The State of the Union: addicted to war
In last night's state of the union address U.S. President George W Bush attempted to rally support for his Iraq policy and his 21,000 troop 'surge' by urging the American people to find their “resolve, and turn events toward victory”, although most Americans no longer believe that there can be “victory” in Iraq.
In what is now a well practised routine, President Bush – like Tony Blair – justified the continued presence of occupying forces by claiming that the US could somehow solve the chaos that is now Iraq and that coalition forces are needed in order to stop sectarian conflict between shia and sunni. Like compulsive gamblers, Bush and Blair do not know when to quit but continue their deluded talk of “victory”. For nearly four years, the invading forces have caused the problems of sectarianism, instabilty, and committed major abuses upon the population. It is not surprising, with such a track record that they been unable to defeat the resistance that enjoys popular support. The idea that 21,000 more troops will provide victory is a dangerous fantasy.
Just hours before the state of the union address, even the US general in charge of President Bush’s new war plan – Lieutenant General Petraeus – said that the situation in Iraq was so dire that he could not guarantee that it would succeed. What is clear is that the additional troops will contribute to the invasion which has resulted in: shootings of Iraqis at checkpoints – adding to the 650,000 already killed, torture like in Abu Ghraib and massacres like those in Haditha and Fallujah. For the invading powers, Iraq’s huge oil wealth, its strategic location at the heart of the Middle East and it’s potential to become an independent Islamic state (Caliphate) that stands against western colonialism means that it is too great a treasure to forgo, whatever the cost in Iraqi lives. The only winners in Iraq have been western corporations – many of who are donors to the Bush administration – who were awarded multi-billion dollar contracts. Bechtel had $2.3 billion worth of contracts, KBR (an arm of Haliburton – which Dick Cheney used to run) had $10 billion worth of contracts and Parsons Corporation had $5 billion worth of contracts. Last night, Bush said “our cause in the world is right – and tonight that cause goes on”. To many, that cause seems to be to colonise and kill for wealth, influence and resources.
President Bush’s excuse that coalition forces need to stay to prevent sectarian conflict, is the latest in the long line of excuses for staying in the region. Bush and his allies created sectarian conflict in Iraq when there was none. It is the invading forces that supported one faction against another and promoted sectarian politics. Before the invasion, sunnis and shias, lived worked and intermarried for centuries despite their differences. The playing of the sectarian card will not fool the people in the Muslim world who are united in their opposition to western interference and the dangers of this policy of divide and rule.
Bush and his allies have a perennial record of mass murder, stealing resources and denying people their own political authority. There is nothing they can offer to help the situation other than ending their illegal occupation of Iraq and their continued interference in the Muslim world.
The US led 'war on terror' generally, and the Iraq invasion specifically, proves more than ever that the Muslim world needs a Caliphate which will stand up to this rampant imperialism and end the unstable era of Western supported dictators and tyrants in the Muslim world.