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

20 Years ago:
U.S. Invasion of Iraq—Based on Lies

Mar 20, 2023

The United States invaded Iraq on March 20, 2003, after an enormous propaganda campaign.

We were told that Iraq had “weapons of mass destruction” … whatever that exactly meant, coming from the U.S., the only country to have ever used nuclear weapons in a war. The U.S. had given Iraq chemical weapons during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. But after the invasion, no WMDs were ever found.

We were told that Iraq was linked to terrorists. Without saying so exactly, President George W. Bush and those around him implied that Iraq had something to do with the 9/11 attacks. But in fact, there was NO connection between Iraq and 9/11. No al Qaeda members were even active in Iraq—until after the U.S. invasion.

We were also told that Iraq’s president, Saddam Hussein, was a brutal dictator. This was true—but all the propaganda conveniently left out the U.S. role in helping Hussein take and consolidate power, as well as the U.S. role in arming his regime against Iran.

The Bush government’s lies and misinformation were exposed before the U.S. attacked. And yet, Democrats and Republicans both lined up for war. Even those in Congress who voted against authorizing the invasion continued to vote to fund it, year after year after year.

The result for the Iraqi people was a disaster, with hundreds of thousands killed, ethnicity set against ethnicity, and the economy wrecked.

The working class in this country also paid a heavy price. Thousands of soldiers were killed and wounded, both mentally and physically. Huge sums of money were drained from our taxes and from the services we need. And deep moral damage was inflicted on the U.S. population that went along with this dirty imperialist war based on lies.

As the volume of the war propaganda drums increases once again, this time against Russia and China, we have every reason to remember the lies behind the Iraq war. As the old saying goes, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.