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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Brussells Tribunal: US Genocide in Iraq

US Genocide in Iraq

Dr Ian Douglas

with Abdul Ilah Albayaty and Hana Al Bayaty

1. Summary ............................................................... 1

oded3. Definitions............................................................. 2

a) What is genocide? ............................................... 3

b) What is intent? .................................................... 6

4. Beyond law.......................................................... 12

a) The genocidal logic of neo-colonial war............. 12

b) Genocide by occupation .................................... 15

5. The destruction of the Iraqi state and national

identity .................................................................... 16

a) The strategic context for genocide...................... 16

i. Asserting US geopolitical, global hegemony ..... 16

ii. US policy aimed to break Arab unity................ 18

iii. The US national emergency and corporate

interests ............................................................... 21

iv. A unified strategy of genocide......................... 23

b) Implementing genocide in Iraq .......................... 23

i. Destroying Iraq physically and permanently...... 24

ii. Substituting the Iraqi state and nation............... 28

iii. Resistance to genocide.................................... 33

6. Interpreting genocide in Iraq ............................... 37

7. Conclusion........................................................... 40

8. Appendix ............................................................. 41

Does anyone believe there is

another way to steal a country?

— Eduardo Galeano

1. Summary†

— The United States has committed and

sponsored the crime of genocide in Iraq.

— Responsibility for genocide rests on

specific intent and given or probable

consequences of actions. The 2003 US

invasion of Iraq was the culmination and

intensification of a consistent US policy,

Dr Ian Douglas is visiting professor in politics at An-

Najah National University in Nablus, Palestine, and

working to bring the charge of genocide against the United

States and allies in a court of universal jurisdiction

(www.USgenocide.org).

Abdul Ilah Albayaty is an Iraqi political analyst and writer

based in France.

Hana Al Bayaty is coordinator of the Iraqi International

Initiative on Iraqi Refugees (www.3iii.org).

This text was written April-June 2007.

For more information, contact:

ian@powerfoundation.org

+20 12 167 1660


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US Genocide in Iraq

2

spanning over 17 years, of destroying Iraq as a

national and state entity.

— The United States attempted and succeeded

to destroy the state of Iraq, but has failed and

cannot succeed in its attempt to destroy the

nation of Iraq.

— The Iraqi people have the legal right to

resist occupation, colonialism and genocide by

all available means, including armed struggle.

— The national popular resistance in Iraq is

combating genocide directly where

international law as a preventative and

protective mechanism has failed.

— In defence of civilisation, people the world

over should rise up in support of the national

liberation struggle of the Iraqi people.

— In defence of international law, jurists and

law associations should work to bring the

charge of genocide against the United States,

its leaders and its allies.

— The world must criminalise all forms of

war. Defensive wars would not be necessary in

the absence of wars of aggression.

2. Introduction

The illegal US invasion of Iraq was and is a

humanitarian catastrophe. Some try to explain

this catastrophe as a by-product. They justify

their concept on the absence of intent.

Reviewing applicable principles of

international law and American policy towards

Iraq, this paper aims to prove that the

humanitarian catastrophe present in Iraq is an

essential component of US policy, constituting

premeditated genocide against the people of

Iraq. The intent that some propose is absent is

flagrantly evident.

Consequently, this paper constitutes a call to

jurists, law associations, and individuals from

all walks of life to act on ending genocide in

Iraq. This study was made not only because of

the horrid consequences of the illegal US

invasion of Iraq, but to lay a basis for stopping

imperial adventures and to enrich the political

thinking of instruments that can save our

civilisation.

3. Definitions

The prohibition and prevention of genocide is

a peremptory norm of international law. No

derogation is permitted: states are obliged,

individually and severally, to prevent genocide

from occurring and to prosecute perpetrators,

conspirators, those complicit and those who

incite it. When a crime is ongoing the duty of

authorities to enforce law by halting the crime

is of special urgency. Enforcing law means

protecting potential victims and apprehending

suspected perpetrators.

That the international community not only

failed to prevent the illegal US invasion and

subsequent occupation of Iraq, but also

supported what from 1990 has been a

gathering US-led genocide in Iraq, is a

catastrophic betrayal for the Iraqi people and

an injury to us all.

The reasons are multiple and include: 1)

Structural inequalities of power in world

politics, epitomised in the UN Security

Council, that assure domination for the few

and subservience for the many; 2) Structural

inequalities of power in the world economy,

characterising capitalism on a world scale, that

scare dependent states from speaking out on

imperial crimes; 3) The general subordination

of human rights to “peace and security” (i.e.,

pacification and impunity) illustrated in the

perpetuation of a toothless, complicit and

apologetic UN human rights system; and 4)

The success of Zionist ideology in making the

concept of genocide a synonym for “the

holocaust”, thus both its own exclusive

preserve and the model against which all

alleged genocides must be compared.

The blanket of silence surrounding this

grievous international crime contributes to the


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US Genocide in Iraq

3

deaths of hundreds of Iraqis every day. If

genocide cannot be prevented, the UN and its

high ideals serve no function. At present

nothing exists to prevent future atrocities on

this scale or worse from occurring.

a) What is genocide?

Of all terms in the lexicon, genocide is the true

word for what is happening in Iraq. The

controversy the word elicits reveals its

potential. Some warn against using the term so

as not to “debase its currency”. This is a

misunderstanding of what genocide means.

Others fear that if used wantonly, antiwar

protest may appear sensationalist. In reality,

any other word for US actions in Iraq is

dishonest.

Looking closer, we find that the word

genocide has two lives: its common meaning

and its legal substance. Commonly, genocide

is taken to mean the total annihilation of a

people. Nothing less counts, hence scepticism

in using the word. On rapid reading, UN

General Assembly Resolution 96 of 1946

authorising the drafting of a genocide

convention suggests the same understanding:

“Genocide is a denial of the right of existence

of entire human groups, as homicide is the

denial of the right to live of individual human

beings.”1

But this definition bears reading

again, for it is not the fact of annihilation that

constitutes the crime of genocide, but rather

denial of the right of existence of an entire

given group. This nuance is important.

Article 2 of the 1948 Genocide Convention —

now the legal standard2 — makes this point

clear by focusing on the concept of intent,

supplementing this with the important phrase,

“in whole or in part”, thus grounding genocide

1

UN General Assembly Resolution 96, 11 December

1946, http://un.org/documents/ga/res/1/ares1.htm

2 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the

Crime of Genocide, 9 December 1948, 78 U.N.T.S. 277,

280. http://unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/p_genoci.htm

not in numbers annihilated, but in the iniquity

of a rationality that intends massively

destructive consequences. This qualification is

what ensures that the Genocide Convention is

a preventative mechanism and not simply a

reactive instrument. It also means that guilt is

a moral determination.

Indeed, in origin the term itself — coined in

the inter-war period by Raphael Lemkin, a

Polish legal scholar — emerged from the

effort to make “barbarity” and “vandalism”

crimes under international law. It is intent to

destroy that is the basis of the crime of

genocide, illustrated in definable acts that

constitute — or would — genocide.

Article 2 of the Genocide Convention reads:

In the present Convention, genocide

means any of the following acts

committed with intent to destroy, in whole

or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or

religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental

harm to members of the group;

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group

conditions of life calculated to bring

about its physical destruction in

whole or in part;

(d) Imposing measures intended to

prevent births within the group;

(e) Forcibly transferring children of the

group to another group.

Article 3 notes that punishable acts include:

(a) Genocide;

(b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;

(c) Direct and public incitement to

commit genocide;

(d) Attempt to commit genocide;

(e) Complicity in genocide.

From Article 2 a number of questions emerge:

1) what qualifies as “in part”? 2) What

qualifies under each enumerated group? 3)

What is the meaning of the destruction of an


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4

enumerated group “as such”? 4) What

qualifies as “serious bodily or mental harm”?

5) What timeframe might “physical

destruction” properly be determined on? 6)

What qualifies as “destruction”? and 7) What

is “intent”?

Given that the last question is the most

important, I will address it separately below.

On the first question, though the convention

itself simply says “in part,” which reasonably

could be understood to mean one person (and

indeed this is the way it is understood in the

Elements of Crimes adopted by State Parties to

the International Criminal Court, wherein, in

Article 6 (a)-(e), corresponding to the acts

enumerated in the Genocide Convention, it is

simply noted that enumerated acts concern

“one or more persons”3), general

jurisprudential custom deems it necessary to

demonstrate that “in part” means a “substantial

part” as, for example, stated in the United

States Code.

Given that it is the United States that has

perpetrated genocide in Iraq, it is fitting to use

US Code definitions of the crime of genocide.

Under Title 18, Section 1093 of US Code,

dealing with definitions of genocide, it is

stated: “the term ‘substantial part’ means a

part of a group of such numerical significance

that the destruction or loss of that part would

cause the destruction of the group as a viable

entity within the nation of which such group is

a part.”4

This definition is nuanced, but

arguably contains one element that may prove

important in making the claim of US genocide

in Iraq: the phrase “as a viable entity”.

“Viable entity” expands the qualification of

what otherwise is often restricted to

destruction as such: i.e., that the substantial

part must be large enough to lead to the

3 Elements of Crimes, 3-10 September 2002,

http://amicc.org/docs/Elements_of_Crimes_120704EN.

pdf

4 http://uscode.house.gov/download/pls/18C50A.txt

destruction of the whole group. Viable entity

does not denote destruction — and certainly

not physical destruction — necessarily. It

simply denotes that the group would no longer

function viably if a “substantial part” of it

were destroyed or “lost”.

As to enumerated groups, US Code states:

(2) the term “ethnic group” means a set of

individuals whose identity as such is

distinctive in terms of common cultural

traditions or heritage;

(5) the term “national group” means a set

of individuals whose identity as such is

distinctive in terms of nationality or

national origins;

(7) the term “religious group” means a set

of individuals whose identity as such is

distinctive in terms of common religious

creed, beliefs, doctrines, practices, or

rituals

The qualification “as such” in the Genocide

Convention is an element of purposive

specificity: that any of the acts enumerated are

conducted against individuals as part of a

group understood as a group as such. Thus one

is obliged to provide some level of proof that:

1) the group was targeted as such (which can

be established on the basis of a pattern of

accumulated actions and not necessarily any

stated objective or intent); and 2) the targeting

of the group could be understood within the

context of “specific intent” to perpetrate

genocide, either of that group as such or,

arguably, of the nation “within which such a

group is part.”

As this paper aims to establish overall, a

complex genocide has unfolded in Iraq

involving the targeting of several definable

groups in order to destroy a “substantial part”

of the nation of Iraq “of such numerical

significance” that the state and nation of Iraq

would cease to exist a “viable entity”.

Strictly on the definition provided under US

Code of ethnic group, the nation of Iraq as a


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US Genocide in Iraq

5

whole would qualify (notwithstanding the

category of national group), and within that

nation, arguably, the Iraqi middle class and the

impoverished Iraqi rural class. As a targeted

“national group”, members of the Iraqi Baath

Party, while political, may qualify. As a

targeted religious group, it is clear that Sunni

Arabs have been and remain, at present, the

predominant target of the US occupation.

Finally, concerning what constitutes “serious

bodily or mental harm”, what timeframe upon

which “physical destruction” might properly

be determined, and what qualifies as

“destruction”, international jurisprudence and

incorporations of the Genocide Convention

into the national law of states varies. In some

instances, specific aspects are named as to

what might be deemed serious bodily or

mental harm5, while little in the way of

jurisprudence defines the timeframe on which

destruction ought properly to be viewed.

Similarly with destruction itself; thus, in any

given case, it is largely down to argument.

And again, given that the Genocide

Convention is designed also to be a

preventative instrument, destruction may not

even have taken place or begun as such.

Article 3 — as well as the focus on intent —

indeed ensures that the Genocide Convention

is not simply a reactive instrument to be

invoked after a given genocide, but may be

invoked before a single death has been

recorded, particularly in section (b) where

“conspiracy to commit” would appear to most

5 Reservations lodged by the United States to the

Genocide Convention stipulate that for the United

States: “the term ‘mental harm’ in Article 2 (b) means

permanent impairment of mental faculties through

drugs, torture or similar techniques.”

http://unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/treaty1gen.htm. These

reservations remain controversial and would be

irrelevant in a court of universal jurisdiction where the

court exercises judgement relative to what would

constitute a crime in the state of its location.

strongly criminalise intent itself rather than the

execution of that intent.

Reference to the crime of “complicity in

genocide” also assures that the reach of the

Genocide Convention is potentially very broad

— in the case of Iraq, perhaps even

criminalising the silence of the international

community and responsible state leaders in the

context of US actions that at the very least

constitute — as defined by the Elements of

Crimes of the ICC — the crimes against

humanity

of murder, extermination,

imprisonment, torture, rape, sexual violence,

persecution, enforced disappearance and other

[in]humane acts, and the war crimes of wilful

killing, torture, inhuman treatment, wilfully

causing great suffering, destruction and

appropriation of property, denying fair trial,

unlawful confinement, attacking civilians,

attacking civilian objects, of excessive

incidental death, injury or damage, of

attacking undefended places, of killing or

wounding a person hors de combat, of

attacking protected objects, of destroying or

seizing the enemy’s property, of depriving the

nationals of the hostile power of rights or

actions, of pillaging, of employing prohibited

gases, liquids, materials or devices, of outrages

upon personal dignity, of rape, of sexual

violence, of starvation as a method of warfare,

of murder, of cruel treatment, of torture, of

taking hostages, of sentencing or execution

without due process, of displacing civilians,

and of treacherously killing or wounding, and

which arguably constitute a pattern amounting

to genocide.

In combination, from Articles 2 and 3 of the

Genocide Convention we can conclude: 1)

There is no threshold of genocide as such;

rather, it is qualified on the basis of a

determination of the moral degradation

contained within qualifying acts that are

conducted with the intent that destruction, or

the rendering “unviable” of an enumerated

group, whether in whole or in part, or


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US Genocide in Iraq

6

substantial part, will be the consequence; 2)

That genocide concerns an existential threat to

a given group in intent, even if actual

destruction of the group is not achieved; 3)

That genocide also concerns the intent to annul

the positive biological development of a

group, whether by mental or bodily harm or by

interceding to prevent propagation or disrupt

social generation; 4) That intent alone is

imputable under international law; and 5) That

complicity with consequences that qualify as

genocide is imputable under international law.

Once the complexity and flexibility of the

operative articles of the Genocide Convention

has been digested it is easier to understand

what Lemkin opined when commenting on the

incorporation of his concept into international

law:

Generally speaking, genocide does not

necessarily mean the immediate

destruction of a nation, except when

accomplished by mass killings of all

members of a nation. It is intended rather

to signify a coordinated plan of different

actions aiming at the destruction of

essential foundations of the life of national

groups, with the aim of annihilating the

groups themselves. The objectives of such

a plan would be the disintegration of the

political and social institutions, of culture,

language, national feelings, religion, and

the economic existence of national groups,

and the destruction of the personal

security, liberty, health, dignity, and even

the lives of the individuals belonging to

such groups.6

Lemkin’s prose definition of genocide is

practically word for word what has happened

in Iraq since 1990. The possibility of reading

Lemkin’s definition into the Genocide

Convention denotes that the convention is

6 Raphael Lemkin, “Genocide,” in A L Hinton (ed),

Genocide: An Anthropological Reader (Oxford:

Blackwell Press, 2002), p. 27.

undoubtedly an undervalued instrument that

could be used to pressure an end to US

aggression on Iraq and potentially form the

basis of reparative prosecutions. What is at

issue, simply, is the burden of proof relative to

specific intent, and substantiated argument

relative to qualifying acts and enumerated

groups “as such”.

Again, states are obliged, individually and

severally, to prevent genocide from occurring

and to prosecute perpetrators, conspirators,

those complicit and those who incite it. After

four years of US carnage and 13 years of prior

US-UN sanctions, the antiwar movement, in

connection with jurists and legal associations,

has the material, expertise and organisational

skills to ensure that this obligation is met.

b) What is intent?

Prosecution under the provisions of the

Genocide Convention demands the

demonstration of purposive or “specific

intent”. Referred to also as the mens rea

(“guilty mind”, “guilty or wrongful purpose”,

or criminal intent), specific intent usually,

though not always, must infer an

understanding that the action undertaken

would lead to the destruction, or rendering

unviable, in whole or in part, or substantial

part, of an enumerated group; that as such

would constitute an unlawful act, and that the

consequence is desired. It is perhaps fair that

the gravest of international crimes sets the

burden of proof so high, but in the case of Iraq

it is not unreachable.

In criminal law there are traditionally five

levels to intent, differentiated according to

different degrees of foresight and criminal

desire: 1) Purposive intent, where an unlawful

consequence is foreseen, desired and planned

for. In this category it is not strictly required

that the actus rea — the given act or set of acts

constituting genocide — is present, though if it

is it adds significantly to the weight and charge

of the offence; 2) Oblique intent, where simply


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US Genocide in Iraq

7

the consequences can be seen as an assured

outcome of a given act or set of acts; 3)

Knowingly, where the accused knows or

reasonably should know the certainty of the

outcome of a given act or set of acts; 4)

Recklessness, where the consequences are seen

to be possible but the act or set of acts is

undertaken anyway; and 5) Negligence, where

liability is centred on a firm sense that the

consequences should have been foreseen but

where the accused did not foresee the

consequences.

Purposive and oblique intent and knowingly

undertaking a given act are all under the

umbrella of “specific intent”, whereas

recklessness and negligence are deemed

“general intent”. In a sense, knowingly

undertaking a given act within the framework

of specific intent is akin to negligence in

general intent, where both oblique intent and

clear purposive intent could constitute the

degree of specific intent necessary to secure

conviction under the provisions of the

Genocide Convention. On the other hand,

recklessness might be deemed a grave

disregard for human life, and thus constitute

the “requisite mental element” required for

prosecution under the Genocide Convention.

Negligence would fail the test of specific

intent.

Simply put, the argument that the occupation

of Iraq has been one blunder after another is

contrary to the elements of the crime of

genocide, which perhaps explains its present

currency in popular discourse. On the other

hand, if it could be established that the

consequences of US actions in Iraq were

certain, or even that the US administration

ought reasonably to have known, specific

intent, and hence conviction for genocide

could be established. Without doubt, if it could

be shown that there was a strong desire —

even undeclared — to bring about the

consequences that constitute genocide,

responsibility for the crime of genocide would

be unavoidable.

In jurisprudence there are three essential

categories for how intent is judged: 1) the

objective test, where mens rea is imputed on

the basis that any reasonable person would

have had the requisite mental element in the

same circumstances. Here the continuum

between “inevitable, probable, possible and

improbable”,

related

to

projected

consequences of acts, is explored relative to

the specific circumstances of a given case; 2)

The subjective test, where a given court must

be satisfied that the accused had the requisite

mental element, or either direct intent or

knowingly undertaking the act, or recklessly

undertaking the act; and 3) A hybrid of

objective and subjective determinations. The

essence of the act of adjudication is to

determine the relation between foresight (or

foreseeability) and desire for the given

consequences to occur.

In time of war, “intent to destroy” may appear

indistinguishable from warfare. This is not the

case. While in restricted circumstances warfare

may permit so-called “legal killing”7, in all

instances it is governed by international

humanitarian law. Not everything is permitted

in so-called “legal war”. In the case of Iraq, all

use of US force was and remains illegal under

international law8; but at issue here is under

7

International humanitarian law limits what is deemed

acceptable in warfare, but the majority of the world’s

legal scholars put the right to life as paramount, thus

criminalising war in all circumstances. In the Anglo-

American legal community, there is a split, with some

supporting this majority decision and a majority arguing

that killing is permissible in restricted circumstances.

There is little jurisprudence.

8 Clearly the Iraqi government is not a sovereign entity

that can credibly request the continued presence of US

forces in Iraq. Rather, it is an extension of an illegal

occupation established after an illegal war of

aggression. In this sense, UN Security Council

Resolution 1546, which is the basis of subsequent

extensions of the mandate for Multinational Force-Iraq,


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US Genocide in Iraq

8

what conditions might the use of force

constitute “intent to destroy” as defined by the

Genocide Convention.

In general, there are two conditions: 1) When

the use of force is substantially

disproportionate and indiscriminate (a

determination based an assessment of the level

of force necessary to achieve a military

objective, and the extent to which the

obligatory distinction between military and

civilian targets has been observed in the

action); and 2) When patterns of given

consequences destroy — or could reasonably

be foreseen to destroy — in whole or

“substantial part” an enumerated group.

Relative to substantially disproportionate and

indiscriminate force, as illustrations of the

principle, the massive and overwhelming

destruction of Fallujah, Tel Afar, Al-Qaem,

Haditha and Ramadi, among other cities and

towns destroyed, qualifies. In Fallujah, 75 per

cent of the city was levelled. In the words of

1st Lieutenant Ben Klay, who took part in the

decimation of Ramadi, “We’re used to taking

down walls, doors and windows, but eight city

blocks is something new to us.”9 Added to the

illegal use of white phosphorus and napalm

equivalent MK-77 in Fallujah and Tel Afar,

these wilful illegalities reveal the mens rea of

desire to destroy.10

Alternatively, the notion of “Shock and Awe”

— 800 missiles raining down on Baghdad in

the first 48 hours of a bombing campaign that

lasted 300 hours — appears to declare outright

intent to use disproportionate force, mortally

targeting Iraqis as a national group as well as

is contrary customary international law, in particular the

Draft Articles on State Responsibility that prohibits

states from recognising as legal the consequences of a

serious breach of international law.

9 Arab Commission for Human Rights, et al., “War and

Occupation in Iraq,”

http://globalpolicy.org/security/issues/iraq/occupation/re

port/index.htm

10 http://brusselstribunal.org/WMD.htm

causing trauma and serious mental harm. As

one Pentagon strategist boasted to CBS News,

“There will not be a safe place in Baghdad.”11

This is also prime facie evidence of the mens

rea of specific intent.

On whether the distinction between civilian

and military targets has been respected and

upheld, with credible studies reporting as

many as 1,000,000 Iraqi civilian deaths since

2003 alone, a number that is increasing

rapidly, US use of force would appear clearly

indiscriminate.12

Alternatively, the use of

depleted uranium (DU) ordnance — about

2,000 tons to date since 2003, around 10 times

what was used in the 1991 Gulf War —

illustrates unequivocally indiscriminate and

disproportionate force in that DU, which is

airborne and waterborne, has a half-life of 4.7

billion years, causing sterility, cancer,

leukaemia and birth defects, as well as

rendering swathes of Iraqi land permanently

lethal and unusable. Indeed, the United States

has not only attacked living Iraqis, but also the

unborn generations of Iraq.

Shuna Lennon makes an important point when

stating: “desire to bring about the illegal result

11 In the words of Harlan Ullman, chief architect of the

shock and awe “regime”: “This ability to impose

massive shock and awe, in essence to be able to ‘turn

the lights on and off’ of an adversary as we choose, will

so overload the perception, knowledge and

understanding of that adversary that there will be no

choice except to cease and desist or risk complete and

total destruction.” http://alternet.org/story/15027/ and

http://commondreams.org/views03/0127-08.htm

12 http://brusselstribunal.org/Lancet111006.htm. In the

Report of the UN Sub-Commission on Genocide, the

special rapporteur stated that “the relative proportionate

scale of the actual or attempted destruction of a group,

by any act listed in Articles II and III of the Genocide

Convention, is strong evidence to prove the necessary

intent to destroy a group in whole or in part.” Paragraph

93, Prosecutor v. Clement Kayishema & Obed

Ruzindana, Case No. ICTR-95-1-T (21 May 1999).

Further, in the recent ruling of the International Court of

Justice on Srebrenica, 8,000 deaths was deemed

sufficient to constitute genocide.


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9

is not an essential component of intention, and

that bringing something about because it is a

means to a quite different end can be

sufficient.”13

This illustrates the principle

noted above of knowingly undertaking an act

where the perpetrator claims either not to have

known, or desired, the consequent outcome. In

the instance of DU, it is simply unconvincing

that US commanders could be unaware of the

disproportionate and indiscriminate impact of

its use. At best, it illustrates grave disregard

for human life, and at worst oblique intention

or direct intention. A strong argument could be

made for the case of direct intent on the basis

that many targets of US DU use are not

military vehicles or other heavily armoured

installations but rather civilian districts in

Mosul, Basra, Samawa and Baghdad, among

other towns and cities.14

On the other hand, specific intent can be

inferred in the accumulated “pattern of

purposeful action”. If the sum of the whole

creates as a consequence the destruction, in

whole or substantial part, of an enumerated

group, and if these consequences are known or

can be reasonably foreseen in advance, or even

if brought to the attention of commanders mid-

operation and ignored, this may be deemed

genocide and mens rea specific intent. As

Lennon states: “where a consequence is

foreseen as a matter of moral certainty,

intention can be said to be present.”

Ongoing attempts to impose a military solution

on Iraq should be seen in this light, while the

13-year US-imposed UN sanctions regime that

13

Shauna Lennon, “Sanctions, Genocide and War

Crimes,” http://hartford-

hwp.com/archives/27c/437.html

14 Souad Al-Azzawi, “Depleted Uranium Radioactive

Contamination in Iraq,” http://brusselstribunal.org/DU-

Azzawi.htm. As Al-Azzawi rightly states, “Existing DU

contamination in the surrounding environment is a

continuous source of (low level radiation) exposure to

civilians which can be considered systematic attacks on

civilians in an armed conflict.”

led to the “excess deaths” of 1,500,000 Iraqis

is a clear example of “patterns of given

consequences” where foreseeability was

present and the policy continued, suggesting at

the least oblique intention (which is sufficient

for conviction on genocide in being a category

of specific intent), but more plausibly — given

constant US bullying in the UN to maintain the

clearly destructive sanctions regime —

purposive intent.

Sanctions also illustrate the principle of

complicity in genocide. Lennon opines:

Even if it is arguable that the UN did not

know as a matter of moral certainty from

the inception of the sanctions that they

would bring about civilian starvation and

deaths, it certainly knew from the time

when its own investigations revealed to it

the extent to which the sanctions were

causing civilian deaths. The earliest date

on which that occurred is perhaps open to

debate. It may be as late as 1995.

However, the fact that the blockade /

sanctions regime inherently targets

civilians must have been known to its

architects from its inception and

accordingly criminal liability attaches

under the Geneva Protocol.15

This conclusion formed the basis of Francis

Boyle’s petition for relief from genocide

submitted to the secretary general of the UN

and other relevant bodies 18 September 1991.

In this petition, after listing (paragraphs 5-18)

the risks faced by the applicants of the petition

(4.5 million Iraqi children), Boyle states:

15

As early as March 1991, the UN secretary-general

dispatched to Iraq an inter-agency mission to assess

Iraq’s humanitarian needs. The mission reported that

“the Iraqi people may soon face a further imminent

catastrophe, which could include epidemic and famine,

if massive life-supporting needs are not rapidly met.”

http://un.org/Depts/oip/background/reports/s22366.pdf.

UN sanctions began in August 1990 and didn’t end until

May 2003.


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US Genocide in Iraq

10

Only the “specific intent” of Respondent

George Bush to commit genocide against

Applicants remains to be proven beyond a

reasonable doubt to establish his criminal

responsibility under United States

municipal law and international criminal

law. The open publication and widespread

dissemination of the Harvard Report on 22

May 1991 makes that task possible. Any

Bush administration official responsible

for implementing the economic sanctions

policy against Iraq who has knowledge of

the conclusions of the Harvard Report

would possess the “specific intent”

required to serve as the mental element or

mens rea of the international and

municipal crime of genocide against

Applicants, The 4.5 Million Children of

Iraq. Applicants assert that Respondent

George Bush has full knowledge of the

genocidal consequences of the

continuation of economic sanctions

against Iraq and therefore has the mens rea

necessary for committing the crime of

genocide as recognized by the Genocide

Convention

and

the

Genocide

Implementation Act.16

Boyle’s conclusion is echoed in an article by

Elias Davidsson wherein the relationship

between “knowledge” and intent in

international criminal law is discussed.

Davidsson concludes:

The conjunction of foreseeability, general

intent to cause hardships, detailed and

compelling notice served on a regular

basis, and a protracted neglect to monitor

the consequences, strongly suggests a

16

Francis Boyle, “On Behalf of Iraq's 4.5 Million

Children: A Petition for Relief from Genocide,” 23

November 2002,

http://counterpunch.org/boyle1123.html

specific criminal intent to cause the

observed harm in Iraq.17

So specific intent can also be established on

the basis of reasonable foreknowledge of the

consequences of a given action or pattern of

actions; most especially when destructive

consequences are identified midway into an

action, or pattern of actions, and the concerned

party fails to prevent these consequences, or

continues to perpetrate them. In this instance

not only are the consequences certain in and of

themselves (oblique intention), and not only

does the party know of them (knowingly

undertaking a given act), but it cannot

constitute reckless intent because the

consequences are certain, not simply a

possibility. It can only infer direct intent, or

the highest level of criminal intent.18

Importantly, it would be for a court to decide if

the pattern of consequences known and

ignored or addressed insufficiently amounted

to specific intent, not the individuals who

perpetrated the acts. As explained by

international law expert Roger O’Keefe,

bodies like the International Court of Justice

(ICJ) “can decide to convict on the balance of

probabilities, rather than beyond all reasonable

doubt.”19

17

Elias Davidsson, “United States Foreseeability,

Awareness and Knowledge of the Consequences of the

Sanctions Against Iraq,”

http://aldeilis.net/english/images/stories/economicsancti

ons/knowledge.pdf

18 Relative to UN sanctions as a specific case, the

question would be to assess the extent to which

humanitarian exemption, on the one hand, and the so-

called Oil-for-Food Programme, on the other,

ameliorated the overall debilitative effect of total

international isolation, and whether the degree to which

they did ameliorate those effects was reasonably

sufficient in the face of given and known consequences.

Other papers in this volume discuss the case of

sanctions in detail (see chapters by Hans C Von

Sponeck and Christian Scherrer).

19 In the case of former Rwanda Prime Minister Jean

Kambanda, the International Criminal Tribunal for


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US Genocide in Iraq

11

In all events, it is unlikely that direct intention

will be declared openly.20 Jean-Paul Sartre in

his essay “On Genocide”, written in the

context of the Vietnam War, discusses the

question of intent when direct proclamations

are absent. His analysis is sentient in the

context of the current occupation of Iraq and

US attempts to break resistance to that

occupation.

Cognizant that Hitler was an exception to the

rule when it came to candour, Sartre writes:

The declarations of American statesmen

are not as frank as those that Hitler made

in his day. But honesty is not

indispensable; the facts speak for

themselves ... it can only be premeditated.

It is possible that in the past genocide was

committed suddenly, in a flash of passion,

in the midst of tribal or feudal conflicts.

Anti-guerrilla genocide, however, is a

product of our times that necessarily

entails organisation, bases and, therefore,

accomplices (from a distance) and the

appropriate budget. It needs to be thought

over and planned. Does this mean that

those responsible are fully aware of their

own intentions? It is difficult to decide: to

do so one would have to probe the latent

ill-will of puritanical motives ... [But] we

do not have to worry about this

psychological hide-and-seek. The truth is

to be found on the field ... The young

Rwanda found that intention could be inferred from

actions and omissions, though Kambanda claimed he

did not have the intention to destroy an enumerated

group in whole or in part. Prosecutor v. Jean

Kambanda, Case No. ICTR 97-23-S (4 September

1998). Kambanda was convicted and sentenced to life

imprisonment.

20 Madelaine Albright’s infamous statement that the

price of 500,000 dead children was “worth it” is an

exception, and almost certainly could have formed the

basis of a petition to the International Court of Justice.

Indeed, the renowned legal expert Francis Boyle offered

to the Iraqi government to do just that. President

Hussein decided not to proceed.

Americans torture without repugnance,

shooting at unarmed women for the

pleasure of completing a hat-trick: they

kick the wounded Vietnamese in the

testicles; they cut off the ears of the dead

for trophies … Whatever the lies or

nervous hedging of the government, the

spirit of genocide is in the soldiers’ minds.

This is their way of enduring the genocidal

situation in which their government has

put them.21

Sartre’s understanding of premeditation is

reflected in the Elements of Crimes of the ICC

that stands as a legal reference point in

developing definitions of genocide.22

This

document contains illustrations of the kinds of

conduct that would immediately qualify under

subsections (a) to (e) of Article 2 of the

Genocide Convention. Alongside intent is

added “context”, which in all cases reads:

“The conduct took place in the context of a

manifest pattern of similar conduct directed

against that group or was conduct that could

itself effect such destruction.”

Indeed, a review of the strategic context of US

Middle East policy, and Iraq policy

specifically (see below), suggests that the 2003

invasion was but the “execution phase”, or

“endgame” of a general strategy of destroying

the state and nation of Iraq predicated on the

premeditated destruction of a “substantial

part” of the Iraqi population, rendering the

state and nation unviable as entities.

As Sartre might say, the facts speak for

themselves. In the words of John Pace, former

human rights chief of the UN Assistance

Mission in Iraq: “The country has been blown

21 Jean-Paul Sartre, “On Genocide”,

http://brusselstribunal.org/GenocideSartre.htm

22 Elements of Crimes, 3-10 September 2002,

http://amicc.org/docs/Elements_of_Crimes_120704EN.

pdf


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US Genocide in Iraq

12

apart in terms of its social structures and social

fibre.”23

4. Beyond law

Legal definitions by nature favour the

exigencies of order. Ultimately, there is a

second level — moral, civil and political —

embodying the calling of common sense and

conscience. While it is important, if the

antiwar movement is to take up the term

genocide, to understand in outline the legal

issues, comprehending the broader context and

its immediate manifestation is indispensable.

a) The genocidal logic of neo-colonial war

In his essay, “On Genocide”, Jean-Paul Sartre

goes beyond legal definitions to place

genocide as a “thing” in an evolving historical

context. There is not one society that has not

practised genocide, Sartre says, but the form

that genocide takes is different relative to the

nature of the state and states system from

which it emerges, and the nature of warfare

each suggests and produces.

From the 19th century, with the development

of mass industry and the democratic evolution

of bourgeois societies, Western states

increasingly engaged one another in strategies

of “total war”, entailing not only the industrial

development of the machinery of war, but the

breaking down of the distinction between the

civilian population and the military, and the

extension of competition between states into

imperial acquisition worldwide. The logic of

“total mobilisation” is the mirror of total war,

in that defence of the nation becomes

synonymous with defence of the “way of life”

it expresses and embodies.24 International laws

23

http://uruknet.info/?p=21095

24

Michel Foucault makes a complementary point in his

essay, “Right of Death and Power over Life”, in The

History of Sexuality, Volume 1 (London: Allen lane,

1979), p. 137: “Wars are no longer waged in the name

of the sovereign who must be defended; they are waged

— in particular the laws of war — are but a

“vain” attempt to humanise total war.

Total war between “advanced” states,

however, rarely becomes genocide. On the one

hand, total war finds comfortable expression in

industrial competition, only coming to actual

war when powers reach parity that in duration

blocks the dynamic of competition and wealth

production that are based respectively in

inequality and exploitation. More importantly,

the general equality of advanced states

forestalls outright genocide because of the

possibility of retaliation it embodies.

A different logic exists in the imperialist

process. Here there is no parity of forces, so no

military consideration prevents wars of

conquest from being genocidal. On the other

hand, the colonial endeavour in nature, at least

to some extent and not always, protected the

populations of colonies from outright

genocide. Colonialism is a system whereby

natural resources are plundered and

manufactured goods are sold back to colonised

populations at world market prices. The

destruction of colonised peoples undermines

the very logic of that colonial exchange.

The problem is that, generally, no people can

accept to be the slaves of others for long.

Thus, constant massacres and torture were

embedded in the colonial system, in order to

keep the numerically superior colonised

subservient to the colonial settlers. At the same

time, the colonial system destroys pre-existing

social structures; constituting genocide of a

different kind and building pressures within

the colonial system that ultimately break out in

wars of national liberation. By the mid-20th

on behalf of the existence of everyone; entire

populations are mobilised for the purpose of wholesale

slaughter in the name of life necessity: massacres have

become vital. If genocide is indeed the dream of modern

powers, this is not because of a recent return of the

ancient right to kill; it is because power is situated and

exercised at the level of life, the species, the race, and

the large-scale phenomena of population.”


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US Genocide in Iraq

13

century, bolstered by their experience as proxy

armies for colonial states, and increasingly

aware of the nature of the international

colonial system, numerous former colonies

seized their independence.

Neo-colonialism has been the response of the

former colonial powers; on the one hand

subjecting newly post-colonial states to an

institutionalised system of unequal exchange,

and on the other hand staking their existence

within political frameworks that open the way

to military occupation and re-colonisation. The

Cold War was such a system, and the “War on

Terror” is its successor. In general, neo-

colonial wars are different because what is at

stake in each instance is the example that must

be set to all other post-colonial states: that the

colonial relation did not end, but can and will

be reasserted at will.

Principally, it is the instrumentalisation of

international financial, economic and political

relations that allows for neo-colonisation. Such

was the role of the UN sanctions regime and

weapons inspections programme for Iraq. Only

when the United States was assured there were

no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was it

possible to wage the war it had long prepared;

only when it was certain that economically and

socially Iraq was on its knees could it invade.

The US war on Iraq is not the conduct of

politics by other means in any classical sense,

nor even a classical war, but rather a neo-

colonial war: a war of liquidation, genocide

and plunder.

Neo-colonial war is “total war waged to the

end by one side and with not one particle of

reciprocity.” And it is this inequality that —

akin to colonial suppression, only greater —

contains within it the logic of genocide.

Sartre writes:

the scarcity and quality of weapons [on the

side of the invaded state] … dictates the

nature of the fighting: terrorism, ambush,

harassing the enemy, and the extreme

mobility of the combat groups which

[have] to strike unexpectedly and

disappear immediately. This [is] not

possible without the participation of the

entire population … Against partisans

backed by the entire population, [neo-

colonial] armies are helpless. They have

only one way of escaping from the

harassment which demoralises them ... this

is to eliminate the civilian population. As

it is the unity of a whole people that is

containing the conventional army, the only

anti-guerrilla strategy which will be

effective is the destruction of that people,

in other words, the civilians, women and

children … A determined population,

unified by its fierce and politicised

partisan army, will not let itself be

intimidated, as it was in the heyday of

colonialism, by a massacre ‘as a lesson’.

On the contrary, this will only increase its

hatred. It is no longer a matter of arousing

fear but of physically liquidating a people.

Sartre clarifies the point by exploring the

psychology of the colonial soldier in Vietnam:

In these confused American minds the

Viet Cong and the Vietnamese tend to

become more and more indistinguishable.

A common saying is ‘The only good

Vietnamese is a dead one’, or, what comes

to the same thing, ‘Every dead Vietnamese

is a Viet Cong’ … Originally, they were

probably disappointed: they came to save

Vietnam from Communist aggressors.

They soon saw that the Vietnamese

actually disliked them. Instead of the

attractive role of the liberator they found

themselves the occupiers. It was the

beginning of self-appraisal: ‘They do not

want us, we have no business here.’ But

their protest goes no further: they become

angry and simply tell themselves that […]

there is not a single Vietnamese who is not

really a Communist: the proof is their

hatred of the Yankees. Here, in the


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US Genocide in Iraq

14

shadowy and robot-like souls of the

soldiers, we find the truth about the war in

Vietnam: it matches all of Hitler’s

declarations. He killed the Jews because

they were Jews. The armed forces of the

United States torture and kill men, women

and children in Vietnam because they are

Vietnamese.

In neo-colonial “wars of example”, especially

— as in Vietnam — where the economic

interests are minimal, the “innate

contradiction” in colonial logic that once

forestalled genocide (keeping the natives alive

as consumers for industrial goods), no longer

pertains. In this case, Sartre writes, “Total

genocide then reveals itself as the foundation

of anti-guerrilla strategy. And, under certain

circumstances, it would even present itself as

the ultimate objective, either immediately or

gradually.”

This is not to say that the people aggressed

have no choice. There is always submission.

But submission is simply the revitalisation of

colonialism, and as such is genocide by

another name. As Sartre explains: “One cannot

colonise without systematically destroying the

particular character of the natives, at the same

time denying them the right of integration with

the mother country and of benefiting from its

advantages … It naturally follows that the

colonised lose their national personality, their

culture, their customs, sometimes even their

language, and live in misery like shadows.”

So the commencement of physical genocide is

used as blackmail to force the aggressed to

accept another genocide. Here “substantial

part” loses all meaning, for its annihilation is

but a means to force the rest into submission.

That the choice is posed between death and

submission doesn’t stop the act from being

genocide by intention. As Sartre writes:

Let us say that there is only a choice

between immediate violent death and a

slow death after mental and physical

degradation. In fact, say the American

government, we have done nothing but

offer the Vietnamese this choice: either

you stop your aggression or we break you.

This absurdity is not uncalculated: it is

clever to formulate a demand which the

Vietnamese cannot possibly satisfy. In this

way, America remains the master of the

decision to stop the fighting. But, one

might read the alternatives as: declare

yourselves conquered, or ‘we will take you

back to the Stone Age’. It does not cancel

out the second term of the alternative,

which is genocide. They have said:

genocide, yes, but only conditional

genocide. Is this legally valid? Is it even

conceivable?

Until submission: “villages are burnt, the

population has to endure massive and

deliberately destructive bombardments, the

cattle are shot at, the vegetation is ruined by

defoliants, what does grow is ruined by toxic

elements, machine guns are aimed

haphazardly, and everywhere there is killing,

rape and pillage.” And not only the daily risk

of death and environmental destruction, but

also “the systematic destruction of the

economic system, from the irrigation ditches

to the factories of which ‘there must not be a

brick left upon another brick’; destruction of

hospitals, schools, places of worship,

consistent effort towards wiping out [national]

achievements.”

After submission: “most elementary needs are

ignored. There is under-nourishment and

complete lack of sanitation. The social

structure is destroyed … family life no longer

exists. As the homes are broken up, the birth

rate diminishes; all possibility of cultural or

religious life is abolished. Even work that will

improve the standard of living is denied …

The elder sister or the young mother, without a

breadwinner and with so many mouths to feed,

sinks to the utmost degradation in prostitution

to the enemy.”


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US Genocide in Iraq

15

In reality, neo-colonial strategy presents the

aggressed population with one choice:

resistance or collective death or disintegration.

So long as it resists, it faces massive deliberate

attacks or the possibility of extinction in an

overwhelming genocidal campaign, while if it

submits, it faces conditions of life that amount

to genocide of another kind. Insofar as there is

no choice except resistance and survival,

popular resistance wages its struggle in the

hope of debilitating the aggressor sufficiently

enough as to slow him down and spark unrest

within his domestic population, while not

overly provoking him into launching an all out

campaign of extermination. This cat and

mouse war of attrition will last so long as a

political solution is absent (i.e., the withdrawal

of the colonial state) and so long as the

political will of the resisting population

remains firm.

From the vantage point of the neo-colonial

state, either the aggressor “gives way, makes

peace and recognises that a whole nation is

opposing him,” or else, realising that classical

colonial repression will not work, resorts — if

he can do so without damaging his own

interests — to “extermination pure and

simple.”

The resisting population, on the other hand,

can only choose resistance, as resistance — to

the extent to which the full discharge of the

neo-colonial state is avoided, and to the extent

to which the effects of colonial terror “in its

psycho-social consequences”25

can be

ameliorated — is the only possible path to

liberty and independence.

b) Genocide by occupation

One can surmise that because this equation

must be understood in advance, the very

waging of neo-colonial war is genocidal in that

success amounts to cultural genocide for the

colonised, while failure presents genocide as a

25 http://brusselstribunal.org/DeathAnxiety.htm

solution for the colonial state. A logic of

genocide is inherent to neo-colonial war in all

respects: in its duration in the face of popular

resistance; in the tactics it must resort to in

order to quell popular resistance; in the

possibility of massive escalation in the face of

popular resistance; and in the outcome if

submission is achieved.

The principle of genocide by duration is

currently exhibited in occupied Iraq. Under

international humanitarian law, the United

States as an occupying power is obliged to

provide for the wellbeing of Iraqis. Yet so long

as they are occupied, the Iraqi people,

naturally set against the occupying power in

resistance and embodying as such the

continuity of the state, have no interest in

pursuing anything but bare survival lest the

situation of occupation become normalised.

This mode of resistance is illustrated well in

how quickly sabotage, especially of strategic

infrastructure like oil pipelines, took hold in

Iraq following the onset of the US

occupation.26

Naturally, any resistance

movement to occupation has an interest in

making the occupation as difficult and as

costly as possible for the occupying power.

Given that US officials, in order to get

American public backing for the war, stressed

that Iraqi oil would pay to rebuild the country

they would imminently destroy27, oil

26 http://iags.org/iraqpipelinewatch.htm

27

When General Jay Garner, chief of the Office for

Humanitarian Relief Assistance (ORHA), in February

2003 decried the fact that his team was allocated only

$27 million to rebuild Iraq where Garner forecasted the

cost of reconstruction to be upwards of $12 billion,

Donald Rumsfeld told him: “If you think we’re

spending our money on that, you’re wrong. We’re not

doing that. They’re going to spend their money

rebuilding their country.” Echoing the same attitude, in

April 2003 Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita told

ORHA officials: “We don’t owe the people of Iraq

anything. We’re giving them their freedom. That’s

enough.” See also

http://commondreams.org/headlines03/0110-01.htm


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US Genocide in Iraq

16

production has been constantly targeted by

Iraqis themselves in order to drain the pocket

of the American taxpayer.

Thus it is not simply the incompetence,

corruption and punitive mentality of the

United States and its local proxies that explain

why four years into the US occupation even

basic services like access to water and

electricity are debilitated. The overall level of

reconstruction is held at zero not only as a

collective punitive measure, but also because

the Iraqi resistance prevents Iraqi oil from

reinforcing the occupation or paying for

America’s war of aggression. The $50 billion

in Iraqi assets that the US seized along with

revenues from oil possibly exported has

funded no real reconstruction in four years.

Money is used, rather, on military and police

operations, sunk into political corruption, or

funding propaganda campaigns.

It is in this context that the intransigence of the

US occupation — its unwillingness to accept

its defeat and withdraw — suggests additional

genocidal intent. So long as the US occupation

continues, the overall suppression of Iraqi

wellbeing persists, development and life-

sustainability impeded. Intransigence leading

to arrested development augments the toll of

excess deaths and the general psychosis

experienced by those living in continual fear

of imminent annihilation, and steals from Iraq,

every day the US occupation remains,

countless productive life hours and life years.

Given that the US must be aware that Iraqi

reconstruction is impossible so long as it

remains an occupying power, the fact that it

remains an occupying power is further

evidence of the US “knowingly” committing

genocide, or, if used as blackmail and

punishment, “purposely” committing genocide

as outlined above.

5. The destruction of the Iraqi state and

national identity

Sartre’s analysis of the dynamics of neo-

colonial war reveals the inner logic, in the

abstract, of genocide inherent to contemporary

colonialism — a logic that appears to the fore

in two circumstances: 1) Where the innate

contradiction of colonialism, represented in

certain economic interests primarily, is absent;

2) When popular resistance to colonialism

takes the form of guerrilla warfare and the

entire aggressed population appears as a target.

If this is indeed the inherent dynamic, all that

would remain to be done would be to expose

as neo-colonialism US aggression on Iraq. It is

already clear that in Iraq popular resistance has

taken the form of guerrilla warfare.

In reality, US policy in Iraq amounts to and

exceeds colonialism. Current US actions in

Iraq are an objective attempt to destroy Iraq as

a state and nation. In this instance, the

genocidal logic of neo-colonial war has been

activated on purpose and established as the

ultimate aim. It has nothing to do with

accident or incompetence, and even goes

beyond reactive vengeance. It is the outcome

of an entire global, regional and national

imperative. Thus we must penetrate, before

outlining how the project has been

implemented, the core context of Iraq’s

destruction as such. The strategic context for

US genocide in Iraq gives us a framework

through which to interpret events as well as

fully appreciate the gravity of these events.

a) The strategic context for genocide

There are three primary sets of reasons why

Iraq was singled out for destruction. These

reasons, attendant to three levels of policy

(global, regional and national), form a single

overarching imperial strategy, each part

interrelated and dependent on the others.

i. Asserting US geopolitical, global hegemony

Being “a region whose resources would, under

consolidated control, be sufficient to generate


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US Genocide in Iraq

17

global power,”28 command of the Middle East

and Eurasia region is essential to any bid for

world hegemony. Until 1989, US global

supremacy was thwarted by the Soviet Union.

Though embedded in the Middle East region

economically and politically, US control

remained virtual, not actual. In his 1980 State

of the Union Address, President Jimmy Carter

summed up Cold War US Middle East

concerns: “Any attempt by any outside force

to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will

be regarded as an assault on the vital interests

of the United States. It will be repelled by the

use of any means necessary, including military

force.”29

Already in 1979, spurred by the

Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Carter had

created the Rapid Deployment Joint Task

Force (RDJTF), an ad hoc assortment of US

forces designated for possible deployment in

the Middle East.

In 1981, President Reagan added the “Reagan

Corollary to the Carter Doctrine”, proclaiming

that the US would not only use military force

to “defend” Middle Eastern oil supplies from

“external” threats, but would also use military

force to maintain the “internal stability” of the

region. By “stability” Reagan meant exactly

what he said: the maintenance of the

engineered status quo: the non-unity of the

Arab Muslim world and guaranteeing the

presence and superiority of Israel.

Consequently, in 1983 Reagan consolidated

the RDJTF as US Central Command. By late

1989, with the collapse of the Warsaw Pact,

and with the Soviet bloc fragmenting, the

United States was left unopposed in the most

important geopolitical and geo-economic

region of the world. Objectives long

suppressed by the Cold War could be activated

in full.

28 1992 Draft “Defense Planning Guidance”, drafted by

Paul Wolfowitz. http://USgenocide.org/strategy.html

29

http://jimmycarterlibrary.org/documents/speeches/su80j

ec.phtml

In the words of Henry Kissinger, “Oil is too

important a commodity to be left in the hands

of the Arabs.” If this sums up US policy that

until 1990 was covert, from the collapse of the

Warsaw Pact it became overt. The 1990

sanctions regime, followed by the 1991 Gulf

War, marks the opening salvo of a US drive

for Middle East and Eurasia control that

continues until now. History will prove or

disprove the reasons of Iraq’s occupation of

Kuwait. Legally Iraq had no right to invade

Kuwait, but the sanctions regime adopted by

the UN Security Council, in its rapidity,

severity and results, is proof that already in

1990 there was a premeditated plan to destroy

Iraq, rather than see only an end to the Kuwait

invasion. If containment was the strategic

philosophy of the Cold War, in 1990 it became

subjugation and substitution. Sanctions

reached into the heart of Iraq.

Why Iraq in particular? In addition to being

sovereign over the world’s second largest

proven reserves of oil, its geopolitical position

is the answer. Regionally, “Iraq is a

crossroads. Its land provides the necessary

route for Iran to access Syria, Jordan and the

Mediterranean, and for Syria and Jordan as

they look towards Iran and the Arabian Gulf

basin. It is also the natural path from Turkey to

the Gulf, and vice versa.”30 Globally, Iraq is

positioned in the centre between Eurasia and

the Mediterranean. If the US was to control the

global economy, it could only do so by

imposing itself as intermediary between Iraq,

Europe and China. As formulated by Paul

Wolfowitz and Dick Cheney (then US defense

secretary) in 1992, the imperative was

“precluding the emergence of any future

potential global competitor” by maintaining

the “mechanisms for deterring potential

competitors from even aspiring to a larger

30 Abdul Ilah Albayaty and Hana Al Bayaty, “Fortress

Iraq,” Al-Ahram Weekly, Issue 722, 23-29 December

2004. http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2004/722/re1.htm


Page 18

US Genocide in Iraq

18

regional or global role.”31

By 1997, sanctions were not working. With

Europe and China ever rising, entailing

competition for access to oil for development,

a group of ideologues, Zionists and corporate

lobbyists coalesce and send a wake-up call to

Washington.32 Named the “Project for a New

American Century” (PNAC), gone now is the

language of “new era of multilateralism”

attendant to the “new world order”. America’s

very future depends, the PNAC neocons said,

on “full spectrum dominance.” Military

“presence in the Gulf region”, reads a PNAC

2000 strategy document, should be considered

“a de facto permanent presence.” As the

PNAC indiscreetly admitted: “The United

States has for decades sought to play a more

permanent role in Gulf regional security.

While the unresolved conflict with Iraq

provides the immediate justification, the need

for a substantial American force presence in

the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of

Saddam Hussein.”33

ii. US policy aimed to break Arab unity

With the end of 1991 Gulf War, it was evident,

although having suffered severe casualties and

the enormous cost of war, that Iraq had a large

and experienced army, capable of defending

its national interests. Throughout the Iran-Iraq

War, and the 1991 Gulf War, the Iraqi army

proved that it was an army of technicians in all

domains. In addition, the unity of the Iraqi

31 1992 Draft “Defense Planning Guidance”,

http://USgenocide.org/strategy.html

32 Geoffrey Geuens, “Imperialist State, Nation of

Capitalists: The Links between the PNAC and the US

Military-Industrial Complex,” The BRussells Tribunal

Dossier, 14-17 April 2004.

http://brusselstribunal.org/pdf/DossierBRussellsTribuna

l.pdf

33 “Rebuilding America’s Defences: Strategy, Forces

and Resources for a New Century,” PNAC, September

2000.

http://newamericancentury.org/RebuildingAmericasDef

enses.pdf

people behind its government against other

regimes was evident. Iraq emerged as a

defender of all Arabs against imperialism,

Zionism and the Shah-inaugurated

expansionist ambitions of Iran adopted by

Tehran’s Mullahs in 1979. This situation was

threatening for pro-American Arab regimes,

for Israel, and all those afraid of a rising Arab

nation hoping to pursue unity, economic

independence, democracy and progress.

Since 1948, the US has attempted to break

Arab unity in three principal ways: 1)

Unconditionally supporting the State of Israel

— an entity founded on theft and a war of

colonial aggression on the Palestinian people

— and bargaining US political favour on this

predicate; 2) Balkanising the Arab world both

at a regional level (the undermining of Arab

solidarity) and a national level (conspiring to

internally partition Arab states); and 3)

Destroying Arab developmental achievements

to pave the way for US corporate

globalisation. These elements of consistent US

Middle East policy are interdependent and

mutually reinforcing. Overall, the US goal has

long been to ensure that the Arab world

remains an “arc of instability” wherein the

United States, through an ever-increasing

network of military bases, can play the role of

permanent arbiter and final authority,

guaranteeing US global hegemony and

securing by military force US national

interests.34

Washington’s use of the State of Israel as an

offensive spearhead breaking into the Arab

34 To date, the US has over 700 declared bases in 130

countries. In Iraq, the US, as of 2007, has 55 bases

remaining out of over 100 established in 2003-2004,

many slated to be “enduring”; this in addition to

building the largest embassy anywhere in the world: a

huge complex covering an area bigger than the Vatican

City and sporting an Olympic-size swimming pool, a

state-of-the-art gymnasium, tennis courts, a cinema and

restaurants. Cost estimates, including all the perimeter

security, self-contained utilities and other amenities,

come to over $1 billion.


Page 19

US Genocide in Iraq

19

world is well documented. After every Israeli

aggressive war on the Arab world its aid

package has increased.35 Before 1990, Iraq was

the only Arab state sufficiently independent, as

well as militarily capable, to be a counter-

balance to Israeli colonial expansionism and to

challenge Israel’s illegal occupation of Arab

lands. Unlike Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and

the Gulf States, Iraq was not dependent on the

US for security or the general welfare of its

population. This independence placed Iraq

especially after the 1979 peace treaty between

Egypt and Israel — at the centre of the

political system of the Arab world. While

Iraq’s development was tolerated when

involved in a never-ending weakening war

with its eastern neighbour, its achievements

quickly appeared contrary to US regional and

global interests as soon a ceasefire was

reached with Iran.

That Israel has long wished that Arab states be

divided up into small ethnic and sectarian

entities is well known. In his 1982 essay, “A

Strategy for Israel in the 1980s”, Oded Yinon

argued:

Lebanon’s total dissolution into five

provinces serves as a precedent for the

entire Arab world including Egypt, Syria,

Iraq and the Arabian peninsula … The

dissolution of Syria and Iraq … into

ethnically or religiously unique areas such

as in Lebanon, is Israel’s primary target

on the Eastern front in the long run, while

the dissolution of the military power of

those states serves as the primary short

term target … Iraq, rich in oil on the one

hand and internally torn on the other, is

guaranteed as a candidate for Israel’s

targets. Its dissolution is even more

important for us than that of Syria. Iraq is

stronger than Syria. In the short run it is

Iraqi power which constitutes the greatest

35

By credible estimates, US aid to Israel since 1948

passed $100 billion in 2002.

threat to Israel. An Iraqi-Iranian war will

tear Iraq apart and cause its downfall at

home even before it is able to organise a

struggle on a wide front against us. Every

kind of inter-Arab confrontation will assist

us in the short run and will shorten the

way to the more important aim of breaking

up Iraq into denominations as in Syria and

in Lebanon. In Iraq, a division into

provinces along ethnic/religious lines as in

Syria during Ottoman times is possible.

So, three (or more) states will exist around

the three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and

Mosul, and Shi’ite areas in the south will

separate from the Sunni and Kurdish

north.” (emphasis in original)36

In his 1999 book, Tyranny’s Ally: America’s

Failure to Defeat Saddam Hussein, David

Wurmser, current Middle Adviser to Dick

Cheney, would echo similar ideas when

advocating that the US intervene to create a

“loosely unified Iraqi confederal government,

shaped around strong sectarian and provincial

entities.”37

Wurmser in 1996, along with

Douglas Feith (US undersecretary of defense

for policy, 2001-05) and Richard Perle

(chairman of the Defense Policy Board

Advisory Committee 2001-03), both key

neoconservatives, wrote for incoming Israeli

Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu the

strategy document, “A Clean Break: A New

Strategy for Securing the Realm”. Therein

Netanyahu is encouraged to “re-establish” the

“principle of pre-emption,” including

removing Saddam Hussein from power,

deemed “an important Israeli strategic

objective in its own right.”38

36

http://informationclearinghouse.info/article1025.htm

37

David Wurmser, Tyranny’s Ally: America’s Failure

to Defeat Saddam Hussein (Washington: AEI Press,

1999), pp. 136-37.

38 http://israeleconomy.org/strat1.htm. Richard Perle

was later to co-sign with Elliott Abrams, Richard L

Armitage, John Bolton, Zalmay Khalilzad, William

Kristol, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz an “Open


Page 20

US Genocide in Iraq

20

Yinon’s essay and Wurmser’s book echo the

assertions of former Israeli Labour Foreign

Minister Abba Eban that the “Arab East” is a

“mosaic” of ethnic divergence.39 Present plans

to partition Iraq into three weak and

conflicting protectorates are their direct

progeny.40

In Iraq, the current “political

process” is not about stability, but the pursuit

of war by other means, aimed to break up the

state and sow conflicts throughout the region.

In the words of Abdul Ilah Albayaty and Hana

Al Bayaty:

The so-called political process, instead of

bringing stability to Iraq, is and will be the

cause of increasing instability in the

region. Indeed, on the one hand, the

Kurdish parties are working to create a

Kurdish entity in the north, unrestrained

by the central government. This will be a

destabilising factor for Iran, Turkey and

Syria, and is opposed by the majority of

Arab Iraqis. On the other, the Shia

religious forces are trying to build a Shia

semi-state in the south, governed by the

concept of “Wilayat Al-Fakih” (Rule of

the Jurist — a laden concept which puts

religious authority above nationalism),

similar to and allied with Iran. This will be

a destabilising factor for the whole Gulf

region, including Saudi Arabia. It is

opposed by most Arab countries. In

reality, if there isn’t a strong unified Iraq,

Letter” of the Project for a New American Century

(PNAC) think-tank to President Bill Clinton, 16 January

1998, urging Clinton, “to seize that opportunity, and to

enunciate a new strategy that would secure the interests

of the US and our friends and allies around the world.

That strategy should aim, above all, at the removal of

Saddam Hussein’s regime from power,” adding

ominously that “American policy cannot continue to be

crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the

UN Security Council.”

39 Saleh Abdel-Jawwad, “Israel: the ultimate winner”,

Al-Ahram Weekly, Issue #634, 17-23 April 2003.

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2003/634/op2.htm

40 For more on partition, see

http://USgenocide.org/partition.html

peaceful and cooperative with its

immediate neighbours, there will be no

stability in Iraq or in the region. As was

rightly observed by Saud Al-Faisal, the

Saudi foreign minister, this may result in a

civil and regional war.

That partition is even a proposal, given that

none of the stated aims of the 2003 illegal US

invasion suggest it, reveals that the US has

moved consciously to fulfil Israel’s agenda

and bring about precisely this outcome. The

overall result: a strategic victory for the State

of Israel; ancillary benefits for Iran as a second

level proxy; and justification for permanent

and expanding US military presence in the

whole of the Middle East region.

The third arm of US regional policy has been

to destroy existing Arab developmental

achievements, undermining and destroying

Arab states as viable entities while promoting

corrupt, incompetent and repressive regimes

that serve the interests of foreign powers.

Rejecting this destiny, it is well known that of

all Arab states, Iraq prior to 1990 had the most

developed system of national education,

healthcare and primary state services. On the

basis of a nationalised oil industry and Iraq’s

water resources, Iraq was able to achieve

significant state and national development

autonomous from foreign capital and thus

independent

of

foreign

influence,

encompassing infrastructure, science, military

advance, and social security. Sanctions

targeted Iraqis as a people and state, not only

the Iraqi government or army. Indeed, the

regimen of punitive sanctions imposed on Iraq

stands unprecedented in modern history,

systematically destroying its attained levels of

economic, social, political and military

development and leading to an estimated

1,500,000 excess deaths over 13 years.41

41

Hans C von Sponeck, A Different Kind of War: The

UN Sanctions Regime in Iraq (New York: Berghahn

Books, 2006).


Page 21

US Genocide in Iraq

21

Overall, these three aspects of US regional

policy — breaking regional unity by

instrumentalising Israel; Balkanising and

partitioning Arab states into ethnic and

sectarian entities; and destroying Arab

development capacities — by design aim to

ensure that the Arab world as a whole never

attains the requisite social, political, economic

and military development to take advantage of

the enormous oil, gas and mineral resources

over which by right it is sovereign.

Keeping Iraq in particular unstable is key to

US strategic designs for the whole Arab

region. In the words of Abdul Ilah Albayaty

and Hana Al Bayaty, given Iraq’s median

geopolitical position: “The slightest

deterioration in relations between Iraq and any

of its neighbours is automatically a setback for

cooperation throughout the whole region.42

Michael Ledeen, founding member of the

Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs

and a key neoconservative, in 2002

unabashedly told the truth about US regional

policy in saying: “Stability is an unworthy

American mission, and a misleading concept

to boot. We do not want stability in Iran, Iraq,

Syria, Lebanon, and even Saudi Arabia … The

real issue is not whether, but how to

destabilise. Creative destruction is our middle

name … Our enemies have always hated this

whirlwind of energy and creativity which

menaces their traditions (whatever they may

be) … we must destroy them to advance our

historic mission.”43

iii. The US national emergency and corporate

interests

The entire entity of the United States is on

death row. The end of the age of oil is its

42 Abdul Ilah Albayaty and Hana Al Bayaty, “Fortress

Iraq,” Al-Ahram Weekly, Issue 722, 23-29 December

2004. http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2004/722/re1.htm

43

Michael Ledeen, The War Against the Terror

Masters: Why It Happened. Where We Are Now. How

We’ll Win (New York: Truman Talley Books, 2002).

execution order. Spending $200,000 a minute

on oil, no system of life on earth is as

dependent on oil as that of the United States.

The consumer economy, which depends on oil

and relative high wages, is the guarantor of the

internal tranquillity of the US. Many core US

industries — protected and uncompetitive, and

based on high wages — would collapse if

guaranteed supplies of oil were to end, upon

which guarantees stable prices depend. With

the collapse of industries, the consumer

economy would be oversupplied. Prices would

plummet and growth would disappear. Outside

the national sphere, US corporate

globalisation, exploitative in nature, depends

on the US military machine, which itself

depends on foreign oil.44 As the eclipse of the

age of oil approaches, these objective realities

constitute a national emergency for the United

States.45

US economic vulnerability is not only centred

on the supply of oil. The entire entity of the

United States is wagered on the use of the

dollar as the primary currency of oil

transactions. The US long forced OPEC oil

sales to be transacted only in dollars,

establishing the dollar as the global currency

of reserve. Indeed, the global oil industry is the

guarantor and engine of the global dollar

economy. Any alteration of this arrangement

threatens to explode the illusion on which

American economic prowess is built. If dollars

were to flood back into the United States,

hyperinflation would take hold, followed by

44

According to Defense Logistics Agency

spokeswoman Lana Hampton, quoted in an article in the

American Forces Information Service News, the US

military is using 10-11 million barrels of fuel each

month to sustain operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and

elsewhere.

http://defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=16915

45

Michael Klare, Resource Wars: The New Landscape

of Global Conflict (New York: Owl Books, 2002) and

Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of

America’s Growing Petroleum Dependency (New York:

Penguin Books, 2005).


Page 22

US Genocide in Iraq

22

stagflation as uncompetitive and protected

industries collapsed. As consciousness of the

approaching end of the age of oil sinks in, and

as others powers — the EU and China — rise,

this monetary consideration is a second level

to the US national emergency.46

By 1997, the PNAC understands well the twin

levels of the US national emergency and

commits itself to address it. Though the US-

led destruction of Iraq has already begun, the

signatories of the PNAC express concern that

the US is resting on its laurels — they

undertake to accelerate it. The PNAC

announces its presence with a question and a

warning: “Does the United States have the

resolve to shape a new century favourable to

American principles and interests? We are in

danger of squandering the opportunity and

failing the challenge. We are living off the

capital — both the military investments and

the foreign policy achievements — built up by

past administrations.”47 Admonishing the then

Clinton administration, the neoconservatives

of the PNAC argue for significant defence and

foreign policy spending, to curtail — with no

irony — “the promise of short-term

commercial benefits” threatening to “override

strategic considerations.”

In 1999, Dick Cheney, then CEO of

Halliburton, the largest post-invasion

contractor in Iraq, muses on the issue of

supply: “by 2010 we will need on the order of

an additional 50 million barrels a day. So

where is the oil going to come from? ... While

many regions of the world offer great oil

opportunities, the Middle East with two thirds

of the world's oil and the lowest cost, is still

where the prize ultimately lies. Even though

46 William R Clark, Petrodollar Warfare: Oil, Iraq and

the Future of the Dollar (NY: New Society Books,

2005).

47 “Statement of Principles”, Project for the New

American Century, 3 June 1997.

http://newamericancentury.org/statementofprinciples.ht

m

companies are anxious for greater access there,

progress continues to be slow.”48

By

September 2000, despite their ideas receiving

some heed, the PNAC is running out of

patience: “Global leadership is not something

exercised at our leisure, when the mood strikes

us or when our core national security interests

are directly threatened; then it is already too

late. Rather, it is a choice whether or not to

maintain American military pre-eminence, to

secure American geopolitical leadership, and

to preserve the American peace.”49

Much has been said about the PNAC’s claim

that the transformation in American strategy

would be slow and frustrating “absent some

catastrophic and catalysing event — like a new

Pearl Harbour.” Many believe that 9/11 was

the convenient trigger. In reality, the true Pearl

Harbour occurs within weeks of this PNAC

prediction being published. On 6 November

2000, Iraq began selling oil in euros, with

others (Venezuela, Iran, Russia and Libya)

threatening to follow suit.50

Later Iraq

converted its $10 billion reserve fund at the

UN also to euros. In the aftermath of the 7

November 2000 US presidential elections, the

Republican right faced the long-term national

emergency immediately. If the oil economy

were to shift to euros, the American economy

would collapse. This is the context

surrounding the deliberations of the Cheney

Energy Policy Task Force in early 2001,

whose conclusions until now remain

48 http://energybulletin.net/559.html

49 “Rebuilding America’s Defences: Strategy, Forces

and Resources for a New Century,” PNAC, September

2000.

http://newamericancentury.org/RebuildingAmericasDef

enses.pdf

50 William R Clark, “The Real Reasons for the

Upcoming War With Iraq: A Macroeconomic and

Geostrategic Analysis of the Unspoken Truth”, 17

February 2003.

http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CLA302A.html


Page 23

US Genocide in Iraq

23

classified.51

The two national emergencies had rolled into

one: Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi people

were weathering sanctions while other states

were circumventing them, slowing down

progress in Big Oil regional ambitions; and

President Hussein played the bourse card,

threatening the entire basis of the American

economy in one move. Iraq was the country

that didn’t compromise and succeeded in firing

missiles on Israel; it was also the country that

used its oil for progress and that aided poor

countries in Asia, Africa and the Arab world,

As a country that could defy imperialism when

imperialism was victorious everywhere, Iraq

signed its own death warrant. It should die.

That US Big Oil corporations would make a

killing on stolen Iraqi resources was a bonus.52

The real issue was national defence — that is,

defence of the system of life of a nation that

consumes 25 per cent of the world’s energy

resources while it constitutes 4.6 per cent of

the world’s population, a system that creates

600,000 tons of garbage per day.

iv. A unified strategy of genocide

To truly secure US supremacy, Iraq would

have to become the 51st economy of the

United States. This could only suggest

genocide. By no other means could the United

States control what has been a geopolitical

entity for 6,000 years and a bastion of Arab

nationalism throughout the 20th century. By

no other means could the United States seize

from Iraqis their principle source of material

and future welfare, imposing on their culture

the idea of foreign ownership of the riches of

the land. Destroying the Iraqi state would not

be enough. To control Iraq, in its median

51

Disclosure of the 2001 deliberations of the National

Energy Policy Development Group (commonly referred

to as the “Cheney Energy Task Force”) is subject to

ongoing legal action.

http://judicialwatch.org/printer_1270.shtml

52 http://brusselstribunal.org/pdf/BigOil.pdf

position, necessitates destroying its Arab

Muslim identity — erasing its very being as a

nation.

In combination, the above represents the

strategic context and motive — global,

regional and national — for destroying the

state and nation of Iraq. No single aspect can

be taken alone; each supports the others. It is

through myriad acts meeting these three broad

strategic concerns that US “intent to destroy”

Iraq can be traced, while the general cohesion

of these three pillars of US strategy suggests

“intended destruction” of Iraq as the logical

conclusion of well-established US Middle East

and global strategic policy.

Nothing in this “logic” can excuse its

execution. Indeed, nothing in this logic is

excusable. It is specific intent, not

implementation that defines the crime of

genocide under international law. Claims of

“benevolent hegemony” that accompany US

global plans are irrelevant. These plans in

intent constitute genocide. US national,

regional and global designs dictate the

rationality embedded in military planning and

thinking. Implementation is merely the mirror

of the intent. And if, in the words of Morris

and Scharf, “it is unnecessary for an individual

to have knowledge of all details of the

genocidal plan or policy,” the pattern of

implementation is enough to infer the crime.53

b) Implementing genocide in Iraq54

Having understood the desire, or mens rea, the

means, or actus rea, becomes easier to

unravel. From the above, it is clear that the

United States had reasons to desire — within

its own logic — the destruction of Iraq as a

53 Virginia Morris and Michael P Scharf, The

International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (NY:

Transnational Publishers, 1998).

54 For more information on the section that follows see

http://albasrah.net/, http://uruknet.info/ and

http://heyetnet.org/en/


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US Genocide in Iraq

24

state and nation. The means by which it

destroyed the Iraqi state, and attempted to

destroy the Iraqi nation, follow on from and

accord to these reasons.

Specifically, the US has sought to: 1) Destroy

Iraq physically and culturally, and principally

militarily, so that it can never re-emerge as an

economic, political or military force; and 2)

Break Iraq as a state and nation, substituting

the state with three or more conflicting and

weak entities based on ethnic and sectarian

affiliations that presage the destruction of

Iraq’s Muslim Arab identity. These two

objectives, if achieved, would allow for the

plunder of Iraq’s resource riches, control of its

median position in order to attain global pre-

eminence, serve in the protection of the US’s

offensive regional instrument and proxy,

Israel, and erase the last official remnant of the

pan-Arab nationalist movement.

This project of intended destruction — the

legal substance of genocide — has been going

on for 17 years. All together, the pattern of

intent is irrefutable. It has led to an estimated

1,500,000 excess Iraqi deaths under sanctions,

and as many as 1,000,000 excess violent Iraqi

deaths since the US illegal war of aggression.

By any definition, but also defined in law, this

is genocide.

i. Destroying Iraq physically and permanently

The destruction of Iraq began with sanctions in

1990 and the 1991 Gulf War. On the one hand,

the war was not to liberate Kuwait. It was the

opening shot of a broader objective of

destroying Iraq, entailing permanently

destroying its military capabilities and civil

capacities, in order to replace the Iraqi state

with an unviable entity in need of constant US

assistance, while breaking its economy in

order to break the will of the Iraqi people and

later plunder Iraqi resources. Under sanctions,

in finance and economy Iraq became a ward of

the UN Security Council, its budget managed

by foreign powers, and with no end in sight.55

This marks the beginning of the dismantling of

Iraq as a state and nation. Ground invasion

takes place when established policy proves

unable to achieve its goals.

Francis Boyle in his indictment for crimes

against humanity and the crime of genocide

describes well the 1991 Gulf War and its

intent:

The bombing continued for 42 days. It met

no resistance from Iraqi aircraft and no

effective anti-aircraft or anti-missile

ground fire. Iraq was basically

defenceless. Most of the targets were

civilian facilities. The United States

intentionally bombed and destroyed

centres for civilian life, commercial and

business districts, schools, hospitals,

mosques, churches, shelters, residential

areas, historical sites, private vehicles and

civilian government offices. In aerial

attacks, including strafing, over cities,

towns, the countryside and highways,

United States aircraft bombed and strafed

indiscriminately. The purpose of these

attacks was to destroy life and property,

and generally to terrorise the civilian

population of Iraq. The net effect was the

summary execution and corporal

punishment indiscriminately of men,

women and children, young and old, rich

and poor, of all nationalities and religions.

The intention and effort of this bombing

campaign against civilian life and facilities

was to systematically destroy Iraq’s

infrastructure leaving it in a pre-industrial

condition. The United States intentionally

55

In the words of Martin Indyk, the top Middle East

policymaker on Clinton's first National Security

Council, “We will not be satisfied with Saddam's

overthrow before we agree to lift sanctions.”

http://thewashingtoninstitute.com/templateC07.php?CI

D=61


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US Genocide in Iraq

25

bombed and destroyed defenceless iraqi

military personnel; used excessive force;

killed soldiers seeking to surrender and in

disorganised individual flight, often

unarmed and far from any combat zones;

randomly and wantonly killed iraqi

soldiers; and destroyed material after the

ceasefire. The United States used

prohibited weapons capable of mass

destruction and inflicting indiscriminate

death and unnecessary suffering against

both military and civilian targets. Fuel air

explosives were used against troops in

place, civilian areas, oil fields and fleeing

civilians and soldiers on two stretches of

highway between Kuwait and Iraq.56

The material destruction of Iraq didn’t end

with the ceasefire that supposedly marked the

end of the 1991 Gulf War. General Michael J

Dugan, former chief of staff of the US Air

Force, revealed the deliberations of the US

administration when he stated in mid-summer

1991 that if another war comes, “We will

bomb Iraq back into the Stone Age.”

In reality, in the post-Gulf War period Iraq’s

defences were systematically obliterated by

numerous US-UK bombing raids under

justification of unilaterally imposed and illegal

no-fly zones — first in the north, in April

1991, and later in the south.57 Thus, contrary to

what is usually assumed, the occupation of

Iraq didn’t start in 2003; it started in 1991. If

occupation is the situation that pertains when

the territory of a state is put under the

authority of a foreign military power — as

defined by The Hague IV Regulations58

then Iraq from this time, in losing effective

56 Francis Boyle, “Flashback: US War Crimes During

the Gulf War,” 2 September 2002,

http://counterpunch.org/boyle0902.html

57 http://ccmep.org/usbombingwatch/2002.html

58 Laws and Customs of War on Land (Hague IV) 18

October 1907,

http://yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/lawofwar/hague04.htm

military control of at least two thirds of its

territory, became de facto occupied.

The no-fly zone system also had an ancillary

agenda: 1) It imposed a de facto division of

Iraq into three regions that corresponded to a

political agenda of partition59; 2) Provided

political cover for continuous targeting of

Iraq’s military and civil infrastructure; and 3)

Provided air cover for the US to gather

conspiring opposition forces and for the US

and Israel to train Iraqi separatist militias,

which later would replace the national army.

Tied to UN sanctions, the UN weapons

inspections programme (United Nations

Special Commission, UNSCOM) presented

Iraq with constantly shifting demands. The

“100 per cent” verification order was

technically — even according to former

inspectors — impossible to satisfy. Aside from

that, according to a 1999 article in The

Washington Post, “United States intelligence

services infiltrated agents and espionage

equipment for three years into United Nations

arms control teams in Iraq to eavesdrop on the

Iraqi military without the knowledge of the

UN agency that it used to disguise its work,

according to US government employees and

documents describing the classified

operation.”60 Similar allegations surfaced in

2003 that the UK leaked false information on

weapons in order to use inspections as political

cover.

Combined, no-fly zones and weapons

inspections allowed the United States and its

59 Richard Becker, “Is the U.S. Attempting to

Dismember Iraq?”

http://globalpolicy.org/security/sanction/irqbckr.htm

60 “US Spied on Iraq Via UN,” The Washington Post, 2

March 1999, http://washingtonpost.com/wp-

srv/inatl/daily/march99/unscom2.htm UNSCOM was

disbanded in 1999, replaced by United Nations

Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission

(UNMOVIC). In 2003, UNMOVIC concluded that

UNSCOM had successfully dismantled Iraq’s

unconventional weapons programme during the 1990s.


Page 26

US Genocide in Iraq

26

allies to bomb Iraq at will for 13 years in the

pre-invasion phase. Under the cover of

weapons inspections in particular, scores of

factories, schools, chemical plants of a civil

nature — indeed anything suspected even

remotely of having a prohibited military

function — were blown up or bombed.

In the name of the no-fly zones, the US and

allies hit infrastructure, communication lines,

defensive installations and numerous non-

military targets, ostensibly all in the name of

protecting the civilian population. While the

US administration was telling lies about

seeking a diplomatic solution to the “Iraq

crisis” it engineered, Operation Southern

Focus begun in June 2002, entailing intensive

bombing below the 33rd parallel, ostensibly to

“soften up” Iraq for invasion. In September

2002 alone, US air forces dropped 54.6 tons of

bombs, one month prior to Congress

authorising war.

With the ground invasion the military and civil

destruction of the Iraqi state accelerated

dramatically. With the massive air bombing

campaign dubbed “Shock and Awe”, the Iraqi

state — already criminalised, as the

“repressive arm” of the Iraqi Baath Party — in

every instance of its human and infrastructural

form was a target. Conscious that its forces

were unequal to those of the foreign invaders,

and after the Battle of Baghdad Airport where

non-conventional weapons were used by the

US, the Iraqi army disperses, a substantial part

going underground to pursue pre-planned

guerrilla warfare.

The police like the population as a whole stays

home. Militias entering Baghdad alongside US

forces inaugurate the breakdown of law and

order sanctions long desired, looting and

burning down all public institutions

(ministries, hospitals, universities, schools,

museums, libraries, cultural institutions, etc.),

unopposed by US forces who have been

ordered not to intervene. Nothing of exchange

value belonging to the Iraqi state is not stolen;

everything else is destroyed. This policy of

tabula rasa amounts to the effacement of

modern and ancient Iraq. The result is a state

of national shock and of preparation of the

confrontation between the occupation and the

Iraqi state apparatus that went underground.

Order #2 of US Civil Administrator L Paul

Bremer will disband the national Iraqi army61,

leaving 400,000 well-trained and experienced

men with no immediate means of material

survival and no legitimate national force

responsible for defending Iraq’s population

and territory. In addition to the looting of civil

institutions, systematic looting of military

installations and armories is organised62, all

left unprotected by occupation forces allegedly

on Iraqi soil to disarm by force the Iraqi state.

Heavy materiel from national armories is

either sold as iron or carried to the north.

Army personnel are criminalised as Saddam’s

“henchmen”.

Armaments, equipment and archives are

destroyed or stolen, personnel killed or

detained, and Iraqi military ideology — of

being an army defending the unity of Iraq and

the Arab nation — considered racial and

sectarian. Iraq’s experienced and strong army,

dating in origin to 1921 and which defended

the unity of the Iraqi state and participated in

the defence of Palestine, Jordan and Syria, will

be replaced by Kurdish separatist and pro-

Iranian militias. The task of the new army is

61 CPA Order #2, “Dissolution of Entities,” 23 August

2003, http://cpa-

iraq.org/regulations/20030823_CPAORD_2_Dissolutio

n_of_Entities_with_Annex_A.pdf

62 James Glanz and William J Broad, “Looting at

Weapons Plants Was Systematic, Iraqi Says,” New York

Times, 13 March 2005.

http://globalpolicy.org/security/issues/iraq/unmovic/200

5/0313systematic.htm. James Glanz, “Arms Equipment

Plundered in 2003 Is Surfacing in Iraq”, New York

Times, 17 April 2005.

http://globalpolicy.org/security/issues/iraq/unmovic/200

5/0417surfacing.htm


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US Genocide in Iraq

27

not to defend the unity and integrity of Iraq,

but to defend the occupation and its local

proxies against the people of Iraq labelled

“terrorists” or “Saddamists”.

Iraq’s territorial borders are left unsecured.

Private foreign security contractors working as

mercenaries, create a parallel system of fear

and danger, operating free of all accountability

to law.63

The militias of sectarian forces

brought in with the occupation begin to

operate across the Iraqi territory.

Simultaneously, a wave of assassinations

targets pilots, engineers, scientists and military

officers, with reports linking the killing to

intelligence agencies of Israel and Iran

suspected of circulating elaborate “hit lists”.

With weapons being disseminated across the

country, kidnapping becomes a threat to daily

civil security, along with extortion and

summary execution. Corpses quickly start to

appear on the streets of Baghdad.

Parallel to military campaigns, from 1990 the

US deliberately pursued a policy of weakening

Iraq economically to be sure that Iraq could

not recover from the systematic destruction of

civil infrastructure during the 1991 Gulf War

and again emerge as an economically

developing country. UN sanctions, which

prevented the free sale of oil from 1990

onwards, had a devastating effect on Iraq’s

economy, and necessarily the majority of Iraqi

citizens. The majority of Iraq’s working

population in 1990 were employed in the

public sector and thus dependant on oil

revenue that prior to 1990 comprised 90 per

cent of Iraq’s GDP.

Given that Iraq was a welfare state, the

debilitation of public services affected all Iraqi

citizens. Ostensibly eased by the Oil-for-Food

63 CPA Order #17, “Status of the CPA, MNFI, Certain

Missions and Personnel in Iraq,” 27 June 2004,

http://cpa-

iraq.org/regulations/20040627_CPAORD_17_Status_of

_Coalition__Rev__with_Annex_A.pdf

Programme, which was based on limited sales

quotas until 1998 and thereafter remained

heavily regulated, sanctions continued from

1996 to devastate commerce and

infrastructure.64 The banning of “dual use”

items even included paper.65 Sanctions also

would play a role in the de facto partition of

Iraq: the northern Kurdish area, under the no-

fly zone, was effectively exempted, allowing

Kurdish separatists to flourish and entrench

their autonomy from the central government.

One aspect of the package established by UN

Security Council Resolution 687 of 3 April

1991 was the UN Compensations Commission

that throughout the period of sanctions, when

economically Iraq was crippled and when over

5,000 children were dying monthly, collated

damages claims from the Gulf War and

siphoned a third of Iraq’s oil revenues

(restricted under quotas) to pay reparations.

This situation is ongoing with claims

amounting to $352.5 billion.66 For contrast,

when in December 1996, under the Oil-for-

Food Programme, Iraq was permitted to export

oil in return for humanitarian supplies it was

restricted to an overall quota of $2 billion in

oil sales every six months. In effect, Iraq had

no means of sustaining itself, the total of its

remittances from oil amounting to disposable

revenue of $15 per Iraqi per month.

Exasperated by a system they deemed

“genocide,” Denis Halliday and Hans von

Sponeck (both former UN humanitarian

coordinators for Iraq who resigned) in

November 2001 wrote: “The uncomfortable

truth is that the West is holding the Iraqi

people hostage.”67

64

http://globalpolicy.org/security/sanction/iraq1/2002/pap

er.htm

65 http://iraqwar.org/list.htm

66

http://www2.unog.ch/uncc/status.htm

67 Hans Von Sponeck and Denis Halliday, “The

Hostage Nation,” 29 November 2001,

http://zmag.org/halsponiraq.htm


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US Genocide in Iraq

28

Upon invasion, US strategy in Iraq can be

summed up in one phrase: privatisation by

military force. Order #12 of US Civil

Administrator Bremer enacted on 7 June 2003

suspended all tariffs, customs duties, import

taxes, licensing fees and similar surcharges for

goods entering or leaving Iraq, and all other

trade restrictions that may apply to such

goods68; Order #17 grants foreign contractors,

including private security firms, full immunity

from Iraq’s laws69; Order #39 allows for the

privatisation of Iraq’s 200 state-owned

enterprises, 100 per cent foreign ownership of

Iraqi businesses, national treatment of foreign

firms, unrestricted, tax-free remittance of all

profits and other funds, and 40-year ownership

licenses70; Order #40 turns the banking sector

from a state-run to a market-driven system

overnight by allowing foreign banks to enter

the Iraqi market and to purchase up to 50 per

cent of Iraqi banks71; Order #49 drops the tax

rate on corporations from a high of 40 per cent

to a flat rate of 15 per cent. The income tax

rate is also capped at 15 per cent72; and Order

# 81 prohibits Iraqi farmers from using the

methods of agriculture that they have used for

68 CPA Order #12, “Trade Liberalisation Policy,” 26

February 2004, http://cpa-

iraq.org/regulations/CPAORD12.pdf

69 CPA Order #17, “Status of the CPA, MNFI, Certain

Missions and Personnel in Iraq,” 27 June 2004,

http://cpa-

iraq.org/regulations/20040627_CPAORD_17_Status_of

_Coalition__Rev__with_Annex_A.pdf

70 CPA Order #39, “Foreign Investment,” 20 December

2003, http://cpa-

iraq.org/regulations/20031220_CPAORD_39_Foreign_I

nvestment_.pdf

71 CPA Order #40, “Bank Law,” 19 September 2003,

http://cpa-

iraq.org/regulations/20030919_CPAORD40_Bank_Law

_with_Annex.pdf

72 CPA Order #49, “Tax Strategy for 2004,” 20

February 2004, http://cpa-

iraq.org/regulations/20040220_CPAORD_49_Tax_Strat

egy_of_2004_with_Annex_and_Ex_Note.pdf

centuries.73 The common worldwide practice

of saving heirloom seeds from one year to the

next is made illegal in Iraq.

The consequences are as follows: 1) A rise of

unemployment to over 70 per cent; 2)

Systematic plunder by multinational

corporations; 3) Corruption on a scale

unprecedented; and 4) The institution of two

economic realities: the economy of graft

limited to the Green Zone, and the non-

economy of the rest of Iraq, known as the

“Red Zone”.

ii. Substituting the Iraqi state and nation

In its attempt to destroy and substitute the Iraqi

state and nation, the United States pursued two

parallel tracks: 1) Demonising the Arabism of

the Iraqi state, of the Iraqi Baath Party — a

non-sectarian national movement of six

million sympathisers — and Saddam Hussein;

and 2) Promoting, funding and organising

sectarian groups of the Iraqi opposition.

Kick-starting the policy of destroying the Iraqi

nation defined as being composed of Iraqis,

Bush Sr encouraged the rebellion of “Kurds”

and “Shias” against the Iraqi central

government in 1991 as the Iraqi national army

was demobilising, implying that those who

ruled them were “Sunnis”. In the words of

Francis Boyle: “Bush encouraged and aided

Shiite Muslims and Kurds to rebel against the

government of Iraq causing fratricidal

violence, emigration, exposure, hunger and

sickness and thousands of deaths. After the

rebellion failed, the US invaded and occupied

parts of Iraq without lawful authority in order

73 CPA Order #81, “Patent, Industrial Design,

Undisclosed Information, Integrated Circuits and Plant

Variety Law,” 26 April 2004, http://cpa-

iraq.org/regulations/20040426_CPAORD_81_Patents_

Law.pdf


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US Genocide in Iraq

29

to increase division and hostilities within

Iraq.”74

UN sanctions forced Iraq, as both a state and a

nation, into complete isolation. While

President Saddam Hussein, and by extension

the Iraqi Baath Party, was the main focus of

relentless vilification, from 1990 onwards to

be non-Kurd Iraqi was to be suspect. With the

demonisation of President Hussein began the

process in discourse that would undermine the

very concept of Iraqi citizenship: the

imposition of sectarianism in allegations, now

questioned, that “Saddam gassed the Kurds”

and “oppressed the Shia”, and ruled in the

name of the “Sunni minority”. The Iraqi Baath

Party, central to the operation of the state, was

falsely cast as “Sunni”, repressive of Iraqi

Kurds and Shias as Kurds and Shias — a

canard that would later allow for the targeting

of Sunnis simply because they are Sunni.

Covertly, and later overtly, the United States

started funding sectarian militias and

opposition groups. The US-sponsored 1992

opposition conference in Salah El-Din (on

Iraqi soil, with US security guarantees — a

blatant breach of Iraqi sovereignty)

crystallised the ideas of what would replace

the political regime of the Iraqi Baath Party: a

sectarian division of Iraq, as well as sectarian

quotas in government. A decade of

unsuccessful attempts to unify that opposition

on the details of carving up Iraq would follow.

By 1998, US official policy, announced in the

Iraq Liberation Act, became “regime change”,

including official funding of sectarian

opposition groups. Within a month and a half

of the passing of the act, the United States

launched a major bombing campaign across

Iraq. Various plots for a coup d’etat were

supported and funded by the CIA.

74 Francis Boyle, “Flashback: US War Crimes During

the Gulf War,” 2 September 2002,

http://counterpunch.org/boyle0902.html

After years of conspiracy, the December 2002

London conference of the Iraqi National

Congress (INC; pre-1998 funded by the CIA,

post-1998 funded by US Congress, and headed

by Ahmed Chalabi) agreed on what

percentages each participating faction of the

US-assembled “opposition” would gain in the

sectarian quota system. Unable to replace the

Iraqi state and its national movement without

the Islamist “factor”, the INC London

conference also crystallised an accord between

the US and Iran on how to, and who would,

replace the regime of Saddam Hussein: an

alliance between Kurdish separatists allied to

the US; pro-US Iraqi liberals (the INC and the

Iraqi National Accord of Iyad Allawi); and

pro-Iranian Islamists under Mohammed Bakr

Al-Hakim of the Supreme Council for the

Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI).75

This constituted body of US-approved

spokespeople for the virtual constituents of

Iraqi society — Shias, Kurds, liberals —

would help justify the need in the media for a

ground invasion and provide candidates for the

first US installed interim government. Silenced

are the Iraqi people as well as the 23 February

2003 London meeting of authentic Iraqi

opposition forces who opposed the US agenda

of illegal pre-emptive war and the interference

of foreign powers in Iraqi national affairs.76

The phase of “creative destruction” in the Iraqi

political domain starts with, and is predicated

upon, an unprecedented propaganda campaign

directed at both international and Iraqi public

opinion, based on sectarian vocabulary and

virtual identities and predating the invasion. It

reads: 1) “The Kurds have been gassed,” so

should be protected and given special rights,

presaging Kurdish succession and the

75 Ghassan Atiyyah, “Fixing it: the London conference,

Tehran deal, and beyond”, 1 September 2003,

http://opendemocracy.net/conflict-

iraqivoices/article_872.jsp

76 See “On Democracy in Iraq,” Documentary, dir.

Hana Al Bayaty, 2003, 52mins.


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US Genocide in Iraq

30

fragmentation of the Iraqi state; 2) “Shias are

the majority” — a baseless assertion given that

no reliable census has been conducted —

oppressed not only by Saddam’s regime but

also throughout their history, the “democratic

process” simply the harbinger of social justice;

3) “Sunnis are the criminals” and oppose the

“New Iraq” because of loss of privileges and

the power to oppress others; 4) “Iraq is an

artificial creation” comprised of three

homogenous regions: Kurds in the north,

Sunnis in the centre, and Shias in the south.

Inherent to this propaganda is a purposive

blurring of the distinction between ethnic and

sectarian identities: the Shias and Sunnis are

not Arab or Kurd; Kurds are not Muslim, be it

Shia or Sunni; and there is no such thing as

“the Iraqis”, only a composition of Sunni, Shia

and Kurd. All other components of Iraqi

society — Turkomans, Assyrians and other

Christians, and Yaziids and Sabbits — are

purposely ignored.

The aim of this propaganda is to facilitate US

destruction of the Iraqi state. The first order

passed into law by US Civil Administrator

Bremer, outlaws the Iraqi Baath Party in its

entirety.77 Immediately 100,000 able members

of the administrative cadre are criminalised

and disbarred from state employment. Silenced

is the fact that 58 per cent of those targeted by

the US-imposed DeBaathification Commission

are Shias. In place of the dissolved state, the

Transitional Administrative Law (TAL) is

drafted and imposed, legislating the

disbanding of the army and the privatisation of

the economy. Civil and political resistance to

the occupation is outlawed, and civil and

political resistance to US corporate

privatisation is criminalised.

77 CPA Order #1, “DeBaathification of Iraqi Society,”

16 May 2003, http://cpa-

iraq.org/regulations/20030516_CPAORD_1_De-

Ba_athification_of_Iraqi_Society_.pdf

No one who does not endorse the TAL is

permitted to participate in the “political

process”, which itself is reduced to a

competition between sectarian leaders. The

whole domain of Iraqi politics becomes US-

drafted. The US claims to know who

represents the Iraqi people better than the

people itself. The TAL, in effect, legislates the

alienation of the Iraqi people from democratic

politics. Violating the UN Draft Articles on

State Responsibility, UN Security Council

Resolution 1546 in June 2004 “welcomes” and

“endorses” the formation of a “fully

sovereign” interim Iraqi government as a stage

on the road to an independent, democratic and

federal Iraq, thereby recognising the

consequence of an illegal state act — the

invasion.

The following period of general repression can

be split between two phases: 1) The imposition

of illegal elections; and 2) The imposition of a

permanent constitution based on the TAL.

Across Iraq, the occupation attempts to create

three de facto realities on the ground: 1)

Northern autonomy for the Kurds with

promises of generous representation in

parliament, and the annexation of oil-rich

Kirkuk, allowing the occupation to justify its

“democratic process” and in turn

instrumentalise Kurdish militias to suppress

the Iraqi resistance; 2) The promotion of

Islamist clergy in the south in exchange for

Sistani’s support of the political process and

his compelling fatwas for all Shias to

participate in national elections; 3) The central

region identified as Sunni and subject to waves

of violence, urbicide and terror.

Ahead of and after elections, waves of

violence and arbitrary detentions target Sunni

communities. The vilification of the Baath

Party and its assimilation with Sunnis deepens.

Media sources speak of “Sunni terrorists”,

“Saddam loyalists”, “The Sunni Triangle”,

“The Triangle of Death” and “Sunni Al-

Qaeda”, all presaging and constituting the


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US Genocide in Iraq

31

destruction of Iraq’s unifying Arab Muslim

identity and the very idea of Iraqi citizenship

and nationality. This sectarian propaganda will

directly play a role in later attempts to spark

civil war, and will contribute to the enforced

homogenisation of city districts and justify the

erasure by military force of whole towns in

predominantly Sunni provinces. That these

provinces rise up in resistance in response to

US military aggression is taken as proof that

the resistance is Sunni, thereby sectarian and

should be repressed. In order to achieve its

goals, the sectarian occupation accuses the

Iraqi people and its resistance of sectarianism.

The so-called “political process” is but theatre

in which the public has no right to change the

issue. While Iraq is under real and concrete

illegal occupation; while political free

expression is absent thanks to the

deBaathification and the repression of Sunnis;

while Iraqi citizens cannot prove themselves

citizens because of the absence of registers —

destroyed in the looting78

— and state

institutions; while the condition of

participating in politics is acceptance of the

TAL; while those who survey and organise the

elections are well known pro-occupation

propagandists; while the political process is

under the occupation’s guns; while you loose

your food ration or your life if you don’t vote

as you should, how can anyone think that the

result is the real expression of Iraqi people?

The elections can be summed in an Iraqi

proverb: “You choose a rabbit, I give you a

rabbit; you choose a gazelle, I give you a

rabbit.” The spectacle is organised to institute

a divided Iraq.

Further, elections will be based solely on

sectarian lists, the main lists benefiting from

generous US funding and access to US-

sponsored media. Fifty per cent of Iraqis will

78 Saad Kiryakos, “Destroying Iraq's Public Records,”

July 2003,

http://globalresearch.ca/articles/KIR307A.html

boycott, despite the price of starvation exacted

for non-participation. In the new National

Assembly, contradictory agendas ensure

permanent instability. The “political process”,

already stripped of legitimacy, cannot but

further deepen the confrontation between the

occupation and the Iraqi people. How can a

permanent constitution be drafted by a

parliament that does not fairly represent the

population and fails — and cannot succeed —

to ensure peaceful coexistence in society?

The theatrical elections and the political

process are unable to hide the gap between the

real Iraq and the real plans of the occupation.

The real occupation is using military force to

impose its model. The “political process”

simply creates a clique working for, or

accepting, the occupation’s plan of destruction

for Iraq. As with the elections, the constitution

in 2005 is passed at gunpoint by referendum.

Based on the TAL, it legislates the destruction

of Iraq as a state and nation. By its central

provisions and blurred jargon it: 1) Cancels the

concept of the united republic of Iraq; 2)

Cancels the concept of citizenship; and 3)

Cancels the concept of Iraq as an Arab-

Muslim nation.

The draft oil law — the major plank in the

strategy of plunder of the US occupation — if

passed would contribute to the de facto

partition of Iraq in shrinking the funding

source of central government, as well as

opening the way to foreign ownership of Iraqi

oil. As set in the illegal constitution, the

proposed Oil Law that until now cannot be

passed, has two objectives: 1) To end all

public management of the Iraqi oil industry by

opening it up to private capital; and 2) to pass

to confederated regions real decisions on oil,

neglecting the existence and the necessity of a

united Iraq with a central government.

These two principles are more political

propaganda to ignite local dreams and

conflicts than real law to organise Iraq’s oil


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US Genocide in Iraq

32

industry. All who are concerned with the oil

industry in Iraq, including international oil

companies, know it is impossible to direct the

oil industry but by a central entity, whether it

is public or private, and that these

principles are a source of potential unending

conflicts between Iraqis.

The US oil project is to give in the north the

presenting producing fields of Kirkuk to the

Kurds, and in the south the presently

producing fields to Shias, while obliging the

centre — which it names “Sunni” and which

has, according to estimations, twice what the

north and the south have — to render its oil to

foreign companies. The occupation’s

propaganda on oil is solely to ignite conflicts

between Iraqis. All know it is unrealisable.

Technically, oil fields do not respect sects and

ethnicities. Legally, the occupation’s laws are

not binding for Iraqis. And politically, all

Iraqis believe that oil is the property of the

nation and its privatisation is plunder and

treason.

Iraq, prior to when the genocide began in

1990, was a modern Arab state led by its

middle class culture. It became nothing less

than hell for those living in it now. US

“creative destruction” has touched all aspects

of society as a whole. Through the

dismantlement of the state, the middle class

has been decimated. The targeted assassination

of all kinds of professionals has accurately

been described as the imposition of the

“Salvador Option”79 in Iraq. Not only has this

lead to tens of thousands of murders, driving

the middle class that remained, despite the first

wave of migration during the sanctions period,

into exile, but in stripping Iraq of its middle

class culture it has led to a breakdown of

social values at all levels.

Further, all welfare provision has completely

collapsed, ensured by the disbanding of Iraq’s

competent civil service under deBaathification

79 http://brusselstribunal.org/BritishBombers.htm

and the promotion of sectarian and feudal

forces that understand only nepotism. With

mass deprivation, child begging has risen 450

per cent. Criminality and prostitution have

burgeoned, as has the drug economy. Extortion

and kidnapping is a whole parallel economy.

Forced displacement has denied thousands of

families of their possessions and property. For

those unable to flee, the only economy is

collaboration, which amounts to genocide of

another kind. Instead of sustaining the

occupation by joining the Iraqi army or the

police, millions are choosing poverty and

dignity.

Equally destructive has been the targeting of

women. Iraq’s women have been central to its

public history for generations. From enjoying

the freedoms of liberty and progress, enshrined

in pre-US invasion protective legislation,

cancelled by the occupation, Iraqi women have

been consigned to their homes, hundreds of

thousands rendered widows, thousands more

raped and abused, and millions forced behind

the veil by the rise of sectarian Islamist

fundamentalism, or as a general feeling of

mourning and a counter-identity to the

occupation. The violence that has been visited

upon Iraqi women has deeply shocked Iraqi

society. Mass detentions of men have driven

many, separated from their husbands, into

poverty. Further, rising sectarianism has

broken thousands of families with divorce

rates soaring, many women left struggling to

feed themselves or their children.

The climate of general repression that is the

outcome of the above touches all Iraqis,

individually and collectively, and deeply.

Mental disturbance and psychosis has

proliferated. Constant witness to atrocities and

death, 2007 saw the walling-in of whole

communities, further isolating neighbourhoods

and relatives, entailing de facto house arrest

for millions. The parallel economy of extortion

and violence has led to massive forced

redistributions of wealth; many families forced


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US Genocide in Iraq

33

to give everything they own in ransoms. Tens

of thousands of children have been orphaned.

In the social sphere, a strategy of annihilation

has been pursued from the beginning. “By

destroying the Iraqi state,” in the words of

Hana Al Bayaty, “the occupation has erased

any potential intermediary with the Iraqi

people and has had to face them directly.”80

Not only has it had to; it wanted to and aimed

to. After four years of its resistance, however,

the Iraqi people have vindicated Sartre: if the

US wants to break them, it will have to

exterminate them to the last woman, child and

man.

iii. Resistance to genocide

Of the few in the West that stood in solidarity

with Iraq under sanctions and visited the

country destroyed by unprecedented force in

the 1991 Gulf War, many describe Iraq’s mode

of survival under sanctions as a “miracle”.

With ingenuity and determination, Iraqis

rebuilt essential civil infrastructure bombed to

oblivion and televised on screens worldwide.

Under unprecedented forces, included

intended starvation and the debilitation of

primary services, the Iraqi nation did not

fragment — indeed, it strengthened.

Following the ground invasion, Iraqi resistance

began on the second day of the occupation of

Baghdad with the killing of an American

soldier in Al-Adhamiyah. By June 2003, the

resistance is already strong enough to declare a

programme of national liberation. What is

evident now is that this resistance was

prepared in parallel before the invasion as the

sole way a small people can confront a

military superpower.

Even before the supposed end of US major

combat operations, resistance operations

targeting occupation forces escalate, centred

80 Hana Al Bayaty, “Iraq’s Sectarian Myth,” Al-Ahram

Weekly, Issue 747, 16-22 June 2005.

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2005/747/re7.htm

on Baghdad and its surrounding towns. It is

clear to all military planners, whether from the

invading armies or from the disbanded

national army, that the control of Baghdad is

essential to the control of the entirety of Iraqi

territory.

There have been to this day, four attempts to

pacify Baghdad since 2003. Iraq being a

particularly centralised state, all roads passing

across the country and linking it to

neighbouring states, lead to or leave from the

capital. From the very start of the occupation,

the confrontation between the resistance and

multinational forces has naturally concentrated

itself on the control of these axes. The

occupation cannot stabilise Iraq without the

subjugation of Baghdad and its surrounding

provinces. The Iraqi resistance as it grows

from 2003 onwards will mainly operate in and

around the capital in order to disrupt the

supply chain and capacity of movement of

occupation forces across the country. The

success of this resistance strategy will cost the

United States millions of dollars.

Because of its arrogance and ignorance and

imperial calculations, Fallujah and Ramadi,

Samarra, Baquba, and Hillah are daily

criminalised as strongholds of the “Sunni”

insurgency. In fact, they become known to the

entire world simply because they respectively

are the first towns on the roads going from

Baghdad to Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Iran and the

Arab Gulf. As a result of daily campaigns of

indiscriminate bombings and arrests, civil and

armed resistance in these provinces increases,

thereafter used as the proof of the veracity of

US propaganda.

As to Baghdad, it is historically a multi-ethnic

and multi-cultural city where no ethnic or

sectarian community is the majority. The

provinces creating a ring around the Iraqi

capital are traditionally and culturally patriotic

and anti-occupation. This is proven by their

sympathy and cooperation with resistance


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US Genocide in Iraq

34

movements that developed throughout

successive attempts by foreign imperial

powers to occupy Iraq by taking its capital, be

it at the time of the Mongols or the British.

The arrogance and ignorance of US strategists

thought that by awe and corruption they could

destroy Iraqi nationalism and identity. In

attacking Sunnis they thought that they could

win Kurds and Shias. They forgot the factors

which stand against their theoretical

suppositions: 1) There is no ethnically or

sectarian pure region in Iraq. An important

Sunni population in the south and one million

Kurds in Baghdad illustrates this point; 2) A

third of Iraqi marriages are inter-communal

marriages; 3) Most Iraqi tribes are composed

of Sunnis and Shias together; 4) The large

Iraqi middle class is secular; 5) Iraqi identity

has nothing to do with religion, sect or

ethnicity; 6) Class interest is more important

for the people than their ideologies; 7) Iraqis

are all inheritors of the same civilisations, the

latest being the Arab Muslim civilisation; and

8) More than 80 per cent of Iraqis are Arabs

and they are proud of it.

In 2004, the US began a new phase in its

project by attacking Fallujah and Najaf. It was

evident then that the occupation was pushing

all Iraq against its project. Whatever the

propaganda, Iraqis understood that the US

wants to subjugate them by force and that

democracy is a lie. By late 2004, unable to

break the backbone of the growing resistance

movement, and due to the nature of guerrilla

warfare being unable to differentiate the

population from its assailants, the occupation

further targets the population.

We now enter a period of escalating

repression, especially affecting the central part

of Iraq and running in parallel with the US

militarily-imposed

sectarian

“political

process”. Having disbanded the national army,

the occupation relies primarily upon sectarian

militias with poor local and no national ties,

and a newly recruited Iraqi army, also based

on sectarian quotas, that is to this day reported

as being unreliable, poorly equipped and

poorly trained. The occupation resorts to two

different military tactics: 1) Terror and

targeted assassinations, and 2) A campaign of

urbicides and mass incarceration.

In an attempt to divide the Iraqi population and

criminalise its popular resistance, the

occupation conducts numerous “black-ops” —

patent US and UK covert attacks on Shia

populated areas such as markets, mosques, bus

stations, etc. These operations are then

attributed to the popular resistance in order to

criminalise it and divide it from its base of

support across the whole population. All

bombings in mosques and civil gathering

places, representative of a long list of acts

aimed to agitate, divide and terrorise the Iraqi

population, are denounced and denied by the

Iraqi armed resistance and never investigated

by so-called sovereign successive Iraqi

governments.

Throughout the attempt to conduct illegal

elections,

feeding

off

propaganda

criminalising the Baath Party and assimilating

the Baath with Sunnis, waves of mass

detentions are followed by the strafing and

levelling of entire cities (including Fallujah

and Tel Afar, Al-Qaem, Haditha, Ramadi,

Samarra). Scandals of war crimes, crimes

against humanity, and grave human rights

abuses continually arise, and collective

punishment through food deprivation and

large-scale round-ups of the male population

are common. The targeting of the educated

middle class by occupation sponsored militias

and death squads starts to spike by late 2004,

especially in Baghdad, with thousands of

forced disappearances and the beginning of an

exodus from Iraq that by 2007 would top four

million.

The Iraqi resistance, through its popular

support, proves its capacity to collect


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US Genocide in Iraq

35

information quicker than the occupying forces

and their generous payouts. One major blow to

the occupation is the attack inside a refectory

within an American military base near Mosul,

killing 19 soldiers and wounding 59 others.81

The Iraqi population, harbouring the

resistance, was by then already a permanent

target, but this attack widens US suspicion

even to collaborators. The feeling of

insecurity, even within their fortified barracks,

and extreme tension due to the lack of trust in

local translators, starts breaking the morale of

the occupying troops.

After massive waves of indiscriminate

repression, the central part of Iraq refuses to

participate to the “elections”, while southern

Iraq, under British occupation, is called by the

clergy to participate, officially as a means to

elect a parliament that would call for a

timetable for withdrawal. Over 50 per cent of

the population overall boycotts the elections,

de-legitimising the “political process”. As the

population stands in solidarity against US

plans, the occupation appears increasingly

eager to instrumentalise this division of tactics

and pit Iraqis against each other. From this

moment onwards, US forces try to build a

“new army” by unofficially incorporating

sectarian militias into the security apparatus,

none of which have allegiance to the central

government and largely operate outside of its

control.

By the start of 2006, attempts to pacify

Baghdad have failed for the third time. Despite

indiscriminate incarceration, blackmail,

hostage taking, the walling-off of towns, food

deprivation and massive human rights

violations, the resistance is reportedly

developing more sophisticated weapons and

able to conduct up to 1,000 attacks against

occupation forces each month. Its resolve

cannot be broken and new recruits volunteer

everyday.

81 http://counterpunch.org/patrick12222004.html

In February 2006, in what seems a desperate

attempt to impose civil war, the occupation

and its militias organise the bombing of the

Golden Dome Mosque in Samarra, one of the

most sacred shrines for Shia communities

worldwide. In a matter of hours, as expected,

sectarian militias burn down holy Sunni

mosques all over Baghdad and kill scores of

civilians in summary executions, all under the

protection and supervision of occupation force

air cover. A campaign of ethnic cleansing at

the hands of governmental militias is not

contained and continues to this day.

With the failure of the political process due to

the impossible real life conditions to which

Iraqis are subjected, and the military, political

and moral achievements of the Iraqi people

represented by the resistance — that is to say

the legal Iraqi army — the US tries to use the

illegal tribunal it created to execute members

of the legal Iraqi government as an instrument

of propaganda. The fate and the illegal trial of

President Saddam Hussein in particular is

instrumentalised to revive sectarianism and to

attempt to divide the different currents of the

resistance among and within themselves.

Although the Iraqi resistance is not borne of a

person, party, sect or religion, the trial, by

refusing Saddam Hussein prisoner of war

status, is aimed to revive the idea that Saddam

Hussein equals Baathism that equals Sunnism

that equals Arabism. Its political aim is to

prevent the resistance from defending the Iraqi

state by presenting them as only defending

Saddam and the Sunnis. In addition, the trial is

used to ignite sectarian divisions, as the chief

prosecutor is known to be Shia and the

presiding judge known to be Kurd.

As with the political process, the biased and

flawed theatre of “victor’s justice” announces

the nature of the entity the occupation intends

to establish in place of the Iraqi state. Amid

the US-authored genocide unfolding in

ferocious force, Saddam Hussein’s alleged


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US Genocide in Iraq

36

crimes pale in significance. In dignity and

displaying essential Iraqi patriotism, Saddam

Hussein succeeds in convincing Iraqis that he

was not sectarian and remains anti-imperial.

He reflects until his last breath the Iraqi

people’s refusal to be subjugated.

Because of the trial’s failure to achieve its

political goals, the hanging, its timing, method

and perpetrators (an assuredly soon-to-be

public execution overseen by a Shia

government), is used by the occupation for the

same ongoing purpose of igniting sectarian

divisions and creating a vacuum of leadership

in the Baath Party and the Iraqi resistance.

Contrasted by the final dignity of Iraq’s legal

president on the gallows, it is evident to all

that the occupation has expended all its

political cards. It is also forced to realise that

the Baath current, personified in the integrity

of the president, constitutes the backbone of

the resistance to its occupation, and that in

struggle it is experiencing a renaissance.

In hanging Saddam as a symbol, the US

intended to create a leadership crisis among

and between the old guard and the struggling

new young Baathists — a confrontation

between their cultures. The aim was to divide

the movement and reveal potential candidates

for compromise, as well as signifying clearly

to the civil resistance that there is no limit to

the occupation’s will. The hanging coming on

the Muslim day of forgiveness — Eid Al-Adha

— is a further intended injury and an insult to

Muslims and Arabs worldwide. These

calculations failed. The resistance intensified,

declaring that in the place of Saddam Hussein

thousands of Saddams will rise.

Neither the constitution nor the National

Assembly will be able to achieve the core

objective of the United States. Having

destroyed the Iraqi state, the US’s own

handpicked proxies prove unable to build a

functioning state of any kind. In reality, a

parallel state exists, composed of the Iraqi

resistance, armed, political and popular. Faced

with impending defeat, the US accuses its

proxies of its own failure in hope of winning

the hearts of Iraqis.

This marks the entrance of a strategy of

annihilation in the political sphere. No one is

the American’s friend. Timed revelations

begin to surface about secret government

prisons. Constant crisis meetings are held and

public admonishments of puppet Prime

Minister Maliki are frequent. Meanwhile, the

Green Zone is all but empty. Iraqi

parliamentarians award themselves a two-

month 2007 summer holiday, several

rumoured to be approaching Western states for

asylum — an option the chief judge in the trial

of Saddam Hussein took within days of the

president’s summary execution.

The strategy of annihilation is paralleled in the

military sphere with what in 2007 will be

known as “the surge”. On 10 October 2006,

resistance forces engage the occupation at

Forward Base Camp Falcon, where occupation

ammunition reserves for the whole of the

Baghdad region are kept. An undisclosed

number of occupation forces are killed as the

entire camp burns to the ground, lighting up

the skies of Baghdad. This defeat will cost the

occupation $1 billion. This attack is so well

planned and carried out that it seems

impossible for the US to hide anymore that it

is battling an experienced army.

The retaliation will show no mercy. Rejecting

the Baker-Hamilton Report recommendations,

and despite the concerns it expresses on the

state of the US military, Bush orders an

increase in US force levels, redeploying —

whereas through much of 2006 they had been

garrisoned — US forces back into Iraqi

neighbourhoods. Exhausted by the armed

resistance, US forces resort to walling-in entire

districts of Baghdad — a strategy already

tested in other Iraqi cities. Amid the shooting

down of numerous US helicopters by the


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US Genocide in Iraq

37

armed resistance, the US launches bombing

campaigns that are as disproportionate and

indiscriminate as they are futile. The Iraqi

resistance responds by reportedly shooting

down an F-16.

The US is out of options in its “New Iraq”.

Although it continues manoeuvring politically,

reinforcing its destruction of the life of Iraqi

society, it has only two choices: 1) Accept its

defeat and a humiliating exit; or 2)

Exterminate the population. The “surge

strategy”, the walling-in of Baghdad districts82,

the project to impose on 50 localities the same

constraints imposed on Fallujah (electronic

IDs, check points at all points of entry, only

proven residents allowed in), the four million

exiled, the non-recognition of the resistance

amid its continual attacks and military-style

anti-occupation operations in Baghdad, reveals

that the occupation, whatever choice it makes,

has lost. It was genocide for a purpose, now it

is genocide without purpose. Baghdad can

never be subjugated.

As for Iraqi resources, in the time of the no-fly

zones it was US that destroyed Iraq’s oil

industry to prevent Iraq from profiting from oil

revenues. After the occupation, it is the

Iraqi people who prevent the occupation from

using oil revenues to further its project of

national subjugation. The US in its plans

forgot that the central region that it calls

“Sunni” controls all Iraq’s communications,

pipelines and, for historical reasons, the

military and technical and scientific cadre.

Even if the US were to attempt to enforce its

strategy of annihilation by imposing a

parliament compliant enough to pass the oil

law it wants, in the long term it will fail. Once

the occupation leaves, all of its laws will be

revoked, Iraqis reconstructing Iraq as they did

under sanctions: in the name and the benefit of

all Iraqis.

82 http://brusselstribunal.org/Wall.htm

6. Interpreting genocide in Iraq

From the strategic context mapped above, it is

clear that the United States not only had a

desire, but also in the minds of the

neoconservative right has been compelled to

pursue a strategy of genocide in Iraq. This

strategy has taken two forms: 1) An overall

genocide contained in, and following from, the

imperative of destroying Iraq as a state and a

nation; 2) Specific genocide pursued through

the implementation of this agenda against

definable groups within the nation of Iraq.

In the first instance, the combination of 13

years of sanctions and the ravages of the

ground occupation have demonstrably

subjected the Iraqi people as a defined national

group to conditions of life calculated to bring

about its physical destruction in whole or in

part. In reference to sanctions, in the words of

Marc Bossuyt:

The sanctions regime against Iraq has as

its clear purpose the deliberate infliction

on the Iraqi people of conditions of life

(lack of adequate food, medicines, etc.)

calculated to bring about its physical

destruction in whole or in part. It does not

matter that this deliberate physical

destruction has as its ostensible objective

the security of the region. Once clear

evidence was available that thousands of

civilians were dying and that hundreds of

thousands would die in the future as the

Security Council continued the sanctions,

the deaths were no longer an unintended

side effect — the Security Council was

responsible for all known consequences of

its actions. The sanctioning bodies cannot

be absolved from having the “intent to

destroy” the Iraqi people.83

83

Marc Bossuyt, “The adverse consequences of

economic sanctions on the enjoyment of human rights,”

August 2000, UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion

and Protection of Human Rights


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US Genocide in Iraq

38

The destruction of the Iraqi state — a

necessary condition of the implementation of

US global, regional and national goals — has

been an objective attempt to render “unviable”

the nation of Iraq in the context of a strategy of

partition, Balkanisation, the destruction of

Iraq’s unifying Muslim Arab identity, and the

erasure of the very concept of being “Iraqi”.

Only by destroying Iraq as a state and nation

could the United States advance in its bid for

global hegemony and “full spectrum

dominance.” Only by destroying the unifying

Muslim Arab identity of Iraqis could the

United States hope to control the 6,000-year

old geopolitical entity that is Iraq.

In thinking about what the state is, we must

bear in mind two aspects: 1) The state is the

sum of the entire social, cultural, political and

economic history of a given people, translated

into language, social norms, customs,

identifications, urban formations, patterns of

life, and natural social unities that inform and

mould the feeling of citizenship, and that exist

independent of concepts as an historical

reality; 2) The state is the historical guarantor

of the propagation and development — the

very existence — of a given people; it is

indivisible and cross-generational, and is a

necessity to existence itself.

In reference to post-invasion US policy, in the

words of Abdul Ilah Albayaty:

Beside controlling and plundering the

natural resources of Iraq, the United

States’ plan consisted in abolishing the

concept of citizenship — the basis of any

modern state. It annulled sovereignty,

destroyed heritage and memory, and took

over Iraqi wealth in an attempt to divide

the country and destroy its Arab and

Islamic geopolitical and civilisation-based

affiliations. The occupation has tried, and

continues to try, to replace Iraq by a

(E/CN.4/Sub.2/2000/33)

http://USgenocide.org/Bossuyt.pdf

subordinate state based on ethnicity and

sectarian identity: a state of parties,

lineages and religious references rather

than a state of equal and free citizens. By

dividing the state into three or more weak

and conflicting entities according to the

virtual lines of blood and sectarianism, the

US, in reality, draws a map corresponding

to the occupation’s own interests in oil.

This programmed division necessitated the

abolition of the Iraqi state; the dismantling

of its apparatus and institutions and an

ongoing plan of privatisation of state-

owned industries, buildings, lands and

services.84

DeBaathification is another pretext for the

same ends. Given its centrality in the operation

of the state, destroying the Baath Party — an

openly stated objective of the US military

intervention, consciously planned in advance85

— necessarily subjected the entire Iraqi

population to conditions of insecurity and

mass deprivation. In reality, deBaathification

is nothing more than collective punishment

and a canard used to justify disbanding the

army, the police, the education system, and the

entire administrative cadre.

Further, the systematic destruction of

education86, heath care87, and all primary

services88, demonstrates US refusal that Iraq

— and by example any Arab state —

independently develop conditions of national

development and life sustainability. The

systematic assassination of academics89, health

84 Abdul Ilah Albayaty, “Why the US will lose,” Al-

Ahram Weekly, Issue 767, 2-9 November 2005.

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2005/767/op8.htm

85

The Future Iraq Project advocated deBaathification

“of all facets of Iraqi life.”

http://thememoryhole.org/state/future_of_iraq/

86 http://brusselstribunal.org/Academics170407.htm

87 http://brusselstribunal.org/Health200307.htm

88 http://csmonitor.com/2005/0811/p01s03-woiq.html

89

http://brusselstribunal.org/Academics.htm


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US Genocide in Iraq

39

professionals90, engineers, journalists91,

scientists, and lawyers92 throughout the period

of US occupation reveals an objective attempt

to liquidate, or forcedly expel, the educated

Iraqi middle class that possesses the scientific,

technical, administrative, civil and military

skills necessary to guide Iraq on the strategic

path of independence, democracy and

development.

The US project of destroying the Iraqi state

and nation, however, cannot but fail:

The United States established a collision

course confrontation with Iraqi society

when it liquidated the Iraqi state,

destroying its accomplishments and

erasing its memory. It was oblivious to the

simple truth that society is not just a

political movement that can be conquered,

or a number of individuals who may be

apprehended, bribed or even killed. It is all

the living people in a given country. Like

other live societies, Iraqi society possesses

huge capabilities — a sophisticated

legacy, ancient civilisations and an

experienced

patriotic

movement.

American strategists, while building their

model for Iraq, missed or disregarded the

fact that social movements are based on

solid realities and lived experience, and

cannot just be created on the whim of a

political decision or through insidious

forms of pressure.93

To the extent to which US strategists continue

to refuse to recognise — or are not forced to

recognise — this reality, the slow genocide of

Iraq as a state and nation will continue.

90 http://wsws.org/articles/2007/may2007/irq2-

m21.shtml

91 http://brusselstribunal.org/JournalistKilled.htm

92 http://irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=71864

93 Abdul Ilah Albayaty, “Why the US will lose,” Al-

Ahram Weekly, Issue 767, 2-9 November 2005.

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2005/767/op8.htm

In regards to specific genocide, it appears clear

that: 1) Sunnis in Iraq have been

disproportionately targeted by US military

action and the constitution of a sectarian

environment that criminalises Sunnis and

militates towards their erasure for being Sunni.

This constitutes genocide of a religious group

as defined by the Genocide Convention; 2)

Members of the Iraqi Baath Party have been

targeted not only for assassination but also

dispossessed of their material means of

survival. That members of the Iraqi Baath

Party adhere or not adhere to a political

programme is irrelevant; their primary identity

is their Iraqi citizenship, and they constitute an

Iraqi national group objectively and by

ideology, the loss of which in whole or

substantial part renders the state of Iraq

unviable as an entity, threatening the survival

of the Iraqi nation; and 3) The targeting of the

Iraqi middle class, as an ethnic group as

enumerated in US Code, has also rendered the

state of Iraq unviable, threatening the survival

of the Iraqi nation.

In sum, the colonial nature of US policy is

manifest, suggesting, along the lines set out by

Sartre, that intent to commit genocide is

inherent to its rationality. Certainly

“submission” amounts to genocide for the

Iraqi people; not only socially and culturally,

under the yoke of sectarian forces imposed on

Iraq by the US, but also economically, given

that the overall US strategy is clearly defined

as seizing Iraqi oil and controlling Iraq as a

whole as part of a global strategy of

commanding the resources of the entire

Middle East and Eurasian area. The plunder

and expropriation of the primary wealth-

creating natural resources of a foreign state

and nation by definition is an act that denies

that state and nation its primary conditions of

development and life.

Further, in the context of popular resistance,

the “logic” of neo-colonial genocide is present.

With the United States choosing a “surge


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US Genocide in Iraq

40

strategy” over a timetable for withdrawal, it

appears that a strategy of annihilation — tested

and devolved into attempts to spark civil war

until now — has been embraced in full. The

overall tendency is not only towards the

continuance of the slow genocide of Iraq as a

nation, having destroyed the central state and

brought about conditions of mass deprivation,

but a possible spike in conscious extermination

as the occupation struggles to survive in the

face of overwhelming civil resistance.

For Sartre two conditions, in such a situation,

lead to the only way out — the withdrawal of

the colonial power: 1) Domestic unrest within

the colonial state, opposing the barbarity of

what is done in the name of “national interest”;

and 2) A realisation on behalf of colonial state

military commanders that the war cannot be

won, leaving withdrawal as the only option.

The second condition appears present. Dissent

within the US military — and not only at the

level of ground troops — is growing. Only the

arrogance and disregard for life and

coexistence that is embodied in the ideologues

and officials of the current US administration

blocks common sense from prevailing. As

Sartre stated 40 years ago, the United States is

not guilty of having invented genocide; it is

guilty of having “preferred a policy of war and

aggression aimed at total genocide to a policy

of peace, the only other alternative, because it

would have implied a necessary

reconsideration of [its] principal objectives.”

This guilt, indeed, is summed up in the very

notion of the “Project for a New American

Century”.

As to the first condition, a mass injection of

energy is needed. It is sad but a fact that

people grow accustomed to atrocity. But

Sartre’s analysis should be binding, for we

have in mass action a chance to help bring all

of this to an end. It is the decisive struggle of

our time.

7. Conclusion

What has happened in Iraq is more than simple

divide and rule. The biggest lie is that the US

occupation of Iraq is a blunder. Analysis of the

strategic logic for destroying Iraq, as well an

understanding of the nature of colonial war

and how the US occupation has unfolded,

reveals that it is not the occupation that veered

from its aims, but rather the Iraqi people who

in courage resisted. The longer the situation

persists, the more proven is the fortitude of the

Iraqi people.

The US’s declaration of global permanent war

has revived the strategy of total conquest,

entailing a reduction of human life as a whole

to its bare essence where people no longer

have a history as such but are mere things.

Akin to a domestic state of emergency, the

global “war on terror” declared and policed by

the United States presages a generalised

suspension of customary global civil rights and

inaugurates an era that militates towards total

conquest or total destruction. While Iraqis

have borne the brunt, in reality it is an attack

on the whole of humanity.

As such, the ongoing US genocide on Iraq is

clearly and demonstrably a threat to

international peace. International law must be

wrested from its foundation as a means of

legitimising and humanising war and instead

criminalise it unequivocally. Establishing as

criminal US imperial policies is the first step

towards forging the alternative world the bulk

of humanity hopes for and believes in.

Genocide is a crime over which all states

should, and many can, exercise universal

jurisdiction.94 That states have fallen silent

leaves agency to the people of the world.

94 Theodor Meron, “International Criminalization of

Internal Atrocities”, American Journal of International

Law, Volume 89 (1995), p. 569, Kenneth C Randall,

“Universal Jurisdiction under International Law”, Texas

Law Review, Volume 66 (1988), pp. 785, 835-837.


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US Genocide in Iraq

41

To end this genocide unfolding in front of us,

unity of purpose is necessary across the

multiple fronts of action for social justice.

Global civil disobedience need not be

conceived along the lines of a single plan.

Resistance is always a matter of situation. The

aim must be coordinated action at local,

national and international levels, in shifting

alliances that gather and displace while

maintaining pressure on all fronts.

Save the humanity in you by being against this

genocide.

Whereas thousands of Iraqis are falling, in

reality, the United States cannot make its

strategy work. In pursuing a policy of

genocide the United States has committed

moral suicide. The people of the world can and

must step into the vacuum its moral collapse

opens. We must remember and claim what

modern states supposedly concede: that people

are the sole source of sovereignty, and that

international law is the patrimony of the

development of human civilisation.

In defending both, we defend the Iraqi people.

8. Appendix

According to Article 2 of the Genocide

Convention, the following arguably constitute

qualifying acts of genocide in Iraq, 1990-2007.

All have been conducted by US forces,

multinational forces, and/or US-supported

death squads, militias or Iraqi security forces

under the final military authority of the United

States:

(a) Killing members of the group

Use of disproportionate and indiscriminate

force

Disproportionate killings of members of

the middle class as a defined national

group

Disproportionate killings of Sunnis as a

religious group

Wilful destruction of electricity and water

infrastructure

Wilful destruction of sanitation

infrastructure.

Widespread forced disappearances

Assassinations of members of the Baath

Party as a defined national group

Assassinations of doctors as members of a

national group

Assassinations of academics as members

of a national group

Assassinations of lawyers as members of a

national group

Assassinations of journalists as members

of a national group

Killings by US-supported death squads

Killings by US-supported sectarian militias

Instigation of sectarian strife leading to tit-

for-tat killings

Widespread use of DU leading to cancer

and leukaemia

Wilful destruction of the healthcare system

leading to mass preventable deaths

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to

members of the group;

Widespread use of torture

1990-2003 sanctions regime

Use of disproportionate and indiscriminate

force

Widespread use of DU leading to cancer,

leukaemia, sterility and birth defects

Wilful dismantling of the state in all its

aspects, individually and severally

Wilful destruction of electricity and water

infrastructure

Wilful destruction of sanitation

infrastructure

Wilful destruction of Iraqi heritage

Wilful destruction of religious sites

Wilful destruction of Iraqi civil

infrastructure

Disproportionate killings of members of

the middle class

Disproportionate killings of Sunnis

Widespread forced disappearances


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US Genocide in Iraq

42

Assassinations of members of the Baath

Party

Assassinations of doctors

Assassinations of academics

Assassinations of lawyers

Assassinations of journalists

US support for death squads

US support for sectarian militias

Instigation of general terror

Instigation of sectarian strife

Mass arbitrary detention

Mass kidnapping

Mass extortion

Mass rape

Mass corruption

Mass humiliation

Instigation of a drug culture

Instigation of prostitution

Mass unemployment

Mass impoverishment

Mass malnourishment

Ghettoisation

Restrictions on movement

Urbicide

Historicide

Sociocide

Policide

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group

conditions of life calculated to bring about its

physical destruction in whole or in part;

1990-2003 sanctions regime

Use of disproportionate and indiscriminate

force

Widespread use of DU and the

contamination of land and water

resources

Wilful dismantling of the state in all its

aspects, individually and severally

Wilful destruction of electricity and water

infrastructure

Wilful destruction of sanitation

infrastructure

Wilful destruction of Iraqi heritage

Wilful destruction of religious sites

Wilful destruction of Iraqi civil

infrastructure

Disproportionate killings of members of

the middle class

Disproportionate killings of Sunnis

Widespread forced disappearances

Assassinations of members of the Baath

Party

Assassinations of the Iraqi resistance

Assassinations of doctors

Assassinations of academics

Assassinations of lawyers

Assassinations of journalists

US support for death squads

US support for sectarian militias

Instigation of general terror

Instigation of sectarian strife

Mass arbitrary detention

Mass kidnapping

Mass extortion

Mass torture

Mass rape

Mass corruption

Mass humiliation

Instigation of a drug culture

Instigation of prostitution

Mass unemployment

Mass impoverishment

Mass malnourishment

Ghettoisation

Restrictions on movement

Urbicide

Historicide

Sociocide

Policide

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent

births within the group;

Widespread use of DU leading to sterility

and birth defects

Instigation of general terror

Mass arbitrary detention

Mass impoverishment

Mass malnourishment

Ghettoisation

Restrictions on movement


Page 43

US Genocide in Iraq

43

Urbicide

Sociocide

According to Article 3, the following arguably

constitute qualifying crimes in Iraq:

(a) Genocide;

All aspects noted above, individually and

severally

(b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;

US strategic agenda in Iraq, 1990 to the

present

Ongoing US strategic adjustments

All members of Multinational Force-Iraq

(MNF-I), individually and severally

The Iraqi government as an arm of the

occupation

All members of the United Nations,

individually and severally, who

supported sanctions and the 2003

invasion

(c) Direct and public incitement to commit

genocide;

“Shock and Awe”

Statements of US neoconservatives

Statements of US “liberal hawks”

Right wing and liberal US media alike in

contributing to the vilification of Iraqis

Right wing and liberal US media alike in

contributing to the vilification of the Iraqi

Baath Party

Right wing and liberal US media alike in

contributing to sectarian

US corporate propaganda

(d) Attempt to commit genocide;

All aspects noted above, individually and

severally

(e) Complicity in genocide.

All members of MNF-I, individually and

severally

The Iraqi government as an arm of the

occupation

All members of the United Nations,

individually and severally, who failed to

stop sanctions and the 2003 invasion



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