The Spark

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

Iraq:
The downward slide of the U.S. occupation

Aug 25, 2003

More than 100 days after the official end of the war in Iraq, a spectacular terrorist attack on the U.N. building in Baghdad cost 23 lives, including the special U.N. representative to Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello, plus more than 100 wounded.

We can question the objectives of the people who carried out the attack. They certainly don't defend the interests of the Iraqi people with such methods. Nevertheless, this attack occurred in a situation where the U.S. occupation is becoming more and more intolerable for the population, while the conduct of the U.N. representatives merges more and more with that of the other imperialist powers.

With each passing day, there are more provocations and repressions. Forcible control of ID's and arbitrary arrests create new opponents to the U.S.-British coalition. Hundreds of Iraqi civilians have been killed by the U.S. army (perhaps 600 since the "end" of the war on May 1, according to a humanitarian organization). Thousands of prisoners again rot ... in the same jails that Saddam Hussein used – reopened by the U.S. army.

The U.S. is an occupying power – acting as such, it generates resistance which comes not only from milieus that remain faithful to the old dictator, but from Shiite milieus that hope to succeed him, and even among ordinary Iraqis appalled as their conditions worsen.

Each day, the U.S. occupation sinks a little more into a quagmire. Sabotage, terrorist actions, attacks and riots become a daily occurrence. Every day there are incidents counterposing U.S. troops to the population. The ordinary troops are forced to carry out the dirtiest work – patrolling the poor neighborhoods, repressing a desperate population. They will find themselves more and more the target for terrorist attacks, as well as attacks from the Iraqi population itself.

It seems increasingly obvious that the U.S., by launching this war, put itself into a situation it can't get out of. Unfortunately it's the Iraqi population who pays the price for it, as do the U.S. troops.