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No to U.S.-backed wars: Iraq, Palestine/Israel and Ukraine
The politicians say that the United States, unlike the brutal ISIS, are a civilized people under God. After all, they point out, we live in a democracy, respect women, and do not impose any religion on others.
Yes, the U.S. “humanitarian” cop of the world acts with moderation, as when it murdered 1.5 million Iraqis during the “civilized” decade-long war to prevent Saddam Hussein from using “weapons of mass destruction” that everyone now knows never existed! Nevertheless, in the name of “democracy,” George Bush did orchestrate “regime change” in Iraq and they had “democratic” elections that the U.S. military supervised. The U.S. puppet Nouri al-Maliki was elected Prime Minister – a real democratic leader indeed!
Today the Obama administration has essentially forced Maliki to resign because he had little or no support among the Iraqi people, who he persecuted and robbed with abandon, including his own Shiite majority. His was a U.S.-supported and approved death squad and profiteering regime, but now he is to be dispensed with because he is no longer effective in serving U.S. objectives.
Yesterday, when ISIS was on the Syrian side of the border, there were no U.S. objections to its beheadings; there were no objections when ISIS was armed and financed by U.S. allies in Qatar and Saudi Arabia – today ruled by presumably “democratic-minded” monarchs. Yesterday, ISIS was murdering U.S. enemies in Syria. No problem! Today it is murdering “friends” of the U.S. in Iraq! Yesterday it was using stolen Syrian oil to fund the central U.S. “regime change” objective – Assad’s removal. Today ISIS is using the same Syrian oil to fund its Iraqi operations.
Yesterday, U.S. military experts insisted that it was Syria’s Assad who had crossed Obama’s “red line” when Assad was charged with using sarin gas on innocent Syrians. The “evidence” was “beyond dispute” the military experts told the world. Obama was on the verge of bombing Syria, again in the name of “humanitarian” punishment and was only curtailed by mass public protests. Later, Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, as well as experts at MIT and elsewhere, presented the evidence that it was the “rebels” - the ISIS rebels - that used the sarin gas. The matter was dropped. Obama didn’t condemn the ISIS atrocities because after all, they were fighting U.S. enemies!
We see that U.S. weapons are supplied to friends who later become enemies, or the enemies take and/or purchase them from U.S. allies. ISIS is using hundreds of millions of dollars worth of modern U.S. weapons its fighters have seized from Iraqi forces, while current friends, the Kurds, fight with old Soviet arms.
Muqtada al-Sadr, an influential political and religious leader in Iraq who consistently opposed the presence of foreign forces and called for the immediate end to the occupation, had it right when he cautioned that U.S. bombs in northern Iraq were not meant to help the Iraqi people but rather “to protect U.S. interests.” And what are these interests? Oil! Iraq presides over one of the world’s largest oil reserves in the world. After more than a decade of war, the lion’s share flows into the coffers of U.S. oil corporations.
Rather than withdrawing from Iraq, President Obama assures us that the U.S. will continue to carry out the “limited” military missions, he claims to protect U.S. personnel and facilities, to help stabilize the Iraqi government, and of course, to provide humanitarian relief.
Today the named enemy has changed but the U.S. objective remains the same. There is no humanitarian will to aid the Azidi minority or the Kurds. Protecting U.S. interests (synonymous with the interests of the international energy corporations) is always central to any mission. Many military experts agree that airstrikes will not be sufficient and boots on the ground are next.
The U.S. has been fighting against the people of Iraq militarily and with sanctions and occupation for over 20 years. These crimes against humanity must end.
Our demands are the same as ever:
With greater brutality and disregard for world opinion than ever before, Israel, with the full backing of the United States, has once again engaged in a genocidal collective punishment of a heroic people who refuse to leave their land or give up their rights.
To date, 2000+ Palestinian Gazans were murdered, 10,000 wounded, and 278,000 displaced from their homes. 75-85 percent of the Palestinian dead and wounded were civilians, many women and children. Medical facilities were bombed, and Israeli tanks shelled UN schools and refugee centers killing over 50 and wounding hundreds more. UN High Commissioner of Human Rights, Navi Pillay, has indicated that Israel was guilty of war crimes.
The infrastructure of Gaza has been obliterated, with the only power plant bombed to smithereens, virtually all water supplies and sewage treatment facilities wiped out, and 50,000 Gazan homes blown to bits. This horrendous death and destruction comes from one of the world’s most powerful military states, Zionist Israel.
On the Israeli side, three civilians died, one via a mortar and two by primitive rockets. 64 Israeli IDF soldiers were reported to have been killed. Israel says they have the “right to defend its citizens,” and claims its very existence is threatened by Hamas. By international law, however, the disproportionate use of force is a war crime and particularly heinous when used to attack an occupied people.
“Israel must attack Gaza even more mercilessly, expel the population and resettle the territory with Jews.” These are the words of Israel’s Deputy Speaker of the Knesset (parliament) Moshe Feiglin, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party. (See Israeli news website Arutz Sheva, July 15.) Feiglin’s program on how it must be done includes attacks using maximum force, with no consideration for “human shields” or “environmental damage.” He calls for a total siege on Gaza, allowing nothing or no-one to enter or leave. After the devastating use of firepower, he calls for “conquering” Gaza and eliminating all armed enemies. Those who are not connected to the “terrorists”, he says, will be allowed to leave Gaza permanently. He further states that “Gaza is part of our Land and we will remain there forever.” Subsequently, Gaza will “become part of sovereign Israel and will be populated by Jews”. Those who manage to stay after a number of years will receive permanent resident status and even Israeli citizenship, contingent on accepting “upon themselves Israel’s rule, substance and way of life of the Jewish State in its Land”.
In truth, Feiglin’s proposal differs little, if at all, from Israeli’s long-standing official policy of apartheid and ethnic cleansing.
We must never forget that the US is entirely complicit, and in fact, Israel could not continue its racist policies of brutal control and subjugation of a captive indigenous population without the political, economic and military backing of the U.S. The totality of U.S. support was blatantly demonstrated in the Senate’s unanimous bi-partisan “Vote of Shame” on July 17 to pass a resolution supporting the Israeli assault on Gaza in order to “defend its citizens and ensure its survival.” Palestinians and their rights by international law to self-defense and their very survival are never considered.
Included in the resolution was the real reason Israel and the U.S. were alarmed and the trigger for the latest wave of violence against the Gazans: “Whereas Hamas entered into a unity government arrangement with Fatah and the Palestinian Authority,” it called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas “to dissolve the unity governing arrangement with Hamas and condemn the attacks on Israel.” In fact, the feared unified Palestinian resistance is why the Israeli government had laid plans to attack Gaza long ago.
Armed to the teeth to the tune of $3.1 billion yearly – the largest recipient of U.S. “foreign aid,” – an additional $500 million was almost immediately supplied to the settler state to replenish the bombs, missiles and other weapons of war that were “used up” on a near-defenseless Palestinian population. Another $500 million was contributed for the Iron Dome missile defense system, presumably to defend against the fairly ineffectual Palestinian rockets.
The struggle for Palestinian freedom and rights has gone on for close to 70 years. We must continue our efforts to stand with them, not just at times of heightened Israeli escalation, and as Americans, to particularly focus on ending the criminal collusion of the U.S. government.
Our demands remain:
The U.S.-backed bombing of Donetz, a city of one million in eastern Ukraine, continues, with U.S.-trained Blackwater-type fighters directly involved along with several well-armed neo-Nazis-led militias that have emerged as storm troopers flying banners emblazoned with swastika-like emblems.
An August 9 New York Times article by Andrew E. Kramer was among the few in the corporate media that formally citied the role of neo-Nazis forces. Kramer wrote:
“The fighting for Donetsk has taken on a lethal pattern: The regular army bombards separatist positions from afar, followed by chaotic, violent assaults by some of the half-dozen or so paramilitary groups surrounding Donetsk who are willing to plunge into urban combat.
“Officials in Kiev say the militias and the army coordinate their actions, but the militias, which count about 7,000 fighters, are angry and, at times, uncontrollable. One known as Azov, which took over the village of Marinka, flies a neo-Nazi symbol resembling a Swastika as its flag.”
These rightwing militias and self-appointed politically-led forces (bolstered by neo-Nazis from countries as far away as Canada and Sweden) are employed especially when the official Ukrainian Army has often proven to be ineffective when ordered to fire on civilians or on volunteer soldiers who have mobilized to defend their cities from a regime they consider illegitimate as well as anti-Russian and chauvinist. Thousands of Ukrainian troops have refused to fight, left Ukraine or joined the Russian Army.
The Ukrainian Army, increasingly equipped with high-tech U.S./NATO supplied modern weapons of war, and instructed by U.S. and NATO “advisers,” now operates with modern fighter jets that daily bomb eastern Ukraine cities – exacting terrible casualties on civilian residents.
The present Ukrainian government drew its authority from the February 20 U.S.-backed and neo-fascist-led coup that stormed the Ukrainian Rada (parliament) and forced the elected President Viktor Yanukovych to flee. The neo-fascist, anti-Semitic, hyper-nationalist, Svoboda (“Freedom”) Party, accompanied by the virulent pro-Nazis, Right Sector formation, led the coup. They trace their ideological roots to the pro-Nazi Ukrainian movements of World War II.
These armed, club-wielding, and often Molotov-cocktail bomb-throwing “democrats” had been let loose by the rump Fatherland Party “opposition” Ukrainian parliamentary oligarchs who seized on the now-refuted false flag accusation that Yanukovych had employed snipers to attack and murder 89 Independence Square (Maidan) demonstrators while wounding 100 others on Feb. 20.
A now confirmed phone call between the Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and European Union Foreign Affairs Minister Catherine Ashton, reported in the British Guardian and other newspapers, reveals Paet’s view, stated in a verified taped conversation, that “the same snipers [were] killing people from both sides..… behind the snipers, it was not Yanukovych, but it was somebody from the new coalition.”
This rump “new coalition,” in violation of the Ukrainian constitution, appointed a new government that included five Svoboda and Right Sector ministers including the two top posts in the Ukrainian military as well as the Minister of Agriculture. The United States rapidly moved to recognize the coup government as the legitimate authority in Ukraine.
While the original Independence Square mobilizations demanded democratic rights and protested government political corruption, they rapidly devolved into militarized neo-fascist-controlled, anti-Semitic and violent racist outpourings and confrontations. Undoubtedly, the CIA, having poured $5 billion into funding a huge number of Ukrainian anti-government NGO’s over the past decade, played a role. Indeed both Senator John McCain and U.S. Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland joined the protests, with McCain appearing on the same platform as Svoboda Party leaders.
The U.S. and European Union (EU) interest was to force the Yanukovych government to sign an “Association Agreement” that would guarantee Ukrainian repayment of EU bailout loans via the imposition of massive Greek-style austerity measures. These included huge layoffs of public workers, increased taxes and a 50 percent rise in the cost of basic utilities.
On the military side, the EU/U.S.-pressured agreement was aimed at moving Ukraine into the NATO orbit and eventually at the permanent stationing of NATO troops – posing a more direct military threat to Russia. This has led to heightened tension and concerns about a new Cold War.
A key, but infrequently mentioned element in the present Ukraine government war concerns the U.S. move to acquire the unimpeded right to frack Ukraine’s shale gas reserves, the fourth largest in the world. Indeed, these resources figure highly in U.S. corporate efforts to replace Russia’s exports of fossil fuels to Europe with U.S.-produced natural gas. Behind the U.S.-backed arming and training of the Ukrainian Army and its support to the bombing of eastern Ukrainian cities, lies $ trillions in natural resources that the U.S. seeks to transfer to its privileged corporate interests.
Once again, we are compelled to demand:
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