"National Assembly" with no agenda for the people
On March 16, as late as one and a half months after the deceptive, false "elections," the Iraqi Transitional National Assembly was convened. However, the Assembly was adjourned without having an election on the agenda for a Presidency Council, due to deadlocked disputes over interests between the leading United Iraqi Alliance, a coalition of Shiite parties, and the second largest political bloc, the Kurdistan Alliance. As symbolized by the fact that it had the session in the US military-controlled Green Zone in Baghdad, this National Assembly no way represents the Iraqi people; all it does is to justify the occupation and infringement of the Iraqi's human rights.
In the first place, the January 30 elections were coerced under a state of emergency with threats of a religious decree called "fatwah" and termination of food distributions from the rationing system, and carried out without publicity of policies or names of candidates. The "elected" assemblypersons stand in favor of the occupation while aiming to build a society that suppresses workers and women in the name of the Islamic codes. As Layla Mohammed of the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq says, the elections must deny people's right to build their own political future.
As the Iraqi Civil Resistance has called for a boycott of the elections and been struggling for secularism, freedom and civil rights, support for their movement has been spreading among people who are furious about the occupation forces, the puppet administration and National Assembly as well as about nondiscriminatory terrorist attacks. During the process of the elections, workers' strikes spread across the country. On March 8, the International Women's Day action took place. Nothing but these movements will enable the democratic reconstruction of Iraq.
Coalition of the Willing collapsing
On March 19, the second anniversary of the start of the war on Iraq, US President Bush, in his radio speech, praised US actions in Iraq; "Because of our actions, freedom is taking root in Iraq, and the American people are more secure." However, the "freedom" he is referring to is not freedom of association, nor freedom of speech. It is "freedom" for occupation forces to ignore laws, "freedom" for religious sects to suppress workers, citizens and women, and "freedom" for global capitalists to control Iraq's oil, and not anything else.
In the latest Washington Post poll, 53% said, "No" to the question, "Was the war worth fighting?" while 45% said, "Yes." The failure of the occupation is a simple fact that cannot be disguised.
On March 15, after the US troops' shooting incident, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi had to soothe the angry Italians by announcing that Italy would start withdrawing its troops in September (though he revoked it on the following day). Also on that day, Ukraine started withdrawal of its troops. Bulgaria, having had a soldier shot to death by US troops, made a decision to start pulling out its troops in June. A half of the 38 countries that have dispatched troops to Iraq have already started or declared to start withdrawal. The Coalition of the Willing is going through the process of collapse now that the cause of occupation is lost.
"No" to occupation sounding worldwide again
On March 19/20, an international joint action calling for the end of the occupation in Iraq took place around the world. The London action led by the Stop the War Coalition saw more than 200,000 participants and in Rome, Italy, 10,000 people demonstrated against the Italian military presence in Iraq. At least 765 cities and towns in all 50 states of the US - more than twice as many communities as during last year's anniversary - held anti-war events. End-the-occupation demonstrations and peace walks took place around the world, not just in Japan, Korea, Australia and other nations having dispatched troops.
Link these worldwide anti-occupation movements with the Iraqi Civil Resistance struggling in Iraq to build a secular and democratic society, and we will certainly win withdrawal of all occupation forces, and the Self-Defense Forces (Japanese troops) among others. (March 21)