No more Fallujas, no more Abu Graibs - US MUST PULL OUT NOW!
- 2004.05.12 (00:00:00)
statement of APA
No more Fallujas, no more Abu Graibs - US MUST PULL OUT NOW!
The Asian Peace Alliance, a network of organisations, movements, institutions, coalitions and concerned individuals in Asia committed to peace and justice, is gravely concerned about the widespread conflict and unrest, violence and human rights violations brought about by the occupying forces in Iraq.
We reiterate our condemnation of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, spearheaded by the current Administration of the United States as a blatant act of conquest to pursue its economic and military interests in the Middle East, and ultimately, its envisioned arrangement ?to remain the only economic and political superpower for the 21st century. The atrocities brought about by the aggressions of war need to cease immediately. The acts of violence and human rights violations committed by occupying forces, such as those in Abu Graib, need to be answered by the highest officials of the United States and Britain. Beyond Abu Graib, countless other violations and acts of violence, such as the massacre in Falluja, need to be exposed, investigated and addressed, with their perpetrators being put to justice. In order to pave the way for peace and justice in Iraq, the occupation forces must pull out immediately.
The new phase of occupation and conquest
This project of conquest has now entered a new phase as the US sets out to establish a client regime in Iraq in the name of the 뱓ransfer of sovereignty?by the end of June, a date set for the convenience of the US presidential election. In an attempt to implant a puppet government in Baghdad, the Bush administration has started to militarily crush the growing popular resistance of the Iraqi people, as has culminated in the Falluja massacre. What the US has done to the whole population of 300,000 in Falluja should be thoroughly investigated by an international war crimes commission, the perpetrators brought to justice under international law. As siege continues on the holy city of Najaf and other cities, threatening another carnage, the latest news photo of Iraqi prisoners tortured while held in captivity by US soldiers has not only shocked the whole world, but has added fuel to the burning question, have the Iraqi people been taken from the frying pan to the fire?
We demand that the Bush administration openly admits the failure of its occupation, stop all its military operations against the people of Iraq, abandon the Neo-con strategy, and decide to step down. We demand that our national governments supportive of this war, particularly Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Thailand, following the example of Spain, retract their support for the war, withdraw from the 'coalition forces,' and call back their troops. The so-called project to liberate the Iraqi people ?which is how US President Bush has tried to justify his acts of aggression ?has obviously gone to shambles. The initial justification ?Saddam's weapons of mass destruction ?had long been exposed as a story fabricated to deceive the public.
Whereas current US policy on Iraq is to apply its own 'democracy promotion' programme in the country, the world knows that this will only prove to be detrimental to the people whom the United States had pledged to 'liberate'. This is a programme, that for years, has only demonstrated the creation of powerful 'dynasties' in host countries and the installation of heads of governments loyal to the interests of the United States.
Now the Iraq war has shown its real face ?it is a war against the Iraqi people.
Ways toward peace, sovereignty and people's security
We express our solidarity with the Iraqi people now beginning to unite to free themselves from this illegitimate and illegal occupation. Believing that the right to sovereignty and self-determination is fundamental, we further believe that the only way to Iraqi sovereignty is to call for an assembly composed of broad sectors of the Iraqi people that will discuss and decide the shape of the nation. Only such an assembly would be able to set up a government independent of occupation forces, through free elections in accordance with international law and which would address the plight of all, including women, the marginalised sectors and religious minorities.
In searching for peaceful solutions to the current crisis in Iraq, we also believe that it would be necessary to identify and address the root causes of perceived terrorist activities and understand how radicalism, extremism and fundamentalism have seem to have permeated the minds of an increasing number of people, even perhaps the most apathetic and least politicised of individuals. Continuing US occupation, acts of aggression, and human rights violation committed by occupation soldiers, are not the solution but are part of the problem. In order to win the full trust and support of the Iraqi people, and other people in the world, the United States and its allies must first liberate themselves from the clutches of imperialist and capitalist thought ?two ideologies that have always put the security of people in the backdrop.
We know and recognise that the entry of the United Nations will not change the existing situation that is unacceptable and highly unpopular to the Iraqi people for as long as the UN approves and keeps intact the freedom of US military action in Iraq. Such would merely turn the UN into a US agent that will only be confronted and challenged by Iraqi resistance.
We are critical of the United States and some of its allies in their methods of pushing through their agenda in the United Nations through a variety of ways. The need for a new legitimising umbrella for the US critically heightened as the coalition forces, which had been used as the alternative source of symbolic legitimacy, has rapidly begun to disintegrate with the withdrawal of Spain, threatening a domino effect. This has therefore pushed the US to turn to the UN to salvage the core of its strategic designs.
For the United Nations to effectively help the Iraqi people to acquire a sovereign state of their own choice, its peace-keeping operations should be fully independent of the United States, and its coalition forces and should disallow big powers or alliances such as the NATO that have big material stakes in Iraq to take part in the peace-keeping operation. The original principle of the United Nations Peace-Keeping Operations (UN-PKO) where it states that peace-keeping activities should be undertaken only by disinterested small countries should now be revived.
We urge the UN Security Council not to adopt a resolution that will only legitimise the US prerogative in Iraq. Should the US veto a fair resolution, the case should be referred to the UN General Assembly through Uniting for Peace procedures stipulated in UN Resolution 377. In this context, we are appreciative of the fact that 20 Islamic states affiliated with the Organisation of Islamic States have already expressed the willingness to participate in UN peace-keeping operations for Iraq.
No more Fallujahs, No more Abu Graibs: No more US militarism!
We join other movements in the world who are collectively denouncing the Bush Administration's calculated political maneuverings to pursue its ambitions as the one and only imperialist power in the world. We appeal to all peace-loving peoples and groups to take appropriate non-violent measures and actions in countering the hegemon and its allies.
Peace, security and justice are our common aspirations ?let us work together in order to reverse the process of militarisation that is engulfing our world of today. The war must be stopped! US militarism and imperialism should be challenged and exposed.
The interests of the people will prevail, and to this APA pledges its commitment to help realise Asian people's vision for global peace and social justice, and work with other people from other parts of the world who share a similar aspiration.
Steering Committee ASIAN PEACE ALLIANCE
May 11, 2004