Global Policy Forum

Statements Against the War and Occupation of Iraq


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Congress: Stop Funding Torture (June 2, 2008)

This open letter from NGO representatives to the US Congress confirms that the US military commits a disturbing array of human rights violations in Iraq. The letter states that the US holds 25,000 detainees in Iraq for indefinite periods without judicial review and uses secret prisons and torture chambers in Baghdad. The authors urge the US Congress to oppose the building of new detention facilities, draw up a timetable for the immediate withdrawal of US troops, and investigate whether US policies violate Article 3 of the Geneva Convention. (The Nation)

US/Iraq: "I Saw the Interrogator Waterboarding Him" (March 18, 2008)

This Inter Press Service article describes the Winter Soldier conference. Following a similar format to its 1971 Vietnam War predecessor, former soldiers recounted their horrific experiences in Iraq. The organizers, Iraq Veterans Against the War stated "The troops on the ground know this is an impossible task. Their commanders know this is an impossible task. This is not a war that can be won. It is an occupation that can only be ended."

The True Cost of War (February 28, 2008)

Joseph Stiglitz, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics and author of The Three Trillion Dollar War, reflects on how poor insight and judgment has resulted in a war that has cost the US three trillion dollars and lasted longer than either world war. With the US spending sixteen billion dollars monthly on the running costs alone for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, three trillion dollars may be a conservative estimate of the eventual cost to US taxpayers. Stiglitz, however, confirms that the US economy is not the only victim here: US relations with the international community, global stability and most of all, the people of Iraq have suffered in innumerable ways. (Guardian)


The White Man Unburdened (November 10, 2007)

Norman Mailer wrote this essay in July 2003 for the New York Times Book Review and CommonDreams reprinted it on the last day of his life. The author describes the US war against Iraq as a peculiar mix between 9/11 revenge, corporatism and a "gung-ho" approach to war and warfare. Mailer warned that the occupation would unleash civil war in Iraq, cost billions of dollars and threaten civil liberties in the US.

Ex-General Calls Iraq a 'Nightmare' (October 13, 2007)

Former US military commander, Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, says the current White House policy in Iraq is flawed. The General argues that the US is living an endless nightmare and criticizes the surge strategy of President George Bush and General David Petraeus. He suggests that "there has been a glaring, unfortunate display of incompetent strategic leadership." Sanchez' comments join a long list of complaints from other returned military commanders. (Aljazeera)

US Authority Accused of Ignoring Allies in Iraq (June 16 2007)

British Director of Operations for the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) and veteran of reconstructions in Bosnia and Kosovo, Andrew Bearpark, accuses the UK of "being complicit in Iraq's current position as a failed state" and qualifies "the absence of proper planning in Iraq as criminal negligence." He describes the CPA as a "US government department," deploring the fact that the US consistently rejected British attempts to become joint occupying power under the Geneva Convention. Bearpark calls for an official inquiry into the failure of postwar planning and an early British troop drawdown. (Guardian)

Insurgents "Right to Take on US" (May 3, 2007)

Gen. Sir Michael Rose, a former British army commander declared that the Iraqi insurgents "are right to force the US troops out of the country." According to Rose, the US and UK should "admit defeat" and stop fighting "a hopeless war." Contrary to what several officials have argued, Rose does not believe the withdrawal will unleash a humanitarian crisis. He pointed out that "the catastrophes that were predicted after Vietnam never happened and the same thing will occur after we leave Iraq." (BBC)

Saudi King Slams ‘Illegitimate Occupation' of Iraq (March 28, 2007)

In a speech at the annual summit of the Arab League, the Saudi King Abdullah, a close US ally, criticized the Iraq War and called it for the first time "an illegitimate foreign occupation." Further, he criticized the US interference in Arab affairs and said that Arab nations should be able to decide the future of the region. Arab foreign ministers also supported an amendment of the Iraqi constitution, which would give Sunnis more power and bring about national reconciliation. (Agence France Presse)


Britain Never Thought Saddam Was a Threat (December 16, 2006)

"At no time did [the British government] assess that Iraq's WMD (or any other capability) posed a threat to the UK," reveals a former diplomat at the British Mission to the United Nations. London has repeatedly warned the US government that "regime change" would lead Iraq into chaos, he adds. Carne Ross, who was involved in negotiations in the run-up to the war, resigned from the Foreign Office in opposition to his government handling of the Iraq crisis. (Guardian)

The Full Transcript of Evidence Given to the Butler Inquiry (December 15, 2006)

According to Carne Ross, a former Iraq expert at the UK Mission to the United Nations, "at no time did the British government assess that Iraq's WMD (or any other capability) posed a threat to the UK or its interests." Ross also declared that several UN officials told him that Iraq had no significant nuclear material and its ability to launch any attack was limited. Discontent with the UK's manipulation of intelligence to justify the Iraq War, Ross decided to resign, saying no new evidence had arisen to change the initial assessments. (Independent)

Iraq: One By One, They Tell the Truth (December 6, 2006)

This Independent piece reveals the growing list of US and British government officials and military leaders speaking out about the failures of the 2003 US-led invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq. Even former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, in a confidential memo to the White House one week prior to his resignation, commented that "what US forces are doing in Iraq is not working well enough." Such admissions of failure have made US President George W. Bush and his staunch ally, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, appear ever more isolated in their pursuit of military victory in Iraq.

Annan: Iraq Crisis 'Much Worse' Than Civil War (December 4, 2006)

Responding to recent media reports that Iraq faces a civil war, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan says that the current violence in Iraq is already "much worse." The UN chief further comments that Iraqis would be justified in believing that they are now worse off than under former dictator Saddam Hussein. Annan also voiced his regrets over the 2003 US-led invasion, commenting that it could have been prevented had UN weapons inspectors been given more time to carry out their work. (Daily Star – Lebanon)

Army Chief Says British Troops Should Be Pulled Out of Iraq (October 13, 2006)

The UK's most senior military commander says that the presence of British troops in Iraq only "exacerbates" the security problems in that country. General Sir Richard Dannatt called on UK Prime Minister Tony Blair to remove his troops, stating that any tolerance Iraqis may have felt towards the occupying forces during the initial stages of the invasion "has largely turned to intolerance." Sir Richard's comments drew praise from Britain's opposition parties and prompted immediate calls for a change of strategy in Iraq. (Independent)

Iran: 'Occupying Forces' Must Leave Iraq (September 13, 2006)

After meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has spoken out against the US-led occupation of Iraq. Khamenei stated that "a major portion of Iraq's problems will be solved when the occupying forces leave that country," and expressed his willingness to help Iraq gain independence. While Iraq welcomes the support of its neighbor, the United States maintains its adversarial relationship with Iran, which it named as part of an "axis of evil." (CNN)

Situation Called Dire in West Iraq (September 11, 2006)

The chief of intelligence for the US Marine Corps in Iraq, Colonel Pete Devlin, says US military forces can do nothing to improve the turmoil in the country's western Anbar province. These conclusions contradict previous statements by US government officials who claim that the US military remains in control of Anbar. (Washington Post)

US, Iraqi PM Disagree Over Baghdad Raids (August 8, 2006)

In a statement on government television, Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has sharply criticized a US attack on a Shiite militia stronghold in Baghdad. Maliki, a Shiite, said he was "very angered and pained" by the air and ground operation in Sadr City, warning that it could undermine his efforts toward national reconciliation. Maliki's public position signals "serious differences" between Iraqi politicians and US military officials over how to deal with Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and his Mehdi Army. (Christian Science Monitor)

Iraq Civil War Warning for Blair (August 3, 2006)

Britain's outgoing Ambassador to Baghdad William Patey has warned of imminent civil war and a future ethnic break-up of Iraq. In a confidential memo to top UK government ministers, Patey provides a grim prediction of the country's future. BBC correspondent Paul Wood describes the cable as "a devastating official assessment of the prospects for a peaceful Iraq," which stands "in stark contrast to the public rhetoric."

Iraqi Parliament Speaker Says Invasion and Aftermath Are the 'Work of Butchers' (July 23, 2006)

In a speech in Parliament, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, one of the highest-ranking Sunni representatives in the Iraqi government, has criticized the US-led invasion and its consequences. While not specifically calling for the withdrawal of US troops, he has demanded that the US "disentangle [itself] from Iraq's political affairs" and stop "butchering" his country, reports the New York Times. As speaker of the National Assembly, al-Mashhadani has developed a reputation for provocative public comments after his election in April 2006.

Iraq's Tougher Stance Toward US (June 7, 2006)

Amid charges of violence by US troops against Iraqi civilians, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki argues that such violence remains a "daily phenomenon" and constitutes "a terrible crime." According to the Christian Science Monitor, such criticism suggests "a new assertion of sovereignty by the Iraqi government" and risks complicating US-Iraq relations.

Iraqi Assails US for Strikes on Civilians (June 2, 2006)

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has responded to reports of a US military massacre in Haditha, in which US marines allegedly murdered numerous Iraqi civilians. Looking beyond Haditha as an isolated event, Maliki said that US and coalition troops "do not respect the Iraqi people" and that coalition attacks against Iraqi civilians "have become a daily phenomenon." Maliki called the violence "completely unacceptable" and indicated that US attacks on civilians will factor prominently in decisions over how long to ask US forces to remain in Iraq. (New York Times)

Italian Leader Calls Iraq Occupation ‘Grave Error' (May 18, 2006)

Italian Prime Minster Romano Prodi, who defeated Silvio Berlusconi, an ardent supporter of President George W. Bush and the US-led war in Iraq, announced plans to withdraw Italy's 3,000 troops. Calling the invasion and occupation of Iraq a "grave error," Prodi joins the leaders of Spain, Poland and Ukraine in defeating pro-war incumbents and withdrawing from the "coalition of the willing." (Washington Post)

Third Retired General Wants Rumsfeld Out (April 10, 2006)

Several former high-level military officers, including General Anthony Zinni, the former leader of US Central Command responsible for military operations in the Middle East, have spoken out against the war in Iraq and have called for US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's resignation. According to Lt. General Gregory Newbold, "we must never again stand by quietly" while "ignorant" political leaders "casually" rush ahead to war. Most active-duty officers have withheld criticism of the war and its architects within the Bush administration out of "respect for civilian control of the military." (New York Times)

NeoCon Allies Desert Bush over Iraq (March 9, 2006)

In a sign of growing disapproval of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, an increasing number of US President George Bush's allies have voiced their opposition to the war. The Independent provides statements from several prominent neoconservative intellectuals who advocated in favor of invading Iraq but have since changed their opinion.

New Call to Impeach Blair over Iraq (January 9, 2006)

According to General Sir Michael Rose, a former British officer who commanded UN forces in Bosnia, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair should be impeached for his role in invading Iraq. General Rose, who says he would have resigned his post had he been in command at the time of invasion, accuses Blair of orchestrating an illegal war based on false grounds. (Guardian)



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