Frantic US government and Iraqi "Transitional Administration"
The US government and the Iraqi puppet "Transitional Government" headed by Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari plan to execute Operation Lightning (or "Barq" in Arabic), the largest-ever attack in Baghdad under the name of "sweeping of armed insurgents." This is an all-out door-to-door checking operation involving 40,000 Iraqi troops and 10,000 US troops, The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 27 issue reports. The US occupation forces have already committed mass civilian slaughters in the attacks on al-Qaim near the Syrian border and al-Hadithah in western Baghdad.
What is driving them into major "sweep" operations now?
The "Transitional Government" has announced that the sweeps would aim to stamp out nondiscriminatory terrorist attacks that had been rapidly increasing in number since April. Their true target is, however, the clampdown on the anti-occupation struggles of residents and workers for secularism and basic human rights as represented by the students' struggles at Basra University in March and the formation of Iraq Freedom Congress.
On May 15, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice paid a surprise visit to Iraq. With former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, an ex-CIA agent, and his company losing the clouts, Rice's visit aimed to fortify, in order to protect the interest of global capitalism, the arbitrary coalition of ethnic or sectarian groups led by al-Jaafari from the United Iraqi Alliance, Iraq's main Shiite allied parties, and President Jalal Talabani from Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. It was during her visit that the full-swing sweeping operation in Baghdad and extended presence of multinational occupation forces in Iraq were fixed. Furthermore, they aim to press the "Transitional Government" to take in the Sunni sections in an effort to patch up and continue the US occupation rule, whose collapse is now a bare fact.
IFC, the builder of the people's future
An organ to suppress the Iraqi people, the puppet government is already in the dead end. The future of the people lies with Iraq Freedom Congress (IFC).
The IFC was formed on March 18 around the core of the Iraqi Civil Resistance, a front of labor unions struggling for employment opportunities and basic workers' rights, women's organizations struggling against infringements of women's rights, and many other organizations and individuals. The IFC clearly stands under the flag of a secular and democratic government, aiming to end the occupation, to disband armed Islamists, to confiscate assets of religious foundations, and to protect basic human rights of women and the socially vulnerable.
The policy of IFC reflects the voices of the Iraqi people and is emerging as a threat to the al-Jaafari administration that was "selected" in the Transitional National Assembly, "elections" of which failed to have even a half of the eligible participate in voting. Meanwhile, the transitional process set by the occupation forces assumes development of a draft constitution by mid-August, approval by referendum by mid-October and a general election for a new administration by mid-December, a scenario totally indifferent of the public opinion that is far from supporting it. Despite the effort of the US government and the "Transitional Government" to forge ahead with the scenario by declaring the state of emergency and conducting "sweep" operations, there speculation does not have positive backing.
Call for withdrawal of Japanese troops and solidarity with IFC
The key issues on the agenda of our activities for enhancing solidarity with the Iraqi people struggling for security, freedom and human/civil rights are the immediate withdrawal of Self-Defense Forces troops and support for IFC.
In Samawah, the SDF has been exposed to frequent occurrences of stone-throwing acts targeting Ground SDF's vehicles and graffiti like "Death to Japan." Those phenomena have emerged as local residents have learned more and more about the reality of the SDF as part of the occupation forces. We should not allow any SDF troops to fire at people to death. To end the occupation and also to block a bloody "transitional process", we must realize the immediate withdrawal of all occupation forces.
Our effort should also include spreading of the objectives of Iraq Freedom Congress that embodies the wishes of the people of Iraq. The IFC stands against both killings by occupation forces and nondiscriminatory terrorism by armed Islamist forces, and continues to uncover that the "transitional process" is actually a formation of an administration for protecting the interest of occupation forces and political Islam tied up with them. Let us in Japan develop an extensive front in support of the Iraqi Civil Resistance and Iraq Freedom Congress advancing to make a path to the withdrawal of occupation forces and a secular and democratic change of Iraq. (May 28)