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Iraq's Right to Resistance and Self-Determination

All the activists should realize what is clearly their role in our society whether they realize it or not the effect is herein revealed. So if you are going to act make it count.
Iraq's Right to Resistance and Self-Determination

By Ghali Hassan

02/25/05 "Information Clearing House" - - The invasion and Occupation of Iraq is an orchestrated imperial conquest that has nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction, the 9/11 attacks or the "liberation" of Iraq. These were just pretexts, and have been proved (several times) to be just fabricated lies. The War against Iraq begun in 1990 and continues today. The 2003 invasion of Iraq was merely the beginning of the physical occupation of a defenceless nation. The purposes are clear: The control and exploitation of Iraq natural resources, including oil, and support Israel's Zionist policy in the Middle East.

For the last two years the US and its allies in Iraq have followed a policy to terrorise the Iraqi people and deny them their right to self-determination. Indiscriminate and rampant attacks on Iraqi families and individuals by British and US forces are continuing. Iraqi men, women and children are arrested and imprisoned daily. They are subjugated to intimidation, torture, and rape and in many cases Iraqis are murdered or simply disappeared at the hands of US forces and their mercenaries. Hundreds of thousands Iraqis are still imprisoned and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are displaced. Thousands of Iraqi professors, intellectuals and scholars have been murdered.

In addition, Occupation forces continue the deliberate destruction of the Iraqi society and Iraq's infrastructure, as well as the plunder of Iraq's resources. It is now abundantly clear that the US (and British) forces came to Iraq to stay. They will not leave Iraq voluntarily. They have to be forced to leave.

US forces did not leave Vietnam voluntarily; they were forced to leave by popular national Resistance movement. Similarly, Israel's army did not leave Lebanon voluntarily; Israel was forced to leave Lebanon by a national Resistance movement.

The only way to end the US Occupation of Iraq is popular resistance against it. The Iraqi Resistance knows that it is on its own, and that it has to depend on its own resources. The Resistance should make no illusions about the leaders of the "anti-war" movement, and the Left/Liberal elites "opposition" to the War and Occupation. Their "activism" is an empty slogan; it is merely a way "to salve people's consciences without having to think or do anything". They are imperialism's tools of propaganda. Without their "feel-good" life-style activism, Western "democracy" is a form of naked tyranny. They provide sugar-coated delusion and tranquilliser for the disfranchised masses.

The New York Times, the mother of all intellectual deceptions, described the "anti-war" movement inaccurately as the 'second super power', which was melted like ice cream in the sun, once the terror of America's "Shock and Awe" begun. It's variant, the so-called "human shield" "anti-war" activists collaborated closely with the US-Britain forces by passing to them vital and secret information during US-Britain attacks on Baghdad. They were nowhere to be seen or found as soon as the war begun. It was evidence that people were demonstrating, but they lack principled opposition to war, and to the imperialist policy of their own nations.

Once the Occupation in place, the majority of the "anti-war" movement and the Left/Liberal elites have jumped on the "No to Bush" bandwagon, threw in their support for John Kerry. And when they proved to be unsuccessful because their opposition was meaningless and fake, they moved on to endorse the US-crafted illegitimate Iraqi elections. Their new hero is Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, who allegedly "forced the US to the elections". This is utterly untrue. The reality is that Al-Sistani backed down from his position to early elections and the handover plan, and accepted US proposition for late elections (to coincide with Bush inauguration) on US terms and agenda. Further, there is evidence that Al-Sistani supported the US attack on and the destruction of the vibrant city of Fallujah. His illness and travel to London (accompanied by Ahmed Chelabi) were timed to coincide with the slaughter of thousands of Iraqis. It is the policy of imperialism to manipulate the masses by manipulating their religious leaders.

Furthermore, the destruction of Fallujah was evidence of the "anti-war" movement's weak strategy and opposition against an illegal war of aggression. The movement approaches to stop the war and end the Occupation are delusional. It is difficult to dispute this, which appears to be critical today. The new approach taken by the leaders of the "anti-war" movement and the Left/Liberal elites is to have a "good" Occupation to prevent "civil war". This kind of approach adopted and promoted in the mainstream media because it is flawed to the core, and designed to serve US interests and legitimise a long and violent Occupation.

The other promoters of "good" Occupation are the Christian missionaries and NGOs, the oldest and most effective tools of imperialism. They are fanning throughout not only Iraq, but also the Developing World whenever there is war or crisis, taking over the responsibilities of once government. Almost all missionaries and NGOs are Western. They are the pacifiers of people's resistance. They form the "buffer" between the people and foreign occupations. The Indian novelist Arundhati Roy described NGOs accurately as " the arbitrators, the interpreters, [and] facilitators". NGOs, she writes, "have funds to employ local people who could be activists in resistance movements, but instead feel they are doing some immediate, creative good while earning a living".

The Japanese aid worker, Takato Nahoko, who was taken hostage in Fallujah, said in an interview recently, 'Creating jobs, especially for young men, and schools to keep children occupied will help keep them away from militia recruitment and the violent anti-American movement' [Cited in Matsumoto Chie, ZNet, October 06, 2004]. The philosophy behind the West "humanitarian" aid business is dependency and passivity, not "humanitarian". Nevertheless, it is important to distinguish the 'bad' from the 'good' and remember that some of the private NGOs are doing useful work with the local communities in times of war and occupation.

Despite the unpopularity of the US Occupation, and the violence and the havoc wrought upon the Iraqi society, opposition to it in the West, particularly in the US remains mute and passive. The continuing US atrocities in Iraq are greeted with yawns in the West. As Bertrand Russell once wrote, "It is the nature of imperialism that citizens of the imperial power are always among the last to know and care about circumstances in the colonies".

Since the Occupation and deliberate destruction of the Iraqi society began, the West "anti-war" movement remains silent pretending it is not supporting "violent" Resistance led by "fundamentalists". Unfortunately, it is the occupation forces and the Bush right-wing administration that are spreading this line. The violence is brought by the Occupation, not by the people fighting to end it. Everywhere, violent resistance arises from a violent foreign military occupation. Those who obliged to kill to defend their country and people are called "terrorists"; those who kill en masse to enforce their tyranny of domination are the noble (wo)men of Western "civilisation". As the American civil rights advocate, Martin Luther King said, "I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed ... without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today - my own government".

It should be emphasized that there are criminal elements working with the Occupation against the principle aim of the Iraqi Resistance. This distortion of the image of the Iraqi Resistance has its purposes and designed to discredit the name of the Resistance. Reports from Iraq have contradicted this distorted image of a legitimate popular Resistance movement fighting against illegal and tyrannical Occupation [Molly Bingham, Boston Globe, 15 December 2004]. "It was a mistake to discount the Iraqi [R]esistance", a US soldier, Lt. Col. Kim Keslung told the Wall Street Journal October, 2003. "If someone invaded Texas, we'd do the same thing", he added.

The aim of the Resistance is the unconditional withdraw of all foreign forces from Iraq and the return of Iraq sovereignty. All Iraqi citizens, men, women and children, not "foreigners" are against the Occupation of their land. There is no evidence that there are foreigners among the Resistance. The foreigners are the US, Italians, Poles, English, and Australian soldiers. If there were foreigners fighting with the Resistance, they would be welcomed fighting along their Iraqi brethrens. The Australian Government of John Howard is sending (against the wishes of the overwhelming majority of the Australian people) 450 soldiers to Iraq allegedly "to help" their US, Japanese, and English "brethrens". Why can't the Iraqis call on their Muslim and Arab brethrens for help? Iraqis have legitimate right to defend themselves and their country against foreign invaders.

According to UN Charter and numerous UN resolutions, international law guarantees people's right to resist an illegal occupation by "all necessary means at their disposal" to end the occupation of their nation. Resistant groups "are entitled to seek and receive support". Armed resistant have been used against the English in the US, against the Nazis in France, Yugoslavia and Norway. The historic judgement by the Italian judge Clementina Forleo, Judge for the Preliminary Hearing in Milan on 24 January 2005 adds another legitimacy to the Iraqi struggle against US Occupation. Judge Forleo ruled that the accused (five North Africans) "cannot be classified as terrorists", but resistance fighters. She said, "that resistance [to] US occupation forces in Iraq by sending fighters does not amount to terror". The judgement was supported by an overwhelming majority of the Italian Legal Community.

The US Occupation of Iraq has failed. Basic improvements to the lives of ordinary Iraqis, which started to appear before the war, have now disappeared. More Iraqis now than ever face increasing hardship and misery. The health system is deteriorated and Iraq's infrastructure is collapsing. Insecurity and unemployment are rising to dangerous levels. Iraq's future today is being determined not by the Iraqi people, but by the corrupt and incompetent US administration. The US-installed puppet government of expatriates and quislings are fighting among themselves for the position of who will serve the Occupation better and provide the US with new fašade to role the Middle East.

The new US strategy coupled with illegitimate elections is to change the face of the Occupation and internationalise it. With this, the Bush Administration hopes it has a platform to manoeuvre and pursue new war. The US is training more Kurd militias and requesting more troops from the dwindling "coalition of the willing". This cosmetic change is a farce PR. The Occupation remains a violent US-British military Occupation against the wishes of the Iraqi people. Occupation is not "freedom" and "liberty"; occupation is a tyranny with all the characteristics of oppression and fear.

In the mean time, the heroic Iraqi Resistance stands in stark contrast to the cowardly self-styled and US-installed Arab rulers and the bankruptcy of Arab intellectuals. The Iraqi people are unlikely to remain under US Occupation and artificially divided.

With or without the "solidarity" of those who demonstrated against the war in Western capitals, the Iraqi popular Resistance movement will continue against the US-led Occupation until the US is forced to leave Iraq. Only a US withdrawal will bring the possibility of real democracy and freedom to Iraq.

Self-determination independent of foreign power is the Iraqi people right to self-rule. Once this is achieved, the Iraqi people will have the chance to build their society and their country free from foreign domination. Lets hope that Iraqi Resistance will thwart US imperialism in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Ghali Hassan lives in Perth Western Australia. He can be reached at e-mail:  G.Hassan@exchange.curtin.edu.au

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