U.S. Imperialism, Get Out of Iraq, Now!!

February 10, 2004

By Bill Foster

Perhaps the reader has had the same experience as myself in talking to people who declare their opposition to the war yet, at the same time, say: "But now that we're there, don't we have to stay?"

The "need" to stay is justified with various arguments such as "if the U.S. pulls out, there will be chaos," or that the U.S. must "bring democracy to Iraq."

But it is precisely the U.S. occupation which is causing chaos, murdering thousands of Iraqis, imprisoning tens of thousands, preventing normal economic development and the rebuilding of the infrastructure, and plundering the resources of the country. The U.S. is waging a war of colonial occupation against the people of Iraq.

And again, it is precisely the U.S. occupation - the presence of a foreign army which makes the law - which denies the sovereignty of the Iraqi people. Yet sovereignty is the very starting point of democracy.

In other words, the line of "I opposed the war but now that the U.S. is there, it must stay" is nothing but another way of denying reality.

This thinking reflects the influence of the politics of the Democratic Party. The Democrats supported and continue to support the war against Iraq. But in the face of the massive opposition of the people to the war, the media likes to run a few sound bytes in which the Democrats criticize Bush. The Democrats may point out that Bush invaded Iraq for the "wrong reason" (since even the Bush administration has been forced to admit that there were no weapons of mass destruction) or criticize the Pentagon for not planning enough for the long-term occupation and pacification of Iraq. But the Democrats are the first to insist that "Now that we're there, we must finish the job." For example, the Democratic Leadership Conference

(DLC) , whose members include Presidential contenders Kerry and Edwards, writes: "What the U.S. needs now is not an exit strategy but a comprehensive counterinsurgency strategy. The key elements of such a strategy are more supple military tactics, more money, and more allies. . . . More troops, not fewer, and it means deploying them in ways that could raise the risk of U.S. casualties." (see Will Marshall's article "Stay and Win in Iraq" published in the DLC's "Blueprint Magazine," 1/8/04).

In short, the entire line of "Now that's we're there . . ." Is nothing but a continuation of very same chauvinist logic and imperialist aims that have driven the war from the beginning. It is a reflection of the program of U.S. imperialism to colonize Iraq at any cost.

In opposition to this attempt to perpetuate chauvinism and deny the savage methods and colonial aims of U.S. imperialism, we must reply to the query: "But now that we're there, what can we do?" With a resounding: GET OUT, NOW!