Monday, 29 December 2008

Iraqi Communist Party condemns the brutal massacre perpetrated by Israeli forces in Gaza

Iraqi Communist Party condemns the brutal massacre
perpetrated by Israeli forces in Gaza

Israel has committed a horrific massacre in Gaza that claimed the lives of hundreds of martyrs among the Palestinian people. This aggression constitutes another crime committed by the Israeli authorities in violation of international and humanitarian laws and norms. It represents a grave military escalation that reaffirms the fact that the Israel is not serious about reaching a just solution to the Palestinian issue, and that it has been resorting to procrastination and manoeuvring in dealing with all the diplomatic efforts and international mediation in this context, which the Palestinian Authority had responded to and dealt with in a responsible manner.

Our Iraqi Communist Party strongly condemns this barbaric aggression and calls upon the Arab League and the international community to act swiftly to convene a meeting of the UN Security Council and demand that Israel stops immediately its armed operations and lifts the siege on the people of Gaza.

We extend to the families of the martyrs and victims in Gaza, and to the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian people, our most sincere sympathy and solidarity, reiterating our support for the struggle of the Palestinian people to get rid of the Israeli occupation, attain their just rights and establish their own independent national state. We call on all Palestinian parties to exert efforts to end the state of division and restore national unity through Palestinian national dialogue. It is also essential to unify positions in order to strengthen the Palestinian stance in Arab and international forums, and in dealing with all the diplomatic initiatives and political negotiations aimed at achieving a lasting and just peaceful solution to the Palestinian issue.

The Central Media Bureau

Iraqi Communist Party

27 December 2008

Communists' electoral campaign in Wasit province launched by Iraqi CP leader

Communists' electoral campaign in Wasit province launched by Iraqi CP leader
Iraqi CP leader, Hamid Majeed Mousa, attended a big meeting held in the city of Kut, on Friday 25 December 2008, to launch the electoral campaign of Iraqi CP list (No. 307) in Wasit province.
He said: "Iraqi Communists have strived, and continue to strive, in the interest of toilers and their causes. they continue their contribution today, serving the causes of Iraqis and their freedom, irrespective of the difficulties and obstacles that stand in their way."

He added: "While waging our electoral campaign, we stress confidently that we shall oppose corruption with all strength, as we stood against the dictatorship and all forms of oppression." He reaffirmed the party's determination to work for upholding the rule of law and set up a state based on law and constitutional institutions.
Mousa congratulated the candidates of the list, describing them as "magnificent patriotic constellation, who have served their province in their work on all levels: governmental, professional, cultural and social." He called upon them to maintain close contact with the people "whether inside towns or deep in the countryside."

The party's electoral list for provincial elections in Wasit includes 26 people (doctors, engineers, educators, trade unionists, activists in professional and social organisations),
The electoral programme of the list was read out by Fattah Taha Dakhil, the head of the list, who is also the chairperson of the Committee of Deportees in the current provincial council.

Communists' electoral campaign launched by Iraqi CP leader in Baghdad

Communists' electoral campaign
by Iraqi CP leader in Baghdad

At a press conference held in central Baghdad on Saturday 20 December 2008, the Secretary of the Central Committee of the Iraqi Communist Party, Hameed Majid Mousa, launched the Communists' electoral campaign for the forthcoming provincial elections. Mousa pointed out that the party is taking part in these elections as a legitimate constitutional obligation to elect the representatives of the people. He expressed his wish that the elections would be free and credible, without any kind of coercion, intimidation and blackmail, and in accordance with internationally accepted criteria.

"On the basis of all this, the Communist Party has decided to take part, in a fully responsible and serious manner, in the elections that will take place on 31 January 2009, he said. He called for the participation of the broadest masses of people in the elections in order to choose those who are fully qualified to represent them and defend their interests and aspirations with honesty and sincerity. After explaining that the Iraqi Communist Party will be contesting the elections under different lists in 14 provinces, taking into account the varying political landscape, balance of forces and security conditions, he introduced the lists, their names and numbers, as well as the constituent components of coalition lists. They are as follows:
  • In Dhi Qar, Muthanna, Karbala and Diayala provinces: Iraqi Communist Party list (No. 307)
  • In Baghdad, Babil and Diwaniyah provinces: Madaniyoun list (No. 460) .. a coalition of Iraqi CP, National Democratic Party, Arab Socialist Movement and independent personalities.
  • In Anbar and Najaf provinces: Democratic Madaniyoun (No. 180) .. a coalition between Iraqi CP and democratic personalities.
  • In Basrah province: National Current list (No. 428) .. a coalition of Iraqi CP, Independent Sons of Iraq, Democratic Popular Grouping, National Democratic Party.
  • In Misan province: Democratic Alliance list (No. 452) .. a coalition of Iraqi CP and democratic figures.
  • In Nineveh province: Nineveh Fraternity list (No. 236) .. a coalition of Iraqi CP, Kurdistan CP, Kurdistan Democratic Party, Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Kurdistan Islamic Union, and Chaldean-Assyrian organisations.
  • In Salah al-Din province: Fraternity and Peaceful Coexistence list (No. 333) .. a coalition of Iraqi CP and Kurdistan parties.

Electoral campaign of "Madaniyoun" Launched in Baghdad

Electoral campaign of "Madaniyoun"
Launched in Baghdad

The electoral list "Madaniyoun", a democratic coalition contesting the forthcoming provincial elections in 3 provinces (Baghdad, Babil and Diwaniyah) was launched on Saturday 13 December 2008 at a well-attended political and media event held at the Sheraton hotel in central Baghdad.

The meeting was opened by Mufid Jazairy, Politburo member of the Iraqi Communist Party, welcoming guests, candidates of the electoral list and media representatives. He introduced the main constituent components of the list: Iraqi CP, National Democratic Party, Arab Socialist Movement, and independent well-known intellectual and social figures. The list has developed out of a movement entitled "Madaniyoun" that was launched earlier this year with the aim of promoting the establishment of a democratic civil state, based on law and institutions; a modern democratic state.

The election programme of "Madaniyoun" was read out, and its candidates were introduced. They include doctors, engineers, sports people, intellectuals, artists.. etc. Questions were put to them by journalists and representatives of TV stations about their plans if they get elected to the provincial councils.

The programme of the event included traditional songs presented by Sha'bad group and recital of poetry. It was concluded with a speech given by literary writer Shawqi Karim Hassan, the editor of the newspaper "Your Voice is Your Future" issued by the National Electoral Commission.

How Iraqi CP is contesting provincial elections

How the Iraqi Communist Party is contesting provincial elections

Electoral lists in various provinces

Name of province --------------------- Name of List --------------------- List No.

Dhi Qar (Nasseriyah) ------------- Iraqi Communist Party ------------------ 307

Wasit (Kut) ------------------------- Iraqi Communist Party -------------------- 307

Muthanna (Samawah) ----------- Iraqi Communist Party ------------------- 307

Karbala ------------------------------ Iraqi Communist Party ------------------- 307

Diyala (Baqouba) ----------------- Iraqi Communist Party ------------------- 307

Baghdad ------------------------------------ Madaniyoun ------------------------ 460

Babil (Hilla) --------------------------------- Madaniyoun ------------------------ 460

Qadisiyah (Diwaniyah) ------------------- Madaniyoun ----------------------- 460

Najaf --------------------------------- Democratic Madaniyoun -----------------180

Anbar (Ramadi) ------------------- Democratic Madaniyoun -----------------180

Basrah ----------------------------- Patriotic Current in Basrah --------------- 428

Misan (Amarah) ---------------- Democratic Alliance in Missan ------------ 452

Nineveh (Mosul) --------------------- Nineveh Fraternity List ---------------- 236

Salah al-Din (Tikrit) -------- Fraternity & Peaceful Coexistence List ----- 333

* * * * * *

Mass election rally in Amarah attended by Iraqi CP leader

Mass election rally in Amarah (Misan province) attended by Iraqi Communist leader

The leader of the Iraqi Communist Party, Hamid Majeed Mousa, visited the city of Amarah in Misan province on 13 December 2008, and attended a mass rally organised by the Democratic Alliance electoral list (No. 452).

The Communist Party is contesting the forthcoming provincial elections, on 31 January 2009, under different electoral lists in 14 provinces. Mousa, the Secreatry of the party's Central Committee, said in a speech delivered at the rally that the province of Misan may witness a change in its political life that would impact all fields.

He added that this requires active participation of everybody in the elections.
"The Iraqi citizen will show maturity in making his choices, now that five years have elapsed, and cannot repeat the same mistake. The candidates must be truthful with the electorate, and their political programmes and future plans should be made clear to the citizen in order to build up mutual trust."

Mousa stressed that the Iraqi CP's aim is to put forward candidates who can contribute to the rebuilding and development of towns. He expressed optimism about the future of Misan province "because it has taught us how to recover and rise from the ashes of our grief.. It deserves from us all attention and care."

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Iraqi CP leader visits Basra and participates in election campaign

Iraqi CP leader visits Basra and participates
in election campaign of "Patriotic Trend" list

The Iraqi Communist Party leader, Hamid Majeed Mousa, visited Basra city in southern Iraq on
Friday 12 December 2008, and attended a mass election rally organised by the "Patriotic Trend" coalition list (No. 428), which is contesting the forthcoming provincial elections in Basra. The main hall of the Basra Chamber of Commerce was packed with people and supporters of the list.

Mousa was warmly received by the political groups of the local coalition list that includes: the Communist Party, the National Democratic Party, the Democratic Popular Grouping and the Democratic Uprising. The list, which had launched its campaign on 6th Dec. 2008, will contest the elections on 31 January 2009 and compete with 39 other entities over 35 seats of Basra's provincial council.

The program of the electoral rally, to promote the "Patriotic Trend" list and introduce its candidates, included speeches, poetry and political songs.

The Iraqi news agency "Aswat al-Iraq" quoted the Iraqi CP leader as saying that "the party believes that the unity of patriotic forces is a source of strength to everybody and does not entail a loss for anyone. Our alliance is based on a conviction of the need for the cooperation of all forces of good will." He added that the coalition strives for a patriotic project that would enable the homeland to get out of the cycle of violence and rid itself of all the weaknesses that have afflicted various aspects of the situation in Iraq."

In reply to another question about the chances of achieving good results in the elections, especially in view of widespread popular criticism of the parties that dominated the provincial councils, he said: "We are working sincerely to express the vital interests of as many people as possible." He explained that five years on, the people have tested the credibility of various lists and their promises," stressing that "we are aiming to offer truth, fidelity and integrity."

The provincial elections on 31 January 2009 are expected to be a crucial and fierce political battle with significant impact on the Iraqi political scene. There are 408 election centres in Basra, and 20 local and international monitoring organisations have been registered.

Source: "Tareeq Al-Shaab", central organ of the Iraqi Communist Party - 14 Dec. 2008.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Iraqi CP opens new office in Al-Thawra City in Baghdad

Iraqi Communist Party opens new office
in Al-Thawra City in Baghdad

A new office for the Iraqi Communist Party was opened in Al-Thawra City (Sadr City) in Baghdad on 5th December 2008. The ceremony, held in open air in Jamila district, was attended by a big gathering of party members and supporters, as well as a delegation from the party Central Committee. The president and members of the municipal council of Sadr City, and other guests were present.

Abdul Hussein al-Rubaei, representing the party district committee, stressed in his speech the political significance of opening the new party office in this toiling area. Comrade Izzet Abu-el-Timmen, member of the party Political Bureau, conveyed the greetings of the Central Committee, and reiterated the party's support for the population of the City and their demands to aleviate the injustive they had suffered under the former dictatorial regime. He also called upon them to participate actively in the forthcoming provincial elections and to give their support to the electoral list "Madaniyoun" (No. 460) that represents the democratic forces.

The ceremony received several messages of greetings.

Source: Media Communication Centre of the Iraqi Communist Party

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Iraqi CP leader's contribution in Parliament about Iraqi-US Agreement

Iraqi CP leader: Iraqi-US Agreement is not best solution and aspiration..
but the best among bad options

The following are excerpts from the contribution of the Iraqi CP leader, Hamid Majeed Mousa, in the Iraqi Parliament session held on 22 November 2008 to discuss the Iraqi-US Agreement:

"My remarks focus on the Agreement itself, though this does not mean it is not linked to other Iraqi issues and concerns."
"Indeed, when one speaks of an agreement that concerns the withdrawal of foreign troops and foreign presence, one cannot be free of the bitterness into which we have been put. We were against the war and invasion, and we are striving to eliminate the occupation and its consequences. But at this moment, we must not forget the main cause that led the country to where we are; that is the former regime that had generated a lot of reasons for wars, invasion, occupation and more. Now, how to get out of this ordeal? How do we put the occupation in the place where it can be removed and its presence be eliminated? This is the core issue on which we decide our position.. Yes, there are no few remarks about the Agreement, and about its shortcomings and loopholes. We pinpointed the latter in adequate detail in the memorandum that we presented to the Council of Ministers and also in the discussions that took place with the Prime Minister. These shortcomings and loopholes have yet to be addressed, such as the inspections and export in Article 15, the jurisdiction and immunity in Article 12, and financial issues in Article 26."
"Here, when I am talking about the remarks and loopholes, I am not seeking something impossible, irregular or improper. (...) I believe that it is not right to think that Obama will be committed if the UN mandate is extended, and that he will not be committed if we sign the agreement. Obama is Obama whether there is an agreement or whether the UN mandate is extended. Therefore, we must interpret these factors and not make them essential. But there is a need to strengthen the U.S. commitment to the protection of Iraqi funds, both inside the U.S. and globally, through being committed to a new resolution from the UN Security Council under Chapter VII to protect these funds. This is possible and necessary. The Agreement refers to the possibility of amendment and scrutiny even after it is signed."
"It is my opinion, therefore, that the Agreement is not the best solution and aspiration, but the best among bad options. We are thus to choose the lesser of two evils, as long as this agreement ensures the withdrawal and evacuation in a specified and regulated period of time, and especially that it will be a United Nations document. Extending the UN mandate [for the presence of foreign forces in Iraq] means, in my opinion, remaining in square one; keeping everything as it is. The fact that this agreement contains a specific and final date for foreign presence, the need for phasing it out in a gradual and escalating manner, the lifting of immunity from foreign security firms, the exit of Iraq from UN Chapter VII, and not to attack neighbouring countries, implies steps towards the restoration of sovereignty. However, extending the UN mandate [which ends on 31 December 2008] means the continued presence of occupation with all its weight."
"We are therefore in front of a course that entails the restoration of sovereignty and independence in accordance with a specific timetable. This is what we should pay attention to and be concerned about despite the existence of the other shortcomings and loopholes which, I stress, can be amended in subsequent supplements."
"The proper implementation of the Agreement, and seriousness in implementation, are connected to our national unity and to creating a positive political atmosphere of reconciliation, consensus, deepening of democracy, and developing our national capabilities, including the armed forces, improving the government performance at the level of services and their provision, the proper management of the country's affairs away from quotas and violence and by the adoption of citizenship and elevating the status of Iraq .. Thus, in this way, we can implement the Agreement so as to achieve our goal of the evacuation and withdrawal of foreign forces and the restoration of sovereignty and independence."

Source: Media Communication Centre - Iraqi Communist Party

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Iraqi Communists: Pact with U.S. must be amended, or ‘we’ll be the first to reject it’

Iraqi Communists: Pact with U.S. must be amended,
or ‘we’ll be the first to reject it’

People's Weekly World Newspaper, 11/11/08

The latest version of the Iraq-U.S. agreement is “unacceptable” and must be changed to “secure for the Iraqis their legitimate national rights,” the leader of the Iraqi Communist Party told a public meeting of 1,000 people in Baghdad Oct. 31.

“Our party is seeking, with others, to amend the agreement, because it is unacceptable in Iraqi society in its current draft,” Hamid Majeed Mousa, secretary of the party’s central committee and a member of the Iraqi Parliament, said. “It will also not pass in the Parliament in this format, and we will be the first to reject it.”

The U.S. occupation was internationally legitimized through UN Security Council Resolution 1483 against the will of the Iraqi people, Mousa said.

Therefore, “it is not a question of whether not or there should be an agreement,” he told the crowd. “There has to be an agreement that ensures the evacuation of the foreign troops … their evacuation cannot take place by total rejection. It must be regulated by an agreement between the two sides. In all countries, regardless of the situation where there are foreign troops, their exit does not take place by only ignoring mutual dialogue and talks, but through an agreement. What matters, therefore, is the content of such an agreement, and what the principles and basis were for concluding it. This is the correct approach.”

Iraq’s Communist Party, he said, is “trying, along with other national forces, inside and outside the political process, to reach an agreement that governs the withdrawal of foreign forces and their operation during the interim transitional period. This was the demand of the patriotic forces from the outset: i.e. scheduling the withdrawal of foreign forces. Scheduling means, among other things, that there should be a document regulating this process; this movement and this withdrawal, and the gradual transfer of authorities and responsibilities to the Iraqi national side. We strive to ensure that this document reflects the will of Iraqis and their aspiration to see a clear end, unequivocally, of the foreign presence, without delays, procrastination and cumbersome conditions.”

Several parties bear responsibility for the imposition of foreign occupation on the Iraqi people, “first of which is the dictatorship that led Iraq into this mess and the subsequent repercussions,” the Communist Party leader said,

“Then comes the UN Security Council and the resolutions it issued as a result of the hegemony of the unipolar order and the United States.

“Finally, we have the Arab countries that brag and shout against the agreement, and consider its signing to be a ‘violation’ of Iraqi sovereignty — yet, many of these countries have signed agreements that are more problematic than the present agreement.”

“We want a clearly-defined agreement,” one that “does not involve any ambiguity, or ambiguous language,” Mousa said. “The contents of its clauses must not be open to various interpretations, contradictory or contradicting each other. We want the terms of the presence of foreign forces to be set out clearly. They must not have absolute powers, without bounds and regulations, and not subject to inspection and control by the Iraqi forces and authorities. Their movement and operations must all be conducted in coordination with the Iraqi side, supervised by it, and liable to Iraq’s national decisions, contrary to what the situation is today.”

Mousa sharply criticized the notion that an extension of the UN Security Council mandate would be preferable to a negotiated Iraq-U.S. agreement. Under the UN Security Council resolution, “the foreign forces are in command militarily and in charge of security matters, with the Iraqi forces being part of the ‘coalition forces,’” he said. “An extension of the mandate would mean complete control by foreign forces and the subordination of Iraqi forces to them. What is required, however, is an agreement that sets a clearly-defined timetable for the departure of foreign forces.”

Returning to the UN mandate “means a return to square one,” he said. “The UN resolutions do not have a specified time limit, and do not adhere to a clearly-defined timetable for the evacuation of foreign troops; and therefore do not speak about restoring sovereignty.”

Although negotiations with the U.S. have produced some improvements over earlier versions of the agreement, he said the Communist Party had submitted to the Iraqi government additional changes it considers essential to any agreement. Iraq’s Council of Ministers has endorsed a memorandum incorporating the Communist Party’s proposals and those submitted by other Iraqi groups, as a basis for further negotiations with the U.S., Mousa said.

He spelled out a list of specific necessary changes to the draft agreement. They include:
  • Specifying an end-date for the agreement. The current draft leaves the agreement in force open-endedly, unless one of the two parties submits a written notice to the other party requesting termination. “There is concern,” said Mousa, that this “may be used to circumvent the timetable of the Agreement on the temporary presence of foreign forces.”
  • Deleting language that allows for extending the stay of U.S. forces in Iraq.
  • Deleting language that “allows an open-ended increase of the installations and areas used by the US forces, without limitation.”
  • Clearly defining who is subject to Iraqi laws and jurisdiction.
Mousa charged that “the American side spares no effort and does not refrain from using illegitimate and sometimes deceitful means to put pressure on the Iraqi side, to compel it to sign the agreement as it is, or to accept the fewest possible and formal amendments.”

The reactions of the Bush administration to the negotiating process have been “mostly negative,” he said, “with some going as far as implicit threats, others being explicit, saying that Iraq would revert to the state of chaos; would lose a lot as a result of not signing the agreement; would lose aid, support and arms; and its funds abroad would be plundered. But a careful analysis of things and a correct knowledge of the prevailing balance of forces at the concrete moment, especially with regard to the American side, allows the conclusion that the threatening and escalation is nothing but ‘hollow drums’ intended to intimidate and influence the Iraqi negotiators to force them to relent and submit to the demands and conditions of the American side.”

At the same time, he noted, statements issued by some American officials indicate they will “listen to the Iraqis’ point of view.”

The issue of how to deal with the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq is “a sensitive issue” in the United States, Mousa said. “The demand for the need to reduce the U.S. presence in Iraq and for the scheduling of the withdrawal is a pressing factor in the presidential elections and for the American position. Obama’s program, which he put forward regarding the military presence in Iraq, is perhaps closer and more appropriate, but we must not lose sight of our objective … for the policy in the U.S. is not decided by this president or that, and the president-elect does not necessarily adhere to his pledges.” U.S. policy is the product of “diverse interests and contradictory interests,” he observed.

The Iraqi Communist leader was also critical of some “Arab and regional players.” With varying motives, these players, he said, “have used various means to exert pressure and psychological warfare on the Iraqi side and the Iraqi negotiators, instead of providing positive support to strengthen its position and act as brothers or allies so as to help improve the negotiating position of the Iraqi side.”

Within Iraq, he said, “the higher interests of the country must be the basis and criterion in determining the position towards the agreement, rather than the differences between the parties of the political process. It is therefore essential, first and foremost, to support the efforts that help Iraq to get a fair and balanced agreement that secures its legitimate rights in accordance with international law, in the forefront of which is to exercise its right to self-determination, build the system of its choice, and regain its full sovereignty and independence.”

“We are not among the supporters of absolute acceptance or absolute rejection. We are for the option of insisting on amending the current draft of the agreement” and there are real possibilities” to achieve that if public opinion is heeded and mobilized, Mousa said.

“We will not accept any secret agreement or secret annexes,” the Communist leader concluded. “Everything must be presented to the people.”

Source: People's Weekly World Newspaper, 11/11/08

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Iraqi CP considers Provincial Elections Law unfair to minorities

Iraqi Communist Party considers Provincial Elections Law
unfair to minorities

Mufid al-Jazairy, Member of Parliament, said that the Iraqi Communist Party did not support the proposal of some political blocs to allocate only 6 seats for minorities in the provincial councils, during the parliament session last Monday, 3-11-2008.

Jazairy, who is a member of Iraqi CP's Political Bureau, said in a statement given to the party central organ "Tareeq Al-Shaab" (People's Path), that "the party considered the proposal to be unfair to small national and religious components of the Iraqi society."

He explained that the party had called on the parliament to adopt the proposal put forward by the United Nations, describing it as being balanced. He said that the UN proposal "ensures fair representation for the national and religious minorities in the provincial councils of Baghdad, Mosul and Basra."

Jazairy added that "the supporters of the adopted proposal refused to give the representatives of minorities 12 seats out of about 450 seats, as they considered that to be too many, and instead cut the number by half."

The head of the UN Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), Staffan de Mistura, had made a proposal that there should be 12 seats allocated to representatives of minorities in provincial councils.

Jazairy expressed his regret that proposal put forward by Iraqi CP leader Hamid Majeed Mousa (also a member of parliament) was not adopted during consultations between the political blocs. He said: "In an attempt to address the problem, comrade Mousa proposed that the 12 seats, allocated to representatives of minorities, be considered additional seats, excluded from the number already allocated to each provincial council."

Jazairy explained that the Iraqi CP's rejection of the proposal approved by the Parliament stems from its consistent position, in support of the minorities and their cultural and administrative rights. "It is a position that has always been adhered to by the Party, throughout 75 years of its history," he said.

Source: "Tareeq Al-Shaab" (People's Path), central organ of the Iraqi Communist Party, 5-11-2008.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Iraqi President receives delegation of Iraqi Communist Party leadership

Iraqi President receives delegation of Iraqi Communist Party leadership


The Iraqi President Jalal Talabani received yesterday, Sunday 2-11-2008, a delegation of the Iraqi Communist Party leadership, headed by comrade Hamid Majeed Mousa, the Secretary of its Central Committee.

The two sides discussed recent political developments, especially regarding the Iraq-US security agreement and the anticipated American response to the amendments demanded by the Iraqi government.

Talks during the meeting also dealt with the developments concerning the relationship between the Federal Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government, and the work of the committees that had been formed to address outstanding issues.

The two sides discussed the relations with neighbouring countries, and agreed on the need to care for, maintain and develop these relations.

The Iraqi CP delegation included comrades Raid Fahmi, Hassan Akif, Izzat Abu al-Timman and Jassim al-Hilfi. The meeting was also attended by Latif Rashid, Minister of Water Resources, and Saadi Peerah, member of the Political Bureau of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, and Nizar Mohammed Saeed, director of the President's office.

Source: "Tareeq Al-Shaab" (People's Path), the central organ of the Iraqi Communist Party (3-11-2008).

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Media reports about Iraqi Communist Party meeting in Baghdad on the Iraq - U.S. Agreement

Media reports about Iraqi Communist Party
meeting in Baghdad

on the Iraq - U.S. Agreement

  • U.S. using deceitful methods to pass the Security Agreement
  • Iraqi Communist Party calls for amendments to the Agreement
  • Draft agreement does not fulfil the aspirations of the Iraqi people
  • Fundamental objective is evacuation of foreign troops and regaining sovereignty and independence


The Iraqi Communist Party organised a big meeting in Baghdad on Friday 30-10-2008 to present its position on the proposed Iraq - U.S. Agreement. The meeting, attended by about 1000 people, was addressed by Hamid Majeed Mousa, the Secretary of the Central Committee of the party. The following are excerpts from media coverage of the event as reported by news agencies:

The leader of the Iraqi Communist Party, Hamid Majeed Mousa, announced the party's position, rejecting the security agreement in its present form, and calling for amendments to it, in addition to scheduling the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

Mousa said the party will not agree to pass the Agreement with the U.S. unless the recent amendments demanded by the Iraqi government are made. He added that the American side is using illegitimate and deceitful means to pass the agreement as currently drafted.

Mousa, who is also a member of the Iraqi parliament, said that the present draft agreement with its articles "does not fulfil the aspirations of the Iraqi people, and contains a lot of vagueness and uncertainty."

"We must always demonstrate a high sense of responsibility with regard to the consequences of the agreement and its applications, in order to achieve the fundamental objective sought from it: the withdrawal or evacuation of foreign troops, and the Iraqi people regaining their sovereignty and independence. The armed forces must be qualified and provide the alternative to foreign troops. We are therefore facing an urgent and grave task that requires providing the prerequisites for an agreement that enables the Iraqis to secure their rights."

The Iraqi CP leader stressed the need to have open and transparent negotiations as well as relying on the mobilization of the masses when demanding to amend the terms of the draft agreement, pointing to the lack of parity between the Iraqi and American negotiators.

He criticized what he described as the media campaign, by American and Arab media that dealt with agreement. "There has been a huge publicity campaign by U.S. media claiming that Iraq will return to the state of chaos that prevailed after the fall of the former regime in 2003, and that it would lose the aid and support given to it in the area of arming and training Iraqi security forces, and other matters, in an attempt to undermine the Iraqi side in the negotiations."

Mousa described these threats as "nothing but hollow drums designed to force the Iraqi side to sign the security agreement with Washington against its will."

He said: "If you have followed the U.S. media, you would be amazed by what has been said. Unfortunately, many of the Arab and regional media have also behaved in a similar manner, despite having different intentions. But they have exerted pressure, in various ways, on the Iraqi side and employed psychological warfare against the Iraqi negotiators."

He drew attention to the need "to amend the terms concerning control over the American mail entering Iraq so that the Iraqi side has the authority to control and inspect it." In addition, "the powers of U.S. troops on Iraqi territory need to be specified." The agreement need to include "protection for Iraqi funds in all countries of the world, and not to be confined to Iraqi funds in U.S. banks.”

The Iraqi Communist Party leader pointed to the ratification by the Council of Ministers in the past few days of a memo that contained the demands of Iraqi political forces to amend the terms of the draft agreement, so as to form the basis for its conclusion. He called at the same time on the Iraqi parties to take a unified position through which a fair agreement can be secured without coercion or pressure directed on the Iraqi side.

Friday, 31 October 2008



October 30, 2008
BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraq wants a security agreement with the United States to include a clear ban on American troops using Iraqi territory to attack Iraq's neighbors, a government spokesman said yesterday, three days after a dramatic US raid on Syria.
Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said the proposed amendment was among several forwarded to Washington, where President Bush said negotiators were analyzing them. "We obviously want to be helpful and constructive without undermining basic principles," Bush said.
Al-Dabbagh said the Iraqis want the right to declare the agreement null and void if the United States unilaterally attacks one of Iraq's neighbors.
US troops launched a daring daylight attack Sunday a few miles into Syrian territory, killing senior al Qaeda figure Abu Ghadiyah.
Al-Dabbagh said other amendments sought by the Iraqis include a clear definition of "duty" when cases arise involving crimes committed by American troops off base.
These GIs would be tried under Iraqi jurisdiction. The Iraqis also want to inspect all US military shipments entering or leaving Iraq. The agreement must be approved by the end of the year, or the US military would have to suspend all operations in Iraq.

Iraq plans to cut 2009 budget by $13 billion

Iraq plans to cut 2009 budget by $13 billion

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq plans to cut its 2009 draft budget to $67 billion in light of falling world oil prices, finance ministry officials said.
Iraqi authorities set the original draft budget last month at around $80 billion, based on expectations that the average price per barrel of oil would not drop below $80.
But prices have slipped sharply since summer highs. On Friday, oil for December delivery was down $1.44 to $64.52 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange by midmorning in Asia.
That drop has forced Iraq, which is dependent on oil revenues for more than 90 percent of its national capital budget, to revise its 2009 draft budget, Finance Ministry spokesman Adnan Abdul-Rahman said Friday.
A day earlier, Finance Minister Bayan Jabr said after a meeting with IMF officials in Amman, Jordan, that the ministry had decided to cut $13 billion from the planned 2009 budget.
"An agreement was reached to consider $67 billion as the 2009 budget instead of the recently set draft budget of $80 billion," he said in comments broadcast on Al-Sharqiya television.
Jabr said the revised budget is based on an assumed oil price of $62 per barrel, lower than the original estimate of $80.
He added that "many sectors" will be affected by the cuts, but did not specify.
Ministry spokesman Abdul-Rahman said officials were slated to meet Saturday to discuss the budget, but that it was not clear when a final draft would be ready.
Iraq is home to vast oil reserves with a proven 115 billion barrels. Its daily production stands near 2.4 million barrels a day.

Iraq gov't wants all US troops gone by end of 2011

Iraq gov't wants all US troops gone by end of 2011

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq wants to eliminate any chance U.S. forces will stay here after 2011 under a proposed security pact and to expand Iraqi legal jurisdiction over U.S. troops until then, a close ally of the prime minister said Thursday.
Those demands, which were presented to U.S. officials this week, could derail the deal — delivering a diplomatic blow to Washington in the final weeks of the Bush administration.
Failure to reach an agreement before year's end could force a suspension of American military operations, and U.S. commanders have been warning Iraqi officials that could endanger security improvements.
The current draft, hammered out in months of tortuous negotiations, would have U.S. soldiers leave Iraq by Dec. 31, 2011, unless the two governments agreed to an extension for training and supporting Iraqi security forces.
But Ali al-Adeeb, a member of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's inner circle, said the government wants that possibility excluded by language adding finality to the end of 2011 date.
"The Iraqi side wants to remove any mention of a possible extension of U.S. troops, fearing that the existing clause might be subject to misinterpretation or could bear different interpretation," he told The Associated Press.
Otherwise, he said the U.S. might demand an extension "depending on their evaluation" of the security situation and the state of readiness within Iraq's army and police. U.S. officials have privately suggested 2012 is too early for Iraqi forces to be truly ready to maintain order.
The draft also gives Iraqi courts limited jurisdiction over U.S. troops, allowing them to be prosecuted by Iraqis only if they are accused of major crimes committed off post and off duty.
Al-Adeeb said the Iraqis want to add a provision for a joint U.S.-Iraqi committee to decide whether U.S. soldiers accused of such crimes were really on authorized missions.
Planning Minister Ali Baban, a Sunni, added that the Iraqis want jurisdiction over all U.S. soldiers and contractors unless they are carrying out joint military operations approved by Iraqis — a subtle but significant change to the draft that U.S. authorities may find unacceptable.
Iraqi officials have said the changes must be made in the draft agreement before it can be approved by parliament in time for the Dec. 31 expiration of a U.N. Security Council mandate under which coalition troops operate in Iraq.
Without an agreement or a new U.N. mandate, the U.S. military would have to suspend all operations in Iraq after that.
"We are waiting for a response from the U.S. negotiators on how much they can accommodate," Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told CNN. "I think both sides here have reached the moment of truth. The time window is closing, and a decision has to be made as soon as possible."
But the Bush administration's hope to secure the deal while in office was fading with the new Iraqi demands, despite White House assurances that an agreement was still possible.
Al-Maliki, meanwhile, met with a leading Shiite politician late Thursday to discuss the deal. Government television quoted the prime minister as describing the agreement as a framework for the pullout of U.S. forces and the regulation of "their activities within the rest of the time they're here."
"We don't call it a security pact but an agreement to withdraw the troops and organize their activities during the period of their presence in Iraq," al-Maliki was quoted as saying.
U.S. officials in Washington refused to discuss possible alternatives to securing a deal, saying they were still reviewing Iraq's proposed amendments that were received Wednesday.
But officials bristled at suggestions the negotiations could be reopened and said the U.S. was not yet considering asking the Security Council to extend the U.N. mandate.
"Once we have something to say on it, we will," State Department spokesman Robert Wood told reporters in Washington. "But for the moment, we're just taking our time in reviewing it to make sure that we've got a good sense of what it is the Iraqis have put forward."
Privately, however, U.S. officials were growing pessimistic about chances for a deal. Failure to seal a deal with Iraqi politicians who owe their position to the 2003 U.S.-led invasion would be a huge embarrassment to President Bush, whose administration was largely defined by the war.
In Baghdad, U.S. military officials have urged the Iraqis to consider what could happen here if the U.S. suspended military operations, warning that the security gains won by the blood of American and Iraqi soldiers would be at risk.
Violence is down sharply after the Sunni revolt against al-Qaida in Iraq and the routing of Shiite militias in Baghdad and southern Iraq last spring.
But U.S. and other coalition forces also provide considerable help to Iraqi ministries in infrastructure and quality of life projects that would have to stop — along with control of the airspace and protection of Iraq's oil export facilities in the Persian Gulf.
"There's really no area that we as a coalition ... operate in that is not governed by legal authority," the U.S. military spokesman, Brig. Gen. David Perkins, told reporters.
He said the American military presence enables other international organizations, including the United Nations, and private groups to do their jobs.
"These things are all interrelated," Perkins said. "You pull one pillar out, you seriously degrade the efforts of others."

Iraqis hit back at US commander

Iraqis hit back at US commander


IRAQ. The Iraqi government has criticised US military chief Admiral Mike Mullen for warning of "major security losses" if Iraq does not pass a key security deal.
Ignoring the warning, Iraq's cabinet called for changes to the draft pact, which allows US forces to stay in Iraq after their mandate ends in December.
Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said the admiral's remarks were an unwelcome source of "deep concern."
Reacting to Tuesday's warning from the US chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Dabbagh said in a strongly worded statement that the "Iraqi government is deeply concerned by the statement of Admiral Michael Mullen".
"Such a statement is not welcomed by Iraq. All Iraqis and their political entities are aware of their responsibilities and are assessing whether to sign the deal or not in a way that it is suitable to them.
"It is not correct to force Iraqis into making a choice and it is not appropriate to talk with the Iraqis in this way."
Adm Mullen warned that Iraq risked security losses of "significant consequence" unless it approved the deal to keep American forces in Iraq beyond the end of the year.
He told AFP that Iraqi forces would "not be ready to provide for their security" before the expiration of the current UN mandate on 31 December.
"It's time for the Iraqis to make a decision," Admiral Mullen said.
US Defence Secretary Robert Gates also warned of "dramatic consequences," saying the US would have to "basically stop doing anything" if there were no Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA).
Also addressing Admiral Mullen's remarks, Iraq's military spokesman Brigadier General Qassim Atta said Iraqi forces were ready to handle security across the country, noting that they already control 11 of Iraq's provinces.
Iraqi political leaders are demanding changes to a draft deal already agreed with Washington that would allow US forces to stay in Iraq until 2011. The current UN mandate for US-led coalition forces expires at the end of the year.

Source: BI-ME , Author: BI-ME staff

Iraqi CP: US forces alone are held responsible for cross-border raid into Syria

Iraqi CP: US forces alone are held responsible for cross-border raid into Syria

The Iraqi parliament, in its session held on Tuesday 28 September 2008, discussed the cross-border military operation into Syria carried out by US forces last Sunday.]
Earlier in the session, a member of parliament Abdul Karim al-Enzi pointed out that the raid caused a political crisis between Iraq and Syria, and that it was in contravention of Iraqi constitution. He called on the Iraqi government to provide an explanation for what happened during the operation.
Hamid Majeed Mousa, Iraqi Communist leader and member of parliament, stressed that the American forces alone are held responsible for the raid, because it did not respect the Iraqi constitution. He called on the parliament to shoulder its responsibility when it debates the security agreement to be signed with the American side.
Other members of parliament considered the US raid to be extremely sensitive and dangerous, and called for resolving the issue through diplomatic dialogue with Syria. Reference was made to the fact that UN Security Council resolution 1546 had given Multi-national Forces the authority to provide security for Iraq, and thus called for revising these resolutions to ensure a bigger role for the Iraqi government. Mahmoud Othman, Member of Parliament from the Kurdistan Alliance, suggested that the parliament should ask the government to conduct an investigation, supervised by the Arab League, into the raid.
Another MP, Shatha al-Mousawi, called on the parliament to endorse the security agreement with the US because it contains articles that prohibit the use of Iraqi territories to carry out aggression on neighbouring countries. Wa'il Abdul Latif said that no information was available about the US raid, and called for seeking an explanation from the Iraqi ministry of defence.

Source: news report in "Tareeq Al-Shaab" (People's Path), the central organ of the Iraqi Communist Party, 29-10-2008.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

No agreement could be signed with Britain before finalizing security deal - MP

No agreement could be signed with Britain before finalizing security deal - MP

October 23, 2008

BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq: MP from the United Iraqi Alliance (UIA) Haydar al-Abadi on Thursday said that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told the British side of the impossibility of signing any security agreement with it before the controversial pact with Washington is finalized.

“Al-Maliki told the British side that Iraq will discuss the matter after finalizing the agreement with the U.S.,” al-Abadi told Aswat al-Iraq.

“The Iraqi vision highlights that there is no need for the presence of British forces in Iraq after the end of their authorization by the end of 2008,” he explained.

He dismissed any British mediation between the U.S. and the UIA to facilitate the approval of the security deal, describing such news as baseless.

The U.S. and Iraqi governments are currently negotiating a security pact that would regulate the presence of foreign troops in the country after 2008.

A declaration of principles was signed between U.S. President George W. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in December 2007. The declaration was scheduled to be ratified on July 31, 2008 and to come into force as of January 1, 2009.

The agreement governs the presence of U.S. forces in the country after 2008 and will not come into force without the approval of the Iraqi Parliament

The current U.N. mandate for U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq expires on 31 December. About 144,000 of the 152,000 foreign troops deployed there are US military personnel.

The Iraqi government has publicly insisted on a clear timeline for withdrawal, and U.S. officials said the current draft included a timeline for U.S. withdrawal before the end of 2011.

It also wants to be able to prosecute U.S. troops if they commit crimes outside their bases while off duty or on unauthorized missions.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Communiqué - Meeting of Central Committee of Iraqi CP


Central Committee of the Iraqi Communist Party holds regular meeting

The Central Committee of the Iraqi Communist Party held a regular meeting on October 17, 2008.

The meeting dealt with the political situation and recent developments in the country, as well as the work of the party and its organizations, based on two reports; political and organizational, that were presented by the Political Bureau of the Central Committee.

Discussions of political developments focused on the issue of the security and military agreement with the United States and ongoing negotiations about it. The Central Committee meeting called for the publication of the latest draft text of the agreement, to inform the people and allow them to express their opinion through possible ways and means. The meeting also discussed the relationship between the federal government and the regional Kurdistan government, the changes in the landscape of political forces, the emerging new alignments, and related ramifications and many other relevant issues that need to be considered and tackled.

The meeting dealt with the issue of the forthcoming provincial elections, its importance and the need to seek to ensure wider popular participation and good preparation. It stressed the importance of preparing the party organizations, and all its comrades and supporters, to take part in these elections with dynamism, perseverance and a high democratic spirit to achieve the desired results.

The Central Committee meeting also reviewed the developments of the deepening global financial-economic crisis, which has revealed the harm and grave consequences of neo-liberal policies and ideology. It considered the possible ways that this crisis can impact our country, and how its consequences can be averted.

The meeting stressed the need to prepare for the 75th anniversary of the foundation of the Iraqi Communist Party, on March 31, 2009, and the importance of drawing lessons from the history of struggle of the party and the patriotic movement, for its future work and striving relentlessly for "a Free Homeland and Prosperous People".

A more detailed statement will be issued later about the deliberations of the Central Committee and the conclusions it reached in relation to the issues in question.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Workers of Hilla Textiles Company Go on Strilke

Workers and Employees of Hilla Textiles Company Go on Strike

Hundreds of workers and employees of the Public Company of Textile Industries in Hilla organised a strike on 9 October 2008, and demonstrated outside the company. They called for improving their living conditions, and demanded the payment of their wages in accordance with the new salary pay scale No. 22 (2008), in addition to other demands.
The engineer Ghassan abdul-Amir Jassem, the director of engineering department in the factory, explained that they organised this demonstration "to demand their legitimate rights that have been endorsed by the Parliament, and which the Ministry of Finance did not implement."
He added that "the Labour Law and the working class had been marginalized during the former regime, and this marginalisation is still continuing. The Government must work to support the agriculture and industry because their are the pillars of economy."
Jassem pointed out that "all the departments have received the difference in wages except the employees of the Company in Hilla."
The memorandum issued by the strikers, which was addressed to the Governor of Hilla, called for "giving the workers what they are entitled to, in terms of the differences between wages for the period 1st January 2008 - 31 May 2008, in line with their colleagues in other ministries, in addition to danger allowances for being exposed to dangerous and arduous jobs." The memorandum also called for "covering the productive sections with the system of incentives and rewards, and speeding up the formation of a union."
The demonstration was attended by few members of Babil's Governorate (provincial) Council, in addition to Hassan Kadhem al-Salami, the deputy chairman of the General Federation of Workers' Unions in Babil, to express support for the strikers.

Source: "Tareeq Al-Shaab", the central organ of the Iraqi Communist Party (15-10-2008).

Iraqi CP .. Meeting in Baghdad on Global Financial Crisis

Meeting at Iraqi CP headquarters in Baghdad
about the Global Financial Crisis

Saleh Yassir, member of the Central Committee of the Iraqi Communist Party, presented an extensive analysis of the current global financial crisis at a meeting held on Tuesday, October 14, 2008 at the party headquarters at Andulus Square in central Baghdad.
More than 200 people packed the hall to listen to a stimulating presentation of the political economy of the crisis, its causes and repercussions, as well as its principal characteristics compared with previous crises.
Comrade Yassir concluded that the crisis has marked the beginning of the end for neo-liberalism on several levels; economic, political and social. He pointed out that the global financial system will not return to what it was before, but will witness significant changes in terms of an end of the brutal chaos of globalised state monopoly financial capitalism, and towards interference by the State in controlling the financial markets of each state and on the global level.
Does the crisis mean the end of the capitalist system? Replying to this question, comrade Yassir said "No. The end of capitalism requires waging a social struggle and broad class alliances that would not evolve and develop in a short time."
A more extensive report of the meeting will be published later, according to "Tareeq Al-Shaab".

Source: "Tareeq Al-Shaab", the central organ of the Iraqi Communist Party (15-10-2008).

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Peasants demonstrate in Najaf

Peasants demonstrate in Najaf to demand
increase of purchase price of rice

Newsmatique / Najaf

Dozens of farmers and peasants in the province of Najaf took part today, Tuesday, in a peaceful demonstration to protest against their poor conditions and to demand more government support, particularly related to the purchase price of rice.
The demonstration started from the Al-Ishreen Square in the centre of the city and marched towards the provincial council building of Najaf. The protesters called for "an increase in the prices of agricultural crops, which the state buy from them at the end of the agricultural season every year," noting that "the prices are less than the real cost of production and therefore expose them to losses every season. "
The representative of the peasants' association in Najaf, Jabbar Hussein Khashan, said that "our demonstration is peaceful, to demand an increase in the purchase price of rice for this year."
Khashan added in an interview with Newsmatique that "the prices last year were at a reasonable level considering the cost of production and prices at the time. But they are no longer reasonable this year.”
He explained that "the price of a ton of seeds was 250 thousand Dinars last year, but has increased this year to 700 thousand Dinars. In addition, the Ministry of Agriculture has distributed poor fertilizers this year, thus forcing the peasant to buy fertilizers from the market at a price of 350 thousand Dinars per 100 grams."
Khashan said that "if there is no response to our demands, we will go to Baghdad and demonstrate outside the Council of Ministers."
A peasant, Thamer Falah Kadhim, criticized what he regarded as "the neglect of peasants by the state and the marginalization of their role." He urged the government "to consider the plight of peasants", some of whom "are unable to provide food for their children due to lack of financial returns of farming."

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Iraqi CP leader .. about global financial crisis

Iraqi CP leader: Ongoing "Financial Quake" stems from nature of capitalist system

In an extensive interview with "Tareeq Al-Shaab", the central organ of the Iraqi Communist Party, published on 12 October 2008, the party leader Mr Hamid Majeed Mousa dealt with a number of pressing internal issues as well as major recent developments in the international arena. The following is an excerpt regarding the current world financial crisis:

Q: The heart of capitalism is now witnessing a financial crisis whose consequences are not yet fully borne out, both inside the US and outside. Can you give the readers of our newspaper your evaluation of what is going on?

A: What has happened, and is still going on, stems from the nature of the capitalist system that is characterized by the emergence of periodic crises, which the market system cannot avert before it disposes the working people and toilers of their dearest assets. These are crises that result in maximizing the wealth of the rich who have fixed assets and reduce to a minimum the purchasing power of consumers and wage earners. What has happened reflects, in concrete terms, the dominance of financial capital over the capitalist economy, as demonstrated by the inflation of the role of financial institutions and inflated financial circulation at the expense of the real productive economy.

According to the available facts, the financial circulation, which includes the assets of banks and financing institutions, insurance and stock markets, is three times what the real finance economy represents in the world. This means that two-thirds of the global economy is a shadow economy whose owners grab its profits from the productive economy, but through very complex and interrelated means, that ordinary citizens cannot grasp their mechanisms, secrets, complexity and repercussions.

The problem developed when the U.S. economy, the leader of the world capitalist economy, faced stagnation and crisis, and millions of people who got loans to build or purchase houses and real estate were unable to pay mortgage instalments due to the lack of adequate resources because of the stagnation of economy and the rise in interest rates. As a result, mortgage companies repossessed more than 10 million housing units. This led to a huge crisis in liquidity, with these institutions being unable to fulfil their financial obligations and pay back credits. Their failure to pay back debts led to many banks declaring bankruptcy.

This cascade of repercussions has led to a major crisis in the U.S. economy. And the consequences and results are continuing, and more will follow in the future.

Given globalisation and the role of the U.S. economy in the system of globalisation, the effects of the collapse of mortgage and insurance institutions and banks will not remain confined to the U.S. market, especially that it controls the global currency (the dollar). By virtue of dependency, and as a result of overlapping investments and economic ties, the waves of this quake, that has its centre in Washington, will cover other capitals. No state or economy will be spared.

Let me warn against what some Iraqi economic experts, or Central Bank staff, have been saying, that the Iraqi economy is immune to the economic shocks taking place in the world. How can this be the case when the cover for the Iraqi Dinar is mainly the U.S. dollar? How can this be true while the American market is one of the major importers of oil? How is it so when we rely on oil prices that have been affected by the hurricanes for the past two or three months?… and while we are mainly importing from American markets and other world markets? Yes, we shall certainly be affected. But we are still reaping the first waves, and we'll see what happens... We must work to reduce this loss. Those who attempt to belittle the danger of what is going on risk should think instead about reducing the negative effects of global shocks on the Iraqi economy, the Iraqi market and the Iraqi Dinar… instead of claiming that the American quake has no effect on the Iraqi economy.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Iraqi CP: About the Iraq-US Agreement

Iraqi Communist Party
Editorial - "Tareeq Al-Shaab" (People's Path), the central organ of Iraqi CP
9 October 2008

About the Iraq-US Agreement

Towards an integrated patriotic position to safeguard
the higher interests of the people and the homeland

The public opinion and political parties have paid, and continue to pay, special attention to the Iraq-US negotiations that are considering the fate of foreign troops, that are present in our country since the occupation in April 2003, and the relationship between Iraq and the United States. It will be recalled in this regard that Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki had signed with the U.S. President George W. Bush on November 25, 2008 "a declaration of principles on the long-term relationship of friendship and cooperation between the Republic of Iraq and the United States of America," which was considered at the time as a general framework that paves the way for negotiations aimed to reach a bilateral agreement governing the relationship between the two countries on security, political, diplomatic, economic and cultural levels, to be completed before July 31, 2008.
It is known that Iraq had been placed, because of the dictatorial regime's policies and its external wars of aggression, under Chapter VII of the UN Charter according to Security Council Resolution 661 in August 1990, after considering the situation in Iraq at the time to be a threat to international peace and security.
After the fall of the dictatorial regime in April 9, 2003, the UN Security Council Resolution 1483 (May 2003) was adopted, which conferred international legitimacy on the occupation and its Authority. A subsequent resolution, UNSCR 1511(October 2003), stipulated the formation of the Multinational Force under a unified command, and the mandate of the latter was subsequently renewed in Resolutions 1637 (2005) and 1723 (2006). All these resolutions were issued under Chapter VII, on the basis that the situation in Iraq continued to be "a threat to international peace and security", thus requiring that Iraq remains under a kind of international trusteeship and with its sovereignty violated.
In addition to this, the mandate of the Multinational Force was automatically renewed, without coupling this renewal with a serious review of the role of these forces and regulating their presence and powers in accordance with a mechanism that is agreed upon between the Iraqi government and the United States. The latter was assigned by Resolution 1511 the task of being in charge of these forces and presenting periodical reports on their operation to the UN Security Council. This is despite the fact that Resolution 1546 (June 8, 2004) had stipulated the ending "officially" of the occupation and its Authority, and that the interim Iraqi government would take over its functions.
The UN Security Council issued, later on, Resolution 1790 on December 18, 2007, which extended the mandate of the Multinational Forces until December 31, 2008. The Security Council explained in that resolution that the Iraqi Government's request for an extension would be the last, with the hope of ending Iraq's subjugation to the provisions of Chapter VII of the UN Charter and enabling Iraq to restore its full normal status as a state enjoying full sovereignty and powers, and to regain its international legal status, i.e. its position before adopting UNSCR 661 in 1990.
According to various sources, the negotiations between the U.S. and Iraq began last February, and the pre-set date for their conclusion, 31st July 2008, has passed; yet no signs of a quick deal looms on the horizon. Statements from the two sides have continued, with contradictions and sometimes an optimism that does not match what has been reported about difficulties facing the negotiators.
Why have the negotiations been prolonged? What are the contentious issues? What does the Iraqi side want, and what does the American side want? What pressures are the Americans exerting? Are the frequent visits, and most recently Negroponte's visit, aimed at putting pressure? Why was the American response, to a number of issues raised by the Iraqi side, delayed? There remain many questions that need specific, accurate and official answers. However, the negotiations continue, until now, behind closed doors and under a blackout, with a lack of transparency generally prevailing. Here we are talking about the necessity of taking a public official position, instead of statements or leaks that fail to inform the citizens who are anxious to know the truth about what is going on and what is actually taking place.
The negotiations that are taking place are of a high degree of importance and sensitivity, now and in the future, and they ought to be characterised with full transparency, clarity and openness, informing the people firsthand about their details, and keeping the Parliament aware of how they are proceeding.
While negotiations are still continuing, despite some optimistic statements about an agreement being close between the two sides, we believe, along with other democratic and patriotic parties and forces, that the criterion for the legitimacy and acceptability of any agreement with any state is linked to the extent of its commitment to the higher interests of the people and the homeland, and to the rules of international law, and the guarantees under the UN Charter for the right of every people to freely choose their political, economic and social system. This is embodied in the need to respect the will of the people and their right to ensure full their sovereignty and independence, and non-interference in their internal affairs.
In the concrete case of Iraq, as we approach the end of the mandate of the Multinational Forces under Security Council Resolution 1790, the agreement to be held between Iraqi and American governments, so as to replace the status quo, must take into account and respect, in a clear and unambiguous manner, the unequivocal desire of the Iraqi people to regain their full sovereignty over their land, waters, airspace, wealth and resources, and to abolish the UN resolutions that violate and curtail this. Based on the above, we believe that the agreement must ensure:
  • Avoiding the setting of open or hidden (or secret) conditions or restrictions that infringe the sovereignty of Iraq.
  • Ending the presence of foreign and American troops, and defining a time scope for achieving this in accordance with a specific, progressive, schedule, that is linked to the rehabilitation of Iraqi forces and developing their efficiency, to enable them to take over fully the handling of security.
  • A declared commitment not to establish permanent military presence or bases on Iraqi territory.
  • A commitment not to make Iraqi territory a springboard for attack or interference in the affairs of neighbouring countries.
  • Respect for the Iraqi law and will in the specified period during which the presence of American troops would continue. And rejecting the immunity demanded by the American side for its forces, or for security companies, or for other parties, and all associated movement or transfer of materials, whether on land or in the skies of Iraq. The emphasis here is on putting all this under the control and supervision of the Iraqi side and through coordination with it.
  • A commitment to rid Iraq of Chapter VII and to ensure its normal return as an active member, enjoying full rights, of the international community.
  • Helping Iraq to tackle the consequences of the occupation and military operations, and supporting it to rebuild its economy and institutions, and improve the services.
We are aware that the negotiations are taking place between two unequal sides, particularly in terms of the U.S. military presence on Iraqi territory. We are also aware that America will exert various pressures and will seek to exploit differences and conflicts between the political forces and blocs, and between the central government and the Kurdistan region, as well as resorting to wide use of the media and issuing repeated statements casting doubt about the policy of the Iraqi government and its ability to manage things and govern, and to talk about the security and military situation and its fragility. We also recognize that it will seek to employ all this to weaken the Iraqi negotiating delegation and undermine Iraq's position, in order to extract gains and pass an unfair and unbalanced agreement.
However, in connection with the above-mentioned, the Iraqi government has many factors that can contribute to strengthening its position if properly used. In the forefront of these factors is the will of the people who aspire to see their country free, fully independent and sovereign, and unfettered.
We realize that the national interests that can be achieved in the ongoing negotiations with the American side are subject, to a large extent, to the strength of the negotiating position of the Iraqi side and to the extent of the Iraqi government's success in creating the prerequisites to achieve a national consensus to rely upon in these negotiations. In this regard, we can only emphasize:
  • The importance and the need for transparency, clarity, openness and informing the people about the negotiations and their progress, so as to strengthen the popular and political support for the positions to which the government declares it is committed and insists on. The media have to be properly used in this context.
  • The government should strive to deepen national unity and consolidate the true meaning of national reconciliation.
  • Acting to involve the various political parties, blocs, and representatives of the people, and to inform them of the stages and complexities of the negotiations.
  • Seeking to create an appropriate political and security atmosphere, and to work to overcome the accumulated disagreements on various issues, including the need to tackle the state of estrangement between the federal government and the Kurdistan regional government.
  • Proper use of the Arab, regional and international positions that seek peace and peaceful solutions that work against the foreign military presence, and to employ this in the interest of the position and demands of the Iraqi government. In this context, too, comes the possibility of making use of the struggle and competition in the US elections, and the positions of the American public opinion.

We look forward, along with our people, to ensuring that our country enjoys full sovereignty and independence, and to ending any foreign military presence on our territory, in whatever form and under whatever name.