The Iraqis Right to be Free

With the continuing US attacks on Iraqi population centres, the Bush administration appeared more desperate than ever to force the new US-crafted constitution on the Iraqi people. The attacks are concentrated on Iraqi communities, who oppose the Occupation, to prevent them from voting on the constitution in the upcoming referendum. The US aim is to divide Iraqis on sectarian and ethnic lines and force them into neo-colonial dependency. It is the Iraqi people’s legitimate rights to fight for their unity, freedom and national independence.

Immediately after the invasion of Iraq, the US and its junior partner, Britain, started the division of Iraqis based on ethnic and sectarian lines. Then and for the first time, “civil war” appeared in every Western newspaper and media outlet. Iraq has been a non-sectarian mosaic society since it inception. Iraqis see themselves to be Iraqis first, Muslim or Christian second. “I haven’t heard of any Iraqi talking about civil war. I only hear Americans and Brits talking about civil war”, said British journalist, Robert Fisk. Premeditated attacks on religious leaders and religious gatherings increased in order to provide fuel and provoke sectarian strife and hatred among Iraqis. In other words, the promotion of religious conflict is the creation of US forces. Further more, the violence is deliberate and designed to make people pay less attention to the wholesale of Iraq’s resources and public assets.

Iraqi sources argued that, US forces and their collaborators – the US-created militias, secret US-British agents and Israel’s Mossad – are behind every major sectarian killing and kidnapping in the country. After every large killing of civilians, the US and mainstream Western media are deliberately blaming the Iraqi Resistance for the violence, as rightly argued by credible Middle Eastern media (1). Furthermore, the aim is to distort the image of the Resistance and weaken its popular support in Iraq and abroad. It should be emphasised that a national resistance movement has no reason to commit acts of violence against the local civilian population for whom it is fighting and upon whom it depends.

Since March 2003, US forces have killed more than 200,000 innocent Iraqi civilians. Based on the conservative estimate – 100, 000 Iraqis killed between March 2003 to October 2004 – provided by the peer reviewed British medical journal The Lancet, if one includes the atrocity of Fallujah, Ramadi, Qaim, Tel Afar and the daily atrocities committed by US forces and their collaborators against the Iraqi people, the number of Iraqis killed since March 2003 would be in the 200,000 mark or even more (2). Iraqis dead do not count. The US and the Britain do not bother to keep count of the people they have slaughtered. In the Anglo-American ideology of evil imperialism, Iraqis are considered ‘unpeople’ and therefore do not count.

Based on the November 2004 peer reviewed Lancet report, the majority were women and children. Almost every Iraqi family have lost at least one member. Iraq was a defenceless nation, and therefore, Iraqi blood is cheap to spill to satisfy Western violence. In addition to the slaughter, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are imprisoned, abused and tortured in US-run prisons. Today, there are more prisons in Iraq than at any time in Iraq’s history. The entire Iraq’s vital civilian infrastructure has been destroyed. Why?

How can people continue to believe that the US and Britain are bringing “democracy” and “freedom” to Iraq? It is a myth that is fed routinely as a diet to Western citizens, Americans in particular, in order to manipulate them into supporting acts of aggression against other nations. What the US and Britain want in Iraq is a brutal, repressive, and corrupt regime in control of the population and service of US interests. And there are plenty of examples. Iraqis and the rest of the peoples of the Middle East want freedom from Western terrorism and imperialism.

Iraqis’ rights to resistance and self-defence are legitimate rights enshrined in UN Charter, numerous UN resolutions and international law. “International law grants a people fighting an illegal occupation the right to use ‘all necessary means at their disposal’ to end their occupation and the occupied “are entitled to seek and receive support’”. All resistance movements have used armed struggle to force the occupiers to change course. Armed resistant have been used against the English in the US, against the Nazis in France, Yugoslavia and Norway. Iraq is not different. Violent resistance arises from violent military occupation. The Iraqi people have the right to resist colonial aggression.

Resistance to illegal act of aggression and foreign occupation is not terrorism; it is legitimate act of self-defence. Terrorism is the act of unprovoked aggression. People should be intimidated or afraid to support a legitimate act of self-defence. The success of the Iraqi Resistance to liberate Iraq from US Occupation and achieve national independence is also a success for world resistance to imperialism.

The historic judgement by the Italian judge Clementina Forleo, Judge for the Preliminary Hearing in Milan on 24 January 2005 adds legitimacy to the Iraqi struggle against US Occupation. Judge Forleo ruled that the accused (five North African citizens) “cannot be classified as terrorists”, but resistance fighters. She said: “[T]hat 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. This historic judgement is supported recently by the German Federal Administrative Court which ruled that the attack launched by the US and its allies against the nation of Iraq was a clear war of aggression – as specified in Article 4, Paragraph 4 of the UN Charter – that violated international law.

The illegitimate elections at the point of the Occupation gun produced illegitimate constitution. Like the January elections, the US-crafted constitution is dividing Iraq on sectarian and ethnic lines masked in the catch word of “federalism”. It is the US card to legitimise the Occupation of Iraq and promote its ideology of dominating the world. A ‘Yes’ vote by US collaborators – the Kurds and the Jaafari-Chalabi groups – would mean a step further in the marginalisation of Iraqis who oppose the presence of US forces, and the continuing of the violence. It is a repeat of previously orchestrated events; the Fallujah atrocity, the fraudulent elections, the ‘handing over’ of fake sovereignty, etc. The US objective is to break-up Iraq according to US-Israel Zionist design.

Finally, the indiscriminate US attacks on Iraqi towns and cities have added fuel to Iraqis determination to be free from the scourge of imperialism. There is no pretext for US troops and mercenaries to remain in Iraq and continue the violence. Iraq is not, was not and never could have been a threat to the US. The only prospect for a peaceful resolution and an end to the current illegal war of aggression is the immediate and full end to the Occupation.

Ghali Hassan lives in Perth, Western Australia


1. Al- Ahram Weekly, 07-13 April, 2005; Iraqi Resistance and US Counter-Terror, by   Moussa Al-Husseini. 

2. See The Lancet Study, by Naom Chomsky;   The results of the Iraq Living Conditions Survey 2004 provide more support for the Lancet study; The ‘Iraqiyun Humanitarian Organization’ in Baghdad estimated that 128,000 Iraqis have been killed since the U.S. invasion began in March 2003. The report was published in June 2005. The Head of Iraqiyun, Dr. Hatim al-‘Alwani, said that the toll includes everyone who has been killed since that time, adding that 55 percent of those killed have been women and children aged 12 and under.

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Articles by: Ghali Hassan

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