“This (the attack on PMU bases) was a clear violation of Iraq’s sovereignty. However, it isn’t surprising because I would never expect the United States to uphold any of its treaties or agreements with other countries. And Washington has no respect for the sovereignty of other countries because they’re currently maintaining illegal military bases in Syria,” Randi Nord told Tasnim.
She added, “Clearly, Washington is willing to put its own allies and even troops at risk to send a message and continue its occupation of Iraq.”
Randi Nord is the founder of Geopolitics Alert Independent World News where she covers US foreign policy in the Middle East with a special focus on Yemen. Randi's work has appeared in MintPress News, Yemen Press, Al-Akhbar al-Yemeni, and many others.
Following is the full text of the interview.
Tasnim: On Sunday, US forces conducted drone strikes on a number of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) bases in western Anbar province, killing at least 25 individuals and leaving another 51 injured. What is your take on the move by Washington?
Nord: The United States wore out its welcome in Iraq a long time ago. It used intervention in 2003 based on lies as an excuse to carry out an indefinite military occupation, occupy Iraq’s oil fields, and plot aggression against neighboring countries like Syria and Iran. Later, the US was able to use Daesh as another excuse to maintain its presence in Iraq.
I think it’s clear that Washington is trying to escalate a broader war against Iran and continue justifying its presence in Iraq for the always ambiguous “US interests.” The State Department claims that they felt threatened and ordered the deadly airstrikes as a response. If that’s the case, why doesn’t Washington simply pull its troops out of Iraq and go home? Why bother putting US troops in danger in a country that doesn’t want them and where they clearly don’t belong?
We all know the real reason for Washington’s aggression against Syria was to isolate Iran by eliminating its allies and that war has failed. Now the US is moving onto other strategies in Lebanon and Iraq.
Tasnim: Iraqi President Barham Salih decried the attacks as being unacceptable and damaging for the country, adding that the strikes were contrary to security agreements inked between Baghdad and Washington. The attacks occurred despite Washington's security agreements with Baghdad. How could the US do this?
Nord: This was a clear violation of Iraq’s sovereignty. However, it isn’t surprising because I would never expect the United States to uphold any of its treaties or agreements with other countries. And Washington has no respect for the sovereignty of other countries because they’re currently maintaining illegal military bases in Syria.
Washington only signs agreements when it believes US interests will benefit in some way, whether it be US capital or military. The United States views Iraq as an extension of its own territory and inked such agreements in order to maintain its military presence in Iraq – not out of any respect for the Iraqi government or civilians.
Clearly, Washington is willing to put its own allies and even troops at risk to send a message and continue its occupation of Iraq.
Tasnim: The Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq were the ones that prevented Iraq from being taken over by Daesh terrorists. Does the attack on PMU bases mean that in reality the US supports terrorism and attempts to destroy those fighting against terrorism?
Nord: We can argue about the origins of Daesh all day but it’s irrelevant. The evidence is clear that the United States benefits from the existence of Daesh and does everything in its power to take out entities genuinely fighting against terrorism on the ground.
From Syria and Iraq to Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Yemen, we have endless evidence of the United States funneling weapons – whether directly or indirectly – to groups like al-Qaeda and Daesh while trying to destroy the only groups effectively fighting against terrorism and protecting civilians.
Meanwhile, Washington paints itself as a hero to the world claiming to be the only entity fighting against Daesh and Salafi terror. How can the United States claim to fight terrorism when it considers Saudi Arabia its greatest ally in the region – the true source of proven terrorist ideology that indoctrinates people through its schools around the world? It doesn’t make any sense and they’re not fooling anyone.
This string of violent attacks in Iraq is just the latest example of Washington allying with far-right, reactionary, violent terrorists to maintain the cycle of endless war in the region to its benefit.