NEWSLETTER 1 - 10 January 2010
   
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The BRussells Tribunal is an international network of intellectuals, artists and activists, who denounce the logic of permanent war promoted by the American government and its allies, affecting for the time being particularly one region in the world: the Middle East. It started with a people’s court against the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) and its role in the illegal invasion of Iraq, but continued ever since. It tries to be a bridge between the intellectual resistance in the Arab World and the Western peace movements. 

900 IRAQI PRISONERS FACE SUMMARY EXECUTION: STOP THE DEATH PENALTY IN IRAQ!





                                    

a message from Denis Halliday

Former UN Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations,

Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq 1997-98

Accepting the Gandhi International Peace Award in 2003, I explained my resignation from the United Nations as head of the UN Humanitarian Programme in Iraq at end 1998. I indicated that resignation was necessary because of my refusal to accept Security Council orders that continued to impose genocidal sanctions on the innocent of Iraq. My continuation would have implied my complicity in human catastrophe. And, in addition, my innate sense of justice was outraged — as yours would have been in my position — by the violence that UN sanctions had brought upon the lives and wellbeing of children, families, and the many loved ones of Iraq. There can be no justification for killing the young, the aged, the sick, the rich, the poor anywhere, under any circumstances, least of all by the United Nations.

 Some will tell you that the Iraqi leadership was punishing the Iraqi people. That was not my perception or experience when living in Baghdad in 1997-98 and traveling throughout the country. And were that to be the case, how could that possibly justify collective punishment — that is sanctions, by the United Nations? The UN Charter and international law have no provision for the murderous consequences of a UN embargo, over 12 long years in the case of the people of Iraq.
 
After leaving, sometimes I explained the impact of sanctions to the media, and to university and public meetings by describing Iraqi children as being on death row without hope of reprieve. By the end of 1998, we — the UN — had killed hundreds of thousands without any apparent hesitation on the part of the permanent member states of the Security Council.
 
The illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003 has only worsened the overall situation for Iraqi children, women and men. Contrary to what the mainstream media has been and is reporting, a whole nation is being terrorized, killed, driven into exile. The humanitarian situation in Iraq is catastrophic according to the ICRC (The Red Cross) and other international organizations. American imposition of “democracy and freedom” has failed as law, order and economic and social wellbeing is increasingly elusive. Health and educational systems are about to collapse; the human rights situation is disastrous; human security and opportunities have vanished; the fearful, the refugees and the displaced outnumber those enjoying normal lives.   
 
Since the Iraqi government reintroduced capital punishment in 2004, an unknown number of people have been hanged. None of the condemned appears to have had a fair trial. Sadly, the Iraqi judicial system has been deemed by responsible international agencies and human rights organizations to be corrupt, dysfunctional and plagued by sectarianism.
 
And now the Presidential Council of Iraq has reportedly ratified the death sentences of some 900 detainees languishing on death row. Some 17 of them are confirmed to be women. The apparent collapse of justice in Iraq today needs to be seen in the context of an almost total breakdown of law and order since the US/UK invasion, including the war crimes, atrocities, killing of civilians by invading and occupying US mercenaries and military forces.
 
I oppose the use of the death penalty wherever it occurs on the grounds that it is contrary to fundamental human rights. The international community that has already totally failed the Iraqi people has a compelling obligation to condemn the appalling human consequences of illegal invasion and occupation, and condemn — surely the Iraqis have suffered enough — one of the highest rates of execution in the world.

Without your voice the deadly increasing spiral of killing will continue. That’s why I join the BRussells Tribunal in denouncing executions. I would very much appreciate it if you would read the following statement against the imminent hanging of 900 detainees: http://brusselstribunal.org/DeathPenalty121209.htm and sign the call to stop these executions and request that the Iraqi government impose a moratorium on the death penalty.

 Thank you on behalf of the BRussells Tribunal and all of us who care about justice and human life.

Denis J. Halliday

Former UN assistant secretary general and UN humanitarian coordinator for Iraq, 1997-98

Recipient of the 2003 Gandhi International Peace Award — Ireland

Sign the petition here

Why museums were looted, libraries burned and academics murdered ?

The BRussells Tribunal collaborated on the book CULTURAL CLEANSING IN IRAQ, published by Pluto Press.


FRANÇOIS HOUTART: The book CULTURAL CLEANSING IN IRAQ is a very impressive presentation of what has been, according to the authors, a planned policy of the United States of America in Iraq. The argumentation is very well documented. The invasion of Iraq, indeed, had surely an economic dimension. The fact that the oil dependence of the USA is growing every year, till a probable level of almost 100 per cent in a few years, makes the country try to control the maximum possible sources of fossil energy in the world. Iraq being one of the most productive regions, with high quality petroleum and cheap exploitation, has been a normal target.
However, another perspective has been developed: the destruction of the State and of the basic cultural components of the Iraqi nation. This is linked with the imperial character of the US policy and the authors are recalling what happened in Yugoslavia and in Central America. In order to dominate a region, it is necessary to destroy any solid State and if necessary to dismantle it. One classical policy of colonial or neocolonial powers is also to divide society and to increase internal conflicts, a good way to weaken the national State.
The fact that the Bush administration was ideologically oriented by the neo-conservatives added another dimension to the invasion of Iraq. To establish a “mild imperium” over the whole world, as the accomplishment of a “divine” mission of the USA to impose their way of envisaging democracy and to reinforce a market economy, was the basis of the political project. The messianic aspect of such a policy has been abandoned by Barack Obama, but apparently not the other aspects.
During the Bush period, a cultural policy has been also clearly pursued. The destruction of the archeological patrimony, the killing or expulsion of thousand of intellectuals, were facts, which can be related to the will of erasing the historical memory of a people. This is an aspect of the Iraq war that has not been very well known.
The various chapters of the book illustrate this situation: a comparison with similar policies of the USA in other parts of the world, the destruction or looting of archeological riches, the systematic killing of intellectuals, the brain drain, the promotion of minorities’ oppositions, the constitution of an artificial “civil society”.
Imperialism for the USA is not a theoretical matter. It has very concrete applications and Iraq has been one of them. The book insists on the cultural aspect and therefore adds a fundamental dimension to a question generally better known along the lines of its economic and political dimension.

You can order now your copy of CULTURAL CLEANSING online with a discount of 10 per cent.  (the offer excludes the US, Canada and Australia)

If you order trough this link you support our action, because the publisher, Pluto Press, agrees to apportion a percentage of your purchase to the BRussells Tribunal.

ALBAYATY’S COMMENT



Rupture with corruption,repression and failure in Iraq


They were right those millions who went out into the streets worldwide to say “No War for Oil”.  
Some were simply against war in general. Their logic is that wars don’t bring solutions but rather destruction and suffering and create more problems than they try to solve. All are losers in war.
Others were against illegal wars, for it was evident that the reasons offered by the US and UK to wage a pre-emptive war against Iraq was part of a public relations campaign based on propaganda that convinced no one. They were utter lies.
Some who were more informed knew that this war was an attempt to seize Iraqi oil for the benefit of US-led Western imperialism.
Even covering up the real aims of the war by declaring that the war would bring democracy to Iraq didn’t convince anyone — only those who wanted to be convinced. Democracy, as all know, is built on the base of citizens who constitute a people, not by an occupation that depends on religious fascists and ethnic separatist militias and warlords. Democracy is a unifying process, not a process of dividing a united Iraq into conflicting confederations. This partition was planned and imposed through Bremer’s Orders and the Transitional Administrative Law and later adopted and integrated in the constitution of the so-called Political Process.

They were right those millions, but neither the US nor the UK governments heard them. On the contrary, the Bush administration and the Blair government, faced with the rejection of the war and occupation and faced by a sustained resistance, sank more and more into genocidal policies to achieve “victory” on the Iraqi people. They destroyed every positive aspect that existed in Iraq: the security forces, the health system, the education system, the judiciary system, the archives, municipal services, the state apparatus, and they caused a financial, moral and political suicide and military defeat for themselves. The result for Iraq is five million refugees, more than one million deaths, the complete destruction of infrastructure, generalized corruption, insecurity, diseases and pollution and non-functional administrations.

They were right those millions of protesters: after seven years of violence in Iraq, events prove them right. The only thing the occupier has achieved is to illegally put its hands on Iraqi oil and to illegally tie Iraq to a treaty while still under occupation. Even the “political process” imposed on Iraq to legalize the occupation is a fiasco. It could not even legalize the plunder of Iraqi oil via the parliament it created.

Instead of ending the occupation, handing Iraq to its people and punishing those responsible for this tragedy, instead of listening to the Iraqi people’s rights and demands, the Obama administration adopted the same strategy as Bush: trying to create a client state in Iraq by depending on the same corrupted backward forces that supported the occupation against the Iraqi people. The only difference is that it tries to change the faces of its puppet government. The plunder, the corruption, the repression and the attempts to divide Iraq continue as before. Following one year of the Obama administration no change has taken place, despite the declarations and promises.

In reality, since the Baker-Hamilton report, all governmental and non-governmental institutions say they are trying to find a way to save Iraq from the disaster and tragedy that the Bush administration created, by involving the US, the EU, the UN and neighboring countries. Their approach is to amend the political process, hoping that a stable and democratic state can be built in Iraq. They are either dreaming or lying. The current “political process” led by conflicting warlords and ethnic and religious political groups, each with their own militia and agenda, has produced the most corrupt, repressive and failed state in the world. Even if the intentions of the international community were sincere, it is impossible to improve this political process. Neither those in power accept the change, nor can the Iraqi people believe these intentions of change. Without a real rupture from this political process, Iraq will sink deeper and deeper in its tragedy.


The Iraqi people try to achieve this rupture in various ways. The Iraqi resistance and its sympathizers are the first political force in Iraq. Even those who don’t support it directly adopt its programme and slogans. The propaganda and lies of the political process don’t influence the Iraqi people anymore. This was evident lately, during the recent horrible explosions against innocent civilians and on the occasion of Iran’s occupation of the Fakka oil well.

We, me and my Iraqi and non-Iraqi friends, think that a new approach to save Iraq, whose stability is essential for the region and the world, is necessary. We appeal to governments, international institutions, civil society associations and leaders to recognize the Iraqi resistance, to negotiate with Iraqi anti-occupation forces in order to put an end to the occupation, establish a transitional government supported by the anti-occupation forces and the international community, whose task, in full respect of international law, international humanitarian law and Iraq’s national sovereignty, is to rebuild the state apparatus, especially the armed forces, and to begin a national democratic process and organize elections to build a real democratic state. We think this is the only way to end the violence and the suffering in Iraq and to realize peace, justice and stability.

Whether for justice or by interest, the international community should stand behind the Iraqi people to build a peaceful, independent, democratic and stable united Iraq.

Abdul Ilah Albayaty

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call for global action: stop the death penalty in Iraq

 

Maliki’s election platform: 900 Iraqi prisoners face summary execution
In the run-up to elections, Maliki proposes executions to bolster his chances
Democracy in the new Iraq equals death and repression

The current regime in Iraq serves the US occupation: it is the occupation that kills Iraqis

*  We call on all to work to stop these executions and impose a moratorium on the death penalty in Iraq.
*  We demand the release of all political prisoners, held in custody in official prisons and ghost facilities by the US, the US installed Iraqi government and the militias, brought to Iraq by the US occupation.
*  Every Iraqi deserves protection and justice. Unfair trials in Iraq must be stopped.
*  We call on the UN Human Rights Council to appoint a Special Rapporteur for the human rights situation in Iraq.
*  We call on all organisations that defend the first human right — the right to life — to take up with urgency the cause of the 900 prisoners on death row in Iraq.
*  We call on all lawyers associations to protest the absence of law and due process in Iraq, and to declare the imminent execution of these 900 prisoners unlawful.
*  900 prisoners killed in Iraq would be 900 insults to the common conscience of humanity.
*  We call on all to do everything within their means to bring the cases of these 900 prisoners facing death to the public eye, and to demand action by relevant authorities.
*  The US occupation of Iraq must end. It is that occupation that is the ultimate rope around the neck of Iraq, and the ultimate prison for the Iraqi people.

Please endorse, distribute and take action                                                                                       The BRussells Tribunal Committee

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With the support and contribution of:

 Rev. Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, M.M. - Prof. Em. François Houtart - Eduardo Galeano - Amb. Saeed Hasan - Denis Halliday- Hans von Sponeck - Cynthia McKinney - Michel Chossudovsky - Sabah Al-Mukhtar - Dr. Curtis F.J. Doebbler - Karen Parker - Fabio Marcelli - Niloufer Bhagwat -Juliette Sayegh - Manal Younes - Malak Hamdan - Hassan Aydinli - Michael Parenti - James Petras - Edward S. Herman - Jan-Erik Lundström - Prof. Dr. Lieven De Cauter - General Dato Seri Azumi - Dr. Mario J. Yutzis - Kathy Kelly - Jodie Evans - Matthias Chang - Elmar Altvater - Gunnar Westberg - Michel Monod - Ruedi Tobler - Dr. Bert De Belder - Dr. Ian Douglas - David Swanson - Muhamad Tareq Al-Deraji - Dr. Saad Jawad - Stephen Soldz - Sr. Anne Montgomery RSCJ - Hana Al Bayaty - Ludo De Brabander - Amir Al Kubaissy - Rashad Salim - Prof. Em. Herman De Ley

BRUSSELLS TRIBUNAL - Opening session of the World Tribunal on Iraq ¯ CEOSI - Spanish Campaign against the Occupation and for the Sovereignty of Iraq ¯ ASSOCIATION OF IRAQI DIPLOMATS ¯  CODEPINK: Women For Peace - USA ¯ CODIP - Palestine Solidarity Organisation - Belgium ¯ GENERAL ARAB WOMEN FEDERATION (GAWF) ¯  GENERAL FEDERATION OF IRAQI WOMEN (GFIW) Iraq ¯  INDIAN COUNCIL OF SOUTH AMERICA  ¯ INDIGENEOUS PEOPLES AND NATIONS COALITION ¯ INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL FOR HUMAN RIGHTS  ¯ INTERNATIONAL ACTION CENTER - USA ¯  IRAQ OCCUPATION FOCUS - UK ¯  IRAQ SOLIDARITY ASSOCIATION IN STOCKHOLM - Sweden ¯  IRAQ SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGN - UK ¯  IRAQI COMMISSION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (ICHR) ¯  MEDIA WITH CONSCIENCE ¯  MOUVEMENT CHRETIEN POUR LA PAIX - Belgium ¯  NORD SUD XXI (NGO)  ¯ ORGANIZATION FOR JUSTICE AND DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ (OJDI) ¯  PERDANA GLOBAL PEACE ORGANISATION - Malaysia ¯  PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS OF AMERICA  - USA ¯  THE CAMPAIGN FOR THE ACCOUNTABILITY OF AMERICAN BASES - CAAB (UK) ¯ UNION OF ARAB JURISTS (UAJ) ¯  WOMEN SOLIDARITY FOR AN INDEPENDENT AND UNIFIED IRAQ - Spain ¯ ASSOCIATION OF MUSLIM SCHOLARS (AMSI)

Studies & Campaigns of the BRussells Tribunal






Our campaign to save Iraq’s Academics  

Iraqi Media Professionals killed in Iraq under US occupation  

US Genocide In Iraq   - Dr. Ian Douglas, Hana & Abdul Al Bayaty 

Torture in Iraqi Prisons - Appeal for Investigation  

Crimes of the Century: Occupation & Contaminating Iraq with Depleted Uranium - Dr. Souad N. Al-Azzawi

Deterioration of Iraqi Women's Rights and Living Conditions Under Occupation - A survey by Dr. Souad N. Al-Azzawi
The effects of the American use of prohibited weapons on the health condition in Fallujah 

Iraq’s Lost Generation: Impact and Implications  Ismail Al Jalili

Iraqi Hospitals Ailing Under Occupation  - Dahr Jamail  

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