WASHINGTON - JUNE 19 -
Paul is executive director of Global Policy Forum, which has just released a 117-page report titled "War and Occupation in Iraq." He said today: "While most people focus on the sectarian bloodshed, our report highlights the enormous violence of the occupation forces. There is an increasing air war that results in heavy casualties as well as the daily killing of civilians at checkpoints, during house searches, by snipers, and by ground bombardment. Nearly a million Iraqis have died due to the effects of the occupation and 4 million have fled from their homes. A dozen cities have been destroyed by U.S. attacks.
"Our report includes a map of the major prisons and U.S. bases. The five biggest bases are gigantic and built for decades of use. Their airfields can launch air strikes around the clock. The new U.S. embassy complex is the biggest U.S. diplomatic facility in the world.
"Under the control or influence of U.S. authorities, public funds in Iraq have been drained by massive corruption and stolen oil, leaving the country unable to provide basic services and incapable of rebuilding. The U.S. government has repeatedly violated many international laws, but top officials reject any accountability."
Nahory, Security Council Program Coordinator at Global Policy Forum and a co-author of the report, said: "Those that understate the violence of the occupation make U.S. forces look like the solution, when in fact they are a large part of the problem. Even polls by the U.S. and U.K. governments show a large majority of Iraqis want a speedy withdrawal of occupation forces.
"The UN Security Council should be looking into this crisis, but under pressure from Washington, the Council has done almost nothing so far. During the June 13 Council meeting on Iraq, most delegates made shockingly empty statements with no creative ideas. One exception was South Africa, whose delegate actually cited our report and used it as the basis for her remarks. The Security Council can't keep its head in the sand much longer. It will have to do something about the huge humanitarian crisis and the worsening violence.
"The Council should end the mandate it has given to the U.S. Coalition. Only a speedy and complete withdrawal of the occupation can begin to bring peace and reconciliation to Iraq."
For more information, contact the Institute for Public Accuracy at (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan at (541) 484-9167.