From A World to Win News Service
Revolutionary Worker #1240, May 16, 2004, posted at http://rwor.org
We received the following from A World to Win News Service.
03 May 2004. A World to Win News Service.What will happen when the U.S. turns over "sovereignty" to Iraq after June 30?
As far as Iraq's sovereignty is concerned, nothing. The American overlord in Baghdad, Paul Bremer, is said to have already ap-pointed the new ministers and their assistants. The new government will not have the power to change the laws Bremer has put in place so far.
Bremer himself will go home. Instead of an "administrator," as Bremer is called, his replacement will be called the U.S. Ambassador. What he will really be is the new boss of Iraq.
That ambassador will be John Negroponte. Negroponte is such a well-known war criminal that United Nations staff members staged a highly unusual symbolic strike when he was appointed U.S. ambassador to the UN on the eve of the Iraq invasion. Negroponte started out working for the U.S. in Vietnam. In the 1980s, when Nicaraguans got the idea they could have a government Washington didn't like, the U.S. launched a proxy war against them through the mercenary organization known as the Contras. He helped direct that war as U.S. ambassador to neighboring Honduras in 1981-85. During those years, U.S. military "aid" to Honduras went up by almost 20 times, and its army became an American army. Negroponte also oversaw Honduras's Battalion 3-16, trained and equipped by the CIA to carry out torture, murder and kidnapping. (For details, see maryknoll.org, a site by the Catholic religious order which holds this man responsible, at a minimum, for covering up the deaths of many nuns and religious women from El Salvador suspected of siding with opponents of U.S. interests.) His last job, before the UN, was on-the-scene organizer of the occupation troops in Afghanistan.
As ambassador to Iraq, Negroponte will oversee the world's biggest embassy, with 3,000 people working for it directly. The new "sovereign" Iraq will not have the power to issue orders even to the so-called Iraqi army, let alone to the U.S. armed forces or those of the members of its "coalition" in Iraq.
Of course that "coalition" is shrinking, with Spain, Honduras, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic out, and Poland, the U.S./UK's main subcontractor, considering doing the same.
But the occupiers will be at least as thick on the ground as ever. By extending the tours of U.S. soldiers in Iraq while continuing to send the troops who were supposed to replace them, the U.S. is achieving a kind of stealth troop build-up. The UK has said it will expand its contingent in Iraq too, to counter the pull-out of other forces. A UK military official recently said the British public should be prepared for the war to last as long as ten years. In the U.S., top politicians are talking about a "generational commitment."
Bremer recently explained why: "If former members of the Republican Guards, the Mukhabarat [Saddam's secret police], the Fedayin Saddam and Muqtada's militia [the Shia rebels who took over three cities in the south] are to be prevented from shooting their way into power, Iraqi security forces must have help until they are fully equipped and trained."
It's true that it may be a really long time before the U.S. can count on its puppet troops to terrorize Iraq for them. U.S. officials recently admitted that during the last few weeks, 10% of the Iraqi army they have been carefully rebuilding turned their guns against the U.S., and another 40% just went home.
But the top former members of Saddam's armed forces and secret police don't have to "shoot their way into power." The U.S. has already brought them back into the "new" Iraqi armed forces and ministries. The old head of the Mukhabarat is back at work, along with many of his men. The U.S. is already holding up to 25,000 Iraqis in its various prisons and camps, according to Inter Press Service, and systematically torturing them, according to Amnesty International, so these men should feel right at home.
UN special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has proposed a plan for a new Iraqi government. The plan calls for dissolving the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Government Council, many of whose members the U.S. has come to consider useless, and appoint a new government based on a list the U.S. hands him. At the moment, the U.S. very badly wants a UN resolution to pretty up its criminal occupation amid a deteriorating political and military situation.
Given all these facts about the nature of the regime for which the U.S. wants UN approval--as symbolized by the appointment of Negroponte--then how could such a resolution be anything but an endorsement of war crimes on a massive scale? If the UN goes along with this, it might as well change its name to Underlings of Negroponte.