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.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Latest column for east London News

Iraqis still paying for the invasion with their health

US President Obama announced recently that the last American troops in Iraq will be out before the end of 2011. Yet several thousand private military contractors will remain and Iraq will be a regional hub for the US for years to come.

The overall costs of the war have been calculated by the Nobel prize-winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz, at a staggering $3 trillion. But the human cost of  the war is far more difficult to calculate.

On every level, the Occupation of Iraq was a catastrophe for the Iraqi people. A million dead. A million left disabled. Around 16% of the Iraqi population uprooted. Unemployment at 50%. Access to safe water and electricity far below what it was ten years ago.

In 2004, US forces flattened the city of Falluja. Around 5,000 civilians were killed. There were reports of US soldiers shooting civilians who were waving white flags while they tried to escape the city, women and children included. Witnesses saw American tanks rolling over the bodies of the wounded lying in the streets.

The aerial bombardment was ferocious. It was only later that the US admitted using white phosphorous as a battlefield weapon in the assault.

Last year, the BBC reported that doctors in Falluja were reporting high levels of birth defects. Some were blaming weapons used by the US. The level of heart defects among newborn babies was reported to be 13 times higher than in Europe. City officials warned women that they should not have children.

Now a new study by the research group Conflict and Health has unearthed fresh evidence about the high levels of cancers and birth defects. These symptoms are linked to the use of uranium in battlefield weapons used by US forces.

Falluja is not the only city to produce such findings. Research published in the American Journal of Public Health documents a tripling of leukaemia in children in the Basra region. War-related nerve agents and the widespread use of depleted uranium munitions by the US, are believed to be largely responsible.

The US may have formally withdrawn from Iraq. But Iraqis will be living with the consequences of the invasion for generations to come.

To subscribe to Iraq occupation Focus’s free fortnightly electronic newsletter, go to https://lists.riseup.net/www/info/iraqfocus.

No comments: