Attacks on SDF in Samawah
On June 23, a convoy of the Japan Self-Defense Forces (SDF: the Japanese troops) stationed in Samawah in southern Iraq was exposed to a bombing attack. In Samawah, a string of anti-SDF incidents have been occurring, including a demonstration demanding the withdrawal of the SDF, rock-throwing acts and graffiti against the Japanese national flag. Behind the bombing exists a surge of opposition to the presence of the SDF as part of the occupation forces.
As the local filtration plant started operation, the dispatched SDF unit has already suspended water supply operation since February. According to the SDF's PR department, the Japanese troops are currently repairing roads and public facilities, which do not need the hands of the SDF; local residents are well capable of accomplishing those tasks. One of lads who threw stones at SDF-owned vehicles testifies the reality, saying, "The SDF troops are supposed to help, but look, we are out of a job, electricity or water." While they even fail to deliver what they have loudly announced to deliver, "reconstruction assistance," the presence of the SDF is now a source of discontent among local residents in Samawah.
The Japanese government argues away that "Samawah is no doubt a non-combatant area" through the June 24 statement by Director-General of the Defense Agency ONO Yoshinori and went ahead with a fourth dispatch of troops. What we see here is their rigid refusal of the withdrawal of the SDF troops even though their pretext of "reconstruction assistance" and reasoning that it is a "non-combatant area" have been proven sheer fallacy.
International Conference on Iraq, for participants' own interests
Prior to that dispatch, the International Conference on Iraq was held in Brussels, attracting participants from 85 nations and international organizations. Prime Minister Ibrahim Jafari of the "Iraqi Transitional Government," a puppet organ, requested for extended occupation by the US and other forces, and the Conference adopted a statement in 100% support of the "Transitional Government."
Proposed by President Bush during his visits to European nations in February, the Conference aims to provide "legitimacy" to the unaccredited "Iraqi Transitional Government" by means of international representation of support and to appeal that the extension of the occupation is according to the request of the "Transitional Government." We should also note that all American and European nations once at confrontation over the opening of the war delegated high-ranking officials like foreign ministers to this Conference. Indeed, the Conference provided a stage for global capitalists' agents to find balance in their ugly competition for interests from reconstruction demand.
Japan's Foreign Minister MACHIMURA Nobutaka announced an initiation of loans of 3.5 billion dollars and showed interest in a port rehabilitation project in Umm-Qasr of southern Iraq and water and sewerage sector projects in Baghdad. It has been the strategy of global capitalists to destroy the entire social infrastructure of Iraq by military force and then establish control of it through the "reconstruction" process by leveraging ODA (Official Development Assistance). Being faithful to this strategy, Japan is the top runner in the race for actually implementing the strategy.
The reason why they showed no space for considering the withdrawal of the SDF is that they need the SDF stationed in Iraq as an intimidating militant unit in order to protect the "reconstruction" projects. Defense Agency chief Ono announced a plan for increasing security personnel as countermeasures against attacks, which is nothing but an expansion of troops with guns pointed at the Iraqi people.
Immediate withdrawal of troops through solidarity with IFC
Under the puppet "Iraqi Transitional Government," suppression and massacres of residents of various local entities are raging again in the name of "sweeping operation." Also, indiscriminate terrorist attacks by militant Islamists continue, using the presence of occupation forces as an excuse, and have claimed lives of at least 1,200 civilians during the period after May this year alone.
As Secretariat of Iraq Freedom Congress (IFC) Samir Adil declares, "Without the end of the occupation, without the creation of a secular constitution of Iraq, we will never be able to win peace or stability in Iraq." It is only natural that the IFC is gathering support among the Iraqi people as it is the very purpose of the founding of the IFC to terminate the catastrophic situations.
Expand the memberships of the Committees for Solidarity with Iraqi Civil Resistance and enhance our voices calling for the immediate withdrawal of all occupation forces including the SDF troops. (June 26)