The invasion of Iraq stands exposed for what it always was: an act of naked aggression leading to the forcible occupation of a country by foreign troops against the will of the people. Naturally, such a state of affairs can only be sustained by the massive, uncontrolled and unlimited use of force. We can now see the results of this on the front pages of today’s newspapers. The United States military has been compelled to open criminal investigation into acts of abuse, humiliation and torture against Iraqi prisoners, committed by US soldiers and officers as photographs of horrific incidents were aired for the first time on US network television.
On the eve of the war in Iraq, George W. Bush talked about a "crusade". He was obviously quite pleased with himself for having thought of such a catchy phrase. But he was quickly silenced by his advisers, who pointed out to him that the word "crusade" has very unfortunate associations for the Moslem world.
The war in Iraq solved nothing from the standpoint of US imperialism but has ushered in a period of even greater instability on a world scale. The world is now a far more turbulent, volatile and dangerous place than it was a few months ago.
Baghdad lies shattered and bleeding. The bloody battle appears to be entering a decisive phase. The final result was never in doubt, but the time scale over which the military action would unfold and the cost in lives could only be revealed by the march of events.
The war now determines everything. It is the most decisive element in the equation of world politics. It is reshaping the map of international diplomacy and profoundly modifying the web of world relations established since 1945. Its reverberations will be felt for decades ahead.