Dismal failure for imperialism
Despite the best efforts of the US and Britain, the war on Iraq has proven to be an unmitigated disaster for imperialism. The Iraqi resistance has succeeded in frustrating every strategy and every surge, and we are now at a point where the resistance has all but won the war.
The strategic debate for the US and its allies is no longer about how to win; it is about how to withdraw with minimal losses, leaving a few crucial bases and painting defeat as victory.
In spite of all the extra troops, the black propaganda, the psychological warfare, and the attempts to incite civil war, the resistance refuses to wane. Over the course of last year, 899 US and 46 British troops were killed. As of 13 August 2008, the total number of US troops killed in Iraq was 4,144. Many thousands more have received serious injuries, while mercenary casualty numbers are not released.
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 Iraq could produce up to 6m barrels a day (mbd); yet more than five years after the invasion, production has reached just 2.5mbd.
Since the start of the war, there have been hundreds of attacks on Iraqi oil and gas pipelines, installations and personnel. The US-sponsored Iraq hydrocarbon law, which the Iraqi stooge government has been trying to push through for a year and a half, still has not been ratified, due in large part to the popular opposition led by the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions.
And this mess is costing the US over $270m daily – an expense which has helped to push the US national debt up to $5tr.
Meanwhile, resistance organisations are in control of significant portions of the country, and the resistance, the only legitimate representative of the Iraqi people, is highly popular.
Although the imperialist press paints a picture of sectarian in-fighting, Arab Media Watch points out that 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. Many of the attacks on civilians are the work of imperialist agents provocateurs.
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 is heading towards a historic victory that will reshape the political map of the Middle East and have worldwide ramifications.
Disaster for the Iraqi people
Meanwhile, the Iraqi people have paid a terrible price for the imperialists’ brutal aggression and their brave resistance.
Hassan Juma'a Awad, President of the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, writes: “Five years of invasion, war and occupation have brought nothing but death, destruction, misery and suffering to our people. In the name of our ‘liberation’, more than a million of our citizens have been killed or wounded, our nation’s schools, hospitals and other infrastructure have been destroyed, our neighbourhoods have been bombed, our homes have been broken into, our children have been traumatised ... our neighbours have been assaulted and arrested, our national treasures have been looted, and nearly 20 percent of our people have been turned into refugees.”
According to Unicef, the UN children’s agency, 2 million children in Iraq are facing poor nutrition, lack of education, disease and violence, while 30 percent suffer from malnutrition. Only 30 percent of Iraqis have access to adequate water supplies (down from 85 percent in 2000). All this has sunk Iraq to the same level as some of the world’s poorest nations.
Baghdad homes have electricity for an average of around three hours a day, families suffer chronic fuel shortages, and the unemployment rate is well over 60 percent. Some 75 percent of Baghdad children are no longer able to attend school.
Hasten the demise of the invaders
Anti-imperialists and anti-war campaigners in the heartlands of imperialism must openly and unambiguously take a stand with the Iraqi resistance – the popular, resilient, courageous and creative force that is driving imperialism out of Iraq.
Moreover, we must refuse to cooperate in any way with the war effort – must refuse to serve in the forces, make weapons, transport equipment or put out war propaganda.
After more than five years of war, it is quite clear that demonstrations and pickets have not had a meaningful impact. But British workers have a much more powerful weapon: the ability to withhold their labour. Individually, we may be powerless against the state, but collectively, the British working class has the ultimate veto over the war; they cannot fight it without us.
We must take inspiration from the heroic actions of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU), which shut down all 29 ports on the west coast of the US for eight hours on 1 May 2008, demanding “an immediate end to the war and occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan and the withdrawal of US troops from the Middle East”.
Let the British working class work wholeheartedly for the defeat of British imperialism in Iraq. To neglect this duty is to be complicit in the British state’s war crimes.
Victory to the Iraqi resistance.
Long live the solidarity between the British working class and the oppressed masses worldwide.