Twenty Years Later: The shift of the Criminals to Hero
The devastating invasion of Iraq by the United States was an egregious act of violence that cannot be understated. The comparison to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II is apt, for in both cases, innocent lives were taken in the name of punishing supposed dictators and war criminals. Yet, the real criminals were not brought to justice but rather the people of Iraq and the region were made to suffer.
The state of Iraq before the U.S invasion was exceedingly arduous, and Saddam Hussein, who governed Iraq for more than two decades, was a ruthless dictator. Political freedom was nonexistent, and Saddam’s regime was notorious for its egregious human rights violations, including torture, killings, disappearances, and a chemical weapons attack that massacred thousands of Iraqi Kurds.
Iraq was completely isolated and considered a rogue state, subjected to severe international sanctions that severely impacted the Iraqi populace. Life was suffocating, with the regime micromanaging every aspect of citizens’ lives from birth to death.
While Saddam Hussein was undoubtedly a cruel dictator and a war criminal, the fact remains that the United States had no right to intervene in the affairs of another country. It is a testament to the power of Western imperialism that Saddam Hussein, once viewed as a despot, is now seen by some as a heroic figure. Such is the legacy of Western interventionism and Eastern propaganda.
It was a war of many consequences: consequences for Iraqis, for the entire region, for an entire religious community that would become marred by sectarian fault lines. It was a war of consequences for how we govern borders, how we define and practice national security, how we justify wars or regime change.
The United States cannot claim the moral high ground when it comes to defending freedom and human rights. For years, the U.S government has engaged in interventions of all kinds, from coups to supporting war criminals like Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War. Even today, when the people of Iran are risking their lives for freedom, the U.S government supports the dirtiest royal and Islamic tendencies, betraying their supposed values.
Furthermore, the Chinese and Russian governments have become masters of propaganda, using it to colonize other countries like Iran. And let us not forget the rule of Islamic criminals in Iran, who use the terrible crimes of the United States to justify their own behavior.
The situation is such that when an Iranian labor activist speaks out against low wages and poverty, they are immediately accused of ignoring the plight of the working class in the U.S by imperialism! This is a false equivalence, for the suffering of the Iranian people is no less real for not being American. We must not fall into the trap of believing that we must attack the “Great Satan” before addressing our own problems.
Each successive administration has followed in the footsteps of Bush, using lies to justify their own agendas. Just think about how many civil movements in these Middle East countries were suppressed in the most brutal way possible in the name of fighting terrorism.
Kurdish leaders like Demirtaş are in prison in Turkey with the same claims. Labor leaders in Iran are in prison in the name of propaganda against the regime. The situation has reached a stage where the Islamic Republic relates the massacre of thousands of political prisoners to the way it deals with ISIS. The regime that implemented all the methods of ISIS in the beginning of the 1980s in different parts of Iran, now claims to fight against the same method in the name of fighting terrorism! The more involved the US became, the more it served these criminal rulers.
It has been twenty years since the Iraq war, and the Middle East is no closer to freedom or security and democracy. The real goal of the war was not to liberate the Iraqi people but to sell weapons and suppress civil movements in the name of fighting terrorism. U.S has guaranteed both the rule of fanatic autocrats in the Middle East and the sale of weapons in the name of providing security and defense! On the other hand, a grate pushback on the revolutionary movements across the world.