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Bush administration drags Iraq towards the abyss of civil war
Since the destruction of the Al-Askariya mosque last Wednesday in Samarra, Iraq has been convulsed by sectarian violence between Shiite and Sunni Muslim militias. A vicious cycle of reprisals and counter-reprisals has claimed hundreds of lives, including dozens of men from both denominations who have been dragged from their homes and executed in the street. As the third anniversary of the US invasion approaches, there is talk of civil war.
The Bush administration and the American media have expressed shock and dismay at this turn of events. Friday’s editorial in the New York Times was a case in point. “Iraqi leaders from all religious groups and communities need to exert a calming influence”, it pontificated, concluding: “Creating a new Iraq that is at once democratic, unified and stable was never going to be easy. Now it has become a lot harder”.
No small amount of cynicism and deceit was required to write such lines. In the face of the sectarian clashes, mouthpieces of the US ruling elite such as the Times expect people to forget that in March 2003 the Bush administration launched an illegal and unprovoked war against Iraq. The prospect of fratricidal conflict stems directly from this brutal and reckless crime.
The invasion was not carried out to bring democracy, unity or stability to Iraq, but to impose a US puppet state and create conditions for the US corporate plunder of the second largest oil reserves in the world. The military devastation of what the Pentagon knew was a defenceless country was also intended as a warning to all potential rivals to the US, from the European powers to China, of the consequences of challenging American interests.