Emma Kaplan

Emma Kaplan
Birthday
December 31
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Emma is a member of the National Steering Committee of the World Can't Wait. Learn more about World Can't Wait at worldcantwait.org Follow her on twitter @emmancipator

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MARCH 1, 2011 1:36AM

Stand In Protest With The People of Iraq: March 19th

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The recent uprising in Egypt that ousted a U.S.-funded dictator has given great hope and oxygen to people all over the planet.

 

The Egyptian people lived under thirty years of degradation, torture, fear and oppression. This uprising proves that even if something has been going on for a long period of time, this does not make it any less horrible, nor less possible, for people to rise up. In other words, governments can change overnight and people can refuse to accept that which was once acceptable.

 

For decades, we have lived in a country that has brutalized, tortured, and degraded people in that region of the world.  In 2003, the U.S illegally invaded Iraq under the lie that Iraq had weapons of destruction. They then proceeded to obliterate the country, massacring people in the hundreds of thousands, bombing hospitals, killing children, and contributing to the death of over one million Iraqis. Millions are internally displaced, while over 500,000 live as squatters in slum areas with no assistance, or legal rights to the properties they live on.

 

President Obama moved to escalate these wars in a horrific fashion, beginning with the use of unmanned drones, bombing wedding parties in Afghanistan and expanding the wars into Pakistan. The people of Iraq have lived in hell for 9 years in the name of “the War on Terror” and later in the name of “Change You Can Believe In.” Last Friday, Iraq erupted with thousands protesting against government corruption, power blackouts, food shortages, and unemployment. They are in opposition to the illegitimate puppet government the U.S. has placed in Iraq. 50,000 U.S. troops remain in Iraq. Protestors who are critical of the government and the U.S’s role have been subjected to torture, indefinite detention, and execution by Iraqi forces: forces that are trained and are acting in the interest of the U.S.  So far, 17 protesters have been killed.

 

Hadi Al Mahdi, who runs a popular radio show in Iraq, was kidnapped by soldiers (along with 200 other journalists) who blindfolded him , and beat him in the leg, eyes, and head; and tried to get him to admit he was being paid to topple the regime.

Hadi Al Mahdi says his experience was worse than the times he was detained under Saddam Hussein and that the regime appointed by the U.S. is no improvement from the past.

 

 One can’t help but think of the same tactics and methods used by U.S. military forces in Guantanamo. Take Binyam Mohamed, a student from Ethiopia. Mohamed was subjected to prolonged and brutal torture, including sleep deprivation and the repeated slashing of his genitals with a razor blade in an attempt to force a false confession to the U.S. that he was associated with Al Qaida.

 

The World Can’t Wait has said from the beginning that this occupation and this kind of suppression has never been about really liberating the Iraqi people.

From the beginning, the U.S. has occupied the middle east as part of a large imperialist strategy of securing key resources in order to maintain its position as a global superpower around the world, a position that is coming under serious threat by many economic shifts on the international playing field.

Many of the people who were against these wars and even mobilized in mass numbers to oppose this war were fooled by the democrats. The democrats played on people’s ignorance about the nature of empire and funneled their outrage & potential to repudiate the Bush program into backing a new president.  A president, who, in reality, could not and would not reverse the Bush trajectory in any kind of fundamental way.

 

This quote by Bob Avakian in this context is poignant:

 “Backing cruel despotic regimes, in many parts of the world, is not some kind of "mistake" on the part of the U.S. government. The whole bloodthirsty history of the U.S. in this regard—installing and keeping in power governments which brutally oppress the people, in the Middle East and throughout the Third World—is not just a matter of policy but of the inner nature and necessity of capitalist imperialism. This imperialism, by its very nature and in accordance with its fundamental dynamics, depends upon and cannot do without the life-stealing exploitation and the vicious oppression and suppression of the masses of people in those countries. Imperialists view and treat these peoples and their countries as nothing more than instruments of profit-making and pawns in a global contest for domination and "opportunity" for exploitation. And that is why, despite all their talk about "siding with the people" and about "freedom" and "democracy," administrations in Washington, D.C., whether Democrat or Republican, will continue in their relentless drive to ruthlessly subordinate the countries of the Third World, and their peoples, to the dictates of imperialism.”

The anniversary of the war in Iraq is approaching on March 19th. Will the world see people in this country rise up and say no more? Will this anniversary act as a reversal to the verdict so many people have wrongly reached, that protest doesn’t work and that these wars will never end?

 

 

The people of the Middle East have issued a challenge to people in this country, lets us answer powerfully, with conviction and heart, that these wars are not in our name and we will share this moment with the world to change the course of history.

Be on the streets wherever you are. U.S. Out Of Iraq Now! Find a protest at worldcantwait.org

 

 

 

 

Author tags:

bush, obama, anti war, protest, iraq

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Right on, Emma! It's time this "empire" crumble.