In response to last Sunday’s terror-bombing strikes by Pentagon warplanes that killed over two dozen Kata’ib Hezbollah members of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces, wounding many others, Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi called what happened “a dangerous aggravation which endangers the security of Iraq and the region.”
On Monday, Iraqi paramilitaries vowed to retaliate against what happened.
Iraq’s National Security Council denounced US aggression as a violation of the country’s sovereignty, vowing to “revise its relations” with the US.
Israel’s Netanyahu “congratulated” Pompeo on the mass slaughter and destruction incident.
Iran called it a “clear example of (US) terrorism.” Russia accused the Trump regime of “inflam(ing) the situation.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow wasn’t informed of the attacks in Iraq and Syria in advance — heightening regional tensions.
Anti-US public outrage followed. Hundreds of protesters in Baghdad broke into the US embassy compound in the heavily-fortified Green Zone.
According to AP News, they broke through the gate used by vehicles to enter the compound, smashed security cameras, and set a reception area ablaze.
An AP reporter on the scene said “flames (were) rising from inside the compound and at least three (armed) US soldiers were on the roof of the main embassy building…their guns pointed at the protesters,” adding:
“There was a fire at the reception area near the parking lot of the compound, but it was unclear what had caused it. A man on a loudspeaker urged the mob not to enter the compound.”
They came within 200 meters of the main building, tear gas used against them. A sign placed on a compound wall said: “America is an aggressor.”
Protesters chanted: “Down, Down USA!” “Death to America.” “Death to Israel.” Outside the US embassy, they hurled water and stones over its walls.
They raised Popular Mobilization Unit flags,” taunting embassy security staff, said AP.
They sprayed graffiti on walls and windows, supporting militia fighters.
“(H)undreds of angry protesters set up tents outside the embassy. As tempers rose, the mob set fire to three trailers used by security guards along the embassy wall,” said AP.
Iraqi soldiers and police sent to the scene “were forced back by the protesters who blocked their path.”
Things erupted after mourners held funerals for militia fighters killed in a Baghdad neighborhood.
There was no immediate State Department or Pentagon response to the US embassy compound breach.
According to Reuters, “(t)he US ambassador to Iraq and other staff were evacuated from their embassy in Baghdad for their safety on Tuesday, Iraqi officials said, as thousands of protesters and militia fighters outside the gate denounced US air strikes in Iraq.”
Video images showed large crowds of Iraqis in Baghdad marching peacefully in response to the Pentagon’s Sunday terror-bombing strikes.
Iraqi Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia leader Qais al-Khazali was quoted by Reuters, saying:
“Americans are unwanted in Iraq. They are a source of evil and we want them to leave.”
AFP News tweeted: “Several thousand protesters demonstrate(d) in front of the US embassy in Baghdad over US air strikes that killed more than two dozen paramilitary fighters at the weekend.”
Prime Minister Mahdi urged protesters to leave the US diplomatic compound and stay away, saying violence committed will be punished.
Sunday Pentagon aggression heightened tensions in Iraq, Syria and Iran more than already.
Likely retaliation by Iraqi militia fighters will probably be followed by further US aggression, risking greater hostilities in the war-torn region.
The only solution is ending US occupation of Iraq and Syria, along with its endless regional wars of aggression. The same goes for all its war theaters.
Sustained mass public anger is the only chance of achieving these objectives that won’t happen any time soon under the rosiest of scenarios.
Most important is what’s entirely absent — mass US anti-war protests nationwide.
There’s no sign of what’s vitally needed, public resistance for peace, equity and justice.
Warhawks Bill and Hillary Clinton, Bush/Cheney and Obama are gone, succeeded by warrior president Trump, fueling Washington’s addiction to endless wars of aggression against nonbelligerent nations threatening no one.
We have a choice. End them or risk eventual nuclear immolation by accident or design.
A Final Comment
An offensive NYT article headlined: “This Has Been the Best Year Ever,” saying:
“For humanity over all, life just keeps getting better.”
Citing advances in modern technology, etc., the Times ignored endless US wars of aggression.
Ongoing in multiple theaters, they’ve taken millions of lives post-9/11, no resolution of them in prospect.
In the US and West, neoliberal harshness created impoverished millions, living from paycheck to paycheck, struggling daily to get by, social justice in these countries eroding — on the chopping block for elimination.
It wasn’t always this way. I’m old enough to remember the interregnum of relative peace and stability from end of WW II in summer 1945 until US aggression on North Korea began in June 1950.
The US has been permanently at war since that time, the nation’s resources increasingly going for militarism, warmaking, corporate handouts, and tax cuts for the rich — while popular needs go begging.
On Tuesday, Trump falsely accused Iran of “orchestrating an attack on the US Embassy in Iraq,” adding:
“They will be held fully responsible.” Does he have another US war of aggression in mind?
If 2019 was “the best year ever,” heaven protect us from likely greater horrors ahead — especially if the Trump regime initiates hostilities against Iran.
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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.