The ramification of a crime: Shall Iraq expel the American occupiers from its territories?
On March 23, 2003, the United States waged an illegitimate invasion against the Iraqi nation under the dubious rationale of fighting terrorism, maintaining international peace, and exporting American-made democracy. The US vicious onslaught against Iraq led to the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s regime and establishing Paul Bremer as US proconsul in Iraq until 2011.
American forces remained in Iraq under the dubious pretext of reconstructing Iraq’s dilapidated infrastructure and contributing to stability and security in the war-ravaged Arab nation, but ironically US troops played a significant role in creating 21st Centaury’s Frankenstein, the ISIS.
The Americans prevaricated over their ultimate withdrawal from Iraq; they formed a so-called international alliance to combat ISIS which was their own creation. Following the end of its phony campaign against ISIS in 2017, the White House insisted to hold its military camps across Iraq, purportedly to train Iraqi military personnel; though it was all a ruse. The presence of the American army in Iraq not only destabilized Iraq but conceived many subsequent crises in the volatile Middle-East region. The US intentional refusal to pull out its forces gradually made more dissent voices to rise in Iraq, clamoring for the immediate US withdrawal.
In the wake of Iraqi and Iranian joint efforts to thwart the never-ending menace posed by ISIS sleeping cells, the United States, under the direct order by Donald Trump, committed a heinous crime by assassinating the Iranian commander of Quds Forces, Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani and the leader of Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), Abu Mahdi al – Muhandis, plunging Iraq into a deeper abyss of insecurity and unrest. As a matter of fact, this flagrant American escapade was the epitome of violating Iraq’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.
The Iraqi nation, armed forces, and parliament condemned Trump’s utterly abhorrent crime, urging the United States Army to immediately withdraw its forces from Iraq.
All Iraqi national military factions, regardless of their turbulent history, agreed unanimously to form, for the first time, a united front to expel the American occupiers. On the other hand, the Iraqi government and national assembly sought to persuade Americans through diplomatic channels to withdraw their forces from Iraq. Soon, the Iraqi legislature ratified a bill granting permission to the Iraqi government to force American occupiers out of Iraqi territories.
But the Trump administration used four different tactics to preclude any Iraqi attempt aimed to oust American forces from Iraq:
- A) Threatening to impose sanctions against the Iraqi nation: Trump tried to intimidate Iraqis, claiming that the United States would not withdraw from Iraq unless the Iraqi state repays the billions of dollars Washington had allegedly spent in building the American military bases across Iraq. Furthermore, Trump threatened the Iraqi government that the US would block millions of dollars of Iraqi assets deposited in American banks. Trump’s threats reverberated wieldy throughout the Iraqi media.
- B) Divide et impera: Americans endeavored to create political crises in Iraq by inciting domestic insurgency, weakening the pillars of Iraq’s sovereignty, and exacerbating the already bitter rivalry among the Iraqi politicians over gaining the government positions.
- C) Creating schism between the Iraqi nations: the American sought to sow seeds of sedition and revive internecine feuds between the Iraqi tribes and deepen the rift between the Kurdistan regional administration and the federal government in Baghdad. The American envoys also exhorted different Iraqi political currents to not participate in anti-American demonstrations.
- D) Using NATO as a coverage: Trump tried to evade the issue of American forces’ withdrawal from Iraq by lobbying with his European partners, like Britain, Germany, and France, to help him in order to persuade the Iraqi government to exempt NATO forces stationed in Iraq, from Iraqi law calling on all foreign troops to withdraw from the Iraqi territories.
It is too but evident that the United States’ ultimate goal in the Middle-East is to stir more conflicts to create a power vacuum in the oil-rich region. By doing so, Washington would guarantee the security of the Zionist regime and secure the perpetual dependence of Middle Eastern nations.
With the assassinations of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the Axis of Resistance stressed the importance of expelling American troops from West Asia, as national forces in various Middle-Eastern countries proclaimed themselves dedicated and ready to oust the US military from the region.
On July 22, 2020, during the Iraqi premier’s state visit to Iran, the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei underscored that Iran won’t intervene in Baghdad – Washington ties, though Tehran expects its Iraqi partners to know that the US military presence in any country is the source of corruption, agony calamity, adding that Iran is eagerly waiting for the final decision of the Iraqi nation, government and parliament to expel American aggressors from Iraq.
Addressing the Iraqi prime minister, Ayatollah Khamenei pointed to the callous assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, saying that Gen. Soleimani’s martyrdom is a clear example of the havoc caused by the US military presence in Iraq. Then, Ayatollah Khathe Iranian Supreme Leader directly added: “Mr. al-Kazemi the American killed your guest (Gen. Soleimani) in your house and they explicitly took responsibly for their crime and this is no small matter.”
“Following the American hideous carnage, it was expected from the Iraqi government to not only expel the American forces who destabilize the security of Iraq but also to sue the American administration in the international courts”, added Ayatollah Khamenei.
Recently, in a meeting with Fuad Hussein, the Iraqi foreign minister, the Iranian Secretary of Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani, stressed that prosecuting the American officials for committing the cowardly assassination of Gen. Soleimani through the international criminal courts is the least action expected from the Iraqi government. In meeting with his Iraqi counterpart, the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, condemned for his part the atrocious act of the US terrorist regime in assassinating Gen. Soleimani in Iraq, calling on the Iraqi government to take responsibility in this regard.