Sep 15, 2014
Obama spoke to the nation about ISIL, the terrorist group today operating in Iraq and Syria. Justifying his decision to send more U.S. military might into the region, he said: “ISIL has no vision other than the slaughter of all who stand in its way.” He said: “They execute captured prisoners. They kill children. They enslave, rape and force women into marriage.”
And further, he accused them of setting one ethnic or religious group against another, provoking genocide and driving masses of people into exile.
All true. But it begs the real question: What gives the U.S. the right to condemn this terrorist organization for actions which the U.S. itself has carried out, many times over?
Killing children? The U.S. is the specialist in this atrocity, raining bombs, drone attacks and missiles into areas packed with civilians – that means children, thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of children over the years of the U.S. wars on Iraq and Afghanistan. The fact is, bombs don’t distinguish, drones don’t distinguish between “terrorists” and children.
Driven into exile? More than a million Iraqis were driven from their homes by the three U.S. wars on Iraq.
Rape? Hundreds of U.S. women serving in the military can talk about that. But it’s much worse for Iraqi women. They have thousands of tales to tell about brutalization at the hand of U.S. troops.
Don’t believe it? Just ask those who have been there.
Execution of prisoners? For that lovely task, the U.S. handed over its prisoners to dictators whose police specialize in torture, maiming and killing of prisoners.
And yet, the U.S. pretends to have clean hands!
Playing on ethnic and religious divisions? That’s what the U.S. did all through the Iraq war, leading to a bloody civil war, and dozens of militias just like those that formed ISIL.
Nearly a million people have been killed in the course of the last three wars the U.S. carried out against Iraq.
The U.S., in fact, today stands as the number one terrorist in the world. Won’t change your regime? We’ll bomb you! Won’t agree to our terms for your oil? We’ll bomb you. Won’t let our oil companies drain your countries of your own wealth? We will invade you.
Are there terrorists in the world? You bet! Do they want to target the U.S.? You bet.
The actions of the U.S. provoked them into action – when the U.S. itself didn’t arm them for action in an earlier war the U.S. carried out.
Have you forgotten that al-Qaeda got its start with the help of U.S. weapons and intelligence it provided when the U.S. wanted to use those terrorists against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan?
ISIL itself came out of, in part, the Sunni Awakening that the U.S. funded in order to reestablish its control over Iraq, when Shiite militias seemed to be getting the upper hand.
Clean hands? Uncle Sam stands with blood dripping from his hands.
We pay the price for all this mayhem. Money that should be going to our schools, our neighborhoods, our lives instead goes to bomb another people. U.S. soldiers sent to “police,” that is terrorize, other countries often come back paying the price of their own sanity. Our children’s future is sacrificed so the weapons makers can make more money on more wars.
This is the price we will go on paying so long as U.S. imperialism is left in place, so long as the U.S. corporations and banks that today dominate the world are left with free hands to do what they want.
It has to stop. And there’s no one but us to stop it. The power to stop U.S. imperialism rests with the working people of this country.