Recalcitrance and Exasperation
by Kim Petersen
October 9, 2003
The Bush administration in its colossal hubris is again selectively ignoring the world community as expressed, surprisingly enough, by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. It leads one to ask why is it that the US and UK, backed militarily somewhat by Australia, embarked upon Operation Iraqi Freedom and yet they stymie the early implementation of democracy?
US Secretary of state Colin Powell had made it clear enough, however, that liberation would lead to a democracy amenable to US interests. Speaking to Iraqi democracy Mr. Powell remarked: “I think we have, ah, some, ah, some equity, some standing at the head of the class so to speak, to make sure this goes in the right direction so that our investment pays off, pays off not with a military victory, but pays off with a political victory, and a political victory is a new Iraqi government that is firmly based on democratic principles.”
So now the Iraqi resistance fights a war of liberation from US-UK occupation.
But the US is facing stiff opposition in the UN Security Council over its proposed resolution; so much so that the NY Times reports that the US, in “exasperation” with the UN Security Council, is prepared to forego its attempts to get another resolution pushed through. The obvious implication is that the US is utilizing the UN in a rubber-stamp capacity.
A look at
the full text of the cynical US draft resolution
quickly reveals why it is floundering.
The opening gambit reaffirms previous resolutions and “affirm[s] that the terrorist bombings of the Embassy of Jordan on 7 August 2003, of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad on 19 August 2003, and of the Imam Ali Mosque in Najaf on 29 August 2003, are attacks on the people of Iraq, the United Nations, and the international community.” The Security Council members probably have little problem with this (except maybe Syria) but it is rather selective. There is no affirmation that the US-UK invasion was an act of terrorism on the Iraqi people in defiance of the UN and international community. Terrorism is what is done by them and it doesn’t apply to the US or client states.
The draft resolution underscores “that the sovereignty of Iraq resides in the state of Iraq.” What constitutes the state of Iraq now? There is a US–appointed Governing Consul whose minions govern at the discretion of an American proconsul. What kind of sovereignty is this supposed to reflect?
Reaffirmation of “the right of the Iraqi people freely to determine their own political future and control their own natural resources” is called for. This surely was greeted by stifled guffaws; and certainly skepticism runs high.
The draft reiterates “its resolve that the day when Iraqis govern themselves must come quickly.” How quickly? The US rejects the French calls for a definitive timetable and Mr. Annan’s call for a quicker transition is ignored.
There is an urgent recognition of “the importance of international support.” This is especially understandable when the US is left paying the hefty economic costs of occupation and suffering the political costs of casualties sustained by its occupation forces.
Iraq’s neighbours are seen as crucial in expediting democracy but how exactly are Iraqis to consider the Kuwaitis, Saudis, Turks, Jordanians and Iranians in expediting democracy in Iraq? The only two states that have a minimal claim to democracy are Iran and Turkey and they are not Arabs. Plus they each have their own vested “national interests” in Iraq.
The US asks for recognition “that international support for restoration of conditions of stability and security is essential to the well-being of the people of Iraq as well as to the ability of all concerned to carry out their work on behalf of the people of Iraq, and welcoming Member State contributions in this regard.” Just who destabilized Iraq? The US and UK certainly share culpability and despite this they have the effrontery to extend their caps-in-hand to those nations who warned them not to invade.
The draft “[e]xpresses deep sympathy and condolences for the personal losses suffered by the Iraqi people and by the United Nations and the families of those United Nations personnel and other innocent victims who were killed or injured in these tragic [terrorist] attacks.” What about the victims of the so-called coalition’s Shock and Awe, the land campaign, and occupation? US military command is on record as stating Iraqi casualties figures are beneath the mandate of the coalition forces.
The draft “[u]nequivocally condemns the terrorist bombings of the Embassy of Jordan on 7 August 2003, of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad on 19 August 2003, and of the Imam Ali Mosque in Najaf on 29 August 2003, and emphasises that those responsible must be brought to justice.” Facing justice apparently only applies to Them and not the above-the-law Americans who are exempt from the purview of the International Criminal Court, whose corporations in Iraq have also been granted legal immunity, and who have applied diplomatic blackmail to force Belgium’s craven government to back down from implementing its own law on indicted American war criminals should they travel to Belgium.
There is a call “to prevent the transit of terrorists to Iraq.” This was not an issue before the war. What might have brought about this haven for terrorists?
The draft “[r]esolves that the United Nations, acting through the Secretary General, his Special Representative, and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq, should strengthen its vital role in Iraq, including by providing humanitarian relief, promoting the economic reconstruction of and conditions for sustainable development in Iraq, and advancing efforts to restore and establish national and local institutions for representative government.” In other words it calls for a complete surrender of whatever remaining threads of legitimacy that the UN still retains.
The UN is called upon to support the puppet Governing Council. This is asking the UN to support an American autocracy, as Proconsul Paul Bremer is the ultimate arbiter in Iraq.
The need for an undefined timetable is mentioned for developing a constitution and holding democratic elections. This timetable ostensibly is at the discretion of the Occupiers.
The draft seeks authorization “of a multinational force under unified command [which means under US command] to take all necessary measures [meaning as determined by the US] to contribute to the maintenance of security and stability in Iraq.” The UN remains shut out.
It seems, however, that Turkey will now commit troops to the occupation. Turkey’s parliamentarians are eager to get back in the good graces of the US again; it is sure hard to pass up on billions of dollars, even with strings attached, twice-in-a-row. That this is contrary to the will of the Turkish populace gives lie to the US sop of sowing democracy in the region.
For all this the international community is being asked to pay while US corporations reap the windfall. Phase one of the Persian Gulf Slaughter saw Japan, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait pay the lion’s share of the US invasion -- reducing US forces definitionally to mercenary status -- while US firms cashed in on reconstruction. Shame awaits the international community if they can be fooled twice.
Who is willing to pay, who is responsible to pay? This malodorous draft resolution asks the UN to pay for the US-UK mess while US corporations reap the profits. This is a subversion of international law under which the occupier is responsible for the costs of occupation.
One can only imagine that if this draft resolution is successfully carried in unamended form by the UN Security Council that Israel will be running to the Security Council to approve funding for its evil occupation of Palestine. This is one resolution that the US would be sure not to veto; in fact it may relieve it of the burden
of being the sole supporter of Israel’s atrocities.
Kim Petersen lives in Nova Scotia and is a regular contributor to Dissident Voice newsletter. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org