Iraq: Sovereignty in Action

Much rhetoric was spouted by Bush and Blair when they announced that the US occupiers had "turned over sovereignty" to Iraqi politicians on June 28th last year. Critics of the war and occupation were, to say the least, dubious about this claim. It would be doubtful that the occupiers would simply turn meaningful power to Iraqi politicians, even ones appointed by themselves or the product of elections held under their rule.

Events have proven us to be correct. The latest was the sight of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani stating before the United Nations that: "I categorically refuse the use of Iraqi soil to launch a military strike against Syria or any other Arab country . . . But at the end of the day my ability to confront the US military is limited and I cannot impose on them my will." In other words, the elected head of the Iraqi state is saying that the Bush Junta has the power to decide whether Iraq can be used as a base to attack other countries. Moreover, he has no influence over such decisions.

So much for the "democratic" elections of January or the recent referendum on the constitution. The Iraqi President has clearly and unambiguously shown that his country remains under US occupation and that the US, not the "sovereign" government, determines what happens there.

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