Only resistance is legal

Ian Douglas, Abdul Ilah Albayaty, Hana Al Bayaty | 5 October 2006 |



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US Genocide in Iraq

The United States-led occupation of Iraq is a dead end, politically, militarily, morally and economically

The national popular resistance in Iraq is the sole legal and legitimate representative of the Iraqi people and the Republic of Iraq

Only the national popular resistance can and has authority to determine a path towards peace and stability in Iraq

In 2005, the Jury of Conscience of the World Tribunal on Iraq stated clearly the illegality and immorality of the US-led invasion, occupation and destruction of Iraq as a state and as a nation.

Legality is with Iraq

While the litany of US-authored illegalities in Iraq runs almost beyond measure, international law affirms:

  • The US-led occupation of Iraq is explicitly prohibited under international law from instituting changes aimed at permanently altering the foundational structures of the Iraqi state, including its judiciary, economy, political institutions and social fabric.1 Further, and given that the 2003 invasion of Iraq was unequivocally illegal under international law, not only are the US-designed Iraqi permanent constitution and National Assembly illegal, every law, treaty, agreement and contract signed in Iraq since the illegal invasion and subsequent occupation began is illegal. All states are obliged under international law not to recognize as legal the consequences of illegal acts by other states.2” (emphasis added); Section III(e), UN General Assembly Resolution 36/103 of 14 December 1962, “Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention and Interference in the Internal Affairs of States”.]
  • The US-led occupation is prohibited under international law from establishing any long-term economic contract that has not been agreed upon by a sovereign Iraqi government representing the sovereign Iraqi people.3 Since no such government can, by definition, exist under occupation, all attempts to bind the future of Iraqi oil to foreign multinationals — particularly through unfavorable “Product Sharing Agreements” (PSAs) — are illegal and null and void.
  • The US-led occupation is unequivocally prohibited under international law from seeking or permitting the division of Iraq into three or more federal units. Any such outcome would be a grave breach of the laws of war that govern belligerent occupation. It is equally illegal that the US-led occupation engenders and foments ethnic and sectarian strife in order to realize policies opposed to the interests of the Iraqi people.4
  • The policies of the US-led occupation having failed, occupation authorities have no right to attempt to subjugate Iraqis by force. Conducting punitive operations that indiscriminately affect civilians across entire cities — e.g., present plans in motion to pacify Baghdad for the fourth time — is illegal and imputable under international law.5 The US-led occupation and the feudal proxies it established are committing collective punishment, crimes against humanity, using prohibited weapons and violating the laws of war by not recognizing the combatants of the resistance as combatants.6
  • The ongoing campaign of murder, torture, rape and terror against the Sunni constituency in Iraq, including the operation of death squads financed by the US, constitutes genocide under the 1951 Genocide Convention.7 The failure of US-led occupation forces to protect, as they are obliged under international law, the right to life and to ensure the security of all Iraqi citizens — indiscriminate of confessional affiliation or any other distinction — is a war crime and a crime against humanity.8
  • Only the national popular resistance is legal in Iraq. It’s legality and legitimacy is enshrined in numerous instruments of international law, including foundational and peremptory documents such as the UN Charter.9 It should be recognized as a combatant army and as the continuity of the Iraqi state.
  • Only resistance is legal

    Only the national popular resistance in Iraq — armed, political and civil — is empowered, both as an objective fact and under international law, to determine a path towards peace and stability in Iraq. No other player, certainly not US-installed stooge politicians in a 10-kilometre square “Green Zone”, can speak on behalf of the Iraqi people or embodies the Republic of Iraq.

    Full responsibility for the disasters that have befallen the Iraqi people lies with the US, its failed “political process” and failed security measures. No escalation can provide a solution. The occupation must end and end now.

    Abdul Ilah Albayaty (BRussells Tribunal Advisory Committee)
    Hana Albayaty (BRussells Tribunal Executive Committee)
    Ian Douglas (BRussells Tribunal Advisory Committee)

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    This appeal was drafted by Ian Douglas, Hana Al Bayaty and Abdul Ilah Albayaty, and was first published by the BRussells Tribunal:
    1. Articles 43 and 55 of The Hague IV Regulations on Laws and Customs of War on Land, 1907; Articles 54 and 64 of The Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in the Time of War, 1949.
    2. Article 41(2) of the United Nations International Law Commission’s Draft Articles on State Responsibility, representing the rule of customary international law (and adopted in UN General Assembly Resolution 56/83 of 28 January 2002, “Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts”), prevents states from benefiting from their own illegal acts: “No State shall recognize as lawful a situation created by a serious breach [of an obligation arising under a peremptory norm of general international law
    3. UN General Assembly Resolution 1803 (XVII) of 14 December 1962, “Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources”.
    4. UN General Assembly Resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960, “Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples”.
    5. Article 50 of The Hague IV Regulations, 1907; Article 33, The Fourth Geneva Convention, 1949: “Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited”; Article 51, the 1st Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions, 1977.
    6. Article 3, The Hague IV Regulations, 1907: “The armed forces of the belligerent parties may consist of combatants and non-combatants. In the case of capture by the enemy, both have a right to be treated as prisoners of war.”
    7. Articles 2 and 3 of Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, 1951.
    8. Principle VI, Principles of International Law Recognized in the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and in the Judgment of the Tribunal, adopted by the United Nations International Law Commission, 1951.
    9. The right to self-determination, national independence, territorial integrity, national unity, and sovereignty without external interference has been affirmed numerous times by a number of UN bodies, including the UN Security Council, UN General Assembly, UN Commission on Human Rights, the International Law Commission and the International Court of Justice. The principle of self-determination provides that where forcible action has been taken to suppress the right, force may be used in order to counter this and achieve self-determination.
      The Commission on Human Rights has routinely reaffirmed the legitimacy of struggling against occupation by all available means, including armed struggle (CHR Resolution No. 3 XXXV, 21 February 1979 and CHR Resolution No. 1989/19, 6 March 1989). Explicitly, UN General Assembly Resolution 37/43, adopted 3 December 1982: “Reaffirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, including armed struggle.” (See also UN General Assembly Resolutions 1514, 3070, 3103, 3246, 3328, 3382, 3421, 3481, 31/91, 32/42 and 32/154).
      Article 1(4) of the 1st Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions, 1977, considers self-determination struggles as international armed conflict situations. The Geneva Declaration on Terrorism states: “As repeatedly recognized by the United Nations General Assembly, peoples who are fighting against colonial domination and alien occupation and against racist regimes in the exercise of their right of self-determination have the right to use force to accomplish their objectives within the framework of international humanitarian law. Such lawful uses of force must not be confused with acts of international terrorism.”
      In the exercise of their right to self-determination, peoples under colonial and alien domination have the right “to struggle … and to seek and receive support, in accordance with the principles of the Charter” and in conformity with the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States. It is in these terms that Article 7 of the Definition of Aggression (General Assembly Resolution 3314 (XXIX) of 14 December 1974) recognizes the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples under colonial or alien domination. The Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States (General Assembly resolution 2625 (XXV)) cites the principle that, “States shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.”
      Recognition by the UN of the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples under colonial and alien domination or occupation is in line with the general prohibition of the use of force enshrined in the UN Charter foremost because a state which forcibly subjugates a people to colonial or alien domination is committing an unlawful act as defined by international law, and the subject people, in the exercise of its inherent right of self-defence, may fight to defend and attain its right to self-determination.

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