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The UN: An Instrument Of Terror

By Ghali Hassan

20 August, 2007

On 10 August 2007, the United Nations Security Council has voted to give the UN an “extended role” in U.S.-British occupied Iraq after more than four years in which the UN was ignored and considered irrelevant by the U.S. and its few willing allies. The new UN Resolution, sponsored (as usual) by the U.S. and Britain, is a propaganda designed to manipulate the public and legitimise ongoing U.S.-British terror in Iraq.

Promoted by Western media and think-tanks as the face of the “International Community”, the UN is a façade used to justify and cover-up U.S. and Western-sponsored war crimes and terrorism. It is a façade legitimising U.S. imperialist agenda at the expense of the Iraqi people. The UN history of complicity in Western-sponsored war crimes is very long and treacherous; therefore it is not the subject of this short essay. Iraq is just a case in point.

Describing the role of the UN and its importance to the U.S., Kim R. Holmes, U.S. Assistant Secretary for International Organization Affairs told the Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs: “dealing as I do with the UN every day, that President Bush believes the UN is still a vital institution. It is an important tool of U.S. foreign policy”. Every U.S. government has brushed the UN aside whenever it was in the U.S. interest to do so, regardless.

Typically, the U.S. would block any resolution that is slightly critical of U.S.-Israel policies by way of coercing and buying (bribing) the other members. If this doesn’t work, the U.S. is well-known for its veto power and has done so very often, especially when Israel’s terror and war crimes in the Middle East at stake.

Since 1990, the UN played a complicit and active role in U.S. and Britain war crimes against the Iraqi people. The UN Security Council is directly responsible for the needless killings of more than 1.6 million innocent Iraqi civilians, including at least 600,000 children under the age of five. “It was known to all members of the Security Council that the linkage between disarmament and comprehensive economic sanctions meant that the people of Iraq were made to pay a heavy price in terms of life and destitution for acts of their government. It was known to all members of the Security Council that the inadequacy of the Council's allocations for the oil-for-food programme and the bureaucracy with which this humanitarian exemption was implemented worsened the chances of survival of many Iraqis”, said Hans von Sponeck, former UN's Assistant Secretary-General and UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator for Iraq who resigned in 2000 in protest of the Iraq Genocide.

It is important to add that while innocent Iraqi civilians were dying en mass, many UN member states – particularly Australia, Britain and the U.S. who advocated the Genocide – and UN bureaucrats were enriching themselves through corruption.

It was also known to all members of the Security Council that Iraq was disarmed and there were no weapons of mass destruction. The so-called “disarmament” was merely a pretext for the 2003 war of aggression, “the ‘supreme international crime’, which differs from other war crimes in that it encompasses all the evil that follows”.

In 2003, while UN Security Council disapproved the illegal invasion of Iraq, its approval of Resolution 1441 paved the way for the unprovoked murderous act of aggression. Subsequently, in May 2003, the UN legitimated the murderous Occupation of Iraq by recognising the U.S. and Britain as the “occupying powers”, and effectively authorised U.S. “counter-insurgency” (anti-Resistance) war in Iraq. Contrast this with the UN position on Iraq in 1990-1991 when Iraq took military action against Kuwait violations of Iraqi sovereignty.

Watching an important UN member state destroyed, the UN rewarded the U.S.-British aggressors the right to loot Iraq’s financial reserve and Iraq’s oil wealth by transferring all of Iraq’s wealth, including Iraq’s oil export revenues, all funds left over from the UN’s “oil for food” program, and all assets of the former Iraqi government located anywhere in the world into a U.S.-controlled “Development Fund for Iraq” account. The UN not only violated its own Charter, it has deliberately violated the human rights of all Iraqis.

Since the 2003 illegal invasion, “there has not been a debate in the Security Council about the fundamental disregard by the [occupying] forces of existing conventions created to ensure that the occupation armies act in accordance with The Hague and The Geneva Conventions to which they are parties. Looting and burning of the national museum and the national library, the damaging of archaeological sites and the humiliating treatment of civilians by the US armed forces, provoked no protest in the Security Council. The Security Council watched impotently when the soul and ethos of Iraq was attacked. The detention of political figures for indefinite periods and the unimaginable brutality and sadism with which detainees were treated not just in Abu Ghraib and Camp Bucca but also in [countless] prisons [throughout Iraq] were not subject of Security Council concern. Carpet destruction [include intensive air and ground bombardment and cutting off electricity, water, food and medicines] of towns such as al-Fallujah, Tel Afar, Samarra, and al-Qaim did not ruffle the Security Council and lead to emergency meetings”, added von Sponeck.
At least one million Iraqi civilians have been killed, and an estimated 4.5 million Iraqis, half of them children (according to UN Children’s Fund), have fled their homes; including a mass exodus of at least 50,000 Iraqis flee their country every month. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens are illegally imprisoned without charge or trial, in direct violation of international law. They are tortured, abused and denied basic human rights under deplorable conditions. Despite all of this, the UN Security Council remains silent. The failure to condemn these war crimes proves the complicity and moral bankruptcy of all members of the UN Security Council. Yet the UN Security Council is more concerned about the regional conflict in Darfur (Sudan) than the much larger atrocity in Iraq.
It is worth noting that the current U.S.-Zionist agenda is the control of Iraq’s oil wealth. It is possible that the new UN role in Iraq affairs is to facilitate the passing of the so-called “Oil Law” – drafted and made a priority by the Bush Administration – and to help the Bush Administration with its September “Benchmarks”. The UN presence will allow the Bush Administration to claim “satisfactory progress” in Iraq, if the Oil Law passed at the expense of the Iraqi people. A poll carried out in June and July by KA Research in Iraqis in all 18 Iraqi provinces, and coordinated and analysed by Custom Strategic Research on behalf of a group of NGOs, revealed that the overwhelming majority of Iraqis are united against the Oil Law. The Law will give Western, mostly U.S. corporations, total control over Iraq’s oil wealth. Oil experts around the world have criticised the Oil Law and insisted that Iraq has enough quality oil engineers and doesn’t need a Law that would pay as much as 12 per cent profit margin to Iraq when oil prices are very high.

Furthermore, all members of the UN Security Council are aware that the overwhelming majority of Iraqis are against the Occupation and want an immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces and foreign mercenaries from Iraq, saying that their swift departure would make Iraq more secure and decreases political violence. (Amit R. Paley, Washington Post, September 27, 2006).

It is naïve and grossly ignorant to suggest that the UN new role in U.S.-British occupied Iraq is anything other than an active complicity in Iraq Genocide. The wanton destruction of Iraq, the looting of Iraq’s wealth and cultural heritage, the mass murder of innocent Iraqi civilians and the ongoing suffering of the Iraqi people under the radar screen of the UN is evidence that the UN is an instrument of U.S. foreign policy. It provides a fig leaf for U.S. wars of aggression and terrorism.

The new UN Resolution and the recent face-saving empty statements by the UN about it new role in Iraq are designed to deceive and manipulate the public. “All [the UN's] Resolutions and its presence are not worth the paper they are written on”, an Iraqi resident told the BBC. They are only a record of UN complicity in Western-sponsored war crimes.

In summary, it is no good if the UN presence in Iraq will provide the U.S. a face-saving way out. If the UN is serious about protecting its own Charter and credibility, the UN must: (1) end its complicity in Western-sponsored war crimes and reject U.S. domination and bullying tactics; (2) recognise the Iraqi National Resistance against the Occupation; (3) respect the wishes of the overwhelming majority of the Iraqi people by unconditionally supporting their struggle to end the murderous Occupation in order to preserve their Iraqi national identity and independence; and (4) demand that the U.S. and Britain pay war reparations to Iraq in the same way Iraq was forced to pay massive war reparations to Kuwait.

Ghali Hassan is an independent writer living in Australia.


“War and Occupation in Iraq”. Global Policy Forum, June 2007.


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