Obama's Near-term Plans for Iraq and Syria

October 14, 2014

On September 18, Obama spoke at the White House before signing the “Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2015.” He made the following three points:

  1. In the name of targeting ISIL terrorists, the Democrats and Republicans in Congress voted to support a White House plan to endorse more training and equipping of Syrian Opposition Forces. This will take place outside of Syria with regional partners and will include more training and equipment for Iraqi government and Kurdish forces in Iraq as well.

  2. The mission of American ground troops in Iraq will be limited to non-combat advisement and assistance to Iraqi soldiers and other partners there. Forty governments agree to help. The French government’s assistance will include airstrikes.

  3. The bi-partisan support for this plan shows that Americans have not been intimidated by the recent murder of two American citizens in Iraq. These murders will not stop military strikes against terrorists in Iraq.
Thus, once again, a U.S. president is using the brutal murder of American civilians as a pretext for war. This time, the victims are being used as a pretext for collective punishment in Iraq and to step up preparations for an invasion of Syria. Prior to 10/7/01, the murder of American civilians would lead to court proceedings and a trial for the accused offender. So too, prior to 10/7/01, the practice of extradition provided host countries with assurance against military aggression from a visitor’s home country. Today, in its continued pursuit of world hegemony, U.S. imperialism shows more readiness than ever to trample on the lives and rights of the American and world’s people.

The latest attempt to justify imperialist conquest and war in the Middle East in the name of a strategy to “degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL” is but another affirmation of the fact that it is U.S. imperialism itself which lives by the terrorist creed that “Might Makes Right.” The fascist program of collective punishment in Iraq and “regime change” in Syria reveals the increasingly aggressive character of U.S. imperialism and the danger it represents not only to the peoples of the region, but also to peace throughout the world.