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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:55 AM
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Iraq's day of reckoning (will the new government really be independent?),2763,1223975,00....

Iraq's day of reckoning

On June 30, President Bush has promised a full transfer of sovereignty will take place; but will the new government really be independent?

Adam Roberts
Tuesday May 25, 2004
The Guardian

On June 30, the formal status of Iraq as a territory under foreign military occupation is due to end. The coalition provisional authority (CPA) under the proconsulship of Paul Bremer will cease to exist, replaced by a new interim Iraqi government. From that day the US will have not a proconsul, but an ambassador, John Negroponte, currently the US representative at the UN. The plan is that the new arrangements will have the seal of approval of a UN security council resolution; a draft text was presented yesterday.

However, when Iraqis wake up on July 1, outside involvement in the administration of the country will not have ceased. Huge numbers of foreign troops and advisers will remain. Will their activities still be subject to the standards laid down in the laws of war, most particularly the 1949 Geneva conventions?

On May 20, Colin Powell, the US secretary of state, said: "We intend for this interim government ... to be sovereign. It is the interim government that is replacing Bremer and the coalition provisional authority, not Ambassador Negroponte." Powell went on to point out that the transfer has been happening gradually; 13 ministries are already operating more or less independently. <snip>

Under well-established laws relating to occupations, Iraqi sovereignty was always vested in Iraq - and not in the US and its coalition, which, as the occupying power, merely exercised a temporary administrative role. Indeed, Iraq's continuing sovereignty was explicitly confirmed in UN security council resolutions 1483, of May 22 last year, and 1511, of October 16. What is now planned would be better, albeit less dramatically, described as a transfer of administrative authority. <snip>

Normally, an occupation comes to an end when an occupying power withdraws or is driven out. On July 1, the formal occupation of the whole of Iraq will have ended, but neither the factual nor legal situation will have changed completely. If coalition forces are used against insurgents, if they take prisoners, or if they find themselves exercising authority in an operational area, then they will continue to be bound by the Geneva conventions - which apply to all international armed conflicts, and to all cases of partial or total occupation of a country. <snip>

Sir Adam Roberts, professor of international relations at Oxford University, is a fellow of Balliol College and the co-author of Documents on the Laws of War, third edition

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nodictators Donating Member (977 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:36 AM
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1. Iraq: As free as a dog on a leash
From a particularly apt analogy in the article above:
"In internal matters, it has exactly the same independence as a dog on a leash. As long as the dog trots quietly and cheerfully at his master's side - and in the same direction - he is quite free; if he starts out on any tangents of his own, he feels the pull at once."

That analogy vividly brings to mind the photo of Lynndie England holding a leash strapped to a naked Iraqi detainee on the floor.

As further evidence Bush's real intentions we have this from an AP story:

President Bush, trying to dispel rising doubts about the war, declared Monday night the United States would stay in Iraq until it was free and democratic, but he also said insurgents probably would become "more active and more brutal" and suggested more U.S. soldiers might have to be sent.

He said that the United States would keep its troop level at the current 138,000 as long as necessary but that commanders were constantly reassessing needs. "If they need more troops, I will send them," Bush pledged.

So, the faux Iraqi "sovereignty" means that Bush gets to decide when and if the troops leave, or if he wants even more troops sent to Iraq. Of course, the Bush regime also had veto power over the people in the new interim "government."
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