Iraq: Stop The Massacre of Anbar’s Civilians



The website The International Initiative to Prosecute US Genocide in Iraq is calling for endorsements for the following statement here:

Iraq: Stop the massacre of Anbar’s civilians!

Please endorse, share and distribute (See below)
Date: 18 February 2014


Maliki’s use of the army against the civilian population of Anbar constitutes the defeat of the policies Iraq has been following since 2003 and cements the divorce between the people of Iraq and the current sectarian government.

This new round of bombing has already produced 300,000 displaced, adding to the tragedy of the millions of Iraqi citizens already displaced by the failed and brutal US occupation.

While states are legally obliged to refrain from assisting other states to undertake internationally criminal acts, the United States is upping its supply of arms and military advisors to Iraq, along with intelligence cooperation. A new US “Surge” is in the making and will only bring more death and destruction.

Maliki’s government cannot wantonly kill civilians and claim a “State of Law”:
— Collective punishment is illegal under international law.
— Shelling water and electricity facilities, religious buildings, and hospitals are war crimes and crimes against humanity.
— The scale and target of the Maliki military strikes and shelling is utterly disproportionate and illegal and criminal in the face of the legitimate demands of the Anbar tribes.
— The lack of proportionality itself constitutes a war crime and crime against humanity.
— It is paramount for people everywhere to mobilise now to save Fallujah’s and Anbar’s civilians, understanding that their suffering mirrors the impact of the fascist sectarian regime that the US occupation created.

We appeal to all individuals of conscience, to all those who support human rights, to all progressives who believe in democracy and the right to self-determination, to the UN Security Council, to the president of the UN General Assembly, to members of the UN General Assembly, to the European Commission and member states, to the European Parliament and peoples, to Islamic and Arab states and people and their organisations, and to all human rights, anti-war and civil society organisations to:

1. Order the Iraqi government to stop its use of wanton shelling, air force attacks, and heavy artillery against the civilian population in keeping with the responsibility of states to protect civilians under the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention and its additional protocols.
2. Constitute an independent investigative committee to document the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Anbar and submit its findings to the International Criminal Court.

Abdul Ilah Albayaty
Hana Al Bayaty
Ian Douglas
Eman Ahmed Khamas

We call on all to join us, sign and spread this appeal. To endorse, email to:

Abdul Ilah Albayaty is an Iraqi political analyst. Hana Al Bayaty is an author and political activist. Ian Douglas is an independent political writer who has taught politics at universities in the US, UK, Egypt and Palestine.

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I endorsed the statement with the following text:

I am writing to endorse your statement condemning state violence against civilians in Anbar. My name is Kieran Kelly. I have a Master’s degree in history from Massey University in Aotearoa/New Zealand. My Master’s thesis placed the Iraq Genocide in the context of prior genocides committed by the US under the guise of military actions. I consider the current violence in Iraq to be the direct result of deliberate and systematic policies of destruction aimed at the people of Iraq as such. Both the intentionality of these acts and their links to current divisions within Iraq are amply demonstrated by frequent references by US officials to the desirability of fostering division or even partition along sectarian and ethnic lines in Iraq. In line with these stated policies the actions of US forces in Iraq – though seemingly “mishandled” in the normal politico-military sense – efficiently implemented policies which inflicted economic, social, cultural, religious, and physical destruction. This included inflicting massive direct and indirect mortality; fostering eliticidal violence against academics; disruption and degradation of health services; ecocidal pollution with toxic and radioactive materials; and generating communal strife, division and violence.
The current violence does not merely threaten a subsidiary genocide against Iraq’s Sunni population (as suggested by Struan Stevenson) but also is an expression of the ongoing US genocide embodied through their material and political support for the Maliki regime’s divisive, oppressive and violent policies. The fact that the US is also inevitably channeling arms and money to Islamist opponents of the Baghdad regime (through its destabilisation programme in Syria) only serves to illustrate that it is the Iraqi people who are the target, not particular segments or formations. A strong Iraqi people (whether unified democratically or under brutal force) is inherently antithetical to US imperial interests. The objections they raise to putatively objectionable political or religious ideologies (and also their denunciations of leaders as being equivalent to Hitler) are simply rationalisations for morally unacceptable imperial policies including genocidal policies which inflict mass deaths.

8 thoughts on “Iraq: Stop The Massacre of Anbar’s Civilians

    • Will blaming someone else help Iraq? Should we just forget the causes of the violence? Maybe we should simply pretend that these things all happened spontaneously, then they are not problems at all. They are just expressions of the natural order of things.

      I would love to hear your explanation of how this violence arose in Iraq. Only, I would request that you base your answer on historical evidence, not the rhetoric of US politicians and pundits. If you want some background you could read my piece on the US role in creating sectarian death squads here. Or you can read some of Max Fuller’s work on the same subject (dating back as far as 2005) here.

      Perhaps you could also explain your understanding of what was meant by the decision taken some US officials to use what was described as the “Salvador Option”. What do you think they meant by that? But then, perhaps you aren’t that interested in the facts. I wonder if it might not be you that chooses “whatever helps you sleep at night.” You see, knowing the things that I know will only lead to anger and depression. They don’t help me sleep at night. They wouldn’t help you sleep at night. I’d rather live in denial myself, but we need to face these unhappy facts because without doing so we are useless to ourselves and others.

      • Blame God, the Persians, the Ottoman’s, the British, The Americans if you wish. The is muslim world aflame or tightly controlled by dictators. You can also blame that on the US if you wish. It is a medieval society with 21st century weapons, also blame that on the US. increasingly running out of both oil and water with a growing population who know they have no future. All the fault of the US. Sure. I guess blaming the rest of the world is easier than taking personal responsibility for what you and your own leaders have done to you land and people. Blame whoever you wish it will not change Iraq’s future. Only Iraqis can do that and all they want to do is slaughter Sunnis. Just like the old days.

      • Your comment about “…all they want to do is slaughter Sunnis. Just like the old days” reveals that, as I suspected, you have been misinformed. Shi’a have a thousand year history of quietism, especially in what is now Iraq. With a few notable exceptions (such as the hashashin from whom we derive the term “assassin”) Shi’a have really not made a practice of killing Sunni, nor vice versa. The Ottomans didn’t change that and nor even the British (despite playing divide-and-rule along sectarian lines). The relationship between Iraq’s Arabs and Kurds is more problematic, but also very far from the simplistic picture painted by US pundits. For example, the great Iraqi hero Salahuddin (Saladin) was a Kurd (Saddam’s Ba’athist regime promoted him as a Kurdish/Iraqi hero at the same time as they committed genocide against Iraq’s Kurds). Iraqi Kurds are divided ethnically, by political formations, and by sect. Any group of Kurds, historically, is as likely to be aligned with Baghdad as to be opposed to Baghdad. Sometimes they side with Baghdad (or Tehran) against other Kurds.
        Historically, even under Saddam Hussein, violence between Iraqis has been driven by politics, not ethnicity or sect. One’s ethnic and sectarian identity might predispose towards a particular political ideology. The lines have been as blurred in Iraq as they are elsewhere. The Kurdish dominated ICP, for example, gave explicit support to Ba’athist policies of genocide against Kurds. In genocides these seeming anomalies are the norm, not the exception. The US is not the only place in the world that uses dog-whistle politics.
        Now, however, Iraq is subject to a type of destabilisation referred to as Balkanisation. It is nothing new, but it is an incredibly brutal and disgusting way of playing strategic games. The US and its enemy Iran support a brutal regime in Baghdad with a clear but deniable sectarian identity (meaning that the very nature of the government is opposed to the idea of an Iraqi nation). The US and its Sunni Arab monarchist allies support Sunni Islamists opposed to Maliki’s regime and explicitly opposed to the continuing existence of an Iraqi nation-state. In other words the US is clearly but deniably channeling materiel to Islamist “terrorists” whose agenda fills US strategic desires (i.e. partition). Ending US support of the assault on Anbar by regime forces, ending the state-terror practices, and forcing the normalisation of political processes will end the Islamist threat. We know from the very recent past that it is only exogenous threats that cause Sunni Iraqis to tolerate “Al Qaeda” types.

        To summarise, the situation of violence that exists now did not arise in a vacuum and it is only sustained with exogenous influences – the US being the most significant. A country as riven and fragile as Iraq has been made can be all too easily destabilised. Hatreds are easy to generate. But Iraq is more than just some lines on a map drawn by Britain in 1918. Whether as al-Iraq, as the “three provinces”, or as Mesopotamia, Iraq is a nation with firm historical roots – more fluid than some, but older than all others. (That is why it presents such a problem for US empire.) If we can end outside interference Iraq will find peace.

  1. What the hell, are we supposed to forget the massacres by US troops ?????????????????????

    You’re driving me fucking crazy. Imagine! I am your freaking follower and recommending On Genocide in my articles!!!!!! you still trying to look good and while you be on the side of white savages? protecting them


    • I appreciate your concern Jay, and your support, but I think you are completely misinterpreting this post. Nobody is denying massacres by US troops. More to the point I do not, and would never, deny that hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were systematically killed by the US leadership with genocidal intent. There are very few people who, like yourself and myself, consistently refuse to buy into any victim-blaming racist narrative that does not highlight the violent crimes committed by Westerners. Among that very small number I would count the people who are promoting this statement. Their website is, after all, The International Initiative to Prosecute US Genocide in Iraq. If you click on the picture at the top of this post you will get their 2007 report on the Iraq Genocide. I would also draw you attention to the words I used when endorsing their statement. I make it very clear that I consider the current violence to be the primarily the fault of the US and part of the ongoing Iraq Genocide. I would further draw your attention to my responses to the previous commenter, which elaborate my reasoning for highlighting US culpability.
      I have a feeling that you are allowing your expectations of intellectual betrayal and moral cowardice to get the better of you. If I choose to highlight a current situation rather than past events, it does not mean that I have forgotten those events, nor am I entering the amnesiac orthodox discourse which isolates those events from their causes. I make no apologies for trying to find ways to help end human suffering in Iraq, especially when by doing so I oppose the brutal perpetuation of US imperial power.
      Having said all of that, however, perhaps I am missing something. Is there some reason why opposing the military assault on Anbar province by the Iraqi government is wrong?

  2. I am an Iraqi and I do believe that the U.S is partly to blame for all this strife, however I do know that the Sunni – Shiite divide is an old feud which dates back to hundreds of years, our Sunni ( Orthodox Muslim) culture differs greatly from the Shiite mind set and lifestyle, we cannot co exist in peace, the only solution as highlighted on a page which I manage on facebook, is a partition plan, the International community should endorse partition.

    • Thank you for the comment Rania. Unfortunately I do not believe that partition will facilitate peaceful coexistence. There will always be minorities within whatever borders are drawn. There will be disputes over resources such as water or shared oil fields. Neighbouring states will have no end of legitimate and illegitimate reasons for interference. In the final analysis partition will only benefit imperialist interests. Peaceful coexistence will only be found through the creation of an inclusive tolerant state. It can be done. Since the Reformation, Christian sects have been far more violent in their conflicts than the sects of Islam, yet today it is hard to envisage any serious large-scale sectarian violence between Protestants and Catholics.

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