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, 5 January 2012

Latest column for East London News

Mission accomplished?

So, in 2011 the last US troops finally left Iraq? Well, not quite. Combat troops may have gone, but private military contractors remain in their thousands. The US will spend nearly $1bn in 2012 on a police training programme. And Baghdad is allowing Washington to keep flying Predator drones on surveillance missions over northern Iraq. It’s no surprise to learn that US officials themselves avoid the term ‘military withdrawal’. They prefer to call it a ‘reposturing’.

Thousands of Americans will remain at the vast embassy in Baghdad. The billion-dollar complex is the largest and most expensive American embassy in the world. It will house 17,000 employees and occupies 104 acres, twice the size of the White House compound in Washington. The projected cost for its first year is $3.8 billion.

In the city of Fallujah where US forces caused so much devastation, hundreds of Iraqis set alight US and Israeli flags in celebration. But some 1.3 million refugees are internally displaced within Iraq and 300,000 Iraqi families are still living in neighbouring states, according to the UN.

The US claims it leaves Iraq a better, freer state than it found it. Yanar Mohammed, President of the Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq, refutes this. “Iraqi cities are now much more destroyed than they were five years ago,” she says. “At the same time, we have turned into a society of 99 percent poor and 1 percent rich, due to the policies that were imposed in Iraq.”

Official figures confirm this. The UN estimates the percentage of the Iraqi urban population living in slums, without access to basic necessities such as sanitation and water, increased from 20 percent in 2003 to 53 percent in 2010.
 Unemployment is around 50 percent, inflation likewise. There has been an exodus of doctors and professionals and a huge growth in child mortality. Over a quarter of children suffer from chronic malnutrition and even more are orphans.
It’s good news for some, however. US investment in Iraq quadrupled last year to over $8 billion. Many of the big contracts are in the oil fields, the second largest in the world. But then, some might argue that was the whole purpose of the invasion in the first place.

No comments: