A U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere in the Middle East is long overdue.

by Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J S Davies, The Progressive

On February 7, 2024, a U.S. drone assassinated an Iraqi militia leader, Abu Baqir al-Saadi, in the heart of Baghdad. This was another escalation by the United States in a major new front in the U.S.-Israeli war in the Middle East, centered on the Israeli genocide in Gaza, but also including ethnic cleansing in the West Bank, Israeli attacks on Lebanon and Syria, and the United States and United Kingdom’s bombing of Yemen.

This latest attack followed the U.S. bombing of seven targets on February 2, three in Iraq and four in Syria, with 125 bombs and missiles, killing at least thirty-nine people.

Joe Biden fist bumps with Mohammed bin Salman

At the same time, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has been touring capitals in the region, playing the United States’ traditional role as a dishonest broker between Israel and its neighbors.

What Israel and the United States have proposed, but not made public, appears to be a second temporary ceasefire, during which prisoners or hostages would be exchanged, possibly leading to the release of all the Israelis held in Gaza, but in no way leading to an end to the genocide. If the Palestinians freed all of their Israeli hostages as part of a prisoner swap, it would remove the only obstacle that seems to be restraining Israel from an even more catastrophic escalation of the genocide.

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