By Claudia Drdul
The United States government’s refusal to pull troops out of Iraq even after a parliamentary vote mandated it, is just the latest example of our country’s inability to follow the international policy it assisted in creating.
Since its formation, the United States has forced colonial-settler relationships upon countless countries throughout the world, and as a result, our foreign policy today reflects our fear of the same destabilization we have inflicted upon others.
According to Politico, “the United States still maintains nearly 800 military bases in more than 70 countries”, bases which our government uses to advance our ideological hegemony throughout the world.
The rhetoric the State Department uses to justify sanctions and drone strikes upon these same nations is filled with surface level claims of bringing “democracy” and “peace” while our own military operations and economic meddling are what created non-democratic processes in the first place.
Of course we began our streak of imperialism in Iraq in the 1920s through our allowance of US businesses to drain Iraq’s natural resource supply through shares in the Iraq Petroleum Company. Throughout the 20th century we assisted in Britain’s colonial endeavors in a country whose people wanted nothing to do with the repressive foreign regime.
Iraq had its first taste of western manipulation of international “peace and security” organizations when the United Nations forced the 1997 Oil-for-Food Program upon the country, a scheme which forced the Iraqi government to pay for its own occupation through the sale of its oil on the world market.
Today, the narrative of the United States defending itself, still holds strong, as President Donald Trump claims Iraq is “allowed to torture and maim our people. They’re allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people. And we’re not allowed to touch their cultural sites? It doesn’t work that way.” It’s absolutely egregious to claim the Iraqi government is the aggressor while our 2003-onward occupation of Iraq has directly contributed to the death of nearly 206,107 Iraqi civilians since 2003. Alongside the Iraqi people, we must demand no more civilian deaths, no more taxpayer dollars towards measures of war and no more occupation of sovereign nations.