From WEEKLY MDS No.875, Feb. 18, 2005 issue logo

"Elections" Fail to Justify Occupation / Withdrawal of Japanese Troops - No Other Way Leads to Solidarity with Iraqi People

Framed-up "success of the elections"

"Great success despite grave danger" and "high voter turnout beyond expectation" - these are how Bush, Koizumi and the media applauded January 30 elections for a Transitional National Assembly of Iraq. However, proofs have been pinned down one after another to expose lies and fictions used by the election board and the media to depict it as a success under the instructions of US Ambassador John Negroponte, who is in effect the proconsulate for the occupation forces in Iraq.

People in a long queue at a polling station, people dancing for joy because they can vote - those images were distributed around the world as symbols of the success. Such newsgathering activities were only allowed at five polling stations deliberately prepared outside the Sunni communities. It is also reported that the people in the queue captured by a camera were actually the unemployed who were temporarily hired for that purpose. Those are directed acts just like the one acted out when the statue of Saddam Hussein was pulled down upon the conquest of Baghdad in April 2003.

One week has elapsed after the start of ballot counting. They say the counting is still going on in Baghdad, within the US military-controlled area. Without an international observation team, ballots are being counted behind closed doors. They may provide a "final outcome" but obviously with no reliability.

Public opinion points to withdrawal of occupation forces

Being against any sense of the term, the elections for a Transitional National Assembly were also against international law from the very beginning.

UN Security Council's resolution 1546 adopted in June 2004 provided for enforcement of elections, but it did so to justify the war on Iraq and military occupation started on the false ground that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, a trick already clearly recognized by the world. Former US occupation administrator Paul Bremer pushed the election law and selected members on the electoral commission. However, Hague Convention of 1907, the Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, also ratified by the US, does not authorize occupation forces to revise laws of the occupied nation. Thus, the elections construct an illegal act in violation of international law.

During the elections, no civil rights were secured. Neither was political freedom. Impossible in the first place was speech for withdrawal of occupation forces in the elections. The elected assembly is not even authorized to select a prime minister. As the assembly is simply to justify the military occupation, it is more than reasonable that the Iraqi Civil Resistance and other anti-occupation forces called for a boycott.

Despite coercions and threats with a Shiah religious decree as well as the food rationing system, even the electoral commission announced that the estimated number of voters was only 8 million out of 18 million, not reaching a half of the eligible. A majority of the people expressed "No" to the elections.

An overwhelming majority of the Iraqi people is calling for the withdrawal of occupation forces. Elections were carried out but only as a formality. The elections failed to justify the occupation after all.

Global mobilization for peace on March 19 and 20

As if challenging Iraqi people demanding the withdrawal of occupation forces, a fifth dispatch unit of Ground Self-Defense Forces (SDF) left Japan. In this unit, the number of water-distribution personnel has been reduced from about 50 to 20 although water distribution was supposed to be the major element of "humanitarian assistance". With water-purifying systems procured with ODA (Official Development Assistance) aids, now they only need to supply water to the SDF troops operating in Samawah. Meantime, the number of security personnel has grown by 30, making it a 80-member force. Throwing away the pretext of "humanitarian assistance," they loom large as troops that suppress and dominate people as part of the occupying forces. We have not a moment to lose. We must block killings of the Iraqi people by the SDF.

Around the world, we hear growing voices demanding the withdrawal of occupation forces. The World Social Forum held in Porto Alegre in Brazil called to the world to join March 19-20 international anti-war action. Driving all occupation forces out of Iraq along with the SDF forces is the greatest act of solidarity with the Iraqi people. (February 6)

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