The Acts of the Democracies
|"The UN should have a key role in administering the delivery of humanitarian aid."
Tony Blair, UK Prime Minister, in the House of Commons: 18 March 2003
|The resolution states that the USA and UK will oversee all aid efforts with the UN reduced to a co-ordinating role.|
|"Military action is to uphold the authority of the UN and to make sure Saddam is disarmed."
Tony Blair, MTV: 7 March 2003
|The USA and UK will rule Iraq as an "occupying power".|
|"We don't touch it, and the US doesn't touch it."
Tony Blair, MTV: 7 March 2003
|The resolution will give total control of Iraq's oil revenues to the USA and UK governments until and Iraqi government is established.|
|"The UN will have a vital role to play."
George W Bush, USA President, in Belfast, Northern Ireland: 8 April 2003
|All operational decisions will be taken by USA and UK officials with the UN acting in an "advisory role".|
|"Should the UN have a vital role to play in respect of weapons inspections? The answer to that is Yes."
Jack Straw, UK Foreign Secretary in an interview: 25 April 2003
|There will be no role for UN weapons inspectors "in the forseeable future".|
The reaction in Iraq was negative. Bassen al-Khoja:
"This is very, very bad. We are in the same situation as we were with Saddam. They stole the oil money from the people and we got nothing and now the Americans and the British are doing exactly the same. We are not going to see any benefit from it. The United Nations should control the oil money, not the Americans".
The European Commissioner for Development, Poul Nielson warns: "The unwillingness to give the UN a legal, well-defined role speaks a language that is quite clear."
The resolution is passed even though it effectively rewrites some of the provisions of the Geneva Convention, which forbid occupying powers from creating a new government. It also allows the occupying powers to sell Iraq's resources as they see fit.
A panel of international lawyers declare that the invasion of Iraq by the USA and UK was a illegal: "There was no threat. There was no [UN] resolution".
In a televised address on 18 March 2003, USA President, George W Bush had stated: "Intelligence leaves no doubt that Iraq continues to possess and conceal lethal weapons." The UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair concurred: "Our choice is clear: back down and leave Saddam hugely strengthened or proceed and disarm him by force".
On 28 May 2003, USA Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, admits: "It is possible Iraqi leaders decided they would destroy them prior to the conflict."
As concern grows in the USA and UK, USA senator, Jane Harman, states "This could conceivably be the greatest intelligence hoax of all time".
Finally, in an interview in the July 2003 issue of magazine Vanity Fair, the USA Deputy Defence Secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, admits "For bureaucratic reasons we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction, because it was the one reason everyone could agree on".
The USA Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld, defends the lack of weapons of mass destruction in post-invasion Iraq with the following smug statement: "We haven't found Saddam Hussein either, but that doesn't mean he doesn't exist".
Hans Blix, the chief United Nations weapons inspector accuses the USA of giving him bad information during the inspections in Iraq. After being given four places to look "only in three of those cases did we find anything at all, and in none of these cases were there any weapons of mass destruction ... I thought 'My God, if this is the best intelligence they have and we find nothing, what about the rest?'"
Blix condemns the lack of patience by the USA and notes that "when the American inspectors do not find anything, then it is suggested we should have patience."
Another former United Nations inspector, Bernd Birkicht, accuses the USA CIA of making up information: "We received information about a site, giving the exact geographical co-ordinates, and when we got there we found nothing. Nothing on the ground. Nothing under the ground. Just desert". He added that a "decontamination truck" pictured on a satellite photograph was actually a fire engine.
A report by the USA Defence Intelligence Agency called Iraq: Key Weapons Facilities - An Operational Support Study, is leaked. The 2002 report states that "there is no reliable information on whether Iraq is producing and stockpiling chemical weapons..."
USA soldiers open fire on a crowd of protesters in Fallujah, killing 17 and injuring up to 70. The USA alleges that the school it was using as a base had been fired on. Human Rights Watch refute this when they fail to find any bullet holes on the school despite Western media reports that the school was "pocked with bullet holes". In contrast, the buildings opposite the school where the demonstrators had been standing "had extensive evidence of multi-calibre bullet impacts that were wider and more sustained than would have been caused by the 'precision fire' with which the soldiers maintained they had responded... Witness testimony and ballistic evidence suggest USA troops responded with excessive force to a perceived threat". Two days later, 3 more Iraqis are shot dead.
In May, mass graves are found in the south of the country. These contain thousands of victims of the Iraqi regime. The Western media extensively cover this story as justification for the invasion. However, most reports fail to mention that the victims resulted from an uprising against Saddam Husein in 1991 that was encouraged by the USA president George Bush. The USA then abandonded the people to their fate preferring to leave the dictator in place rather than risk the breakup of Iraq.
USA forces kill three farmers in June. The men were trying to put out a fire started by flares used by USA forces.
Two months after the end of the invasion, the USA continues to hold over 3000 prisoners at Baghdad airport without charge. The former Iraqi, deputy Prime Minister, Tariq Aziz, is arrested by the USA but remains hidden. Little coverage of this appears in the Western media.
In July, USA forces kill the two sons of former Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein. Two other people including a 14 year old are also killed. The USA broadcasts photographs of the dead bodies. USA soldiers drawn from the Florida National Guard shoot dead two Iraqis celebrating the deaths by firing guns into the air.
In a street in Hay al-Gailani (a suburb of Baghdad) two Iraqis are killed when their car is shot at by USA troops. The car bursts into flames and the troops leave; local people take the remains to Kindi hospital. No USA official attempts to enquire about the identities of the victims.
The USA stops Batelco, a mobile phone company from Bahrain, from setting up a mobile phone service in Iraq. The system used was one that is compatible with Europe and the Middle East. The USA wants to set up its own system, only compatible with the USA. No Iraqi is involved in this decision.
The Arabic TV station Al-Jazeera is harassed by USA soldiers by being shot at, having news material confiscated and arrests and detentions of its staff. The station had previously been harassed by the regime of Saddam Hussein and was previously praised by the USA for its services to free speech in the region.
11 Iraqis are killed in Baghdad in an attempt to capture Saddam Hussein. The raid is by USA soldiers and armed USA citizens in civilian clothes. Three wounded Iraqis are taken away and not seen again even after appeals to the International Red Cross. One of the wounded, Thamir Elyas, worked for the USA as a translator. The dead include women and children. Bullet-shattered cars were taken away in trucks while soldiers attempt to stop filming. No USA official visits the hospitals to enquire about the dead and injured.
In Karbala, three Iraqis are shot dead by USA soldiers during a demonstration.
In Baghdad, an average of 20 Iraqis are killed by USA forces daily. In one incident, a family car is fired on by USA soldiers at 9:30pm (before the 11pm curfew). The vehicle had stopped at a checkpoint. The father and three children of the abd al-Kerim family are killed - one child was only 8. The heavily pregnant mother and a daughter are the only survivors. The father and two of the children would have lived had they been given prompt medical aid but bled to death as USA forces refuse access to the wounded. On the same day, the USA president, George W Bush, makes a radio speech saying that "life is returning to normal for the Iraqi people".
In August, USA forces admit using napalm around Baghdad during the invasion of Iraq in March and April 2003. In 1980, a United Nations convention had banned its use against civilian targets. The USA (which did not sign the treaty) is one of the few countries to use the weapon. Napalm is a mixture of jet fuel and polystyrene which sticks to skin as it burns.
Dozens of napalm bombs were dropped near bridges over the Saddam Canal and River Tigris south of the capital. Colonel James Alles, commander of the Marine Air Group 11 commented "unfortunately there were people there... you could see them in the [cockpit] video. They were Iraqi soldiers. It's no great way to die. The generals love napalm. It has a big psychological effect".
A reporter from the Australia newspaper, the Sydney Morning Herald, witnessed an attack at Safwan Hill close to Kuwait. He wrote: "Safwan Hill went up in a huge fireball". At the time the USA military authorities in the Pentagon denied using napalm stating "We completed destruction of our last batch of napalm on 4 April 2001".
Robert Musil, director of Physicians for Social Responsibility, describes napalm is a "horrible" weapon. The napalm bombs used by the USA are called Mark 77 Firebombs and weigh 510lbs (230kg) and consist of 44lbs (20kg) of polystyrene-like gel and 63 USA gallons (200 litres) of jet fuel.
In a UK enquiry, government emails indicate that dossiers about Iraq's weapons threats were exaggerated to prepare public opinion for the invasion. The version of the dossier dated 19 September 2002 was entitled Iraq's Programme for Weapons of Mass Destruction. The published title was Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction.
USA forces shoot dead a Reuters cameraman, Mazen Dana in Baghdad. The USA claims that their forces mistook the camera for a rocket-propelled grenade launcher. Other journalists reject this claim as they were all in the area for half an hour before the killing. Stephen Breitner (of France 2 Television) states: "After they shot Mazen, they aimed their guns at us. I don't think it was an accident...". Dana's driver Munzer Abbas confirmed "There were many journalists around. They knew we were journalists. This was not an accident".
By September, 20 Iraqis are being killed and hundreds injured every day in Baghdad. The USA authorities respond to this by requiring journalists to seek permission before visiting hospitals and morgues.
In Falujah, 10 policemen are killed and 5 wounded by USA solders. The men were chasing a BMW car that had fired on the mayor's office after midnight. A USA checkpoint let the BMW through and then began firing on the police. A doctor at the Jordanian Hospital is killed during the gun fight which lasts for 90 minutes. The USA authorities take away the dead and wounded leaving relatives with no information. A USA tank fires on a palm grove outside the town badly injuring several children. This goes unreported in the mainstream Western press.
USA troops raid a building in Mansour killing 8 civilians including a 14 year old boy.
Two USA jets bomb a house in Fallujah killing a family.
Five months after the official end of the war, the Iraq Survey Group, a 1200-strong USA-appointed group of weapons inspectors, admit that they have failed to find any evidence of nuclear, chemical or biological material and concludes that weapons are unlikely to have been shipped out of Iraq.
Baha Mousa, a 26 year old hotel receptionist and father of two young children, is arrested from his work place by UK troops, taken to Darul Dhyafa military base, hooded and beaten. Two days later he is dead. The man's father, Daoud Mousa, was told of the death three days later. He states that his son had seen UK soldiers looting the hotel safe. 14 months later, a UK court rules that an independent enquiry should examine the incident. No UK soldier is convicted for this incident.
On 19th September, the USA governor of Iraq, Paul Bremer, enacts a new law called Order 39. This allows the privatisation of 200 state industries including electricity, telecommunications, engineering and pharmaceuticals. The law would allow foreign companies 100% ownership of banks, mines and factories. All the profits could be taken out of Iraq. Trade tariffs are removed; the tax rate is reduced from 45% to 15%. Companies or individuals will be allowed to lease land for 40 years.
All these changes are in violation of Iraq's constitution. Under the 1907 Hague Convention (signed by the USA), an occupying country must respect "the laws in force in the country" It also states that the occupying power "shall be regarded only as an administrator". Order 39 and its implications are not publicised by the Western media.
According to the UK newspaper, The Scotsman (22 May 2003), The UK attorney general, Lord Peter Goldsmith, informed UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair in a leaked memo that "the imposition of major structural economic reforms would not be authorised by international law".
The USA military continue killing and humiliating Iraqis: