Statement by Ambassador Dr. Saeed Hasan Almusawi. Former Iraqi Permanent Representative to UN,
War Crimes, Criminalise War Conference, Perdana Global Peace Organisation
Kuala Lumpur, February, 5th 2007
YA Bhg Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Alsalam Alykum Warahmatu Allah Wa Berakatuh,
The aim of this paper is to render homage to Iraqi people, whose resistance and sacrifices accelerated the decline of the Uni-polar World Order. The Peace Movements around the world are urged to express solidarity with Iraqi resistance. the victory of Iraqi resistance is a victory for the International community in its struggle to defeat war mongers and create a New World Order based on respect of International Law and the right of peoples to live in peace.
1- With the end of the cold war, the US emerged as the only super power dominating the world with no geopolitical or ideological contenders. Many in the world hoped that the American leadership will promote liberal Ideals of democracy, economic openness, human rights and the rule of law.
2 – The first serious test of the American leadership came with the Iraq-Kuwait dispute (Summer 1990). From the beginning , the US proved its inability to lead the world in a civilized and legal manner. The US used Iraq-Kuwait dispute to advance its short sighted national interest putting the following goals for its intervention;
*Topple the Iraqi legitimate Government and establish a poppet regime in Baghdad .
* Control the oil and plunder the wealth of Gulf States .
* Strengthen its military presence in the region , in particular in the Arab Gulf .
* Provide better protection for Israel and its war of aggression.
It is clear that non of these goals has to do with US main responsibility as Permanent Member of Security Council, IE; Preserving International Peace and Security and resolving international crisis by peaceful means.
3 – Following is a short reminder of main actions taken by the US against Iraq that disclose the extent of US war crimes, genocide, and crimes against Humanity.
* The US dismissed all International and Regional initiatives to resolve Iraq- Kuwait dispute peacefully.
* US Imposed , through the UN Security Council , a comprehensive regime of sanctions against Iraq . These sanctions continued for 13 years costing the life of two million Iraqi civilians and the suffering of the rest of Iraqi population.
It is worth to mention here that sanctions were imposed on Iraq only four days after its invasion of Kuwait ( Res. 661 of 6 Aug. 1990). That means that the US jumped to the provisions of Chapter Seven of the UN Charter dismissing Chapter Six provisions on peaceful measures to resolve disputes. It is also worth to mention that after nine days of US invasion to Iraq, the only reaction of the UNSC was Resolution 1472 of 28th Mar 2003, which (Requests concerned parties to strictly abide to there obligations under International Law).
* Under the pretext of implementing Resolution 678 ( 1990 ) , the US waged its destructive war against Iraq ,. It dropped 120 000 Tons of bombs on Iraq destroying its infrastructure ,and killing thousands of civilians. It also used Depleted Uranium bombs in this aggression which caused on going human and ecological catastrophe for generations.
4 – The US pursue these destructive and inhuman objectives not only through unilateralism (unilateral sanctions, imposing No-Fly-Zones, bombing Iraq from time to time , etc…) but mainly through Multilateral Institutions, in particular the United Nations Security Council. I represented my country at the United Nations for seven years (Deputy Permanent Representative from 1994 to 1998, and Permanent Representative from 1999 to 2001). During this period I witnessed how the United States turned the Security Council to a rubber stamp for Resolutions drafted in Washington and London . I shall give some examples in my oral presentation.
5 -The US crimes a against Iraq , in particular the inhuman comprehensive economic sanctions and the disproportionate use of force against Iraqi civilian targets, led the entire world to question, and increasingly oppose the American leadership. Even inside the US there were growing rejection to their country’s policy towards Iraq . In this occasion I express Iraqi people gratitude to Kathy Kelly. She was among the first American citizens who raised their voices denouncing the genocide perpetrated by her country against Iraqi people.
6 – The growing international condemnation of US crimes in Iraq has relented with 9/11 tragic events. The whole world showed support and sympathy with the American people and Government. The US Government, from its part, and contrary to all expectations, exploited 9/11 as a banner to pursue its hegemonic policy. It invaded Afghanistan with out a proper authorization of the United Nations, and Invaded Iraq in flagrant violation of the International law and the Charter of the United Nations.
7- From the first day of its illegal and illegitimate occupation of Iraq , the US followed a destructive policy violating all its obligations under The International Humanitarian Law as occupation power. Here are some examples:
* Disbanding Iraqi Army and Security Forces, and allowing the destruction and looting of State Ministries, Military Camps, Economic Facilities, Museums, hospitals, universities, etc….
* Establishing Iraqi political institutions under the occupation, based on sectarian and ethnic division. This policy intended to change the identity of Iraqis from the national one to ethnic and sectarian one. This, incite sectarian violence and destroy the social fabric of Iraqi Society.
* Adopting , through the illegal Iraqi General Assembly established under the occupation, a Constitution aiming at dismantling the country to at least three entities on sectarian and ethnic basis.
* The excessive use of force against Iraqi civilians. LANCET medical journal report stated that 650 000 Iraqis were killed since the US invasion. US troops in Iraq committed all kinds of war crimes: Torture, rape, mass killings, destruction of entire cities ( Fallujah and Tel-Affar for example), collective punishment to the population ,etc….
* the Us` army used prohibited weapons against Iraqi population: Depleted Uranium bombs, White Phosphor (the use of it against civilian targets tantamount to the use of Chemical Weapons, cluster bombs.. etc.
8- The US occupation and crimes were faced by growing military and political resistance from Iraqi people. All measures taken by the occupant to contain the Resistance were not successful ( Excessive use of force ,Transfer the sovereignty to Iraqis on paper etc..).
The following figures taken from American statements , show the growing Iraqi Resistance (the real figures are much higher):
In 2003 , the number of daily attacks against US troops in Iraq was (13) . It rose to (50) in 2005, to (70) in June 2006 and to (180) in Oct. 2006 ( see page 10 of Baker- Hamilton Report). These figures do not include the attacks, targeting other US or Foreign presence in Iraq , like the private Security teams or mercenaries, nor those targeting Iraqi collaborators with the occupation.
9 – While the Iraqi resistance is growing , the US army is missing its recruitment goals. It seems that the US military is more successful in recruiting for the Iraqi resistance than it is for the US army. The significance of this fact is that the US is not able today to fight one single war , put aside wining it!
10 – One of the originalities , some call it miracle , of the Iraqi resistance is its ability to defeat the US army with no external support. On the contrary , Iraqi Resistance suffers from isolation, distortion and demonizing , including accusations of terrorism.
11 – Here is one of the stories of heroism of Iraqi resistance:
One week after the US invasion , an Ambassador of an important country in Baghdad asked me for an urgent meeting. At that time I was Director General of International Organizations Department in MOFA ). I met with that Ambassador in Alrasheed Hotel. He transmitted an urgent request from his leadership to hand them over an Apache Helicopter the Iraqi Army seized intact the day before. I asked the Ambassador , is this Helicopter so valuable for his country ? he replied this Helicopter is the Pearl of the US army arsenal and his country wants to know its secrets. I informed my minister Dr. Naji Sabri who send an urgent letter to President Saddam Hussein supporting the request. President Saddam Hussein rejected the request.
On this same Pearl, few months ago the US army announced that the Apache will not participate in big combats against the ( insurgents ) any more., adding that the Apache is vulnerable to insurgents attacks , and 58 of it were downed by them last three years.
* The US aggression against Iraq is an aggression against humanity and its principles. Solidarity and support to Iraqi resistance will accelerate the collapse of the US hegemony on the International Affairs , which will open the path for a new more just multilateral world order.
* The International Community should make the US accountable for its war crimes without double standards or selectivity. Certs, this is a far reaching goal but it is not impossible. This forum is a n important step to achieve it.
* International Institutions need to be reformed , to make it immune from manipulations by strong countries in detriment of its noble goals. Security Council should assume its role as a tool to preserve international peace , not the contrary. Security Council reform should not be limited to the expansion of its membership. Reforming its procedures and decision making process is essential. A democratic and accountable Security Council is a guarantee against wars of aggression.
* Dissemination of peace culture is an important element to prevent war. Peace loving people can deter his government from waging war of aggression. Recalling that the American people stand against US war in Vietnam was a key factor in ending that war. Actual opposition of many peoples to US invasion and occupation of Iraq led to dramatic changes in International relations: Fall of Aznar government of Spain , Berliskony of Italy, future fall of PM Tony Blair , defeat of republicans in last legislative elections in the US, etc….
* I end with recalling the valuable appeal of H.E. Tun Dr. Mahathir;
“We must win the propaganda war to banish war as an option to resolve disputes and conflicts between nations and communities.”
Ambassador Dr. Saeed Hasan Almusawi
Former Iraqi Permanent Representative to the UN.
Kuala Lumpur, February, 5th 2007