US, UK and Japan aiming to continue the occupation
After the February 22 bombing of the Askariya shrine, nondiscriminatory terrorist attacks by armed political Islam have been raging in Iraq in the name of "revenge." Reportedly, more than 1,300 people have been killed nationwide, and people's lives are still in peril day after day.
Using this catastrophic chaos as an excuse, US and other occupation forces are trying to suppress public opinions against the occupation and for early withdrawal in an effort to continue the occupation. On February 24, Japanese, US, UK and Australian leaders had four-nation talks on postponing of the withdrawal. Affected by the talks, the Japanese government is also opting to maintain the Ground SDF (Self-Defense Force) troops in Samawah, according to a government official's remarks on March 4 that it is "difficult to dare to start the withdrawal as a new Iraqi government is not in sight yet."
Power-greedy parties waving flags for respective religious sects or ethnicities are scaling up antagonism against each other that is totally disconnected from people. The situation is so severe that an Iraqi "Transitional Government" official observes, "It will take additional two months to launch a new administration." We should see, however, that occupations forces are the ones responsible for introducing those political Islam into the "Transitional Government," intentionally creating conflicts and splits between different sects and ethnic groups. Occupation policies are the very tools that have been destroying security of the Iraqi society and fueling nondiscriminatory terrorism. No fundamental solution can be found unless all occupation forces are pulled out of Iraq.
"No" to sectarian killings
The recent escalation of nondiscriminatory terrorist attacks has highlighted more strongly than ever the fact that political Islam hosted within the "Transitional Government" is an obstacle in front of the reconstruction of the Iraqi society that has no hesitation to massacre people for power expansion.
Members of the "Transitional Government" cabinet led by Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari (from the Da'wa Party, Shia) fanned "revenge" and the security unit under the Interior Ministry tortured supposedly "Sunni" residents to death. In turn, "Sunni" armed groups waged similar acts of "retaliation." People at large are bitterly viewing this development as failure of sectarian leaders, just as Baghdad-based blogger River Bend angrily asked in her February 27 posting, "Why don't they (Sunni and Shia clerics) simply tell their militias to step down?"
In the Iraqi society, it is typical for a family, relatives or a community to include Shia and Sunni mingled together. Recovery of civil security is what people aspire whatever sect they belong to.
Some elements in world antiwar movements tend to keep silent upon killings by political Islam while blaming the US military for its alleged involvement and/or scheming of the Askariya shrine bombing and crying out for the withdrawal of occupation forces. This approach could never show the perspective to the movement toward the end of occupation. World antiwar movements will advance only if solidarity with a front aiming to create a safe, free and secular Iraq is decisively advocated. That front is Iraq Freedom Congress (IFC) where people are united, believing in "no Shiite, no Sunni,.. but in human identity."
Support for IFC
As joint actions in the March 18-19 world actions marking the third anniversary of the war of aggression on Iraq, IFC is preparing demonstrations and protest actions in a number of cities in Iraq. Meanwhile, against violence and terrorism, it has established new local offices, looking to expand areas under IFC's programs for facilitating safety of residents and recovery of civil security.
An international initiative for supporting IFC has also begun: IFC PEACE TV Station Fund launched in response to IFC's proposal to establish their own satellite TV station. In Iraq, there is no freedom of distributing fliers or newspapers. Outing is also restricted due to aggravated security situation. People are disconnected from correct information. Fund-raising for the IFC's TV station is a new form of international solidarity movement aimed at nationwide delivery of information and programs based on the goal to drive occupation forces out of Iraq, peace, freedom and humanism. Let us achieve a success of the March 18-19 international actions and help the IFC PEACE TV fund-raising campaign develop extensively. (March 6)