ILPS Chairperson Statement on the Anniversary of the Iraq Occupation


Jose Maria Sison - ILPS chairperson

Jose Maria Sison - ILPS chairperson


By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples’ Struggle
20 March 2009

After six years of brutal occupation following the widely condemned
US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, the US government has found itself
more isolated than ever before. The people of the world are outraged that
at a horrendous cost the US has committed the worst form of terrorism,
the crime of aggression, in order reduce Iraq to a puppet state, take
control over its oil resources and establish permanent US military bases
on Iraqi territory.

More than one million Iraqis have been killed, including hundreds of
thousands civilians, by US bombs, missiles and shells deliberately rained
on non-military targets including neighborhoods, hotels and hospitals.
Five million Iraqis have been displaced from their homes, seeking shelter
in refugee centers within Iraq and in neighboring countries. The Iraqi
infrastructure is in shambles despite billions in reconstruction
contracts cornered by US firms (including Halliburton, which US Vice
President Cheney has favored and continued to receive compensation from.)

At least 4,200 US soldiers have been killed and more than 45,000 wounded
in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion. In Afghanistan, more than 620 US
soldiers have been killed and more than 2,300 wounded since the October
2002 invasion of Afghanistan.

The US has spent more than USD 600 billion on the war in Iraq, and more
than USD 200 billion in Afghanistan. The US Congressional Budget Office
estimates that the Iraq and Afghanistan wars would cost US taxpayers up
to USD 2.4 trillion projected up to 2017, including interest payments for
debts incurred to finance the wars. Other more comprehensive estimates
show that the financial cost will run up to far more than USD 3 trillion.

The US has absolutely no justification for its invasion of Iraq. This is
a blatant violation of the charter of the United Nations. It is
shamelessly based on patent lies. The claim about the link between Saddam
and Osama bin Laden was unfounded and the high-quality intelligence
purportedly proving that Iraq possessed and threatened to use Weapons of
Mass Destruction against the US was proven to be pure fabrication.

The majority of American people themselves have expressed their outrage
at the crimes of the US, particularly the Bush regime, against the Iraqi
people by repeatedly holding massive protest demonstrations demanding US
withdrawal from Iraq and the impeachment or prosecution of Bush and
Cheney as war criminals. As presidential candidate, Barack Obama declared
that the US war in Iraq should never have been authorized and never
been waged,” and promised to withdraw US troops from Iraq within 16
months of assuming office. In a lame last-ditch attempt to feign
innocence by admitting to a lesser and already undeniable offense, Bush
said a month before stepping out of office, The biggest regret of all
the presidency was to have been the intelligence failure in Iraq.

But the people of the world people, the Americans included, cannot be
deceived. While the slick orator candidate Obama appeared to offer a
different US course in Iraq, he made it clear even then that the US shall
continue to use its military superiority to the hilt to promote US
geopolitical and economic interests and consolidate its global hegemony,
under the pretext of waging a borderless war on terrorism. Soon
after his election, President Obama unequivocally signalled that US
global and regional military strategy remain unchanged by holding over
Bush Defense Secretary Gates, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral
Michael Mullen, General Raymond Odierno, the US field commander in Iraq,
and General David Petraeus, head of the US Central Command and architect
of the “surge” in Iraq.

Indeed, President Obama announced only last 27 February a timetable for
withdrawing 100,000 troops from Iraq by end of August 2010. But he
quickly picked up US military double-speak by declaring that by then
our combat mission in Iraq will end even as 35-50,000 troops,
mostly Special Operations Forces, will remain in Iraq for training,
equipping and advising Iraqi security forces, conducting targetted
counter-terrorism missions, and protecting our ongoing civilian military
efforts within Iraq. (US military doctrine since 1998 have categorized
these as stability operations as distinguished from combat
operations but at the same time emphasize that stability operations
are undertaken under very volatile situations that could quickly shift
from non-combat to combat, and should thus be planned, prepared for and
undertaken with the same procedures and considerations as a combat

Moreover, the withdrawn troops will not be necessarily sent back home as
the majority Americans hope for and demand. At least 20,000 will be
redeployed to Afghanistan, Pakistan and other areas where the Obama
government may find a greater need for military presence and activity. No
sooner had he assumed office when Obama made good in Pakistan his
declaration that the US will continue to strike unilaterally against
confirmed targets anywhere there are terrorists even without the
knowledge or approval of the host government if the latter fails to take
appropriate action.

Worse, Obama completely reversed his assessment of the Iraq war in the
same speech where he announced the timetable for troop withdrawal when he
told the US marines at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, “You have fought
against tyranny and disorder You have bled for your best friends and
for unknown Iraqis. And you have borne an enormous burden for your fellow
citizens, while extending a precious opportunity to the people of Iraq,”
apparently referring to democratic elections under the tutelage of
the US occupation army. Obama won instant acclaim for this from the
Republican Party and other right-wingers, with The Wall Street Journal
calling this speech “Obama’s Bush Vindication.”

The Iraqi people continue to wage and intensify their just revolutionary
armed struggle for national liberation against US imperialism and its
craven Iraqi puppets. Daily, they inflict losses and weaken the foreign
aggressor and puppet forces as they frustrate and defeat US domination
and plunder in their country. The day will come when they will drive out
the foreign troops from their land and again hold their destiny in their
own hands.

The ILPS stands in solidarity with and support the Iraqi people in their
revolutionary struggle for national liberation and joins all
freedom-loving and democratic forces in supporting this just and heroic
struggle.  We call on all the peoples of the world to mark the sixth
anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq by opposing the continuing US
aggression in Iraq and demanding the total, immediate and unconditional
withdrawal of all US and other foreign military forces from Iraq. ###

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One Response to ILPS Chairperson Statement on the Anniversary of the Iraq Occupation

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