Young Filipinos opposed to the US war on Iraq

A.N.S.W.E.R. Statement on Recent Developments in Iraq

The U.S. military capture of Iraqi president Saddam
Hussein is being trumpeted by the corporate media and
the Bush administration as simultaneously a great
victory, the start of a new era, and justification for
the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq.

The seizure and public display of Saddam Hussein may
be a propaganda victory for imperialism, but it
changes nothing fundamental about the situation in
Iraq, particularly the reality that the U.S. invasion
and occupation of Iraq constitute a blatant and brutal
violation of both international and U.S. law.

While hailing the detention of Saddam Hussein after an
intense 8-month search, the current co-dictators of
Iraq, L. Paul Bremer and Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, are
expressing the hope of the Bush administration as a
whole that this development will signal the beginning
of the end for the Iraqi resistance.

But intensifying Iraqi resistance to the illegal and
colonial war and occupation has not been primarily
based – according even to the more knowledgeable
corporate media journalists in Iraq – on loyalty to
any particular individual. Instead, it is a response
to the negation of Iraq’s sovereignty and
independence, as well as the increasing brutality of
the occupying army.

Even supporters of Bush’s war such as Sen. Jay
Rockefeller, Vice-Chair of the Senate Intelligence
Committee, are raising questions: “Given the
location and circumstances of his capture, it makes
clear that Saddam was not managing the insurgency. …
That is significant and disturbing because it means
the insurgents are not fighting for Saddam, they’re
fighting against the United States.”

There can be no question that the Iraq occupation is a
colonial project in every respect. The U.S.-appointed
“Iraq Governing Council” is headed
by CIA asset Ahmed Chalabi, whose family was the
richest in all of Iraq when the British-controlled
regime was overthrown in 1958. All of Iraq’s assets
are being put on the auction block.

The U.S. is setting up colonial-style Iraqi police,
intelligence services, and paramilitary death squads.
It is taking and holding family members hostage,
including children and grandparents, to force Iraqis
to submit themselves for “interrogation.” U.S. forces
are using “Israeli-style” collective punishment and
violence against the population as a whole in
large parts of the country.

“With a heavy dose of fear and violence, and a lot of
money for projects, I think we can convince these
people that we are here to help them,”
stated a U.S. battalion commander in Iraq (New York
Times, December 7, 2003). He was speaking from one of
the many Iraq villages that the U.S. has wrapped in
razor wire, holding entire communities prisoner. A
sign on the barbed wire reads, in English only, “This
fence is here for your protection. Do not approach or
try to cross, or you will be shot.”

The U.S. government has a long history of
destabilizing and overthrowing governments and
replacing them with brutal dictatorships. One need
look at Iran, the Congo, Guatemala, and Chile to know
that the democratic or undemocratic character of the
government targeted by the U.S. has never been the
motivation for its actions. In that context the U.S.
government has supported the most brutal dictatorships
and military regimes.

The long-standing demonization of the former Iraqi
government followed by the invasion and occupation of
Iraq is part of a larger global project by the United
States to militarily destroy any government that
seeks to maintain even nominal independence from the
dictates of Washington and Wall Street. The leadership
of North Korea, Iran, Syria, Zimbabwe, Cuba, Palestine
and others have been selected by the Bush
administration for destruction. This stands in
fundamental violation of the right of
self-determination. Only the Iraqi people have the
right to
determine who their leaders will be.

People should keep in mind as they watch the
forthcoming carefully packaged documentary of the
“crimes” of the former Iraqi government,
that the Bush administration has taken tens of
thousands of innocent Iraqi lives, has plunged Iraq
into chaos and anarchy, and has removed the essential
features of sovereignty for the Iraqi people who
struggled in the past for decades against colonial

The occupation is taking the lives of Iraqis, U.S. and
other “coalition” forces every day. While Halliburton,
Bechtel and other U.S. corporations are reaping
immense profits, the people both here and there are
paying the price for Bush and his corporate friends’
looting spree, in blood and money. According to
administration figures, the cost of the Iraq
occupation is 210 million dollars every day. The
administration has stated that it need not bother to
count the number of Iraqis that it kills.

We will continue and intensify our mobilizing work to
demand: “End the Occupation, Bring the Troops Home
NOW! Money for Jobs, Health Care and Education, Not
for War and Occupation.”

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A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition

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