Mobilization Against War and Occupation
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This Article Originally Appeared in Mawo Newsletter #12

Within the last month, air-strikes by US forces have been drastically stepped up in Iraq. According to the Washington Post, “Until the end of August, US warplanes were conducting about 25 strikes a month. The number rose to 62 in September, then to 122 in October and 120 in November.” And December? More than 150 air strikes hit ‘targets’ in Iraq. On January 2nd, a US plane bombed a house-‘target’ in northern Iraq, killing at least eight people, including two children.

Since the invasion in 2003, the US has tried to “shock and awe” the Iraqi people into accepting the imperialist vultures’ occupation. Through a broad resistance movement of mass rallies, strikes, boycotts, and armed attacks, the Iraqi people have clearly demanded an end to the occupation. The US has met this resistance movement with terror attacks and brute force. But the strategy of terrorizing the Iraqi people into silence has failed. The resistance movement is not made up of an isolated band of fighters: it is a mass resistance movement with the broad support of the majority of the Iraqi people. In November, US Congressman Murtha quoted polls that 80% of Iraqis want an immediate end to the occupation and 45% vocally support armed attacks on occupation forces.

Andrew Brookes of the right wing think-tank, International Insititute for Strategic Studies, explained how the continued attacks on the Iraqi people have actually bred more resistance, “Kill a wife, children, mother or uncle and people become so angry the terrorist cycle starts all over again.”

No ‘Political Solution’ Under Occupation – The Occupation Is The Problem!

Along side their intensive military-terror campaign, the US forces are also leading desperate political campaigns in Iraq to try to implement Donald Rumsfeld’s plan of “giving Iraqi people a sense that they have a stake in that country” and to try to gain legitimacy for the nearly 3-year-old occupation. One such manoeuvre has been the development of a “new constitution” and a “permanent government” for Iraq.

The constitution was voted on and accepted on October 15th 2005, and a new “permanent government” was elected on December 15th. The charade was so obvious that George Bush himself was forced to admit on the eve of the December 15th election, that “fighting will not end” with the elections and “much work” remains to make “democracy inclusive to all.” Under occupation, the constitution has no meaning for the Iraqi people and the new “permanent government” has no power. Neither one wields any jurisdiction over the actions of occupation troops and neither has the power to see to the most fundamental demand of the Iraqi people– to end the occupation of their country.

Stop the US War Drive!

The US invasion and occupation of Iraq elevated the economic competition between imperialist countries to a competition of military might. In order to gain control and hegemony in this strategic region, to plunder the resources of Iraq, and to secure those resources against their fellow imperialist rivals, such as France and Germany, the US has had to turn Iraq into a giant military base. US imperialism literally cannot afford to leave Iraq without securing the country’s politics, economy, and resources completely in their interests. This has opened a new era of war and occupation that has set all powerful countries into motion on the road of war drives. This era has already included major occupations of Afghanistan and Haiti, in both of which Canada plays a significant role, as well as the emergence of threats and political preparations for war against Iran, Syria, Cuba and Venezuela.

The Iraqi resistance is the biggest block that imperialists face in continuing their war drive. Resistance to the occupation has inspired and set oppressed people into motion against war and occupation, even within imperialist countries themselves. In Canada we must continue to educate, organize and mobilize to build an effective anti-war movement to demand an immediate end to the occupation of Iraq and for self-determination for the Iraqi people. A victory of the Iraqi people over the imperialist occupation of their country would give a clear message to oppressed people around the world: Even faced by the most powerful army in the world, we can win!