US bombing of Baghdad that preceded invasion; Western intervention destroyed Iraq, creating the present situation
Iraq is facing a catastrophe. The country is now threatened with implosion. The offensive launched in western Iraq, in January, by the fundamentalist Islamic Sunni militia ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) took a new turn on 10 June, when it took over Mosul – the capital of Nineveh Province and Iraq’s second largest city, with 2 million inhabitants. Over the following days, ISIS pushed on further towards the capital, Baghdad and, by the end of June, its fighters were in control of a new Sunni territory straddling across the border between Syria and Iraq.
In front of this ruthless militia, the forces of the regular Iraqi army collapsed, thereby highlighting the fragility of the central state machinery inherited from the western occupation. The leaders of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region seem to have decided to seize this opportunity to declare their independence from Baghdad.
Meanwhile, in the capital and in the southern part of the country, Shia militias are parading in the streets in full military gear, proclaiming their determination to oppose the ISIS advance. Not only is Iraq breaking up, but it may be engulfed in a war with unpredictable consequences for the stability of the whole region.
The imperialist leaders are now worried that this threat of destabilisation might endanger the profits of their companies. After having considered for a while resorting to air strikes, Obama alluded to possible concessions to Iran should its government undertake to do the dirty job of helping to restore order in the region. However Iran did not seem willing to co-operate. In the end, the US leaders confined themselves to sending a few hundred “military advisers” to Baghdad, officially to protect their diplomatic staff, but probably with some special forces as well.
In any case, if anyone is responsible for today’s unfolding catastrophe in Iraq, it has to be the imperialist powers and their endless manoeuvres aimed at reasserting their domination over this part of the world, in order, among other things, to shore up their control over its oil resources. After decades of meddling, the forces unleashed in the region by the imperialist powers – especially by the most powerful among them, US imperialism – are now escaping their control.
The ISIS offensive
For over a year, ISIS fighters have been attacking government forces in the western Al Anbar province, using suicide attacks, taking hostages and carrying out (more…)