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July/August 2004 • Vol 4, No. 7 •

U.S. Declares Occupation Over

By Carole Seligman

Carole Seligman

Speech at June 30, 2004 Demonstration Against the U.S. War and Occupation on Iraq in Union Square, San Francisco.

The U.S. government says the occupation is over—a statement with the same degree of truth as the legend of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. But over 150,000 U.S. troops, other foreign troops, and private American mercenaries are stationed in Iraq, controlling Iraq’s infrastructure and precious resources—mainly oil. The Americans are fighting Iraqis who are organizing to secure self-determination. The Iraqi resisters seek freedom from foreign control and domination, freedom from foreign troops on their soil, and they are using some of the same tactics and methods used by Americans fighting to be free of British domination over 200 years ago.

Once again the American government is lying to the American people, hoping we’ll get mixed up trying to understand basic vocabulary because they have supposedly turned over the running of Iraq to the Iraqis. They expect us to accept their claim of Iraqi sovereignty because they don’t want us to know that the so-called leaders of this new Iraqi government are puppets of the U.S. government—some have even worked for the U.S., British intelligence and U.S. oil companies.

They even expect us to accept the claim that Iraq is now a sovereign country, even though Paul Bremer, before he left Iraq, decreed that Americans were not to be subject to Iraq’s laws! Thus, Bremer instituted by decree a system as odious as the grossest monarchy or dictatorship, exempting the hundreds of thousands of occupiers from any kind of justice, laws—and punishments for breaking them—the Iraqi people are subject to.

So, the U.S. government—the one our taxes support entirely—claims Iraq is now a sovereign nation, but it is occupied by hundreds of thousands of armed foreigners (mostly from the United States); it is ruled by an un-elected puppet of the U.S.; its basic resources are under direct U.S. control; and, the occupiers are exempt from Iraqi justice.

If that is sovereignty, well, would you want it? I wouldn’t either. In fact, I don’t think any human being would.

Comparing lies

Let me give an analogy of myths: the U.S. claim of Iraqi sovereignty is as valid as the claim that the U.S. electoral system offers a way that Americans can vote for any real change and get it. Billionaire Kerry has the same basic politics of imperial conquest and theft abroad, and capitalist control and theft of wealth and rights from the American working class at home, as multi-millionaire Bush.

Bush and Kerry have the same basic politics because they represent the same social class—the capitalist class, the class of billionaire owners of industry, banks, and the other vast wealth of the world. The differences between them are tiny compared to their huge similarities. Their wealth drives them to war.

But this doesn’t mean that our efforts to change this rotten system of war and preparations for more wars are in vain.

We can change the course of the future by building an independent, democratic, mass, global antiwar movement that educates the American people about the lies the government is telling and demonstrating massively in the streets. Educating Americans that our real interests for a better life for ourselves, our children and grandchildren lie in solidarity with the peoples of the world—the Iraqis, the Sudanese, Iranians, Colombians, Cubans, Filipinos, Palestinians, Syrians. All the world’s working people want jobs, health, and peace, just like we do.

We have so much in common with the working people of Iraq and nothing in common with the war-makers who run the U.S. government and both of its political parties.

Our movement has begun to succeed because, by our protests, we have begun to help convince the majority of the American people to oppose the war. Now we must keep organizing and keep up the pressure.

End the occupation!

Bring all the troops home now!

Spend our tax monies for health care, housing, jobs, education!

Not one penny for weapons and war!





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