UN Becomes Target
On August 19, the UN headquarters in Baghdad were ripped off by explosion, killing about twenty people including Sergio Vieira de Mello, Special Representative of the Secretary General for Iraq, while 100 or more people were wounded. The adjoining hospital also collapsed simultaneously.
We say "No" to any brutal act of terrorism which murdered innocent Iraqis. But, we should keep in mind that the bombing was caused by the presence of US and UK military forces occupying the land of Iraq after unlawful invasion of the country with overwhelming military power.
On August 14, just five days before the tragic incident, the UN Security Council authorized the establishment of a new UN operation, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). At the same time, the Security Council "welcomed" the US-appointed Iraqi Governing Council (IGC). Syria, chair of the Security Council, abstained from voting in protest, saying "It should be the people of Iraq but not the Security Council that judges the IGC." The UN have the record of tormenting the Iraqi people with economic sanctions for many years in the past, and this time, again they are endorsing the puppet government of the US despite the fact it receives no support from the Iraqi people. It is natural that the Iraqi people look at the UN as well as the occupation forces with anger and hatred.
Although the UN and mass media mourn for the death of UN officials, ranting about "a threat to international community," they have never mentioned a word about the death of Iraqi victims on the same day. Indiscriminate bombing and firing of the US-UK coalition army have caused many deaths among Iraqi civilians. But the UN have never bothered to count the number, not to mention mourning or protesting. We believe that the occupation should never be accepted as long as it keeps ignoring the perspective of the Iraqi people.
Withdrawal - Only Way to Peace and Reconstruction
The Iraqis wounded by explosion demanded the withdrawal of US-UK coalition forces, saying, "Let us, the Iraqi people, take care of the security recovery. We know how to govern ourselves," as quoted in August 21 issue of The Mainichi Shimbun daily. The US-UK coalition forces caused unemployment and electric power shortage, while they opened fire on Iraqi civilian protesters in the broad daylight. They are there to steal the petroleum resources from the Iraqi people. They have to evacuate Iraq right away as soon as possible. Withdrawal of the occupation forces is just what is needed to achieve peace and reconstruction.
The call for the self-governing by the Iraq people is getting stronger every day. Especially in Shiah Muslim residents' district called Saddle City, where American soldiers killed civilians, the US forces moved out of the central part of the city on August 16 in answer to the protest against them. It was revealed in an Anti-War Meeting of July 19 in Genoa, Italy, that 21 religious and local leaders have collected signatures exceeding one million, asking for a new Constituent Assembly in Iraq.
Nations are also increasing in number in the international community, which hesitate to send troops. Although the Turkish government decided to send troops, they could never decide on when to do it. So they postponed the decision on August 22. The Pakistani government is reluctant to cooperate, saying, "We are not sure whether we can convince our people that we are not supporting the occupation."
Global Action of Anti-Occupation on September 27
The Japanese government decided to postpone the deployment of Self-Defense Forces (SDF) troops to Iraq as soon as they received the news of the UN headquarters in Baghdad blasted and their staff killed. If Japan's dispatch of SDF troops is prevented, we will see the US-UK coalition forces isolated, which may lead to the end of occupation.
In the US, military families are very active in their efforts to get their loved ones back home from Iraq. On August 13, an association of such families demanded that 827 officially announced wounded be returned home because more than half of them were wounded after President George Bush declared the end of the major battles. According to a poll by Newsweek magazine, only 44% of the public support Bush's re-election while 49% reject it.
Also in the UK, Prime Minister Tony Blair and his government is in crisis with 67% of the public opinion believing that he lied about the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
Now is the time people of the world get united in international solidarity to have the occupation forces withdraw from Iraq and warmongers of US-UK-Japan leave the world politics. Let us make the September 27 anti-occupation international action one big step. (August 25)