military intervention

Statement on U.S. Military Interventions in Middle East

United States foreign policy in the Middle East has been a policy of forced regime change for decades. A few examples include:

  • 1953 overthrow of the elected Iranian government of Mossadegh by U.S. and British forces
     
  • 1958 U.S. invasion of Lebanon with 15,000 troops
     
  • 1963 CIA-aided coup deposing the Qasim government of Iraq, which 5 years earlier had ousted the U.S.-allied Iraqi monarchy
     
  • 2002 invasion of Afghanistan, followed by a decade+ of occupation
     
  • 2003 invasion of Iraq, followed by a decade+ of occupation

The U.S. has been pushing regime change in Syria since at least 2001. These policies should end.

U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have cost thousands of American lives, tens of thousands of grievously injured Americans, and the lives of hundreds of thousands Afghanis and Iraqis. They have displaced millions of Afghanis and Iraqis who fled their homes to save their lives. $2 trillion American taxpayer dollars have been spent. The wars have accomplished nothing, apart from creating an environment that bred the creation of ISIS and allowed it to thrive and expand.  Now the U.S. is pursuing the same counterproductive policies to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

John Pilger wrote in 2014:

A telling example is the rise to power of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge, who had much in common with today's Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). They, too, were ruthless medievalists who began as a small sect. They, too, were the product of a US-made apocalypse, this time in Southeast Asia. . . .

Al-Qaeda - like Pol Pot's "jihadists" - seized the opportunity provided by the onslaught of "shock and awe" and the civil war that followed. "Rebel" Syria offered even greater rewards, with CIA and Gulf state ratlines of weapons, logistics and money running through Turkey. . . .

ISIS is the progeny of those in Washington, London and Paris who, in conspiring to destroy Iraq, Syria and Libya, committed an epic crime against humanity. Like Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, ISIS is the mutation of a Western state terror dispensed by a venal imperial elite undeterred by the consequences of actions taken at great distance. Their culpability is unmentionable in "our" societies, making accomplices of those who suppress this critical truth.

All human life should be protected. French warplanes carried out airstrikes in urban Syrian areas using its 12 jet fighters based in Jordan and the U.A.E. for months prior to the brutal killing of innocents in France. The government of France saw no outrage in bombing the Syrians.  Nor does the U.S. government.

The solution is not more war. The solution is for western powers (particularly the U.S.) to stop their decades-long practice of military intervention to create or prop up compliant regimes, regardless of the wishes of the people who live there.

Statement on U.S. Military Intervention in Iraq and Syria

The United States needs to:

Get out of Iraq.
Stay out of Syria.

Twelve years ago the Bush Administration and the corporate media launched a huge campaign to convince Americans that a regime in the Middle East was such a threat that it required military intervention and occupation of the area.  "Sadam Hussein even gassed his own people," we were told, along with the falsehoods about weapons of mass destruction.  The United States has already suffered nearly 4,500 Americans dead and 35,000 Americans injured, not to mention the effects on Iraqis:  over 175,000 dead, untold numbers injured, displacement of over 1.5 million from their homes, the devastation of the Iraqi economy and infrastructure, and the leveling of Iraqi cities.  It has cost over $2 trillion of U.S. taxpayer money.

Now the same hype job is back, to ensure continued profits of the military-industrial establishment.  Now, again, there is a regime in the Middle East (ISIS) that is claimed to pose a threat to the entire world.  "The brutal, insane ISIS regime has beheaded two American journalists!  We must respond by sending our military back to Iraq!"

The Oregon Progressive Party says no.  American policy should be:

Get out of Iraq.
Stay out of Syria.

The Obama Administration now says we have to do the same thing we already did in Iraq for over a decade.  But this time somehow military intervention in Iraq (and Syria) will work, instead of just continuing to make the situation worse for the U.S. and for those who live in Iraq and Syria.  Not to be outdone by the Bush folks, Obama wants to expand U.S. military strikes into Syria and to arm "the moderate Syrian opposition."  The CIA has already been trying to do that, but the weapons seem to end up in the hands of ISIS.

And, say the hawks, we have to "train and equip the Iraqi Army," which we already did for 10 years--before they ripped off their uniforms and turned over their weapons to ISIS.  And, although until about a week ago the two worst regimes in the Middle East were supposedly Iran and Syria, now the U.S. is allying itself with those Shiite regimes against their Sunni enemies.

The only reason the war hawks care about Iraq and adjacent areas is because somehow a lot of Arab sand got deposited on top of our oil.  Protecting the oil there does not benefit consumers; it only secures more profits for the oil companies.

Get out of Iraq.
Stay out of Syria.

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