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[casi] Iraq's neighbours meet - a note.

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The foreign ministers of Egypt and six countries, including Iran and Turkey, who share common 
borders with Iraq, met in Damascus on November 1st to discuss  "regional security". The 'Iraqi 
Governing Council' declined to attend, insulted by receiving only a last-minute invitation.  It 
took place a few days after a rocket attack on Rashid Hotel which narrowly missing Rumsfeld's 
number two, Paul Wolfowitz, and amid a big rise in armed attacks on occupation forces, reportedly 
averaging over 30 per day. The foreign ministers issued a statement condemning "the terrorist 
bombings that target civilians, humanitarian and religious institutions, embassies and 
international organisations working in Iraq", but pointedly refrained from condemning  armed 
attacks on US and British soldiers. They stopped short of denouncing the occupation, calling for a 
"timetable to be put in place to end the occupation and transfer power to a sovereign Iraqi 
government". The two-day meeting agreed measures to inhibit the movement of "terrorists" across 
their borders into Iraq, an outcome which was welcomed by Washington.

Like a piece of broken mirror, this story contains a reflection of a much bigger world. It 
registers the fact that, despite their military victory and the unanimous UN Security Council 
resolution, the US and UK have not been able to establish the legitimacy of their military 
dictatorship in Iraq. In the eyes of the majority of Arabs, Iranians and Turks, legitimacy is 
possessed not by the occupation but by the resistance to it. Arab regimes, even those with close 
ties to the US, dare not speak against the right of Iraqis to attack occupation forces because they 
are scared of the seething anger among their own populations at what is happening in Iraq and what 
is happening in Palestine.

In this shard we catch a glimpse of how the occupation of Iraq is failing. Shock and awe has failed 
to crush and cow. The arrogant imperialists wanted to show who's boss. Instead, the spirit of 
rebellion is fuelled by every act of Iraqi resistance, a resistance which is interior and which 
takes many forms and which is invincible.

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