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.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009


Despite bomb attacks that have killed 250 people in the last fortnight, today in Iraq is apparently 'sovereignty day' as the US withdraw troops a mere six and a bit years after they invaded.

Except that they aren't withdrawing, as the previous post on this blog explains. Channel 4 News reported that the 'withdrawal' of troops 'coincides' with the auctioning of lucrative oil contracts worth an estimated $16 billion. Presumably, such an auction might look more like plunder, if the military occupation still appeared to be in full force - as of course in reality it is.

Anyway, here's Mohamed Ali Zainy on the oil contracts (about 35 minutes from start of the BBC's World Today programme)

Sunday, 28 June 2009

What US withdrawal?

I quote here the first few paragraphs of a very interesting analysis from Foreign Policy in Focus, which shows the Stae of Forces Agreement up for what it really is.

A Withdrawal in Name Only
Erik Leaver and Daniel Atzmon June 24, 2009

On November 17, 2008, when Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari and U.S. ambassador Ryan Crocker signed an agreement for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, citizens from both countries applauded. While many were disappointed about the lengthy timeline for the withdrawal of the troops, it appeared that a roadmap was set to end the war and occupation. However, the first step — withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraqi cities by June 30, 2009 — is full of loopholes, and tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers will remain in the cities after the "deadline" passes.
The failure to fully comply with the withdrawal agreement indicates the United States is looking to withdraw from Iraq in name only, as it appears that up to 50,000 military personnel will remain after the deadline.
The United States claims it's adhering to the agreement, known as the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), even with so many troops being left in the cities. But the United States is changing semantics instead of policy. For example, there are no plans to transfer the 3,000 American troops stationed within Baghdad at Forward Operating Base Falcon, because commanders have determined that despite its location, it's not within the city.
The original intent of moving troops out of the cities was to reduce the U.S. military role and send the message to Iraqis that the United States would be leaving the country soon. But troops that are no longer sleeping in the cities will still take part in operations within Iraqi cities; they will serve in "support" and "advisory" roles, rather than combat functions. Such "reclassification" of troops as military trainers is another example of how the United States is circumventing the terms of the SOFA agreement.
The larger loophole in the agreement is the treatment of military contractors. There has been little mention of the 132,610 military contractors in Iraq. Of these, 36,061 are American citizens, according to a recent Department of Defense report.
Since September 2008, only 30,000 troops have left Iraq. The 134,000 soldiers that remain are just slightly below the number of troops that were in Iraq in 2003. These numbers are likely to remain well above 100,000 until 2010.
Instead of sending soldiers stationed in cities home, the military has been expanding and building new bases in rural areas to accommodate soldiers affected by the June 30 deadline. And Congress just passed a war-spending bill that includes more funding for military construction inside Iraq.


Sunday, 21 June 2009

Opposition to the corporate takeover

From the latest Iraq Occupation Focus Newsletter:
Iraq oil execs rebel over contract tenders

Reuters report (June 14th): The head of the unit that produces most of Iraq's crude said Sunday he opposed Baghdad's plan to auction off oil field service contracts, joining an apparently broad revolt against the country's first major foreign oil deals in 30 years.
South Oil Co. Director General Fayad al-Nema said the service contracts were "detrimental to the Iraqi economy" and asked Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani to cancel the first tender results, which are due to be announced June 29-30.
The protest by senior executives in the state-run industry added to growing discord around Shahristani, who faces criticism from parliament for not having boosted Iraq's oil output to beyond the level it was at before the 2003 U.S. invasion.

This was reinforced by a piece in today's Independent on Sunday:
The contracts have been heavily criticised inside Iraq as a sell-out to the big oil companies, which are desperate to get back into Iraq – oil was nationalised here in 1972, and Iraq and Iran are the only two places in the world where immense quantities of oil might still be discovered. Several of those criticising the contracts work in the Iraqi oil industry. "The service contracts will put the Iraqi economy in chains and shackle its independence for the next 20 years," said Fayad al-Nema, head of the state-owned South Oil Company, which produces 80 per cent of Iraq's crude. "They squander Iraq's reserves."


Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Petition Brown for a proper enquiry!

The announcement of an enquiry into the war on Iraq by the Government has all the hallmarks of previous investigations, slanted in advance by its choice of Chair, limited in scope and secret in process. Some are calling for a proper enquiry:

Yesterday afternoon Gordon Brown finally announced an inquiry into the Iraq war. He also announced that he intends it to be held in secret, not report until after the next election, and not apportion any blame. Does that sound like a proper inquiry to you? Brown is hoping that this inquiry will draw a line under the whole episode.Sign our urgent petition to send a clear message to Brown that the British people will only accept a genuine inquiry, held in public and free to draw its own conclusions. The Iraq war was declared in the face of fierce opposition. Serious questions about its justification and legality remain unanswered. Millions of us marched against the invasion, and many more felt betrayed when claims about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction turned out to be false. Countless thousands of Iraqis have died, as well as 179 British service men and women. If we're going to expect people to die for their country, we need to be certain that we're doing it for the right reasons. A genuine inquiry would be our chance to understand why all this happened and how to prevent it happening again. A stitched-up, secret inquiry will encourage future governments to think they can get away with the same again. Only last week, in response to the expenses claims scandal, Gordon Brown promised more transparent and open government. Together we can show Brown that if he is serious about open and transparent government, he should allow an open and transparent inquiry into the reasons we went to war. We'll be inviting MPs of all the parties, previous opponents and supporters of the Iraq war alike, to support our petition. If enough of us speak out right away we can make sure Brown doesn't get away with failing to deliver the proper inquiry we need. [
To sign the petition, go to http://38degrees.org.uk/page/s/IraqInquiry