|News and opinions on situation in Iraq|
|08/06/04||Fake Sovereignty By Ghali Hassan|
“We are guaranteeing them [Iraqis] complete sovereignty from June 30". President George W. Bush 2004.
06/08/04 “ICH” Popular sovereignty means people have the capacity to control their own affairs without interference from outside. According to the Webster Dictionary, sovereignty is the “right to exercise supreme power, especially over a body politic”. According to Noam Chomsky, sovereignty of a nation is: “the right of political entities to be free from outside interference”. For the United States, sovereignty is “precious and have to be protected”. However, in today’s world, the U.S. exercises “Supreme power” with brute violence to attack defenceless nations in contravention of International law.
In the past year, the issue of “sovereignty” have been mostly associated with the U.S. “granting sovereignty” to the Iraqi people. This is after an unprovoked violent destruction, and occupation of the nation of Iraq. As anyone who has followed this war knows, Iraqis have been considered “the enemy” by the occupying powers, and thus Iraqis are in danger of being abused, tortured and killed randomly if they show any resistance to occupation.
Iraqis are denied the right to manage their own affairs. Democracy and human rights have been denied to Iraqis, not because Iraqis do not like democracy and human rights, but because the U.S. feared democracy. The U.S. considered sovereignty as the duty of the U.S. to take possession by conquest. The US conquered Iraqi sovereignty by the barrel of the gun. The bombing of Iraq and the killing of thousands of Iraqi civilians are straight-out war crimes. The conquest of Iraqi resources, including oil, and the protection of Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people were the main reasons for the occupation of Iraq. The cowardly self-styled Arab governments have collectively failed in their basic duty to condemn the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and to defend not only Iraqi sovereignty, but also their own sovereignty against foreign domination.
If Iraq is “sovereign” nation, why the U.S. continues to build fourteen big military bases around the country? Who gave the U.S. permission to do so? Why George Bush and his lackey, Tony Blair sending more troops to Iraq? Why the U.S. refuses to give the Iraqis control of their oil revenues? It would be great if Iraq were able to liberate Palestine with this army of more than 200,000 U.S-British soldiers and state of the art weaponry now under its disposal? All sounds very familiar old imperialism.
Since the first day of occupation, the U.S. has consistently opposed holding democratic elections in Iraq for unfounded grounds. The Bush Administration has developed a strong appetite for selection and appointee form of democracy, which Mr. Bush alleged constitutes, “a transition to full Iraqi sovereignty”. Mr. Bush desperately needs the Iraqi people to win him second term the Presidency of the United States. Iraqis have to be proud to decide on the fate of the U.S. presidential election. As it goes, Iraqi “sovereignty” will be restored on June 30th, and Mr. Bush will have his election in November. A second “mission” will be “accomplished”, this time on The White House lawn.
Officials of the Bush Administration, made it clear that Iraqi sovereignty will be a limited transfer of power. The Wall Street Journal (May 13, 2004) reported, “Mr. Bremer and other officials are quietly building institutions that will give the U.S. powerful levers for influencing nearly every important decision in Interim Government will make”. Furthermore, The Journal reported,”[t] he new Iraqi government will have little control over its armed forces, lack the ability to make or change laws and be unable to make major decisions within specific ministries without tacit U.S. approval”. Asked at a House hearing if the U.S. forces would leave Iraq if asked by the interim government, Undersecretary of State Marc Grossman, said that the “Iraqi interim constitution and the U.N. resolution gave them the authority to remain in Iraq”. The new appointees of the IIG are recycled from the current IGC. They have no legitimacy and are very unpopular with the Iraqi people.
Recently, the peoples of the world let to believe that the UN is helping Iraqis elect an acceptable government, they were disappointed. The truth is: The UN, as always, was doing the U.S. dirty tricks. Lakhtar Brahimi, Kofi Anan envoy, was in Iraq to lend the old UN fig leaf to the U.S. The “dictator” in charge was Paul Bremer and his selected Iraqi quislings. The whole charade was that: The selected appointees of the Iraqi Governing Council (IGC) selected appointees to be the new Iraqi “Interim government” (IIG). Brahimi himself said, “Mr. Bremer is the dictator of Iraq. He has the money. He has the signature. Nothing happens without his agreement in this country”. Once again, the UN proved to be the handmaid to Western colonialism. May be what is meant for “us” (in the West) does not mean the same for “them” (the rest of the world). The credibility of the UN has never stood lower in the eyes of the peoples of world.
It was merely a name change, from IGC to IIG. Mr. Negroponte, the American Proconsul (aka “U.S. Ambassador”) will replace Mr. Bremer after June 30th. The new selectees were once worked in Saddam’s regime. They just changed alliance to the U.S. tyranny. The process was so illegitimate that the new “prime minister” quickly asked for the occupying forces to remain Iraq “indefinitely” to protect him and his gang from the Iraqi masses. Indeed, Secretary of State Colin Powell and his State Department “anticipated” such request.
Most Iraqis consider the appointees as irrelevant traitors serving U.S. interests. Recent public opinion polling has showed a dramatic increase in grassroots hostility toward the American occupation. Between October and April, the percentage of Iraqis viewing the United States as an occupier rather than a liberator more than doubled, from 43 % to 88 %, according to the Centre for Research, an Iraqi polling firm that works for several U.S. contractors. The majority of polled Iraqis want the occupiers to leave Iraq immediately and allow the Iraqis to manage their own affairs. Only 1% of those polled Iraqis agreed that the goal of the US was to establish democracy in Iraq. Sadly, the so-called Iraqi “foreign Minister” thanked the occupying forces for the mass slaughter of Iraqi civilians, and for the destruction of the nation of Iraq. Mr. Hoshyar Zebari said: “We thank President Bush and Prime Minister Blair for their dedication and commitment. We really appreciated what you did for us”. I do not know what the people of Fallujah would say to that?
The Iraqi people had no say in this charade, and immediately called on the IIG to disband. Shiites leader, Imam Moqtada al-Sadr rejected the new interim government. “I do not want to have anything to do with this government”, said a statement issued by Imam Sadr and read out by Sheikh Jader al-Khafaji at Friday prayers at a mosque in Kufa, near Najaf. “I don't believe any Iraqi would accept this appointment of a government by the occupier. There is no freedom or democracy without independence,” he said, speaking to several thousand worshippers gathered at the mosque where Sadr normally preaches. “Which country has accepted the U.N. appointing its rulers except for Afghanistan and Iraq? Leave us to decide our fate as a unified people, not under submission to the occupier”. Real power rests with Mr. Negroponte and the U.S. Army commanders.
Finally, the only path to true sovereignty is to end the occupation. Once the occupation is over, sovereignty can be built again. There will be no “civil war” if the Americans were to leave Iraq tomorrow. Iraqis have lived together for a thousand years. The U.S. and her allies are creating instability in Iraq. They should go, and provide reparations for their unjustifiable and illegal war.
Ghali Hassan is in the Science and Mathematics Education Centre, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia. G. Hassan@exchange.curtin.edu.au