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Back to Front - It's all gone wrong


The involvement of the "axis of evil" in the search for peace in Iraq must be the ultimate humiliation for the American architects of war. It all started so well, an apparently swift victory in Afghanistan led to grand designs to reform the middle east on the American model.

After a shock and awe war a grateful people would embrace western democracy and set up an American client state which would be a beacon of freedom to surrounding regimes. Popular movements would be emboldened to install similar regimes in Syria and Iran. Hard to believe now, but all this was said with a straight face by administration leaders most of whom had never even visited the Middle East except on arms sales missions.

Now a mere three years later such imperial ambitions have crumbled to dust and US military might is a laughing stock throughout the world.

The Iraqi nationalist insurgents have already won, and Iraq, the Middle East, Britain and the world will be safer when the troops have left Iraq. The war in Iraq was always a diversion from the fight against al–Qaeda, and as an al–Qaeda leader said, "prolonging the war is in our interest."

The US Iraq Study Group has reported that there is little evidence that the long–term deployment of US troops "has led or will lead to fundamental improvements in the security situation" which they call "grave and deteriorating". More realistically, Sir Richard Dannatt, Chief of the General Staff, said that we should "get ourselves out sometime soon because our presence exacerbates the security problems."

Parallels with Vietnam are obvious but post cold war when the US is supposedly the one remaining superpower the lasting effects are bound to be more profound. US forces were driven out of Vietnam after ten hard fought years by tough, well organised combined forces well supported with supplies by the USSR and China.

The message to other countries on America’s hit list is now that even an irregular army of insurgents can do the job in less than five years. Anyone suffering invasion now has only to refuse to lie down for a relatively short time and US imperialism will either lose interest or try to run away.

While the Pentagon rattled its sabre smaller countries previously trembled. But now it has drawn the sword it proves to be blunt.

Of course regimes like those of the Taleban or Saddam may make tempting targets. Saddam’s economy was weakened by sanctions. He was unable to stop the US enforcing a no–fly zone over Iraqi airspace. And as the US and Britain knew, Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. It is not surprising that Bush thought Iraq would be a pushover – but others have learned the lesson.

North Korea and Iran know that their best defence against US imperialist aggression is to be defiantly well armed. Hence their threat to develop atomic weapons. Insistence on self determination is the order of the day now that American imperialism is on its knees. Even in South America US capitalists are shown the door.

This is surely a watershed moment in international relations. Our enemies are being weakened. Time for workers in Britain to stand up and cut the cord with imperialism.