No city in Iraq is more symbolic of the criminal consequences of the US invasion of Iraq than Fallujah. Prior to 2003, the 300,000-strong, prosperous, predominantly Sunni Muslim community on the Euphrates River, one of humanity’s oldest continuous urban settlements, was known as the “city of mosques.” After 13 years of destruction at the hands of the US military and its client state in Baghdad, it is today a labyrinth of ruins, a city of the dead.
Following weeks of air strikes by US, British and Australian bombers, a combination of Iraqi government forces and Shiite militias is reportedly on the verge of a final offensive to seize back Fallujah from some 500 fighters of the Sunni-extremist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which took control of the city in early 2014. Iraqi special forces units are accompanied by elite troops of the US, British and Australian militaries, who direct air strikes and ground artillery bombardments and provide tactical advice to Iraqi commanders.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein has issued urgent appeals concerning the fate of the estimated 50,000 civilians who are trapped in Fallujah, without food or water. Civilian deaths caused by the offensive have been justified in advance by the US-backed Iraqi government with allegations that the occupiers are using the population as “human shields.” ISIS is accused of murdering dozens of people who have attempted to flee.
Men and teenagers who do escape are being detained by Iraqi government and militia units. According to the UNHCR, they are being subjected to “physical violations and other forms of abuse, apparently in order to elicit forced confessions” of being ISIS members or supporters. The UNHCR has received unconfirmed accounts of at least 21 summary executions.
In the media coverage, the question as to how and why ISIS was able to gain control of the city two years ago is largely ignored. To the extent it is raised, the explanation given is Sunni resentment over the sectarian and discriminatory policies of the Shiite-dominated government— after the withdrawal of American troops in 2011. The Iraqi people as a whole are generally portrayed as incurably divided along Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish lines, incapable of living in harmony together and inherently attracted to extremist ethno-sectarian ideologies.
A review of the tortured history of Fallujah since 2003 makes clear that this narrative is a lie. The current situation in Iraq and neighbouring Syria is the outcome and continuation of the deliberate stoking of sectarian conflict by the American occupation for the purpose of dividing the Iraqi masses and cementing the US grip over the oil-rich Middle East.
After the illegal invasion of Iraq and overthrow of the Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein, Fallujah was the scene of one of the first widely reported crimes by American troops against Iraqi civilians. Two hundred youth demanding the reopening of their school were fired on by troops of the US 82nd Airborne Division. Seventeen were murdered and over 70 wounded.
Over the following months, Fallujah emerged as a centre of Iraqi resistance to the US occupation. By early 2004, the city was effectively controlled by armed groups overwhelmingly made up of former members of the Iraqi Army and local Sunni tribes. Religious-based extremists, such as the small grouping calling itself “Al Qaeda in Iraq,” had only a minor presence.
The killing of four Blackwater mercenaries in Fallujah in March 2004 triggered a massive American military response. Across Iraq, the defiance of the people of Fallujah became a clarion call for resistance. In the first week of April, the stand in the city against the occupation was joined by an uprising of tens of thousands of Shiite working class youth in Baghdad and cities across southern Iraq. The armed insurgency against the US forces spread to predominantly Sunni cities such as Ramadi, Tikrit and Mosul.
The dominant feature of the anti-occupation resistance in Iraq in 2004 was that it objectively unified Iraqis of all backgrounds who opposed the US occupation and its local collaborators. However, it lacked any coherent perspective or strategy. In city after city, Iraqi fighters were overwhelmed by the superior firepower of the US military, including in Fallujah in November 2004. After a months-long siege, the city was left depopulated and in rubble. Of its 200 mosques, 60 were destroyed or damaged, along with some 39,000 homes and other buildings.
The other central feature of the US occupation in 2004 was the deployment of US-trained Shiite death squads, such as the Wolf Brigade, against the Sunni population. Thousands of people were murdered. At the same time, Al Qaeda in Iraq escalated sinister bombings of Shiite civilians, which assisted the US occupation in driving a wedge between the two communities. By 2006, US policy had provoked a full-scale sectarian civil war that forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee for safety into areas controlled by the militias of their religious denomination.
The origins of the present savage sectarianism in Iraq lie in the manner by which US imperialism “stabilised” Iraq under the control of its Shiite-dominated puppet state, using the criminal methods of divide-and-rule, mass killings and mass dislocation. In 2011, as it withdrew its forces from Iraq, Washington launched a regime-change war in Libya and began sponsoring a regime-change operation in Syria using the same methods that had triggered civil war in Iraq. In Syria, however, the CIA and US military worked through Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states to arm Sunni-based groupings to overthrow the Russian- and Iranian-backed Shiite-dominated government of Bashar al-Assad.
One of the main groupings that benefited from the flow of arms was the remnants of Al Qaeda in Iraq, which sent fighters into Syria and soon emerged as a dominant force in the civil war. In April 2013, strengthened by a flood of foreign Islamist fighters who were permitted to enter Syria from Turkey, it renamed itself the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
The ISIS fighters who entered Fallujah in late 2013 and claimed control over the city in January 2014 had been financed, equipped and armed as part of the US intrigues in Syria. ISIS seized other areas of Sunni-dominated western and northern Iraq, most dramatically the city of Mosul, in July 2014. To the extent the Islamist movement received support, it was because it pledged to defend the Sunni population from the consequences of the US invasion, including the depredations and abuses of the US-backed government in Baghdad. Both materially and ideologically, ISIS is the by-product of US policy.
The current onslaught on Fallujah is only the latest chapter in the catastrophe that US imperialism has inflicted on the peoples of Iraq and the Middle East as a whole. It can be ended only through the building of a mass international anti-war movement based on the working class and the fight for socialism.
By James Cogan
The Serbs stepped again onto the historical scene in the years of the European wars that swept the continent from the forests of Ireland to the walls of Constantinople in the late 17th century. The Turks finally withdrew from Hungary and Transylvania when their Ottoman hordes were routed outside Vienna in 1683. The disintegration of Ottoman rule in the southwest limbered up the Serbs, arousing in them hope that the moment was ripe for joint effort to break Turkish dominion in the Balkans. The neighboring Christian powers (Austria and Venice) were the only possible allies. The arrival of the Austrian ...
On October 20, 2011, Libya’s Muammar al-Gaddafi was brutally murdered by a mob of NATO-backed ‘rebels’, after first being beaten and violated in the most barbaric fashion. History leaves no doubt that not only was the Libyan leader murdered on this day but Libya itself.
The regime-change crew who dominate Western governments have a long indictment sheet against their names. Since 9/11 they have wrought havoc and human misery on a grand scale in their determination to reshape and own a world that has never been theirs to own. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya – Syria currently embroiled in a pitiless conflict for ...
CNN explained well “5 surprising lessons from Trump’s astonishing win”, and the historic crushing failure of traditional Presidential-year American politics, but it really boils down to one simple fact: In the battleground states, where most of the advertising dollars and get-out-the-vote money was being spent, the Trump organization made use of the Republican-Party organization in those portions of the campaign-operation that benefited from those established contacts and its tried-and-tested methods and techniques, but not in the portions of the campaign-operation that needed to be improved and to function better than in all prior U.S. Presidential elections.
The simple fact is that ...
Six months into 2016 and the world looks decidedly nervous and edgy from a geo-political viewpoint. A dramatic oil price plunge has pushed producing nations into near crisis as the international scrap for market share follows a bid by a collapsing OPEC cartel to fight off American production. China’s economic woes continue to destabilise markets the world over. The USA is clearly becoming more hostile, even warlike towards Russia, who in turn appears to be gearing up to defend itself from increasingly belligerent and aggressive NATO commanders who are facilitating Europe’s encirclement of Russian borders. The latest weaponry pointed directly at Moscow does not help ...
US foreign policy has nurtured Al Qaeda, a creation of the CIA for more than 35 years, with the support of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and Saudi Arabia’s infamous General Intelligence Presidency (GIP). Lest we forget Osama bin Laden was recruited in 1979 by the CIA at the outset of the Soviet- Afghan war.
A complex network of Al Qaeda affiliated terrorist organizations overseen by US and allied intelligence agencies has unfolded, extending across the Middle East, North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia, Western China, South and South East Asia.
Rand Corporation Report 2012
While mainstream analysis regarding CIA covert support of “jihadist” terrorist entities is ...
“Kosovo: Can You Imagine?” is a documentary film by Canadian film maker Boris Malagurski, about the Serbs that live in Kosovo and the lack of human rights that they have today, in the 21st century.
Most of the Kosovo Serbs have been ethnically cleansed by the Albanians who make up the majority of Kosovo.
Kosovo has been under UN administration since 1999 when NATO bombed Serbia for 78 days to halt a crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatism in its province of Kosovo.
In the years following the war, thousands of Serbs were expelled from their homes, kidnapped and killed. Their houses, cultural and ...
The Bellamy salute is the salute described by Francis Bellamy, Christian socialist minister and author, to accompany the American Pledge of Allegiance, which he had authored. During the period when it was used with the Pledge of Allegiance, it was sometimes known as the "flag salute". Later, during the 1920s and 1930s, Italian fascists and Nazis adopted a salute which had a similar form, and which was derived from the so-called Roman salute. This resulted in controversy over the use of the Bellamy salute in the United States. It was officially replaced by the hand-over-heart salute when Congress amended the ...
The new Serbian Warsaw Ghetto in the occupied Serbian land of Kosovo
In Kosovo, in 1999, NATO orchestrated KLA terrorism to cause a cycle of attacks and repression which was used to justify military intervention under the pretext of protecting the civilian population. Thirteen years down the line, Kosovo has unilaterally declared its independence and inflicts the most outrageous discrimination on its Serb population … under the auspices of NATO.
Serbs may not have black skin, but they are being treated like white niggers of Europe. Every day. In the media. On the streets in Kosovo. The pogrom and ...
The American taxpayers have been fleeced for almost seventy years by a so-called «intelligence» agency that has systematically violated the US Constitution, broken practically every federal law on the books, and penetrated virtually every facet of American life. The Central Intelligence Agency’s creation was bemoaned by its creator, President Harry S Truman, who, in a fit of personal angst following the 1963 assassination of President John F Kennedy, wrote in a newspaper column,
“I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations… I, therefore, would like to see ...
Once NATO’s 1999 war on Yugoslavia came to an end, units of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) poured across the border. The KLA wasted little time in implementing its dream of an independent Kosovo purged of all other nationalities. Among those bearing the brunt of ethnic hatred were the Roma, commonly known in the West as Gypsies. Under the protective umbrella of NATO’s Kosovo Force (KFOR), the KLA was free to launch a pogrom in which they beat, tortured, murdered and drove out every non-Albanian and every non-secessionist Albanian they could lay their hands on.
Not long after the war, I ...
GR Editor’s Note: This incisive article was written on April 30, 2003, by historian and political scientist Jacques Pauwels. A timely question: Why Does Hillary Want War… ? And why do people support her?
* * *
Wars are a terrible waste of lives and resources, and for that reason most people are in principle opposed to wars. The American President, on the other hand, seems to love war. Why? Many commentators have sought the answer in psychological factors. Some opined that George W. Bush considered it his duty to finish the job started, but for some obscure reason ...
Long live the European court, the most humane court in the world!
That is why seven times as many Croat and more than ten times as many (Kosovar) Albanian war crimes suspects, in percentage terms relative to Serbs, were acquitted by the Hague Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, with Radovan Karadzic being just its latest victim. (Source via this recent infographic from Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda).
No matter that well before Srebrenica you had Sisak, where 595 Serb civilians of which 120 were women were disappeared by Croatian paramilitaries in 1991-1992. Everyone has heard of Srebrenica; almost nobody has heard heard of Sisak. The largest ethnic cleansing ...
So, here's how it is:
1) There is still no evidence - that has been presented to the public - that Assad ordered a chemical weapons (CW) attack.
2) Yes, that evidence should be made public, discussed and debated by Congress, and a vote taken before we use force. I acknowledge that the War Powers Resolution gives the President the authority to use force for 60 days - but the interests of peace and stability are better served through a debate and a democratic process as opposed to a unilateral decision made in secret, especially when the military action is punitive and ...
What do Hillary Clinton and the communist government of China have in common? Aside from their shared support for subverting freedom, lack of respect for human rights, and support of invasive surveillance, they both possess armies of trolls who manipulate online narratives.
According to a new report from researchers at Harvard’s Department of Government, the Chinese government employs millions of people to make posts praising government on their behalf. The internet mercenaries are deemed, collectively, “The 50 Cent Party,” because of rumors they are paid per post (the report concluded they do not appeared to be paid and most are government employees ...
Over the past 50 years the US and European powers have engaged in countless imperial wars throughout the world. The drive for world supremacy has been clothed in the rhetoric of “world leadership”, the consequences have been devastating for the peoples targeted. The biggest, longest and most numerous wars have been carried out by the United States. Presidents from both parties direct and preside over this quest for world power. The ideology which informs imperialism varies from “anti-communism”in the past to “anti-terrorism”today.
Washington’s drive for world domination has used and combined many forms of warfare, including military invasions and occupations; proxy ...
Universal Periodic Review reveals longstanding unwillingness to fully commit to obligations of pertinent human rights treaties.
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Was Serbia attacked in 1999? To answer that question, Milica-Hänsel Radojkovic draws on period documents (including Willy Wimmer’s letter to Chancellor Gerhard Schröder). He highlights the unacceptability of the Rambouillet proposals, designed to justify a war that had already started.
Fourteen years ago, after the negotiation conferences in Rambouillet and Paris between 6th and 23rd February 1999, the global media informed the general public that “the Serbian delegation did not accept the offered agreement and rather qualified it as null and void”, while indicating that allegedly the so-called Contact Group for Yugoslavia stood behind the agreement. This body consisted of ...
On the 70th anniversary of Tokyo’s fire bombing, relatives are asking for a real tribute to its victims.
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They turned canals and rivers into flame and if the jelly stuck to you, it kept burning till flesh turned to bone. “The planes filled the sky like dragonflies,” recalls Michiko Kiyoka. “Everywhere you looked there were charred bodies.”
Today, Ms Kiyoka, now 91, will join a small group of elderly ...
Edward S. Herman (ed.), The Srebrenica Massacre: Evidence, Context, Politics (PDF Book)
Kosovo History – Fourth Part
Hillary Clinton and the Brutal Murder of Gaddafi
Trump’s Win Wasn’t Ideological. It Was Brilliant
The world order is crumbling – “Pax Americana” is dying
When Terrorism becomes Counter-terrorism: The State Sponsors of Terrorism are “Going After the Terrorists”
Documentary Film: “Kosovo: Can You Imagine?” (2009, Canada)
Bellamy Salute in the U.S.
Kosovo Serbs Are White Niggers Of Europe
Genocide Against The Civilian Population Of The Republic Of Srpska Krajina In August 1995 (2006)
CIA: The Corrupt and Ignorant Agency
Sixteenth anniversary of the attack on Yugoslavia: Expulsion of Roma from Kosovo
The Hague Tribunal: Only The Serbs Are Prosecuted – KLA And Croatian War Crimes Ignored
Only Fools and Liars will Blame Assad
What Hillary Clinton Has in Common With Communist China
Fifty Years of Imperial Wars: Global Neoliberalism and America’s Drive for World Domination
US Human Rights Violations: Geneva Centre For Justice
The Nato-aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999
War Crime: Tokyo Fire Bombing 70th Anniversary, 100,000 People Died In A Single Night