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.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Corporate impunity

Blackwater Suit Tossed 7 Years After Deaths

AP report (January 25th): A federal judge has tossed a lawsuit that blamed the security company formerly known as Blackwater for the deaths of four contractors killed in a grisly 2004 ambush on the restive streets of Iraq.
U.S. District Judge James C. Fox said court-ordered arbitration fell apart because neither side was paying the costs of that process, so he decided to shut the case nearly seven years after the killings.

From Azzaman

Iraqi security forces on arrest campaign against Baaquba intellectuals

Azzaman reports (January 26th): In a fresh crackdown, Iraqi security forces have arrested more than 100 intellectuals from the restive Province of Diyala of which Baaquba is the capital.

The crackdown comes amid reports of an upsurge in security in the province which groups resisting U.S. occupation and the current government have turned into a stronghold.

Among those arrested are four top medical professors teaching at the Diyala University’s Medical College, professors Mazen Razzouqi, Adel al-Hussaini, Ali al-Husaini and Bahaa Abed.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Protests as Blair gives evidence

AP report (January 21st): Former Prime Minister Tony Blair offered an emotional apology for the deaths of soldiers and civilians in Iraq, as he testified Friday to Britain's inquiry into the war. Some bereaved relatives heckled the former prime minister as he expressed his remorse.
Members of the audience shouted: "Too late, too late," while two women turned their backs on Blair, and then walked out. An official brought tissues into the hearing for another woman who burst into tears.
"Your lies killed my son, I hope you can live with yourself," Rose Gentle, whose 19-year-old son Gordon Gentle was killed while serving in Basra, southern Iraq, in 2006, shouted as Blair completed about four hours of testimony.
"You're a disgrace to your office and our country," Reg Keys, whose son was killed in 2003, shouted as Blair left.

Two stories from Azzaman

Iraqi government to purchase armoured limousines worth $75 million for members of parliament

Azzaman reports (January 21st): The Iraqi government has decided to spend nearly $75 million from the country’s oil revenues to purchase armored limousines, one for each of the 325 members of parliament.

The high salaries and perks senior Iraqi officials get are fueling anger in Iraq and there has been a storm of protest from local media.
Iraqi Turkmen tell U.S. ambassador to stop meddling in domestic affairs
Azzaman reports (January 19th): Iraqi ethnic Turks, known locally as Turkmen, have asked U.S. ambassador to Iraq, James F. Jeffrey, to stop meddling in Iraqi internal affairs.

A statement by the Turkmen Front, a political umbrella for ethnic Turks in Iraq, accused Jeffrey of heightening ethnic and sectarian tensions in the disputed oil-rich province of Kirkuk.

'Torture, homicide rife in US prisons'

Press TV report (January 23rd): New documents obtained by the ACLU show "unjustified homicide" of detainees and concerns about the condition of confinement in American prisons. The documents reveal how four Iraqi detainees were executed by a group of US soldiers and then pushed into a Baghdad canal in 2007. 

One of the investigating documents says a wounded detainee was killed by an unnamed sergeant, who walked into the room where the detainee was lying wounded and “assaulted him … then shot him twice thus killing him.” 

The soldier then asked the other troopers present at the scene to lie about the incident. 

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Baghdad gets less than one hour of electricity a day

Azzaman reports (January 15th): Iraq’s capital, Baghdad, home to more than six million people, hardly gets one hour of non-interrupted electricity supplies every 24 hours.

The city has plunged into darkness with the country’s national grid still unable to increase supplies despite billions of dollars in investments.

Seven years after the 2003-U.S. invasion, power production in the country is still below levels reached under former leader Saddam Hussein.

Upcoming event

Wednesday 9th February, 7pm, Public Meeting: IRAQ – THE FORGOTTEN OCCUPATION, with Haifa Zangana, Norwich Central Baptist Church,  Duke Street, Norwich NR3 3AP.

Pentagon official: Martin Luther King would support Iraq, Afghan wars

Here’s a gem from The Raw Story (January 14th). Are there no limits to the self-belief of the Obama Administration?
“An Obama administration official said that nonviolent icon Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would "understand" and "recognize" the need for the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan if he were alive today.
In a speech commemorating the late hero days before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, the Department of Defense's general counsel Jeh C. Johnson imputed highly questionable views to the civil rights leader.”

Sunday, 9 January 2011

The victors write the history

Here's an interesting extract from McClatchy's Inside Iraq blog about how the history being taught in Iraq's schools conveniently stops in 1958. Now why would that be?

As if Saddam never was

Inside Iraq blogs (December 31st):  Our schools are different from schools in the U.S. in that the teachers are required to stick to the material in the text books that the Ministry of Education prints, and are not permitted to deviate from the curriculum in any way. This is how it was during Saddam's time – and has – conveniently, remained the same since, in spite of "democracy", "human rights" and "freedom of speech".
Contemporary Iraq history is taught in sixth, ninth and 12th grades. Now, in all three text books history suddenly comes to an end after the 1958 revolution. No mention is made of later revolutions: in 1963 in which Baathists participated, though they did not come to power, and the 1968 revolution that they led and through which they arose to power. Not once is "Baath" mentioned – Not once is Saddam Hussein" mentioned in all the history text books now being taught in Iraqi schools. 

Sunday, 2 January 2011

U.S. responsible for human toll of Iraq sanctions

A short excerpt from a very detailed piece about how the US pushed relentless for the most punitive sanctions against Iraq after the first Gulf War
Cap Times reports (December 22nd): Last week the U.N. Security Council voted to lift the sanctions that it imposed on Iraq 20 years ago. Vice President Joe Biden hailed the occasion as “an end to the burdensome remnants of the dark era of Saddam Hussein.”
What he did not say was that the sanctions were more than burdensome. They triggered a humanitarian crisis that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of children, and the collapse of every system necessary to sustain human life in a modern society. And he certainly did not mention that among all the nations on the Security Council, it was the U.S. -- and the U.S. alone -- that ensured that this human damage would be massive and indiscriminate.
As the humanitarian situation in Iraq deteriorated, support for the sanctions on the Security Council began to erode. When other members of the council sought to allow critical humanitarian goods into Iraq, the U.S. vetoed them. For the first eight months of the sanctions, the U.S. would not even allow Iraq to import food. The U.S. blocked refrigeration for medicines, on the grounds that refrigerators might be used to store agents for biological weapons. The U.S. blocked things as innocuous as plywood, fabric, glue and glass on the grounds that they were “inputs to industry,” which might be used to rebuild Iraq’s military.
The U.S. blocked child vaccines and yogurt-making equipment on the grounds that the Iraqi government might use them to make weapons of mass destruction. The U.S. prevented Iraq from importing water tankers during a period of drought, while there were epidemic levels of sickness from drinking water unfit for human consumption. And water pipes for irrigation. And light switches, and telephones, and ambulance radios, and fire trucks, claiming that they might be used by Iraq’s military.

Research links rise in Falluja birth defects and cancers to US assault

The Guardian reports (December 30th): A study examining the causes of a dramatic spike in birth defects in the Iraqi city of Falluja has for the first time concluded that genetic damage could have been caused by weaponry used in US assaults that took place six years ago.
The research confirms earlierestimates revealed by the Guardian of a major, unexplained rise in cancers and chronic neural-tube, cardiac and skeletal defects in newborns. The authors found that malformations are close to 11 times higher than normal rates, and rose to unprecedented levels in the first half of this year – a period that had not been surveyed in earlier reports.
The findings, which will be published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, come prior to a much-anticipated World Health Organisation study of Falluja's genetic health. They follow two alarming earlier studies, one of which found a distortion in the sex ratio of newborns since the invasion of Iraq in 2003 – a 15% drop in births of boys.

Total 2010 Iraq death toll tops 2009

Some interesting figures that counter the more widespread headline that 2010's death toll was fewer than 2009, from AFP  (January 1st):  The total number of Iraqi civilians and security forces personnel killed in violence in 2010 was higher than the previous year.

Figures compiled by the defence, interior and health ministries indicated that 151 people -- 89 civilians, 41 police and 21 soldiers -- were killed in December 2010.
According to an AFP tally based on figures from the three ministries released over the course of 2010, a total of 3,605 Iraqi civilians, police and army personnel were killed last year -- 124 more than the 3,481 who were killed in 2009.