Japan taking sides with killers
On May 8, in the town of al-Hit in western Iraq, an armed group attacked a convoy of vehicles traveling from a US base. This attack left heavy casualties and a Japanese employee of Hart Security Ltd. taken hostage. Hart is one of about one hundred PMC (Private Military Contractor) companies, operating in Iraq with a total of about 20,000 employees in service. The number of their employees far exceeds that of UK troops, forming a second largest group only next to 140,000 US troops.
Far from what the government and news media explain, PMCs are not mere "security companies." Many of them are mercenary dispatch companies with employees who are mostly war professionals with backgrounds in special operations forces or airborne units. Besides guarding of US bases and companies penetrating into Iraq, Hart is also engaged in training and recruiting Iraqi troops. For the January "elections," Hart carried out "clearing operations" jointly with US troops. Thus, those mercenaries hired by war contractors are organized war criminals set to kill civilians without being bound to international humanitarian law.
The Japanese government, including the Defense Agency, has been utilizing those war contractors, which highlights the fact that they take sides with forces killing the Iraqi people.
Homicides of civilians still continue
Occupation forces from other countries are withdrawing in sequence. As it is difficult to dispatch more troops from the respective homelands, the US, UK and Japanese militaries are filling the shortages with personnel dispatched from war contractors. Since last June, in fact, the number of mercenaries operating in Iraq has increased by nearly 5,000.
Now, what are those hired troops and occupation forces working on now? On May 7, the US forces launched extended "clearing operations." The US troops completely besieged the town of al-Qaim near the Syrian border, and then air-raided the town, killing numerous civilians. Hospitals were bombed and deprived of the function for surgeries while roads were closed to block out even the wounded being transferred. It is a resurgence of last year's massacre in Falluja.
On May 13, the puppet "Transitional Government," a product of hard labour, extended the state of emergency for additional 30 days. The "Government" is now cooperating with the US military in killings of the people.
Armed Islamist groups still continue to wage nondiscriminatory terror attacks. Just for the figure after the end of April this year, car bombs and other devices have killed nearly 400 and wounded 1,000 or more.
While occupation forces and Islamist groups are using the presence of each other to justify killings, the situation of civilian homicides is even aggravating. Lives and human rights of all Iraqis are now in a crisis.
Significance of IFC growing
Without the withdrawal of all occupation forces and mercenaries, and without eliminating nondiscriminatory terrorism by Islamist groups, safety and human rights cannot be recovered. Fighting terrorism from both camps, the Iraqi Civil Resistance front has now formed an organization aimed to establish a democratic and secular government - the Iraq Freedom Congress (IFC).
In protest against the killing of a Basra University student committed by a militia belonging to the al-Sadr group, students' bodies staged protest actions in Baghdad and in other cities. To their actions in Iraq, organizations outside Iraq also extended solidarity, including the National Union of Students and UNISON (the biggest public service union) in the UK. Finally, those domestic and international protests forced the al-Sadr group to publicize an apology in the newspaper. The international protests cornered the UK military and the Blair administration that had maintained coalition with the al-Sadr group, bringing about this outcome. Moreover, Blair's Labor Party lost a significant number of seats in May 5 elections while the camp of antiwar candidates made a great leap.
In unison with the above trend, let us spread international solidarity with the IFC. That is the way to open up a vista for the withdrawal of all occupation forces and the reconstruction of Iraq based on democracy.
In unison with the above trend, let us spread international solidarity with the IFC. That is the way to open up a vista for the withdrawal of all occupation forces and the building of secular, egalitarian and democratic Iraq.
At the end of May, we are welcoming the IFC Secretary Samir Adil visiting Japan on the invitation of the MDS (Movement for Democratic Socialism). "Step Forward, Iraq Freedom Congress! - MDS Rally for International Solidarity" will be held around the nation, creating a stage of solidarity for the future of Iraq hand in hand. (May 15)