The White House and the corporate media incessantly repeat that the Iraqi people have been “liberated” by the US and British military. Most ordinary Iraqis are indeed very happy to be rid of Saddam’s tyranny. But as the daily demonstrations on the streets of Iraqi cities show, they also see colonial occupation of their country as a step backward.
Of course, in the last few months millions of people in the US and around the world have affirmed their understanding that far from being a “war of liberation,” the attack on Iraq was carried out to increase oil company profits and to enhance the power and “prestige” of US imperialism.
The military occupation of Iraq, whether conducted by the US or the UN, will only result in further exploitation and repression of the Iraqi people. The last thing US big business wants to see is Iraqi workers taking their destiny into their own hands by struggling for better wages, free healthcare, and an end to military occupation.
Capitalism offers no way forward for the devastated country of Iraq. Brutal UN sanctions and over a decade of bombardment have caused a collapse of large parts of Iraq’s infrastructure. On the basis of capitalism, Iraqi industry, medicine, and education will not be re-developed to even its pre-Gulf War levels.
The War at Home
The Bush Administration and US big business have in reality fought two interlinked wars in the past few months. One was on Iraq, while the other is an ongoing war on working people in the US. Billions upon billions of taxpayers’ dollars have already been spent on this war for oil, while millions of Americans are without healthcare or jobs.
The “support our troops” cry of the moneybag politicians is nothing but empty sloganeering meant to distract attention from the domestic attacks and wave after wave of layoffs. Local budget cuts are compounded by state budget cuts, and don’t forget the huge tax giveaways to the corporations and super rich that Bush is trying to push through Congress. On top of that, the Bush administration proposed cutting $15 billion dollars from veterans programs!
But it’s not just Bush and the Republican Party who are to blame. Nearly every Democratic Party politician supported this war, and the Democrats are helping to carry out budget cuts and kickbacks to the rich at the local, state, and national levels. The Democrats also supported the Patriot Act, which strips away the civil rights of ordinary Americans and is a cover for a racist campaign against Muslim and Middle Eastern immigrants.
The drive toward war and exploitation abroad and at home is caused by capitalism. This system isn’t concerned with the needs of workers and youth. Capitalism is driven by profits for the rich at the expense of everything else. We need to struggle for a global society based on human need, not corporate greed. We need democratic socialism in Iraq and the United States to end the war, poverty, and environmental destruction that capitalism creates. Join us in our struggle!