Con Iraq
Paremos la guerra contra Iraq

Llamamiento del CSCA: La guerra contra Iraq no ha terminado. Mantener la movilización en solidaridad con el pueblo iraquí y contra la ocupación

Con Iraq

Statement from the Arab Cause Solidarity Committee

The war against Iraq is not over. Continue to mobilise in solidarity with the Iraqi people and against the occupation

21 May, 2003. Statement from the Arab Cause Solidarity Committee.
Translation from Spanish by Donald Murphy. CSCAweb (

"What is hidden behind this 'reconstruction' of Iraq is the privatisation of the country's national wealth and public facilities, the breaking up of its labour structure and the absorption of the country, as well as the entire Middle East region, into a globalised economy."

1. To oppose the occupation of Iraq is to resist the United States' new strategic concept of "Permanent War" and the threat of more military interventions

The occupation of Iraq is illegal, the result of an equally illegal war, and the first episode of what the Bush Administration has termed "preventive war" or "permanent war" [1]. After the occupation of Iraq, Bush has announced that the "war against terrorism" will be continued both inside and outside the Middle East.

The Bush Administration's "preventive war" is the latest formulation of US military unilateralism, which it attempts to justify by the attacks of September 11, 2001, but which was developed before those attacks occurred. The Administration is dominated by an group of extreme right-wing Christian and Zionist ultra-conservatives from the administrations of Reagan and Bush Sr., the majority with links to the great US oil and armament corporations. This group (presently under the banner of what they have named the "Project for the New American Century") has since the end of the 1991 Gulf War defended a policy of the US as supreme global (i.e. imperial) superpower, promoting for this end a military rearmament which would prevent the emergence of any political, economic and military rivals, beginning with Europe [2].

Thus, if the intervention in Kosovo meant the annulment of the European Union as a political entity, the occupation of Iraq has imposed upon the international community the fait accompli of a New World Order in which the legal norms in force up to now have been nullified and the function of the United Nations (UN) suppressed. The US occupation of Iraq is the final episode in the process of eliminating this country as an independent Arab power, but it is also a war aimed at long-term control of the energy supply of its industrialized allies, as well as China, which ­ like the US itself ­ depend, and will continue to depend, essentially on petroleum from the Middle East [3].

2. To oppose the US's colonial plan for Iraq is to fight against capitalist globalisation

US invaded Iraq to put an end to the country's economic and political reintegration ­ both regional and international­ once the regime of sanctions approved by the Security Council in 1991 ceased to be an efficient mechanism of strategic control. The logic of the siege and final assault on Iraq did not have political 'regime change' alone as its objective, but the dismantling of the Iraqi State as a developing power in the Middle East and to frustrate the Iraq's historical goal of political and economic independence based on the national and social control of its petroleum revenues [4].

US has established in Iraq what it calls the Office for the Reconstruction and Administration of Iraq, to be directed initially by ex-General Jay Garner and at present by "anti-terrorism expert" Paul Bremen. Beneath the term reconstruction lies a project for returning Iraq to a framework of colonial control, particularly of its petroleum wealth, the second richest in the world. What is hidden behind this 'reconstruction' of Iraq is the privatisation of the country's national wealth and public facilities, the breaking up of its labour structure and the absorption of the country, as well as the entire Middle East region, into a globalised economy [5].

At the head of the Iraq National Oil Company (INOC, created in 1972 with the nationalization of the crude oil industry), the US has appointed former Shell director Philip J. Carroll to be in effect Iraq's new Oil Minister [6]. The privatisation of Iraqi oil will allow the monetization of national crude oil reserves with the goal of obtaining from the World Bank the loans necessary (up to $150 million) to finance the country's recovery and the rehabilitation of its oil industry, ravaged by 12 years of war and sanctions, as well as to exploit new fields. All of this will be carried out by private companies, principally from the US. Moreover, Iraqi petroleum transactions will again be effected in dollars and not in euros, as the Iraqi government had determined they would be.

3. To oppose the 'humanitarian' rhetoric about Iraq is to defend the right of the Iraqi people to self-rule and the principle of popular sovereignty

The humanitarian rhetoric now being employed provides a cover for those who are actually responsible for the current situation of the Iraqi population, masks the real objectives of this war and seeks to legitimise the occupation. This humanitarian rhetoric furthermore perverts the sense of solidarity felt for the Iraqi people in an attempt to deactivate popular opposition to the war and to the occupation [7].

The grave humanitarian crisis which the Iraqi people have suffered is the result of 12 years of sanctions (costing, by the UN's estimate, the lives of over a million and a half civilians) and two devastating wars. As occurred in 1991, during the three weeks of the invasion, the country's civilian infrastructure (electricity, drinking water, telecommunications, communications media) was deliberately destroyed, and once the occupation began, the US-UK forces promoted a situation of chaos, destruction and looting. All of this has been intended to legitimise the occupation ­ converting the aggressor armies into 'humanitarian' armies ­ and to denigrate the image of the Iraq people in order to justify the imposition of a foreign tutelage.

All of the current debate over the end of the sanctions, in force since 1990, and whether it is the occupying powers or the UN who should take control of Iraq's reconstruction is nothing more than a cynical and immoral struggle between those who have participated directly in the invasion of Iraq and those who, not having done so, now fear being denied a share in the "spoils of war" which the occupation carries with it [8]: the US and the UK now defend an end to the sanctions so as to be able to access, as occupation forces and without UN intervention, to the funds from the "oil-for-food" programme ($30 billion), along with Iraqi government assets frozen outside the country since 1990 and, finally, Iraqi oil.

Despite the decade-long embargo, the Iraqi people have managed to progress thanks to their own abilities and hard work. The Iraqi people are highly qualified and Iraq is a rich country. The Iraqi people do not need to be "administrated", nor do they require "humanitarian aid": they need to recover their own sovereignty and to have free access to their own resources. We denounce those NGO's which, unconcerned with the plight of the Iraqi people during a decade of genocide sanctions, ready themselves now to receive money from the governments implicated in the destruction of Iraq, channelling "humanitarian aid" through the occupation forces, and thereby contributing to the dismantling of public facilities, already in a state of chaos [9].

Moreover, it is the Iraqi people, through the occupation's exploitation of their oil industry, who will be funding the reconstruction of their country [10].

4. To oppose the role played by the US and UK-backed Iraqi opposition is to defend the right of the Iraqi people to a true democratisation

At the same time as it tightens its control over Iraq, the Bush Administration is striving to present to both internal and international public opinion a "legitimate Iraqi government" which will permit it to formally declare an end to the war (and with this to elude its obligations as occupying force), and to excuse the present situation of illegality which prevents the operation of international financial institutions (the FMI and the World Bank) within the country and, by extension, of bodies such as NATO.

To this end, calling up the age-old imperialist maxim of "divide and conquer" and following the model of Afghanistan, the US is promoting the distribution of favours to those opposition groups which have linked themselves in recent years to the Pentagon and the State Department and which supported US-UK military intervention (specifically, these are the two Kurdish groups ­ the Democratic Party of Kurdistan and the Democratic Union of Kurdistan ­, the Iraqi National Assembly, the Iraqi National Congress and the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq), along with tribal and religious representatives of the interior [11]. While the majority of Iraqis support a vision of their society which is secular, dynamic and unified ­ despite the negative impact of a decade of sanctions ­, the future which this division presages for Iraq is one of social fragmentation among regressive elements (religious, ethnic and tribal), facilitating the establishment of Washington's colonial rule. The US will employ emerging Shi'ite or Sunni Islamism as a tool for scaling back the social and economic rights of the population, especially those of women, a process associated with economic liberalization and the dismantling of public services, particularly education.

Furthermore, these organisations have already shown their readiness to normalize Iraq's relations with Israel, whose commercial enterprises also hope to gain a foothold in Iraq under the administration of the US occupation [12].

Faced with mercenary opposition groups such as these, it is vital to establish open dialogue with the "patriotic opposition", concentrated since 1991 in the Iraqi National Alliance (INA), and composed of Marxist, communists, Nasserists, dissident Ba'athist, nationalists and reformist Islamists organizations and individuals. The INA opposed both the embargo and the war, and presently opposes the occupation. Before the war, the INA had proposed offering Saddam Hussein's government a democratic opening which would facilitate its return to the country in order to join in its defence against the aggressors [13].

5. To oppose the project for the domination of Iraq is to defend the national vindication of the Palestinian people

The war against Iraq was pushed forward by the most Zionist sector of the Bush Administration and, along with US corporations, Israel is the immediate beneficiary of the country's occupation. As in 1991 and after the Gulf War, the US and Israel intend now to re-open a new Arab-Israeli and Palestinian-Israeli "negotiation process", built upon the same principles as then: the preservation of Israel's strategic supremacy, the imposition of its economic presence in the Middle East and the definitive neutralization of Palestinian nationalist aspirations. And, just as then, the premises for imposing this "New Regional Order" are the nullification of Iraq's political, economic and military potential and an end to the Palestinian Intifada.

With the occupation of Iraq, the US and Israel have intensified their offensive against Arafat, forcing the designation of a Palestinian Prime Minister closely tied to US and Israeli interests, Abu Mazen [14], and imposing the so-called "Road Map", an attempt to revive the failed Oslo Agreements, whose first stipulation is that the Palestinians definitively renounce their rights of armed resistance, which Bush and Sharon characterize as terrorism [15]. Similarly, the US threatens to extend the "war on terrorism" to Syria and Lebanon if the governments of those countries do not collaborate in the definitive dismantling of resistance operations against Israel.

The promise to create a Palestinian State in 2005, at the end of the process, conceals the fact that this will be an entity without effective sovereignty, subject to Israel, and that the right (recognized by the United Nations) of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland will be revoked.

6. To oppose Spain Government's participation in the war against Iraq and in the occupation is to defend civil liberties and social rights in our own country

Both the war and the occupation of Iraq continue to be overwhelmingly rejected by the citizens of Spain. The Aznar government facilitated the aggression when it granted unrestricted use of joint Spanish-US bases to the US, in violation of internal legality as well as international law [16]. The Aznar government's response to popular resistance against the war has been one of brutal repression. And now the Spanish government is collaborating in the illegal occupation of Iraq, a country which will be divided into various military zones. The US has assigned to Spain specific tasks in the occupation of Iraq, for which on 25 April the Aznar government created what it calls the Government Commission for the Reconstruction of Iraq. The Spanish government has increased the number of its active military personnel in Iraq to 1,500 (not counting a contingent of civil guards), and four high-ranking Spanish officials ­ civilian and military, and in charge of around fifty more ­ already form part of the administration of the US-led occupation.

The Aznar government has itself adopted the concept of the Bush Administration's "war on terrorism" and has supported the aggression against Iraq to justify new restrictions on democratic freedoms and civil rights in Spain, most notably in the Basque Country.


1. See CSCAweb: Carl Messineo y Mara Verheyden-Hilliard: Evaluación crítica de la nueva 'Estrategia de Seguridad Nacional' de la Administración Bush
2. See CSCAweb:
El 'Proyecto para el Nuevo Siglo Estadounidense', la 'Doctrina Bush' y la guerra contra Iraq and 'Legitimar' la guerra contra Iraq: EEUU, el Consejo de Seguridad y la OTAN
3. See CSCAweb:
Samir Amin: La ambición criminal de EEUU: el control militar del planeta
4. See CSCAweb:
La Administración Bush detalla el programa para instaurarse como nueva potencia colonial en Iraq tras su invasión militar and Angélica Gimpel Smith: El verdadero motivo de la invasión de Iraq
5. See CSCAweb:
Adel Samara: Iraq: privatización, destrucción de clase y desintegración social
6. See CSCAweb:
El gobierno Aznar reúne en Madrid a la oposición iraquí vinculada a EEUU, mientras el Pentágono designa un 'gobierno de transición' que permita el levantamiento de las sanciones y el control del petróleo iraquí al margen de NNUU
7. See CSCAweb:
La indecencia de la "ayuda humanitaria"
8. See CSCAweb:
EEUU persigue la 'legitimación' del Consejo de Seguridad a su administración colonial de Iraq mientras Israel ultima su intervención directa en este país
9. Apart from the Red Cross, the majority of the NGO's which have already received Spanish government funds for occupied Iraq operate within the fold of the Partido Popular. Other Spanish NGO's, which have refused such funding from the government, are receiving theirs from the EU through ECHO, as in the case of Doctors Without Borders. In April 2003, the European Commission approved aid to Iraq in the amount of 100 million euros (Jordan Times, 12 May, 2003). Such European aid is very advantageous for the NGO's.
10. Estimations as to the cost of Iraq's reconstruction range between the $150 billion mentioned before (Le Monde, 13-14 April, 2003) and the $93 billion, from the present to the year 2010, according to the US (ABC, 8 May, 2003), of which only $10 billion will be affronted by donations from foreign countries and the rest coming from the exploitation of Iraqi oil. The estimation as to what the war has cost the US is $55 billion, of the $74.7 billion approved by the US Congress (data supplied by Zygmunt Bauman in an interview in "Babelia", El País, 10 May, 2003, and by Le Monde, 13-14 April, 2003, respectively).
11. See CSCAweb:
Reunión en Nasiriya: el primer acto de la pantomima democratizadora de Iraq
12. See CSCAweb:
EEUU persigue la 'legitimación' del Consejo de Seguridad a su administración colonial de Iraq mientras Israel ultima su intervención directa en este país
13. See CSCAweb:
Encuentro del CSCA con la oposición patriótica iraquí and Encuentro del CSCA con la oposición patriótica iraquí y Ningún gobierno establecido por la injerencia exterior instaurará la democracia en Iraq - 'Abdel Jabar al Kubaisy, dirigente de la oposición patriótica iraquí en el exilio se entrevista con el CSCA en Madrid
14. See CSCAweb:
Remodelando Oriente Medio: el modelo 'cambio de régimen' en Iraq aplicado a Palestina and Ali Abunimah: Dos artículos sobre las 'reformas' palestinas. ¿Quiénes son estos hombres que venden Palestina a precio de saldo ? y ¿Por qué Israel está tan excitado respecto al 'primer ministro' Abu Mazen?
15. See the translation on CSCAweb of the US State Department document regarding the "road map at:
Documento: "Hoja de ruta para una solución permanente al conflicto palestino-israelí basada en dos Estados"
16. See CSCAweb:
Con Iraq y Palestina: paremos la guerra con nuestras voces