American "Democracy," Iraq Style

March 10, 2011

Since the beginning of Barack Obama's term as president, his administration, the Democratic and Republican party politicians and the monopoly controlled media have "justified" U.S. occupation of Iraq by claiming that it is necessary in order to "mentor" Iraq in "nation-building" and to establish a "stable and legitimate government." Throughout the last 2 years as well as throughout the entire 8-year war, we have seen countless examples of the kind of "nation-building" and "legitimate government" Obama is talking about.

From day one of the war, the U.S. occupying authorities have fostered and strengthened the most reactionary classes and forces in Iraqi society. The U.S. armies have set up a government headed by notorious CIA agents such as Talabani, Chalabi, Allawi, etc. In collaboration with the current "democratic" government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, the U.S. is building a large, U.S.-armed and U.S.-commanded puppet army and police force. The core of this puppet army is based on former fascist generals. The puppet army is supplemented with tens of thousands of mercenaries who are not even "officially" accountable to the same standards of conduct as troops directly under the authority of the Pentagon and the Iraqi Ministry of Defense. On the other hand, the parties which oppose the occupation are illegal and the Iraqi people are hunted, killed, tortured, and imprisoned.

As the so-called "draw down of troops" proceeds, these colonial policies are continuing. Beginning in late February, police and army were mobilized to enforce curfew and vehicle bans in Basra and Baghdad and other cities and towns as Iraqis attempted to organize demonstrations demanding an end to the U.S. occupation and for certain economic and political demands such as reduction in electricity costs and an end to restrictions on freedom of speech. Already dozens of demonstrators have been killed and wounded by Iraqi security forces and many people report that they have been too intimidated by the martial law decrees to venture out into the streets for the protests. On February 26, in the city of Kirkuk, three bodies of demonstrators who had been shot in the head were discovered with their hands still bound. A number of journalists in Baghdad report that after participating in a large February 25 protest they were detained and tortured by electric shock while their interrogators demanded that they admit to being supporters of the Baath party. In today's Iraq, in the name of "stability" and "counter-terrorism" people are regularly arrested without charge and otherwise deprived of basic civil liberties. In February, 4 medical professors and 96 other intellectuals were arrested as part of a counter-insurgency "crackdown" in Dilaya province. Thousands of Iraqis have been "disappeared" while many of those charged with political or criminal offenses state that they have been tortured. In one recent incident, the Baghdad Brigade, an elite security unit tied to Prime Minister Maliki's office, was found to have been running a secret prison in Baghdad in which 431 prisoners state that they were tortured by interrogators. On February 12th, 50 prisoners at the central prison in Amara initiated a hunger strike and demanded to be cleared of charges and released after giving confessions under torture.

While in cities such as Basra and Baghdad martial law is imposed at the first signs of collective struggle, many other areas of the country remain in a permanent state of war. U.S. trained and led contingents of Iraqi police and army have been engaging in armed clashes (also known as "combat") on a daily basis throughout Iraq. Severe restrictions on journalists block the public from learning who or even how many people are killed during these operations.

The fascist offensives of the Iraqi government, directed against anyone who dares to oppose the rule of the U.S.-backed government, reveal both the hypocrisy of Obama and the true colonial aims of U.S. imperialism in Iraq. While the U.S. state department has expressed its "regrets" about the "ongoing violence," the fact is that U.S imperialism is the occupying power in Iraq and fully responsible for all the crimes of the Iraqi regime as well as the entire counter-insurgency war.

It is obvious that Obama and U.S. imperialism are waging the war in Iraq not to defend "democracy," but rather to strengthen their hegemony in the Middle East and to keep control of the region's vast oil wealth. Obama's entire program of war and intervention aims not at guaranteeing the independence of nations or the freedom of the peoples but rather at suppressing the peoples through direct U.S. intervention as well as through all-out support for such reactionary regimes as the Maliki government or the Mubarak regime in Egypt, or the King of Bahrain, etc., etc.