What the U.S. Brings to Iraq: Suffering and Death

June 15, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


One of the cities in Iraq currently being fought over by the U.S.-installed regime and ISIS is Fallujah. The recent history of that city tells you much about how things got to where they are today. In March 2004, during the second U.S. invasion of Iraq, the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force invaded Fallujah with tanks and armored vehicles. The invasion was in retaliation, in part, for the death of four Blackwater operatives. These mercenaries were contracted by the U.S. to privatize the mass murder of civilians in Iraq and carry out crimes the U.S. didn’t want to be overtly associated with.

U.S. Marines walk past bodies of people killed in the U.S. assault on Fallujah, Iraq, 2004.U.S. Marines walk past bodies of people killed in the U.S. assault on Fallujah, Iraq, 2004. AP photo.

The Marines were sent by former President George Bush II, who told his generals: “Kick ass! If somebody tries to stop the march to democracy, we will seek them out and kill them! We must be tougher than hell! This Vietnam stuff, this is not even close. It is a mind-set. We can’t send that message. It’s an excuse to prepare us for withdrawal. ... There is a series of moments and this is one of them. Our will is being tested, but we are resolute. We have a better way. Stay strong! Stay the course! Kill them! Be confident! Prevail! We are going to wipe them out! We are not blinking!” (From the memoir of U.S. General Ricardo Sanchez: Wiser in Battle: A Soldier's Story (2008), pages 349-350)

That first U.S. foray into Fallujah met with unexpected resistance, and the U.S. was forced to pull troops out of the city. But in the winter of 2004, the U.S. re-invaded Fallujah with a hellish vengeance. By the time they were done, the city was devastated. As many as 2,000 Iraqis labeled “insurgents” and another 800 or more civilians were killed. Sixty of the city’s 200 mosques were destroyed. Some 200,000 residents were forced out of the city and into internal exile. The Italian film Fallujah, The Hidden Massacre documented—in large part through testimony of U.S. Iraqi war veterans (who turned against the war)—how the U.S. government indiscriminately rained white phosphorous chemical fire down on that city and melted men, women, and children to death. U.S. forces also used depleted uranium weapons against the people of Fallujah, leaving a legacy of birth defects to this day.

And now the U.S. empire and its “allies” are girding for another clash over Fallujah—a clash that is emblematic of the whole conflict.



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