August 17, 2014

Duplicitous US Intervention in Iraq

THE United States has launched air strikes in Iraq against the forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS). President Obama has ordered this military action in Iraq, the first since its withdrawal of ground troops from the country in 2011. The Islamic extremist forces have been advancing towards Baghdad and Irbil in Kurdistan after occupying a substantial part of northern Iraq. The Obama administration had earlier sent special forces who are operating from two centres in Baghdad and Irbil. Obama has announced that the military strikes will continue on the pretext that the Yezidi minority is threatened by the ISIS. The British government is moving to transfer military equipment to Irbil. The United States may step up its military operations after it succeeds in getting a new government formed in Baghdad instead of Al Maliki as the prime minister. US imperialism is once again intervening in Iraq in a duplicitous manner. The ISIS and other extremist Islamic groups have arisen as a product of US intervention and assistance. It was during the US occupation of Iraq that the Al Qaeda took root in northern Iraq. It is these forces which were supported and encouraged in Syria in the fight against the Assad government by the US and its allies like Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The ISIS rose as a military force in the Syrian civil war and has now crossed back into Iraq. The United States is caught up in a web of contradictions of its own making. The US military interventions to outset the secular Arab governments first in Iraq and later in Libya have been accomplished by financing and supporting the Islamist forces and sectarian militias. Libya is today riven by conflict between rival militias who were used by the US and Nato to destroy the Gaddafi regime. Iraq is also divided by sectarian conflict. Obama is bombing the ISIS militias in northern Iraq while his allies the Saudis and the Gulf states are financing the same Sunni extremist forces in Syria and Iraq. The US military action in the name of fighting terrorism in Iraq is taking place in tandem with Israel’s war against “Hamas terrorism” in Gaza. The US axis with Israel is fundamental to its West Asian strategy. US imperialism in its perpetual quest for hegemony over West Asia and its oil resources is the greatest threat to peace and stability in the region. The US must stop this military intervention in Iraq forthwith. It should immediately cease all support to the Syrian rebels and ask its allies to call off the dogs of war in Syria. The ISIS can be isolated and checked only by the forces of secular nationalism. (August 13, 2014)