jeudi 18 septembre 2008

Le Feyt Declaration - Peace in Iraq is an Option

The undersigned, friends of Iraq from France, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Portugal, the United States of America, Egypt, Sweden and Iraq, organized in the International Anti-Occupation Network (IAON) and gathered in Le Feyt, France, from 25 to 27 August 2008, have adopted the following position and declaration reflecting our commitment to a true end to the occupation and to a lasting, sustainable peace in Iraq.

Le Feyt Declaration

Peace in Iraq is an option

The US occupation of Iraq is illegal and cannot be made legal. All that has derived from the occupation is illegal and illegitimate and cannot gain legitimacy. These facts are incontrovertible. What are their consequences?

Peace, stability and democracy in Iraq are impossible under occupation. Foreign occupation is opposed by nature to the interests of the occupied people, as proven by the six million Iraqis displaced both inside and outside Iraq, the planned assassination of Iraqi academics and professionals and the destruction of their culture, and the more than one million killed.

Propaganda in the West tries to make palatable the absurdity that the invader and destroyer of Iraq can play the role of Iraq’s protector. The convenient fear of a “security vacuum” — used to perpetuate the occupation — ignores the fact that the Iraqi army never capitulated and forms the backbone of the Iraqi armed resistance. That backbone is concerned only with defending the Iraqi people and Iraq’s sovereignty. Similarly, projections of civil war ignore the reality that the Iraqi population overwhelmingly, by number and by interest, rejects the occupation and will continue to do so.

In Iraq, the Iraqi people resist the occupation by all means, in accordance with international law.[1] Only the popular resistance can be recognized to express and defend the Iraqi people’s interests and will. Until now the United States is blind to this reality, hoping that a “diplomatic surge”, following the military surge of effective ethnic cleansing, will secure a government it imposes on Iraq. Regardless of who wins the upcoming US presidential election, the US can never achieve its imperial goals and the forces it imposes on Iraq are opposed to the interests of the Iraqi people.

Some in the West continue to justify the negation of popular sovereignty under the rubric of the “war on terror”, criminalizing not only resistance[2], but also humanitarian assistance to a besieged people. Under international law the Iraqi resistance constitutes a national liberation movement. Recognition of the Iraqi resistance is consequently a right, not an option.[3] The international community has the right to withdraw recognition from the US-imposed government in Iraq and recognize the Iraqi resistance.

It is evident that Iraq cannot recover lasting stability, unity and territorial integrity until its sovereignty is guaranteed. It is also evident that the US occupation cannot avoid accountability by trying to switch responsibility to Iraq’s neighbors. A pact of non-aggression, development and cooperation between a liberated Iraq and its immediate neighbors is the obvious means by which to achieve this stability.[4] In its median geopolitical position, and given its natural resources, a liberated, peaceful and democratic Iraq is central to the welfare and development of its neighbors. All of Iraq’s neighbors should recognize that stability in Iraq serves their own interests and commit to not interfering in its internal affairs.

If the international community and the United States are interested in peace, stability and democracy in Iraq they should accept that only the Iraqi resistance — armed, civil and political — can achieve these by securing the interests of the Iraqi people. The first demand of the Iraqi resistance is the unconditional withdrawal of all foreign forces illegally occupying Iraq — including private contractors — and disbanding all armed forces established by the occupation.

The Iraqi anti-occupation movement — in all its expressions — in defending the Iraqi people is the only force empowered to ensure democracy in Iraq. Across the spectrum of this movement it is agreed that upon US withdrawal a temporary administrative government would be charged with two tasks: preparing the ground for democratic elections and reconstituting the national army. Upon completion of these tasks the administrative government would disband, leaving decisions regarding reparations, development and reconstruction to a sovereign and freely elected Iraqi government in a state of all its citizens without religious, ethnic, confessional or gender discrimination.

All laws, contracts, treaties and agreements signed under occupation are unequivocally null and void. According to international law and the will of the Iraqi people, total sovereignty of Iraqi oil and all natural, cultural and material resources rests in the hands of the Iraqi people, in all its generations, past, present and future. Across the spectrum of the Iraqi anti-occupation movement all agree that Iraq should sell its oil on the international market to all states not at war with Iraq, and in line with Iraq’s obligations as a member of OPEC.

The 2003 US invasion was and remains illegal and the law of state responsibility demands that states refuse to recognize the consequences of illegal state acts.[5] State responsibility also includes a duty to restore. Compensation should be paid by all state and non-state actors that profited from the destruction and plundering of Iraq.

The Iraqi people are longing for long-term peace. On the basis of the 2005 Istanbul conclusions of the World Tribunal on Iraq[6], and in recognition of the tremendous suffering of the aggressed Iraqi people, the signatories to this declaration endorse the abovementioned principles for peace, stability and democracy in Iraq.

The sovereignty of Iraq rests in the hands of its people in resistance. Peace in Iraq is simple to attain: unconditional US withdrawal and recognition of the Iraqi resistance that by definition represents the will of the Iraqi people.

We appeal to all peace loving people in the world to work to support the Iraqi people and its resistance. The future of peace, democracy and progress in Iraq, the region and the world depends on this.

Members of the International Anti-Occupation Network [7]:

Abdul Ilah Albayaty, member of the BRussells Tribunal Executive Committee, France – Iraq

Hana Al Bayaty, Coordinator of the Iraqi International Initiative on refugees, France – Egypt

Dirk Adriaensens, member of the BRussells Tribunal Executive Committee, coordinator SOS Iraq, Belgium

John Catalinotto, International Action Center, USA

Ian Douglas, Coordinator of the International Initiative to Prosecute US Genocide in Iraq, UK - Egypt

Max Fuller, Author of ‘For Iraq, the Salvador Option Become Reality’ and 'Crying Wolf, death squads in Iraq' -, UK

Paola Manduca, Scientist, New Weapons Committee, Italy

Sigyn Meder, member of the Iraq Solidarity Association in Stockholm, Sweden

Cristina Meneses, member of the Portuguese session of the World Tribunal on Iraq, Portugal

Mike Powers, member of the Iraq Solidarity Association in Stockholm, Sweden

Manuel Raposo, member of the Portuguese session of the World Tribunal on Iraq, Portugal

Manuel Talens, writer, member of Cubadebate, Rebelión and Tlaxcala, Spain

Paloma Valverde, member of the Spanish Campaign Against the Occupation and for the Sovereignty of Iraq (CEOSI), Spain

27 August 2008

Le Feyt, France

Please circulate this statement widely.

Please click on The BRussels Tribunal website to see the names of the signatories and for the Statement in Arabic (see blogroll)

* International figures who join us in our commitment to a true end to the occupation and to a lasting, sustainable peace in Iraq

* For individual and organizational endorsements, contact:


[1] The right to self-determination, national independence, territorial integrity, national unity, and sovereignty without external interference has been affirmed numerous times by a number of UN bodies, including the UN Security Council, UN General Assembly, UN Commission on Human Rights, the International Law Commission and the International Court of Justice. The principle of self-determination provides that where forcible action has been taken to suppress this right, force may be used in order to counter this and achieve self-determination.

The Commission on Human Rights has routinely reaffirmed the legitimacy of struggling against occupation by all available means, including armed struggle (CHR Resolution No. 3 XXXV, 21 February 1979 and CHR Resolution No. 1989/19, 6 March 1989). Explicitly, UN General Assembly Resolution 37/43, adopted 3 December 1982: “Reaffirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, including armed struggle.” (See also UN General Assembly Resolutions 1514, 3070, 3103, 3246, 3328, 3382, 3421, 3481, 31/91, 32/42 and 32/154).

[2] Article 1(4) of the 1st Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions, 1977, considers self-determination struggles as international armed conflict situations. The Geneva Declaration on Terrorism states: “As repeatedly recognized by the United Nations General Assembly, peoples who are fighting against colonial domination and alien occupation and against racist regimes in the exercise of their right of self-determination have the right to use force to accomplish their objectives within the framework of international humanitarian law. Such lawful uses of force must not be confused with acts of international terrorism.”

[3] National liberation movements are recognized as the consequence of the right of self-determination. In the exercise of their right to self-determination, peoples under colonial and alien domination have the right “to struggle ... and to seek and receive support, in accordance with the principles of the Charter” and in conformity with the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States. It is in these terms that Article 7 of the Definition of Aggression (General Assembly Resolution 3314 (XXIX) of 14 December 1974) recognizes the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples under colonial or alien domination. Recognition by the UN of the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples under colonial and alien domination or occupation is in line with the general prohibition of the use of force enshrined in the UN Charter as a state that forcibly subjugates a people to colonial or alien domination is committing an unlawful act as defined by international law, and the subject people, in the exercise of its inherent right of self-defence, may fight to defend and attain its right to self-determination.

[4] The Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States (General Assembly Resolution 2625 (XXV)) cites the principle that, “States shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.” Individually and collectively, Iraq and its neighbors would commit to refrain from the use of force or threat of the use of force, facilitating the use of force or threat of use of force by other actors, and refraining from all forms of interference in the affairs of other states. Individually and collectively, Iraq and its neighbors would also commit to cooperation and development on the basis of negotiation, arbitrage and mutual advantage.

[5] Article 41(2) of the United Nations International Law Commission’s Draft Articles on State Responsibility, representing the rule of customary international law (adopted in UN General Assembly Resolution 56/83 of 28 January 2002, “Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts”), prevents states from benefiting from their own illegal acts: “No State shall recognize as lawful a situation created by a serious breach [of an obligation arising under a peremptory norm of general international law]”; Section III(e), UN General Assembly Resolution 36/103 of 14 December 1962, “Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention and Interference in the Internal Affairs of States”.

[6] Declaration of the Jury of Conscience, World Tribunal on Iraq, Istanbul, 23-27 June 2005.

[7] The International Anti-occupation Network is a coalition of groups that stand in solidarity with the Iraqi people and for Iraqi sovereignty and against the US-led occupation of Iraq. It was established in April 2006 at the Madrid International Seminar on the Assassination of Iraqi Academics and Health Professionals, the final resolution of which can be read here.

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