- Posted by Maryam Namazie
- On November 7, 2004
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International TV interview with Issam Shukri
November 7, 2004
Maryam Namazie: The USA military has begun a bombing campaign against Fallujah and other cities; they say it is to ‘secure’ the environment for the upcoming elections. Can you tell us what the situation is now?
Issam Shukri: The situation is very bad. Fallujah is under bombardment since two day ago. 200 bombs have been dropped by US forces on the city. As you know, this is a city of half a million population, although it has been reduced to one hundred thousand or so due to the bombardment and the siege conditions that the US forces have put in place on the city.
The situation is horrendous and inhumane. People have been facing bombardment around the clock. The roads of Fallujah have been blocked by the US. There is only one road leading outside the city to Baghdad, which is under the control of the US army. Food is getting scarcer every minute. Actually, there are mainly only men now in the city because the city has been evacuated from its population. It is a really inhumane and horrendous situation that the world should oppose. While I am speaking, people are being killed under the pretext of fighting terrorism. This is unacceptable. The whole world should stand up and oppose this atrocity that the US army is committing in Iraq.
Maryam Namazie: You mentioned that there are mainly men left in Fallujah though we continue to see images of women, children and men who have been killed or wounded in these bombardments. The numbers killed are unbelievable. According to the British medical journal Lancet, since April 9, 2003 – the fall of Saddam Hussein – 100,000 people have been killed in Iraq. This is an outrageous number of killed. We hear very little of the numbers of Iraqis killed; mostly it is about the British and American forces that are killed. Why is it that the world hears so little about Iraqis who have been killed?
Issam Shukri: It is because of the USA’s war propaganda. Of course, there are so many agencies which have visited Iraq since 2003 and Even before that date. The deception found in the mainstream media is not a new phenomenon. Economic sanctions against Iraq killed 1.5 million people and hardly anyone mentioned or talked about it. Ironically, when General Tommy Franks was asked about the casualties amongst civilians he said: ‘we do not count bodies’. People were shocked by this declaration coming from the personification of the US army in Iraq; the symbol of what I would call state terrorism. I think in reality, the number of causalities is much higher; we should multiply that number by three or four. I really doubt that this figure is the actual one. It could be much more than that. The techniques of war and the war machinery that the US has been using exceed the human imagination regarding the killings. I think the reason why the US is concealing its atrocities is because it wants to dupe people into believing that what they are doing is for the sake of Iraqi people. This number shows the magnitude of the USA and Britain’s atrocity in Iraq and it show the hypocrisy of talking about Saddam Hussein’s atrocities. Saddam was a murderer and a tyrant but what the US has done till now has far exceeded what Saddam had done.
Maryam Namazie: Some are saying that Bush’s mandate in the recent US elections will allow him to go forward with his policy in Iraq unabated, and may even go further now, though you’d said before in a previous interview that there wouldn’t be too much difference between Kerry and Bush with regards to Iraq. Do you think the election of Bush will make the situation worse in Iraq or that it can’t get any worse?
Issam Shukri: The outcome of the US elections will reinforce and strengthen US polices not only in Iraq but globally as well, namely in the advancement of the so-called New World Order. This is an assurance that Bush’s policy will continue whilst he is in office.
The US, however, is facing problems in Iraq and is in trouble because people are against it. People no longer trust the US. There was once talk about US forces receiving flowers and a warm welcome from the Iraqis, but this has long gone. Now, people in Iraq are very angry and there is a very strong anti-American sentiment in Iraq because of the atrocities they are committing, the bombardments of Samarah, Fallujah and Baghdad, because of the lack of human dignity and the lack of basic conditions of life. All these conditions made it very clear for the people in Iraq that the US is not a liberator. It has nothing to do with providing them with a decent living.
As I mentioned before, the right-wing polices of the US is state terrorism. The situation they have created in Iraq, which is a dark scenario, means that they are fighting another pole of terrorism – Islamic terrorism – inside Iraqi society. People are being killed because of the conflict between these two poles of terrorism. The right-wing of US militarism and Islamic terrorism form one side and the people of Iraq are on the other side. I mean 25 million people are on the other side. I think the elections will give bush more energy to resume his right wing policy.
Maryam Namazie: Briefly, what can people be doing against this situation?
Issam Shukri: We progressive people have to turn the situation in Iraq around and create the conditions necessary for the people of Iraq to address their needs. Actually the situation of Iraq is so dire and so severe that people need security, bread, and some kind of normal civil society. These conditions cannot be established while the US is there. The US presence is causing all these problems.
We think that a withdrawal of US forces from Iraq is important. Islamic terrorism will decrease. We also demand the immediate and unconditional halt of Fallujah’s bombardment and siege and that of all other Iraqi cities. This bloodshed must stop immediately.
The above is an International TV (http://www.anternasional.tv/english) interview dated November 7, 2004. For more information on the Left Worker-communist Party of Iraq, go to http://www.socialismnow.org/index1.html.