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Re: [casi-analysis] On the 'transfer of sovereignty'

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Dear Peter and all,

I think you are absolutely right on the subject of sovereignty. And may I
remind you of the conclusions of the BRussells Tribunal that I've sent to
the list yesterday. Note that this report has been written (and/or approved)
by Denis Halliday, Hans von Sponeck, Ramsey Clark, Samir Amin, Nawaal
Al-Saadawi, Sabah Al-Mukhtar, Haifa Zangana, Karen Parker, Michael Parenti,
Jim Lobe, Tom Barry, Pierre Klein, Immanuel Wallerstein, and many others who
were present at this official opening session of the World Tribunal on Iraq

And there's also another problem: I think that the US want to ruin the
reputations of people like Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck, and try to
accuse them of "corruption". Especially Hans von Sponeck was very worried
about this, because he is already involved in 2 court cases, because of the
smear campagne against him. They tried to accuse him of being a Saddam
apologist, anti-semite... you name it. He said: "will I have to go to court
again?", and sighed. I told him to rely also on the anti-sanctions movement
for support.

We know the US/UK governments have always tried to lie about the reality of
the sanctions (as they did about the war). And I'm sure that they want to
rewrite history on that terrible page in history. So I think we have to stay
vigilant and to consider ourselves as defenders of the truth about these
inhumane sanctions. That's why, according to me, our work is far from over.
Also because war and occupation are just an extention of the sanctions, only
(Some photo's of the BRussells Tribunal can be found on this pages:

It was a most heart-warming event.

Dirk Adriaensens.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter Brooke" <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2004 1:06 PM
Subject: [casi-analysis] On the 'transfer of sovereignty'

> [ This message has been sent to you via the CASI-analysis mailing list ]
> Dear all
> This mailing list obviously lacks a clear focus to policy, equivalent to
> original opposition to sanctions. This means that we don't really function
> as a group and what appears or doesn't appear on the list is rather
> arbitrary. There is really no reason for anyone outside ourselves to take
> much interest in what 'we' have to say.
> I suppose we all have different ideas as to what the focus of our
> should be and I have great sympathy with the view that we should keep the
> emphasis on sanctions, ie on the historical record of sanctions, the more
> since the Americans are proposing as a new proconsul (or 'ambassador'. But
> note that they also like to call Paul Bremer an 'ambassador') John
> Negroponte who as US ambassador to the UN in the sanctions era is
> responsible for the state of misery in which the entire population in
> outside the ruling elite, was forced to live for many years.
> However, in terms of immediate policy I would invite people to consider
> following:
> 1) that 'sovereignty' should be defined as full control over the military
> and economic policy of the country (surely an uncontroversial definition!)
> and that consequently nothing that does not transfer such control to an
> Iraqi government can be described as a transfer of sovereignty.
> 2) that only a democratically elected assembly can be regarded as
> representative of the Iraqi people
> 3) that until real sovereignty is handed over to a democratically elected
> government, Iraq should be regarded legally as an occupied country and its
> functional authority subject to all the usual legal restrictions of an
> occupying force.
> I develope this case in the following letter addressed to Martin Kettle of
> The Guardian
> Best wishes
> Peter
> Dear Martin Kettle
> I have only just read your interesting article 'There is no alternative to
> Tony Blair's policy on Iraq' (Guardian, 14th April).
> In it you argue that we are now involved, like it or not, in a conflict
> between 'freedom' and 'fundamentalism' and we have to support the side of
> freedom. The policy of handover of sovereignty on June 30th is the only
> possible option.
> Unfortunately, neither 'freedom' nor any real handover of sovereignty on
> June 30th are on offer and, as Salem Lone pointed out in his article just
> beside your own, the best policy for confronting the fundamentalists - the
> establishment of a democratically elected Iraqi assembly (whether it
> possessed sovereign powers or not) has been refused by the United States
> administration.
> The Americans are in the process of building fourteen permanent military
> bases in Iraq. They have closed their bases in Saudi Arabia on the clear
> assumption that Iraq would be freely available to them. It is difficult to
> imagine that these bases will come under the sovereign control of any
> government in the foreseeable future. The existing interim constitution
> places the Iraqi army and police force under US control. Control over the
> armed forces existing within the country is normally considered the most
> fundamental defining characteristic of sovereignty, but that is not what
> gong to be handed over on June 30th.
> The seriousness of this becomes all the more obvious when we remember that
> section of American opinion very close to the present administration sees
> the invasion of Iraq as only the second phase of a policy which will have
> continue with the invasions of Iran and Syria.
> The interim constitution also prevents the 'sovereign' Iraqi government
> after June 30th from changing any legislation imposed by the current
> administration, including that which has opened the whole Iraqi economy to
> unrestricted foreign purchase. At present this has been something of a
> letter because under international law the occupying force has no right to
> sell the assets of an occupied nation. Under the circumstances the legal
> title of any purchaser would be very vulnerable. This is why the US
> government is anxious to end not the occupation but the legal status of
> occupation. The desire for closer involvement of the United Nations is a
> desire that the UN Security Council pass a resolution declaring that the
> occupation has ended, thus permitting the sale of Iraqi assets prior to
> establishment of a properly elected Iraqi government.
> Which may not be possible even by the projected date of January 2005. A
> democratic government can only come into existence once a constitution has
> been agreed. But the interim constitution (which gives any three provinces
> right of veto) has given a right of veto over the final constitution - and
> hence over the appearance of a democratically elected government - to the
> Kurds. In this way, the thorniest problem facing any government in Iraq -
> the Kurdish demand for an autonomous state which would include Kirkuk and
> Mosul - has been raised as a barrier to the establishment of democratic
> government.
> It is this more than anything else which has roused the anger of the
> leadership and therefore inhibited them from opposing the forces of
> al-Sadr. Both Ayatollah al-Sistani and the leadership of the Supreme
> for the Revolution in Iraq (which is represented on the Iraqi Governing
> Council) are natural enemies of Moqtada, but they have both declared that
> his demands are just.
> It should never be forgotten that the US government have already tried to
> pretend that the existing Iraqi Governing Council was a sovereign
> government. Hence the name and the fact that it comes armed with
> 'ministries' and 'ministers' (including ministries of foreign affairs and,
> recently, defence!). This was done in an unsuccessful attempt to persuade
> the Security Council to end the 'occupation' status, without actually
> the occupation.  It would have been infinitely better had the occupying
> force behaved openly as an occupying force, using a differently named IGC
> an advisory board that would have given voice to Iraqi concerns and
> discontents. It would have been better for the individuals concerned, who
> could have appeared as representatives of the Iraqi people rather than as
> agents of the occupation.
> June 30th is a second attempt at exactly the same policy and we can only
> hope that, once again, it will not succeed, that the British and Americans
> will not get the resolution they want out of the Security Council. They
> should instead be obliged to exercise direct sovereignty as an occupying
> power, under the restrictions imposed on occupying forces by International
> law, until handing over to a democratically elected and fully sovereign
> Iraqi government, as advocated by al-Sistani.
> 'Fundamentalism' flourishes in war conditions. It appeals to the most
> determined, militant sections of the society, those motivated by
> strong enough to enable them to kill and to die for a cause (it is
> if European fascism could have been defeated without the support of
> Communism). The much touted 'silent majority' can only assert itself under
> conditions of a relatively stable democracy. By refusing democracy in Iraq
> with a view to maintaining its own military and economic control, the
> occupying power has, deliberately or not, strengthened the power of
> 'fundamentalism'.
> Yours sincerely
> Peter Brooke
> Brecon, Wales
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