Months have passed since the so-called liberation of Mosul by the u.$.-led coalition in Iraq, and the city has yet to recover. Very little construction has taken place, as most buildings remain in ruin, hardly the sight one normally associates with a city rejoicing for its freedom. The Iraqi army, with the full support of amerikan air assets and a scorched-earth strategy, managed to effectively level a city considered a cultural jewel, full not only of historical and cultural emblems, but of people, many of whom are either dead or fled. What has happened in Mosul is not much different than what occurred in Raqqa or in Fallujah years before, and what happens continually throughout the world. NATO are destroyers, not builders. The people of Afghanistan can (and do) testify to that fact, and do not hesitate to mention that almost all that currently stands in Afghanistan comes from the Soviet occupation or prior.
According to the UN, more than 25% of all civilians killed in Mosul were murdered by amerikan bombs, dropped callously over densely populated areas. “Human shields” are the likely excuse, whenever they are willing to admit that civilians were killed. Errors are not often reported, and it is generous to even call them errors, as they are committed so often and with such a lack of concern that one cannot conclude anything but they are standard operating procedure. Adding insult to injury, they refuse even to oversee the burial of the ones they have murdered in their homes. The people of Mosul complain that the streets smell of death, as bodies rot in the open air, or buried underneath rubble. They cannot clean the city fast enough, and so they are forced to sleep in homes surrounded on all sides by families interred by amerikan bombs.
Unfortunately the coalition’s “relief effort” does not stop there, as in the last weeks of fighting in Mosul it was well documented that the Iraqi army had been engaged in torture and other grievous violations of human rights in their attempts to discover IS sympathizers. In all likelihood, their efforts probably made more combatants than they found, but who can say for certain? What is certain is that the Iraqi army, directed by the united $tates and NATO, was found not only to be torturing civilians for information, confessions or fun, but also arresting them on false pretenses and holding them for enormous ransoms, which were pocketed directly by soldiers. Few dared to say anything about this, for fear of ending up as their next ransom or perhaps dead, but fear is a flimsy form of power, and eventually those tired of abuses speak out.
The abuses committed in Mosul are a repeat of, and no doubt learned from the experiences in Abu Ghraib, which we should remember was the point of origin for many of those militant organizations that have plagued u.$. imperialism since, including IS in Iraq. It is hard to say what the memory of these abuses will inspire among the inhabitants of Mosul, but loyalty to the u.$. empire is certainly not on the table. One does not have to sympathize with the Islamic State to see the utter hypocrisy in the u.$. Efforts. This is not a war of liberation. It never is. It is another imperialist war that we are duty-bound to oppose. Those who drum up support for u.$. efforts in the Levant and Central Asia on the basis that those amerika are fighting are “fascists” are refusing their responsibility to transform the confused, genocidal struggle internationally into a an internal, revolutionary struggle. Rather than to place real responsibility on those actors far abroad to struggle against amerikan imperialism when it suits them, we must take it upon ourselves to end the wars immediately.
We must not obscure our relationship to the wars abroad. The struggle, as far as we are concerned, must take place here, and carry the non-negotiable demand of immediate withdrawal from all foreign territories, and diplomatic disentanglement in all civil conflicts. No more war, directly or indirectly, must be waged by the united $tates abroad. It is a hard sell, especially when so often we are not the ones who are made to sacrifice. There is no draft, and thus the outrage has become localized, and sustained only by diligent work among internationalists and humanitarians. But we must face the facts: people are dying by the thousands, and their bodies are being left in the streets, in our name. What are we going to do about it?
End the wars now!