The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

U.S. Wars Are Not Over

Jan 31, 2022

After more than twenty years of war, U.S. troops were finally pulled out of Afghanistan. Small numbers officially remain in Iraq and Syria—though who knows how many special forces and CIA drones really continue to operate in these countries.

But even without so many of their own troops involved in the fighting, the U.S. “forever wars” continue against populations across the Middle East.

During the last week of January, U.S.-backed Kurdish forces in Hasaka, Syria battled to retake a prison complex from ISIS. 700 young boys have been imprisoned there for three years, because their parents had supposedly joined ISIS. In addition to providing the Kurdish forces with weapons and intelligence, the U.S launched air strikes in the middle of this city of one million, and the fighting forced tens of thousands of people to flee from their homes, joining hundreds of thousands of refugees this war has produced.

On January 21, Saudi air forces bombed a detention center in the neighboring country of Yemen, killing at least 80 people. This was part of a series of airstrikes Saudi forces inflicted on Yemen during the last two weeks of January, including in the capital city. Amnesty International reported that the strikes killed dozens of civilians, though the true toll is unknown, in part because the strikes knocked out the whole country’s internet. The entire Saudi war effort is carried out with U.S.-made weapons and is part of a proxy war with Iran.

And in Afghanistan, the march toward starvation continues for tens of millions of people. U.S. sanctions have completely destroyed the country’s economy, and the U.S. continues to block the Taliban government from accessing Afghanistan’s own money. Up to 90% of its people have been forced to rely on under-resourced international aid groups to get anything to eat. The U.N. reports that people have been reduced to selling their own children, selling kidneys and other body parts, just to survive, while the Wall Street Journal reports that what hospitals exist are filling up with dying babies, born prematurely as their mothers starve.

So no, the U.S. wars in the Middle East are not over. Even if the U.S. is committing a smaller share of its military to the region, these wars are as devastating as ever.