1. US Military Occupation will not make us safer.
The occupation of Iraq feeds right into Bin Laden's own rhetoric that the United States has impirical and selfish reasons for reconstructing the Middle East. If US military presence in Saudi Arabia has inflamed fundamentalists like Bin Laden, how will this occupation not do the same -- only on a much larger scale?
2. As an Occupying Power the United States has already violated international law.
Just like the unilateral attack on Iraq, the United States has once again violated international codes of conduct. By not providing for the security of Iraq's museums and market places, Mr. Bush and company have broken treaties and other international statutes. Mr. Bush will most likely not make a formal declaration that the war has ended -- which would obligate the United States to provide humanitarian relief and take immediate responsibility for the 25 million citizens of Iraq. Instead President Mr. Bush has heroically claimed victory while simultaneously breaking the very laws he claims to uphold.
3. Iraqis don't want the presence of US military.
Massive protests against US occupation of Iraq have sprung up throughout the country. With continued escalation of violence during these demonstrations, and with the killings of over 15 Iraqis by US forces in Baghdad -- Anti-US sentiment is sure to increase. If Iraq has been liberated why are they still living under an occupying power they didn't ask for?
4. Occupation will only hinder relief efforts.
Military operations in Iraq make humanitarian efforts more difficult by increasing tension and spurring Iraqi rebellions. American and allied forces have experienced gunfire and stone throwing while attempting to provide aid to Iraqis. Many are not willing to allow their occupier the freedom the military needs to supply aid, because the US is still seen as a threat to Iraqi's sovereignty.
5. Iraqi Security should be number one.
It is pertinent for Iraq security that electricity gets back up and rolling again -- as well as all hospitals and communication portals. Also, over 40% of Iraqis were employed under Saddam's government and none have been paid since the war started. These are the security issues that need to be addressed first in order for Iraq to begin rebuilding its devastated economy.
6. Funding for the environment, education and healthcare are already being cut in order to pay for Iraq's current occupation.
Defense Department officials have announced that Mr. Bush's $60 billion dollar estimate for the war in Iraq would actually look more like $90 billion -- this without the added costs of Iraq's occupation and rebuilding. At the same time the Bush administration projects a $300 billion dollar deficit over the next two years. With over 65,000 US jobs lost a month in Mr. Bush's wartime economy, its seems federal spending could be focused elsewhere.
7. Arab countries are becoming even more critical of United State's plans to govern postwar Iraq.
US military presence is not welcome in the Middle East -- with Palestine, Syria, Iran, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Libya and now the "liberated" Afghanistan -- showing their anger at Iraq's occupiers through protests and religious/political rallies. Anti-US sentiment is on the rise with every hour of US occupation. If this war is about liberation and democracy then the voices in the streets should be accounted for. Unfortunately Mr. Bush's tolerance for dissent is dismal to none. Massive antiwar rallies across the world couldn't catch his ear -- it seems doubtful he is willing to listen to the voices currently being echoed across the Arab world.
8. Occupation will not breed democracy.
For true democracy to unfold, Iraq must be allowed to develop its own government, with minimal oversight from outside powers. But Mr. Bush is not willing to allow such a democracy to take shape. Perhaps he is fearful a regime with animosity towards Israel and the US will gain support. But just like this war not being about Weapons of Mass Destruction, it is also not about democracy -- at least not the democracy Mr. Bush claims to be spreading.
9. It's time for US troops to come home.
Over 120 American service people have already shed their blood for Mr. Bush's illegal invasion. The occupation of Beirut in 1983 saw 241 deaths inflicted upon US forces. There is little reason to believe Iraq will be any different. American troops are no longer wanted nor welcomed in Iraq. Let this not become a shadow of the Israeli/Palestinian parody -- a conflict that has no end in sight.
10. There are other options.
The United States should exit all troops in Iraq that are not needed to ensure protection required under international law. Instead United Nations workers should reenter Iraq, including weapons inspectors and aid workers. The international court should also condemn this illegal and unjust war by prosecuting those that were involved in its planning and execution. The oil-for food program should be expanded and reinstated to help offset the 12 years of brutal sanctions and bombings Iraq has endured. Also, no profits should be made by foreign companies and investors in the rebuilding phase of Iraq. All profits that are made should be put directly back into the pockets of Iraqis who have lost businesses, homes and loved ones as a result of Mr. Bush's illegal war. Finally, if Mr. Bush wants a friendly and liberated Iraq -- then the billions of dollars that are to be spent on Iraq's occupation should be swapped for humanitarian efforts.
Josh Frank is a writer and activist living in Portland Oregon. His work has appeared in Counterpunch, Impact Press, Left-Turn Magazine, Znet among others. He can be reached at [email protected]
Hermann Goering, when speaking at the Nuremburg trials, proselytized how simple it was to convince the German people to go to war. He said they need only convince them they are in danger, shout down the dissidents as being unpatriotic, and the public will follow along; whether the government be fascist, communist, or democratic. Truer words were never spoken as we have just witnessed the current U.S administration adopt and successfully impliment the strategy of a Nazi.
Iraq, a country unable to launch any missile further than Tel Aviv, didn't even pose a threat to their neighbours (substantiated by ongoing trade and border talks with Kuwait) let alone the U.S.
Those in favour of war accuse the Iraqi's of being lying, deceitful power mongers. Seems now that most of the lying was in one direction, something everyone knows but doesn't hold the U.S administration accountable for. Justification for war ran the gambit, from U.S freedoms, to stabilization of the region, to fighting terrorism (an almost laughable lie) to the final indisputable claim, that Saddam Hussein is a bad guy.
Hinging war on the removal of a brutal regime in order to liberate the people is smart politics. No one can argue that he should go. The problem, of course, is that it smacks of ridiculous hypocrisy. U.S foreign policy has NEVER, EVER, concerned itself with anything but its own preservation and the extension of U.S power.
Now, with the war over, the TRUTH reveals itself in startling fashion. U.S troops guard the Ministry of Oil, the oil fields, and nothing else. There are riots in the streets, looting, murder, rape and violence among the newly liberated people. But they protect the oil.
Now with a foothold in Afghanistan and Iraq, the U.S will push the other Arab nations to fall in line with their policies.
Liberation? Freedom? What does anyone think will happen when the Iraqis freely elect a fundamentalist Islamic government?
It seems that you are "terrified" that there is an information medium that is not part of the establishment.
Freedom of press does involve alternative views....or did you forget that in your daily dose of FOX and CNN.
Try the BBC and the NWI from Canada if you don't trust anything from this site...you'll find striking similarities...ie....THE TRUTH :)
Your increasingly hatefull rhetoric is indicative of a deceased mind. You're a full time viewer of Faux news no doubt.
Iviews has a bigger problem than Iraq! You are the murderers.
1. Fellow Muslim nations in the area are
led by greedy HYPOCRATES.
2. The Arab world is more concerned with
ARAB-PRIDE rather than justice and
fairness. The situation of their fellow
muslim brothers during the war was 2nd to
wishing Saddam fight the US to show ARAB
PRIDE. WHAT A DAMN SHAME!
3. Muslims in other countries CAN DO NOTHING
to help the Iraqi people, they are powerless.
4. Most Arabs DON'T GIVE A DAMN about non-arabs.
5. Kirds and Shia's are viewed as less than human
since we "the ummah" don't raise a voice of
concern when they are slaughtered by the
6. Iraq was led by a THIEF and a MURDERER just
as the whole mid-east is being led by THIEVES
7. There is NO such thing as ROYALITY in Islam,
it is HARAM and UNJUST a convention of the
8. If the US does not help the Iraqi's who will?
9. If the US does not help the Iraqi's who will?
10. If the US does not help the Iraqi's who will?
8 - 10 is listed 3 times on purpose to make the point that NO MUSLIM NATION, GROUP OR PEOPLE CAME TO THE AID OF THE IRAQI'S!
ignore the fact that Mr. Frank is not demanding
total withdrawl of US forces; simply he is
saying the US needs to take a step back, and
only use troops to instill safety and protection
which is required until international law. The
UN must take a lead role in Iraq's rebuilding.
Also, if a Muslim state erects out of the ruins --
and it does so democratically -- then it should
be allowed. But Mr. Bush will not allow such
The "I am against it" crowd does not have a
cohesive argument that counters this author's
case. That being the UN should renter and
instill order, and no profits should be made.
This was about profits, oil, and protection for
Israel -- let's not allow that from happening.
Let's let this be about Iraqis. What do they
Kick out the tyranny of one regime and immediately install a new one, preferably one that has a little retribution on its mind.
Your tyranny sucks but mine will be better, well, as long as you do what I tell you and keep your mouth shut.
Mr. Frank has excellent opinions as long as you realize he is characterized as a Left Wing Fanatic.
I beleive this article brings up a great many good points, however as a Muslim I would like to see more Iraqi Muslims showing patience and perseverance with U.S. forces. The U.S. has freed them from a Dictator that was hindering their growth as Muslims. If they worked more with U.S. forces, instead of jumping on the band wagon of occupation, perhaps a greater good would develop from this. Balance on both sides is what is truly needed. We as Americans should not be trying to feed Democracy to everyone, and Iraqis should be more patient with America and democracy. Perhaps through understanding Islam and democracy may meet...
2. Big deal-who hasn't and the UN is powerless and useless and have proven their rightous words mean nothing.
3. Wrong-SOME people in Iraq don't want the US there.
4. There is no proof of that and humanitarian efforts are already being done by NGO's and the US.
5. Wrong-the security of the world should be number one.
6. Money well spent for a change for the benefit of all americans.
7. Arab countries have always been and always will be critical of the US because that's how they keep their hold on their people.
8. No problem if you can get all the other countries to keep their noses out of it.
9. You insult the dedication of the US soldiers who understand the realities of their responsiblities.
10. There always are other options, but most of the authors are just stupid rhetoric; I think it's great that for once the world has a chance to change the status quo for the better for the middle east let alone the rest of us.
Insh'Allah one day the leaders in the muslim countries will help out there brothers and sisters in neighboring countries to protect them and if a leader is out of order to punish them. Insh'Allah one day they will not be afraid of losing there "chair" Insh'Allah one day the leaders and the people will only be afraid of Allah and will stand up for what they believe in. Insh'Allah.
Please accept my appreciation for your column, but don't you think that the word "journalism" is dead.
May Allah guide you.
And it would be very naive to think that Iraq can live without strong military structures on its ground. The US one sure is the least intrusive Iraqis can dream of.
It is thus foolish to talk of occupation and demand that the US leaves the country. It would be wise to try and make the best out of their presence. But it would require a real effort of reflexion.