Coming Debacle of US Imperialism in Iraq and the Middle East
13-16 May 2004
On 11 March 2003, that is about 14 months ago, on the eve of the invasion of Iraq, Paulo Coelho, a well-known Latin American writer had written an open letter to the US president. In this letter, entitled “Thank you, President Bush”, he wrote:
“Thank you for revealing to the world the gulf that exists between the decisions made by those in power and the wishes of the people. Thank you for making it clear that neither José María Aznar nor Tony Blair give the slightest weight to or show the slightest respect for the votes they received. Aznar is perfectly capable of ignoring the fact that 90% of Spaniards are against the war, and Blair is unmoved by the largest public demonstration to take place in England in the last thirty years…
“Thank you for having achieved something that very few have so far managed to do in this century: the bringing together of millions of people on all continents to fight for the same idea, even though that idea is opposed to yours…
“Thank you, because, without you, we would not have realised our own ability to mobilise. It may serve no purpose this time, but it will doubtless be useful later on.
“Now that there seems no way of silencing the drums of war, I would like to say, as an ancient European king said to an invader: ‘May your morning be a beautiful one, may the sun shine on your soldiers’ armour, for in the afternoon, I will defeat you.’
“Thank you for allowing us -an army of anonymous people filling the streets in an attempt to stop a process that is already underway- to know what it feels like to be powerless and to learn to grapple with that feeling and transform it.
“So, enjoy your morning and whatever glory it may yet bring you.”
The Impact of Falluja and Abu Ghraib Atrocities
Since Paulo Coelho wrote his letter, there have emerged other and more significant reasons for the workers and peoples of the world to thank US imperialist terrorists led by Bush and Company! The past 14 month-period has once again highlighted the bloodthirsty, decadent, inhuman and extremely reactionary nature of capitalism and imperialism in general and of US neo-fascism in particular. The pictures of American warplanes and attack helicopters raining bombs and missiles on the civilian population of Falluja and the latest revealations and pictures over the inhuman treatment, beating, rape, torture and killing of Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison and elsewhere have once again and thoroughly exposed the the real meaning of imperialist “liberation” of Iraq and provided fresh material for the political education of the more backward sections of toiling humanity. Even allies and lackeys of the US were forced –though in a hyporitical fashion- to criticize these last outrages of American aggressors. For instance, on 26 April 2004, Massoud Barzani, the current president of the puppet Iraqi Governing Council and the leader of the Democratic Party of Kurdistan, who has supported the war of aggression against Iraq said that the US has only itself to blame for the military deadlock at Najaf and Falluja because it allowed ‘an army of liberation’ to turn into ‘an army of occupation’. (1)
The humiliating pictures in question have produced a torrent of revulsion and reaction against the racist insolence and arrogance of American invaders on an even larger scale than the ongoing massacre of civilians in Iraq. Among others, they have forced Abdel-Bari Atwan, the bourgeois liberal editor of the pan-Arabist London newspaper, al-Quds al-Arabi, to condemn American mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners. “The liberators are worse than the dictators,” Atwan said, “This is the straw that broke the camel’s back for America… That really, really is the worst atrocity. It affects the honour and pride of Muslim people. It is better to kill them than sexually abuse them.”
In fact, the latest US atrocities in Iraq are nothing new. They are part of the systematic aggression American bourgeoisie regularly conducts against the workers and toilers of the world, including its “own” workers and toilers. From the vantage point of recent history, they are a direct continuation of US atrocities in Afghanistan, where thousands of civilians and prisoners of war have been massacred by the US and its lackeys. Thousands of prisoners still languish, are abused, tortured and killed in several prisons across Afghanistan and in the infamous concentration camp in Guantanamo. (2) If the workers and toilers of the world had been able to expose and react in a massive and forceful manner to the massacre of Afghan fighters of civilians through indiscriminate bombardment and ongoing mistreatment of Afghan prisoners and people in this neglected and forgotten country, American neo-fascists at least could have been compelled to act with more restraint in Iraq.
In the aftermath of Abu Ghraib scandal, US and British imperialists and their cohorts have launched a damage limitation exercise and tried to shift the blame on a couple of rotten apples, who allegedly do not reflect the “true character” of US armed forces. In reality, these revealations and pictures have faithfully mirrored the utter decay and degeneration of capitalism in its imperialist phase in general and of American imperialism in particular. They have assisted the workers and peoples of the world to understand the genuine nature of capitalist civilization and to refresh their memories of the genuine history of colonialism and imperialism and of atrocities perpetrated by the American ruling classes towards other peoples and American workers. What has been happening in Iraq is, nothing but a very small cross-section of the bloody history of American capitalism. It is a direct continuation not only of the oppression of Afghan people, but also of the genocide of American Indian people during the second half of the 19th century (3), of the massacre of Filipino people at the end of the 19th and the beginning of 20th century (4), of the direct and indirect oppression of the peoples of Latin America since the 19th century, of the genocide of Gutemalan people and of the massacre of Vietnamese, Laotian and Cambodian peoples in the 1960s and 1970s among other things (5). What else one could expect from a power who has been the foremost protector of all anti-democratic, reactionary and fascist forces in semi-colonies, including Saddam Hussein, has harbored the remnants of German Nazism and Japanese militarism, has founded death squads, illegal paramilitary and police organizations throughout the world and authored countless assassinations, coups d’etat and massacres? Therefore, workers and peoples of the world should thank Bush and Company once again for their services in the self-exposure of the criminal, mafiosi and fascist character of US monopoly capitalism and for reminding them that the “war on terrorism” the White House and the Pentagon prattle about is only the logical continuation of the anti-worker and anti-people strategy of American capitalism and their British and Zionist allies!
Bush was “right” all along in depicting their “war on terrorism” as a struggle between the forces of evil and barbarism on the one hand and those of good and civilization on the other; yes, this indeed is a struggle between the forces of political reaction, war and barbarism, led by US, Israel and Britain, the real “axis of evil” and the forces of democracy, peace and civilization led at the moment by the workers and toilers of Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan. What is more important, this unequal struggle between poor, small and betrayed, but proud peoples of Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan and the mighty superpower (and its allies and lackeys), between the modern-day Davids and Goliaths, has demonstrated once again the invincibility of masses of people who unite and dare to struggle against much more powerful aggressors, the invincibility of the just war of the masses against their oppressors. Therefore, workers and peoples all over the world should thank Bush and Company and their British and Zionist allies once again for exposing the strategic weakness, political short-sightedness and inability to learn from historical experience of imperialist bourgeoisie! They may also thank these bandit chiefs for drawing the US, the principal enemy of workers and peoples of the world, into the quagmire of the Middle East. The spread of anti-imperialist mood and movement as a result of the general aggression of the US and its allies will open the way to the introduction of revolutionary upheavals and/ or regime changes in the near future and probably will ripen the conditions for the overthrow of pro-US regimes, such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt etc. This will well-nigh deprive the US and Britain of their control over the Middle Eastern oil resources and leave both the US and Israel without any significant allies and lackeys in the Arab world and therefore will prove to be an even heavier blow to the arrogant Yankee imperialism than the Indochina debacle of the 1970s. To sum up, American-British-Israeli aggression has backfired and will continue to backfire; it has demonstrated the will and strength of the peoples of Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan and their refusal to be intimidated and subjugated. The rest of the peoples of the Middle East shall follow their example.
Heroism of the Masses
“In the early spring of 2004, in April to be exact,” wrote James Petras on 7 April, “the dreams of a new colonial empire came crashing down on the masterminds of the New World Order, an undisputed, unilateral Empire. The end of the Sharon-Wolfowitz-Blair-Chaney ‘Greater Mid-East Co-Prosperity Sphere’. The Iraqi resistance has turned the Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz dream of a series of wars against Syria, Iran, Cuba, and North Korea into a nightmare of bloody street battles on every block in Falluja and Sadr City, Baghdad.
“The heroism, the valor, the inspiration, the mass resistance is all the more so as the Iraqi people draw on their resources, their own solidarity, their own history, their belief that they will be free or take down every colonial soldier as they fight to the death.
“The phrase ‘Patria o Muerte’ takes on a special and very specific meaning in Iraq: It is not a slogan of a leader, a vanguard, to arouse and inspire the people -it is the living practice of a whole people. Patria or Muerte comes out of the mouths of teenage street fighters as well as street venders and widows with black scarves.
“The ‘Iraqi April Days’ are a lesson to for the whole Third World and other would-be imperial colonialists: Mass armed resistance cannot be politically or militarily defeated. The heroism of the Iraqi resistance stands in stark contrast to the cowardly self-styled Arab leaders.” (“Third World Resistance and Western Intellectual Solidarity”)
Petras’ observation with respect to reactionary Arab regimes is valid with certain qualifications for other imperialist powers as well. In the aftermath of the events of 11 September 2001, Western European, Russian and Chinese imperialists have shamefully capitulated in the face of US drive to expand its sphere of influence through overt military aggression and to wantonly violate international bourgeois law. These second-rate imperialists have, at most restricted themselves to making some hypocritical criticism of the “excesses” of US policy and in the meantime have strived to make dirty deals behind the scenes with the Bush clique and sometimes even have openly collaborated with it (the so-called Proliferation Security Initiative, forcing Iran and North Korea to scrap their nuclear programs, the coup d’etat in Haiti against President Jean Bertrand Aristide etc.), despite the fact that the American neo-fascists encroach on their spheres of influence as well. Scared to death of the “overwhelming strength” of the chief bandit in Washington, they, in general have followed a policy of appeasement and in the process undermined their own positions through their own myopic and cowardly policies. Despite the pretenses of France, Germany and Belgium, disunited EU imperialists were not really opposed to the invasion of Iraq; they were only concerned for securing their “fair share” in the plunder of this country’s wealth and resources. (6) What is more, these imperialist powers have utilized the post-11 September political atmosphere to suppress democratic opposition and national liberation movements (Chechens in Russia, Uighurs in China), to encroach upon the rights of workers, pensioners, immigrants etc and to enact various anti-democratic laws and regulations under the pretext of improving security and fighting against the danger of “terrorism”.
The recent events have once more confirmed the Marxist axiom, which argues that it is the masses who make history. If the latest developments have spelled the end of the much-trumpeted US-British-Israeli project for a so-called Greater Middle East, if American neo-fascists and their allies have been compelled to shelve their plans to subjugate and invade Iran, Syria, Lebanon, North Korea etc. and launch a full-scale attack against the positions of their imperialist opponents, it is mainly due to the heroic resistance of Iraqi, Palestinian and Afghan masses. Despite its huge military might, this struggle has shown even US imperialism, just like its predecessors, to be a “colossus with feet of clay” (Lenin). If the workers and toilers of the Middle East and elsewhere follow the example of fighting peoples of Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan, the so-called Greater Middle East Project, that is the American-Israeli-British plan to colonize Middle East and eventually the world itself shall be totally shattered and the cities, plains, mountains, deserts, marshes and forests of the Greater Middle East shall become a Greater Graveyard of imperialism. The workers and toilers of this vast region, who have been wantonly oppressed and exploited for decades by British, French and Tzarist Russian colonialists, Israeli Zionists, US imperialists, Soviet social-imperialists and their stooges have proved that they have the potential to do so.
This may appear as a sort of revolutionary daydreaming or wishful thinking. But the realities of the resistance against US-led aggression, manoeuvres of the Bush clique and the admissions of a growing number of civilian and military authorities and observers prove it to be absolutely correct. As far back as July 2003, CSM correspondent Ann Scott Tyson had to admit the fact that, “US troops facing extended deployments amid the danger, heat and uncertainty of an Iraq occupation are suffering from low morale that has in some cases hit ‘rock bottom’ ”(The Christian Science Monitor, 7 July 2003)
For some time, the more far-sighted representatives of US imperialism have come to realize that they have bitten more than they can chew. Professor Jeffrey Record, whose report was published by the Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute has even likened the scale of US ambitions in the “war on terrorism” to Hitler’s overreach in World War II.
“A cardinal rule of strategy is to keep your enemies to a manageable number,” he wrote. “The Germans were defeated in two world wars… because their strategic ends outran their available means.” (“US Army College Attacks Bush Terror Policy”, Washington Post, January 13, 2004)
US Administrator L. Paul Bremer’s recent admission of error in disbanding Saddam Hussein’s army and secret police, followed by a policy reversal and attempts at the employment of some Iraqi generals and police chiefs, all members of the hated Baathist apparatus of repression to once again oppress and massacre Iraqi people and to quell the Iraqi uprising, is in fact a covert admission of the failure of the occupation. Washington’s flirtations with the UN with the aim of internationalization of the criminal occupation of Iraq and its pleas for additional troops from other countries to join the aggression is another case in point.
On 29 April 2004, Arnaud de Borchgrave, UPI editor at large referred to the harsh criticism of a “prominent retired general”, who “once headed the National Security Agency and also served as a deputy National Security Adviser.” de Borchgrave quotes from Wall Street Journal ’s John Harwood, who has interviewed General William E. Odom. The four-star retired general has argued for the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq “as rapidly as possible.” Odom, who currently heads the pro-Republican Hudson Institute had bluntly said that, “we have failed.” According to Odom, “the sum total of what the US occupation of Iraq has achieved is ‘the radicalization of Saudi Arabia and probably Egypt, too. And the longer we stay in Iraq, the more isolated America will become.’ ”
Even back in January 2004, the Army War College had sharply criticized the war on Iraq and admitted that as a result of the mistakes in the handling of the war, the US army was “near breaking point.” Nowadays, especially in the wake of the glorious “April Days”, such criticism has become much more widespread. “Deep divisions are emerging at the top of the US military over the course of the occupation of Iraq”, wrote Washington Post’s staff writer Thomas E. Ricks on 9 May 2004, “with some senior officers beginning to say that the US faces the prospect of casualties for years without achieving its goal of establishing a free and democratic Iraq.”
“Army Maj. Gen. Charles H. Swannack Jr., the commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, who spent much of the year in western Iraq, said he believes that at the tactical level at which fighting occurs, the US military is still winning. But when asked whether he believes the US is losing, he said, ‘I think strategically, we are.’ ”)
The Current Situation and the Central Task of the Working Class
At present, the position of the US (and Britain and Israel, its strategic allies) is more or less similar to the position of Nazi Germany (and its fascist allies) in the Second World War. Then, the central and urgent task facing the workers and peoples of the world was to oppose and defeat the fascist bloc of Germany, Italy and Japan; now it is to oppose and defeat the US-led neo-fascist “axis of evil.” An extremely important, if not the decisive component of this central task is to rise and fight shoulder to shoulder with the fighting peoples of Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan, support them in every way and in a systematic manner and organize solidarity actions with them. Notwithsanding the class nature of their leadership, the liberation struggles of these peoples have been dealing heavy blows at the US-led imperialist aggressors. “The revolutionary character of a national movement” said Stalin, “under the conditions of imperialist oppression does not necessarily presuppose the existence of proletarian elements in the movement, the existence of a revolutionary or a republican program of the movement, the existence of a democratic basis of the movement. The struggle the Emir of Afghanistan is waging for the independence of Afghanistan is objectively a revolutionary struggle, despite the monarchist views of the Emir and his associates, for it weakens, disintegrates and undermines imperialism… “ (J. V. Stalin, “The Foundations of Leninism”, Problems of Leninism, Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1940, p. 53)
The courageous struggle of the peoples of Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan represent much more than a struggle to liberate their own homelands from foreign occupation; at present these peoples stand at the forefront of the struggle against the neo-fascist plans of world domination of US imperialist terrorists. Through their heroic struggle, these peoples have already shattered the plans of the “axis of evil” to launch preventive wars against Iran, Syria, North Korea, Cuba and other countries and enslave the peoples of the Greater Middle East and beyond. But the threat of a wider war, which may engulf other countries and lead to further bloodshed and misery for workers and toilers remains. Besides, the brave fighters and masses in Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan are daily shedding their blood in an unequal struggle and under the wanton bombardment of a malicious enemy, which does not hesitate to kill babies, women and the elderly, use banned weapons, such as napalm, depleted uranium coated missiles and cluster bombs, destroy the meager economies of already impoverished people, bomb peaceful villages and contaminate great swathes of land. Therefore, Marxist-Leninists and all consistent revolutionary and anti-imperialist forces throughout the world are duty bound to do everything to mobilize the masses everywhere against imperialist war and to systematically appeal to them to share the heavy burden on the shoulders of the peoples of Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan, who have already been ravaged through decades-long oppression, occupation, economic embargo and war.
To refuse to work towards this end and take part in this struggle or to refuse to subordinate other, secondary, tertiary tasks to this task of defeating the neo-fascist aggression led by the US, Israel and Britain will only bring grist to the mill of imperialist reaction and betray petty-bourgois narrow-mindedness and social-chauvinism at best. True, to deal mortal and decisive blows at imperialism, headed by the US, requires the massive participation of the workers and toilers of more advanced, more populous and bigger countries in the struggle under the banner of Marxism-Leninism and the existence and/ or construction of powerful revolutionary organizations of the working class. True, without the leadership of the working class and its communist parties, not only will it be impossible to overthrow capitalism and begin the long and complex struggle to build socialism, but it will also be impossible to realize the democratic and anti-imperialist aims of revolution to the full and even to force a strategic retreat on the “axis of evil”.
The absence of the abovementioned factors at present, however, cannot be cited as a reason or an excuse to stay away from the ongoing life and death struggle between the forces of imperialism and political reaction on the one hand and the forces of national liberation and revolution on the other. Bearing the brunt of imperialist aggression, the peoples of Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan are fighting not only for their own right to self-determination, but are fighting for us all, for all the peoples of the world.
“No nation can be free” had said Marx “if it oppresses other nations.” The essence of this truism is even more valid in respect of the valiant struggle of Iraqi, Palestinian and Afghan peoples. If the workers and peoples of other lands refuse to fight shoulder to shoulder with the former and be in active solidarity with them, they will be strengthening their own chains and acting as passive accomplices of their “own” imperialists and ruling classes.
Furthermore, to remain indifferent vis-a-vis the resistance of the peoples of Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan etc. under the pretext of opposition to or disapproval of the ideology, program, political line or the tactics of the groups leading the struggle against imperialism, Zionism and their lackeys will also be entirely unacceptable; it will be tantamount to a refusal to take a stand against imperialism and political reaction and condemn the protagonists of such a position to the status of passive and timid supporters of US-led war on the workers and peoples of the world. At a time, when imperialism and its liberal and reformist mouthpieces are doing almost everything to keep workers and toilers immobilized, confused and divided; advanced elements of the working class and consistent democrats and internationalists should unequivocally take their places in the struggle against the “axis of evil” and neo-fascist reaction. And to be able to implement that task they should take a definite and an uncompromising stand against the misleading and hypocritical chatter of the mouthpieces of bourgeois reaction about fundamentalism, Islamic terror and terrorism etc.
(1) “During the first two weeks of this month”, wrote Orit Shohat in Haaretz, “the American army committed war crimes in Falluja on a scale unprecedented for this war. According to the relatively few media reports of what took place there, some 600 Iraqis were killed during these two weeks, among them some 450 elderly people, women and children.
“The sight of decapitated children, the rows of dead women and the shocking pictures of the soccer stadium that was turned into a temporary grave for hundreds of the slain – all were broadcast to the world only by the Al Jazeera network. During the operation in Falluja, according to the organization Doctors Without Borders, U.S. Marines even occupied the hospitals and prevented hundreds of the wounded from receiving medical treatment. Snipers fired from the rooftops at anyone who tried to approach.” (“Remember Falluja”, Haaretz, 28 April 2004)
(2) Part of US war crimes in Afghanistan has been exposed in a film produced by an Irish filmmaker Jamie Doran. This film documents the slaughter of thousands of Afghan POWs by US Special Forces and their lackey General by General Abdul Rashid Dostum.
“In the wake of the battle for Konduz” wrote Stefan Steinberg on 21 December 2002, “American military forces participated in the armed assault and killing of several hundred Taliban prisoners in the fortress of Qala-i-Janghi. The American John Walker Lindh was one of 86 Taliban fighters who survived the massacre by hiding in tunnels beneath the fort.
“The film sets out to demonstrate that following the events at Qala-i-Janghi, in collaboration with its Afghan ally General Rashid Dostum, the American army command was complicit in the killing of a further 3,000 prisoners who were separated out from the total of 8,000 POWs and transported to a prison compound in the town of Shibarghan.
“Prisoners were shipped to Shibarghan in closed containers lacking any ventilation. Local Afghan truck drivers were commandeered to transport between 200 and 300 prisoners in each container. One of the drivers participating in the convoy relates that an average of between 150 and 160 died in each container in the course of the trip.
“An Afghan soldier who accompanied the convoy said he was ordered by an American commander to fire shots into the containers to provide air, although he knew that he would certainly hit some of those inside. An Afghan taxi driver reports seeing a number of containers with blood streaming from their floors. According to one of the drivers, survivors of the transport ordeal were dumped in the desert near Mazar-i-Sharif. As 30 to 40 American soldiers looked on, those prisoners still alive were shot and left in the desert to be eaten by dogs.”
(3) In his work, Hugh Brogan demonstrates the terror US army unleashed against the Indian people:
“Said US Lieutenant Davis, who fought against Geronimo, ‘…the Indian was a mere amateur compared to the “noble white man”. His crimes were detail, ours wholesale.’ Colonel Chivington (a Methodist minister) could, as late as 1868, organize the Sand Creek Massacre of 300 peaceful Cheyenne and Araphoes in Colorado. ‘Kill and scalp all,’ he said, ‘big and little; nits make lice.’ A US government commission subsequently commented:
“ ‘It scarcely has its parallel in the records of Indian barbarity. Fleeing women, holding up their hands and praying for mercy, were shot down; infants were killed and scalped in derision; men were tortured and mutilated. No one will be astonished that a war ensued which cost the government $30,000,000 and carried conflagration and death to the border settlements.’
“No matter: In Denver, after the massacre, Chivington had exhibited a hundred scalps in a local theatre and had been hailed as a hero. The next year General Phil Sheridan gave a phrase to the language when he remarked ‘the only good Indians I ever saw were dead’. A few years earlier, on the West Coast, the cry had gone up: ‘Let our motto be extermination, and death to all opposers.’ In Kansas, in 1867, the Indians were attacked as ‘gut-eating skunks… whose immediate and final extermination all men, except Indian agents and traders, should pray for’.
“Examples of such behavior could be cited almost indefinitely. However, those given should be enough to account for the name Cut-Throats. It is more difficult to explain such inhumanity.” (Hugh Brogan, Longman History of the United States of America, London, Guild Publishing, 1986, pp. 62-63)
(4) In 1899-1902, US imperialists fought a war to enslave the people of the Philippines. Despite overwhelming odds, Filipino guerillas led by Emilio Aguinaldo and supported by the people, heroically resisted against the invaders. US armed forces led by General Arthur MacArthur slaughtered more than 1 million people to subjugate the Filipino people and in the process resorted to various methods of white terror. In November 1901, the Manila correspondent of an American newspaper reported:
“The present war is no bloodless, opera bouffe engagement; our men have been relentless, have killed to exterminate men, women, children, prisoners and captives, active insurgents and suspected people from lads of ten up, the idea prevailing that the Filipino as such was little better than a dog… Our soldiers have pumped salt water into men to make them talk, and have taken prisoners people who held up their hands and peacefully surrendered and an hour later, without an atom of evidence to show that they were even insurrectos, stood them on a bridge and shot them down one by one, to drop into the water below and float down, as examples to those who found their bullet-loaded corpses.” (Quoted by Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States, London, Longman, 1980, p. 308) US imperialists resorted to massacres and destruction of crops; they herded people into concentration camps and adopted a scorched earth policy. Mark Twain commented:
“We have pacified some thousands of the islanders and buried them; destroyed their fields; burned their villages, and turned their widows and orphans out-of-doors…” (Ibid., p. 309)
(5) John Kerry, presidential candidate of the Democratic Party in the coming elections in November 2004, who essentially supports Bush clique’s line on Iraq had once upon a time exposed and condemned US policy in Vietnam. In his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on 23 April 1971, Kerry, Navy lieutenant, leader of Vietnam Veterans Against the War had said:
“I would like to talk on behalf of all those veterans and say that several months ago in Detroit we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably discharged, and many very highly decorated, veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia. These were not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command….
“They told stories that at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam, in addition to the normal ravage of war and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.”
(6) After the defeat of the Iraqi army in March and April of 2003, 15 members of the European Union came together in Athens on 17 April 2003 and issued a declaration. Without in any way criticizing or rejecting the US invasion of Iraq, they begged the Big Brother for a share in the pillage of the ravaged country, which was camouflaged behind such diplomatic phrases as the “major contribution” of the “international community”, “central role” of the UN, EU’s “commitments to play a significant role in the political and economic reconstruction of the country.” EU imperialists also declared their full support for the Bush plan allegedly prepared to solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; a plan which was destined to bring and has brought more destruction, bloodshed and tears for Palestinian people.
Here is the full text of this disgusting document:
“The European Union welcomes the presence of the United Nations secretary general and the opportunity to discuss with him the next steps on Iraq.
“At this stage the coalition has the responsibility to ensure a secure environment, including for the provision of humanitarian assistance and the protection of the cultural heritage and museums.
“The people of Iraq now have the chance to shape a new future for their country and to rejoin the international community.
“The international community has a major contribution to make in that process, in particular:
• The UN must play a central role including in the process leading toward self-government for the Iraqi people, enlisting its unique capacity and experience in post-conflict union building
• Iraq’s neighbours should support stability in Iraq and the region
• The EU reaffirms its commitments to play a significant role in the political and economic reconstruction of the country
• The EU welcomes the participation of the international financial institutions as set out in the recent statement by the G7 at the World Bank meeting in Washington
“The EU welcomes the appointment by the UN secretary general of a special adviser on Iraq and looks forward to a further strengthening of the UN’s involvement in post-conflict Iraq, initially in the coordination of the humanitarian assistance.
“As part of the process of regional security and stability the EU reaffirms its commitments to bring the Israeli-Palestinian peace process to a successful conclusion through the implementation of the steps foreseen in the Quartet’s [EU, US, UN and Russia] roadmap, keeping within established timelines.
“It is essential that there is an early endorsement by Chairman Arafat and the Palestinian Legislative Council of a cabinet nominated by Abu Mazen and committed to reform.”