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imperialism & war

Dressing up the puppet government in Iraq

Nader Calls for "dual military and corporate exit strategy from Iraq"
June 10, 2004

The Bush Administration is feeling the pressure of the failure of its Iraq occupation so much so that they have flip-flopped and have sought an international costume for its continued occupation of Iraq.

But the Nader Campaign continues to urge the United States to set a definite date for withdrawal, not only of Mr. Bremer and his civilian authority - but also of the U.S. military, its corporate private mercenaries and its outsourcing corporations like Halliburton. "The spiral of violence will not reverse until a dual military and corporate exit strategy is announced," said Independent Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader. Nader has urged a six months exit with internationally supervised elections, continued humanitarian aid, neutral, Islamic and Arab countries providing security.

The U.N. resolution put forward by the United States and its loyal ally, Great Britain, is seriously flawed. The Resolution while mentioning "sovereignty" 12 times, and referring to the "territorial integrity of Iraq," and even the "end of the occupation" is in truth designed to legitimize the continued occupation of Iraq, allow the U.S. to continue its plans to build over a dozen military bases throughout the country and for U.S. corporations to put deep roots into Iraqi resources and the Iraqi economy. Double talk.

One clause of the U.N. Resolution in particular demonstrates the obvious position of the Bush Administration - that the U.S. continues to be able to use its military force as it sees fit. The resolution says the U.S. controlled military - 160,000 troops - has the "authority to take all necessary measures to contribute to the maintenance of security and stability in Iraq." The power of the US military is unabridged and the occupation of Iraq by the U.S.-commanded force has no end in sight. Indeed, the U.S. rejected proposals by France, Germany and others that Iraq have the final say in controlling the military presence in its country. This condition does not assure many mainstream Iraqis to distance themselves from the resistance.

The only limit placed on US military occupation is a review by the Security Council after one year or if requested by the "transitional Government" of Iraq. Of course, the United States can veto any Security Council resolution so this is not a meaningful limit.

The Resolution does not specify what powers the Interim Government will be allowed. Earlier the U.S. administration stated that the Interim Government would not have the authority to overrule existing laws promulgated and enforced by Paul Bremer. The U.S.-U.K. Resolution does not spell out such a limitation, but neither does it specify what actual powers would be held by the Interim Government.

Another controversial area where the Resolution is silent is on the issue of U.S. military prisons. Eight thousand Iraqis are currently jailed in those prisons. What did the U.S. say it would do with those prisoners? Secretary of State Colin Powell in a side letter attached to the Resolution said internment would continue but only "where this is necessary for imperative reasons of security." A majority of Iraqi's imprisoned were not accused of any wrongdoing, according to US military officials, which is why hundreds have been released in the last fortnight.

And how about the new government? The leader - who some might call the lead servant - is Prime Minister Iyad Allawi - a longtime ally of and connector for U.S. government agencies. He has already said Iraq will need U.S. troops to fight guerrillas even after a U.S.-led occupation formally ends on June 30. During the heady years of European imperialism, this Iraqi situation would be called a protectorate or a colony.

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