Bush and Blair violations to the international law in the economic field

Mohsen Khalil

 

Testimony before the popular international court

Cairo 4/2/2021

 

My testimony shall focus on the violations committed by Bush and Blair to the international law in the economic filed. This vital and important side is one of the main targets of the occupation as the American invasion did not only result into the military occupation of Iraq, yet an economic occupation as well. As legal violations in the political, military and human aspects have taken place, similar violations were also made to the economy. I will briefly tackle the following points:

1- Indemnities of the wrongful war that Bush and Blair imposed to the Iraq under the cover of the Security Council’s resolution no. 687 dated 3/4/1991:

2.6 million applications for indemnities were submitted to the committee of indemnities, amounting to 350 billion Dollars, being ten times the gross domestic product of the Iraqi economy, which payment is due subject to the national wealth, for interrupting the development and impoverishing the present and future generations for many decades.

The committee of indemnities reconciled applications for 48.93 billion Dollars, out of which 18.77 billion Dollars are already paid from the Oil for Food program, and 30.2 billion Dollars are still remaining to be paid by Iraq; applications for 71.6 billion Dollars are still awaiting settlement and decision by the Committee.

In terms of indemnities, the following violations are observed:

·        Lack of legitimacy as they are ordered by the Security Council which is not empowered to impose them in pursuance of its authorities set in the United Nations’ Charter, yet this is one of the authorities of the International Justice Court as per the said Charter.

·        The prevailing political aspect therein to be imposed by a political decision made by the Security Council when it should be made by a court sentence to be made by the International Justice Court.

·        The acceptance by Iraq to pay the indemnities took place due to the submission to the likely coercive pressures resulting from the military operations carried out by the United States and Britain and not out of conviction and free will.

·        The overstatement of the amount of indemnities; and Iraq has evidences that a great part thereof are not real and were paid out of bias for countries that supported the American invasion.

This is about the indemnities payable by Iraq, however the counterpart of the equation concerns the indemnities due to be claimed by Iraq in the light of the illegitimate and illegal occupation thereof, that occurred according to a decision made by Blair and Bush, and the consequences of such occupation as to the destruction of the infrastructure and the human and development losses that inflicted the present generation and that will affect the future generations of the Iraqi people.

The estimated required funds for the Iraqi population range between 100 and 600 billion Dollars. Claiming such funds and the necessary procedures to check the amounts thereof and the liable authorities is not practically possible as long as the illegal occupation exists, the national sovereignty is absent, the independence is pending by substituting allegedly (national) governments that are actually related to the occupation and do not really possess the independence of the national decision and the effective sovereignty.

Therefore, indemnities required for Iraq is physically related to the claimed indemnities, and none may be considered without taking the other one into account.

2- The occupation authority cancelled the applicable economic laws in Iraq in contradiction with the La Hague Treaty of 1907 stipulating that (the invading occupation forces shall respect the applicable laws at the occupied country). Paul Primer, the American governor, made several orders, decisions and instructions aiming at changing the economic structure of Iraq and cancelled every national legislation in opposition thereof, the most important was no. 39 of 2003 concerning the foreign investment and the instructions pertaining to the privatization of 200 state owned companies. Such investment law allowed the foreigners to possess projects in all sectors by 100% and to transfer the balances of foreign currencies thereof as well as the profits outside the Iraq by 100%. It also allowed the real estate rental for 40 years in an attempt to overpass the laws banning the foreign investment in the oil field.

La Hague Treaty allows the occupational forces to benefit from the public buildings, real estate and the similar utilities (without changing the nature thereof), but Primer’s procedures incurred changes to the nature and structuring of public assets.

3- The occupational authority made the Iraqi government sign an agreement with the International Monetary Fund in November 2005 by virtue of which part of or the whole external debts of Iraq are written off in exchange for promises to be executed by the government that aim at changing the nature and structure of the Iraqi economy, the most important thereof being: to enact a new law for the Central Bank of Iraq to ban the government and the Parliament interference in the policies thereof, to restructure the public sector’s projects, to liberalize the foreign trade, to liberalize the tariffs, the non-standardization of prices and wages, to privatize the State-owned agricultural lands, to cancel the governmental subsidy of essential commodities like fuel and gasoline, to prepare for the cancellation of the supplying card, that is a basic requirement for more than 80% of the Iraqi people.

All these procedures are invalid in terms of the international law. Lord Cold Smith, the British general prosecutor, warned Blair from such invalidity in a memorandum submitted to the latter on 26/3/2021 that said that (imposing major structural economic reforms may not be in accordance with authorities granted by the international law).

It is worthwhile mentioning that the acknowledgement of the Security Council’s decision no. 1483 of 2003 that the United States and Britain are an occupational force, does not provide the occupational authority the legal cover to undertake changes to the structure of the Iraqi economy: first, because such acknowledgement is not a competence of the Security Council at a time when the United Nations Secretary General admitted that the war against Iraq is illegitimate and illegal. Second, that the said decision bound the occupational force (a strict binding to its obligations as per the international law), and the latter does not allow any structural changes. Third, the decisions of changes made in the name of the governments formed by the occupation are not taken into consideration; as according to the laws of war, the government called transitional is no more than a tool government. As the United States is an aggressive occupational country, it may form tool governments if it wishes so, but it remains liable for the acts of such government and assumes the consequences thereof.

 In addition to the above mentioned, the field military evidence of the United States no. 10-27 of 1956 stipulated that (the sovereignty of occupied territories is not a rightful possession of the occupational force), and in article 358 thereof, it said that (the occupation is not entitled to transfer the sovereignty). This means that the occupier who has no sovereignty is not entitled to transfer it to governments under the occupation.

4- The occupational authority took over the Iraqi funds and oil proceeds:

The estimated Iraqi funds captured by the occupational authority were around 57 billion Dollars, allocated as follows:

21 billion Dollars being cumulated balance from the funds of Oil for Food Program.

4 billion Dollars at the Central Bank of Iraq.

6 billion Dollars at the commercial banks and presidential headquarters.

13 billion Dollars frozen at different countries.

3 billion Dollars frozen at the United States.

The estimated oil proceeds taken over by the occupational authority amount to 74 billion Dollars as follows:

10 billion Dollars exports earnings for 2003.

18 billion Dollars exports earnings for 2004.

32 billion Dollars exports earnings for 2005.

4 billion Dollars added by the report of the Christian Aid Committee to the earnings of 2003.

The total cumulated amounts and oil proceeds is 131 billion Dollars.

Where did all this money go? How was it spent?

The occupational authority and its government has no answer…

5- The direct responsibility of the occupational authority for the aggravation of the economic problems, the increase of the Iraqi citizen suffering, the totally paralyzed national economy, the interrupted investments and the re-population operations. There are many examples in that concern, such as its incapacity and that of its tool government to remedy the crisis of electricity, fuel, water and health services. Especially that Iraq has 94 power plants of 8500 Mega Watt capacity reduced to 4000 Mega Watt due to the seizure; the occupational authority could have repaired and rehabilitated the same at limited costs and a record time if it wished so, yet it did not. Iraq also has 14 oil refineries of 700 thousand barrels a day capacity, some of them were damaged due to instigation by the occupational forces, when they could have been also repaired and rehabilitated at limited costs and a record time instead of importing oil products at an annual cost of 6 billion Dollars from neighbor countries.

According to the formal sources, the inflation rate increased by 30% per annum. The unemployment raised to 60% and some estimate it was raised to 70% due to the dismissal of huge numbers from the Army, the security organizations and civil employees. According to data of the Ministry of Labor in Iraq, there are 9 million persons under the poverty line constituting 33% of the population and 16.2 million persons with limited income being 60% of the population.

The increase of fuel prices, adopted by the government last month, at a rate ranging from 200 to 500%, caused the sharp increase in the prices of agricultural products, food commodities and transportation fees. The prices of oil products in the black market also increased at rates exceeding 2000%.

6- The occupation ruined the Iraqi nation and completely destroyed it as an institution and management systems, as a Constitution and legislations, as an Army and security organizations, as public estates and as resources.

The community is currently managed by a Constitution that relies on the temporary law of State management promulgated by Primer and developed under the supervision of the American Foreign office and the American Bar Association, and which final touches were made by Noah Feldman.

The paragraph 43 of La Hague resolutions of 1907, pertaining to the organization of the military conflict, absolutely banned any change to the main laws, for example the State law, during the occupation period. Such banning is literally included in chapter 362 of the field military manual of the United States no. 10-27 of 1956.

The resolution of the Security Council no. 1638 of 9/11/2020 extended the occupation to 31/12/2006, which does not fall in the authorities of the Security Council as it has no authority to breach nor change effective international laws; and even if the Security Council attempts to empower the United States to violate the war laws in Iraq, this will make the voting countries on the resolution as assisting and instigating the United States to war crimes and assume the responsibility of taking part thereof. Any resolution of the Security Council that breaches the articles of international laws and agreements is definitely null and void from the legal point of view.

Final word:

I would like to recognize the good efforts endeavored by the jury of the court, the Arab Bar Association and the Arab associations members thereof, that prepared for the organization and the convocation of such court, I am confident it is important and will contribute to mobilize the public opinion against the violations of Bush, Blair and Sharon of the international law and call them war criminals; however, I think that the court and the Arab Bar Association must take a further step by referring the trial of Bush, Blair and Sharon to international courts. I wish we had an Arab country that would voluntarily offer to file actions against Bush and Blair before the International Justice Court because it is the court authorized to hear the pleading of countries; but as this is an unrealistic requirement, I am wondering – and you may answer me – if there is a possibility that the court and the Arab Bar Association would develop a project responsible for filing actions against Bush and Blair before the American and British courts or the International Penal Court as long as it is impossible that a country would adopt such concept before the International Justice Court?

4/2/2021 Cairo

 

(translated and received from Http://www.iraqpatrol.com)