-4066 Fax: 773-227-4497
(The RW Online does not currently communicate via email.)