a) What is genocide?
b) What is intent?
4. Beyond law
a) The genocidal logic of
b) Genocide by occupation
5. The destruction of the Iraqi
state and national identity
a) The strategic context for
Asserting US geopolitical, global hegemony
policy aimed to break Arab unity
iii. The US
national emergency and corporate interests
unified strategy of genocide
b) Implementing genocide in
Destroying Iraq physically and permanently
Substituting the Iraqi state and nation
Resistance to genocide
6. Interpreting genocide in Iraq
anyone believe there is
another way to steal a country?
The United States has committed and sponsored the crime of genocide in Iraq.
Responsibility for genocide rests on specific intent and given or probable
consequences of actions. The 2003 US invasion of Iraq was the culmination and
intensification of a consistent US policy, spanning over 17 years, of
destroying Iraq as a national and state entity.
The United States attempted and succeeded to destroy the state of Iraq, but has
failed and cannot succeed in its attempt to destroy the nation of Iraq.
The Iraqi people have the legal right to resist occupation, colonialism and
genocide by all available means, including armed struggle.
The national popular resistance in Iraq is combating genocide directly where
international law as a preventative and protective mechanism has failed.
In defence of civilisation, people the world over should rise up in support of
the national liberation struggle of the Iraqi people.
In defence of international law, jurists and law associations should work to
bring the charge of genocide against the United States, its leaders and its
The world must criminalise all forms of war. Defensive wars would not be
necessary in the absence of wars of aggression.
illegal US invasion of Iraq was and is a humanitarian catastrophe. Some try to explain
this catastrophe as a by-product. They justify their concept on the
absence of intent. Reviewing applicable principles of international law and
American policy towards Iraq, this paper aims to prove that the humanitarian
catastrophe present in Iraq is an essential component of US policy,
constituting premeditated genocide against the people of Iraq. The intent that
some propose is absent is flagrantly evident.
this paper constitutes a call to jurists, law associations, and individuals from
all walks of life to act on ending genocide in Iraq. This study was made not
only because of the horrid consequences of the illegal US invasion of Iraq, but
to lay a basis for stopping imperial adventures and to enrich the political
thinking of instruments that can save our civilisation.
prohibition and prevention of genocide is a peremptory norm of international
law. No derogation is permitted: states are obliged, individually and
severally, to prevent genocide from occurring and to prosecute perpetrators,
conspirators, those complicit and those who incite it. When a crime is ongoing
the duty of authorities to enforce law by halting the crime is of special
urgency. Enforcing law means protecting potential victims and apprehending suspected
the international community not only failed to prevent the illegal US invasion
and subsequent occupation of Iraq, but also supported what from 1990 has been a
gathering US-led genocide in Iraq, is a catastrophic betrayal for the Iraqi
people and an injury to us all.
reasons are multiple and include: 1) Structural inequalities of power in world
politics, epitomised in the UN Security Council, that assure domination for the
few and subservience for the many; 2) Structural inequalities of power in the
world economy, characterising capitalism on a world scale, that scare dependent
states from speaking out on imperial crimes; 3) The general subordination of
human rights to "peace and security" (i.e., pacification and impunity) illustrated
in the perpetuation of a toothless, complicit and apologetic UN human rights
system; and 4) The success of Zionist ideology in making the concept of
genocide a synonym for "the holocaust", thus both its own exclusive preserve
and the model against which all alleged genocides must be compared.
blanket of silence surrounding this grievous international crime contributes to
the deaths of hundreds of Iraqis every day. If genocide cannot be prevented,
the UN and its high ideals serve no function. At present nothing exists to
prevent future atrocities on this scale or worse from occurring.
a) What is genocide?
all terms in the lexicon, genocide is the true word for what is happening in
Iraq. The controversy the word elicits reveals its potential. Some warn against
using the term so as not to "debase its currency". This is a misunderstanding
of what genocide means. Others fear that if used wantonly, antiwar protest may
appear sensationalist. In reality, any other word for US actions in Iraq is
closer, we find that the word genocide has two lives: its common meaning and
its legal substance. Commonly, genocide is taken to mean the total annihilation
of a people. Nothing less counts, hence scepticism in using the word. On rapid
reading, UN General Assembly Resolution 96 of 1946 authorising the drafting of
a genocide convention suggests the same understanding: "Genocide is a denial of
the right of existence of entire human groups, as homicide is the denial of the
right to live of individual human beings."
But this definition bears reading again, for it is not the fact of annihilation that constitutes the crime of genocide, but rather denial of
the right of existence of an entire given group. This
nuance is important.
2 of the 1948 Genocide Convention — now the legal standard
— makes this point clear by focusing on the concept of intent,
supplementing this with the important phrase, "in whole or in part", thus
grounding genocide not in numbers annihilated, but in the iniquity of a rationality that intends massively destructive consequences. This qualification is what
ensures that the Genocide Convention is a preventative mechanism and not simply
a reactive instrument. It also means that guilt is a moral determination.
in origin the term itself — coined in the inter-war period by Raphael
Lemkin, a Polish legal scholar — emerged from the effort to make
"barbarity" and "vandalism" crimes under international law. It is intent to
destroy that is the basis of the crime of
genocide, illustrated in definable acts that constitute — or would — genocide.
2 of the Genocide Convention reads:
In the present Convention,
genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in
whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
Killing members of the group;
Causing serious bodily or mental harm to
members of the group;
Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
Imposing measures intended to prevent births
within the group;
Forcibly transferring children of the group to
3 notes that punishable acts include:
Conspiracy to commit genocide;
Direct and public incitement to commit
Attempt to commit genocide;
Complicity in genocide.
Article 2 a number of questions emerge: 1) what qualifies as "in part"? 2) What
qualifies under each enumerated group? 3) What is the meaning of the
destruction of an enumerated group "as such"? 4) What qualifies as "serious
bodily or mental harm"? 5) What timeframe might "physical destruction" properly
be determined on? 6) What qualifies as "destruction"? and 7) What is
that the last question is the most important, I will address it separately
the first question, though the convention itself simply says "in part," which
reasonably could be understood to mean one person (and indeed this is the way
it is understood in the Elements of Crimes adopted by State Parties to the
International Criminal Court, wherein, in Article 6 (a)-(e), corresponding to
the acts enumerated in the Genocide Convention, it is simply noted that
enumerated acts concern "one or more persons"
general jurisprudential custom deems it necessary to demonstrate that "in part"
means a "substantial part" as, for example, stated in the United States Code.
that it is the United States that has perpetrated genocide in Iraq, it is
fitting to use US Code definitions of the crime of genocide. Under Title 18,
Section 1093 of US Code, dealing with definitions of genocide, it is stated:
"the term 'substantial part’ means a part of a group of such numerical
significance that the destruction or loss of that part would cause the
destruction of the group as a viable entity within the nation of which such
group is a part."
This definition is nuanced, but arguably contains one element that may prove
important in making the claim of US genocide in Iraq: the phrase "as a viable
entity" expands the qualification of what otherwise is often restricted to
destruction as such: i.e., that the substantial part must be large enough to
lead to the destruction of the whole group. Viable entity does not denote
destruction — and certainly not physical destruction — necessarily.
It simply denotes that the group would no longer function viably if a
"substantial part" of it were destroyed or "lost".
to enumerated groups, US Code states:
term "ethnic group" means a set of individuals whose identity as such is
distinctive in terms of common cultural traditions or heritage;
term "national group" means a set of individuals whose identity as such is
distinctive in terms of nationality or national origins;
(7) the term "religious group"
means a set of individuals whose identity as such is distinctive in terms of
common religious creed, beliefs, doctrines, practices, or rituals
qualification "as such" in the Genocide Convention is an element of purposive
specificity: that any of the acts enumerated are conducted against individuals
as part of a group understood as a group as such. Thus one is obliged to
provide some level of proof that: 1) the group was targeted as such (which can
be established on the basis of a pattern of accumulated actions and not
necessarily any stated objective or intent); and 2) the targeting of the group
could be understood within the context of "specific intent" to perpetrate
genocide, either of that group as such or, arguably, of the nation "within
which such a group is part."
this paper aims to establish overall, a complex genocide has unfolded in Iraq
involving the targeting of several definable groups in order to destroy a
"substantial part" of the nation of Iraq "of such numerical significance" that
the state and nation of Iraq would cease to exist a "viable entity".
on the definition provided under US Code of ethnic group, the nation of Iraq as
a whole would qualify (notwithstanding the category of national group), and
within that nation, arguably, the Iraqi middle class and the impoverished Iraqi
rural class. As a targeted "national group", members of the Iraqi Baath Party,
while political, may qualify. As a targeted religious group, it is clear that
Sunni Arabs have been and remain, at present, the predominant target of the US
concerning what constitutes "serious bodily or mental harm", what timeframe
upon which "physical destruction" might properly be determined, and what
qualifies as "destruction", international jurisprudence and incorporations of
the Genocide Convention into the national law of states varies. In some
instances, specific aspects are named as to what might be deemed serious bodily
or mental harm
while little in the way of jurisprudence defines the timeframe on which
destruction ought properly to be viewed. Similarly with destruction itself;
thus, in any given case, it is largely down to argument. And again, given that
the Genocide Convention is designed also to be a preventative instrument,
destruction may not even have taken place or begun as such.
3 — as well as the focus on intent — indeed ensures that the
Genocide Convention is not simply a reactive instrument to be invoked after a given
genocide, but may be invoked before a single death has been recorded,
particularly in section (b) where "conspiracy to commit" would appear to most
strongly criminalise intent itself rather than the execution of that intent.
to the crime of "complicity in genocide" also assures that the reach of the
Genocide Convention is potentially very broad — in the case of Iraq,
perhaps even criminalising the silence of the international community and
responsible state leaders in the context of US actions that at the very least
constitute — as defined by the Elements of Crimes of the ICC — the crimes
against humanity of murder, extermination, imprisonment,
torture, rape, sexual violence, persecution, enforced disappearance and other
humane acts, and the war crimes of wilful killing,
torture, inhuman treatment, wilfully causing great suffering, destruction and
appropriation of property, denying fair trial, unlawful confinement, attacking
civilians, attacking civilian objects, of excessive incidental death, injury or
damage, of attacking undefended places, of killing or wounding a person hors
de combat, of attacking protected objects, of destroying or
seizing the enemy’s property, of depriving the nationals of the hostile power
of rights or actions, of pillaging, of employing prohibited gases, liquids,
materials or devices, of outrages upon personal dignity, of rape, of sexual
violence, of starvation as a method of warfare, of murder, of cruel treatment,
of torture, of taking hostages, of sentencing or execution without due process,
of displacing civilians, and of treacherously killing or wounding, and which
arguably constitute a pattern amounting to genocide.
combination, from Articles 2 and 3 of the Genocide Convention we can conclude:
1) There is no threshold of genocide as such; rather, it is qualified on the
basis of a determination of the moral degradation contained within qualifying
acts that are conducted with the intent that destruction, or the rendering
"unviable" of an enumerated group, whether in whole or in part, or substantial
part, will be the consequence; 2) That genocide concerns an existential threat
to a given group in intent, even if actual destruction of the group is not
achieved; 3) That genocide also concerns the intent to annul the positive
biological development of a group, whether by mental or bodily harm or by
interceding to prevent propagation or disrupt social generation; 4) That intent
alone is imputable under international law; and 5) That complicity with
consequences that qualify as genocide is imputable under international law.
the complexity and flexibility of the operative articles of the Genocide
Convention has been digested it is easier to understand what Lemkin opined when
commenting on the incorporation of his concept into international law:
Generally speaking, genocide does
not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation, except when
accomplished by mass killings of all members of a nation. It is intended rather
to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of
essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of
annihilating the groups themselves. The objectives of such a plan would be the
disintegration of the political and social institutions, of culture, language,
national feelings, religion, and the economic existence of national groups, and
the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and even
the lives of the individuals belonging to such groups.
prose definition of genocide is practically word for word what has happened in
Iraq since 1990. The possibility of reading Lemkin’s definition into the
Genocide Convention denotes that the convention is undoubtedly an undervalued
instrument that could be used to pressure an end to US aggression on Iraq and
potentially form the basis of reparative prosecutions. What is at issue,
simply, is the burden of proof relative to specific intent, and substantiated
argument relative to qualifying acts and enumerated groups "as such".
states are obliged, individually and severally, to prevent genocide from
occurring and to prosecute perpetrators, conspirators, those complicit and
those who incite it. After four years of US carnage and 13 years of prior US-UN
sanctions, the antiwar movement, in connection with jurists and legal
associations, has the material, expertise and organisational skills to ensure
that this obligation is met.
b) What is intent?
under the provisions of the Genocide Convention demands the demonstration of purposive
or "specific intent". Referred to also as the mens rea ("guilty mind", "guilty or wrongful purpose", or criminal intent), specific
intent usually, though not always, must infer an understanding that the action
undertaken would lead to the destruction, or rendering unviable, in whole or in
part, or substantial part, of an enumerated group; that as such would
constitute an unlawful act, and that the consequence is desired. It is perhaps
fair that the gravest of international crimes sets the burden of proof so high,
but in the case of Iraq it is not unreachable.
criminal law there are traditionally five levels to intent, differentiated
according to different degrees of foresight and criminal desire: 1) Purposive
intent, where an unlawful consequence is foreseen, desired
and planned for. In this category it is not strictly required that the actus
rea — the given act or set of acts constituting
genocide — is present, though if it is it adds significantly to the
weight and charge of the offence; 2) Oblique intent,
where simply the consequences can be seen as an assured outcome of a given act
or set of acts; 3) Knowingly, where the accused knows
or reasonably should know the certainty of the outcome of a given act or set of
acts; 4) Recklessness, where the consequences are seen
to be possible but the act or set of acts is undertaken anyway; and 5) Negligence,
where liability is centred on a firm sense that the consequences should have
been foreseen but where the accused did not foresee the consequences.
and oblique intent and knowingly undertaking a given act are all under the
umbrella of "specific intent", whereas recklessness and negligence are deemed
"general intent". In a sense, knowingly undertaking a given act within the
framework of specific intent is akin to negligence in general intent, where
both oblique intent and clear purposive intent could constitute the degree of
specific intent necessary to secure conviction under the provisions of the
Genocide Convention. On the other hand, recklessness might be deemed a grave
disregard for human life, and thus constitute the "requisite mental element"
required for prosecution under the Genocide Convention. Negligence would fail
the test of specific intent.
put, the argument that the occupation of Iraq has been one blunder after
another is contrary to the elements of the crime of genocide, which perhaps
explains its present currency in popular discourse. On the other hand, if it
could be established that the consequences of US actions in Iraq were certain,
or even that the US administration ought reasonably to have known, specific
intent, and hence conviction for genocide could be established. Without doubt,
if it could be shown that there was a strong desire — even undeclared
— to bring about the consequences that constitute genocide,
responsibility for the crime of genocide would be unavoidable.
jurisprudence there are three essential categories for how intent is judged: 1)
the objective test, where mens rea is imputed on the basis that any reasonable person would have had the requisite
mental element in the same circumstances. Here the continuum between
"inevitable, probable, possible and improbable", related to projected
consequences of acts, is explored relative to the specific circumstances of a
given case; 2) The subjective test, where a
given court must be satisfied that the accused had the requisite mental
element, or either direct intent or knowingly undertaking the act, or
recklessly undertaking the act; and 3) A hybrid of
objective and subjective determinations. The essence of the act of adjudication
is to determine the relation between foresight (or
foreseeability) and desire for the given consequences to
time of war, "intent to destroy" may appear indistinguishable from warfare.
This is not the case. While in restricted circumstances warfare may permit
so-called "legal killing"
in all instances it is governed by international humanitarian law. Not everything
is permitted in so-called "legal war". In the case of Iraq, all use of US force
was and remains illegal under international law
but at issue here is under what conditions might the use of force constitute
"intent to destroy" as defined by the Genocide Convention.
general, there are two conditions: 1) When the use of force is substantially
disproportionate and indiscriminate (a determination based an assessment of the
level of force necessary to achieve a military objective, and the extent to
which the obligatory distinction between military and civilian targets has been
observed in the action); and 2) When patterns of given consequences destroy
— or could reasonably be foreseen to destroy — in whole or
"substantial part" an enumerated group.
to substantially disproportionate and indiscriminate force, as illustrations of
the principle, the massive and overwhelming destruction of Fallujah, Tel Afar,
Al-Qaem, Haditha and Ramadi, among other cities and towns destroyed, qualifies.
In Fallujah, 75 per cent of the city was levelled. In the words of 1st
Lieutenant Ben Klay, who took part in the decimation of Ramadi, "We’re used to
taking down walls, doors and windows, but eight city blocks is something new to
Added to the illegal use of white phosphorus and napalm equivalent MK-77 in
Fallujah and Tel Afar, these wilful illegalities reveal the mens rea of desire to destroy.
the notion of "Shock and Awe" — 800 missiles raining down on Baghdad in
the first 48 hours of a bombing campaign that lasted 300 hours — appears
to declare outright intent to use disproportionate force, mortally targeting
Iraqis as a national group as well as causing trauma and serious mental harm.
As one Pentagon strategist boasted to CBS News, "There will not be a safe place
This is also prime facie evidence of the mens rea of specific intent.
whether the distinction between civilian and military targets has been
respected and upheld, with credible studies reporting as many as 1,000,000 Iraqi
civilian deaths since 2003 alone, a number that is increasing rapidly, US use
of force would appear clearly indiscriminate.
Alternatively, the use of depleted uranium (DU) ordnance — about 2,000
tons to date since 2003, around 10 times what was used in the 1991 Gulf War
— illustrates unequivocally indiscriminate and disproportionate force in
that DU, which is airborne and waterborne, has a half-life of 4.7 billion
years, causing sterility, cancer, leukaemia and birth defects, as well as
rendering swathes of Iraqi land permanently lethal and unusable. Indeed, the
United States has not only attacked living Iraqis, but also the unborn
generations of Iraq.
Lennon makes an important point when stating: "desire to bring about the
illegal result is not an essential component of intention, and that bringing
something about because it is a means to a quite different end can be
This illustrates the principle noted above of knowingly undertaking an act where the perpetrator claims either not to have known, or
desired, the consequent outcome. In the instance of DU, it is simply
unconvincing that US commanders could be unaware of the disproportionate and
indiscriminate impact of its use. At best, it illustrates grave disregard for
human life, and at worst oblique intention or direct intention. A strong
argument could be made for the case of direct intent on the basis that many
targets of US DU use are not military vehicles or other heavily armoured
installations but rather civilian districts in Mosul, Basra, Samawa and
Baghdad, among other towns and cities.
the other hand, specific intent can be inferred in the accumulated "pattern of
purposeful action". If the sum of the whole creates as a consequence the
destruction, in whole or substantial part, of an enumerated group, and if these
consequences are known or can be reasonably foreseen in advance, or even if
brought to the attention of commanders mid-operation and ignored, this may be
deemed genocide and mens rea specific intent. As Lennon
states: "where a consequence is foreseen as a matter of moral certainty,
intention can be said to be present."
attempts to impose a military solution on Iraq should be seen in this light,
while the 13-year US-imposed UN sanctions regime that led to the "excess
deaths" of 1,500,000 Iraqis is a clear example of "patterns of given
consequences" where foreseeability was present and the policy continued,
suggesting at the least oblique intention (which is
sufficient for conviction on genocide in being a category of specific intent),
but more plausibly — given constant US bullying in the UN to maintain the
clearly destructive sanctions regime — purposive intent.
also illustrate the principle of complicity in genocide. Lennon opines:
Even if it is arguable that the UN
did not know as a matter of moral certainty from the inception of the sanctions
that they would bring about civilian starvation and deaths, it certainly knew
from the time when its own investigations revealed to it the extent to which
the sanctions were causing civilian deaths. The earliest date on which that
occurred is perhaps open to debate. It may be as late as 1995. However, the
fact that the blockade / sanctions regime inherently targets civilians must
have been known to its architects from its inception and accordingly criminal
liability attaches under the Geneva Protocol.
conclusion formed the basis of Francis Boyle’s petition for relief from genocide submitted to the
secretary general of the UN and other relevant bodies 18 September 1991. In
this petition, after listing (paragraphs 5-18) the risks faced by the
applicants of the petition (4.5 million Iraqi children), Boyle states:
Only the "specific intent" of Respondent George Bush to commit genocide
against Applicants remains to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to establish
his criminal responsibility under United States municipal law and international
criminal law. The open publication and widespread dissemination of the Harvard
Report on 22 May 1991 makes that task possible. Any Bush administration
official responsible for implementing the economic sanctions policy against
Iraq who has knowledge of the conclusions of the Harvard Report would possess
the "specific intent" required to serve as the mental element or mens rea of the international and
municipal crime of genocide against Applicants, The 4.5 Million Children of
Iraq. Applicants assert that Respondent George Bush has full knowledge of the
genocidal consequences of the continuation of economic sanctions against Iraq
and therefore has the mens rea necessary for committing the crime of genocide as
recognized by the Genocide Convention and the Genocide Implementation Act.
conclusion is echoed in an article by Elias Davidsson wherein the relationship
between "knowledge" and intent in international criminal law is discussed.
The conjunction of foreseeability,
general intent to cause hardships, detailed and compelling notice served on a
regular basis, and a protracted neglect to monitor the consequences, strongly
suggests a specific criminal intent to cause the observed harm in Iraq.
specific intent can also be established on the basis of reasonable
foreknowledge of the consequences of a given action or pattern of actions; most
especially when destructive consequences are identified midway into an action,
or pattern of actions, and the concerned party fails to prevent these
consequences, or continues to perpetrate them. In this instance not only are
the consequences certain in and of themselves (oblique intention), and not only
does the party know of them (knowingly undertaking a given act), but it cannot
constitute reckless intent because the consequences are certain, not simply a
possibility. It can only infer direct intent, or the highest level of criminal
it would be for a court to decide if the pattern of consequences known and
ignored or addressed insufficiently amounted to specific intent, not the
individuals who perpetrated the acts. As explained by international law expert
Roger O’Keefe, bodies like the International Court of Justice (ICJ) "can decide
to convict on the balance of probabilities, rather than beyond all reasonable
all events, it is unlikely that direct intention will be declared openly.
Jean-Paul Sartre in his essay "On Genocide", written in the context of the
Vietnam War, discusses the question of intent when direct proclamations are
absent. His analysis is sentient in the context of the current occupation of
Iraq and US attempts to break resistance to that occupation.
that Hitler was an exception to the rule when it came to candour, Sartre
The declarations of American
statesmen are not as frank as those that Hitler made in his day. But honesty is
not indispensable; the facts speak for themselves ... it can only be premeditated.
It is possible that in the past genocide was committed suddenly, in a flash of
passion, in the midst of tribal or feudal conflicts. Anti-guerrilla genocide,
however, is a product of our times that necessarily entails organisation, bases
and, therefore, accomplices (from a distance) and the appropriate budget. It
needs to be thought over and planned. Does this mean that those responsible are
fully aware of their own intentions? It is difficult to decide: to do so one
would have to probe the latent ill-will of puritanical motives ... [But] we do
not have to worry about this psychological hide-and-seek. The truth is to be
found on the field ... The young Americans torture
without repugnance, shooting at unarmed women for the pleasure of completing a
hat-trick: they kick the wounded Vietnamese in the testicles; they cut off the
ears of the dead for trophies … Whatever the lies or nervous hedging of the
government, the spirit of genocide is in the soldiers’ minds. This is their way
of enduring the genocidal situation in which their government has put them.
understanding of premeditation is reflected in the Elements of Crimes of the
ICC that stands as a legal reference point in developing definitions of
This document contains illustrations of the kinds of conduct that would
immediately qualify under subsections (a) to (e) of Article 2 of the Genocide
Convention. Alongside intent is added "context", which in all cases reads: "The
conduct took place in the context of a manifest pattern of similar conduct
directed against that group or was conduct that could itself effect such
a review of the strategic context of US Middle East policy, and Iraq policy
specifically (see below), suggests that the 2003 invasion was but the
"execution phase", or "endgame" of a general strategy of destroying the state
and nation of Iraq predicated on the premeditated destruction of a "substantial
part" of the Iraqi population, rendering the state and nation unviable as
Sartre might say, the facts speak for themselves. In the words of John Pace,
former human rights chief of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq: "The country
has been blown apart in terms of its social structures and social fibre."
4. Beyond law
definitions by nature favour the exigencies of order. Ultimately, there is a
second level — moral, civil and political — embodying the calling
of common sense and conscience. While it is important, if the antiwar movement
is to take up the term genocide, to understand in outline the legal issues,
comprehending the broader context and its immediate manifestation is
a) The genocidal logic of neo-colonial war
his essay, "On Genocide", Jean-Paul Sartre goes beyond legal definitions to
place genocide as a "thing" in an evolving historical context. There is not one
society that has not practised genocide, Sartre says, but the form that
genocide takes is different relative to the nature of the state and states
system from which it emerges, and the nature of warfare each suggests and
the 19th century, with the development of mass industry and the democratic
evolution of bourgeois societies, Western states increasingly engaged one
another in strategies of "total war", entailing not only the industrial
development of the machinery of war, but the breaking down of the distinction
between the civilian population and the military, and the extension of
competition between states into imperial acquisition worldwide. The logic of
"total mobilisation" is the mirror of total war, in that defence of the nation
becomes synonymous with defence of the "way of life" it expresses and embodies.
International laws — in particular the laws of war — are but a
"vain" attempt to humanise total war.
war between "advanced" states, however, rarely becomes genocide. On the one
hand, total war finds comfortable expression in industrial competition, only
coming to actual war when powers reach parity that in duration blocks the
dynamic of competition and wealth production that are based respectively in
inequality and exploitation. More importantly, the general equality of advanced
states forestalls outright genocide because of the possibility of retaliation
different logic exists in the imperialist process. Here there is no parity of
forces, so no military consideration prevents wars of conquest from being
genocidal. On the other hand, the colonial endeavour in nature, at least to
some extent and not always, protected the populations of colonies from outright
genocide. Colonialism is a system whereby natural resources are plundered and
manufactured goods are sold back to colonised populations at world market
prices. The destruction of colonised peoples undermines the very logic of that
problem is that, generally, no people can accept to be the slaves of others for
long. Thus, constant massacres and torture were embedded in the colonial
system, in order to keep the numerically superior colonised subservient to the
colonial settlers. At the same time, the colonial system destroys pre-existing
social structures; constituting genocide of a different kind and building
pressures within the colonial system that ultimately break out in wars of
national liberation. By the mid-20th century, bolstered by their experience as
proxy armies for colonial states, and increasingly aware of the nature of the
international colonial system, numerous former colonies seized their
Neo-colonialism has been the response of the former colonial powers; on the one hand subjecting
newly post-colonial states to an institutionalised system of unequal exchange, and
on the other hand staking their existence within political frameworks that open
the way to military occupation and re-colonisation. The Cold War was such a
system, and the "War on Terror" is its successor. In general, neo-colonial wars
are different because what is at stake in each instance is the example that
must be set to all other post-colonial states: that the colonial relation did
not end, but can and will be reasserted at will.
it is the instrumentalisation of international financial, economic and
political relations that allows for neo-colonisation. Such
was the role of the UN sanctions regime and weapons inspections programme for
Iraq. Only when the United States was assured there were no weapons of mass
destruction in Iraq was it possible to wage the war it had long prepared; only
when it was certain that economically and socially Iraq was on its knees could
it invade. The US war on Iraq is not the conduct of politics by other means in
any classical sense, nor even a classical war, but rather a neo-colonial war: a
war of liquidation, genocide and plunder.
Neo-colonial war is "total
war waged to the end by one side and with not one particle of reciprocity." And
it is this inequality that — akin to colonial suppression, only greater —
contains within it the logic of genocide.
the scarcity and
quality of weapons [on the side of the invaded state] … dictates the nature of
the fighting: terrorism, ambush, harassing the enemy, and the extreme mobility
of the combat groups which [have] to strike unexpectedly and disappear
immediately. This [is] not possible without the participation of the entire
population … Against partisans backed by the entire population, [neo-colonial]
armies are helpless. They have only one way of escaping from the harassment
which demoralises them ... this is to eliminate the civilian population. As it
is the unity of a whole people that is containing the conventional army, the
only anti-guerrilla strategy which will be effective is the destruction of that
people, in other words, the civilians, women and children … A determined
population, unified by its fierce and politicised partisan army, will not let
itself be intimidated, as it was in the heyday of colonialism, by a massacre
'as a lesson’. On the contrary, this will only increase its hatred. It is no
longer a matter of arousing fear but of physically liquidating a people.
Sartre clarifies the point by exploring the psychology
of the colonial soldier in Vietnam:
In these confused American minds the
Viet Cong and the Vietnamese tend to become more and more indistinguishable. A
common saying is 'The only good Vietnamese is a dead one’, or, what comes to
the same thing, 'Every dead Vietnamese is a Viet Cong’ … Originally, they were
probably disappointed: they came to save Vietnam from Communist aggressors.
They soon saw that the Vietnamese actually disliked them. Instead of the
attractive role of the liberator they found themselves the occupiers. It was
the beginning of self-appraisal: 'They do not want us, we have no business
here.’ But their protest goes no further: they become angry and simply tell
themselves that […] there is not a single Vietnamese who is not really a
Communist: the proof is their hatred of the Yankees. Here, in the shadowy and robot-like
souls of the soldiers, we find the truth about the war in Vietnam: it matches
all of Hitler’s declarations. He killed the Jews because they were Jews. The
armed forces of the United States torture and kill men, women and children in
Vietnam because they are Vietnamese.
In neo-colonial "wars of example", especially —
as in Vietnam — where the economic interests are minimal, the "innate
contradiction" in colonial logic that once forestalled genocide (keeping the
natives alive as consumers for industrial goods), no longer pertains. In this
case, Sartre writes, "Total genocide then reveals itself as the foundation of
anti-guerrilla strategy. And, under certain circumstances, it would even
present itself as the ultimate objective, either immediately or gradually."
This is not to say that the people aggressed have no
choice. There is always submission. But submission is simply the revitalisation
of colonialism, and as such is genocide by another name. As Sartre explains:
"One cannot colonise without systematically destroying the particular character
of the natives, at the same time denying them the right of integration with the
mother country and of benefiting from its advantages … It naturally follows
that the colonised lose their national personality, their culture, their
customs, sometimes even their language, and live in misery like shadows."
So the commencement of physical genocide is used as
blackmail to force the aggressed to accept another genocide. Here "substantial
part" loses all meaning, for its annihilation is but a means to force the rest
into submission. That the choice is posed between death and submission doesn’t
stop the act from being genocide by intention. As Sartre writes:
Let us say that there is only a
choice between immediate violent death and a slow death after mental and
physical degradation. In fact, say the American government, we have done
nothing but offer the Vietnamese this choice: either you stop your aggression
or we break you. This absurdity is not uncalculated: it is clever to formulate
a demand which the Vietnamese cannot possibly satisfy. In this way, America
remains the master of the decision to stop the fighting. But, one might read
the alternatives as: declare yourselves conquered, or 'we will take you back to
the Stone Age’. It does not cancel out the second term of the alternative,
which is genocide. They have said: genocide, yes, but only conditional
genocide. Is this legally valid? Is it even conceivable?
Until submission: "villages
are burnt, the population has to endure massive and deliberately destructive
bombardments, the cattle are shot at, the vegetation is ruined by defoliants,
what does grow is ruined by toxic elements, machine guns are aimed haphazardly,
and everywhere there is killing, rape and pillage." And not only the daily risk
of death and environmental destruction, but also "the systematic destruction of
the economic system, from the irrigation ditches to the factories of which
'there must not be a brick left upon another brick’; destruction of hospitals,
schools, places of worship, consistent effort towards wiping out [national]
submission: "most elementary needs are ignored. There is under-nourishment and
complete lack of sanitation. The social structure is destroyed … family life no
longer exists. As the homes are broken up, the birth rate diminishes; all
possibility of cultural or religious life is abolished. Even work that will
improve the standard of living is denied … The elder sister or the young
mother, without a breadwinner and with so many mouths to feed, sinks to the
utmost degradation in prostitution to the enemy."
reality, neo-colonial strategy presents the aggressed population with one
choice: resistance or collective death or disintegration. So long as it
resists, it faces massive deliberate attacks or the possibility of extinction
in an overwhelming genocidal campaign, while if it submits, it faces conditions
of life that amount to genocide of another kind. Insofar as there is no choice
except resistance and survival, popular resistance wages its struggle in the
hope of debilitating the aggressor sufficiently enough as to slow him down and
spark unrest within his domestic population, while not overly provoking him
into launching an all out campaign of extermination. This cat and mouse war of
attrition will last so long as a political solution is absent (i.e., the
withdrawal of the colonial state) and so long as the political will of the
resisting population remains firm.
the vantage point of the neo-colonial state, either the aggressor "gives way,
makes peace and recognises that a whole nation is opposing him," or else,
realising that classical colonial repression will not work, resorts — if
he can do so without damaging his own interests — to "extermination pure
resisting population, on the other hand, can only choose resistance, as
resistance — to the extent to which the full discharge of the
neo-colonial state is avoided, and to the extent to which the effects of
colonial terror "in its psycho-social consequences"
can be ameliorated — is the only possible path to liberty and
b) Genocide by occupation
can surmise that because this equation must be understood in advance, the very
waging of neo-colonial war is genocidal in that success amounts to cultural
genocide for the colonised, while failure presents genocide as a solution for
the colonial state. A logic of genocide is inherent to neo-colonial war in all
respects: in its duration in the face of popular resistance; in the tactics it
must resort to in order to quell popular resistance; in the possibility of
massive escalation in the face of popular resistance; and in the outcome if
submission is achieved.
The principle of genocide by
duration is currently exhibited in occupied Iraq. Under international
humanitarian law, the United States as an occupying power is obliged to provide
for the wellbeing of Iraqis. Yet so long as they are occupied, the Iraqi
people, naturally set against the occupying power in resistance and embodying
as such the continuity of the state, have no interest in pursuing anything but
bare survival lest the situation of occupation become normalised.
This mode of resistance is illustrated well in how
quickly sabotage, especially of strategic infrastructure like oil pipelines,
took hold in Iraq following the onset of the US occupation.
Naturally, any resistance movement to occupation has an interest in making the
occupation as difficult and as costly as possible for the occupying power.
Given that US officials, in order to get American public backing for the war,
stressed that Iraqi oil would pay to rebuild the country they would imminently
oil production has been constantly targeted by Iraqis themselves in order to
drain the pocket of the American taxpayer.
Thus it is not simply the incompetence, corruption and
punitive mentality of the United States and its local proxies that explain why
four years into the US occupation even basic services like access to water and
electricity are debilitated. The overall level of reconstruction is held at
zero not only as a collective punitive measure, but also because the Iraqi
resistance prevents Iraqi oil from reinforcing the occupation or paying for
America’s war of aggression. The $50 billion in Iraqi assets that the US seized
along with revenues from oil possibly exported has funded no real
reconstruction in four years. Money is used, rather, on military and police
operations, sunk into political corruption, or funding propaganda campaigns.
It is in this context that the intransigence of the US
occupation — its unwillingness to accept its defeat and withdraw —
suggests additional genocidal intent. So long as the US occupation continues,
the overall suppression of Iraqi wellbeing persists, development and life-sustainability
impeded. Intransigence leading to arrested development augments the toll of
excess deaths and the general psychosis experienced by those living in
continual fear of imminent annihilation, and steals from Iraq, every day the US
occupation remains, countless productive life hours and life years.
Given that the US must be aware that Iraqi
reconstruction is impossible so long as it remains an occupying power, the fact
that it remains an occupying power is further evidence of the US "knowingly" committing
genocide, or, if used as blackmail and punishment, "purposely" committing
genocide as outlined above.
5. The destruction of the Iraqi state and national
analysis of the dynamics of neo-colonial war reveals the inner logic, in the
abstract, of genocide inherent to contemporary colonialism — a logic that
appears to the fore in two circumstances: 1) Where the innate contradiction of
colonialism, represented in certain economic interests primarily, is absent; 2)
When popular resistance to colonialism takes the form of guerrilla warfare and
the entire aggressed population appears as a target. If this is indeed the
inherent dynamic, all that would remain to be done would be to expose as neo-colonialism US aggression on Iraq. It is
already clear that in Iraq popular resistance has taken the form of guerrilla
reality, US policy in Iraq amounts to and exceeds colonialism. Current US
actions in Iraq are an objective attempt to destroy Iraq as a state and nation.
In this instance, the genocidal logic of neo-colonial war has been activated on
purpose and established as the ultimate aim. It has nothing to do with accident
or incompetence, and even goes beyond reactive vengeance. It is the outcome of
an entire global, regional and national imperative. Thus we must penetrate,
before outlining how the project has been implemented, the core context of
Iraq’s destruction as such. The strategic context for US genocide in Iraq gives
us a framework through which to interpret events as well as fully appreciate
the gravity of these events.
a) The strategic context for genocide
are three primary sets of reasons why Iraq was singled out for destruction.
These reasons, attendant to three levels of policy (global, regional and
national), form a single overarching imperial strategy, each part interrelated
and dependent on the others.
i. Asserting US geopolitical, global hegemony
"a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to
generate global power,"
command of the Middle East and Eurasia region is essential to any bid for world
hegemony. Until 1989, US global supremacy was thwarted by the Soviet Union.
Though embedded in the Middle East region economically and politically, US
control remained virtual, not actual. In his 1980 State of the Union Address,
President Jimmy Carter summed up Cold War US Middle East concerns: "Any attempt
by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be
regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States. It will be
repelled by the use of any means necessary, including military force."
Already in 1979, spurred by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Carter had
created the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force (RDJTF), an ad hoc assortment of
US forces designated for possible deployment in the Middle East.
1981, President Reagan added the "Reagan Corollary to the Carter Doctrine",
proclaiming that the US would not only use military force to "defend" Middle
Eastern oil supplies from "external" threats, but would also use military force
to maintain the "internal stability" of the region. By "stability" Reagan meant
exactly what he said: the maintenance of the engineered status quo: the
non-unity of the Arab Muslim world and guaranteeing the presence and
superiority of Israel. Consequently, in 1983 Reagan consolidated the RDJTF as
US Central Command. By late 1989, with the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, and
with the Soviet bloc fragmenting, the United States was left unopposed in the
most important geopolitical and geo-economic region of the world. Objectives
long suppressed by the Cold War could be activated in full.
words of Henry Kissinger, "Oil is too important a commodity to be left in the
hands of the Arabs." If this sums up US policy that until 1990 was covert, from
the collapse of the Warsaw Pact it became overt. The 1990 sanctions regime,
followed by the 1991 Gulf War, marks the opening salvo of a US drive for Middle
East and Eurasia control that continues until now. History will prove or
disprove the reasons of Iraq’s occupation of Kuwait. Legally Iraq had no right
to invade Kuwait, but the sanctions regime adopted by the UN Security Council,
in its rapidity, severity and results, is proof that already in 1990 there was
a premeditated plan to destroy Iraq, rather than see only an end to the Kuwait
invasion. If containment was the strategic philosophy of the Cold War, in 1990
it became subjugation and substitution. Sanctions reached into the heart of
in particular? In addition to being sovereign over the world’s second largest
proven reserves of oil, its geopolitical position is the answer. Regionally,
"Iraq is a crossroads. Its land provides the necessary route for Iran to access
Syria, Jordan and the Mediterranean, and for Syria and Jordan as they look
towards Iran and the Arabian Gulf basin. It is also the natural path from
Turkey to the Gulf, and vice versa."
Globally, Iraq is positioned in the centre between Eurasia and the
Mediterranean. If the US was to control the global economy, it could only do so
by imposing itself as intermediary between Iraq, Europe and China. As
formulated by Paul Wolfowitz and Dick Cheney (then US defense secretary) in
1992, the imperative was "precluding the emergence of any future potential global
competitor" by maintaining the "mechanisms for deterring potential competitors
from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role."
sanctions were not working. With Europe and China ever rising, entailing
competition for access to oil for development, a group of ideologues, Zionists
and corporate lobbyists coalesce and send a wake-up call to Washington.
Named the "Project for a New American Century" (PNAC), gone now is the language
of "new era of multilateralism" attendant to the "new world order". America’s
very future depends, the PNAC neocons said, on "full spectrum dominance."
Military "presence in the Gulf region", reads a PNAC 2000 strategy document,
should be considered "a de facto permanent presence." As the PNAC indiscreetly
admitted: "The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent
role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq
provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force
presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein."
ii. US policy aimed to break Arab unity
end of 1991 Gulf War, it was evident, although having suffered severe
casualties and the enormous cost of war, that Iraq had a large and experienced
army, capable of defending its national interests. Throughout the Iran-Iraq
War, and the 1991 Gulf War, the Iraqi army proved that it was an army of
technicians in all domains. In addition, the unity of the Iraqi people behind
its government against other regimes was evident. Iraq emerged as a defender of
all Arabs against imperialism, Zionism and the Shah-inaugurated expansionist
ambitions of Iran adopted by Tehran’s Mullahs in 1979. This situation was
threatening for pro-American Arab regimes, for Israel, and all those afraid of
a rising Arab nation hoping to pursue unity, economic independence, democracy
1948, the US has attempted to break Arab unity in three principal ways: 1)
Unconditionally supporting the State of Israel — an entity founded on
theft and a war of colonial aggression on the Palestinian people — and
bargaining US political favour on this predicate; 2) Balkanising the Arab world
both at a regional level (the undermining of Arab solidarity) and a national
level (conspiring to internally partition Arab states); and 3) Destroying Arab
developmental achievements to pave the way for US corporate globalisation.
These elements of consistent US Middle East policy are interdependent and
mutually reinforcing. Overall, the US goal has long been to ensure that the
Arab world remains an "arc of instability" wherein the United States, through
an ever-increasing network of military bases, can play the role of permanent
arbiter and final authority, guaranteeing US global hegemony and securing by military
force US national interests.
use of the State of Israel as an offensive spearhead breaking into the Arab
world is well documented. After every Israeli aggressive war on the Arab world
its aid package has increased.
Before 1990, Iraq was the only Arab state sufficiently independent, as well as
militarily capable, to be a counter-balance to Israeli colonial expansionism
and to challenge Israel’s illegal occupation of Arab lands. Unlike Saudi
Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and the Gulf States, Iraq was not dependent on the US for
security or the general welfare of its population. This independence placed
Iraq — especially after the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel
— at the centre of the political system of the Arab world. While Iraq’s
development was tolerated when involved in a never-ending weakening war with
its eastern neighbour, its achievements quickly appeared contrary to US
regional and global interests as soon a ceasefire was reached with Iran.
Israel has long wished that Arab states be divided up into small ethnic and
sectarian entities is well known. In his 1982
essay, "A Strategy for Israel in the 1980s", Oded Yinon argued:
Lebanon’s total dissolution into
five provinces serves as a precedent for the entire Arab world including Egypt,
Syria, Iraq and the Arabian peninsula … The dissolution of Syria and Iraq …
into ethnically or religiously unique areas such as in Lebanon, is Israel’s
primary target on the Eastern front in the long run, while the dissolution of
the military power of those states serves as the primary short term target … Iraq,
rich in oil on the one hand and internally torn on the other, is guaranteed
as a candidate for Israel’s targets.
Its dissolution is even more important for us than that of Syria. Iraq is stronger
than Syria. In the short run it is Iraqi power which constitutes the greatest
threat to Israel. An Iraqi-Iranian war will tear Iraq apart and cause its
downfall at home even before it is able to organise a struggle on a wide front
against us. Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation will assist us in the
short run and will shorten the way to the more important aim of breaking up
Iraq into denominations as in Syria and in Lebanon.
In Iraq, a division into provinces along ethnic/religious lines as in Syria
during Ottoman times is possible. So, three (or more) states will exist around
the three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and Mosul, and Shi’ite areas in the
south will separate from the Sunni and Kurdish north." (emphasis
In his 1999 book, Tyranny’s Ally: America’s Failure to Defeat Saddam
Hussein, David Wurmser,
current Middle Adviser to Dick Cheney, would echo similar ideas when advocating
that the US intervene to create a "loosely unified Iraqi confederal government,
shaped around strong sectarian and provincial entities."
Wurmser in 1996, along with Douglas Feith (US
undersecretary of defense for policy, 2001-05) and Richard Perle (chairman of
the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee 2001-03), both key
neoconservatives, wrote for incoming Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu
the strategy document, "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm".
Therein Netanyahu is encouraged to "re-establish" the "principle of
pre-emption," including removing Saddam Hussein from power, deemed "an
important Israeli strategic objective in its own right."
essay and Wurmser’s book echo the assertions of former Israeli Labour Foreign
Minister Abba Eban that the "Arab East" is a "mosaic" of ethnic divergence.
Present plans to partition Iraq into three weak and conflicting protectorates
are their direct progeny.
In Iraq, the current "political process" is not about stability, but the
pursuit of war by other means, aimed to break up the state and sow conflicts
throughout the region. In the words of Abdul Ilah Albayaty and Hana Al Bayaty:
The so-called political process,
instead of bringing stability to Iraq, is and will be the cause of increasing
instability in the region. Indeed, on the one hand, the Kurdish parties are
working to create a Kurdish entity in the north, unrestrained by the central
government. This will be a destabilising factor for Iran, Turkey and Syria, and
is opposed by the majority of Arab Iraqis. On the other, the Shia religious
forces are trying to build a Shia semi-state in the south, governed by the
concept of "Wilayat Al-Fakih" (Rule of the Jurist — a laden concept which
puts religious authority above nationalism), similar to and allied with Iran.
This will be a destabilising factor for the whole Gulf region, including Saudi
Arabia. It is opposed by most Arab countries. In reality, if there isn’t a
strong unified Iraq, peaceful and cooperative with its immediate neighbours,
there will be no stability in Iraq or in the region. As was rightly observed by
Saud Al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, this may result in a civil and
partition is even a proposal, given that none of the stated aims of the 2003
illegal US invasion suggest it, reveals that the US has moved consciously to
fulfil Israel’s agenda and bring about precisely this outcome. The overall
result: a strategic victory for the State of Israel; ancillary benefits for
Iran as a second level proxy; and justification for permanent and expanding US
military presence in the whole of the Middle East region.
arm of US regional policy has been to destroy existing Arab developmental
achievements, undermining and destroying Arab states as viable entities while
promoting corrupt, incompetent and repressive regimes that serve the interests
of foreign powers. Rejecting this destiny, it is well known that of all Arab
states, Iraq prior to 1990 had the most developed system of national education,
healthcare and primary state services. On the basis of a nationalised oil
industry and Iraq’s water resources, Iraq was able to achieve significant state
and national development autonomous from foreign capital and thus independent
of foreign influence, encompassing infrastructure, science, military advance,
and social security. Sanctions targeted Iraqis as a people and state, not only
the Iraqi government or army. Indeed, the regimen of punitive sanctions imposed
on Iraq stands unprecedented in modern history, systematically destroying its
attained levels of economic, social, political and military development and
leading to an estimated 1,500,000 excess deaths over 13 years.
these three aspects of US regional policy — breaking regional unity by
instrumentalising Israel; Balkanising and partitioning Arab states into ethnic
and sectarian entities; and destroying Arab development capacities — by
design aim to ensure that the Arab world as a whole never attains the requisite
social, political, economic and military development to take advantage of the
enormous oil, gas and mineral resources over which by right it is sovereign.
Iraq in particular unstable is key to US strategic designs for the whole Arab
region. In the words of Abdul Ilah Albayaty and Hana Al Bayaty, given Iraq’s
median geopolitical position: "The slightest deterioration in relations between
Iraq and any of its neighbours is automatically a setback for cooperation
throughout the whole region.
Michael Ledeen, founding member of the Jewish Institute for National Security
Affairs and a key neoconservative, in 2002 unabashedly told the truth about US
regional policy in saying: "Stability is an unworthy American mission, and a
misleading concept to boot. We do not want stability in Iran, Iraq, Syria,
Lebanon, and even Saudi Arabia … The real issue is not whether, but how to
destabilise. Creative destruction is our middle name … Our enemies have always
hated this whirlwind of energy and creativity which menaces their traditions
(whatever they may be) … we must destroy them to advance our historic mission."
iii. The US national emergency and corporate interests
entity of the United States is on death row. The end of the age of oil is its
execution order. Spending $200,000 a minute on oil, no system of life on earth
is as dependent on oil as that of the United States. The consumer economy,
which depends on oil and relative high wages, is the guarantor of the internal
tranquillity of the US. Many core US industries — protected and
uncompetitive, and based on high wages — would collapse if guaranteed
supplies of oil were to end, upon which guarantees stable prices depend. With
the collapse of industries, the consumer economy would be oversupplied. Prices
would plummet and growth would disappear. Outside the national sphere, US
corporate globalisation, exploitative in nature, depends on the US military
machine, which itself depends on foreign oil.
As the eclipse of the age of oil approaches, these objective realities
constitute a national emergency for the United States.
economic vulnerability is not only centred on the supply of oil. The entire
entity of the United States is wagered on the use of the dollar as the primary
currency of oil transactions. The US long forced OPEC oil sales to be
transacted only in dollars, establishing the dollar as the global currency of
reserve. Indeed, the global oil industry is the guarantor and engine of the
global dollar economy. Any alteration of this arrangement threatens to explode
the illusion on which American economic prowess is built. If dollars were to
flood back into the United States, hyperinflation would take hold, followed by
stagflation as uncompetitive and protected industries collapsed. As
consciousness of the approaching end of the age of oil sinks in, and as others
powers — the EU and China — rise, this monetary consideration is a
second level to the US national emergency.
the PNAC understands well the twin levels of the US national emergency and
commits itself to address it. Though the US-led destruction of Iraq has already
begun, the signatories of the PNAC express concern that the US is resting on
its laurels — they undertake to accelerate it. The PNAC announces its
presence with a question and a warning: "Does the United States have the
resolve to shape a new century favourable to American principles and interests?
We are in danger of squandering the opportunity and failing the challenge. We
are living off the capital — both the military investments and the
foreign policy achievements — built up by past administrations."
Admonishing the then Clinton administration, the neoconservatives of the PNAC
argue for significant defence and foreign policy spending, to curtail —
with no irony — "the promise of short-term commercial benefits"
threatening to "override strategic considerations."
Dick Cheney, then CEO of Halliburton, the largest post-invasion contractor in
Iraq, muses on the issue of supply: "by 2010 we will need on the order of an
additional 50 million barrels a day. So where is the oil going to come from?
... While many regions of the world offer great oil opportunities, the Middle
East with two thirds of the world's oil and the lowest cost, is still where the
prize ultimately lies. Even though companies are anxious for greater access
there, progress continues to be slow."
By September 2000, despite their ideas receiving some heed, the PNAC is running
out of patience: "Global leadership is not something exercised at our leisure,
when the mood strikes us or when our core national security interests are
directly threatened; then it is already too late. Rather, it is a choice
whether or not to maintain American military pre-eminence, to secure American
geopolitical leadership, and to preserve the American peace."
been said about the PNAC’s claim that the transformation in American strategy
would be slow and frustrating "absent some catastrophic and catalysing event
— like a new Pearl Harbour." Many believe that 9/11 was the convenient
trigger. In reality, the true Pearl Harbour occurs within weeks of this PNAC
prediction being published. On 6 November 2000, Iraq began selling oil in
euros, with others (Venezuela, Iran, Russia and Libya) threatening to follow
Later Iraq converted its $10 billion reserve fund at the UN also to euros. In
the aftermath of the 7 November 2000 US presidential elections, the Republican
right faced the long-term national emergency immediately. If the oil economy
were to shift to euros, the American economy would collapse. This is the
context surrounding the deliberations of the Cheney Energy Policy Task Force in
early 2001, whose conclusions until now remain classified.
national emergencies had rolled into one: Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi people
were weathering sanctions while other states were circumventing them, slowing
down progress in Big Oil regional ambitions; and President Hussein played the
bourse card, threatening the entire basis of the American economy in one move.
Iraq was the country that didn’t compromise and succeeded in firing missiles on
Israel; it was also the country that used its oil for progress and that aided
poor countries in Asia, Africa and the Arab world, As a country that could defy
imperialism when imperialism was victorious everywhere, Iraq signed its own
death warrant. It should die. That US Big Oil corporations would make a killing
on stolen Iraqi resources was a bonus.
The real issue was national defence — that is, defence of the system of
life of a nation that consumes 25 per cent of the world’s energy resources
while it constitutes 4.6 per cent of the world’s population, a system that
creates 600,000 tons of garbage per day.
iv. A unified strategy of genocide
secure US supremacy, Iraq would have to become the 51st economy of the United
States. This could only suggest genocide. By no other means could the United
States control what has been a geopolitical entity for 6,000 years and a
bastion of Arab nationalism throughout the 20th century. By no other means
could the United States seize from Iraqis their principle source of material
and future welfare, imposing on their culture the idea of foreign ownership of
the riches of the land. Destroying the Iraqi state would not be enough. To
control Iraq, in its median position, necessitates destroying its Arab Muslim
identity — erasing its very being as a nation.
combination, the above represents the strategic context and motive —
global, regional and national — for destroying the state and nation of
Iraq. No single aspect can be taken alone; each supports the others. It is
through myriad acts meeting these three broad strategic concerns that US
"intent to destroy" Iraq can be traced, while the general cohesion of these
three pillars of US strategy suggests "intended destruction" of Iraq as the
logical conclusion of well-established US Middle East and global strategic
this "logic" can excuse its execution. Indeed, nothing in this logic is
excusable. It is specific intent, not implementation that defines the crime of
genocide under international law. Claims of "benevolent hegemony" that
accompany US global plans are irrelevant. These plans in intent constitute
genocide. US national, regional and global designs dictate the rationality
embedded in military planning and thinking. Implementation is merely the mirror
of the intent. And if, in the words of Morris and Scharf, "it is unnecessary
for an individual to have knowledge of all details of the genocidal plan or
policy," the pattern of implementation is enough to infer the crime.
Implementing genocide in Iraq
understood the desire, or mens rea, the
means, or actus rea, becomes easier to unravel. From
the above, it is clear that the United States had reasons to desire —
within its own logic — the destruction of Iraq as a state and nation. The
means by which it destroyed the Iraqi state, and attempted to destroy the Iraqi
nation, follow on from and accord to these reasons.
Specifically, the US has sought to: 1) Destroy Iraq
physically and culturally, and principally militarily, so that it can never
re-emerge as an economic, political or military force; and 2) Break Iraq as a
state and nation, substituting the state with three or more conflicting and
weak entities based on ethnic and sectarian affiliations that presage the
destruction of Iraq’s Muslim Arab identity. These two objectives, if achieved,
would allow for the plunder of Iraq’s resource riches, control of its median
position in order to attain global pre-eminence, serve in the protection of the
US’s offensive regional instrument and proxy, Israel, and erase the last
official remnant of the pan-Arab nationalist movement.
project of intended destruction — the legal substance of genocide —
has been going on for 17 years. All together, the pattern of intent is
irrefutable. It has led to an estimated 1,500,000 excess Iraqi deaths under
sanctions, and as many as 1,000,000 excess violent Iraqi deaths since the US
illegal war of aggression. By any definition, but also defined in law, this is
Destroying Iraq physically and permanently
destruction of Iraq began with sanctions in 1990 and the 1991 Gulf War. On the
one hand, the war was not to liberate Kuwait. It was the opening shot of a
broader objective of destroying Iraq, entailing permanently destroying its
military capabilities and civil capacities, in order to replace the Iraqi state
with an unviable entity in need of constant US assistance, while breaking its
economy in order to break the will of the Iraqi people and later plunder Iraqi
resources. Under sanctions, in finance and economy Iraq became a ward of the UN
Security Council, its budget managed by foreign powers, and with no end in
marks the beginning of the dismantling of Iraq as a state and nation. Ground
invasion takes place when established policy proves unable to achieve its
Boyle in his indictment for crimes against humanity and the crime of genocide
describes well the 1991 Gulf War and its intent:
The bombing continued for 42 days.
It met no resistance from Iraqi aircraft and no effective anti-aircraft or
anti-missile ground fire. Iraq was basically defenceless. Most of the targets
were civilian facilities. The United States intentionally bombed and destroyed
centres for civilian life, commercial and business districts, schools,
hospitals, mosques, churches, shelters, residential areas, historical sites,
private vehicles and civilian government offices. In aerial attacks, including
strafing, over cities, towns, the countryside and highways, United States
aircraft bombed and strafed indiscriminately. The purpose of these attacks was
to destroy life and property, and generally to terrorise the civilian
population of Iraq. The net effect was the summary execution and corporal
punishment indiscriminately of men, women and children, young and old, rich and
poor, of all nationalities and religions. The intention and effort of this
bombing campaign against civilian life and facilities was to systematically
destroy Iraq’s infrastructure leaving it in a pre-industrial condition. The
United States intentionally bombed and destroyed defenceless iraqi military
personnel; used excessive force; killed soldiers seeking to surrender and in
disorganised individual flight, often unarmed and far from any combat zones;
randomly and wantonly killed iraqi soldiers; and destroyed material after the
ceasefire. The United States used prohibited weapons capable of mass
destruction and inflicting indiscriminate death and unnecessary suffering
against both military and civilian targets. Fuel air explosives were used
against troops in place, civilian areas, oil fields and fleeing civilians and
soldiers on two stretches of highway between Kuwait and Iraq.
material destruction of Iraq didn’t end with the ceasefire that supposedly
marked the end of the 1991 Gulf War. General Michael J Dugan, former chief of
staff of the US Air Force, revealed the deliberations of the US administration
when he stated in mid-summer 1991 that if another war comes, "We will bomb Iraq
back into the Stone Age."
reality, in the post-Gulf War period Iraq’s defences were systematically
obliterated by numerous US-UK bombing raids under justification of unilaterally
imposed and illegal no-fly zones — first in the north, in April 1991, and
later in the south.
Thus, contrary to what is usually assumed, the occupation of Iraq didn’t start
in 2003; it started in 1991. If occupation is the situation that pertains when
the territory of a state is put under the authority of a foreign military power
— as defined by The Hague IV Regulations
— then Iraq from this time, in losing effective military control of at
least two thirds of its territory, became de facto occupied.
no-fly zone system also had an ancillary agenda: 1) It imposed a de facto
division of Iraq into three regions that corresponded to a political agenda of
2) Provided political cover for continuous targeting of Iraq’s military and
civil infrastructure; and 3) Provided air cover for the US to gather conspiring
opposition forces and for the US and Israel to train Iraqi separatist militias,
which later would replace the national army.
to UN sanctions, the UN weapons inspections programme (United Nations Special
Commission, UNSCOM) presented Iraq with constantly shifting demands. The "100
per cent" verification order was technically — even according to former
inspectors — impossible to satisfy. Aside from that, according to a 1999
article in The Washington Post, "United States
intelligence services infiltrated agents and espionage equipment for three
years into United Nations arms control teams in Iraq to eavesdrop on the Iraqi
military without the knowledge of the UN agency that it used to disguise its
work, according to US government employees and documents describing the
Similar allegations surfaced in 2003 that the UK leaked false information on
weapons in order to use inspections as political cover.
no-fly zones and weapons inspections allowed the United States and its allies
to bomb Iraq at will for 13 years in the pre-invasion phase. Under the cover of
weapons inspections in particular, scores of factories, schools, chemical
plants of a civil nature — indeed anything suspected even remotely of
having a prohibited military function — were blown up or bombed.
the name of the no-fly zones, the US and allies hit infrastructure,
communication lines, defensive installations and numerous non-military targets,
ostensibly all in the name of protecting the civilian population. While the US
administration was telling lies about seeking a diplomatic solution to the
"Iraq crisis" it engineered, Operation Southern Focus begun in June 2002,
entailing intensive bombing below the 33rd parallel, ostensibly to "soften up"
Iraq for invasion. In September 2002 alone, US air forces dropped 54.6 tons of
bombs, one month prior to Congress authorising war.
the ground invasion the military and civil destruction of the Iraqi state
accelerated dramatically. With the massive air bombing campaign dubbed "Shock
and Awe", the Iraqi state — already criminalised, as the "repressive arm"
of the Iraqi Baath Party — in every instance of its human and
infrastructural form was a target. Conscious that its forces were unequal to
those of the foreign invaders, and after the Battle of Baghdad Airport where
non-conventional weapons were used by the US, the Iraqi army disperses, a
substantial part going underground to pursue pre-planned guerrilla warfare.
police like the population as a whole stays home. Militias entering Baghdad
alongside US forces inaugurate the breakdown of law and order sanctions long
desired, looting and burning down all public institutions (ministries,
hospitals, universities, schools, museums, libraries, cultural institutions,
etc.), unopposed by US forces who have been ordered not to intervene. Nothing
of exchange value belonging to the Iraqi state is not stolen; everything else
is destroyed. This policy of tabula rasa amounts to the effacement of modern
and ancient Iraq. The result is a state of national shock and of preparation of
the confrontation between the occupation and the Iraqi state apparatus that
#2 of US Civil Administrator L Paul Bremer will disband the national Iraqi army
leaving 400,000 well-trained and experienced men with no immediate means of
material survival and no legitimate national force responsible for defending
Iraq’s population and territory. In addition to the looting of civil
institutions, systematic looting of military installations and armories is
all left unprotected by occupation forces allegedly on Iraqi soil to disarm by
force the Iraqi state. Heavy materiel from national armories is either sold as
iron or carried to the north. Army personnel are criminalised as Saddam’s
equipment and archives are destroyed or stolen, personnel killed or detained,
and Iraqi military ideology — of being an army defending the unity of
Iraq and the Arab nation — considered racial and sectarian. Iraq’s
experienced and strong army, dating in origin to 1921 and which defended the
unity of the Iraqi state and participated in the defence of Palestine, Jordan
and Syria, will be replaced by Kurdish separatist and pro-Iranian militias. The
task of the new army is not to defend the unity and integrity of Iraq, but to
defend the occupation and its local proxies against the people of Iraq labelled
"terrorists" or "Saddamists".
territorial borders are left unsecured. Private foreign security contractors
working as mercenaries, create a parallel system of fear and danger, operating
free of all accountability to law.
The militias of sectarian forces brought in with the occupation begin to
operate across the Iraqi territory. Simultaneously, a wave of assassinations
targets pilots, engineers, scientists and military officers, with reports
linking the killing to intelligence agencies of Israel and Iran suspected of
circulating elaborate "hit lists". With weapons being disseminated across the
country, kidnapping becomes a threat to daily civil security, along with extortion
and summary execution. Corpses quickly start to appear on the streets of
to military campaigns, from 1990 the US deliberately pursued a policy of
weakening Iraq economically to be sure that Iraq could not recover from the
systematic destruction of civil infrastructure during the 1991 Gulf War and
again emerge as an economically developing country. UN sanctions, which
prevented the free sale of oil from 1990 onwards, had a devastating effect on
Iraq’s economy, and necessarily the majority of Iraqi citizens. The majority of
Iraq’s working population in 1990 were employed in the public sector and thus
dependant on oil revenue that prior to 1990 comprised 90 per cent of Iraq’s
that Iraq was a welfare state, the debilitation of public services affected all
Iraqi citizens. Ostensibly eased by the Oil-for-Food Programme, which was based
on limited sales quotas until 1998 and thereafter remained heavily regulated,
sanctions continued from 1996 to devastate commerce and infrastructure.
The banning of "dual use" items even included paper.
Sanctions also would play a role in the de facto partition of Iraq: the
northern Kurdish area, under the no-fly zone, was effectively exempted,
allowing Kurdish separatists to flourish and entrench their autonomy from the
aspect of the package established by UN Security Council Resolution 687 of 3
April 1991 was the UN Compensations Commission that throughout the period of
sanctions, when economically Iraq was crippled and when over 5,000 children
were dying monthly, collated damages claims from the Gulf War and siphoned a
third of Iraq’s oil revenues (restricted under quotas) to pay reparations. This
situation is ongoing with claims amounting to $352.5 billion.
For contrast, when in December 1996, under the Oil-for-Food Programme, Iraq was
permitted to export oil in return for humanitarian supplies it was restricted
to an overall quota of $2 billion in oil sales every six months. In effect,
Iraq had no means of sustaining itself, the total of its remittances from oil
amounting to disposable revenue of $15 per Iraqi per month. Exasperated by a
system they deemed "genocide," Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck (both former
UN humanitarian coordinators for Iraq who resigned) in November 2001 wrote:
"The uncomfortable truth is that the West is holding the Iraqi people hostage."
invasion, US strategy in Iraq can be summed up in one phrase: privatisation by
military force. Order #12 of US Civil Administrator Bremer enacted on 7 June
2003 suspended all tariffs, customs duties, import taxes, licensing fees and
similar surcharges for goods entering or leaving Iraq, and all other trade
restrictions that may apply to such goods
Order #17 grants foreign contractors, including private security firms, full
immunity from Iraq’s laws
Order #39 allows for the privatisation of Iraq’s 200 state-owned enterprises,
100 per cent foreign ownership of Iraqi businesses, national treatment of
foreign firms, unrestricted, tax-free remittance of all profits and other
funds, and 40-year ownership licenses
Order #40 turns the banking sector from a state-run to a market-driven system
overnight by allowing foreign banks to enter the Iraqi market and to purchase
up to 50 per cent of Iraqi banks
Order #49 drops the tax rate on corporations from a high of 40 per cent to a
flat rate of 15 per cent. The income tax rate is also capped at 15 per cent
and Order # 81 prohibits Iraqi farmers from using the methods of agriculture
that they have used for centuries.
The common worldwide practice of saving heirloom seeds from one year to the
next is made illegal in Iraq.
consequences are as follows: 1) A rise of unemployment to over 70 per cent; 2)
Systematic plunder by multinational corporations; 3) Corruption on a scale
unprecedented; and 4) The institution of two economic realities: the economy of
graft limited to the Green Zone, and the non-economy of the rest of Iraq, known
as the "Red Zone".
Substituting the Iraqi state and nation
its attempt to destroy and substitute the Iraqi state and nation, the United
States pursued two parallel tracks: 1) Demonising the Arabism of the Iraqi
state, of the Iraqi Baath Party — a non-sectarian national movement of
six million sympathisers — and Saddam Hussein; and 2) Promoting, funding
and organising sectarian groups of the Iraqi opposition.
the policy of destroying the Iraqi nation defined as being composed of Iraqis,
Bush Sr encouraged the rebellion of "Kurds" and "Shias" against the Iraqi central
government in 1991 as the Iraqi national army was demobilising, implying that
those who ruled them were "Sunnis". In the words of Francis Boyle: "Bush encouraged and aided Shiite
Muslims and Kurds to rebel against the government of Iraq causing fratricidal
violence, emigration, exposure, hunger and sickness and thousands of deaths.
After the rebellion failed, the US invaded and occupied parts of Iraq without
lawful authority in order to increase division and hostilities within Iraq."
sanctions forced Iraq, as both a state and a nation, into complete isolation.
While President Saddam Hussein, and by extension the Iraqi Baath Party, was the
main focus of relentless vilification, from 1990 onwards to be non-Kurd Iraqi
was to be suspect. With the demonisation of President Hussein began the process
in discourse that would undermine the very concept of Iraqi citizenship: the
imposition of sectarianism in allegations, now questioned, that "Saddam gassed
the Kurds" and "oppressed the Shia", and ruled in the name of the "Sunni
minority". The Iraqi Baath Party, central to the operation of the state, was
falsely cast as "Sunni", repressive of Iraqi Kurds and Shias as Kurds and Shias — a canard that would later allow for the targeting of
Sunnis simply because they are Sunni.
and later overtly, the United States started funding sectarian militias and
opposition groups. The US-sponsored 1992 opposition conference in Salah El-Din
(on Iraqi soil, with US security guarantees — a blatant breach of Iraqi
sovereignty) crystallised the ideas of what would replace the political regime
of the Iraqi Baath Party: a sectarian division of Iraq, as well as sectarian
quotas in government. A decade of unsuccessful attempts to unify that
opposition on the details of carving up Iraq would follow. By 1998, US official
policy, announced in the Iraq Liberation Act, became "regime change", including
official funding of sectarian opposition groups. Within a month and a half of
the passing of the act, the United States launched a major bombing campaign
across Iraq. Various plots for a coup d’etat were supported and funded by the
years of conspiracy, the December 2002 London conference of the Iraqi National
Congress (INC; pre-1998 funded by the CIA, post-1998 funded by US Congress, and
headed by Ahmed Chalabi) agreed on what percentages each participating faction
of the US-assembled "opposition" would gain in the sectarian quota system.
Unable to replace the Iraqi state and its national movement without the
Islamist "factor", the INC London conference also crystallised an accord
between the US and Iran on how to, and who would, replace the regime of Saddam
Hussein: an alliance between Kurdish separatists allied to the US; pro-US Iraqi
liberals (the INC and the Iraqi National Accord of Iyad Allawi); and
pro-Iranian Islamists under Mohammed Bakr Al-Hakim of the Supreme Council for
the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI).
constituted body of US-approved spokespeople for the virtual constituents of
Iraqi society — Shias, Kurds, liberals — would help justify the
need in the media for a ground invasion and provide candidates for the first US
installed interim government. Silenced are the Iraqi people as well as the 23
February 2003 London meeting of authentic Iraqi opposition forces who opposed
the US agenda of illegal pre-emptive war and the interference of foreign powers
in Iraqi national affairs.
phase of "creative destruction" in the Iraqi political domain starts with, and
is predicated upon, an unprecedented propaganda campaign directed at both
international and Iraqi public opinion, based on sectarian vocabulary and
virtual identities and predating the invasion. It reads: 1) "The Kurds have
been gassed," so should be protected and given special rights, presaging Kurdish
succession and the fragmentation of the Iraqi state; 2) "Shias are the
majority" — a baseless assertion given that no reliable census has been
conducted — oppressed not only by Saddam’s regime but also throughout
their history, the "democratic process" simply the harbinger of social justice;
3) "Sunnis are the criminals" and oppose the "New Iraq" because of loss of
privileges and the power to oppress others; 4) "Iraq is an artificial creation"
comprised of three homogenous regions: Kurds in the north, Sunnis in the
centre, and Shias in the south.
to this propaganda is a purposive blurring of the distinction between ethnic
and sectarian identities: the Shias and Sunnis are not Arab or Kurd; Kurds are
not Muslim, be it Shia or Sunni; and there is no such thing as "the Iraqis",
only a composition of Sunni, Shia and Kurd. All other components of Iraqi
society — Turkomans, Assyrians and other Christians, and Yaziids and
Sabbits — are purposely ignored.
aim of this propaganda is to facilitate US destruction of the Iraqi state. The
first order passed into law by US Civil Administrator Bremer, outlaws the Iraqi
Baath Party in its entirety.
Immediately 100,000 able members of the administrative cadre are criminalised
and disbarred from state employment. Silenced is the fact that 58 per cent of
those targeted by the US-imposed DeBaathification Commission are Shias. In
place of the dissolved state, the Transitional Administrative Law (TAL) is
drafted and imposed, legislating the disbanding of the army and the
privatisation of the economy. Civil and political resistance to the occupation
is outlawed, and civil and political resistance to US corporate privatisation
one who does not endorse the TAL is permitted to participate in the "political
process", which itself is reduced to a competition between sectarian leaders.
The whole domain of Iraqi politics becomes US-drafted. The US claims to know
who represents the Iraqi people better than the people itself. The TAL, in
effect, legislates the alienation of the Iraqi people from democratic politics.
Violating the UN Draft Articles on State Responsibility, UN Security Council
Resolution 1546 in June 2004 "welcomes" and "endorses" the formation of a
"fully sovereign" interim Iraqi government as a stage on the road to an
independent, democratic and federal Iraq, thereby recognising the
consequence of an illegal state act — the invasion.
following period of general repression can be split between two phases: 1) The
imposition of illegal elections; and 2) The imposition of a permanent
constitution based on the TAL. Across Iraq, the occupation attempts to create
three de facto realities on the ground: 1) Northern autonomy for the Kurds with
promises of generous representation in parliament, and the annexation of
oil-rich Kirkuk, allowing the occupation to justify its "democratic process"
and in turn instrumentalise Kurdish militias to suppress the Iraqi resistance;
2) The promotion of Islamist clergy in the south in exchange for Sistani’s
support of the political process and his compelling fatwas for all Shias to participate in national elections; 3) The central region
identified as Sunni and subject to waves of violence, urbicide and terror.
of and after elections, waves of violence and arbitrary detentions target Sunni
communities. The vilification of the Baath Party and its assimilation with
Sunnis deepens. Media sources speak of "Sunni terrorists", "Saddam loyalists",
"The Sunni Triangle", "The Triangle of Death" and "Sunni Al-Qaeda", all presaging
and constituting the destruction of Iraq’s unifying Arab Muslim identity and
the very idea of Iraqi citizenship and nationality. This sectarian propaganda
will directly play a role in later attempts to spark civil war, and will
contribute to the enforced homogenisation of city districts and justify the
erasure by military force of whole towns in predominantly Sunni provinces. That
these provinces rise up in resistance in response to US military aggression is
taken as proof that the resistance is Sunni, thereby sectarian and should be
repressed. In order to achieve its goals, the sectarian occupation accuses the
Iraqi people and its resistance of sectarianism.
so-called "political process" is but theatre in which the public has no right
to change the issue. While Iraq is under real and concrete illegal occupation;
while political free expression is absent thanks to the deBaathification and
the repression of Sunnis; while Iraqi citizens cannot prove themselves citizens
because of the absence of registers — destroyed in the looting
— and state institutions; while the condition of participating in
politics is acceptance of the TAL; while those who survey and organise the
elections are well known pro-occupation propagandists; while the political
process is under the occupation’s guns; while you loose your food ration or
your life if you don’t vote as you should, how can anyone think that the result
is the real expression of Iraqi people? The elections can be summed in an Iraqi
proverb: "You choose a rabbit, I give you a rabbit; you choose a gazelle, I
give you a rabbit." The spectacle is organised to institute a divided Iraq.
elections will be based solely on sectarian lists, the main lists benefiting
from generous US funding and access to US-sponsored media. Fifty per cent of
Iraqis will boycott, despite the price of starvation exacted for
non-participation. In the new National Assembly, contradictory agendas ensure
permanent instability. The "political process", already stripped of legitimacy,
cannot but further deepen the confrontation between the occupation and the
Iraqi people. How can a permanent constitution be drafted by a parliament that
does not fairly represent the population and fails — and cannot succeed
— to ensure peaceful coexistence in society?
theatrical elections and the political process are unable to hide the gap
between the real Iraq and the real plans of the occupation. The real occupation
is using military force to impose its model. The "political process" simply
creates a clique working for, or accepting, the occupation’s plan of
destruction for Iraq. As with the elections, the constitution in 2005 is passed
at gunpoint by referendum. Based on the TAL, it legislates the destruction of
Iraq as a state and nation. By its central provisions and blurred jargon it:
1) Cancels the concept of the united republic of Iraq; 2) Cancels the
concept of citizenship; and 3) Cancels the concept of Iraq as an Arab-Muslim
oil law — the major plank in the strategy of plunder of the US occupation
— if passed would contribute to the de facto partition of Iraq in
shrinking the funding source of central government, as well as opening the way
to foreign ownership of Iraqi oil. As set in the illegal constitution, the proposed
Oil Law that until now cannot be passed, has two objectives: 1) To end all
public management of the Iraqi oil industry by opening it up to private
capital; and 2) to pass to confederated regions real decisions on oil,
neglecting the existence and the necessity of a united Iraq with a central
principles are more political propaganda to ignite local dreams and conflicts
than real law to organise Iraq’s oil industry. All who are concerned with the oil
industry in Iraq, including international oil companies, know it is
impossible to direct the oil industry but by a central entity, whether it is
public or private, and that these principles are a source of
potential unending conflicts between Iraqis.
oil project is to give in the north the presenting producing fields of Kirkuk
to the Kurds, and in the south the presently producing fields to Shias, while
obliging the centre — which it names "Sunni" and which has, according to
estimations, twice what the north and the south have — to render its oil
to foreign companies. The occupation’s propaganda on oil is solely to ignite
conflicts between Iraqis. All know it is unrealisable. Technically, oil fields
do not respect sects and ethnicities. Legally, the occupation’s laws are not
binding for Iraqis. And politically, all Iraqis believe that oil is the
property of the nation and its privatisation is plunder and treason.
prior to when the genocide began in 1990, was a modern Arab state led by its middle
class culture. It became nothing less than hell for those living in it now. US
"creative destruction" has touched all aspects of society as a whole. Through
the dismantlement of the state, the middle class has been decimated. The
targeted assassination of all kinds of professionals has accurately been
described as the imposition of the "Salvador Option"
in Iraq. Not only has this lead to tens of thousands of murders, driving the
middle class that remained, despite the first wave of migration during the
sanctions period, into exile, but in stripping Iraq of its middle class culture
it has led to a breakdown of social values at all levels.
all welfare provision has completely collapsed, ensured by the disbanding of
Iraq’s competent civil service under deBaathification and the promotion of
sectarian and feudal forces that understand only nepotism. With mass
deprivation, child begging has risen 450 per cent. Criminality and prostitution
have burgeoned, as has the drug economy. Extortion and kidnapping is a whole
parallel economy. Forced displacement has denied thousands of families of their
possessions and property. For those unable to flee, the only economy is
collaboration, which amounts to genocide of another kind. Instead of sustaining
the occupation by joining the Iraqi army or the police, millions are choosing
poverty and dignity.
destructive has been the targeting of women. Iraq’s women have been central to
its public history for generations. From enjoying the freedoms of liberty and progress,
enshrined in pre-US invasion protective legislation, cancelled by the
occupation, Iraqi women have been consigned to their homes, hundreds of
thousands rendered widows, thousands more raped and abused, and millions forced
behind the veil by the rise of sectarian Islamist fundamentalism, or as a
general feeling of mourning and a counter-identity to the occupation. The
violence that has been visited upon Iraqi women has deeply shocked Iraqi
society. Mass detentions of men have driven many, separated from their
husbands, into poverty. Further, rising sectarianism has broken thousands of
families with divorce rates soaring, many women left struggling to feed
themselves or their children.
climate of general repression that is the outcome of the above touches all
Iraqis, individually and collectively, and deeply. Mental disturbance and
psychosis has proliferated. Constant witness to atrocities and death, 2007 saw
the walling-in of whole communities, further isolating neighbourhoods and
relatives, entailing de facto house arrest for millions. The parallel economy
of extortion and violence has led to massive forced redistributions of wealth;
many families forced to give everything they own in ransoms. Tens of thousands
of children have been orphaned.
the social sphere, a strategy of annihilation has been pursued from the
beginning. "By destroying the Iraqi state," in the words of Hana Al Bayaty,
"the occupation has erased any potential intermediary with the Iraqi people and
has had to face them directly."
Not only has it had to; it wanted to and aimed to. After four years of its
resistance, however, the Iraqi people have vindicated Sartre: if the US wants
to break them, it will have to exterminate them to the last woman, child and
Resistance to genocide
the few in the West that stood in solidarity with Iraq under sanctions and
visited the country destroyed by unprecedented force in the 1991 Gulf War, many
describe Iraq’s mode of survival under sanctions as a "miracle". With ingenuity
and determination, Iraqis rebuilt essential civil infrastructure bombed to
oblivion and televised on screens worldwide. Under unprecedented forces,
included intended starvation and the debilitation of primary services, the
Iraqi nation did not fragment — indeed, it strengthened.
the ground invasion, Iraqi resistance began on the second day of the occupation
of Baghdad with the killing of an American soldier in Al-Adhamiyah. By June
2003, the resistance is already strong enough to declare a programme of
nationalliberation. What is evident now is that
this resistance was prepared in parallel before the invasion as the sole way a
small people can confront a military superpower.
before the supposed end of US major combat operations, resistance operations
targeting occupation forces escalate, centred on Baghdad and its surrounding
towns. It is clear to all military planners, whether from the invading armies
or from the disbanded national army, that the control of Baghdad is essential
to the control of the entirety of Iraqi territory.
have been to this day, four attempts to pacify Baghdad since 2003. Iraq being a
particularly centralised state, all roads passing across the country and
linking it to neighbouring states, lead to or leave from the capital. From the
very start of the occupation, the confrontation between the resistance and
multinational forces has naturally concentrated itself on the control of these
axes. The occupation cannot stabilise Iraq without the subjugation of Baghdad
and its surrounding provinces. The Iraqi resistance as it grows from 2003
onwards will mainly operate in and around the capital in order to disrupt the
supply chain and capacity of movement of occupation forces across the country.
The success of this resistance strategy will cost the United States millions of
of its arrogance and ignorance and imperial calculations, Fallujah and Ramadi,
Samarra, Baquba, and Hillah are daily criminalised as strongholds of the
"Sunni" insurgency. In fact, they become known to the entire world simply
because they respectively are the first towns on the roads going from Baghdad
to Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Iran and the Arab Gulf. As a result of daily
campaigns of indiscriminate bombings and arrests, civil and armed resistance in
these provinces increases, thereafter used as the proof of the veracity of US
to Baghdad, it is historically a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural city where no
ethnic or sectarian community is the majority. The provinces creating a ring around
the Iraqi capital are traditionally and culturally patriotic and
anti-occupation. This is proven by their sympathy and cooperation with
resistance movements that developed throughout successive attempts by foreign
imperial powers to occupy Iraq by taking its capital, be it at the time of the
Mongols or the British.
arrogance and ignorance of US strategists thought that by awe and corruption
they could destroy Iraqi nationalism and identity. In attacking Sunnis they
thought that they could win Kurds and Shias. They forgot the factors which
stand against their theoretical suppositions: 1) There is no ethnically or
sectarian pure region in Iraq. An important Sunni population in the south and
one million Kurds in Baghdad illustrates this point; 2) A third of Iraqi
marriages are inter-communal marriages; 3) Most Iraqi tribes are composed of
Sunnis and Shias together; 4) The large Iraqi middle class is secular; 5) Iraqi
identity has nothing to do with religion, sect or ethnicity; 6) Class interest
is more important for the people than their ideologies; 7) Iraqis are all
inheritors of the same civilisations, the latest being the Arab Muslim
civilisation; and 8) More than 80 per cent of Iraqis are Arabs and they are
proud of it.
2004, the US began a new phase in its project by attacking Fallujah and Najaf.
It was evident then that the occupation was pushing all Iraq against its
project. Whatever the propaganda, Iraqis understood that the US wants to
subjugate them by force and that democracy is a lie. By late 2004, unable to
break the backbone of the growing resistance movement, and due to the nature of
guerrilla warfare being unable to differentiate the population from its
assailants, the occupation further targets the population.
now enter a period of escalating repression, especially affecting the central
part of Iraq and running in parallel with the US militarily-imposed sectarian
"political process". Having disbanded the national army, the occupation relies
primarily upon sectarian militias with poor local and no national ties, and a
newly recruited Iraqi army, also based on sectarian quotas, that is to this day
reported as being unreliable, poorly equipped and poorly trained. The
occupation resorts to two different military tactics: 1) Terror and targeted
assassinations, and 2) A campaign of urbicides and mass incarceration.
an attempt to divide the Iraqi population and criminalise its popular
resistance, the occupation conducts numerous "black-ops" — patent US and
UK covert attacks on Shia populated areas such as markets, mosques, bus
stations, etc. These operations are then attributed to the popular resistance
in order to criminalise it and divide it from its base of support across the
whole population. All bombings in mosques and civil gathering places,
representative of a long list of acts aimed to agitate, divide and terrorise
the Iraqi population, are denounced and denied by the Iraqi armed resistance
and never investigated by so-called sovereign successive Iraqi governments.
the attempt to conduct illegal elections, feeding off propaganda criminalising
the Baath Party and assimilating the Baath with Sunnis, waves of mass
detentions are followed by the strafing and levelling of entire cities
(including Fallujah and Tel Afar, Al-Qaem, Haditha, Ramadi, Samarra). Scandals
of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and grave human rights abuses
continually arise, and collective punishment through food deprivation and
large-scale round-ups of the male population are common. The targeting of the
educated middle class by occupation sponsored militias and death squads starts
to spike by late 2004, especially in Baghdad, with thousands of forced
disappearances and the beginning of an exodus from Iraq that by 2007 would top
Iraqi resistance, through its popular support, proves its capacity to collect
information quicker than the occupying forces and their generous payouts. One
major blow to the occupation is the attack inside a refectory within an
American military base near Mosul, killing 19 soldiers and wounding 59 others.
The Iraqi population, harbouring the resistance, was by then already a
permanent target, but this attack widens US suspicion even to collaborators.
The feeling of insecurity, even within their fortified barracks, and extreme
tension due to the lack of trust in local translators, starts breaking the
morale of the occupying troops.
massive waves of indiscriminate repression, the central part of Iraq refuses to
participate to the "elections", while southern Iraq, under British occupation,
is called by the clergy to participate, officially as a means to elect a
parliament that would call for a timetable for withdrawal. Over 50 per cent of
the population overall boycotts the elections, de-legitimising the "political
process". As the population stands in solidarity against US plans, the
occupation appears increasingly eager to instrumentalise this division of
tactics and pit Iraqis against each other. From this moment onwards, US forces
try to build a "new army" by unofficially incorporating sectarian militias into
the security apparatus, none of which have allegiance to the central government
and largely operate outside of its control.
the start of 2006, attempts to pacify Baghdad have failed for the third time.
Despite indiscriminate incarceration, blackmail, hostage taking, the
walling-off of towns, food deprivation and massive human rights violations, the
resistance is reportedly developing more sophisticated weapons and able to
conduct up to 1,000 attacks against occupation forces each month. Its resolve
cannot be broken and new recruits volunteer everyday.
February 2006, in what seems a desperate attempt to impose civil war, the
occupation and its militias organise the bombing of the Golden Dome Mosque in
Samarra, one of the most sacred shrines for Shia communities worldwide. In a
matter of hours, as expected, sectarian militias burn down holy Sunni mosques
all over Baghdad and kill scores of civilians in summary executions, all under
the protection and supervision of occupation force air cover. A campaign of
ethnic cleansing at the hands of governmental militias is not contained and
continues to this day.
the failure of the political process due to the impossible real life conditions
to which Iraqis are subjected, and the military, political and moral
achievements of the Iraqi people represented by the resistance — that is
to say the legal Iraqi army — the US tries to use the illegal tribunal it
created to execute members of the legal Iraqi government as an instrument of
propaganda. The fate and the illegal trial of President Saddam Hussein in
particular is instrumentalised to revive sectarianism and to attempt to divide
the different currents of the resistance among and within themselves.
the Iraqi resistance is not borne of a person, party, sect or religion, the
trial, by refusing Saddam Hussein prisoner of war status, is aimed to revive
the idea that Saddam Hussein equals Baathism that equals Sunnism that equals
Arabism. Its political aim is to prevent the resistance from defending the
Iraqi state by presenting them as only defending Saddam and the Sunnis. In
addition, the trial is used to ignite sectarian divisions, as the chief
prosecutor is known to be Shia and the presiding judge known to be Kurd.
with the political process, the biased and flawed theatre of "victor’s justice"
announces the nature of the entity the occupation intends to establish in place
of the Iraqi state. Amid the US-authored genocide unfolding in ferocious force,
Saddam Hussein’s alleged crimes pale in significance. In dignity and displaying
essential Iraqi patriotism, Saddam Hussein succeeds in convincing Iraqis that
he was not sectarian and remains anti-imperial. He reflects until his last
breath the Iraqi people’s refusal to be subjugated.
of the trial’s failure to achieve its political goals, the hanging, its timing,
method and perpetrators (an assuredly soon-to-be public execution overseen by a
Shia government), is used by the occupation for the same ongoing purpose of
igniting sectarian divisions and creating a vacuum of leadership in the Baath
Party and the Iraqi resistance. Contrasted by the final dignity of Iraq’s legal
president on the gallows, it is evident to all that the occupation has expended
all its political cards. It is also forced to realise that the Baath current,
personified in the integrity of the president, constitutes the backbone of the
resistance to its occupation, and that in struggle it is experiencing a
hanging Saddam as a symbol, the US intended to create a leadership crisis among
and between the old guard and the struggling new young Baathists — a
confrontation between their cultures. The aim was to divide the movement and
reveal potential candidates for compromise, as well as signifying clearly to
the civil resistance that there is no limit to the occupation’s will. The
hanging coming on the Muslim day of forgiveness — Eid Al-Adha — is
a further intended injury and an insult to Muslims and Arabs worldwide. These
calculations failed. The resistance intensified, declaring that in the place of
Saddam Hussein thousands of Saddams will rise.
the constitution nor the National Assembly will be able to achieve the core
objective of the United States. Having destroyed the Iraqi state, the US’s own
handpicked proxies prove unable to build a functioning state of any kind. In
reality, a parallel state exists, composed of the Iraqi resistance, armed,
political and popular. Faced with impending defeat, the US accuses its proxies
of its own failure in hope of winning the hearts of Iraqis.
marks the entrance of a strategy of annihilation in the political sphere. No
one is the American’s friend. Timed revelations begin to surface about secret
government prisons. Constant crisis meetings are held and public admonishments
of puppet Prime Minister Maliki are frequent. Meanwhile, the Green Zone is all
but empty. Iraqi parliamentarians award themselves a two-month 2007 summer
holiday, several rumoured to be approaching Western states for asylum —
an option the chief judge in the trial of Saddam Hussein took within days of
the president’s summary execution.
strategy of annihilation is paralleledin the
military sphere with what in 2007 will be known as "the surge". On 10 October
2006, resistance forces engage the occupation at Forward Base Camp Falcon,
where occupation ammunition reserves for the whole of the Baghdad region are
kept. An undisclosed number of occupation forces are killed as the entire camp
burns to the ground, lighting up the skies of Baghdad. This defeat will cost
the occupation $1 billion. This attack is so well planned and carried out that
it seems impossible for the US to hide anymore that it is battling an
retaliation will show no mercy. Rejecting the Baker-Hamilton Report
recommendations, and despite the concerns it expresses on the state of the US
military, Bush orders an increase in US force levels, redeploying —
whereas through much of 2006 they had been garrisoned — US forces back
into Iraqi neighbourhoods. Exhausted by the armed resistance, US forces resort
to walling-in entire districts of Baghdad — a strategy already tested in
other Iraqi cities. Amid the shooting down of numerous US helicopters by the
armed resistance, the US launches bombing campaigns that are as
disproportionate and indiscriminate as they are futile. The Iraqi resistance
responds by reportedly shooting down an F-16.
US is out of options in its "New Iraq". Although it continues manoeuvring politically,
reinforcing its destruction of the life of Iraqi society, it has only two
choices: 1) Accept its defeat and a humiliating exit; or 2) Exterminate the
population. The "surge strategy", the walling-in of Baghdad districts
the project to impose on 50 localities the same constraints imposed on Fallujah
(electronic IDs, check points at all points of entry, only proven residents
allowed in), the four million exiled, the non-recognition of the resistance
amid its continual attacks and military-style anti-occupation operations in
Baghdad, reveals that the occupation, whatever choice it makes, has lost. It
was genocide for a purpose, now it is genocide without purpose. Baghdad can
never be subjugated.
for Iraqi resources, in the time of the no-fly zones it was US that destroyed
Iraq’s oil industry to prevent Iraq from profiting from oil revenues. After the
occupation, it is the Iraqi people who prevent the occupation from using
oil revenues to further its project of national subjugation. The US in its
plans forgot that the central region that it calls "Sunni" controls all
Iraq’s communications, pipelines and, for historical reasons, the military and
technical and scientific cadre. Even if the US were to attempt to enforce its
strategy of annihilation by imposing a parliament compliant enough to pass the
oil law it wants, in the long term it will fail. Once the occupation leaves,
all of its laws will be revoked, Iraqis reconstructing Iraq as they did under
sanctions: in the name and the benefit of all Iraqis.
Interpreting genocide in Iraq
the strategic context mapped above, it is clear that the United States not only
had a desire, but also in the minds of the neoconservative right has been
compelled to pursue a strategy of genocide in Iraq. This strategy has taken two
forms: 1) An overall genocide contained in, and following from, the imperative
of destroying Iraq as a state and a nation; 2) Specific genocide pursued
through the implementation of this agenda against definable groups within the
nation of Iraq.
the first instance, the combination of 13 years of sanctions and the ravages of
the ground occupation have demonstrably subjected the Iraqi people as a defined
national group to conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical
destruction in whole or in part. In reference to sanctions, in the words of
The sanctions regime against Iraq
has as its clear purpose the deliberate infliction on the Iraqi people of
conditions of life (lack of adequate food, medicines, etc.) calculated to bring
about its physical destruction in whole or in part. It does not matter that
this deliberate physical destruction has as its ostensible objective the
security of the region. Once clear evidence was available that thousands of
civilians were dying and that hundreds of thousands would die in the future as
the Security Council continued the sanctions, the deaths were no longer an
unintended side effect — the Security Council was responsible for all
known consequences of its actions. The sanctioning bodies cannot be absolved
from having the "intent to destroy" the Iraqi people.
destruction of the Iraqi state — a necessary condition of the
implementation of US global, regional and national goals — has been an
objective attempt to render "unviable" the nation of Iraq in the context of a
strategy of partition, Balkanisation, the destruction of Iraq’s unifying Muslim
Arab identity, and the erasure of the very concept of being "Iraqi". Only by
destroying Iraq as a state and nation could the United States advance in its
bid for global hegemony and "full spectrum dominance." Only by destroying the
unifying Muslim Arab identity of Iraqis could the United States hope to control
the 6,000-year old geopolitical entity that is Iraq.
thinking about what the state is, we must bear in mind two aspects: 1) The
state is the sum of the entire social, cultural, political and economic history
of a given people, translated into language, social norms, customs,
identifications, urban formations, patterns of life, and natural social unities
that inform and mould the feeling of citizenship, and that exist independent of
concepts as an historical reality; 2) The state is the historical guarantor of
the propagation and development — the very existence — of a given
people; it is indivisible and cross-generational, and is a necessity to
reference to post-invasion US policy, in the words of Abdul Ilah Albayaty:
Beside controlling and plundering
the natural resources of Iraq, the United States’ plan consisted in abolishing
the concept of citizenship — the basis of any modern state. It annulled
sovereignty, destroyed heritage and memory, and took over Iraqi wealth in an
attempt to divide the country and destroy its Arab and Islamic geopolitical and
civilisation-based affiliations. The occupation has tried, and continues to
try, to replace Iraq by a subordinate state based on ethnicity and sectarian
identity: a state of parties, lineages and religious references rather than a
state of equal and free citizens. By dividing the state into three or more weak
and conflicting entities according to the virtual lines of blood and
sectarianism, the US, in reality, draws a map corresponding to the occupation’s
own interests in oil. This programmed division necessitated the abolition of
the Iraqi state; the dismantling of its apparatus and institutions and an
ongoing plan of privatisation of state-owned industries, buildings, lands and
is another pretext for the same ends. Given its centrality in the operation of
the state, destroying the Baath Party — an openly stated objective of the
US military intervention, consciously planned in advance
— necessarily subjected the entire Iraqi population to conditions of insecurity
and mass deprivation. In reality, deBaathification is nothing more than
collective punishment and a canard used to justify disbanding the army, the
police, the education system, and the entire administrative cadre.
the systematic destruction of education
and all primary services
demonstrates US refusal that Iraq — and by example any Arab state —
independently develop conditions of national development and life
sustainability. The systematic assassination of academics
scientists, and lawyers
throughout the period of US occupation reveals an objective attempt to
liquidate, or forcedly expel, the educated Iraqi middle class that possesses
the scientific, technical, administrative, civil and military skills necessary
to guide Iraq on the strategic path of independence, democracy and development.
US project of destroying the Iraqi state and nation, however, cannot but fail:
The United States established a
collision course confrontation with Iraqi society when it liquidated the Iraqi
state, destroying its accomplishments and erasing its memory. It was oblivious
to the simple truth that society is not just a political movement that can be
conquered, or a number of individuals who may be apprehended, bribed or even
killed. It is all the living people in a given country. Like other live
societies, Iraqi society possesses huge capabilities — a sophisticated
legacy, ancient civilisations and an experienced patriotic movement. American
strategists, while building their model for Iraq, missed or disregarded the
fact that social movements are based on solid realities and lived experience,
and cannot just be created on the whim of a political decision or through
insidious forms of pressure.
the extent to which US strategists continue to refuse to recognise — or
are not forced to recognise — this reality, the slow genocide of Iraq as
a state and nation will continue.
regards to specific genocide, it appears clear that: 1) Sunnis in Iraq have
been disproportionately targeted by US military action and the constitution of
a sectarian environment that criminalises Sunnis and militates towards their
erasure for being Sunni. This constitutes genocide of a religious group as
defined by the Genocide Convention; 2) Members of the Iraqi Baath Party have
been targeted not only for assassination but also dispossessed of their
material means of survival. That members of the Iraqi Baath Party adhere or not
adhere to a political programme is irrelevant; their primary identity is their
Iraqi citizenship, and they constitute an Iraqi national group objectively and
by ideology, the loss of which in whole or substantial part renders the state
of Iraq unviable as an entity, threatening the survival of the Iraqi nation;
and 3) The targeting of the Iraqi middle class, as an ethnic group as
enumerated in US Code, has also rendered the state of Iraq unviable,
threatening the survival of the Iraqi nation.
sum, the colonial nature of US policy is manifest, suggesting, along the lines
set out by Sartre, that intent to commit genocide is inherent to its
rationality. Certainly "submission" amounts to genocide for the Iraqi people;
not only socially and culturally, under the yoke of sectarian forces imposed on
Iraq by the US, but also economically, given that the overall US strategy is
clearly defined as seizing Iraqi oil and controlling Iraq as a whole as part of
a global strategy of commanding the resources of the entire Middle East and
Eurasian area. The plunder and expropriation of the primary wealth-creating
natural resources of a foreign state and nation by definition is an act that
denies that state and nation its primary conditions of development and life.
in the context of popular resistance, the "logic" of neo-colonial genocide is
present. With the United States choosing a "surge strategy" over a timetable
for withdrawal, it appears that a strategy of annihilation — tested and
devolved into attempts to spark civil war until now — has been embraced
in full. The overall tendency is not only towards the continuance of the slow
genocide of Iraq as a nation, having destroyed the central state and brought
about conditions of mass deprivation, but a possible spike in conscious
extermination as the occupation struggles to survive in the face of
overwhelming civil resistance.
Sartre two conditions, in such a situation, lead to the only way out —
the withdrawal of the colonial power: 1) Domestic unrest within the colonial
state, opposing the barbarity of what is done in the name of "national
interest"; and 2) A realisation on behalf of colonial state military commanders
that the war cannot be won, leaving withdrawal as the only option.
second condition appears present. Dissent within the US military — and
not only at the level of ground troops — is growing. Only the arrogance
and disregard for life and coexistence that is embodied in the ideologues and
officials of the current US administration blocks common sense from prevailing.
As Sartre stated 40 years ago, the United States is not guilty of having
invented genocide; it is guilty of having "preferred a policy of war and
aggression aimed at total genocide to a policy of peace, the only other
alternative, because it would have implied a necessary reconsideration of [its]
principal objectives." This guilt, indeed, is summed up in the very notion of
the "Project for a New American Century".
to the first condition, a mass injection of energy is needed. It is sad but a
fact that people grow accustomed to atrocity. But Sartre’s analysis should be
binding, for we have in mass action a chance to help bring all of this to an
end. It is the decisive struggle of our time.
has happened in Iraq is more than simple divide and rule. The biggest lie is
that the US occupation of Iraq is a blunder. Analysis of the strategic logic
for destroying Iraq, as well an understanding of the nature of colonial war and
how the US occupation has unfolded, reveals that it is not the occupation that
veered from its aims, but rather the Iraqi people who in courage resisted. The
longer the situation persists, the more proven is the fortitude of the Iraqi
US’s declaration of global permanent war has revived the strategy of total
conquest, entailing a reduction of human life as a whole to its bare essence
where people no longer have a history as such but are mere things. Akin to a
domestic state of emergency, the global "war on terror" declared and policed by
the United States presages a generalised suspension of customary global civil
rights and inaugurates an era that militates towards total conquest or total
destruction. While Iraqis have borne the brunt, in reality it is an attack on the
whole of humanity.
such, the ongoing US genocide on Iraq is clearly and demonstrably a threat to
international peace. International law must be wrested from its foundation as a
means of legitimising and humanising war and instead criminalise it unequivocally.
Establishing as criminal US imperial policies is the first step towards forging
the alternative world the bulk of humanity hopes for and believes in. Under
customary international law, genocide is a crime over which any state can
exercise universal jurisdiction.
That states have fallen silent leaves agency to the people of the world.
end this genocide unfolding in front of us, unity of purpose is necessary
across the multiple fronts of action for social justice. Global civil
disobedience need not be conceived along the lines of a single plan. Resistance
is always a matter of situation. The aim must be coordinated action at local,
national and international levels, in shifting alliances that gather and
displace while maintaining pressure on all fronts.
the humanity in you by being against this genocide.
thousands of Iraqis are falling, in reality, the United States cannot make its
strategy work. In pursuing a policy of genocide the United States has committed
moral suicide. The people of the world can and must step into the vacuum its
moral collapse opens. We must remember and claim what modern states supposedly
concede: that people are the sole source of sovereignty, and that international
law is the patrimony of the development of human civilisation.
defending both, we defend the Iraqi people.
to Article 2 of the Genocide Convention, the following arguably constitute
qualifying acts of genocide in Iraq, 1990-2007. All have been conducted by US
forces, multinational forces, and/or US-supported death squads, militias or
Iraqi security forces under the final military authority of the United States:
Killing members of the group
of disproportionate and indiscriminate force
killings of members of the middle class as a defined national group
killings of Sunnis as a religious group
destruction of electricity and water infrastructure
destruction of sanitation infrastructure.
of members of the Baath Party as a defined national group
of doctors as members of a national group
of academics as members of a national group
of lawyers as members of a national group
of journalists as members of a national group
by US-supported death squads
by US-supported sectarian militias
of sectarian strife leading to tit-for-tat killings
use of DU leading to cancer and leukaemia
of the healthcare system leading to mass preventable deaths
Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
use of torture
of disproportionate and indiscriminate force
use of DU leading to cancer, leukaemia, sterility and birth defects
dismantling of the state in all its aspects, individually and severally
destruction of electricity and water infrastructure
destruction of sanitation infrastructure
destruction of Iraqi heritage
destruction of religious sites
destruction of Iraqi civil infrastructure
killings of members of the middle class
killings of Sunnis
of members of the Baath Party
support for death squads
support for sectarian militias
of general terror
of sectarian strife
of a drug culture
Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring
about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
of disproportionate and indiscriminate force
use of DU and the contamination of land and water resources
dismantling of the state in all its aspects, individually and severally
destruction of electricity and water infrastructure
destruction of sanitation infrastructure
destruction of Iraqi heritage
destruction of religious sites
destruction of Iraqi civil infrastructure
killings of members of the middle class
killings of Sunnis
of members of the Baath Party
of the Iraqi resistance
support for death squads
support for sectarian militias
of general terror
of sectarian strife
of a drug culture
Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
use of DU leading to sterility and birth defects
of general terror
According to Article 3, the following arguably constitute qualifying
crimes in Iraq:
All aspects noted above,
individually and severally
Conspiracy to commit genocide;
strategic agenda in Iraq, 1990 to the present
US strategic adjustments
members of Multinational Force-Iraq (MNF-I), individually and severally
Iraqi government as an arm of the occupation
All members of the United
Nations, individually and severally, who supported sanctions and the 2003
Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;
of US neoconservatives
of US "liberal hawks"
wing and liberal US media alike in contributing to the vilification of Iraqis
wing and liberal US media alike in contributing to the vilification of the
Iraqi Baath Party
wing and liberal US media alike in contributing to sectarian
US corporate propaganda
Attempt to commit genocide;
All aspects noted above,
individually and severally
Complicity in genocide.
members of MNF-I, individually and severally
Iraqi government as an arm of the occupation
members of the United Nations, individually and severally, who failed to stop
sanctions and the 2003 invasion