The Guardian May 28, 2003


UN Security Council fails Iraqi people

The UN Security Council has adopted by a vote of 14 to 0, with Syria 
abstaining, a new resolution on Iraq that is hypocritical, unprincipled and 
politically gutless.

In effect, the resolution is a capitulation by France, Germany, Russia and 
China and other Security Council members, to the military occupation and 
colonisation of Iraq by the US and Britain.

The resolution is a betrayal of the Iraqi people, papered over by 
meaningless phrases about the "right of the Iraqi people freely to 
determine their own political future and control their own natural 
resources", while "expressing resolve that the day when Iraqis govern 
themselves must come quickly".

It talks of "equal rights and justice to all Iraqi citizens" and of 
"benefiting the people of Iraq".

The resolution even talks about complying with the "Geneva Conventions" 
when everyone knows that these conventions have been massively violated by 
the US and British forces. It does not mention compliance with the Charter 
of the UN that has been torn to shreds by the US-British invasion of Iraq.

Despite the fact that no weapons of mass destruction have been found and 
that Iraq is under military occupation, the resolution says that Iraq 
"continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security". 
Iraq is told that it "must meet its disarmament obligations".

The Security Council has recognised the "authorities, responsibilities and 
obligations under applicable international law of [Britain and the US] as 
occupying powers". In the resolution, they are recognised as "the 
Authority" .

This in fact, legitimises the invasion of Iraq although the UN 
representative of the Russian Federation claims that the resolution is not 
to be regarded as legitimisation of the war.

The UN is to appoint a representative who is to "work intensively with the 
Authority", that is, the US and British occupying powers.

Main attention in the resolution is given to the economic control of Iraq's 
resources, particularly oil, although it continues the pretence that this 
wealth is to be used for the benefit of the Iraqi people.

A Development Fund for Iraq has been set up by the US and its funds are to 
be deposited in the Bank of Iraq. But what is not mentioned is that the 
manager of this bank is an American. His name is Peter McPherson. He has 
been appointed by the US authorities to control Iraq's oil revenues and as 
manager of Iraq's central Bank. McPherson was formerly deputy US Treasury 
Secretary and Bank of America executive.

The Development Fund will be disbursed "at the direction of the Authority, 
in consultation with the Iraqi Interim administration". The reality is that 
an Interim administration has not been set up and its formation has been 
delayed until at least July. Even when an Interim Administration is formed, 
it will be under the effective control of "the Authority".

The oil for food program is to be phased out over six months. Once again, 
the disbursement of the money in this fund, estimated to be about $US10 
billion, is handed over to "the Authority".

This is Iraqi money but it is going to be plundered by the US and British 
colonialists and even by the UN. The UN's "projected costs . for the 
implementation of the program both at headquarters and in the field" will 
be taken out of the "oil for food" money.

All money from the sale of Iraqi oil is to go into the Development Fund, 
"until such time as an internationally recognised, representative 
government of Iraq is properly constituted".

There are no time limits imposed for the creation of a "democratic" 
government, for the ending of the US and British occupation, or restriction 
on the establishment of military bases on Iraqi territory. Permanent bases 
are already being constructed.

In all respects, "the Authority" has absolute power and the role for the UN 
is a sick joke. The resolution further weakens the prestige of the UN and 
undermines its ability to be able to take effective action to protect the 
people of any country, including those of the governments that capitulated 
before US and British military power and voted for this deplorable 
resolution.

Step by step, the United Nations is being undermined by the governments of 
the big powers whose opportunism and lack of principle are again on display 
in this resolution. It is not the fault of the UN as an institution 
although it has many weaknesses. The world needs a body such as the UN but 
governments are betraying the hope and trust placed in the UN by the people 
of the world.

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