by Ghali Hassan
After two months of wrangling and haggling over the forming of the new Iraqi “government”, the US got what it wants, a US government. The Iraqi people are saying: ‘How could we have elected those people’? And those are the people the US will continue to protect. At gunpoint, the Iraqi people have been denied the right to govern their country and live in peace.
Iraqis were disappointed by the results of the infighting between the expatriates in their bunker. The rigged elections and the US-crafted and unconstitutional Transitional Administrative Law (TAL) gave the Kurds veto power, not only over the new constitution, but also to derail any democratic negotiation, including the end to the US Occupation of Iraq. The TAL requires the national assembly to have two thirds of its votes to confirm a government, a requirement found in no other democratic system in the world. The vote for secret candidate lists have to be altered so that US allies, the Kurds, will have the final say in any decision-making. On 13 February 2005 and few hours before the final results were officially announced, Reuters reported that “the United Iraqi Alliance [UIA] said today it had been told by Iraq’s Electoral Commission that it had won around 60 per cent of the vote in the country’s election”. Scott Ritter later confirmed this, the former UNSCOM weapons inspector in Iraq, announced in Washington State on 19 February that the UIA actually won 56 per cent of the vote, and that “an official involved in the manipulation was the source”. The manipulated 48 per cent vote won by the ‘Shiites slate’ deprives the UIA of an outright majority. And so, Mr. Rumsfeld ‘messy democracy’ needs tidying up a bit when the US doesn’t like the results. US actions in Iraq instigated violence, dividing Iraqis and preparing the nation for civil war. After all, the US and its allies have the most to gain from division and sectarian violence.
The selection of Jalal Talabani as Iraq’s president is ‘democracy’ gone too far. A Kurdish president of a country with more than 85 percent of the population is Arab. Out of 275 seats, the Kurds “gained” 75 seats at the expense of Iraqis who rejected the Occupation and boycotted the illegitimate elections. Jalal Talabani is a Kurdish warlord and a well-known opportunist, and leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). His ties span wide enough that his own people call the “Everybody’s Agent”. He is also known among the Kurds as “the man with many orifices”. From his friendship with Saddam Hussein, to his support for Tehran in the Iraq-Iran war, to his contacts with the C.I.A. and Israel may be he travelled too far. Talabani’s love affairs with Saddam were so deep that a full book is required to explain.
Talabani’s two vice presidents are: Ghazi Al-Yawar, the former US-appointed president of the Iraqi Interim Government (IIG). Al-Yawar is an expatriate and influential Sunni sheikh of the Shammar tribe. Mr. Al-Yawar position is only symbolic and design to deceive Iraqis to support this farce parliament. The fact that he refused to be the Speaker was proof of his displeasure with the selection process and the election. The second vice president is Adel Abdul-Mahdi of the UIA list, the list that includes Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani and Ahmed Chelabi.
Adel Abdul-Mahdi is a long-time expatriate of the Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution (SCIRI) in Iraq and the interim finance minister and a member of the US-appointed IIG. He is the perfect replacement for Paul Bremer, the former US Proconsul in Iraq. Abdul-Mehdi is now responsible for putting to work Paul Bremers’s illegal 100 Orders to sale Iraq and the Iraqi economy to US corporations. A former Maoist turned pro-US ‘free-marketer’ who promised Washington to privatize the Iraqi oil industry in favour of US oil giant corporations. In his last two visits to Washington, he told the Americans before the elections that if he is to be put in a top position, he will give US oil corporation Iraq’s oil and public industry.
The head (prime minister) of the new “government” has been finally appointed. He is the Da’wa Party senior leader, Ibrahim Jaafari of the UIA, a long-time expatriate and member of IGC. Jaafari is a religious figure and closed to many Iranian clerics, including Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani. Like all the other expatriates and IGC members, he is not known in Iraq. He spent most of his time in Iran and Britain. Like the all other expatriates, his animosity towards Saddam was personal and self-interest.
Once they are settled-down in their new position, the expatriates or the quislings will begin working on drafting a permanent constitution, by August 15, before new elections. Their textbook will be Bremer’s “transitional constitution” and his 100 Orders to privatise Iraq. A legitimate and independent Iraqi government has the right to use its power to annual Bremer’s monstrous and illegal “transitional constitution” and Orders. Sadly, the 30 January elections produced a US puppet government from inside the fortified US “Green Zone”, and its survival depends on its symbiotic relationship with the Occupation forces.
What Iraq will look like if the new “government” succumb to US dictates and Orders? “A small sampling of the most important orders demonstrates the economic imprint left by the Bush administration: Order No. 39 allows for: (1) privatization of Iraq’s 200 state-owned enterprises; (2) 100% foreign ownership of Iraqi businesses; (3) ‘national treatment’ – which means no preferences for local over foreign businesses; (4) unrestricted, tax-free remittance of all profits and other funds; and (5) 40-year ownership licenses”, wrote Antonia Juhasz, a project director at the International Forum on Globalization in San Francisco (LATimes, August 05, 2004).
Antonia Juhasz added; “Orders No. 57 and No. 77 ensure the implementation of the orders by placing U.S.-appointed auditors and inspector generals in every government ministry, with five-year terms and with sweeping authority over contracts, programs, employees and regulations”. “Order No. 17 grants foreign contractors, including private security firms, full immunity from Iraq’s laws. Even if they, say, kill someone or cause an environmental disaster, the injured party cannot turn to the Iraqi legal system. Rather, the charges must be brought to U.S. courts”. She continued; “Clearly, the Bremer orders fundamentally altered Iraq’s existing laws. For this reason, they are also illegal. Transformation of an occupied country’s laws violates the Hague regulations of 1907 (ratified by the United States) and the U.S. Army’s Law of Land Warfare”. The US administration expects the new Iraqi “government” to legitimise and enforce the Orders on behalf of US corporations. The “new” Iraq will look like a K-Mart with oil pumping stations.
The elections were a US trap. The Iraqi people have been deceived to vote for a US government. Instead of ending the Occupation peacefully by the ballot box, Iraqis were actually voted for the continuation of the Occupation and US domination. Western Liberal elites and the “anti-war” organisers, who endorsed and hailed the elections as “praiseworthy” should be ashamed for not only, betraying their own moral consciousness, but also the Iraqi people.
The new Iraqi parliament is a farce. The Bush administration is using this farce as a model of colonial dictatorship, in which few (Iraqi) expatriates or natives are allowed to manage their own affairs, while the Occupation and US control of Iraq’s oil resources will continue. In this way, the US will create legitimacy to its ongoing occupation of the Iraqi people. It is important to remember that just after the elections, the US refused to provide timetable for troops withdrawal, and the US Occupation of Iraq was no longer the focus in Western and US media.
In the US, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced last week in Washington that Zalmay Khalilzad has been nominated the new US ambassador to Iraq. Khalilzad, an Afghan-born American, has been the US ambassador to Kabul since 2003. His legacy in Afghanistan is: He left Afghanistan ruled by criminal warlords, a permanent US military base and one of the largest opium producing US colony in the world. Khalilzad is the ‘neocons’ emissary. His mentors are Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Richard Perle. Like them, he advocated the invasion of Iraq in the mid 1990s and is one of the leading proponents of US new imperialist agenda. Khalilzad is known in the US as the best packaged Colonial Ambassador, in that he is an assimilated American with the Oriental look. His main task in Iraq is to streamline Iraq to suit Washington and Israel imperialist agenda, and to facilitate US control over Iraq’s, and the region vital oil resources.
Meanwhile, two years have passed since the US-Britain armies invaded Iraq; more Iraqis today are imprisoned than at any point in the history of Iraq. Innocent men, women and children are illegally held at notorious prisons of abuse, torture and murder. Many of Iraqi prisoners are held secretly in different locations and beyond the reach of any human rights monitors. Occupation forces killed Iraqis routinely, with complete impunity, at checkpoints, in their homes, and in detention facilities. A report in the credible British journal, The Lancet, on November 2004, shows that from March 2003 to October 2004, US armed forces and its mercenaries have killed more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians; over half of them were women and children. The estimate is very conservative in that it excluded the high civilians death in Fallujah, and the complete destruction of a once vibrant city of 300,000 people. Other major Iraqi cities and towns are experiencing similar destruction and atrocities, with the full cooperation of Western mainstream media.
Malnutrition among Iraqi children under the age of 5 years have doubled to nearly 8 percent since the US invasion of Iraq as a result of lack of drinking water, food, and adequate sanitation. A report prepared for the UN Human Rights Commission reveals that more than a quarter (3-4 millions) of Iraqi children do not get enough food to eat. Food, drinking water and the supply of electricity have continued to decrease to levels below to that during the genocidal sanctions. Unemployment among Iraqis is more than 70 percent and the population purchasing power at a dangerous level. Iraq’s economy has worsened, poverty has increased and living standards in Iraq declined markedly. Iraqis continue to be humiliated and abused in violent house-to-house searches being conducted by US forces, accompanied by the criminal Kurdish Peshmerga militias. All these atrocities and destruction are committed with the full knowledge and blessing of the new US-approved Iraqi “government”.
Will the Iraqi people allow this form of colonial dictatorship to continue? I do not believe so. Demonstrations against the Occupation and the new “government” have already taken place in many parts of Iraq. Hundreds of thousands of people marched in Baghdad on Saturday denouncing the US Occupation and terrorism in Iraq, and demanding the release of Iraqi prisoners and detainees Link here.
The war against Iraq was a murderous crime and those who are responsible for it, and for the destruction of Iraqi society, should face war crimes trials. The US-British Occupation is illegal and has failed to deliver Iraqis’ most basic necessities and security, let alone ‘freedom’ or ‘democracy’.
The Iraqi people Resistance will continue until the US end its murderous Occupation of Iraq. Resistance against the Occupation is the unquestionable right of the Iraqi people to self-determination. The Iraqi people had enough of tyranny and dictatorship. Colonial dictatorship has been tried in Iraq before and has ended in bloodbath. The Iraqi people have rejected the presence of the US, and the violence brought with it. The US has no reason to be in Iraq. All the reasons for this act of aggression and the Occupation of Iraq have been exposed as lies.
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29 April 2005
© Copyright G HASSAN GLOBAL RESEARCH 2005.