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Anniversary of Iraq War shows what - humanitarian intervention" would mean for Syria or Iran

Yusur Al-Bahrani

March 27, 2012

It has been nine years since the American invasion of Iraq, but the Iraqi civilians still suffer from the aftermath of intervention. Although US marines left the country in December 2011, military “contractors” remain and terrorism continues to hunt the lives of innocent Iraqis—causing the death of at least 226 civilians in March alone.

On April 8, 2003 Saddam Hussain was ousted. Iraqis were “liberated” after three decades of brutal dictatorship to find themselves under occupation. Imperialists’ “humanitarian” intervention got rid of the past Iraqi regime, but has not made the lives of ordinary Iraqis better.

The United States and its allies were successful in their pre-war propaganda regarding “weapons of mass destruction.” Those weapons have never been found. The US claimed victory in freeing Iraqis from the oppression of Saddam, who previously had been their man in the region. During Iraq-Iran war in 1980s, the US and Britain backed Saddam by supplying him with arms, money and satellite intelligence.

The American invasion came after a decade of sanctions that destroyed Iraq’s economy, and made the lives of civilians miserable. The price of sanctions was the death of almost half a million of Iraqi children. Then came the war, the real “weapon of mass destruction”, which led to the death of another million Iraqis.

Bombs landed on the regime’s infrastructure only, but also demolished people’s homes and killed their children. The US managed to also attract insurgents from different neighboring countries. Armed groups not only attacked American troops, but civilians as well. Unrest created by the invasion triggered sectarian violence, encouraged by the US arming death squads and imposing a Parliament based on ethnic divisions. Thousands have been killed in suicide attacks, while others have been kidnapped and killed for their beliefs and views.

Iraqis would not have to suffer two decades of sanctions and war if their revolution in 1991 was successful in defeating Saddam and Ba’ath rule. Instead, Saddam used Western arms to attack protesters and killed thousands of civilians. Saddam would have never been able to use chemical weapons against his people if there were no global silence and Western support. Iraqis needed and still need solidarity and voices that say: No to war, no to dictatorships and no to terrorism. In the same way, we should be in solidarity with civilians in Syria and Iran, who will suffer more if imperialists intervene.

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