Index | Documentos 2008 - Ocupación y resistencia

Enlaces relacionados


An Open Letter to the International Community

Support the Iraqi Resistance through the Advocacy of International Law

Abu Mohamad

IraqSolidaridad (www.iraqsolidaridad.org), 14 January 2008
Translated from Spanish by Atenea Acevedo

 

“We are aware of the inability of [international] organizations and States to confront the US devouring monster. And we also know that, unfortunately, the big countries have subordinated themselves and knelt before the US omnipotence, they have surrendered to the US ways. However, we have faith and are convinced that peace, security, freedom and independence are possible, as we believe that it is possible to put an end to all forms of control, subjugation, plundering and colonialism —and their disastrous consequences—, to put an end to all sectarian, fanatic and racist projects, to put an end to backwardness and destruction in my country: Iraq.”


"The invader continues to commit war crimes and genocide against the Iraqi people"

Since the collapse of the socialist bloc in 1989 and the consolidation of US hegemony as the sole superpower, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has become a lever of US foreign policy. The US uses the UNSC as a cover to implement illegal practices, embargoes, military attacks and preventive wars in different countries, including Iraq, a nation that has been the subject of numerous unfair measures, e.g., a 13-year economic embargo that caused the death of 1.5 million innocent Iraqis. [During the sanctions imposed on Iraq, approved in August 1990 after the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait] the UNSC met every two months to approve the extension of the embargo on the pretext of [Iraq’s] non-compliance with the disarmament process. It was later corroborated that the disarmament process in Iraq did take place in 1991, and thus the UNSC virtually fenced Iraq in based on false information spread by the US.

When the US invaded and occupied Iraq in 2003 it froze every possibility of UNSC intervention. The UNSC could have adopted the measures specified under Article seven [of the UN Charter] to prevent the invasion. Once Iraq was occupied, the US pressured for the creation of a legal framework that would make the situation seem right through the approval of [UNSC] Resolution 1483 on 22 May 2003, where the US is characterized as an invading country, but the fact is dealt with as a fait accompli and the aggressor is not made accountable for the impact of the illegal occupation. Resolution 1483 limits itself to asking the invading country to comply with the contents of the 1949 Geneva Conventions.

From ‘occupation forces’ to ‘multilateral force’

On 8 April 2004 the US approved a new resolution at the core of the UNSC (the Resolution 1546) to declare the end of the occupation and the return of sovereignty to the Iraqi people. Fictitious municipal elections were organized and the result was legislative and political structures that pretend to represent Iraqi sovereignty. This resolution also violates international lawfulness: the apparent restoration of sovereignty belies the international humanitarian law currently in force. According to The Hague Convention and the Geneva Conventions, for the occupation to be dissolved specific measures must be implemented, such as the complete withdrawal of invading forces from the occupied territory. Article 42 under the annexes of the Fourth Hague Convention (1907) states that a territory is considered occupied when it is under the effective power of an enemy army, regardless of the pretexts argued by the invading force. Article 2 of the Fourth Geneva Convention stipulates that “[…] this convention is applicable to all situations of total or partial occupation of the country of one of the signatory parties even if it is not contested by armed resistance.”

It should be noted that the occupation forces did not leave Iraq and, in response, the UNSC changed the term “occupation forces” to “multinational force” through Resolution 1546 (2004), thus granting it powers in no way different from those executed by an occupation force. Paragraph 10 of said resolution states that “[…] the multinational force has the power to take all the necessary measures to contribute to maintain security and stability in Iraq.”

On the other hand, the 1949 Geneva Conventions stipulate that the end of an occupation implies the repeal of all provisional measures taken by the occupation forces. This has not happened in Iraq. The orders of [Paul] Bremer [Civil Administrator of the Occupation] are still in force, e.g., Edict no. 1 on de-baathification [1]; no. 17, where the occupation forces are granted immunity —as well as their officers and businesspeople working with them— against any possible legal sanction applied by Iraqi authorities for the perpetration of crimes or violating the law in Iraq; or no. 39, where the Iraqi economy is opened to foreign investment.

Iraqi resources are still under US and international supervision by virtue of the so-called Development Fund for Iraq. It should be noted that Bremer’s decisions imply the blatant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention: paragraph 64 states that “[…] the occupation forces do not have the legislative power to modify the law” and that “[…] the occupation forces must keep in force the existing criminal law immediately prior to the occupation, as well as the courts created for the implementation of said law.” Likewise, The Hague Convention was also infringed: Article 34 postulates “[…] the preservation of the law in force in the occupied country except in force majeure cases.” The end of the occupation shall lead to the liberation of all prisoners and persons detained by the occupying forces, and the restoration of the institutions and laws in force before the occupation. None of that has taken place in Iraq [despite the US foreign affairs spokesman’s claim that Iraq is not an occupied country].

The occupation extends

The continued administration of Iraqi affairs by the occupation forces is, up to now, an irrefutable fact. Nobody can deny it, not even the Prime Minister of the Iraqi Government established by the occupation who everyday complains that the “multinational force” controls the Iraqi armed forces and that he is unable to mobilize them regardless of his position as commander in chief unless he has the approval and sponsorship of the occupation forces. Representatives of the invading countries pay surprise visits to Iraq, that is, without prior announcement to the ‘sovereign’ Iraqi government, like the last visit of Bush to al-Anbar and his meeting with the chief of a group or the visits of Blair and Howard, among others. These facts categorically confirm that, contrary to the claims of the US Foreign Affairs Ministry representative, his masters at the White House, the trifling agents that rule the Green Zone and the heads of blocs and parties supporting the opposition, Iraq is under an occupation regime. Even in the [Iraqi] Parliament, created under the occupation, most of its members admit that Iraq is still an occupied country; that is what drove them to submit, on 10 May, a bill that demands the withdrawal of the occupation forces.

In this context, considering the binding character of international humanitarian law in terms of international law (i.e., they cannot be partially nor completely invalidated), it can be concluded —according to The Hague Convention, the Geneva Convention and the relevant protocols— that, to date, Iraq is an occupied country. UNSC Resolution 1546 (2004) and its implementation have not changed the reality of the occupation; actually, they imply a serious and unprecedented violation of the UNSC resolutions, international law and international humanitarian law.

It is now an undisputable fact that the US occupation of Iraq constitutes a flagrant attack against an independent State and a serious threat to international peace and security, a violation of international law and the objectives of the UN Charter, headed by the principle on the prohibitions on the use of force, threats, the use of threats or any other action contrary to the UN objectives against the integrity of any country’s territory or political independence. The invader continues to commit war crimes and genocide against the Iraqi people through bombing over cities and villages, sieges and [the subsequent] starvation of the population, slaughter, forced migration, collective detention, savage torture and the rape of women, among other crimes. The use of weapons prohibited by international agreements should be added to the list: cluster bombs, napalm and white phosphorus (chemical weapons) and radioactive coating [of conventional weapons] with depleted uranium [2].

According to the UN Charter, the situation in Iraq entails that the UNSC members have specific obligations in dealing with the permanent occupation of a UN founding Member State. The US permanent membership on the UNSC and its right to veto any resolution contrary to its own interests should not constitute an obstacle for the other UNSC members to perform their duties within the framework of the UN Charter —either in or out of the organization— or through the adequate mechanisms to counteract any offensive, put an end to any occupation and preserve regional and international peace and security.

The effective assumption of any legal stance with regard to the US occupation of Iraq and the occupying forces crimes and the implementation of any serious effort towards ensuring that regional and international peace and security return to the situation prior to the occupation demand the consideration of the following issues:

1.  Ratify the natural right of the Iraqi people to self-defense in response to the US illegal occupation according to Article 51 of the UN Charter, and support the fair struggle of the Iraqi people to liberate their land and acknowledge their patriotic courageous resistance as their legitimate representative, for the resistance represents the will of the majority of Iraqis in favor of total liberation, unity and independence.

2.  Demand the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the US from the Iraqi territory and that the US assumes its legal responsibility for the violation of international treaties. The ratification of the legitimate right of the Iraqi people, in accordance with international law, to be compensated for any direct or indirect loss or damage caused by the US illegal occupation of Iraq.

3.  Ratify the implementation of international humanitarian law and, especially, the agreements of the Geneva Conventions that deny legal validity and consider null and void any occupation and any regime established by the occupying forces as they violate the legitimate authority prior to the occupation as stated in paragraph 64 of the Fourth Geneva Convention: “[…] the occupation forces do not have the legislative power to modify the law of the occupied country”. According to the Convention, all measures, laws and political and legal structures, and the political process established under the shadow of the US occupation are absolutely null and void.

4.  Demand that the UNSC assume its responsibility for the war crimes, extermination and crimes against humanity that were and are being committed by the occupying forces and the different Iraqi authorities under the occupation given that war crimes and crimes against humanity (according to the 1968 agreements) do not prescribe [3].

5.  The victory of the Iraqi resistance over the occupying forces is imminent. The occupation, together with its structures and institutions, is crumbling down thanks to the brave men and women of the resistance. The path to the effective protection of national unity and stability in Iraq, as well as the return to security and stability in the area, necessarily demands the US acceptance of the unrenounceable principles of the Iraqi resistance to put an end to the illegal occupation of the country. These principles, stated in the political agenda of the Baath and its national resistance, are represented by the sacred rights of Iraq as recognized and imposed on the occupying forces by the international law, and none of which can be renounced:

a)  The unconditional withdrawal of occupying forces from all Iraqi territory and the demand of accountability, in accordance with the law, for all crimes committed during the occupation;

b)  the payment of all compensations for the damage caused by the illegal occupation of the country taking into consideration that all measures, laws and political and legal structures created under the occupation are absolutely null and void;

c)  the liberation of all prisoners of war and detainees held by the authorities of the occupation;

d)  the return of power to the Iraqi people and their legitimate representative: the courageous Iraqi resistance, and

e)  the implementation in the free State of Iraq of the due process of law with fairness and transparency against those who betrayed the homeland and collaborated with the occupying forces.  


"The occupation, together with its structures and institutions, is crumbling down thanks to the men and women of the resistance"

The democratic reconstruction of Iraq

The occupying forces face a strong, firmly united resistance that keeps growing and will continue to struggle, with God’s help, for as long as it takes and at all costs, until the last occupying soldier, the last foreign agent and the last traitor have been expelled from the Iraqi land.

A plural and constitutional national system will be established based on the freedom of the homeland and the citizen, a system that shall protect freedom, respect human rights, work for the alternation of a power loyal to rights in Iraq.

We are aware of the US control over the UNSC and international organizations, how they are used to subjugate peoples, implement hostile policies, fulfill political, military and economic ambitions towards completion of the great, universal US plan: to control the world resources and the bread and butter of the peoples through the domination of world economy, mainly energy as it is one of the key economic elements.

Likewise, we are aware of the inability of [international] organizations and States to confront the US devouring monster. And we also know that, unfortunately, the big countries have subordinated themselves and knelt before the US omnipotence, they have surrendered to the US ways. However, we have faith and are convinced that peace, security, freedom and independence are possible, as we believe that it is possible to put an end to all forms of control, subjugation, plundering and colonialism —and their disastrous consequences—, to put an end to all sectarian, fanatic and racist projects, to put an end to backwardness and destruction in my country: Iraq.

As the proud people of Iraq have resisted through history and more than once to all sorts of acts of injustice and occupations, today the national Iraqi resistance, heroic, combatant and self-sacrificing, is writing in bright letters a new page in the history that honors its people, its [Arab] nation and humanity as a whole. Nevertheless, in all honesty and respect for history, the Iraqi people also expresses its urgent need to demand that the international community faces up to the responsibilities that it has unfortunately renounced.

This paper might contribute to the awakening of consciences when we seem to be so close to the defeat of injustice, the expulsion of the occupying forces and their agents, and the failure of their maddening project in Iraq. In renouncing its responsibilities, the international community and its institutions —the role of which is to ensure the rightful observation of international law and elevate its authority beyond the fear, control and influence instilled by the US with the support of Zionism (not to mention the complicity between the US and Israel to control the Arab and Muslim peoples, the free peoples of Latin America and other countries, like Iraq)— have caused the serious worsening of the international political climate by allowing the imposition of the law of force instead of the force of law.

The determined and serious stance of the international community and its institutions in favor of the implementation of international law would save this generation —and future generations too— from war and would contribute to the economic and social progress of all peoples.


IraqSolidaridad Footnotes:

1. The Baath political party rejected the partial amendment of the Edict as approved by the Iraqi Parliament in January 2008 at the request of the US (see: 12 January 2008, http://www.roadstoiraq.com).
2. See the balance of four years of occupation prepared by Global Policy Forum and published by IraqSolidaridad: Cuatro años de ocupación en Iraq: Informe de 'Global Policy Forum'.
3. In November 1968, the UN General Assembly approved the Convention on the Non-Prescription of War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity, which came into effect in November 1970.

 


Cuatro años de ocupación en Iraq: Informe de 'Global Policy Forum'

 

 

CEOSI | www.iraqsolidaridad.org | 2008