Statement by Socialist Alliance (Australia)
June 19, 2014 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The US, Australia and other partners-in-crime in the war on Iraq must not be allowed to use the latest developments in that country to increase their military intervention in the region. The Socialist Alliance adds its voice to others in Australia rejecting Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s all-the-way-with-the-USA commitment made to US President Barack Obama over Iraq.
The 2003 invasion of Iraq was a monstrous war crime. Millions of people have died or been displaced as a consequence of that invasion and the subsequent occupation. The leaders of governments that ordered that invasion and occupation – chief among them former US President George W. Bush, former British PM Tony Blair and former Australian PM John Howard – need to be brought to account as war criminals.
The invasion of Iraq did not bring democracy but simply replaced one brutal regime with another more pliant to Western imperial interests. The invaders cared nothing for the people of Iraq and region and acted to advance the selfish interests of the powerful corporations they serve.
In 2003, the governments of the US, Britain and Australia colluded in whipping up public hysteria around the lie that an invasion was necessary because the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq was about to use “weapons of mass destruction” on neighbouring countries.
Today, the justification for a new military intervention is the advance of the militias of the allegedly “worse than al Qaeda” Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also described in the media as Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). However, ISIL is only one element in a broader Sunni tribal rebellion against the brutal repression and discrimination inflicted on the local population in Iraq’s north by the US-backed Maliki regime in Baghdad. Horrific images of what appear to be mass extra-judicial killings by the Sunni insurgents must be seen in the context of the Maliki regime’s repression that preceded it.
The Western imperialist states cannot be trusted. The secret 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement between Britain and France drew artificial national boundaries, entrenched minorities in power as local agents for imperialism and rendered the Kurdish people stateless. The people of Iraq and the rest of the region should be left to settle these disputes and reshape local national boundaries free of all foreign military intervention.
In this context, the peoples of the Middle East will only be able to forge paths to peace and democracy if the imperialist states are forced to end their military interventions in the region.