UN resolution on Iraq as excuse for continuation of occupation

Dear Editor,

The recently accepted UN Security Council Resolution about Iraq is contradicting International Law.

The British-American occupation period of the last year was  characterized by two main  political factors, which laid the fundaments for the present political situation in Iraq.

On the one hand, this period was marked by  a remarkable laxity concerning the fullfillment of the international obligations of an occupying power in regard to the safety of the Iraqi civilian population, as well in the lack of taking adequate measures against Iraqi plunderers of government buildings and especially hospitals. The occupation authoritieshave been very slow in restoring the buildings damaged by bombings as well.

On the other hand, in their suppressing the Iraqi resistance against the occupation, the British-American authorities have applied extraordinary and draconical measures, which led to war-crimes like  arbitrarily shooting Iraqis who were on demonstrations, applying collective punishments and humiliating and torturing prisoners with the Abu Ghraib torture-practices as most notorious example.

But yet apart from the committed human rights violations it became soon obvious regarding several statements of leading American politicians and military officials, that there would not only  be elections within short time, but, moreover, there would  be no withdrawal of the American troops after the transmission of power on 30-6, 2004.

Seeing in the light of this American political-military attitude, connected with the above named human rights violations it needs no further explanation that the Iraqi resistance  against the British-American military presence which in the beginning consisted of isolated religio-political organisations, grew more and more popular among the Iraqi people, which in some cases even resulted in a temporarily cooperation between the rivalling Shiite and Sunni resistance groups.

The most important role in the resistance was  played by the Shiite militiaґs clerical leader Moqtada al Sadr, who had refused to acknowlegde the temporarily Iraqi government and
demanded the direct departure of the British-American occupation-troops and the supporting foreign troops.

Despite the obvious growth of the Iraqi resistance which was supported by large parts of the Iraqi population, the US government decided to have considerable expansion of the US  military presence in Iraq, which did not only further enlarged the Iraqi resistance, but also threw more light on the real American political-military intentions after the transmission of
power on 30-6.

This American political-military intentions were also further revealed by the clear lack of American political will to organize general elections in Iraq, with led to a growing disagreement with the UN, which continued their calls to the US government to organize elections in Iraq.

The recent UN Security Council resolution on Iraq accepting the proposals of Britain and the  USA, is violation of the basics of the international law.

According the newly stated conditions, the British-American occupation of Iraq officially ends after the transmission of power on 30-6, 2004, sovereign power will be officially handed over to the new Iraqi government which will stay in power until the elections in January 2005 are announced.

British-American troops will stay in Iraq at least until after
the announced elections and, moreover, the new Iraqi government has no veto over the military actions of the British-American troops and the supporting foreign troops.

However, the fact that this new Iraqi government is appointed by the American occupation authorities [with a minimal UN voice in this] which is a a flagrant violation of the universal principle of sovereignity and the right of self-determination
of the Iraqi people.

The  conradiction in this resolution is between finishing the
occupation, on the one hand, and continuation of the miliitary presence of the occupation troops, on the other hand, was demonstrated in the US refusal to handle over the ex-President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein to the new Iraqi government for prosecution, which is international judicial obligation when occupying status is finished.

However, when the occupation is being continued [which is really the message of the present resolution] the Americans being the occupation power holding the formal right to judge Saddam Hussein.

Astrid Essed
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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Author`s name Evgeniya Petrova