The US Embassy in Iraq is the largest and most expensive embassy in the world – being roughly the size of the Vatican (or about 80 football fields), housing about 5000 employees, and costing a total of 700 million US dollars to build. The embassy is an extremely well fortified and protected military complex with a thin civil society veneer, its own private security force, and its own dedicated missile defense system. It’s also located in the center of a heavily militarized 10 square kilometer area in the heart of Baghdad known as the “Green Zone” that most Iraqis are not allowed to enter, despite it being on their land.
When the US murdered 25 colonized people in an air strike in retaliation for the death of one contractor in Iraq a few days ago (a contractor who’s killer they’ve still been unable to confirm with evidence despite already massacring people over it), I saw a lot of people in the US focused on the protest the Iraqi people and their allies organized at the embassy that followed. A lot of folks here didn’t seem to be aware that the protest had been provoked by a mass casualty incident. A lot of folks here also seemed to believe that this protest – which again was colonized people fighting back against a mass murder commited by an occupying foreign military – represented some sort of organized [terrorist] attack on a vulnerable civilian target.
The truth of the matter is that security forces protecting the US embassy in Iraq from the protest drastically outgunned the poor and justifiably angry colonized people outside of it. That’s why those colonized people weren’t able to make it into the interior of the US embassy complex and why no US embassy employees were ultimately harmed or injured. The same can’t be said for the protestors tho.
The poor colonized people expressing their righteous anger at a war crime committed with impunity against their own countrymen on their own land and without their consent by an army that has decimated their country and an entire region and that has been occupying their land for almost 20 years got fired upon with rubber bullets and tear gassed by heavily armed soldiers in riot gear – crowd controlled like we are at protests here in the US. When the crowd was controlled the embassy went back to the business of empire as usual – releasing statements full of lies and half truths and spying on people as it does. In all the whole situation took about two days to resolve itself.
Whenever the US media whips itself into a frenzy over yet another embassy attack, it’s super important to remember that US embassies are not neutral territory nor are they civilian targets. US embassies are imperial outposts used for spying on, controlling, and harming colonized people living in the areas they occupy. Sometimes US embassies are used for coordinating the kidnapping and assassination of revolutionary nationalist leaders who are too gungho about severing colonial ties. Sometimes they’re used for providing sanctuary to American citizens who want to commit sex crimes or murder against colonized populations without being accountable for it. Sometimes they’re base stations from which to spy upon and attack people’s organizations trying to nationalize resources and report back on them to some transnational corporation and/or the US. US embassies are one stop shops for the day to day maintenance of extended empire – helping to meet political, military, economic, and intelligence objectives for that empire as needed. They’re sort of like UPS stores in that way. But for horribly oppressing people.
While the US is still occupying people’s land, still harming them, and still stealing from them, the people it’s victimizing are going to fight back. Always. The masses of colonized and oppressed people who have the misfortune of living in the hundreds of places all over the world where the US empire has ‘strategic interests’ are under no obligation to submit to the imperial process quietly. But because the US empire often throws rocks and hides it hands – preferring to project power through lies, bribes, mass starvation, shady deals with neo-colonial traitors and drone strikes – it is often difficult for oppressed people seeking to resist it to find a face to take their fight to. That’s why US embassies make an ideal and understandable target. They’re often the only bastion of US power aside from tanks, security cameras, or a mercenary with a cold amphetamine stare and a machine gun that colonized people seeking to fight back can get access to.
If folks in the US have a particular concern about the safety of US embassy property or employees – artificially and conveniently stoked by the US media as it may be – they need to understand that the easiest way to stop embassy attacks and prevent them from ever happening in the future is for the US empire to get up out of every poor colonized territory it’s stuck it’s fingers into and learn to mind its own goddamn business and leave us alone. Since this is unlikely to happen, all folks who believe in justice must support protests and actions targeting US embassies as forms of righteous anti-imperialist and anti-colonial resistance unequivocally and without reservation so that the colonized masses of the world can organize, build power, and push the US empire out ourselves. I don’t make the rules, sorry.
When you see a US embassy attacked you should celebrate and cheer. If you’re not quite there yet, you should study history and make an effort to understand why so many oppressed people around the world are extremely hostile to them. And regardless of where you’re at in your anti-imperialist political development you should always always always avoid repeating tired old racist US imperialist lies that criminalize and dehumanize oppressed people for resisting them. There’s a reason why US embassies are constantly getting rocked all over the globe and it’s not because the people in the places the US insists on bombing and exploiting and invading and occupying are stupid or ungrateful. It’s because the US empire’s presence is increasingly unwelcome all over the world. And that lack of welcome has been quite extensively earned.
Support actions and protests targeting US embassies. Rise up in solidarity with the masses of colonized people oppressed by US empire worldwide who are fighting back. Demand the US get the hell out of Africa, get the hell out of Asia, get the hell out of the Carribean, get the hell out of the Americas, get the hell out of everywhere.
Death to the US Empire.