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InvisibleXlea321
Stranger
Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 9,134
Bomb it then sell it
    #2083270 - 11/08/03 08:00 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

Iraq is not America's to sell

International law is unequivocal - Paul Bremer's economic reforms are illegal

Naomi Klein
Friday November 7, 2003
The Guardian

Bring Halliburton home. Cancel the contracts. Ditch the deals. Rip up the rules. Those are just a few of the suggestions for slogans that could help unify the growing movement against the occupation of Iraq. So far, activist debates have focused on whether the demand should be for a complete withdrawal of troops, or for the United States to cede power to the United Nations.
But the "troops out" debate overlooks an important fact. If every last soldier pulled out of the Gulf tomorrow and a sovereign government came to power, Iraq would still be occupied: by laws written in the interest of another country; by foreign corporations controlling its essential services; by 70% unemployment sparked by public sector layoffs.

Any movement serious about Iraqi self-determination must call not only for an end to Iraq's military occupation, but to its economic colonisation as well. That means reversing the shock therapy reforms that US occupation chief Paul Bremer has fraudulently passed off as "reconstruction", and cancelling all privatisation contracts that are flowing from these reforms.

How can such an ambitious goal be achieved? Easy: by showing that Bremer's reforms were illegal to begin with. They clearly violate the international convention governing the behaviour of occupying forces, the Hague regulations of 1907 (the companion to the 1949 Geneva conventions, both ratified by the United States), as well as the US army's own code of war.

The Hague regulations state that an occupying power must respect "unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force in the country". The coalition provisional authority has shredded that simple rule with gleeful defiance. Iraq's constitution outlaws the privatisation of key state assets, and it bars foreigners from owning Iraqi firms. No plausible argument can be made that the CPA was "absolutely prevented" from respecting those laws, and yet two months ago, the CPA overturned them unilaterally.

On September 19, Bremer enacted the now infamous Order 39. It announced that 200 Iraqi state companies would be privatised; decreed that foreign firms can retain 100% ownership of Iraqi banks, mines and factories; and allowed these firms to move 100% of their profits out of Iraq. The Economist declared the new rules a "capitalist dream".

In case the CPA was still unclear on this detail, the US army's Law of Land Warfare states that "the occupant does not have the right of sale or unqualified use of [non-military] property". This is pretty straightforward: bombing something does not give you the right to sell it. There is every indication that the CPA is well aware of the lawlessness of its privatisation scheme. In a leaked memo written on March 26, the British attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, warned Tony Blair that "the imposition of major structural economic reforms would not be authorised by international law".

So far, most of the controversy surrounding Iraq's reconstruction has focused on the waste and corruption in the awarding of contracts. This badly misses the scope of the violation: even if the sell-off of Iraq were conducted with full transparency and open bidding, it would still be illegal for the simple reason that Iraq is not America's to sell.

The security council's recognition of the United States' and Britain's occupation authority provides no legal cover. The UN resolution passed in May specifically required the occupying powers to "comply fully with their obligations under international law including in particular the Geneva conventions of 1949 and the Hague regulations of 1907".

According to a growing number of international legal experts, that means that if the next Iraqi government decides it doesn't want to be a wholly owned subsidiary of Bechtel and Halliburton, it will have powerful legal grounds to renationalise assets that were privatised under CPA edicts.

Juliet Blanch, global head of energy and international arbitration for the huge international law firm Norton Rose, says that because Bremer's reforms directly contradict Iraq's constitution, they are "in breach of international law and are likely not enforceable". Blanch argues that the CPA "has no authority or ability to sign those [privatisation] contracts", and that a sovereign Iraqi government would have "quite a serious argument for renationalisation without paying compensation". Firms facing this type of expropriation would, according to Blanch, have "no legal remedy".

The only way out for the administration is to make sure that Iraq's next government is anything but sovereign. It must be pliant enough to ratify the CPA's illegal laws, which will then be celebrated as the happy marriage of free markets and free people. Once that happens, it will be too late: the contracts will be locked in, the deals done and the occupation of Iraq permanent.

Which is why anti-war forces must use this fast-closing window to demand that the next Iraqi government be free from the shackles of these reforms. It's too late to stop the war, but it's not too late to deny Iraq's invaders the myriad economic prizes they went to war to collect in the first place.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1079575,00.html


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Don't worry, B. Caapi


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OfflinePsilocybeingzz
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Re: Bomb it then sell it [Re: Xlea321]
    #2083341 - 11/08/03 08:56 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

NICE


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OfflineGazzBut
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Registered: 10/15/02
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Re: Bomb it then sell it [Re: Xlea321]
    #2083458 - 11/08/03 10:41 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

The Hague regulations state that an occupying power must respect "unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force in the country". The coalition provisional authority has shredded that simple rule with gleeful defiance. Iraq's constitution outlaws the privatisation of key state assets, and it bars foreigners from owning Iraqi firms. No plausible argument can be made that the CPA was "absolutely prevented" from respecting those laws, and yet two months ago, the CPA overturned them unilaterally.

-------

The UN resolution passed in May specifically required the occupying powers to "comply fully with their obligations under international law including in particular the Geneva conventions of 1949 and the Hague regulations of 1907".






One of the main justifications for the war was Saddams failure to keep to agreements he had made. Why is it ok for the US to ignore agreements they have made?



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InvisibleXlea321
Stranger
Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 9,134
Re: Bomb it then sell it [Re: GazzBut]
    #2083464 - 11/08/03 10:46 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

Because if George Bush breaks international law it's..er..ok.

Surely everyone knows that?  :smile2:


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OfflineGazzBut
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Re: Bomb it then sell it [Re: GazzBut]
    #2086524 - 11/09/03 02:41 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)

A view on this from anyone who supported the invasion?


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Registered: 06/15/02
Posts: 15,608
Re: Bomb it then sell it [Re: GazzBut]
    #2086579 - 11/09/03 03:11 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)

I didn't support the invasion. I never believed the "WMD" argument.
I don't think the American public was lied too, but I think that
people who wanted Saddam gone focused on some questionable
intelligence and used it as justification for an invasion that
had much more important reasons for happening(I listed these
reasons in another long gone thread).

There is no doubt that at the present it is a fucking mess. If it
turns out ok, I will be happy. If it doesn't turn out ok, I will be
pissed. If Iraq grows into a prosperous, free, and happy nation it
will have all been worth it. I only hope that happens.


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OfflineGazzBut
Refraction

Registered: 10/15/02
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Re: Bomb it then sell it [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #2088527 - 11/10/03 05:21 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

What about the fact that the US have broken agreements they signed?


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Registered: 06/15/02
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Re: Bomb it then sell it [Re: GazzBut]
    #2089002 - 11/10/03 12:10 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)


What about the fact that the US have broken agreements they signed?


What agreements are you referring to?


Future Edit:

Oh duh! My mistake, the agreements that were broken were listed in
the original message in the thread.

As I said, this whole business about what America is doing in Iraq
is a tad bit unsavory. I just hope it turns out for the best.

Are you surprised that I am not a blind patriotic fool? Hehe, I
assure you I am not.


Edited by RandalFlagg (11/10/03 12:50 PM)


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InvisibleXlea321
Stranger
Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 9,134
Re: Bomb it then sell it [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #2089073 - 11/10/03 12:40 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)

intelligence and used it as justification for an invasion had much more important reasons for happening

Unfortunately for the crazies in the white house, all of the other reasons would be entirely illegal under every international law and code signed in the last 100 years.

That's why they focused on WMD - because they realised they were doing something entirely illegal with no justification whatsoever and needed a cover story.


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Registered: 06/15/02
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Re: Bomb it then sell it [Re: Xlea321]
    #2089117 - 11/10/03 12:59 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)


Unfortunately for the crazies in the white house, all of the other
reasons would be entirely illegal under every international law and
code signed in the last 100 years.


You're probably right. The funny thing is is that nations
have fucked around with other nations, for their own benefit,
since the beginning of time. In the modern world, most of this has
been done secretly through covert operations and funding of
opposition groups. If this war was a war to accomplish certain
political things(which I think it was), then it was illegal. But,
is it for the better if the Middle East is saved because of it?


That's why they focused on WMD - because they realised they were
doing something entirely illegal with no justification whatsoever and
needed a cover story.


That's the way it is looking at the present moment. I am no pyschic
so I can't say for sure what was going on in these guy's heads. It
is possible that they really did think that WMD's were a threat.
Intelligence agencies have in the past fucked up, and it is possible
that they did this time. But, it is also possible that certain
government officials used WMD's as a cover for what they really
wanted to do.


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OfflineGazzBut
Refraction

Registered: 10/15/02
Posts: 4,770
Loc: London UK
Last seen: 7 days, 13 hours
Re: Bomb it then sell it [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #2089123 - 11/10/03 01:04 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)

Not really surprised...gladdened would be more accurate! But did you not think though that Saddams apparent breaches of certain agreements did lend some justiication to the invasion?


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
Stranger
Registered: 06/15/02
Posts: 15,608
Re: Bomb it then sell it [Re: GazzBut]
    #2089149 - 11/10/03 01:15 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)


But did you not think though that Saddams apparent breaches of
certain agreements did lend some justiication to the invasion?


I find that argument dubious. It was hypocritical of my government
to demand that Saddam obey UN resolutions, and for us to not demand
that Israel obey UN resolutions. I realize that Israel is our ally,
but we should not have our head up its ass so much.

From all sources of information I have heard, Saddam was
a brutal and calculating dictator who cared about one thing; power.
His unwillingness to obey the resolutions did bring untold
suffering upon his people. He is the one who decided to defy
them and in turn the sanctions that were imposed led to the
deaths of many of his people. In my opinion he did it to
demonize America and to portray himself as "standing up to
the U.S.". He sacrificed his own people for political benefit.
That situation would have gone on forever as long as he remained
in power.


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