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Washington’s deadliest WMD

While Washington's lofty promise of democracy painted a rosy picture of the future for the Iraqis, its military intervention ruthlessly obliterated Iraq's state apparatus, plunging the nation into an abyss of chaos.

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A protester holds a banner during a demonstration held in Tahrir Square in Baghdad, Iraq, on Jan. 13, 2024. (Xinhua/Khalil Dawood)

Twenty-one years have elapsed since the U.S. army invaded Iraq under the pretext of rooting out weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and “spreading democracy.”

However, the absence of such weapons, the fiasco of Washington’s nation-building efforts and the great sufferings of the Iraqi people have exposed a chilling truth: Democracy has become the United States’ most powerful WMD for serving its hegemonic interests.

While its lofty promise of democracy painted a rosy picture of the future for the Iraqis, its military intervention ruthlessly obliterated Iraq’s state apparatus, plunging the nation into an abyss of chaos.

The massive destruction shattered the balance of power in Iraq, unleashing a torrent of sectarian violence and providing fertile soil for terrorist ideologies to flourish.

In the vacuum created by the devastation emerged the Islamic State (IS), a terrorist organization, which exploited the chaos and instability to assert its brutal grip on large swathes of territory.

Despite Iraq’s eventual victory over the IS after years of struggle, the specter of terrorism continues to haunt the nation and the world, with frequent attacks reminding the world of the ongoing threats.

A report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank, offers a glimpse into the staggering human cost of the U.S. invasion: approximately half a million Iraqi lives lost, over 9.2 million forced into displacement, and more than 4.7 million plunged into food insecurity.

Iraq has been just one of the many victims of Washington’s democratic WMD. The United States has significantly contributed to escalating tensions in the Middle East by backing proxy conflicts and militarily intervening in countries like Yemen and Syria.

Those behind-the-scenes manipulations and outright interventions have not only prolonged conflicts but also exacerbated humanitarian crises, further undermining the prospects for peace and stability in the region.

As U.S. foreign policy writer William Blum said in his book “America’s Deadliest Export: Democracy,” Washington’s ambition for world domination “is driven not by the cause of a deeper democracy or freedom, a more just world, ending poverty or violence, or a more liveable planet, but rather by economics and ideology.”

With Iraq and the broader region still reeling from the U.S. invasion 21 years ago, the world has now come to realize what democracy truly means in U.S. foreign policy — a deadly weapon in glossy disguise.

Xinhua News Agency

Founded in 1931, Xinhua News Agency is one of the largest news organizations in the world, with over 10,000 employees across the globe. As the main source of news and information for China, Xinhua plays a key role in shaping the country's media landscape and communicating its perspectives to the world. The agency produces a wide range of content, including text news articles, photos, videos, and social media posts, in both Chinese and English, and its reports are widely used by media organizations around the world. Xinhua also operates several international bureaus, including in key capitals like Washington, D.C., Moscow, and London, to provide in-depth coverage of global events.

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