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UN Resolution and Iraqi Sovereignty
Posted: Monday, May 31, 2004

By Stephen Kangal

The current Anglo-American Draft Security Council Resolution outlining the road map leading to a democratically government in Iraq post- 30 June infringes and utterly vandalizes the international legal concept of State sovereignty. The Resolution also constitutes both an exit and a non-exit strategy.

Firstly, sovereignty (Island of Palmas Case) means unfettered independence to be exercised over the sovereign territory of Iraq. It cannot be partial, conditional, limited or subject, against its will, to the military capability/threats of an illegal occupying competing outfit. According to PM Blair the exercise of sovereignty in Iraq post-June 30 must be "real and genuine" raising fears of a policy rift with Washington on whether the Interim Government will be able exercise veto powers over the operations of the coalition (multinational) forces.

Secondly, the current Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) headed by L Paul Bremer III cannot transfer sovereignty via the UN to the 1 July interim Government/Transitional National Assembly. The CPA did not in fact and in law possess that sovereignty. The CPA is a Coalition-imposed, glorified administering body completely devoid of the international legitimacy conferred on duly recognised governments.

International legal experts as well as UN Resolutions 1483 (2003) and 1511(2003) recognise that even during the coalition occupation, sovereignty was always vested in the State of Iraq. The Coalition forces were never in total and effective control of the sovereign territory of Iraq since chaos, mayhem and Iraq resistance prevailed. On what grounds can this Draft UN Resolution purport to legitimise an illegal, non-UN sanctioned occupation or even pretend to be handing over sovereignty to a sovereign Interim Government hand-picked by UN Special Representative, Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi, former Algerian Foreign Minister and sanctioned by the US?

In the face of the dialectics between sovereignty and continuing coalition occupation, the 150,000-occupying soldiers (multinational forces) effective 1 July 2004 will still be exclusively under American command. They will constitute a military enclave within a politically and religiously divided Iraq. Other Security Council members such as France, Germany, China, the Russian Federation have expressed their concerns by supporting the unconditional, full and effective restoration of sovereignty to the Iraqis and the de facto end instead of a de jure occupation- a position supported by increasing majorities in USA and UK who have become overwhelmingly disenchanted with this unnecessary Bush war.

Surprisingly the Draft Resolution attempts also to confer UN legitimacy ex post facto to the current invasion that was premised exclusively on the presence in Iraq of devastating WMD's, chemical and biological warfare all of which proved to an Ahmad Challabi-orchestrated hoax. Accordingly contrary to the first line of the Draft Resolution, Iraq never was and does not now constitute a viable threat to international peace and security. Furthermore Iraq's rudimentary conventional war machine as well as its invaluable cultural legacy and its social and economic infrastructure has been devastated beyond immediate repair and restoration. The Coalition can be held liable for reparation and the continued detention of Saddam Hussein is untenable.

How can sovereignty be effectively and fully exercised by the proposed Interim Government when the Draft recognises that the Coalition commanders would have de facto exclusive "authority to take all the necessary measures to contribute to the maintenance of security and stability in Iraq" and not be subject to any veto powers of the Interim Government. The Resolution states that: "The multinational force will operate in accordance with generally accepted principles of international law" and not Iraqi national laws and edicts.

Under the misleading and deceptive facade of sovereignty transfer, the Security Council is being requested to sanction and install a Coalition-selected, ad hoc, care-taker administrative arrangement that will be subject to the coercive threat of ruthless foreign occupying forces. The Interim Council has not been given any opportunity to make inputs into the UN process for the restoration of normalcy in Iraq.

How can the Resolution " welcome(s) the commitment of the occupying powers to end the occupation (of Iraq) by 30 June 2004" when 150,000 plus Anglo-American troops will remain until such time that the Americans under President George Bush decide it to be necessary to fight international terrorism in an Islamic theatre? The fight against international terrorism to be mounted from a Middle East base in Iraq lengthens the stay of foreign the military presence and attempts to re-mobilise dwindling American support for a costly , non-productive war.

This Draft Resolution lacks credibility because a secular Shiite, Dr. Iyad Allawi has been appointed Prime Minister without having the requisite broadly based support in Iraq and US-orchestrated lukewarm support from the Governing Council. He is a Governing Council member as well as a former member of the Baath Party of Saddam Hussein.

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