Election Sell-out


The election in Iraq is needed to legitimise sell-off of Iraqi assets.

From Riad El-Taher, Chair, Friendship Across Frontiers.


Despite the lawlessness and carnage which has prevailed since the occupation, the US/UK and their surrogate Interim Government (IIG) are poised to hold elections in January 2005.  Why, and what are the reasons for such eagerness?

It cannot possibly be to establish democracy.  Such an ideal notion has to evolve and flourish over decades and generations, and most certainly not by the use of force!  The conduct of the enforcers of democracy, the occupying armies and their mercenaries, has left deep-rooted bitterness among the population, particularly the inhabitants of Najaf, Fallujah and others.  Indeed, these towns will always be remembered for the atrocities inflicted.  Not too dissimilar to Hallabcha back in the eighties.

Then if not for democracy, could it be for oil?  Yes, partially, but more alarming was what Paul Bremner, then (Viceroy of Iraq), did to prepare the grounds in co-operation with the IGC for a gigantic sell-out of all Iraq’s assets, the grand privatisation of schools, hospitals, water, electricity, transport, industry and even museums.   To embark on such a sell-out you require a legitimate (preferably an elected) government to sanction the award of international contracts, with a few to Iraqi contractors.

Naturally Iraq’s local contractual participation could not possibly match that of the International Contractor (IC) and their army of mercenaries (totalling 20,000).  Indeed, Iraq’s involvement will be to provide cheap labour to maximise the IC profit and the salaries of the Iraqis will be spent on imported consumer goods which have already swamped the market since 2003.

Hospitals since occupation have been further deprived of essential medicine, electricity is sporadic, water cleanliness below acceptable standards, pollution at its worst.  All essential amenities have been neglected in order to be sold off at bargain prices in poor repair.  Market forces are operating freely to dismantle the industrial base which Iraq has managed to build in the past 30 years.  Iraq once had a socialist-based economy and provided a secure economic future to all, despite the Iran/Iraq war and years of sanctions.  Most Iraqis are owner-occupiers, but not for long though, as evidently these achievements will be set aside by market forces, leaving little or no protection for the needy and vulnerable.  Post-march 2003 Bush/Blair and their minority interim government (IIG)

Proclaimed one of the benefits of occupation was to liberate the Iraqi people from the tyranny of a dictator and to impose their kind of democracy.  The reality is to legitimise the sell-out of all the country’s assets.

For a comparison:  the Scots understandably felt let down by Defence Secretary Hoon for dismantling the four regiments.  Can anyone imagine what the Iraqi nationalists felt when Bremner and the collaborators on the IGC dismantled the whole army and police, totalling 500,000, affecting the lives and those of ther dependants (2 million) who are left with no prospect of jobs, income or future!  Perhaps the whole Iraqi people will realise that such a future will await them too if the election is allowed to take place under occupation.

To achieve the crucial objective of occupation, the IIG is not entitled under the transitional administration law (TAL) to sign international contracts.  The body that will take over after the election under occupation – the Transitional Government (ITG) in accordance with Bremner’s TAL (Art. 25 (a), (c) and (e) will provide the compliance of formulating foreign policy, fiscal policy and managing the national resources of Iraq. This election under occupation is desperately needed to eliminate the risk factor to international contractors of invalidating agreements reached with the transitional government.   This election seeks to provide legitimacy and payback to the international contractors, the financial backers of the neo-conservatives who covertly provided the lies and deceit to the Bush administration enabling them to embark on their illegal war, which has terrorised the world and destabilised the region.

The carnage and lawlessness in Iraq will eventually stop when all foreign armies and their mercenaries are no longer present on Iraq siol.  Fair elections and occupation are mutually incompatible.