Statement on Iraq

Submitted by Juan Conatz on June 29, 2014


The bombs over Baghdad haven’t stopped falling for over a decade. The proposed war on Iraq by the George W. Bush administration is but an extension of a war that never ended. It is also a continuation of a policy of perpetual war that has existed since World War II; a policy of racism that has existed since the inception of the United States; and a policy of imperialism that demands constant expansion to exploit needed resources. Imperialism is the policy of extending the rule or authority of an empire or nation over foreign countries, or of acquiring and holding colonies and dependencies. Imperialism allows the United States to control other countries politically, militarily and economically.

The U.S. Empire Could Not Exist Without War

The so-called War on Terrorism, this war with no end, is just an expansion of the U.S. policy of perpetual war. Imperialist war feeds the needs of capitalism and allows it to continue to expand.

Military Dominance. War is a tool the U.S. government uses to maintain its dominance over the Mid-East, a key strategic area and a source of much-needed natural resources (such as oil). In the post-September 11th environment that dominance is coming more into question around the world; therefore, the U.S. feels it must assert its military might now more than ever.

Patriotism. War also triggers an influx of blind patriotism that the U.S. Empire needs to keep its citizens loyal. In fact, the Bush family has built its legacy through the patriotism it has stirred up in times of war, first with the Gulf War (under Bush Sr.) and now with the War on Terrorism (under George W. Bush). The patriotism war ushers in attempts to pull the shutters down over our eyes and make us blind to a reality saturated with police brutality, startling gaps between rich and poor, Enron-type corporate scandals, etc.

Military Industrial Complex. War keeps the military industrial complex thriving and fills the pockets of weapon-building corporations.

Exploitation of Resources. As briefly mentioned above, war allows an empire to expand so as to exploit resources, among other things. This war is more about oil than human rights. Saddam Hussein is a threat to U.S. oil interests, therefore, according to U.S. logic, he must be destroyed.

The U.S Empire Has No Regard for Human Rights or Human Lives

No Regard for Women’s Rights. When the War on Terrorism began, the U.S. decried the human rights and women’s rights violations of the Taliban in Afghanistan. This claim, obviously, is accurate. Coming from the mouths of U.S politicians, however, it is, at best, ironic and laughable. The U.S. government has never shown any regard for the oppression of women in Afghanistan. Women’s rights organizations in the U.S. and Afghanistan pled with the U.S government for years to intervene in the situation, and the U.S. continually turned its back. Moreover, the U.S. government aided and supported those who would eventually form the Taliban in the 1980s during Afghanistan’s war with Russia. The U.S. government also gave the Taliban $43 million in the spring of 2001. It wasn’t concerned with women’s rights then; it only became an issue when it was needed as a propaganda tool.

Saddam Hussein Used to be a Friend and an Ally of the United States. The U.S government supported Saddam Hussein in the 1980s during the Iran-Iraq War. In fact, he was a friend and ally, even though he was just as tyrannical then as he is now. The U.S. government never cried “human rights violations!” until Iraq invaded Kuwait and threatened U.S. control over Kuwaiti oil and U.S. military dominance in the Middle East.

No Regard for Human Rights or Human Life Anywhere. The U.S. Empire has never had any regard for human life or human rights. The demands of profit over people, of expansion over people, of military might over people are at the forefront of capitalist expansion. From the bombings in Afghanistan that have killed over 6,000 people to the economic sanctions against Iraq that have killed millions of children to the police brutality that saturates working class neighborhoods and affects every person of color in the U.S. to the round-ups and racial profiling of Middle-Eastern people, South Asians and anyone who has brown skin…

We, from the Burning River Revolutionary Anarchist Collective of northeast Ohio, are appalled by the blatant disregard for humanity that imperialist war, imperialism and capitalism entail. We want to see a lively, militant, creative movement emerge that paves new ground on the road to liberation.

Although the typical, formulaic protest is a good way to show the U.S. government the sheer numbers of people who oppose its policies and is a needed demonstration of solidarity among progressive, radical and revolutionary forces, there are also many other forms of protest we can engage in and a plethora of tactics we can use that might be just as effective or more effective. Furthermore, using a wide and creative assortment of tactics allows us, as a movement, to not stagnate.

Some Suggestions from the Burning River Revolutionary Anarchist Collective:

Be Creative! Make a banner and hang it in a place where many people will see it! Write anti-war poetry and read it at a poetry reading! Stick anti-war stickers and put up anti-war graffiti in public bathrooms! Saturate your community with anti-war posters and flyers! The ideas for things we can do are as infinite as our imaginations.

Let Yourself Be Heard and Seen! There is a time for sitting down and listening to a speaker and there is a time to stand up and shout out. Now is the time to do the latter. We need to let the world hear and see that we are not going to allow the U.S. government to kill millions of people in our name! We need to be vocal in public about our rejection of imperialist war. We should be organizing community speak-outs, marches, and rallies where people can stand up on tables and shout out their resistance, not just listen to someone tell them why they should resist. We have to run down the street shouting out our message. Now is not the time to sit down!

The Real Work Needs to be Done in Our Communities! Protesting and organizing demonstrations is important, but the real work needs to be done in our communities. We, as anti-war activists, need to be linking up with other groups and making much needed connections. We need to work with labor unions, community organizations fighting police brutality, church groups, LGBT organizations, student groups, etc. We have to make connections between various oppressions so that we can build a broad-based movement that isn’t steeped in identity politics, but fights for the liberation of all peoples.