"We nonviolently oppose the
reliance on unilateral military actions rather than cooperative
A Five-Point Plan for Iraq
May 27, 2004
On May 24, George W. Bush presented a five-step plan "to help Iraq achieve democracy and freedom." Examination of his plan shows it to be a tissue of fictions. We endorse a different plan to end the occupation of Iraq.
POINT ONE: The president promised that "our coalition will transfer full sovereignty to a government of Iraqi citizens who will prepare the way for national elections. On June 30th, the Coalition Provisional Authority will cease to exist, and will not be replaced. The occupation will end, and Iraqis will govern their own affairs. America's ambassador to Iraq, John Negroponte, will present his credentials to the new president of Iraq. Our embassy in Baghdad will have the same purpose as any other American embassy, to assure good relations with a sovereign nation." The only credible assertion in this 85-word passage is that John Negroponte will present his credentials as ambassador on June 30.
POINT TWO: The president said that "to help establish the stability and security that democracy requires . . . we'll maintain our troop level at the current 138,000 as long as necessary. . . . General Abizaid and other commanders in Iraq are constantly assessing the level of troops they need to fulfill the mission. If they need more troops, I will send them." This is a description of the continued occupation of Iraq. The president attributes the violence in Iraq to "Saddam loyalists and foreign fighters," and "a young, radical cleric who commands an illegal militia," but the truth is that a genuine nationalist resistance has developed in Iraq. The troops that the president says can "establish stability and security" are themselves a destabilizing presence provoking continued violence.
POINT THREE: The president promises "to continue rebuilding [Iraq's] infrastructure," and describes progress on all fronts. The truth is that this reconstruction of Iraq has been a dismal failure. Informed commentators express amazement that so little planning was done. Retired General Anthony Zinni, chief of Central Command from 1997 to 2000, characterized the administration's irresponsible conduct in this area as "true dereliction." At this point the U.S. has so alienated the Iraqi population that the plans the president outlined are impossible to fulfill, and the money being poured into reconstruction is like water being poured onto sand.
POINT FOUR: The president says he plans "to enlist additional international support for Iraq's transition. At every stage, the United States has gone to the United Nations -- to confront Saddam Hussein, to promise serious consequences for his actions, and to begin Iraqi reconstruction. Today, the United States and Great Britain presented a new resolution in the Security Council to help move Iraq toward self-government." The draft resolution now circulating at the U.N., however, is unsatisfactorily vague in many respects.
POINT FIVE: The president promised "free, national elections" in Iraq, "to be held no later than next January," to form "a transitional national assembly" that will choose "a transitional government with executive powers" and "draft a new constitution, which will be presented to the Iraqi people in a referendum scheduled for the fall of 2005. Under this new constitution, Iraq will elect a permanent government by the end of next year." This is nothing but a pious hope, and depends on circumstances far beyond the president's ability to deliver. And in any case, are these not matters for the people of Iraq to decide, not the president of the United States?
Till now, UFPPC has called for the United States to acknowledge its fault in invading Iraq, and to work with the United Nations to help rebuild Iraq. The events of recent months have rendered such an approach impossible. There is now a real danger that the U.S.'s attempts to manipulate the United Nations will undermine what legitimacy the U.N. has. The U.S. cannot now play a constructive role in Iraq. It is time to begin to bring the troops home.
We therefore endorse, as an alternative to the president's five-point plan, the five-point plan proposed by United for Peace and Justice, the national coalition to which UFPPC belongs:
** The U.N. Security Council should refuse to endorse the U.S.-UK resolution designed to provide political cover for an illegal war, and the United Nations as a whole should refuse to participate in the U.S. occupation.
** The U.S. should end the occupation now, and bring the troops home.
** Once the U.S. ends its occupation, if representative sectors of Iraqi society invite it, the United Nations, backed by other international bodies such as the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, should stand ready to help Iraq establish mechanisms through which to choose their own leaders, reclaim sovereign control of their own country, and plan for reconstruction and development.
** The United States should pay for the reconstruction of and reparations to Iraq, in accordance with international law. Iraqis should decide the structure of their economy and control Iraq's reconstruction. All economic, oil, and security laws imposed by the U.S. occupation authority should be rescinded.
** Emptying the Abu Ghraib prison of inmates, and holding the highest-ranking U.S. military and civilian officials accountable for the torture and mistreatment of prisoners, should be seen as the first steps in a major U.S. national campaign to reverse the political culture of racism and demonization of Iraqis, Palestinians, other Arabs, and Muslims ñ the culture that made the prison torture possible.
UNITED FOR PEACE OF PIERCE
"We nonviolently oppose
the reliance on unilateral military actions