"Ain't Gonna Study War No More"

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Right-To-Life Party, Christian, Anti-War, Pro-Life, Bible Fundamentalist, Egalitarian, Libertarian Left

Friday, March 25, 2005

Iraq’s Parliament: New Farce

The war was a murderous crime, and that those who are responsible for it, and for the destruction of the Iraqi civil society should face war crimes trials like the leaders of Nazi Germany.

Despite calls to demonstrate kind of independence, the so-called Iraq’s ‘national assembly’ met inside the fortress of the “Green zone”. Western media hailed the first meeting as another “historic” moment in Iraq’s road to ‘democracy’. In Iraq, the story is of a widespread dismay and anger that the elections have not produced any change on the ground or even a new “government”. The same expatriate quislings, just more divided on sectarian line than before the elections, are gathered to discuss their new positions. They met in the shadow of US forces to announce that their symbiotic relation with the Occupation will continue, and that the US forces will stay in Iraq to protect them and terrorise the Iraqi people. It was anything, but a democratic parliament. It was a US theatrical show with Iraqi puppets playing as actors.

The US is slowly achieving its original aim of dividing Iraqis in order to justify prolonged Occupation of Iraq and siphoning its resources. The New York Times reported on March 17, 2005 that interviews of Iraqis “indicated in particular a striking sense of disillusionment among [Iraqi] Shiites . . . [and] suggested a hardening of the sectarian divisions that were visible in the election”. From the beginning the US played the sectarian card to destroy the unity of the Iraqi people. The Kurds, who have been used by foreign powers time and again, are the tools for this deliberate policy.

With new veto power granted to the Kurds under the US-crafted and unconstitutional Transitional Administrative Law (TAL), the law laid down by former US Proconsul Paul Bremer, Iraq has been divided into one small Iraq in the north and a bigger Iraq to the south. The TAL gave the Kurds, who make less than 12 percent of the Iraqi population, a 27 percent of the seats in the new ‘national assembly’. The US-crafted power allows the Kurds to derail any democratic solution, let alone an end to the Occupation in Iraq. So, the Kurds veto in Iraq is the US card. It can be accurately compare with the US veto card at the UN. Further, the TAL is also forms the blue print for any new Iraqi constitutions. In other words, Iraq self-determination is the hostage of the US. The Iraqi people have no say in the affairs of their country. This is the reason for the ongoing wrangling and haggling over the forming of the new fictitious “government”.

The Kurds, led by their opportunistic and self-serving warlords, are aiming at ethnic cleansing the oil-rich city of Kirkuk and incorporated it into their mythological country of “Kurdistan”. The Kurds have never been a majority in Kirkuk. They remain a small minority with US-armed militia, the Peshmerga. According to the 1957 Iraqi census, the majority of Kirkuk population were Iraqi Turkoman and Iraqi Arabs (Christians and Muslims). Kurds number in Kirkuk has decline since 1977, especially during the 13-years (1991-2003) of the genocidal sanctions against Iraq when many Kurds moved to the North and North-eastern regions of Iraq that was effectively less embargoed than the rest of the country. It is important remembering that the Kurds, despite their small number in Iraq, have enjoyed better treatment than in Iran and in Turkey, where their numbers are much larger than in Iraq. In Turkey, more than 14 million Kurds live in despair, poverty and military repression, and until recently speaking Kurdish in the public was illegal in Turkey. Compare this with Iraq where schools, hospitals and well-known universities built by former Iraqi governments to serve all Iraqis in the North. It is easier for Western mainstream media and Western governments to look the other way and ignore realities. Western mainstream media have no problem selling democracy with illegitimate elections than providing the public with honest and independent information.

Furthermore, evidence from Iraqi sources obtained by Scott Ritter, former UNSCOM weapons inspector, suggests that the Bush administration and its Allawi’s gang hampered with the elections results and lowered the Shiites votes from ‘56 percent of the vote to 48 percent’, through a ‘secret vote count’ and ‘reengineering the post-election political landscape in Iraq dramatically’ to fit with the US-designed kind of democracy for Iraq, AlterNet.

The elections were ‘the farce of the century’. The US-based Carter Centre, which monitored elections around the world, did not participate in the Iraq’s elections because Iraq’s elections do not met elections’ criteria, such as free and safe environment, and the ability of candidates to move freely. All independent voices in Iraq, regardless of ethnicity, have boycotted the elections. As I have pointed out earlier, the elections have divided Iraqis and reinforced sectarianism.

The elections were ‘demonstration’ elections aimed at American and Western citizens at home. In other words, it was a PR exercise to promote new form of colonialism and illegal armed conquest. The US-crafted elections were designed to legitimise the Occupation of Iraq and promote US influence around the globe through ongoing military aggressions. ‘Democracy under Occupation’ is the new motto of the White House.

It isn’t ‘democracy’, ‘freedom’ or human rights that the US is promoting; the US is promoting its own corporate interests. The most brutal and dictatorial regimes in the world, including the Middle East, are the closest allies of the US. A fact the US supports wholeheartedly. The brutal and dictatorial regime in Egypt is the second largest US aid recipient after Israel. The corrupt dictators of the Gulf States led by Saudi Arabia are the US closest allies for over half-century. Further, the US encourages and supports the abuses of human rights in these countries by the outsourcing of torture. The policy, which called ‘extraordinary rendition’, is the practice by which innocent prisoners and detainees in US custody are sent for interrogation in foreign countries that practice torture, such as Egypt Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. Arab leaders should be ashamed for associating the Arab World with such an appalling practice that should be the trademark of the US alone.

The US did not invade Iraq for the sake of ‘democracy’, ‘freedom’ or to safeguard human rights, these are the pretexts for domestic consumptions and war. It should be remembered that the original pretext for the war was that Iraq possessed large arsenal of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), which was proved to be a lie. The Bush’s Doctrine of ‘pre-emptive’ illegal wars of aggression designed to impose US hegemony on defenceless people using all kinds pretexts to justify its aim. Since the US invasion and Occupation of Iraq, the Iraqi people are the most abused and unfree people on the planet today. The destruction of the city of Fallujah and the slaughter of thousands of Iraqi citizens by US napalm and chemical weapons amount to war crimes and in direct contravention of the Geneva Conventions.

In the US, returned soldiers are telling a horrific picture of what is like for Iraqis to live under Occupation. US soldier Camilo Mejia who refused to return to Iraq after taking leave in October 2003, said recently; “I thought of the suffering of a people whose country was in ruins and who were further humiliated by the raids, patrols and curfews of an occupying army… And I realized that none of the reasons we were told about why we were in Iraq turned out to be true... I realized that I was part of a war that I believed was immoral and criminal, a war of aggression, [and] a war of imperial domination. I realized that acting upon my principles became incompatible with my role in the military, and I decided that I could not return to Iraq”. [1]

After his return from Iraq, ex-marine Staff Sergeant Jimmy Massey sums up the war in a recent interview; “[What we are doing in Iraq] sickened me so that I had actually brought it up to my lieutenant, and I told him, I said, ‘You know, sir, we're not going to have to worry about Iraq - you know, we're basically committing genocide over here, mass extermination of thousands of Iraqis’”. [2]

Self-censored media shields the government from any wrongdoing and keeps the public entertained and in place. As professor William Cook of the University of La Verne in southern California noted that; “None of the Iraqi 100,000 dead have a voice to cheer Bush's Doctrine; none of their family members have been asked about its benefits; no one concerned about the ensuing years' invisible companion, depleted uranium, has a voice; none of the maimed - the blind, the limbless, the sick and dying - have a voice; no one has been asked about America's 14 military bases being a permanent part of the Iraqi landscape; no one has been asked about America determining that Iraqi resources should be sold to the most favoured private bidder, primarily non-Iraqi; and none of the [innocent, men women and children] prisoners subjugated to [abuse and] torture at Abu Ghraib [and other expanding US prisons in Iraq] has been asked about America's virtues and its democratic ways”.[3]

The war was a murderous crime, and that those who are responsible for it, and for the destruction of the Iraqi civil society should face war crimes trials like the leaders of Nazi Germany.

A farce parliament produced by illegitimate elections in the shadow of war of aggression and occupation does not make a nation democratic, free and sovereign. It makes a colonial dictatorship. The US-led foreign forces have no business in Iraq. Iraq’s liberation and self-determination from foreign invaders are the unquestionable legitimate rights of the Iraqi people.

Ghali Hassan lives in Perth, Western Australia.


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