We call on those states responsible for the invasion and occupation of Iraq to terminate their illegal and immoral war, and express our solidarity with the Iraqi people in their struggle for peace, justice and self-determination.

In particular, we demand:

  1. An immediate end to the US and UK-led occupation of Iraq;
  2. Urgent action to fully address the current humanitarian crises facing Iraq’s people, including help for the more than three million refugees and displaced persons;
  3. An end to all foreign interference in Iraq's affairs, including its oil industry, so that Iraqis can exercise their right to self-determination;
  4. Compensation and reparations from those countries responsible for war and sanctions on Iraq;
  5. Prosecution of all those responsible for war crimes, human rights abuses, and the theft of Iraq's resources.

We demand justice for Iraq.

This statement was adopted by the Justice for Iraq conference in London on 19th July 2008. We plan to publish this more widely in future. If you would like to add your name to the list of supporters please contact us.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Army chief says US ready to be in Iraq 10 years

This, from Associated Press. So much for the hype about withdrawal...

The Pentagon
is prepared to leave fighting forces in Iraq for as long as a decade despite an agreement between the United States and Iraq that would bring all American troops home by 2012, the top U.S. Army officer said Tuesday.

Gen. George Casey, the Army chief of staff, said the world remains dangerous and unpredictable, and the Pentagon must plan for extended U.S. combat and stability operations in two wars. "Global trends are pushing in the wrong direction," Casey said. "They fundamentally will change how the Army works."

He spoke at an invitation-only briefing to a dozen journalists and policy analysts from Washington-based think-tanks. He said his planning envisions combat troops in Iraq and Afghanistan for a decade as part of a sustained U.S. commitment to fighting extremism and terrorism in the Middle East.

Casey's calculations about force levels are related to his attempt to ease the brutal deployment calendar that he said would "bring the Army to its knees."

Casey would not specify how many combat units would be split between Iraq and Afghanistan. He said U.S. ground commander Gen. Ray Odierno is leading a study to determine how far U.S. forces could be cut back in Iraq and still be effective. Casey said his comments about the long war in Iraq were not meant to conflict with administration policies.

President Barack Obama plans to bring U.S. combat forces home from Iraq in 2010, and the United States and Iraq have agreed that all American forces would leave by 2012. Although several senior U.S. officials have suggested Iraq could request an extension, the legal agreement the two countries signed last year would have to be amended for any significant U.S. presence to remain.

As recently as February, Defense Secretary Robert Gates reiterated the U.S. commitment to the agreement worked out with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

"Under the Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqi government, I intend to remove all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2011," Gates said during an address at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. "We will complete this transition to Iraqi responsibility, and we will bring our troops home with the honor that they have earned."

The United States currently has about 139,000 troops in Iraq and 52,000 in Afghanistan.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Journalists still targeted in Iraq

Here are a couple of interesting piecees from the next Iraq Occupation Focus newsletter about the continued targeting of journalists in Iraq, both by US forces and the puppet regime. For the full story, follow the link at the bottom of each excerpt.

U.S. holds journalist without charges in Iraq

LA Times reports (May 24th): Reuters cameraman Ibrahim Jassam has been held since September. The U.S. military rejected a court order to release him, saying he is a 'high security threat.' No evidence has been presented.

No formal accusations have been made against Jassam, and an Iraqi court ordered in November that he be released for lack of evidence. But the U.S. military continues to hold him.

The U.S. has routinely used the arbitrary powers it assumed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorism attacks to hold journalists without charge in Iraq, the Committee to Protect Journalists said.None of the detained journalists has been convicted of any charge.


News website latest target in government’s offensive against independent media

Reporters Without Borders reports (May 20th): Reporters Without Borders condemns the Iraqi government’s continuing legal offensive against independent news media, which for the first time is also targeting Internet media. As a result of a lawsuit brought by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Baghdad court ordered the Iraqi news website Kitabat to pay 1 billion dinars (630,000 euros) in damages on 18 May.Although based in Germany, Kitabat uses reports provided by many correspondents inside Iraq and the ruling threatens its ability to continuing operating."The Iraqi government must stop this campaign against independent media," Reporters Without Borders said. "After bringing many lawsuits against newspapers and TV stations, websites are now being targeted, even those based abroad. This damages award of 630,000 euros is a threat to Kitabat’s survival."


Sunday, 17 May 2009

Iraq's once-envied health care system lost to war, corruption

Here's an interesting piece from the McClatchy agency:

The Teaching Hospital's emergency room is cleaner than most in Baghdad. In fact, it's widely considered the best in the Iraqi capital. Still, flies buzz overhead, and on busy days there aren't enough beds or oxygen tanks. Across the room, a crude sign made with binder paper and tape marks the department's two-bed cardiac unit, which lacks a reliable defibrillator.
Stories of missing drugs, of desperately ill-equipped doctors and of patients left to suffer the consequences are everywhere in Iraq's public health care system. Some hospitals are filthy and infested with bugs. Others are practically falling down. More and more, the blame is being placed on Iraq's U.S.-backed government, which by many accounts is infested with corruption and incompetence.
Health ministry workers routinely siphon drugs from hospital orders to make extra cash on the black market. Bribery is rampant. Millions of dollars meant for clinics and equipment have gone missing. Millions more have been wasted on government contracts to buy expired medicines.

For the full story, see http://www.mcclatchydc.com/227/story/68193.html

Friday, 15 May 2009

Corporations eye up Iraq opportunities

Here's some interesting material from Greg Muttitt, formerly with Platform, on the corporate takeover of Iraq's oil. One of the central demands of Justice for Iraq is the restoration to the people of Iraq of full sovereignty over its economic resources.

“UK businessmen are champing at the bit to get into Iraq,” declared Michael Thomas, head of the Middle East Association trade promotion group, in March. “We just need someone to talk to.” On April 30, Thomas’ request was granted when the UK-sponsored ‘Invest Iraq’ conference took place in London. It occurred on the same day that British troops began their withdrawal from Iraq, handing their Basra base over to U.S forces. Speaking to representatives of over 100 major companies UK Secretary of State for Business Peter Mandelson noted that the British government had already arranged 19 investment visits to Iraq, generating US $10 billion of proposals. Lord Mandelson led the most recent of those visits – a delegation of 23 companies to Baghdad and Basra on April 6. The Invest Iraq conference aimed not only to bang the drum for investment in Iraq, but also to arrange one-to-one meetings for companies with Iraqi decision-makers. The delegation included five members of the cabinet, led by Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh. “Iraq is the largest greenfield investment opportunity on earth,” said Sami al-Araji, chair of Iraq’s National Investment Commission. “I could be exaggerating, but I’m not.” He did not need to convince anyone. The fact that the event was attended by several hundred businesspeople – with hundreds more having been turned away – spoke for itself.

For the full article: http://www.niqash.org/content.php?contentTypeID=28&id=2443&lang=0
From Iraq Occupation Focus Newsletter No. 121

More violence in Iraq

Dahr Jamail reports for Truth Out (April 27th): Last week brought the worst violence Iraq has seen in over a year, with at least 96 Iraqis killed and 157 wounded in two massive suicide bombings. Over 35 bombings have rocked Baghdad this month alone.
Violence most likely related to the growing battle between government forces and the Sahwa, who are stepping up attacks against government and US forces, continues.
A US military raid of a home in Kut brought the deaths of a man and his sister-in-law, who just happened to be the wife of a local clan leader; additionally, four Iraqis, one of them, a police officer, were arrested. Protests erupted as angry Iraqis denounced the raid. During a funeral procession in Kut where the cloth-draped coffins of the dead were carried, protesters called the Americans "criminal occupiers" and demanded the release of the seized men.

Torture and Impunity in Iraqi Prisons

Antiwar.com reports (May 5th): A new UN human rights report [.pdf] examining Iraq shows that torture of prisoners by Iraqi authorities is widespread and accountability is nonexistent. “The lack of accountability of the perpetrators of such human rights abuses reinforces the culture of impunity,” the UN bluntly states. The 30-page report by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq examined conditions in Iraq from July to December 2008.

As of December 2008, there were 41,271 people being held in prisons throughout Iraq, 15,058 of them in the custody of the U.S.-controlled “Multi-National Forces.” The UN found that “many” of the prisoners “have been deprived of their liberty for months or even years in overcrowded cells” and expressed concerns “about violations of the minimum rules of due process as many did not have access to defense counsel, or were not formally charged with a crime or appeared before a judge.”
While the report primarily focused on Iraqi run prisons, it notes that in U.S.-run prisons “detainees have remained in custody for prolonged periods without judicial review of their cases.”
This IOF Newsletter is produced as a free service for all those opposed to the occupation. In order to strengthen our campaign, please make sure you sign up to receive the free newsletter automatically – go to: http://lists.riseup.net/www/info/iraqfocus.