samedi 30 juin 2007



Bruxelles, le 30 juin 2007

Les représentants des Turkmènes irakiens en Belgique et aux Pays-Bas manifesteront le lundi 2 juillet 2007 de 10h30 à 12h30 devant le Parlement de Bruxelles, 69 rue Lombard - 1000 Bruxelles, où se tiendra une conférence organisée par l’institut et le centre culturel kurde irakien de Belgique avec la participation du représentant du parti politique flamand sp.a-spirit.

Cette conférence traitera de l’Article 140 de la Constitution irakienne qui concerne les territoires contestés en Irak, notamment la région turkmène « TURKMENELI » et la ville de Kirkouk qui subit une politique de ‘kurdification à outrance’ depuis l’invasion de l’Irak par les forces anglo-américaines en 2003.

Cette manifestation a pour but :

1) de dénoncer la politique hégémonique des partis kurdes qui contrôlent actuellement la région turkmène et la ville de Kirkouk, où les Turkmènes sont marginalisés et discriminés.

2) de rejeter l’Article 140 qui prévoit la possibilité de l’annexion de Kirkouk à la région autonome kurde.

3) d’exiger les mêmes droits pour les Turkmènes que ceux qui sont accordés dans la nouvelle constitution aux Arabes et aux Kurdes en Irak. Les Turkmènes constituent la troisième communauté la plus importante en Irak avec les Arabes et les Kurdes; ils sont incontestablement la deuxième communauté principale dans le nord de l’Irak et malgré cela ils continuent d’être considérés comme une «minorité» et comme des «citoyens de deuxième classe» en Irak.

4) d’exiger un statut spécial pour la province de Kirkouk, semblable à celui de la capitale Bagdad, comme cela était prévu dans la constitution provisoire qui spécifiait que "Kirkouk et Bagdad auraient un statut spécial et resteraient en dehors des groupements régionaux et fédéraux".

5) dans le cadre d'un "Irak fédéral" : de demander l’autonomie régionale pour les Turkmènes et la création d'un "Etat fédéral TURKMENELI" incluant toutes les régions turkmènes, de Tel Afar dans la province de Mossoul jusque Mendeli dans la province de Diyala, incorporant les enclaves turkmènes dans les villes de Mossoul et d'Erbil, avec Kirkouk comme capitale de cet Etat fédéral TURKMENELI.

Comité de défense des droits Turkmènes irakiens - Belgique
Taniş - Irak Türkmen Derneği – Pays-Bas
European-Turkmen Friendship Association




30th June 2007

Representatives of the Iraqi Turkmens in Belgium and in the Netherlands will hold a demonstration in front of the Brussels Capital Parliament, 69, rue Lombard, 1000 Brussels - where the Kurdish institute and Kurdish cultural centre in Belgium are holding a conference hosted by the Flemish socialist party sp.a-spirit - on Monday 2nd July 2007 from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm.

The subject of this conference is: “Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution: the referendum for the status of KERKUK and other contested territories in Iraq”. These so-called ‘contested territories’ are territories situated mainly in TURKMENELI (the Turkmen Region in the north of Iraq) they also include the city of KERKUK.

Since the invasion of Iraq by the Anglo-American forces in March 2003 the Kurdish parties and their militia have been authorised to penetrate, occupy and control most of the Turkmen towns and cities in the north of Iraq beginning with the city of Kerkuk which they have almost completely kurdified.

The aim of this demonstration is:

1- To denounce the hegemony of the Kurdish parties who are controlling the entire Turkmen Region and the city of KERKUK and who are marginalizing and discriminating against the Turkmens

2- To reject Article 140 that was written by the Kurds and was added to the new Iraqi constitution to allow them to annex KERKUK to the Kurdish Autonomous Region

3- To demand equal rights for the Turkmens in Iraq: equal to those of their Arab and Kurdish compatriots. The Turkmens are one of the three main communities in Iraq together with the Arabs and the Kurds; they are the second main community in the north of Iraq, notwithstanding this they continue to be marginalized and are considered as “a minority” and as “second class citizens”.

4- To demand a special status for KERKUK, similar to that of the capital BAGHDAD, as it was specified in Iraq’s provisional constitution which clearly stated that “KERKUK and BAGHDAD would have a special status and would not be part of any regional or federal state.

5- In the case of a “Federal Iraq”: to demand regional autonomy for the Turkmens and the creation of a “Federal State of Turkmeneli” as a Homeland and a Safe Haven for the Turkmens where they can administer themselves and protect their lives and preserve their identity and culture.

Committee for the Defence of the Iraqi Turkmen Rights - Belgium
Taniş – İrak Türkmen Derneği – The Netherlands
Euro-Turkmen Friendship Association

Kerkük'ün sesini kaybettik

Abdulvahit Küzecioğlu

Kerkük’ün sesini kaybettik.

Türkmenler’in sanat güneşi ender varlık Abdulvahit Küzecioğlu’nu bugün 29.06.07 kaybettik.Türkmen varlığının ender insanlarından biri olan sanatçımıza yüce Allahtan rahmet diler mekanı cennet olsun, ayrıca tüm aile fertlerine ve Türkmen halkına sabır ve baş sağlığı dileriz.
Biz Türkmeniz Gurubu

المطرب التركماني عبد الواحد كوزه جي اوغلو في ذمة الله
توفي في مدينة كركوك مساء يوم الجمعة المطرب والفنان التركماني الكبير عبد الواحد أحمد كوزه جي اوغلو عن عمر ناهز 82 سنة ، وكان الفقيد مصابا بالفقرات الظهرية وقد أعاقه المرض شهور عديدة الى أن انتقل الى رحمة ربه في منزله في الساعة العاشرة مساء يوم الجمعة بعد أن ترك خلفه أعمالا كثيرة للفن التركماني وأوصله الى عديد من البلدان التركية ، وقد عرف بنبرته الخاصة في الغناء وغنى كثيرا لمدينته الحبيبة كركوك وللتركمان والعراق جميعا وانا لله وانا اليه راجعون.
وكالة الأنباء التركمانية

vendredi 29 juin 2007


Amidst political infighting, a shocking new scandal involving Iraq's most vulnerable group, children, continues to blight Iraq's political scene, reports Nermeen Al-Mufti from Baghdad

Against the backdrop of continued violence in Iraq, and with Operation Imposing Law showing no signs of success, US forces have launched Operation Arrowhead Ripper in Diayli, northeast of Baghdad. About 10,000 US troops are participating in the operation, described as the biggest offensive since the one conducted in Falluja in November 2004.

Diayli is partially controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq group and other militias. Thousands of Shia and Sunni families have deserted the city, considered Iraq's second most violent city after Baghdad. About 20 reporters were abducted in Diayli over the past four years and currently there are no local reporters in the city. The news from Diayli is either based on the statements released by the occupation forces or those released by the militia on their Websites. Abu Nabil, a resident of the Al-Muallimin, a particularly violent part of Diyali, told Al-Ahram Weekly that many bodies were left lying in the streets and that it was no longer safe for residents to venture into the streets. Abu Nabil said that heavy fighting had taken place in the areas of Al-Muallimin and Al-Mafraq.

A scandal in Dar Al-Hanan, an institute for orphans with special needs, has upstaged the news of Operation Arrowhead Ripper. The news, broken by the CBS network, featured horrific images of children tied to beds and lying on the floor, too weak to move. CBS said that a joint US-Iraqi patrol "accidentally" found the orphanage, the horrors of which compete with those of Abu Ghraib prison.

Iraqi officials made pathetic attempts to explain events. Mahmoud Al-Sheikh Radi, the minister of labour and social affairs, held a news conference one day after the network aired the damning photos. He said that the Americans "tried to cover up what happened in Samarra by attacking the orphanage". The scandal at the orphanage was actually uncovered on 10 June, two days before the Samarra bombing happened. Furthermore, the minister was dismayed that the "visit" to the orphanage took place without "prior notification." What really happened? Once again, no one knows the truth in Iraq. The Americans tried to make political capital out of their discovery and their saving of the children. The Iraqi minister refused to admit any wrongdoing, nor did he ask for a parliamentary investigation.

The official Iraqi television channel, Al-Iraqiya, ran a story about the children, showing them after they were washed and clothed. The report ended with the words, "a dereliction of duty has taken place, but there is no country in the world where this doesn't occur".

Well-informed government sources told the Weekly that the director of the orphanage, Dia Abdel-Amir, started showing up at the ministry after he was questioned over the affair. Local television stations stated that "oversight committees found no proof of negligence." It would seem that the Iraqi government's definition of the term differs fundamentally from the common usage. And yet the same term is often employed to describe the performance of the Al-Maliki government, even by members of Al-Maliki's own political group, the United Iraqi Alliance.

Vice-President Adel Abdul-Mahdi once again called for the resignation of the government, accusing it of incompetency. Speaking during a Friday sermon at the Al-Khullani Mosque, he said that the country needed a change of government within two months. The mosque was attacked with a truck rigged with explosives and gas canister, leaving 80 dead and 200 others wounded.

Hammam Hammoudi of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, or SCIRI, also said that the government had failed to carry out its duties. Ahmed Al-Safi, spokesman for Ayatollah Al-Sistani, called for the resignation of the government for failing to prevent the Samaraa bombing. Moqtada Al-Sadr added that the government was incapable of protecting his followers from attacks by US troops and his supporters suspended their participation in the parliament following the 12 June bombing in Samaraa. Sheikh Mohamed Al-Yaqoubi, spiritual leader of the Al-Fadila Party, further accused the government of putting partisan interests above national interests, describing it as "crippled".

The Reconciliation Front of Khalf Al-Alyan and the National Dialogue Front of Saleh Al-Mostalek also suspended their participation in the parliament, demanding the dismissal of speaker Mahmoud Al-Mashhadani. A source from the Reconciliation Block said that his group did not want the speaker of the parliament replaced unless the president and the prime minister were also replaced.

Meanwhile, the financial differences between the central government in Baghdad and the administration of northern Iraq over the sharing of oil revenues has been settled. These differences had hitherto complicated agreement on other issues concerning the amendment of the constitution, Kirkuk, and federal arrangements.

Khaled Saleh, spokesman for the northern government, said that the central government in Baghdad had agreed to grant the local government a certain percentage of all Iraqi imports. Qabbad Al-Talabani, son of President Jalal Al-Talabani and the "Kurdistan of Iraq's" envoy to the US, said that the continued presence of US forces in Iraq was a guarantee that the Kurdish people wouldn't be persecuted in the future. He said that the building of a US base in the Kurdish areas was in "the interests of both America and Kurdistan."

Speaking at a news conference last week in Irbil, Qabbad said that "our American friends should understand that their interests in the Kurds are not just political, but economic and military".

He explained that a certain percentage of oil imports, domestic imports, loans and foreign assistance, would go to the Kurdish areas. According to an official who participated in the talks between the northern administration and Baghdad, the talks lasted for several months and resulted in the Kurds getting 17 per cent of all imports and assistance proceedings.

The northern administration has sole control of all import revenues and tarrifs on the Iraqi-Turkish border.

As Operation Arrowhead Ripper continued in Diyali, Al-Adhamiya was under strict curfew causing food supplies to be halted and preventing students from taking their final exams.
Joint US and Iraqi forces imposed a total ban on all vehicular movement in the neighbourhood.
The ban came after a US tank and three Hummer vehicles were attacked last Thursday.

Iraqis were expecting the Anfal court to sentence Ali Hassan Al-Maguid (known as Chemical Ali and the man held responsible for gassing the Kurds) to death. But the death sentence on former Defence Minister Hashem Sultan came as a surprise. Mohamed Al-Bayyat, a former army officer who is now a taxi driver, told the Weekly that he was angered and saddened by the sentence. "Minister Sultan was wrong to surrender to the Americans. Instead he could have hidden among his clan in Mosul. The sentence was an act of revenge against the disbanded Iraqi army," Al-Bayyat said.

The Turcoman Nationalist Movement released a statement denouncing the "double-dealing" in the Iraqi justice system. The movement had filed a lawsuit with an Iraqi court handling crimes against humanity. It accused Masoud Al-Barzani of handing over to Saddam's government dozens of Turcoman opposition members who had taken refuge in Irbil in 1996. The Saddam government executed them. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the families of the victims in February 2005, but no action has been taken so far.

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jeudi 28 juin 2007

Kerkük Irak'ın kırılma noktasıdır

Çşitli Temaslarda Bulunmak Üzere ABD'nin Başkenti Washington'da Bulunan Irak Türkmen Cephesi Başkanı Dr. Sadettin Ergeç, Assembly Of Turkish American Associations (Ataa) Tarafından Düzenlenen Bir Toplantıda Konuştu. Irak'ın Geneli ve Türkmeneli Bölgesi Hakkında Bilgiler Veren Sadettin Ergeç, Türkmen Toplumunun 37 Senedir Çeşitli Baskılara, Hatta Soykırıma Tabi Tutulduğunu Kaydetti. Maruz Kaldık...

Kerkük Irak'ın kırılma noktasıdır

Washington- Washington'da temaslarda bulunan Iraklı Türkmen Milletvekili ve Irak Türkmen Cephesi Başkanı Saadettin Ergeç, Kerkük’te hayat normale dönmeden referandum yapılmasına karşı olduklarını söylerken Washingtonlu yetkililerin kendilerine kulak vermesini istedi.
Saadettin Ergeç Amerikan Kongresi’nde düzenlenen bir toplantıda yaptığı konuşmada Irak’ın Orta Doğu’nun kilidi, Kerkük’ün ise Irak’ın kırılma noktası olduğunu söyledi.

Iraklı Türkmenler’in 1920’lerden beri Irak yönetiminin baskılarına ve soykırımlarına maruz kaldığını hatırlatan Ergeç 2003 yılından beri yapmakta oldukları uyarıların ciddiye alınması çağrısında bulundu. Irak anayasasıyla ilgili kaygılarını başından beri dile getirdiklerini de belirten Ergeç Iraklı Türkmenlerin sadece kendi haklarını istediklerini, Irak’ın yönetiminde ağırlıklı rol oynamaya talip olduklarını söyledi. Ergeç, Irak’ın içinde bulunduğu kaos ortamına olumlu katkılarının olabileceğine işaret etti. Türkmenlerin Irak’ta tehlike altında olduğunu söyleyen Türkmen Milletvekili Kerkük’ün Türkmen şehri olduğunu ancak herkesin Kerkük’te yaşayabileceğini söyledi. Ergeç Kerkük’e özel statü verilmesini istediklerini de belirtti. Saadettin Ergeç, 1 Mart tezkeresinin Türkiye Büyük Millet Meclisi'nden geçmemesini 'talihsizlik' diye niteledi ve Türk askerinin yasal olarak Irak’ta bulunmasının, Türkmenler için yararlı olacağına değindi. Ergeç ve beraberindeki heyet Amerikan Dışişleri ve Savunma Bakanlığı yetkilileri ve Ulusal Güvenlik Konseyi üyeleriyle bir araya gelecek. New York’ta da temaslar yapacak olan Ergeç’in aralarında Hillary Clinton’ın da olduğu bazı senatörlerle bir araya gelmesi bekleniyor.habergazete

Ergeç, Washington Temaslarına Devam Ediyor
27 Haziran 2007,

Çeşitli Temaslarda Bulunmak Üzere ABD'nin Başkenti Washington'da Bulunan Irak Türkmen Cephesi Başkanı Dr. Sadettin Ergeç, Assembly Of Turkish American Associations (Ataa) Tarafından Düzenlenen Bir Toplantıda Konuştu. Irak'ın Geneli ve Türkmeneli Bölgesi Hakkında Bilgiler Veren Sadettin Ergeç, Türkmen Toplumunun 37 Senedir Çeşitli Baskılara, Hatta Soykırıma Tabi Tutulduğunu Kaydetti. Maruz Kaldık...

Çeşitli temaslarda bulunmak üzere ABD'nin başkenti Washington'da bulunan Irak Türkmen Cephesi Başkanı Dr. Sadettin Ergeç, Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) tarafından düzenlenen bir toplantıda konuştu. Irak'ın geneli ve Türkmeneli bölgesi hakkında bilgiler veren Sadettin Ergeç, Türkmen toplumunun 37 senedir çeşitli baskılara, hatta soykırıma tabi tutulduğunu kaydetti. Maruz kaldıkları baskılar konusunda da yalnız kaldıklarını ima edem Ergenç, 1 Mart tezkeresinin mecliste kabul edilmeyişini de 'talihsizlik' olarak değerlendirerek şunları söyledi:
"Tezkere zamanında elde bir fırsat vardı. 2003 yılından beri biz bunu istiyoruz, ama gerçekleştirilmedi. Gayet güzel olabilirdi, o zaman da bu yasaldı. Kimse de reddedemezdi. Şimdi dönüp reddedenlerin kim olduğuna bakmak lazım. Reddedenler kimlerdi ve arkasındakiler kimlerdi? Tezkerenin geçmesi, yasal olarak Türk askerinin göreve gelmesi, tezkerenin geçmesi orda yasal olarak bulunması demekti. Yasal olarak bulunması, böyle bir gücün olması tabi ki Türkmenleri olumlu yönde etkilerdi. Bizim kanaatimize göre Türkmen'lerin saf dışı edilmesinde en başta gelen unsurlardan birisi de budur. Irak'ın güvenliği konusunda İran ve Amerika arasında bir takım görüşmeler olduğuna da dikkat çenen Sadettin Ergenç, "Bakınız maalesef bir yere gelindi ki, Irak'ın güvenliği iki memleket tarafından tartışılmaktadır. Ama üçüncü bir güç nerede?

Onu da sormak lazım. İran ve Amerika'nın, Irak hakkında toplantılar yaptığı ve orda bulunan güvenliğin sağlanması için bir iş birliği meselesi söz konusudur. Bizim kanaatimize göre, Irak'ta cereyan eden, tüm komşu ülkeleri ilgilendirir ve tüm komşu ülkelerin onda söz sahibi olması lazım. Çünkü ateş düştüğü andan itibaren her tarafa sıçrayabilir Allah korusun." şeklinde konuştu. Kuzey Irak'ta bir Kürt yapılanmasının adımlarının çok önceden atıldığını, ama bugünden sonra engellerin açılmasının çok zor olduğunu söyleyen Dr. Sadettin Ergenç, "Bunun ilan edilmesi için çeşitli beklentiler vardır. Bunları elde edilmesi zordur.

Anayasamıza baktığınız zaman bir çok maddeler, birçok rahatsızlıklar var. Ben anayasa tadilatında komisyon üyesiydim. Acayip maddeler vardı, yani bizim ilk günden tespit ettiğimiz Irak'ı paramparça eden maddeler vardı. Toparlanmaya çalışıldı. sonra bir gerçek var. Bugün dünden çok daha iyidir. İlk meclis toplantılarında atılan fikirler değişik ama bugün ortaya atılanlar değişik, grupların anlaşmaları değişik ve anlaşmaların geliş noktaları değişik." şeklinde konuştu. Referandumu kesinlikle reddettiklerini belirten Ergenç, "Irak, insanlığı seven, insan haklarına saygılı olan güçlerin kontrolü altında olsun, Birleşmiş Milletlerin de müdahalesi olsun, sayım Irak genelinde olsun, referanduma gelince, biz referandumu kesinlikle reddediyoruz, çünkü Irak'ın istikrarını bile bozar."

ITC's Ergeç holds Kirkuk talks in Washington

28 June 2007, Thursday

An Iraqi Turkmen delegation led by Saadettin Ergeç, head of the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITC), is in the US capital to voice their uneasiness over the constitutional process regarding the disputed northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk during talks with senior officials.

Ahead of the delegation's talks with officials from the US National Security Council and the Defense and State departments, Ergeç participated in a meeting held by the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) at the US Congress on Tuesday, according to the Anatolia news agency.

A referendum on the status of the strategically important, oil-rich city of Kirkuk is slated for the end of 2007.

While Iraqi Kurds are currently pushing for the referendum, the city's other residents, Turkmens and Arabs, are reluctant, fearing that the referendum would only confirm Kirkuk as part of the Kurdish region in the face of a massive influx of Kurdish immigrants over the past years.
By definition, a constitution cannot contain a provision with a specific date, Ergeç said, referring to the fact that the Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution outlines the date of the referendum on Kirkuk. "What will we do with this article when the year 2007 is over? We reject the referendum. This will spoil Iraq's future," he added.

mercredi 27 juin 2007

Where will Iraq, its refugees go next?

Consequences of insufficient funding likely to boost perpetrators of violence inside Iraq.Life in Iraq is already close to unbearable, with neighbours and marriages split apart by sectarian violence and people on all sides living in dread of car bombs, kidnappings and landmines.And yet just about everyone says it's going to get worse, both inside Iraq - for those who've fled their homes and those who so far have stayed put - and for refugees who've made it to neighbouring countries, where resources and hospitality are stretched to the limit.

No one in Iraq feels safe."Fear now dictates which market you shop at; where you got to hospital - or even whether you go at all; whether you send your kids to school; what passenger you take in your taxi, and where you are will to take him; which friends you see," Ashraf al-Khalidi and Victor Tanner say in an article in the latest issue of Forced Migration Review, published by Oxford University's Refugee Studies Centre.

It's hard to imagine things going further downhill, but observers say violence could escalate even more if it shifts from being the domain largely of armed factions to the wider population, and that would trigger even more flight.

Al-Khalidi and Tanner say violence is reaching deeper into society, as more and more people have ties to the radical groups."If open conflict erupts between tribal groups," they say, "the violence will take on an organised, popular and rural dimension that has so far, mercifully, been lacking."

All over the country and beyond, relatives and strangers have taken people into their homes, but resources and hospitality are at bursting point everywhere the displaced have fled.

Most governates in southern Iraq have begun restricting the entry of displaced people who don't come from local tribes or don't have relatives to take them in, researchers say.

In northern towns, local officials are refusing to allow newcomers in or to register for the public food distribution system, and have set up tents outside town instead.

In this depressing scenario, the only sliver of hope seems to be for more international help - whether it's cash for the places where displaced families are sheltering now, or giving thousands of them new homes in the West.

The country is haemorrhaging refugees at a rate of 40,000 to 50,000 a month, according to the UN refugee agancy, UNHCR.

In Syria and Jordan, where most of Iraq's refugees have gone, an initially warm welcome is cooling swiftly. Both countries are stretched close to the limit already, and no one from the international community has stepped in with donations to help cover the costs.

Neither country has ever signed the 1951 Refugee Convention, so there's no guarantee Iraqis will be allowed to stay.Jordan, which now hosts the largest number of refugees per capita of any country on earth, is preventing Iraqi men from entering and turning away as many refugees as it can, according to Human Rights Watch.

And you can see the logic, when the kingdom's interior ministry says Iraqi refugees are costing Jordan an estimated $1 billion dollars a year. Jordan's schoolteachers were already working double shifts before the Iraqi influx, international aid agency World Vision says in a new report on Iraqi children. Amman has contracted Norwegian think tank FAFO to determine the numbers of refugees in the country and report back on their needs.

Other nearby countries shut their doors long ago, with Lebanon sending back 40 to 60 a week, according to refugee rights campaigners from the Beirut-based Frontiers (Ruwad) Assocation.

That leaves Syria as the main remaining option, but Syrian food prices have risen 30 percent, property prices have jumped 40 percent and rents have shot up by 150 percent, according to the country's foreign ministry.

Water consumption has increased 21 percent, it says, and the refugees have put a burden on the labour market, where unemployment was previously 18 percent.

Human Rights Watch says the urgency isn't just about the moral imperative to help people, but to defuse a security timebomb that has only just started ticking."Unless this crisis is addressed, we may well look back in 10 years' time and see the seeds of the next generation of terrorists," Human Rights Watch's UK Director Tom Porteous says.

The consequences of insufficient funding could come full circle and boost the perpetrators of violence inside Iraq too.Walter Kalin, who's the the UN secretary-general's representative on internally displaced people's rights, writes in Forced Migration Review that there's a real danger the vacuum in humanitarian assistance will be filled by armed militias who provide relief as a way of increasing their control over territory.

FMR's editors note that foreign money is pouring into the war effort in Iraq - they say the US military spends more in Iraq every week than the entire annual global budget of UNHCR - yet the 70 or so non-governmental relief agencies still operating in Iraq face severe funding constraints.

And so do hundreds of Iraqi organisations, working in the most dire conditions."Iraq is undoubtedly the worse place in the world right now for international humanitarian agencies to operate," Walter Kalin says.

A Canadian aid worker writing for AlertNet, Greg Hansen, says: "Donors impose a shocking double standard, insisting on far greater accountability standards on spending for life-saving humanitarian action than for ill-conceived rebuilding schemes hatched in the hothouse of the Green Zone."

Hansen argues that donors have been slow to acknowledge the growing humanitarian emergency because it would mean acknowledging their failure in wasting billions on reconstruction projects.

Advocacy groups like Human Rights Watch say another way the international community could help would be by taking in much larger numbers of refugees themselves, through resettlement programmes. However, this is controversial.

Ali al Bayati, counsellor at the Iraqi Embassy in London, says the international community needs to help make the country safe for Iraqis - many of them likely to try to move to safety after the school year ends in June - before the academic year starts up again in September.

But aid workers say many Iraqis who are fleeing their home don't plan to return.

The UN refugee agency is planning to submit 20,000 Iraqis for resettlement by the end of 2007, recommending Australia, Canada, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden and United States in particular.

At the moment, UNHCR officials stress that they're not talking about a mass resettlement programme, and that there's opposition to that from Iraq's neighbours. Jordan and Syria are worried it would create a pull factor for refugees, and I've heard several people bandy about their concern about the "Palestinisation" of Iraqi refugees.

While the violence keeps on escalating and more and more towns and countries shut their gates, Refugee Studies Centre Director Roger Zetter says there's no chance of large numbers of Iraqis going home in the short or medium term. "It pains me to say this, but this is a protracted refugee crisis."

mardi 26 juin 2007


Where Is Iraq Heading? Lessons from Basra
Middle East Report N°67 - 25 June 2007


Amid the media and military focus on Baghdad, another major Iraqi city – Basra – is being overlooked. Yet Basra’s experience carries important lessons for the capital and nation as a whole. Coalition forces have already implemented a security plan there, Operation Sinbad, which was in many ways similar to Baghdad’s current military surge. What U.S. commanders call “clear, hold and build”, their British counterparts earlier had dubbed “clear, hold and civil reconstruction”. And, as in the capital, the putative goal was to pave the way for a takeover by Iraqi forces. Far from being a model to be replicated, however, Basra is an example of what to avoid. With renewed violence and instability, Basra illustrates the pitfalls of a transitional process that has led to collapse of the state apparatus and failed to build legitimate institutions. Fierce intra-Shiite fighting also disproves the simplistic view of Iraq neatly divided between three homogenous communities.

Lack of attention to Basra is understandable. Iraq’s future is often believed to depend on Baghdad, and most of the spectacular bombings have taken place in the centre of the country, far from the southern city. Observers, by now accustomed to the capital’s dynamics, have had difficulty making sense of Basra’s and so have tended to downplay them. Finally, because U.S. forces have not been directly involved, news coverage has been both limited to Arabic and British media and forced to compete with the gruesome violence that is tearing the centre apart.
But to neglect Basra is a mistake. The nation’s second largest city, it is located in its most oil-rich region. Basra governorate also is the only region enjoying maritime access, making it the country’s de facto economic capital and a significant prize for local political actors. Sandwiched between Iran and the Gulf monarchies, at the intersection of the Arab and Persian worlds, the region is strategically important. Sociologically, Basra’s identity essentially has been forged in opposition not only to the capital but also to other major southern cities such as Najaf and Karbala. For these reasons, it is wrong either to ignore it or lump it together with an imaginary, undifferentiated Shiite south.

On its face, Basra’s security plan ranked as a qualified success. Between September 2006 and March 2007, Operation Sinbad sought to rout out militias and hand security over to newly vetted and stronger Iraqi security forces while kick-starting economic reconstruction. Criminality, political assassinations and sectarian killings, all of which were rampant in 2006, receded somewhat and – certainly as compared to elsewhere in the country – a relative calm prevailed. Yet this reality was both superficial and fleeting. By March–April 2007, renewed political tensions once more threatened to destabilise the city, and relentless attacks against British forces in effect had driven them off the streets into increasingly secluded compounds. Basra’s residents and militiamen view this not as an orderly withdrawal but rather as an ignominious defeat. Today, the city is controlled by militias, seemingly more powerful and unconstrained than before.

What progress has occurred cannot conceal the most glaring failing of all: the inability to establish a legitimate and functioning provincial apparatus capable of redistributing resources, imposing respect for the rule of law and ensuring a peaceful transition at the local level. Basra’s political arena remains in the hands of actors engaged in bloody competition for resources, undermining what is left of governorate institutions and coercively enforcing their rule. The local population has no choice but to seek protection from one of the dominant camps. Periods of stability do not reflect greater governing authority so much as they do a momentary – and fragile – balance of interests or of terror between rival militias. Inevitably, conflicts re-emerge and even apparently minor incidents can set off a cycle of retaliatory violence. A political process designed to pacify competition and ensure the non-violent allocation of goods and power has become a source of intense and often brutal struggle.

Basra is a case study of Iraq’s multiple and multiplying forms of violence. These often have little to do with sectarianism or anti-occupation resistance. Instead, they involve the systematic misuse of official institutions, political assassinations, tribal vendettas, neighbourhood vigilantism and enforcement of social mores, together with the rise of criminal mafias that increasingly intermingle with political actors. Should other causes of strife – sectarian violence and the fight against coalition forces – recede, the concern must still be that Basra's fate will be replicated throughout the country on a larger, more chaotic and more dangerous scale.

The lessons are clear. Iraq’s violence is multifaceted, and sectarianism is only one of its sources. It follows that the country’s division along supposedly inherent and homogenous confessional and ethnic lines is not an answer. It follows, too, that rebuilding the state, tackling militias and imposing the rule of law cannot be done without confronting the parties that currently dominate the political process and forging a new and far more inclusive political compact.

Iraq is in the midst of a civil war. But before and beyond that, Iraq has become a failed state – a country whose institutions and, with them, any semblance of national cohesion, have been obliterated. That is what has made the violence – all the violence: sectarian, anti-coalition, political, criminal and otherwise – both possible and, for many, necessary. Resolving the confrontation between Sunni Arabs, Shiites and Kurds is one priority. But rebuilding a functioning and legitimate state is another – no less urgent, no less important and no less daunting.

Damascus/Amman/Brussels, 25 June 2007

vendredi 22 juin 2007

Interview de Hassan AYDINLI par Gilles MUNIER

Interview de Hassan Aydinli
Représentant du Front Turkmène Irakien en Europe
et Président du Comité de Défense des Droits des Turkmènes Irakiens

Propos recueillis par Gilles Munier, le 18 juin 2007
France-Irak Actualité

Q : Pouvez-vous décrire la situation à Kirkouk aujourd'hui?
Hassan Aydinli
: La situation aujourd’hui à Kirkouk est malheureusement mauvaise. Elle est instable voire même explosive.

Ce qui se passe à Kirkouk, ville irakienne imprégnée depuis plus de huit siècles par l’histoire et la culture turkmènes, est à l’image de ce qui se passe dans les autres villes et villages de Turkmeneli , la région turkmène au nord de l’Irak. La situation ne cesse de s’y détériorer depuis le 10 avril 2003, jour noir dans l’histoire de l’Irak et particulièrement noir dans celle des Turkmènes irakiens.

Ce jour-là, lendemain de la chute de Bagdad, les Américains ont récompensé les deux chefs féodaux kurdes – MM. Barzani et Talabani - pour le soutien que leur ont apporté les milices « peshmergas » pendant la guerre puis l’invasion du nord de l’Irak. Ils les ont autorisé à pénétrer avec les forces spéciales américaines dans la région turkmène et à occuper les villes et villages, à commencer par Kirkouk dont les réserves de pétrole et de gaz alimentent l’imaginaire des séparatistes kurdes depuis 1958.

La révolution du 14 juillet 1958 qui a renversé la monarchie en Irak et établi la république, a changé la constitution du pays. Elle a accordé des droits supplémentaires et des privilèges aux Kurdes irakiens. Elle les a nettement avantagés par rapport aux autres minorités en Irak, notamment par rapport aux Turkmènes. Elle a fait des Kurdes la « deuxième communauté principale » du pays tandis que les Turkmènes, troisième plus importante communauté d’Irak, ont continué d’être marginalisés et discriminés.

Ces droits et privilèges - contrairement aux attentes des nouveaux dirigeants du pays et de celles des auteurs de la nouvelle constitution – n’ont satisfaits que modérément les Kurdes. Ils n’ont suscité parmi eux ni sentiment d’appartenance ni de fidélité à l’Irak, sinon très brièvement. Les séparatistes kurdes dirigés par le chef féodal Mullah Mustafa Barzani - le père de Massoud Barzani, leur chef actuel - ont perçu la constitution de 1958 comme un signe de faiblesse du gouvernement. Cela les a encouragés à réclamer la création d’un Etat kurde indépendant dans le nord de l’Irak incorporant Kirkouk.

Q : Pourquoi revendiquer brusquement Kirkouk, alors qu’il n’en était pas particulièrement question avant ?
Hassan Aydinli
: Un Etat kurde indépendant au nord de l’Irak sans les richesses pétrolières de Kirkouk n’est pas viable à long terme ni crédible. Depuis 1958, les dirigeants séparatistes kurdes veulent s’emparer des champs pétroliers, coûte que coûte. Pour eux, peu importe la légalité ou la légitimité des moyens qu’ils utilisent … Ils ont profité de toutes les occasions pour atteindre leur but, y compris en nuisant à l’intérêt national de l’Irak, ou aux intérêts légitimes des autres communautés du pays.

Pour commencer, ils se sont installés en grand nombre à Kirkouk et dans ses environs pour modifier la composition ethnique de la ville, historiquement turkmène. Ils ont tout fait pour la « kurdifier », afin de pouvoir la revendiquer un jour. Les Turkmènes qui se sont opposés à eux ont été assassinés. Il ne faut pas oublier le massacre d’un grand nombre de dirigeants politiques et d’intellectuels turkmènes à Kirkouk le 14 juillet 1959.

MM. Barzani et Talabani se sont alliés à des puissances étrangères. Ils ont collaboré avec l’Iran pendant la guerre Iran - Irak de 1980 à 1988. Ils se sont ensuite tournés vers les Anglo-américains de 1991 à nos jours. C’est ce qui leur a finalement permis de réaliser leur rêve. Le 10 avril 2003, les Américains leur ont livré Kirkouk et ses champs pétroliers. Depuis, ils en ont le contrôle, abusivement et sans partage!

Q : Que s’est-il passé ce jour-là ?
Hassan Aydinli: Les Kurdes ont pris possession de la région turkmène, de toutes ses villes et villages. Ils ont pris la direction de tous les pouvoirs locaux, politiques, administratifs, civils et militaires. Ils ont nommé un gouverneur kurde pour la province de Kirkouk, un maire kurde pour la municipalité de Kirkouk. Les Kurdes ont la majorité des sièges au Conseil provincial et au Conseil municipal. Le chef de la police et celui de la sécurité sont kurdes. A Kirkouk, les Kurdes sont directeurs généraux de douze départements administratifs sur treize. Le département de l’éducation est le seul attribué aux Turkmènes !

Avec l’aide et la bénédiction des Américains, les Kurdes ont aussitôt organisé et financé l’installation à Kirkouk - avant la fin de 2003 - de plus de 97 000 « électeurs » kurdes, venus tous du Kurdistan en préparation des élections à Kirkouk. C’est comme cela qu’ils ont obtenu la majorité des votes et des sièges à Kirkouk aux premières élections tenues en Irak après le changement de régime.

Les Kurdes prétendent que ces gens sont originaires de Kirkouk, qu’ils ont été expulsés par le régime baasiste… C’est un faux prétexte! En 2004 et 2005, ce sont plus de 600 000 adultes « électeurs » kurdes qu’ils ont amenés et installés à Kirkouk et dans ses environs dont un grand nombre d’entre eux ne sont même pas des kurdes irakiens mais des Kurdes de Syrie, de Turquie et d’Iran ! La composition ethnique de la ville et de la province a été modifiée dramatiquement. J’appelle cela de la « kurdification » à outrance. Ils sont en mesure d’avoir la majorité dans n’importe quelle élection ou référendum à venir !

Q : Les habitants légitimes de Kirkouk peuvent-ils résister ?
Hassan Aydinli: Les habitants de Kirkouk, notamment les Turkmènes et les Arabes, manifestent régulièrement leur mécontentement et leur désapprobation. Leurs élus aux conseils provincial et municipal aussi, mais hélas sans résultat. Ils boycottent même ces conseils depuis l’agression commise au gouvernorat - et par des gardes privés du gouverneur - lors de la visite de la commission spéciale chargée de « normaliser » la situation à Kirkouk contre MM. Ali Mehdi et Majid Izet, deux élus turkmènes qui s’opposaient fermement à la « kurdification » de la ville.

Les partis kurdes exploitent la faiblesse du gouvernement central à Bagdad, son manque d’autorité et son incapacité à contrôler les provinces et tout particulièrement celles dirigées par les Kurdes. A Kirkouk, ils abusent de leur pouvoir et discriminent ouvertement les Turkmènes dans tous les domaines. Des milliers de Kurdes recrutés dans d’autres provinces, notamment dans la Région autonome - fonctionnaires, professeurs, instituteurs, officiers, agents de police – ont été nommés à Kirkouk.

Lorsque le directeur général du département de l’éducation de Kirkouk - le seul directeur général turkmène à Kirkouk - a rejeté la nomination de certains candidats kurdes pour manque de qualification pour occuper des postes, il a reçu des lettres de menace de mort ! Il les a montré à la télévision. On voulait l’intimider, le faire revenir sur ses décisions. Il faut rappeler que son prédécesseur, un autre Turkmène, a été assassiné par des inconnus quelques mois après sa nomination, pour les mêmes raisons et par les mêmes gens. Ces assassins courent toujours…

Dernièrement, le ministre de l’Intérieur irakien a congédié plus de 1000 officiers de police qui avaient falsifié leur CV, menti sur leurs qualifications et sur leur expérience professionnelle. La majorité des faux policiers tricheurs étaient des Kurdes nommés à Kirkouk après l’occupation de l’Irak en 2003, et parmi eux : le chef de police de Kirkouk !

A Kirkouk encore, dernièrement, les conseils consultatifs turkmène et arabe ont réclamé la libération de plus de 300 Turkmènes et Arabes arrêtés arbitrairement par les Kurdes et détenus dans des prisons de la Région autonome, notamment à Erbil et Suleymaniya. Leurs familles sont sans nouvelles d’eux depuis des mois, voir des années pour certains.
La situation à Kirkouk est réellement instable. Elle peut exploser à tout moment. Le rapport Baker -Hamilton a bien mentionné la volonté dangereuse des Kurdes qui veulent imposer leur hégémonie à Kirkouk. Ils ont préconisé le report du référendum.

La vie est particulièrement difficile pour les Turkmènes du fait des discriminations, mais elle est par ailleurs semblable à celle des autres Irakiens : une misère savamment créée et entretenue par l’occupation, pas de sécurité, des services publiques inexistants ou sans moyens, pas ou peu d’électricité et d’eau potable… Pire encore : pas de liberté, pas de souveraineté… et, en dépit des résolutions des Nations unies : l’Irak continue d’être un pays en guerre et occupé.

Aujourd’hui, à Kirkouk, les explosions, les actions terroristes, les menaces et les assassinats sont toutes dirigés contre les Turkmènes. Tous les médecins turkmènes ont reçu des menaces. Les Turkmènes aisés ont fuit. Les hommes d’affaires turkmènes ont disparu. En moyenne, six Turkmènes sont assassinés chaque semaine.

Q : Quatre ans après l'invasion américaine, quelles sont exactement les forces en présence à Kirkouk?
Hassan Aydinli
: Il y a d’abord les forces officielles, c'est-à-dire les forces d’occupation et leurs alliés peshmergas kurdes. Elles se répartissent ainsi :
- Forces U.S. : 15.000
- Gardes nationaux (armée) en majorité composés de Peshmerga : 20.000
- Police est majoritairement kurde (60%) : 10.000
- Peshmergas : 1.000

A côté de ces forces, il faut signaler la présence d’ONG qui travaillent sous la bannière humanitaire mais qui s’intéressent davantage à la collecte de renseignements et à la promotion du plan de kurdification de Kirkouk qu’à l’aide humanitaire. C’est le cas par exemple de l’ONG « Rouch » qui a ouvert un hôpital et un centre de protection de l’enfance à Kirkouk. Elle accorde des aides et des crédits pour attirer les pauvres. En fait, elle œuvre pour la division de l’Irak et la kurdification de la région. Ses responsables racontent à ceux qui sollicitent son aide que Kirkouk était une ville juive et qu’elle doit revenir aux Kurdes pour que justice soit faite !

Les partis turkmènes et arabes de Kirkouk, notamment le Front Turkmène et le Mouvement National Turkmène, sont actifs sur place. Mais, les Kurdes essayent de limiter leur influence en leur créant sans cesse des problèmes.

Q : Où en est le projet de référendum ?
Hassan Aydinli: Les Turkmènes de Kirkouk refusent le référendum. Ils ont annoncé qu’ils n’y participeraient pas. Ils considèrent que l’article 140 de la nouvelle constitution est illégal qu’il a été concocté par les partis kurdes avec l’aide des forces d’occupation. Cet article a été introduit à la dernière minute dans le texte de la nouvelle constitution. Il contient des termes et des expressions qui ne sont utilisés qu’entre pays en guerre, notamment les termes « d’autodétermination » et « territoires contestés ».

L’article prescrivant un référendum à Kirkouk a été rédigé dans l’improvisation. Ses auteurs ont fixé une date pour son exécution : le 31 décembre 2007. Comment, après cela, parler de constitution permanente ! C’est un cas unique dans les annales internationales des constitutions permanentes ! Et ce n’est pas tout : ils n’ont rien prévu pour ce qui se passera après le 31 décembre ! Que deviendront l’article 140 et la nouvelle constitution… soi-disant « permanente » ?

Le Front Turkmène Irakien refuse le référendum. Il rejette l’article 140. Mais, il surveille les travaux de la Commission – à majorité kurde - chargée d’en suivre l’application en y maintenant un de ses représentants.

Les autres partis turkmènes, notamment le Mouvement National Turkmène, rejettent tous l’article 140. Ils boycottent les travaux de la Commission et s’activent à Kirkouk, en Irak et à l’étranger pour dénoncer les ambitions hégémoniques kurdes au nord de l’Irak. Ils disent que l’objectif des dirigeants kurdes est de séparer le Kurdistan de l’Irak, une fois qu’ils auront mis la main sur Kirkouk et ses richesses.

Tous les partis turkmènes défendent l’idée que Kirkouk est une ville irakienne à caractère turkmène, que Kirkouk doit rester irakienne mais avec un statut particulier semblable à celui de la capitale Bagdad. Kirkouk ne doit faire partie d’aucune région, comme cela était d’ailleurs prévu dans la Constitution Provisoire.

Les Turkmènes ne sont pas les seuls à dénoncer les agissements des Kurdes à Kirkouk. Ils agissent de concert avec les Arabes.

Aujourd’hui, on peut dire que tous les partis politiques et mouvements turkmènes demandent l’annulation du référendum, ou son report. Le parti Turkmeneli propose que le référendum soit reporté pour une période de 8 ans, afin que la situation se normalise réellement et légalement à Kirkouk.

Q : Que pensez-vous de l'idée de créer un "Etat de Kirkouk" dans le cadre d'un Irak fédéral? Quelles seraient ses frontières?
Hassan Aydinli
: En principe les Turkmènes refusent l’idée de fédéralisme. Ils pensent que le fédéralisme, tel qu’il est proposé actuellement, est un prélude à la division du pays. C’est la raison pour laquelle les partis kurdes mettent la pression sur le gouvernement central à Bagdad pour le forcer à appliquer l’article 140 sans délai.

Les partis turkmènes demandent que Kirkouk devienne une région autonome dans ses frontières du 10 avril 2003, avant l’occupation de Kirkouk par les Kurdes.

D’autre part, les Turkmènes revendiquent les villes d’Altun Köprü, Kifri et Tuz Khurmatu, que le régime précédent a arrachées à la région de Kirkouk en 1975 et qu’il a annexées respectivement aux provinces d’Erbil, Diyala et Salaheddin. Depuis lors, les villes d’Altun Köprü et de Kifri ont été kurdifiées et les Arabes ont tenté d’arabiser la ville de Tuz Khurmatu. Ces trois villes sont toutes historiquement turkmènes.

L’Organisation Autonome des Turkmènes Irakiens (ITAO) pour sa part, propose un « Etat Fédéral Turkmeneli » avec Kirkuk comme capitale. Cet état inclurait toutes les régions turkmènes, de Tel Afar dans la province de Mossoul jusque Mendeli dans la province de Diyala, et qui comprendrait les enclaves turkmènes dans les villes de Mossoul et d’Erbil.

Q : Qui font ces propositions ?
Hassan Aydinli: L’ITAO (Iraqi Turkmen Autonomous Organization) et le Parti Turkmeneli.

Q : Qui dirigerait cet « Etat » et comment seraient réparties ses richesses?
Hassan Aydinli
: D’après l’ITAO et le parti Turkmeneli, la ville de Kirkuk serait gouvernée par un Conseil composé de 30% de Turkmènes, 30% d’Arabes, 30% de Kurdes et de 10% d’Assyriens. Les partis turkmènes ont préparé un projet très détaillé pour régler cette question.

Q : Qu’en pensez-vous ?
Hassan Aydinli: Pour établir la paix et la concorde entre les différentes nationalités dans le nord de l’Irak il est indispensable de faire ce qui suit :

A- Les milices peshmergas qui occupent les villes principales des plaines du nord telles que Kirkuk, Mossoul et Khanaquin, doivent se retirer. Sans quoi il n’y aura pas de solution pacifique dans le nord de l’Irak.

B- Massoud Barzani dirige le nord de l’Irak avec ses milices peshmergas. Il y a imposé sa dictature. Il est nécessaire d’instaurer une véritable démocratie afin que les Kurdes démocrates puissent travailler ensemble avec les Turkmènes, les Arabes et les Chaldéo-Assyriens de manière à résoudre ensemble tous les problèmes ethniques, religieux, politiques et économiques de la région.

(Propos recueillis par Gilles Munier, le 18 juin 2007)

Photo: Zaman on line

Suite du dossier « Main basse sur le pétrole irakien » dans le prochain numéro :
« Mission accomplie : nous avons le pétrole ! », par Xavière Jardez
Kirkouk : Hold-up à Baba Gurgur, par Gilles Munier

Site de l’ « European Turkmen Friendship Association »

jeudi 21 juin 2007

Nermeen Al-Mufti from Baghdad

Business as usual in Baghdad

The US acknowledges that restoring security in Iraq could take another 10 years, writes Nermeen Al-Mufti

Despite the security plan in Baghdad and other areas, the violence continues unabated. A non-governmental organisation operating in Karbala announced that 53 suicide operations took place last month, compared with 27 in January. According to a well-informed Iraqi source, 100 civilians are killed on average everyday.

The bombing of the two minarets of Imam Askari's mausoleum in Samaraa set off another wave of bombings that the media dubbed the war of the mosques. The Imam Askari mosque and mausoleum was partially bombed in February 2006, an act that set off a bloody cycle of sectarian violence in the country. The recent destruction of the mosque's two golden minarets comes less than a month after an attempt to bomb the mausoleum of Sheikh Abdul-Qader Al-Gailani.

The bombing was followed by attacks on Sunni mosques and mausoleums in Baghdad and Basra. In all about 20 mosques were attacked. In Basra, the mausoleum of Talha Bin Obeid Allah was destroyed in an operation carried out by men dressed as Interior Ministry personnel. Sunni and Shia clerics denounced the attacks, so did Ayatollah Al-Sistani and the Association of Muslim Scholars. Many point an accusing finger at foreign and regional quarters with a vested interest in fuelling sectarian strife in the country.

Speaking after a visit of Al-Askari's mosque, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said that a number of the mosque's guards were involved in the bombing. A group of Interior Ministry personnel are said to have ordered the mausoleum's guards to leave on Tuesday before last. The two minarets were bombed the next day.

Moqtada Al-Sadr called on Iraqi Shias to participate in a peaceful march to Al-Askari mosque, carrying olive branches and dressed in mock shrouds. He urged the Sunni population of Samaraa to throw flower petals in their path and invite them into their homes.

Al-Sadr's senior aid Sheikh Aws Al-Khafaji, however, accused Iran of serving as a "strategic ally" for the Al-Qaeda branch in Iraq.
Al-Khafaji said the Iranian intelligence was "involved in sabotage in south Iraq". He claimed to have reliable information to the effect that Iranian intelligence services had set up an operations room under an officer named Mohamed Taqwa with the aim of destabilising southern Iraq. The Iranians, he said, "recruited a large number of security officials in the area, specifically those who joined the army and the police as part of the militia re-integration plan". The Iranians are providing "considerable support" to Al-Qaeda operatives in the south and central parts of the country, he added.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi parliament is busy debating the replacement of its speaker, following an attack by the speaker's bodyguards on a parliamentarian from the Shia Alliance Block. The speaker, Mahmoud Al-Mashhadani from the Sunni Reconciliation Block, apologised for the attack, but both the Shia and Kurdish blocks are still demanding his resignation. A parliamentarian from the Alliance Block told a regional newspaper that Al-Mashhadani was "prone to collision" with the two largest parliamentarian blocks.

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates arrived in Baghdad for the fourth time since being appointed, and the second visit this month. His arrival in Baghdad coincided with the start of a new US operation to control the outskirts of Baghdad.

Recently, US troops raided a house belonging to Al-Qaeda in northern Baghdad, where they found the identity cards of two US soldiers who had been abducted early last month in southern Baghdad. Washington is said to be displeased with the slow pace of national reconciliation and the government's failure to pass the laws on the governorates' council and oil.

Gates came to Iraq to assess the security situation. Although Bush had promised security progress by September, the country seems to be heading towards more turmoil. The commander of the occupying forces in Iraq, David Petraeus, said that his troops would need at least 10 more years to accomplish their mission.

Speaking to Fox News, the commander said that it would be difficult for Iraq to achieve set targets in the next "one or two years", adding that anti-insurgence operations may last "nine or 10 more years at least".

Iraqi Defence Minister Abdul-Qader Al-Obeidi said that the government was in control of 386 of 430 districts in Baghdad. Of the remaining 44 lawless districts, 33 were in the dominantly-Sunni Al-Karkh area and 11 in the dominantly-Shia Al-Rasafa neighbourhood.

However, according to US sources, about 60 per cent of Baghdad is still outside of government control. The commander of ground troops, General Raymond Odierno said that there was a "long way" to go before the government imposed its control and cleared Baghdad from sectarian militia and Al-Qaeda. He said that only 40 per cent of the city was very safe, while 30 per cent was out of control and another 30 per cent was unsafe.

A three-day curfew was imposed on Baghdad following the bombing of Al-Askari's mausoleum. Despite that, 10 unidentified bodies were found lying in the streets in those three days.

The death toll among the occupation forces rose to 54 since the beginning of June. A videotape released on the Internet by a group calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq said the group had executed 14 policemen and army personnel because the government refused to meet its demands. There are no statistics available on casualties among Iraqi troops and police.

Meanwhile, a Turkish threat to conduct a military operation in northern Iraq has set off a heated debate in the country. Parliamentarian Methal Al-Alusi, who visited Israel in 2004, voiced his opposition to Turkish intervention and called for PKK (Workers Party of Kurdistan) fighters to be given asylum.

Turkish Chief of Staff Yasar Buyukanit said that his forces would not attack any position in northern Iraq flying an Iraqi flag. Following the statement, eye witnesses said that Iraqi flags appeared on several Kurdish border positions in Iraq.

Finally, parliamentarian Hussein Al-Falluji said that the government has failed to treat Iraqis equally. "The government supports one sect against another, humours one group and clamps down on another." He claimed that the US administration was arming certain groups in some Baghdad areas, and that the government only belatedly asked for this practice to be discontinued. "The Americans arm who they think can help them, but we don't know who can," Al-Falluji remarked.

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June 20, 2007
Urbicide in Baqubah

There is a new detailed analysis out on the "War and Operation in Iraq" written by the Global Policy Forum and some thirty non-governmental-organizations. It is impeccable sourced on mainstream news accounts and official reports.

The currently ongoing "pacification" of Baqubah, a city with 300,000 inhabitants, by some 10,000 U.S. troops is using the same methods as documented in the NGO report with regard to Fallujah and a dozen other Iraqi cities. From the executive summary (pdf):
US Coalition forces have attacked and destroyed a number of important Iraqi cities, on grounds that they were “insurgent strongholds.” The attacks have resulted in the massive displacement of people, large civilian casualties, and colossal destruction of the urban physical infrastructure.

In addition to Falluja, there have been assaults on a dozen other cities including al-Qaim, Tal Afar, Samarra, Haditha, and Ramadi. The attacks include intensive air and ground bombardment and cutting-off electricity, water, food and medicines. The attacks have left hundreds of thousands of people homeless and in displacement camps.

This tactic is "urbicide." The destruction of the urban fabric of a city as a cultural and social entity. The deeper intend of urbicide is to split the population into fractions. The original definition, first used in relation to Bosnia:
Urbicide is the destruction of urban fabric insofar as it comprises the conditions of possibility of urbanity. Urbanity is characterised by an agonistic heterogeneity in which identity is constituted in relation to difference. Urbicide, in destroying the conditions of possibility of urbanity denies such heterogeneity. This denial is accomplished by transforming agonism into antagonism and thus giving the impression of having dissipated the relationship of identity to difference.

In 2001/2002 urbicide has been heavily used in the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. Armored Caterpillar D-9 bulldozer as strategic weapons destroyed major city centers and infrastructure in Jenin, Nablus, Hebron and Ramallah. This approach has transfered to the U.S. military in Iraq.

The local resistance against the occupation is labled "Al-Qaida" or "terrorists" to justify its suppression and the elimination of the city as "terrorist infrastructure."

Today's New York Times gives a glimpse into how this is happening now in Baqubah:
In the first hours of the American military assault, after midnight early Monday, helicopters flew two teams of American troops and a platoon of Iraqi scouts so they could block the southern escape routes from the city. Stryker armored vehicles moved along the western outskirts of Baquba and then down a main north-south route that cuts through the center of the city.

By the time dawn broke on Tuesday, the insurgent sanctuary in western Baquba had been cordoned off. Then, the American forces established footholds on the periphery of the section and slowly pressed in....The problem of collaring the Qaeda fighters is challenging in several respects. Unlike Falluja, where most of the population fled in advance of the battle, thousands of civilians remain in the western section of the city....[T]he Americans intend to take fingerprints and other biometric data from every resident who seems to be a potential fighter after they and Iraqi forces have gained control of the western side of the city....This American counterinsurgency operation has some of the firepower associated with conventional war.

American forces have already fired more than 20 satellite-guided rockets into western Baquba. Apache helicopters have attacked enemy fighters. Warplanes have also dropped satellite-guided bombs on suspected roadside bombs and a weapons cache, which produced spectacular secondary explosions after it was struck. M1 tanks have maneuvered through the narrow city lanes. The Americans have responded to insurgent attacks with mortar fire.
(note: the NYT says in Fallujah "most of the population fled." Fact is 50.000 stayed while the rest camped in the desert under unbearable circumstances.)
Instead of Caterpillars, the U.S. is using bombs, rockets and tanks.

Part 6 of the NGOs explains the major steps taken in Fallujah and elsewhere which are now applied on Baqubah. Excerpts (with sources and footnotes omitted):

Sealed-off Cities and Heavy Curfews
Coalition troops seize control of all movement into and out of the cities, including goods and supplies, water, food, medicines and emergency assistance of all kinds. This “sealing off” strategy seeks to isolate insurgents and show ordinary civilians the heavy cost of not cooperating
Coalition forces subject residents to intensive screening at check points, where they are required to present special identification cards. At the checkpoints, troops arrest and detain some Iraqis (often arbitrarily), while routinely denying access to others on grounds that their documents are not in order. “We are like birds in a cage,” said a resident of Abu Hishma to the New York Times, complaining of the humiliation endured.

Forced Evacuation and Those Who Remain
Among those who flee, the most fortunate are able to seek refuge with out-of-town relatives, but many flee into the countryside where they face extremely difficult conditions, including shortages of food and water
While many leave the cities at the time of warnings, significant numbers remain – an estimated 50,000 in Falluja and more than 100,000 in Ramadi. Coalition forces assume that they are insurgents or sympathizers. But those staying behind have included large numbers of non-combatant civilians – unable or unwilling to abandon their homes, including children, the sick, the elderly, and those fearful of a worse fate that might await them beyond the familiar protection of their city.

Cutting Off Water, Food and Electricity
Along with water, the Coalition has cut off electricity (which may power pumps and local wells). They also have cut off food and medical supplies, creating a “state of siege” and imposing a humanitarian crisis on the entire remaining urban population
In some cases, the Coalition has used the siege openly as a bargaining tool. In Ramadi, US and Iraqi forces reportedly told residents that they would not get water, electricity, telephones and other services back unless they would hand over “the terrorists.” According to Lieutenant Colonel Hassan al-Medan, the Iraqi spokesperson for the operation in Najaf, “if we allow the entrance of food and medicines to the city we are just feeding the insurgents” – this in spite of thousands of civilians still within the area.

Confinement of Journalists and Blockage of Media Coverage
All media workers not “embedded” with US forces have been banned for the duration of the battle and usually a long time afterwards. Sometimes, even embedded media have been refused access. This gives the Coalition almost complete control over international public perceptions of what is happening on the battlefield.

Massive Bombardment
Coalition forces have inflicted prolonged and intense air and ground bombardment on these cities, destroying thousands of homes, shops, mosques, clinics and schools, and – inevitably – killing and injuring many civilians. The strategy of indiscriminate and massive bombardment, in advance of ground offensives, has reduced the number of Coalition casualties, at a heavy cost in life and injury to the remaining Iraqi city residents.

Urban Assault, Snipers and Violent Searches
After extensive bombardment, Coalition armed forces storm into the cities with columns of tanks and other armored vehicles. Heavy tank fire blasts into many structures, widening the urban desolation.

Troops seize remaining buildings and carry out house searches in those structures still standing. The soldiers often use violent methods to enter houses, such as setting off explosives or knocking down part of the front wall with a military vehicle.

The US military has increasingly relied on snipers to back-up infantry patrols. Commanders portray snipers as a precision method to avoid civilian casualties, but in fact sniper teams often fire at anyone moving in the streets, in gardens or even inside of buildings. Everyone is treated in the besieged cities as an enemy.

Attacks on Medical Facilities and Prevention of Humanitarian Assistance
Coalition troops have targeted medical facilities during urban offensives, and repeatedly destroyed and confiscated ambulances, making emergency care nearly impossible
Further UN reports have spoken of Coalition snipers stationed on the roof of the Ramadi General Hospital, troops quartered in the hospital garden, and fearful residents avoiding the hospital altogether. In Tal Afar, the UN reported that the city hospital had been “occupied” by Coalition forces for six months.

Civilian Casualties
US-led military operations in populated areas have caused scores of civilian deaths and injuries. People have been killed by ordnance explosions, collapsed buildings, fires, sniper shots and many other violent causes. While Coalition forces claim that most of those killed in attacks are men of military-age, reliable reports suggest that many, if not most, of the victims in these operations have been non-combatants.

Massive Destruction
Heavy bombardment has caused great destruction in the cities under attack, including historical and religious sites, as well as water, electricity and sewage systems. US-led forces have bombed and even bulldozed numerous buildings, either as part of offensives or as retaliation against civilians who do not give information about insurgents
With power, water and sewage systems dysfunctional and most buildings in ruins, many of these cities will remain only marginally habitable for a long time to come, in spite of announced (but largely un-implemented) reconstruction programs.

“Joint” Military Operations and Criticism by Iraqi Authorities
Increasingly, US commanders have portrayed military operations against Iraqi cities as joint operations between US and Iraqi forces....In fact, Iraqi government authorities have often been critical of the operations and condemned the conduct of US forces.

International law sets clear standards for the conduct of military operations. The Geneva Conventions prohibit attacks which do not clearly distinguish between military targets and civilians, or have a disproportionate impact on civilians.

Coalition military operations have clearly violated these laws, with massive displacement of populations, indiscriminate killings of civilians, and large-scale destruction of habitation and urban infrastructure, including historic buildings and religious sites.

Coalition forces have violated further provisions of the Conventions by deliberately targeting hospitals, stopping emergency medical care and blocking the delivery of humanitarian aid. In further violation of the prohibition of “siege tactics,” they have deprived civilians of food, water, electricity, medical supplies and vital services. Such practices have inflicted collective punishment on Iraqis. Taken together they represent a grave violation of international humanitarian law.

As usual the U.S. media is not covering the obvious law-breaking characteristics of the tactics used by U.S. forces.

It does not even cover the fact that the U.S. military is acting against the advice in its own books.

General Petraeus has been lauded as creator of the new military counterinsurgency tactic documented in field manual 3-24. But the military under his command does not follow his manual.

Matthew Yglesias points this out in relation to the heavy bombing in Afghanistan in a recent comment in the Guardian:
But while military leaders clearly know this on some level - it's right there in the manual - they obviously aren't acting on their knowledge. Indeed, even in Iraq itself where David Petraeus, the author of the counterinsurgency manual quoted above, is in command, we're deploying more air strikes, not fewer.

About counterinsurgency in urban areas the field manual says:
(7-36) Leaders must consider not only the firstorder, desired effects of a munition or action but also possible second- and third-order effects—including undesired ones. For example, bombs delivered by fixed-wing close air support may effectively destroy the source of small arms fire from a building in an urban area; however, direct-fire weapons may be more appropriate due to the risk of collateral damage to nearby buildings and noncombatants.

(7-37) The principles of discrimination in the use of force and proportionality in actions are important to counterinsurgents for practical reasons as well as for their ethical or moral implications. Fires that cause unnecessary harm or death to noncombatants may create more resistance and increase the insurgency’s appeal—especially if the populace perceives a lack of discrimination in their use. The use of discriminating, proportionate force as a mindset goes beyond the adherence to the rules of engagement. Proportionality and discrimination applied in COIN require leaders to ensure that their units employ the right tools correctly with mature discernment, good judgment and moral resolve.

How does this reconcile with the massive use of indirect fire with satellite-guided rockets, bombs and mortars in a densely populated city like Baqubah?

With the destructive attacks on Iraqi cities, practiced urbicide, the U.S. military is breaking international law, U.S. national law and even the rules it has set for itself.

It is now just another brutal, lawless party in the lethal mix of groups in Iraq. A "terrorist" entity if you will.

Posted by Bernhard on June 20, 2007


Abused orphans found in Baghdad
A government minister says photos of starving boys rescued by U.S. troops are propaganda.
By Zeena Kareem and Tina Susman, Times Staff WritersJune 21, 2007

BAGHDAD — One photograph shows a skin-and-bones boy lying on a bare floor, leashed like a dog to the pink bars of an unoccupied crib. Another shows boys curled naked on the ground, one of them smeared with human waste. The scenes were ghastly. But almost as jarring was the response of an Iraqi government minister called upon Wednesday to explain how a state-run orphanage in the capital could have kept two dozen children in such conditions.

Proving that not even orphans are off-limits to the political sniping that permeates life here, the minister of labor and social welfare accused U.S. troops and the media of exaggerating the situation and distributing the photographs for political gain."Are they really concerned about how well the children are treated in that shelter, or is it just propaganda for their alleged kindness?" Mahmoud Mohammed Jawad Radi said to reporters after the U.S. military released the photographs.

A military statement said the pictures were taken June 10 after U.S. and Iraqi soldiers were tipped off about conditions at the orphanage in the Fajr neighborhood of west Baghdad.Twenty-four boys, ages 3 to 15, were discovered. Most were emaciated and weak, and human waste covered the floors, the statement said. In a room of the orphanage, shelves of food and clean clothing lay untouched, to be hoarded and sold by adult employees, the military alleged.

According to the statement, employees said the boys had been there less than a month, having been shifted from a nearby coed orphanage when it was decided that boys and girls should live separately. Radi said it was U.S. troops who had brutalized the children by raiding the building in the middle of the night. "Of course the shelter is not as expected, as it is newly opened and still lacks a lot of services," he said when asked about the lack of fans or air-conditioning where the boys were sleeping. He did not explain why the children were lying on the floor instead of in the cribs with mattresses lining the walls.

Standing beside Radi was the orphanage director, Diyaa Abdul Amir, who denied that the children were mistreated. He said that the photographs released by the military focused on two boys suffering from skin infections but that the rest were healthy.

To those who work with Iraq's growing legions of orphans and homeless children, whatever the truth about the photographs, the case illustrates the splintering of family and social ties as the war leaves extended families economically stretched and unable to take in additional relatives.

There are no verifiable statistics on orphans or homeless children in Iraq, but Claire Hajaj of the United Nations Children's Fund, or UNICEF, said casualty trends indicate that the problem has soared along with Iraq's violence. Recent U.N. casualty reports estimated violence claims 100 Iraqis a day and that 90% of them are men. Based on that estimate, "you would be looking at tens of thousands of children losing a parent due to violence in 2006 alone," Hajaj said. As the number of deaths increases, she said, the capacity to care for orphaned children diminishes nationwide.

Husham Dahabi knows this well. He runs a private home in Baghdad called Dar al Bait al Amin where he oversees three dozen children and teenagers. Many of them had fled state-run institutions they had been placed in after losing relatives to the war. The sectarianism and suspicion that pervade Iraq affect the children.

A 7-year-old named Omer changed his name to Ammar to hide the fact that he is a Sunni Arab, Dahabi said. The home is in a Shiite Muslim district.Dahabi and his volunteers know the hide-outs of homeless children and go searching for them at the cafes where they look for piecemeal jobs, or on the streets where they scavenge for soda cans to sell to factories."They do not come to me," he said. "I go to them. It is very hard to win their trust."

One resident of the home is 2-year-old Mosa, whose mother died of leukemia and whose father was killed last year by a bomb. Mosa's uncles said they could not afford to care for him. Another, Saif, 4, was brought to Dahabi several months ago by a temporary guardian who had found him crying and bleeding at the scene of a car bombing that killed his parents. Some struggle to adjust to life in a sheltered place after living on the streets.

When he checks on the children at night, Dahabi says, he often finds them with their T-shirts pulled down to cover their bodies, a habit of street children trying to protect themselves against the elements."In their unconscious minds, they cannot get rid of living in the streets," he said.

As for the boys found at the recently raided institution, members of the local Neighborhood Advisory Council have arranged for them to return to the coed orphanage for the time being. It was unclear what happened to the orphanage's staff members. Radi said some had fled, not because they had done anything wrong but because they feared the U.S. troops.--,1,3830149.story?track=rss&ctrack=1&cset=true

tina.susman@latimes.comTimes staff writer Saad Khalaf contributed to this report.

mercredi 20 juin 2007

20 Haziran Bu Gün Dünya Mülteciler Günü!

20 Haziran 2007

20 Haziran 2000 tarihi itibarıyla Birleşmiş Milletler tarafından Dünya Mülteciler Günü olarak ilan edildi. Bunun işleyişini de UNHCR / BMMYK (BM Mülteciler Yüksek Komiserliği) ne yürütülmesi tevdi edildi.2000 yılından öncede yaşanan göç olayları insanlık tarihinde çözülmesi zor görünen bir sorun haline gelmiştir.

Bu günkü dünyanın bir çok bölgesinde meydana gelen savaşlar ve bu savaşların sonu gelmedikçe göç sorunu daha da zor haller alarak devam edecektir. Irak, Filistin, Afganistan, Lübnan, Darfur ve daha nice ülkede kimi dış saldırıların yanında iç savaşlar da devam etmektedir.

Ekonomi sıkıntılar bir yana bırakılırsa göçün ana nedeni savaş olduğu apaçık görülmektedir. Savaşları fitillendiren değişik sebepleri irdelemeye bu kısa yazıda olmadığı gibi kitaplar bile sığmayabilir.

Günümüzün ağır ve nedeni için pek çok soru işaretiyle karşılaştığımız bir Irak savaşı var. ABD başta olmak üzere yandaşlarıyla birlikte gütmekte olduğu sözde; dikte rejimi devirme savaşı ve Irak halkına özgürlük, demokrasi v.s. vaatler yerine Nisan 2003 itibarıyla Irak halkı sadece ölümlerle ve göz yaşıyla yaşamlarını sürdürdüklerini görüyoruz.

Saddam döneminde yurt dışına göçenler azımsanacak sayıda değildi. Ona karşın Nisan 2003 ten bu yana Irak'ın komşu ülkelerine göçenlerin sayısı gün geçtikçe artmaktadır. Irak'a komşu olan Türkiye'ye göç artışının sayılarının artışı hissedilir derce de verilen İnternet sayfasında dikkat çekmektedir: Ancak görülen sayının kat kat üzerinde mültecilerinde olduğu inkar edilemez.

Bununda nedeni BMMYK yinin mülakatlarında kendine has belirlemiş kriterler doğrultusunda mülteci kabul etmektedir. Örneğin yukarıda verilen İnternet sayfasında yer alan Iraklı mülteci sayısının üzerinde Türkiye'nin büyük şehirlerinde ağır şartlarda yaşamlarını sürdürmeye çalışınlar taşra semtlerin her mahallesinde her sokağında rastlamak mümkündür.

Irak'taki savaş nedeniyle Türkiye'ye, Suriye'ye, Ürdün'e, İran ve Avrupa ülkelerine kaçan insanlar arasında Türkmenler de büyük ölçüde nasibini almıştır.

Saddam rejimi döneminde ağır baskılara maruz kalan Türkmenler iç göçe zorlandıkları gibi Irak'ın dışına kaçarak da hayatlarını kurtaran az değildi. Gelen bilgilere göre Irak'ın değişik bölgelerinden ve değişik etnik yapıya dayalı Irak'ın dışına kaçanların sayısı dört milyonu bulmuştur.

Ayrıca Irak'ın içinde yerlerini değiştirmek zorunda kalanların sayısı bir milyon beşyüz bini geçmektedir. Bunlar güvenlik sebepleri başta olmak üzere şehirlerden köylere veya daha az patlama ve ölüm olan bölgelere taşınanları kapsamaktadır.

10 Nisan 2003 ten bu yana etnik soykırıma maruz kalan Türkmenlerin önünde iki seçeneğin birini seçmeye zorlandıklarını görüyoruz:
· Yaşadıkları şehri terk etmek. Buda Türkmeneli coğrafiyesinin dışına itmek. Bu coğrafiye Irak'ın içinde iç göç olabildiği kadarda Irak'ın dışına göçe zorlanmaktadırlar. Irak'ın bu günkü şartları dış göçü daha fazla ön planda tutmaya mecbur kıldığını görüyoruz. · Yerinde kalıp yurdunu terk etmeyip direnmenin sonunda Etnik Kimliğinden Olmak endişesi baş gösterdiğini yaşadıkları baskılardan anlıyoruz.. Yani silahlı diğer etnik grupların dayatmacı uygulamalarına baş eğip ana dilinden vaz geçmek demektir. Bu uygulama direk yapılmasa da ekonomi yönden baskı yaratmak, devlet dairelerinde işe almamak, mülk alımlarını kısıtlamak buna karşın mülk satmalarını kolaylaştırmak, ana dilde eğitime izin vermemek, v.s yöntemlerle azim ve şevklerini kırdırmaktır.Türkmenler, Türkmeneli coğrafyasında uğradıkları baskı ve haksızlıkları Irak hükümetinin çözmesi gerekirken ne yazık ki Birleşmiş Milletler Mülteciler örgütünün başkanı Antonio Guterres'nin ifadesinde yer alan: "kendi ülkelerinde göçe zorlanan grupların kendi hükümetlerinden medet umduğunu ama aslında birçok defalar, hükümetlerin, çözümün değil, sorunun tarafı ve söz konusu grupların hedef olduğu zulmün bir unsuru olduğunu görüyoruz." (

Konuşmasında tıpatıp Irak'ta Türkmenlerin durumunu yansıtmaktadır.

Her yıl 20 Haziranda UNHCR / BMMYK (BM Mülteciler Yüksek Komiserliği) nin düzenlediği etkinlikleri arasında acaba Türkmen mültecilere yer verip onları dinlemek için ve göçe zorlanan diğer insanlarla dertlerini paylaşmaya fırsat veriyorlar mı?

Ayrıca BMMYK raporlarında Irak Türkmenleri ne kadar yer alıyor. Onu merak ediyorum. Bizi bu konuda aydınlatmalarını bekliyoruz... Her mültecinin yurduna, evine dönmesini temennisiyle...


The Iraq Commission


The full footage of all 8 Iraq Commission Hearings are available to watch below.
The Hearings will also be screened on Channel 4 in July. Highlight clips will appear on this website after transmission.

7th Hearing: 14 June 2007
Part 1 Dr Ali Allawi
Part 2 Simon Maxwell
Part 3 Tom Hardie-Forsyth
Part 4 Bayan Rahman
Part 5 Roger Wright

6th Hearing: 12 June 2007
Part 1 Peter Kellner
Part 2 Mike Gapes MP
Part 3 Prof. Sir Lawrence Freedman
Part 4 General Sir Mike Jackson
Part 5 Zainab Salbi & Houzan Mahmoud

5th Hearing: 11 June 2007
Part 1 Duncan Bullivant
Part 2 Ghassan Attiyya
Part 3 Dr Sami Khiyami Rifkind
Part 4 Sir Menzies Campbell
Part 5 Ammar Al Shahbander

4th Hearing: 8 June 2007
Part 1 Sir Jeremy Greenstock
Part 2 Andrew Alderson
Part 3 Sir Malcolm Rifkind
Part 4 David Horgan
Part 5 Peter Bergen
Part 6 Dr Fred Kagan

3rd Hearing: 7 June 2007
Part 1 Dr Toby Dodge
Part 2 Dr Ali Ansari
Part 3 Sir Richard Dalton
Part 4 Jan de Wilde
Part 5 Dame Pauline Neville-Jones

2nd Hearing: 6 June 2007
Part 1 Dr Heba Al-Naseri & Marion Birch
Part 2 Noaman Muna
Part 3 Andrew Bearpark
Part 4 Tom PorteusComing soon: David Horowitz

1st Hearing: 5 June 2007
Part 1 Dr Fattouh & Greg Muttitt
Part 2 Sir Christopher Meyer
Part 3 Dr Amitai Etzioni
Part 4a Dennis MacShane MP
Part 4b Dennis MacShane MP
Part 5 Oliver Burch & Mohammed Bali

REPORT - Iraq's Lost Generation: Impact and Implications

Report to cross-party Commission on Iraq – 15th January 2007

Iraq’s Lost Generation: Impact and Implications

on BRussels Tribunal website

mardi 19 juin 2007



REPORT : US destroying IRAQ with impunity

Submitted by Canada IFP, 2007-06-19
The United States and its allies are killing Iraqi civilians, stealing Iraq's oil and destroying the nation's heritage with total impunity, according to a report released jointly today by 30 NGOs which concluded that The US Coalition is the principal cause of Iraq’s current ills.

The 117-page War and Occupation in Iraq reveals that the US has established broad legal immunity in Iraq for its military forces, for private security personnel, for foreign military and civilian contractors, and even for the oil companies doing business with Iraq and that no matter what crimes the Coalition commits, Iraqis now or in the future face legal barriers if they seek accountability.

US Presidential Executive Order 13303, Order 17 of the Coalition Provisional Authority, and other official dicta, shield foreign military personnel from arrest, detention, prosecution or punishment. While the US and its allies have applied limited legal reckoning in a few flagrant cases that became known to the public, punishment has been light and those with command responsibility have remained beyond the law, the report finds.

"There is an increasing air war that results in heavy casualties as well as the daily killing of civilians at checkpoints, during house searches, by snipers, and by ground bombardment," James Paul, executive director of the co-publisher Global Policy Forum, said. "Nearly a million Iraqis have died due to the effects of the occupation and 4 million have fled from their homes. A dozen cities have been destroyed by U.S. attacks."
"Under the control or influence of US authorities, public funds in Iraq have been drained by massive corruption and stolen oil, leaving the country unable to provide basic services and incapable of rebuilding," he added. "The US government has repeatedly violated many international laws, but top officials reject any accountability."

The study documents how the US and its allies ignored the warnings of organizations and scholars concerning the protection of Iraq’s cultural heritage, including museums, libraries, archaeological sites and other precious repositories.

It also highlights the US Coalition forces' use of indiscriminate and especially injurious weapons that are banned by international convention or widely considered unacceptable and inhuman, including a napalm-type incendiary weapon as well as white phosphorous munitions, the latter against ground targets in densely populated areas.

More than thirty thousand detainees lack fundamental rights and they are kept in deplorable physical conditions, many for long periods. US commanders have turned over thousands of detainees to Iraqi authorities whose prisons seriously violate human rights standards, according to the report.

The authors describe how US Coalition forces have attacked and destroyed a number of important Iraqi cities, on grounds that they were “insurgent strongholds.”

A more serious allegation made by the NGOs is that US and its allies regularly kill Iraqi civilians at checkpoints and during military operations, on the basis of the merest suspicion.

The report also draws attention to the plight of Iraqi refugees and internally displaces persons, and the high levels of mortality recorded in the country due to deteriorating health services.

The study provides evidence on how, under the control or influence of US authorities, public funds in Iraq have been drained by massive corruption and stolen oil, leaving the country unable to provide basic services and incapable of rebuilding.

"Those that understate the violence of the occupation make U.S. forces look like the solution, when in fact they are a large part of the problem," Celine Nahory, Security Council Program Coordinator at Global Policy Forum and a co-author of the report, said. "Even polls by the US and UK governments show a large majority of Iraqis want a speedy withdrawal of occupation forces."

The report recommends the speedy withdrawal of the US Coalition forces as the only solution to the Iraqi crisis. It also calls for the Security Council to end the Coalition mandate at the earliest opportunity and plan for a stable transition in Iraq, respecting international law and introduce a A UN peacekeeping force, clearly distinct from the Coalition, to assist with the transition, by monitoring the ceasefire, strengthening local police forces and the judicial system, and organizing fully-credible elections.

June 2007
Click here for the FULL REPORT
Note that all chapters are linked separately below.
Executive Summary [Read] [French]
Map of Major Coalition Attacks, Bases and Prisons [See map]
Political Map of Iraq [See map]
1. Introduction [Read]
2. Destruction of Cultural Heritage [Read]
3. Indiscriminate and Especially Injurious Weapons [Read]
4. Unlawful Detention [Read]
5. Abuse and Torture of Prisoners [Read]
6. Attacks on Cities [Read]
7. Killing Civilians, Murder and Atrocities [Read]
8. Displacement and Mortality [Read]
9. Corruption, Fraud and Gross Malfeasance [Read]
10. Long-Term Bases and the New Embassy Compound [Read]
11. Other Issues [Read]
- Iraqi Public Opinion and the Occupation - Cost of the War and Occupation
12. Conclusion and Recommendations [Read]
More Information on Iraq