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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The First Amendment: Brussells Tribunal: US Genocide in Iraq

The First Amendment: Brussells Tribunal: US Genocide in Iraq

US Genocide in Iraq
Dr Ian Douglas
with Abdul Ilah Albayaty and Hana Al Bayaty
1. Summary ............................................................... 1
2. Introduction ........................................................... 2
3. Definitions............................................................. 2
a) What is genocide? ............................................... 3
b) What is intent? .................................................... 6
4. Beyond law.......................................................... 12
a) The genocidal logic of neo-colonial war............. 12
b) Genocide by occupation .................................... 15
5. The destruction of the Iraqi state and national
identity .................................................................... 16
a) The strategic context for genocide...................... 16
i. Asserting US geopolitical, global hegemony ..... 16
ii. US policy aimed to break Arab unity................ 18
iii. The US national emergency and corporate
interests ............................................................... 21
iv. A unified strategy of genocide......................... 23
b) Implementing genocide in Iraq .......................... 23
i. Destroying Iraq physically and permanently...... 24
ii. Substituting the Iraqi state and nation............... 28
iii. Resistance to genocide.................................... 33
6. Interpreting genocide in Iraq ............................... 37
7. Conclusion........................................................... 40
8. Appendix ............................................................. 41
Does anyone believe there is
another way to steal a country?
— Eduardo Galeano
1. Summary†
— The United States has committed and
sponsored the crime of genocide in Iraq.
— Responsibility for genocide rests on
specific intent and given or probable
consequences of actions. The 2003 US
invasion of Iraq was the culmination and
intensification of a consistent US policy,

Dr Ian Douglas is visiting professor in politics at An-
Najah National University in Nablus, Palestine, and
working to bring the charge of genocide against the United
States and allies in a court of universal jurisdiction
Abdul Ilah Albayaty is an Iraqi political analyst and writer
based in France.
Hana Al Bayaty is coordinator of the Iraqi International
Initiative on Iraqi Refugees (
This text was written April-June 2007.
For more information, contact:
+20 12 167 1660
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US Genocide in Iraq
spanning over 17 years, of destroying Iraq as a
national and state entity.
— The United States attempted and succeeded
to destroy the state of Iraq, but has failed and
cannot succeed in its attempt to destroy the
nation of Iraq.
— The Iraqi people have the legal right to
resist occupation, colonialism and genocide by
all available means, including armed struggle.
— The national popular resistance in Iraq is
combating genocide directly where
international law as a preventative and
protective mechanism has failed.
— In defence of civilisation, people the world
over should rise up in support of the national
liberation struggle of the Iraqi people.
— In defence of international law, jurists and
law associations should work to bring the
charge of genocide against the United States,
its leaders and its allies.
— The world must criminalise all forms of
war. Defensive wars would not be necessary in
the absence of wars of aggression.
2. Introduction
The illegal US invasion of Iraq was and is a
humanitarian catastrophe. Some try to explain
this catastrophe as a by-product. They justify
their concept on the absence of intent.
Reviewing applicable principles of
international law and American policy towards
Iraq, this paper aims to prove that the
humanitarian catastrophe present in Iraq is an
essential component of US policy, constituting
premeditated genocide against the people of
Iraq. The intent that some propose is absent is
flagrantly evident.
Consequently, this paper constitutes a call to
jurists, law associations, and individuals from
all walks of life to act on ending genocide in
Iraq. This study was made not only because of
the horrid consequences of the illegal US
invasion of Iraq, but to lay a basis for stopping
imperial adventures and to enrich the political
thinking of instruments that can save our
3. Definitions
The prohibition and prevention of genocide is
a peremptory norm of international law. No
derogation is permitted: states are obliged,
individually and severally, to prevent genocide
from occurring and to prosecute perpetrators,
conspirators, those complicit and those who
incite it. When a crime is ongoing the duty of
authorities to enforce law by halting the crime
is of special urgency. Enforcing law means
protecting potential victims and apprehending
suspected perpetrators.
That the international community not only
failed to prevent the illegal US invasion and
subsequent occupation of Iraq, but also
supported what from 1990 has been a
gathering US-led genocide in Iraq, is a
catastrophic betrayal for the Iraqi people and
an injury to us all.
The reasons are multiple and include: 1)
Structural inequalities of power in world
politics, epitomised in the UN Security
Council, that assure domination for the few
and subservience for the many; 2) Structural
inequalities of power in the world economy,
characterising capitalism on a world scale, that
scare dependent states from speaking out on
imperial crimes; 3) The general subordination
of human rights to “peace and security” (i.e.,
pacification and impunity) illustrated in the
perpetuation of a toothless, complicit and
apologetic UN human rights system; and 4)
The success of Zionist ideology in making the
concept of genocide a synonym for “the
holocaust”, thus both its own exclusive
preserve and the model against which all
alleged genocides must be compared.
The blanket of silence surrounding this
grievous international crime contributes to the
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US Genocide in Iraq
deaths of hundreds of Iraqis every day. If
genocide cannot be prevented, the UN and its
high ideals serve no function. At present
nothing exists to prevent future atrocities on
this scale or worse from occurring.
a) What is genocide?
Of all terms in the lexicon, genocide is the true
word for what is happening in Iraq. The
controversy the word elicits reveals its
potential. Some warn against using the term so
as not to “debase its currency”. This is a
misunderstanding of what genocide means.
Others fear that if used wantonly, antiwar
protest may appear sensationalist. In reality,
any other word for US actions in Iraq is
Looking closer, we find that the word
genocide has two lives: its common meaning
and its legal substance. Commonly, genocide
is taken to mean the total annihilation of a
people. Nothing less counts, hence scepticism
in using the word. On rapid reading, UN
General Assembly Resolution 96 of 1946
authorising the drafting of a genocide
convention suggests the same understanding:
“Genocide is a denial of the right of existence
of entire human groups, as homicide is the
denial of the right to live of individual human
But this definition bears reading
again, for it is not the fact of annihilation that
constitutes the crime of genocide, but rather
denial of the right of existence of an entire
given group. This nuance is important.
Article 2 of the 1948 Genocide Convention —
now the legal standard2 — makes this point
clear by focusing on the concept of intent,
supplementing this with the important phrase,
“in whole or in part”, thus grounding genocide
UN General Assembly Resolution 96, 11 December
2 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the
Crime of Genocide, 9 December 1948, 78 U.N.T.S. 277,
not in numbers annihilated, but in the iniquity
of a rationality that intends massively
destructive consequences. This qualification is
what ensures that the Genocide Convention is
a preventative mechanism and not simply a
reactive instrument. It also means that guilt is
a moral determination.
Indeed, in origin the term itself — coined in
the inter-war period by Raphael Lemkin, a
Polish legal scholar — emerged from the
effort to make “barbarity” and “vandalism”
crimes under international law. It is intent to
destroy that is the basis of the crime of
genocide, illustrated in definable acts that
constitute — or would — genocide.
Article 2 of the Genocide Convention reads:
In the present Convention, genocide
means any of the following acts
committed with intent to destroy, in whole
or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or
religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental
harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group
conditions of life calculated to bring
about its physical destruction in
whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to
prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the
group to another group.
Article 3 notes that punishable acts include:
(a) Genocide;
(b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;
(c) Direct and public incitement to
commit genocide;
(d) Attempt to commit genocide;
(e) Complicity in genocide.
From Article 2 a number of questions emerge:
1) what qualifies as “in part”? 2) What
qualifies under each enumerated group? 3)
What is the meaning of the destruction of an
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enumerated group “as such”? 4) What
qualifies as “serious bodily or mental harm”?
5) What timeframe might “physical
destruction” properly be determined on? 6)
What qualifies as “destruction”? and 7) What
is “intent”?
Given that the last question is the most
important, I will address it separately below.
On the first question, though the convention
itself simply says “in part,” which reasonably
could be understood to mean one person (and
indeed this is the way it is understood in the
Elements of Crimes adopted by State Parties to
the International Criminal Court, wherein, in
Article 6 (a)-(e), corresponding to the acts
enumerated in the Genocide Convention, it is
simply noted that enumerated acts concern
“one or more persons”3), general
jurisprudential custom deems it necessary to
demonstrate that “in part” means a “substantial
part” as, for example, stated in the United
States Code.
Given that it is the United States that has
perpetrated genocide in Iraq, it is fitting to use
US Code definitions of the crime of genocide.
Under Title 18, Section 1093 of US Code,
dealing with definitions of genocide, it is
stated: “the term ‘substantial part’ means a
part of a group of such numerical significance
that the destruction or loss of that part would
cause the destruction of the group as a viable
entity within the nation of which such group is
a part.”4
This definition is nuanced, but
arguably contains one element that may prove
important in making the claim of US genocide
in Iraq: the phrase “as a viable entity”.
“Viable entity” expands the qualification of
what otherwise is often restricted to
destruction as such: i.e., that the substantial
part must be large enough to lead to the
3 Elements of Crimes, 3-10 September 2002,
destruction of the whole group. Viable entity
does not denote destruction — and certainly
not physical destruction — necessarily. It
simply denotes that the group would no longer
function viably if a “substantial part” of it
were destroyed or “lost”.
As to enumerated groups, US Code states:
(2) the term “ethnic group” means a set of
individuals whose identity as such is
distinctive in terms of common cultural
traditions or heritage;
(5) the term “national group” means a set
of individuals whose identity as such is
distinctive in terms of nationality or
national origins;
(7) the term “religious group” means a set
of individuals whose identity as such is
distinctive in terms of common religious
creed, beliefs, doctrines, practices, or
The qualification “as such” in the Genocide
Convention is an element of purposive
specificity: that any of the acts enumerated are
conducted against individuals as part of a
group understood as a group as such. Thus one
is obliged to provide some level of proof that:
1) the group was targeted as such (which can
be established on the basis of a pattern of
accumulated actions and not necessarily any
stated objective or intent); and 2) the targeting
of the group could be understood within the
context of “specific intent” to perpetrate
genocide, either of that group as such or,
arguably, of the nation “within which such a
group is part.”
As this paper aims to establish overall, a
complex genocide has unfolded in Iraq
involving the targeting of several definable
groups in order to destroy a “substantial part”
of the nation of Iraq “of such numerical
significance” that the state and nation of Iraq
would cease to exist a “viable entity”.
Strictly on the definition provided under US
Code of ethnic group, the nation of Iraq as a
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US Genocide in Iraq
whole would qualify (notwithstanding the
category of national group), and within that
nation, arguably, the Iraqi middle class and the
impoverished Iraqi rural class. As a targeted
“national group”, members of the Iraqi Baath
Party, while political, may qualify. As a
targeted religious group, it is clear that Sunni
Arabs have been and remain, at present, the
predominant target of the US occupation.
Finally, concerning what constitutes “serious
bodily or mental harm”, what timeframe upon
which “physical destruction” might properly
be determined, and what qualifies as
“destruction”, international jurisprudence and
incorporations of the Genocide Convention
into the national law of states varies. In some
instances, specific aspects are named as to
what might be deemed serious bodily or
mental harm5, while little in the way of
jurisprudence defines the timeframe on which
destruction ought properly to be viewed.
Similarly with destruction itself; thus, in any
given case, it is largely down to argument.
And again, given that the Genocide
Convention is designed also to be a
preventative instrument, destruction may not
even have taken place or begun as such.
Article 3 — as well as the focus on intent —
indeed ensures that the Genocide Convention
is not simply a reactive instrument to be
invoked after a given genocide, but may be
invoked before a single death has been
recorded, particularly in section (b) where
“conspiracy to commit” would appear to most
5 Reservations lodged by the United States to the
Genocide Convention stipulate that for the United
States: “the term ‘mental harm’ in Article 2 (b) means
permanent impairment of mental faculties through
drugs, torture or similar techniques.” These
reservations remain controversial and would be
irrelevant in a court of universal jurisdiction where the
court exercises judgement relative to what would
constitute a crime in the state of its location.
strongly criminalise intent itself rather than the
execution of that intent.
Reference to the crime of “complicity in
genocide” also assures that the reach of the
Genocide Convention is potentially very broad
— in the case of Iraq, perhaps even
criminalising the silence of the international
community and responsible state leaders in the
context of US actions that at the very least
constitute — as defined by the Elements of
Crimes of the ICC — the crimes against
of murder, extermination,
imprisonment, torture, rape, sexual violence,
persecution, enforced disappearance and other
[in]humane acts, and the war crimes of wilful
killing, torture, inhuman treatment, wilfully
causing great suffering, destruction and
appropriation of property, denying fair trial,
unlawful confinement, attacking civilians,
attacking civilian objects, of excessive
incidental death, injury or damage, of
attacking undefended places, of killing or
wounding a person hors de combat, of
attacking protected objects, of destroying or
seizing the enemy’s property, of depriving the
nationals of the hostile power of rights or
actions, of pillaging, of employing prohibited
gases, liquids, materials or devices, of outrages
upon personal dignity, of rape, of sexual
violence, of starvation as a method of warfare,
of murder, of cruel treatment, of torture, of
taking hostages, of sentencing or execution
without due process, of displacing civilians,
and of treacherously killing or wounding, and
which arguably constitute a pattern amounting
to genocide.
In combination, from Articles 2 and 3 of the
Genocide Convention we can conclude: 1)
There is no threshold of genocide as such;
rather, it is qualified on the basis of a
determination of the moral degradation
contained within qualifying acts that are
conducted with the intent that destruction, or
the rendering “unviable” of an enumerated
group, whether in whole or in part, or
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substantial part, will be the consequence; 2)
That genocide concerns an existential threat to
a given group in intent, even if actual
destruction of the group is not achieved; 3)
That genocide also concerns the intent to annul
the positive biological development of a
group, whether by mental or bodily harm or by
interceding to prevent propagation or disrupt
social generation; 4) That intent alone is
imputable under international law; and 5) That
complicity with consequences that qualify as
genocide is imputable under international law.
Once the complexity and flexibility of the
operative articles of the Genocide Convention
has been digested it is easier to understand
what Lemkin opined when commenting on the
incorporation of his concept into international
Generally speaking, genocide does not
necessarily mean the immediate
destruction of a nation, except when
accomplished by mass killings of all
members of a nation. It is intended rather
to signify a coordinated plan of different
actions aiming at the destruction of
essential foundations of the life of national
groups, with the aim of annihilating the
groups themselves. The objectives of such
a plan would be the disintegration of the
political and social institutions, of culture,
language, national feelings, religion, and
the economic existence of national groups,
and the destruction of the personal
security, liberty, health, dignity, and even
the lives of the individuals belonging to
such groups.6
Lemkin’s prose definition of genocide is
practically word for word what has happened
in Iraq since 1990. The possibility of reading
Lemkin’s definition into the Genocide
Convention denotes that the convention is
6 Raphael Lemkin, “Genocide,” in A L Hinton (ed),
Genocide: An Anthropological Reader (Oxford:
Blackwell Press, 2002), p. 27.
undoubtedly an undervalued instrument that
could be used to pressure an end to US
aggression on Iraq and potentially form the
basis of reparative prosecutions. What is at
issue, simply, is the burden of proof relative to
specific intent, and substantiated argument
relative to qualifying acts and enumerated
groups “as such”.
Again, states are obliged, individually and
severally, to prevent genocide from occurring
and to prosecute perpetrators, conspirators,
those complicit and those who incite it. After
four years of US carnage and 13 years of prior
US-UN sanctions, the antiwar movement, in
connection with jurists and legal associations,
has the material, expertise and organisational
skills to ensure that this obligation is met.
b) What is intent?
Prosecution under the provisions of the
Genocide Convention demands the
demonstration of purposive or “specific
intent”. Referred to also as the mens rea
(“guilty mind”, “guilty or wrongful purpose”,
or criminal intent), specific intent usually,
though not always, must infer an
understanding that the action undertaken
would lead to the destruction, or rendering
unviable, in whole or in part, or substantial
part, of an enumerated group; that as such
would constitute an unlawful act, and that the
consequence is desired. It is perhaps fair that
the gravest of international crimes sets the
burden of proof so high, but in the case of Iraq
it is not unreachable.
In criminal law there are traditionally five
levels to intent, differentiated according to
different degrees of foresight and criminal
desire: 1) Purposive intent, where an unlawful
consequence is foreseen, desired and planned
for. In this category it is not strictly required
that the actus rea — the given act or set of acts
constituting genocide — is present, though if it
is it adds significantly to the weight and charge
of the offence; 2) Oblique intent, where simply
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US Genocide in Iraq
the consequences can be seen as an assured
outcome of a given act or set of acts; 3)
Knowingly, where the accused knows or
reasonably should know the certainty of the
outcome of a given act or set of acts; 4)
Recklessness, where the consequences are seen
to be possible but the act or set of acts is
undertaken anyway; and 5) Negligence, where
liability is centred on a firm sense that the
consequences should have been foreseen but
where the accused did not foresee the
Purposive and oblique intent and knowingly
undertaking a given act are all under the
umbrella of “specific intent”, whereas
recklessness and negligence are deemed
“general intent”. In a sense, knowingly
undertaking a given act within the framework
of specific intent is akin to negligence in
general intent, where both oblique intent and
clear purposive intent could constitute the
degree of specific intent necessary to secure
conviction under the provisions of the
Genocide Convention. On the other hand,
recklessness might be deemed a grave
disregard for human life, and thus constitute
the “requisite mental element” required for
prosecution under the Genocide Convention.
Negligence would fail the test of specific
Simply put, the argument that the occupation
of Iraq has been one blunder after another is
contrary to the elements of the crime of
genocide, which perhaps explains its present
currency in popular discourse. On the other
hand, if it could be established that the
consequences of US actions in Iraq were
certain, or even that the US administration
ought reasonably to have known, specific
intent, and hence conviction for genocide
could be established. Without doubt, if it could
be shown that there was a strong desire —
even undeclared — to bring about the
consequences that constitute genocide,
responsibility for the crime of genocide would
be unavoidable.
In jurisprudence there are three essential
categories for how intent is judged: 1) the
objective test, where mens rea is imputed on
the basis that any reasonable person would
have had the requisite mental element in the
same circumstances. Here the continuum
between “inevitable, probable, possible and
consequences of acts, is explored relative to
the specific circumstances of a given case; 2)
The subjective test, where a given court must
be satisfied that the accused had the requisite
mental element, or either direct intent or
knowingly undertaking the act, or recklessly
undertaking the act; and 3) A hybrid of
objective and subjective determinations. The
essence of the act of adjudication is to
determine the relation between foresight (or
foreseeability) and desire for the given
consequences to occur.
In time of war, “intent to destroy” may appear
indistinguishable from warfare. This is not the
case. While in restricted circumstances warfare
may permit so-called “legal killing”7, in all
instances it is governed by international
humanitarian law. Not everything is permitted
in so-called “legal war”. In the case of Iraq, all
use of US force was and remains illegal under
international law8; but at issue here is under
International humanitarian law limits what is deemed
acceptable in warfare, but the majority of the world’s
legal scholars put the right to life as paramount, thus
criminalising war in all circumstances. In the Anglo-
American legal community, there is a split, with some
supporting this majority decision and a majority arguing
that killing is permissible in restricted circumstances.
There is little jurisprudence.
8 Clearly the Iraqi government is not a sovereign entity
that can credibly request the continued presence of US
forces in Iraq. Rather, it is an extension of an illegal
occupation established after an illegal war of
aggression. In this sense, UN Security Council
Resolution 1546, which is the basis of subsequent
extensions of the mandate for Multinational Force-Iraq,
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US Genocide in Iraq
what conditions might the use of force
constitute “intent to destroy” as defined by the
Genocide Convention.
In general, there are two conditions: 1) When
the use of force is substantially
disproportionate and indiscriminate (a
determination based an assessment of the level
of force necessary to achieve a military
objective, and the extent to which the
obligatory distinction between military and
civilian targets has been observed in the
action); and 2) When patterns of given
consequences destroy — or could reasonably
be foreseen to destroy — in whole or
“substantial part” an enumerated group.
Relative to substantially disproportionate and
indiscriminate force, as illustrations of the
principle, the massive and overwhelming
destruction of Fallujah, Tel Afar, Al-Qaem,
Haditha and Ramadi, among other cities and
towns destroyed, qualifies. In Fallujah, 75 per
cent of the city was levelled. In the words of
1st Lieutenant Ben Klay, who took part in the
decimation of Ramadi, “We’re used to taking
down walls, doors and windows, but eight city
blocks is something new to us.”9 Added to the
illegal use of white phosphorus and napalm
equivalent MK-77 in Fallujah and Tel Afar,
these wilful illegalities reveal the mens rea of
desire to destroy.10
Alternatively, the notion of “Shock and Awe”
— 800 missiles raining down on Baghdad in
the first 48 hours of a bombing campaign that
lasted 300 hours — appears to declare outright
intent to use disproportionate force, mortally
targeting Iraqis as a national group as well as
is contrary customary international law, in particular the
Draft Articles on State Responsibility that prohibits
states from recognising as legal the consequences of a
serious breach of international law.
9 Arab Commission for Human Rights, et al., “War and
Occupation in Iraq,”
causing trauma and serious mental harm. As
one Pentagon strategist boasted to CBS News,
“There will not be a safe place in Baghdad.”11
This is also prime facie evidence of the mens
rea of specific intent.
On whether the distinction between civilian
and military targets has been respected and
upheld, with credible studies reporting as
many as 1,000,000 Iraqi civilian deaths since
2003 alone, a number that is increasing
rapidly, US use of force would appear clearly
Alternatively, the use of
depleted uranium (DU) ordnance — about
2,000 tons to date since 2003, around 10 times
what was used in the 1991 Gulf War —
illustrates unequivocally indiscriminate and
disproportionate force in that DU, which is
airborne and waterborne, has a half-life of 4.7
billion years, causing sterility, cancer,
leukaemia and birth defects, as well as
rendering swathes of Iraqi land permanently
lethal and unusable. Indeed, the United States
has not only attacked living Iraqis, but also the
unborn generations of Iraq.
Shuna Lennon makes an important point when
stating: “desire to bring about the illegal result
11 In the words of Harlan Ullman, chief architect of the
shock and awe “regime”: “This ability to impose
massive shock and awe, in essence to be able to ‘turn
the lights on and off’ of an adversary as we choose, will
so overload the perception, knowledge and
understanding of that adversary that there will be no
choice except to cease and desist or risk complete and
total destruction.” and
12 In the
Report of the UN Sub-Commission on Genocide, the
special rapporteur stated that “the relative proportionate
scale of the actual or attempted destruction of a group,
by any act listed in Articles II and III of the Genocide
Convention, is strong evidence to prove the necessary
intent to destroy a group in whole or in part.” Paragraph
93, Prosecutor v. Clement Kayishema & Obed
Ruzindana, Case No. ICTR-95-1-T (21 May 1999).
Further, in the recent ruling of the International Court of
Justice on Srebrenica, 8,000 deaths was deemed
sufficient to constitute genocide.
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US Genocide in Iraq
is not an essential component of intention, and
that bringing something about because it is a
means to a quite different end can be
This illustrates the principle
noted above of knowingly undertaking an act
where the perpetrator claims either not to have
known, or desired, the consequent outcome. In
the instance of DU, it is simply unconvincing
that US commanders could be unaware of the
disproportionate and indiscriminate impact of
its use. At best, it illustrates grave disregard
for human life, and at worst oblique intention
or direct intention. A strong argument could be
made for the case of direct intent on the basis
that many targets of US DU use are not
military vehicles or other heavily armoured
installations but rather civilian districts in
Mosul, Basra, Samawa and Baghdad, among
other towns and cities.14
On the other hand, specific intent can be
inferred in the accumulated “pattern of
purposeful action”. If the sum of the whole
creates as a consequence the destruction, in
whole or substantial part, of an enumerated
group, and if these consequences are known or
can be reasonably foreseen in advance, or even
if brought to the attention of commanders mid-
operation and ignored, this may be deemed
genocide and mens rea specific intent. As
Lennon states: “where a consequence is
foreseen as a matter of moral certainty,
intention can be said to be present.”
Ongoing attempts to impose a military solution
on Iraq should be seen in this light, while the
13-year US-imposed UN sanctions regime that
Shauna Lennon, “Sanctions, Genocide and War
Crimes,” http://hartford-
14 Souad Al-Azzawi, “Depleted Uranium Radioactive
Contamination in Iraq,”
Azzawi.htm. As Al-Azzawi rightly states, “Existing DU
contamination in the surrounding environment is a
continuous source of (low level radiation) exposure to
civilians which can be considered systematic attacks on
civilians in an armed conflict.”
led to the “excess deaths” of 1,500,000 Iraqis
is a clear example of “patterns of given
consequences” where foreseeability was
present and the policy continued, suggesting at
the least oblique intention (which is sufficient
for conviction on genocide in being a category
of specific intent), but more plausibly — given
constant US bullying in the UN to maintain the
clearly destructive sanctions regime —
purposive intent.
Sanctions also illustrate the principle of
complicity in genocide. Lennon opines:
Even if it is arguable that the UN did not
know as a matter of moral certainty from
the inception of the sanctions that they
would bring about civilian starvation and
deaths, it certainly knew from the time
when its own investigations revealed to it
the extent to which the sanctions were
causing civilian deaths. The earliest date
on which that occurred is perhaps open to
debate. It may be as late as 1995.
However, the fact that the blockade /
sanctions regime inherently targets
civilians must have been known to its
architects from its inception and
accordingly criminal liability attaches
under the Geneva Protocol.15
This conclusion formed the basis of Francis
Boyle’s petition for relief from genocide
submitted to the secretary general of the UN
and other relevant bodies 18 September 1991.
In this petition, after listing (paragraphs 5-18)
the risks faced by the applicants of the petition
(4.5 million Iraqi children), Boyle states:
As early as March 1991, the UN secretary-general
dispatched to Iraq an inter-agency mission to assess
Iraq’s humanitarian needs. The mission reported that
“the Iraqi people may soon face a further imminent
catastrophe, which could include epidemic and famine,
if massive life-supporting needs are not rapidly met.”
UN sanctions began in August 1990 and didn’t end until
May 2003.
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US Genocide in Iraq
Only the “specific intent” of Respondent
George Bush to commit genocide against
Applicants remains to be proven beyond a
reasonable doubt to establish his criminal
responsibility under United States
municipal law and international criminal
law. The open publication and widespread
dissemination of the Harvard Report on 22
May 1991 makes that task possible. Any
Bush administration official responsible
for implementing the economic sanctions
policy against Iraq who has knowledge of
the conclusions of the Harvard Report
would possess the “specific intent”
required to serve as the mental element or
mens rea of the international and
municipal crime of genocide against
Applicants, The 4.5 Million Children of
Iraq. Applicants assert that Respondent
George Bush has full knowledge of the
genocidal consequences of the
continuation of economic sanctions
against Iraq and therefore has the mens rea
necessary for committing the crime of
genocide as recognized by the Genocide
Implementation Act.16
Boyle’s conclusion is echoed in an article by
Elias Davidsson wherein the relationship
between “knowledge” and intent in
international criminal law is discussed.
Davidsson concludes:
The conjunction of foreseeability, general
intent to cause hardships, detailed and
compelling notice served on a regular
basis, and a protracted neglect to monitor
the consequences, strongly suggests a
Francis Boyle, “On Behalf of Iraq's 4.5 Million
Children: A Petition for Relief from Genocide,” 23
November 2002,
specific criminal intent to cause the
observed harm in Iraq.17
So specific intent can also be established on
the basis of reasonable foreknowledge of the
consequences of a given action or pattern of
actions; most especially when destructive
consequences are identified midway into an
action, or pattern of actions, and the concerned
party fails to prevent these consequences, or
continues to perpetrate them. In this instance
not only are the consequences certain in and of
themselves (oblique intention), and not only
does the party know of them (knowingly
undertaking a given act), but it cannot
constitute reckless intent because the
consequences are certain, not simply a
possibility. It can only infer direct intent, or
the highest level of criminal intent.18
Importantly, it would be for a court to decide if
the pattern of consequences known and
ignored or addressed insufficiently amounted
to specific intent, not the individuals who
perpetrated the acts. As explained by
international law expert Roger O’Keefe,
bodies like the International Court of Justice
(ICJ) “can decide to convict on the balance of
probabilities, rather than beyond all reasonable
Elias Davidsson, “United States Foreseeability,
Awareness and Knowledge of the Consequences of the
Sanctions Against Iraq,”
18 Relative to UN sanctions as a specific case, the
question would be to assess the extent to which
humanitarian exemption, on the one hand, and the so-
called Oil-for-Food Programme, on the other,
ameliorated the overall debilitative effect of total
international isolation, and whether the degree to which
they did ameliorate those effects was reasonably
sufficient in the face of given and known consequences.
Other papers in this volume discuss the case of
sanctions in detail (see chapters by Hans C Von
Sponeck and Christian Scherrer).
19 In the case of former Rwanda Prime Minister Jean
Kambanda, the International Criminal Tribunal for
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In all events, it is unlikely that direct intention
will be declared openly.20 Jean-Paul Sartre in
his essay “On Genocide”, written in the
context of the Vietnam War, discusses the
question of intent when direct proclamations
are absent. His analysis is sentient in the
context of the current occupation of Iraq and
US attempts to break resistance to that
Cognizant that Hitler was an exception to the
rule when it came to candour, Sartre writes:
The declarations of American statesmen
are not as frank as those that Hitler made
in his day. But honesty is not
indispensable; the facts speak for
themselves ... it can only be premeditated.
It is possible that in the past genocide was
committed suddenly, in a flash of passion,
in the midst of tribal or feudal conflicts.
Anti-guerrilla genocide, however, is a
product of our times that necessarily
entails organisation, bases and, therefore,
accomplices (from a distance) and the
appropriate budget. It needs to be thought
over and planned. Does this mean that
those responsible are fully aware of their
own intentions? It is difficult to decide: to
do so one would have to probe the latent
ill-will of puritanical motives ... [But] we
do not have to worry about this
psychological hide-and-seek. The truth is
to be found on the field ... The young
Rwanda found that intention could be inferred from
actions and omissions, though Kambanda claimed he
did not have the intention to destroy an enumerated
group in whole or in part. Prosecutor v. Jean
Kambanda, Case No. ICTR 97-23-S (4 September
1998). Kambanda was convicted and sentenced to life
20 Madelaine Albright’s infamous statement that the
price of 500,000 dead children was “worth it” is an
exception, and almost certainly could have formed the
basis of a petition to the International Court of Justice.
Indeed, the renowned legal expert Francis Boyle offered
to the Iraqi government to do just that. President
Hussein decided not to proceed.
Americans torture without repugnance,
shooting at unarmed women for the
pleasure of completing a hat-trick: they
kick the wounded Vietnamese in the
testicles; they cut off the ears of the dead
for trophies … Whatever the lies or
nervous hedging of the government, the
spirit of genocide is in the soldiers’ minds.
This is their way of enduring the genocidal
situation in which their government has
put them.21
Sartre’s understanding of premeditation is
reflected in the Elements of Crimes of the ICC
that stands as a legal reference point in
developing definitions of genocide.22
document contains illustrations of the kinds of
conduct that would immediately qualify under
subsections (a) to (e) of Article 2 of the
Genocide Convention. Alongside intent is
added “context”, which in all cases reads:
“The conduct took place in the context of a
manifest pattern of similar conduct directed
against that group or was conduct that could
itself effect such destruction.”
Indeed, a review of the strategic context of US
Middle East policy, and Iraq policy
specifically (see below), suggests that the 2003
invasion was but the “execution phase”, or
“endgame” of a general strategy of destroying
the state and nation of Iraq predicated on the
premeditated destruction of a “substantial
part” of the Iraqi population, rendering the
state and nation unviable as entities.
As Sartre might say, the facts speak for
themselves. In the words of John Pace, former
human rights chief of the UN Assistance
Mission in Iraq: “The country has been blown
21 Jean-Paul Sartre, “On Genocide”,
22 Elements of Crimes, 3-10 September 2002,
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US Genocide in Iraq
apart in terms of its social structures and social
4. Beyond law
Legal definitions by nature favour the
exigencies of order. Ultimately, there is a
second level — moral, civil and political —
embodying the calling of common sense and
conscience. While it is important, if the
antiwar movement is to take up the term
genocide, to understand in outline the legal
issues, comprehending the broader context and
its immediate manifestation is indispensable.
a) The genocidal logic of neo-colonial war
In his essay, “On Genocide”, Jean-Paul Sartre
goes beyond legal definitions to place
genocide as a “thing” in an evolving historical
context. There is not one society that has not
practised genocide, Sartre says, but the form
that genocide takes is different relative to the
nature of the state and states system from
which it emerges, and the nature of warfare
each suggests and produces.
From the 19th century, with the development
of mass industry and the democratic evolution
of bourgeois societies, Western states
increasingly engaged one another in strategies
of “total war”, entailing not only the industrial
development of the machinery of war, but the
breaking down of the distinction between the
civilian population and the military, and the
extension of competition between states into
imperial acquisition worldwide. The logic of
“total mobilisation” is the mirror of total war,
in that defence of the nation becomes
synonymous with defence of the “way of life”
it expresses and embodies.24 International laws
Michel Foucault makes a complementary point in his
essay, “Right of Death and Power over Life”, in The
History of Sexuality, Volume 1 (London: Allen lane,
1979), p. 137: “Wars are no longer waged in the name
of the sovereign who must be defended; they are waged
— in particular the laws of war — are but a
“vain” attempt to humanise total war.
Total war between “advanced” states,
however, rarely becomes genocide. On the one
hand, total war finds comfortable expression in
industrial competition, only coming to actual
war when powers reach parity that in duration
blocks the dynamic of competition and wealth
production that are based respectively in
inequality and exploitation. More importantly,
the general equality of advanced states
forestalls outright genocide because of the
possibility of retaliation it embodies.
A different logic exists in the imperialist
process. Here there is no parity of forces, so no
military consideration prevents wars of
conquest from being genocidal. On the other
hand, the colonial endeavour in nature, at least
to some extent and not always, protected the
populations of colonies from outright
genocide. Colonialism is a system whereby
natural resources are plundered and
manufactured goods are sold back to colonised
populations at world market prices. The
destruction of colonised peoples undermines
the very logic of that colonial exchange.
The problem is that, generally, no people can
accept to be the slaves of others for long.
Thus, constant massacres and torture were
embedded in the colonial system, in order to
keep the numerically superior colonised
subservient to the colonial settlers. At the same
time, the colonial system destroys pre-existing
social structures; constituting genocide of a
different kind and building pressures within
the colonial system that ultimately break out in
wars of national liberation. By the mid-20th
on behalf of the existence of everyone; entire
populations are mobilised for the purpose of wholesale
slaughter in the name of life necessity: massacres have
become vital. If genocide is indeed the dream of modern
powers, this is not because of a recent return of the
ancient right to kill; it is because power is situated and
exercised at the level of life, the species, the race, and
the large-scale phenomena of population.”
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US Genocide in Iraq
century, bolstered by their experience as proxy
armies for colonial states, and increasingly
aware of the nature of the international
colonial system, numerous former colonies
seized their independence.
Neo-colonialism has been the response of the
former colonial powers; on the one hand
subjecting newly post-colonial states to an
institutionalised system of unequal exchange,
and on the other hand staking their existence
within political frameworks that open the way
to military occupation and re-colonisation. The
Cold War was such a system, and the “War on
Terror” is its successor. In general, neo-
colonial wars are different because what is at
stake in each instance is the example that must
be set to all other post-colonial states: that the
colonial relation did not end, but can and will
be reasserted at will.
Principally, it is the instrumentalisation of
international financial, economic and political
relations that allows for neo-colonisation. Such
was the role of the UN sanctions regime and
weapons inspections programme for Iraq. Only
when the United States was assured there were
no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was it
possible to wage the war it had long prepared;
only when it was certain that economically and
socially Iraq was on its knees could it invade.
The US war on Iraq is not the conduct of
politics by other means in any classical sense,
nor even a classical war, but rather a neo-
colonial war: a war of liquidation, genocide
and plunder.
Neo-colonial war is “total war waged to the
end by one side and with not one particle of
reciprocity.” And it is this inequality that —
akin to colonial suppression, only greater —
contains within it the logic of genocide.
Sartre writes:
the scarcity and quality of weapons [on the
side of the invaded state] … dictates the
nature of the fighting: terrorism, ambush,
harassing the enemy, and the extreme
mobility of the combat groups which
[have] to strike unexpectedly and
disappear immediately. This [is] not
possible without the participation of the
entire population … Against partisans
backed by the entire population, [neo-
colonial] armies are helpless. They have
only one way of escaping from the
harassment which demoralises them ... this
is to eliminate the civilian population. As
it is the unity of a whole people that is
containing the conventional army, the only
anti-guerrilla strategy which will be
effective is the destruction of that people,
in other words, the civilians, women and
children … A determined population,
unified by its fierce and politicised
partisan army, will not let itself be
intimidated, as it was in the heyday of
colonialism, by a massacre ‘as a lesson’.
On the contrary, this will only increase its
hatred. It is no longer a matter of arousing
fear but of physically liquidating a people.
Sartre clarifies the point by exploring the
psychology of the colonial soldier in Vietnam:
In these confused American minds the
Viet Cong and the Vietnamese tend to
become more and more indistinguishable.
A common saying is ‘The only good
Vietnamese is a dead one’, or, what comes
to the same thing, ‘Every dead Vietnamese
is a Viet Cong’ … Originally, they were
probably disappointed: they came to save
Vietnam from Communist aggressors.
They soon saw that the Vietnamese
actually disliked them. Instead of the
attractive role of the liberator they found
themselves the occupiers. It was the
beginning of self-appraisal: ‘They do not
want us, we have no business here.’ But
their protest goes no further: they become
angry and simply tell themselves that […]
there is not a single Vietnamese who is not
really a Communist: the proof is their
hatred of the Yankees. Here, in the
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US Genocide in Iraq
shadowy and robot-like souls of the
soldiers, we find the truth about the war in
Vietnam: it matches all of Hitler’s
declarations. He killed the Jews because
they were Jews. The armed forces of the
United States torture and kill men, women
and children in Vietnam because they are
In neo-colonial “wars of example”, especially
— as in Vietnam — where the economic
interests are minimal, the “innate
contradiction” in colonial logic that once
forestalled genocide (keeping the natives alive
as consumers for industrial goods), no longer
pertains. In this case, Sartre writes, “Total
genocide then reveals itself as the foundation
of anti-guerrilla strategy. And, under certain
circumstances, it would even present itself as
the ultimate objective, either immediately or
This is not to say that the people aggressed
have no choice. There is always submission.
But submission is simply the revitalisation of
colonialism, and as such is genocide by
another name. As Sartre explains: “One cannot
colonise without systematically destroying the
particular character of the natives, at the same
time denying them the right of integration with
the mother country and of benefiting from its
advantages … It naturally follows that the
colonised lose their national personality, their
culture, their customs, sometimes even their
language, and live in misery like shadows.”
So the commencement of physical genocide is
used as blackmail to force the aggressed to
accept another genocide. Here “substantial
part” loses all meaning, for its annihilation is
but a means to force the rest into submission.
That the choice is posed between death and
submission doesn’t stop the act from being
genocide by intention. As Sartre writes:
Let us say that there is only a choice
between immediate violent death and a
slow death after mental and physical
degradation. In fact, say the American
government, we have done nothing but
offer the Vietnamese this choice: either
you stop your aggression or we break you.
This absurdity is not uncalculated: it is
clever to formulate a demand which the
Vietnamese cannot possibly satisfy. In this
way, America remains the master of the
decision to stop the fighting. But, one
might read the alternatives as: declare
yourselves conquered, or ‘we will take you
back to the Stone Age’. It does not cancel
out the second term of the alternative,
which is genocide. They have said:
genocide, yes, but only conditional
genocide. Is this legally valid? Is it even
Until submission: “villages are burnt, the
population has to endure massive and
deliberately destructive bombardments, the
cattle are shot at, the vegetation is ruined by
defoliants, what does grow is ruined by toxic
elements, machine guns are aimed
haphazardly, and everywhere there is killing,
rape and pillage.” And not only the daily risk
of death and environmental destruction, but
also “the systematic destruction of the
economic system, from the irrigation ditches
to the factories of which ‘there must not be a
brick left upon another brick’; destruction of
hospitals, schools, places of worship,
consistent effort towards wiping out [national]
After submission: “most elementary needs are
ignored. There is under-nourishment and
complete lack of sanitation. The social
structure is destroyed … family life no longer
exists. As the homes are broken up, the birth
rate diminishes; all possibility of cultural or
religious life is abolished. Even work that will
improve the standard of living is denied …
The elder sister or the young mother, without a
breadwinner and with so many mouths to feed,
sinks to the utmost degradation in prostitution
to the enemy.”
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US Genocide in Iraq
In reality, neo-colonial strategy presents the
aggressed population with one choice:
resistance or collective death or disintegration.
So long as it resists, it faces massive deliberate
attacks or the possibility of extinction in an
overwhelming genocidal campaign, while if it
submits, it faces conditions of life that amount
to genocide of another kind. Insofar as there is
no choice except resistance and survival,
popular resistance wages its struggle in the
hope of debilitating the aggressor sufficiently
enough as to slow him down and spark unrest
within his domestic population, while not
overly provoking him into launching an all out
campaign of extermination. This cat and
mouse war of attrition will last so long as a
political solution is absent (i.e., the withdrawal
of the colonial state) and so long as the
political will of the resisting population
remains firm.
From the vantage point of the neo-colonial
state, either the aggressor “gives way, makes
peace and recognises that a whole nation is
opposing him,” or else, realising that classical
colonial repression will not work, resorts — if
he can do so without damaging his own
interests — to “extermination pure and
The resisting population, on the other hand,
can only choose resistance, as resistance — to
the extent to which the full discharge of the
neo-colonial state is avoided, and to the extent
to which the effects of colonial terror “in its
psycho-social consequences”25
can be
ameliorated — is the only possible path to
liberty and independence.
b) Genocide by occupation
One can surmise that because this equation
must be understood in advance, the very
waging of neo-colonial war is genocidal in that
success amounts to cultural genocide for the
colonised, while failure presents genocide as a
solution for the colonial state. A logic of
genocide is inherent to neo-colonial war in all
respects: in its duration in the face of popular
resistance; in the tactics it must resort to in
order to quell popular resistance; in the
possibility of massive escalation in the face of
popular resistance; and in the outcome if
submission is achieved.
The principle of genocide by duration is
currently exhibited in occupied Iraq. Under
international humanitarian law, the United
States as an occupying power is obliged to
provide for the wellbeing of Iraqis. Yet so long
as they are occupied, the Iraqi people,
naturally set against the occupying power in
resistance and embodying as such the
continuity of the state, have no interest in
pursuing anything but bare survival lest the
situation of occupation become normalised.
This mode of resistance is illustrated well in
how quickly sabotage, especially of strategic
infrastructure like oil pipelines, took hold in
Iraq following the onset of the US
Naturally, any resistance
movement to occupation has an interest in
making the occupation as difficult and as
costly as possible for the occupying power.
Given that US officials, in order to get
American public backing for the war, stressed
that Iraqi oil would pay to rebuild the country
they would imminently destroy27, oil
When General Jay Garner, chief of the Office for
Humanitarian Relief Assistance (ORHA), in February
2003 decried the fact that his team was allocated only
$27 million to rebuild Iraq where Garner forecasted the
cost of reconstruction to be upwards of $12 billion,
Donald Rumsfeld told him: “If you think we’re
spending our money on that, you’re wrong. We’re not
doing that. They’re going to spend their money
rebuilding their country.” Echoing the same attitude, in
April 2003 Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita told
ORHA officials: “We don’t owe the people of Iraq
anything. We’re giving them their freedom. That’s
enough.” See also
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US Genocide in Iraq
production has been constantly targeted by
Iraqis themselves in order to drain the pocket
of the American taxpayer.
Thus it is not simply the incompetence,
corruption and punitive mentality of the
United States and its local proxies that explain
why four years into the US occupation even
basic services like access to water and
electricity are debilitated. The overall level of
reconstruction is held at zero not only as a
collective punitive measure, but also because
the Iraqi resistance prevents Iraqi oil from
reinforcing the occupation or paying for
America’s war of aggression. The $50 billion
in Iraqi assets that the US seized along with
revenues from oil possibly exported has
funded no real reconstruction in four years.
Money is used, rather, on military and police
operations, sunk into political corruption, or
funding propaganda campaigns.
It is in this context that the intransigence of the
US occupation — its unwillingness to accept
its defeat and withdraw — suggests additional
genocidal intent. So long as the US occupation
continues, the overall suppression of Iraqi
wellbeing persists, development and life-
sustainability impeded. Intransigence leading
to arrested development augments the toll of
excess deaths and the general psychosis
experienced by those living in continual fear
of imminent annihilation, and steals from Iraq,
every day the US occupation remains,
countless productive life hours and life years.
Given that the US must be aware that Iraqi
reconstruction is impossible so long as it
remains an occupying power, the fact that it
remains an occupying power is further
evidence of the US “knowingly” committing
genocide, or, if used as blackmail and
punishment, “purposely” committing genocide
as outlined above.
5. The destruction of the Iraqi state and
national identity
Sartre’s analysis of the dynamics of neo-
colonial war reveals the inner logic, in the
abstract, of genocide inherent to contemporary
colonialism — a logic that appears to the fore
in two circumstances: 1) Where the innate
contradiction of colonialism, represented in
certain economic interests primarily, is absent;
2) When popular resistance to colonialism
takes the form of guerrilla warfare and the
entire aggressed population appears as a target.
If this is indeed the inherent dynamic, all that
would remain to be done would be to expose
as neo-colonialism US aggression on Iraq. It is
already clear that in Iraq popular resistance has
taken the form of guerrilla warfare.
In reality, US policy in Iraq amounts to and
exceeds colonialism. Current US actions in
Iraq are an objective attempt to destroy Iraq as
a state and nation. In this instance, the
genocidal logic of neo-colonial war has been
activated on purpose and established as the
ultimate aim. It has nothing to do with
accident or incompetence, and even goes
beyond reactive vengeance. It is the outcome
of an entire global, regional and national
imperative. Thus we must penetrate, before
outlining how the project has been
implemented, the core context of Iraq’s
destruction as such. The strategic context for
US genocide in Iraq gives us a framework
through which to interpret events as well as
fully appreciate the gravity of these events.
a) The strategic context for genocide
There are three primary sets of reasons why
Iraq was singled out for destruction. These
reasons, attendant to three levels of policy
(global, regional and national), form a single
overarching imperial strategy, each part
interrelated and dependent on the others.
i. Asserting US geopolitical, global hegemony
Being “a region whose resources would, under
consolidated control, be sufficient to generate
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US Genocide in Iraq
global power,”28 command of the Middle East
and Eurasia region is essential to any bid for
world hegemony. Until 1989, US global
supremacy was thwarted by the Soviet Union.
Though embedded in the Middle East region
economically and politically, US control
remained virtual, not actual. In his 1980 State
of the Union Address, President Jimmy Carter
summed up Cold War US Middle East
concerns: “Any attempt by any outside force
to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will
be regarded as an assault on the vital interests
of the United States. It will be repelled by the
use of any means necessary, including military
Already in 1979, spurred by the
Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Carter had
created the Rapid Deployment Joint Task
Force (RDJTF), an ad hoc assortment of US
forces designated for possible deployment in
the Middle East.
In 1981, President Reagan added the “Reagan
Corollary to the Carter Doctrine”, proclaiming
that the US would not only use military force
to “defend” Middle Eastern oil supplies from
“external” threats, but would also use military
force to maintain the “internal stability” of the
region. By “stability” Reagan meant exactly
what he said: the maintenance of the
engineered status quo: the non-unity of the
Arab Muslim world and guaranteeing the
presence and superiority of Israel.
Consequently, in 1983 Reagan consolidated
the RDJTF as US Central Command. By late
1989, with the collapse of the Warsaw Pact,
and with the Soviet bloc fragmenting, the
United States was left unopposed in the most
important geopolitical and geo-economic
region of the world. Objectives long
suppressed by the Cold War could be activated
in full.
28 1992 Draft “Defense Planning Guidance”, drafted by
Paul Wolfowitz.
In the words of Henry Kissinger, “Oil is too
important a commodity to be left in the hands
of the Arabs.” If this sums up US policy that
until 1990 was covert, from the collapse of the
Warsaw Pact it became overt. The 1990
sanctions regime, followed by the 1991 Gulf
War, marks the opening salvo of a US drive
for Middle East and Eurasia control that
continues until now. History will prove or
disprove the reasons of Iraq’s occupation of
Kuwait. Legally Iraq had no right to invade
Kuwait, but the sanctions regime adopted by
the UN Security Council, in its rapidity,
severity and results, is proof that already in
1990 there was a premeditated plan to destroy
Iraq, rather than see only an end to the Kuwait
invasion. If containment was the strategic
philosophy of the Cold War, in 1990 it became
subjugation and substitution. Sanctions
reached into the heart of Iraq.
Why Iraq in particular? In addition to being
sovereign over the world’s second largest
proven reserves of oil, its geopolitical position
is the answer. Regionally, “Iraq is a
crossroads. Its land provides the necessary
route for Iran to access Syria, Jordan and the
Mediterranean, and for Syria and Jordan as
they look towards Iran and the Arabian Gulf
basin. It is also the natural path from Turkey to
the Gulf, and vice versa.”30 Globally, Iraq is
positioned in the centre between Eurasia and
the Mediterranean. If the US was to control the
global economy, it could only do so by
imposing itself as intermediary between Iraq,
Europe and China. As formulated by Paul
Wolfowitz and Dick Cheney (then US defense
secretary) in 1992, the imperative was
“precluding the emergence of any future
potential global competitor” by maintaining
the “mechanisms for deterring potential
competitors from even aspiring to a larger
30 Abdul Ilah Albayaty and Hana Al Bayaty, “Fortress
Iraq,” Al-Ahram Weekly, Issue 722, 23-29 December
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US Genocide in Iraq
regional or global role.”31
By 1997, sanctions were not working. With
Europe and China ever rising, entailing
competition for access to oil for development,
a group of ideologues, Zionists and corporate
lobbyists coalesce and send a wake-up call to
Washington.32 Named the “Project for a New
American Century” (PNAC), gone now is the
language of “new era of multilateralism”
attendant to the “new world order”. America’s
very future depends, the PNAC neocons said,
on “full spectrum dominance.” Military
“presence in the Gulf region”, reads a PNAC
2000 strategy document, should be considered
“a de facto permanent presence.” As the
PNAC indiscreetly admitted: “The United
States has for decades sought to play a more
permanent role in Gulf regional security.
While the unresolved conflict with Iraq
provides the immediate justification, the need
for a substantial American force presence in
the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of
Saddam Hussein.”33
ii. US policy aimed to break Arab unity
With the end of 1991 Gulf War, it was evident,
although having suffered severe casualties and
the enormous cost of war, that Iraq had a large
and experienced army, capable of defending
its national interests. Throughout the Iran-Iraq
War, and the 1991 Gulf War, the Iraqi army
proved that it was an army of technicians in all
domains. In addition, the unity of the Iraqi
31 1992 Draft “Defense Planning Guidance”,
32 Geoffrey Geuens, “Imperialist State, Nation of
Capitalists: The Links between the PNAC and the US
Military-Industrial Complex,” The BRussells Tribunal
Dossier, 14-17 April 2004.
33 “Rebuilding America’s Defences: Strategy, Forces
and Resources for a New Century,” PNAC, September
people behind its government against other
regimes was evident. Iraq emerged as a
defender of all Arabs against imperialism,
Zionism and the Shah-inaugurated
expansionist ambitions of Iran adopted by
Tehran’s Mullahs in 1979. This situation was
threatening for pro-American Arab regimes,
for Israel, and all those afraid of a rising Arab
nation hoping to pursue unity, economic
independence, democracy and progress.
Since 1948, the US has attempted to break
Arab unity in three principal ways: 1)
Unconditionally supporting the State of Israel
— an entity founded on theft and a war of
colonial aggression on the Palestinian people
— and bargaining US political favour on this
predicate; 2) Balkanising the Arab world both
at a regional level (the undermining of Arab
solidarity) and a national level (conspiring to
internally partition Arab states); and 3)
Destroying Arab developmental achievements
to pave the way for US corporate
globalisation. These elements of consistent US
Middle East policy are interdependent and
mutually reinforcing. Overall, the US goal has
long been to ensure that the Arab world
remains an “arc of instability” wherein the
United States, through an ever-increasing
network of military bases, can play the role of
permanent arbiter and final authority,
guaranteeing US global hegemony and
securing by military force US national
Washington’s use of the State of Israel as an
offensive spearhead breaking into the Arab
34 To date, the US has over 700 declared bases in 130
countries. In Iraq, the US, as of 2007, has 55 bases
remaining out of over 100 established in 2003-2004,
many slated to be “enduring”; this in addition to
building the largest embassy anywhere in the world: a
huge complex covering an area bigger than the Vatican
City and sporting an Olympic-size swimming pool, a
state-of-the-art gymnasium, tennis courts, a cinema and
restaurants. Cost estimates, including all the perimeter
security, self-contained utilities and other amenities,
come to over $1 billion.
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US Genocide in Iraq
world is well documented. After every Israeli
aggressive war on the Arab world its aid
package has increased.35 Before 1990, Iraq was
the only Arab state sufficiently independent, as
well as militarily capable, to be a counter-
balance to Israeli colonial expansionism and to
challenge Israel’s illegal occupation of Arab
lands. Unlike Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and
the Gulf States, Iraq was not dependent on the
US for security or the general welfare of its
population. This independence placed Iraq —
especially after the 1979 peace treaty between
Egypt and Israel — at the centre of the
political system of the Arab world. While
Iraq’s development was tolerated when
involved in a never-ending weakening war
with its eastern neighbour, its achievements
quickly appeared contrary to US regional and
global interests as soon a ceasefire was
reached with Iran.
That Israel has long wished that Arab states be
divided up into small ethnic and sectarian
entities is well known. In his 1982 essay, “A
Strategy for Israel in the 1980s”, Oded Yinon
Lebanon’s total dissolution into five
provinces serves as a precedent for the
entire Arab world including Egypt, Syria,
Iraq and the Arabian peninsula … The
dissolution of Syria and Iraq … into
ethnically or religiously unique areas such
as in Lebanon, is Israel’s primary target
on the Eastern front in the long run, while
the dissolution of the military power of
those states serves as the primary short
term target … Iraq, rich in oil on the one
hand and internally torn on the other, is
guaranteed as a candidate for Israel’s
targets. Its dissolution is even more
important for us than that of Syria. Iraq is
stronger than Syria. In the short run it is
Iraqi power which constitutes the greatest
By credible estimates, US aid to Israel since 1948
passed $100 billion in 2002.
threat to Israel. An Iraqi-Iranian war will
tear Iraq apart and cause its downfall at
home even before it is able to organise a
struggle on a wide front against us. Every
kind of inter-Arab confrontation will assist
us in the short run and will shorten the
way to the more important aim of breaking
up Iraq into denominations as in Syria and
in Lebanon. In Iraq, a division into
provinces along ethnic/religious lines as in
Syria during Ottoman times is possible.
So, three (or more) states will exist around
the three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and
Mosul, and Shi’ite areas in the south will
separate from the Sunni and Kurdish
north.” (emphasis in original)36
In his 1999 book, Tyranny’s Ally: America’s
Failure to Defeat Saddam Hussein, David
Wurmser, current Middle Adviser to Dick
Cheney, would echo similar ideas when
advocating that the US intervene to create a
“loosely unified Iraqi confederal government,
shaped around strong sectarian and provincial
Wurmser in 1996, along with
Douglas Feith (US undersecretary of defense
for policy, 2001-05) and Richard Perle
(chairman of the Defense Policy Board
Advisory Committee 2001-03), both key
neoconservatives, wrote for incoming Israeli
Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu the
strategy document, “A Clean Break: A New
Strategy for Securing the Realm”. Therein
Netanyahu is encouraged to “re-establish” the
“principle of pre-emption,” including
removing Saddam Hussein from power,
deemed “an important Israeli strategic
objective in its own right.”38
David Wurmser, Tyranny’s Ally: America’s Failure
to Defeat Saddam Hussein (Washington: AEI Press,
1999), pp. 136-37.
38 Richard Perle
was later to co-sign with Elliott Abrams, Richard L
Armitage, John Bolton, Zalmay Khalilzad, William
Kristol, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz an “Open
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US Genocide in Iraq
Yinon’s essay and Wurmser’s book echo the
assertions of former Israeli Labour Foreign
Minister Abba Eban that the “Arab East” is a
“mosaic” of ethnic divergence.39 Present plans
to partition Iraq into three weak and
conflicting protectorates are their direct
In Iraq, the current “political
process” is not about stability, but the pursuit
of war by other means, aimed to break up the
state and sow conflicts throughout the region.
In the words of Abdul Ilah Albayaty and Hana
Al Bayaty:
The so-called political process, instead of
bringing stability to Iraq, is and will be the
cause of increasing instability in the
region. Indeed, on the one hand, the
Kurdish parties are working to create a
Kurdish entity in the north, unrestrained
by the central government. This will be a
destabilising factor for Iran, Turkey and
Syria, and is opposed by the majority of
Arab Iraqis. On the other, the Shia
religious forces are trying to build a Shia
semi-state in the south, governed by the
concept of “Wilayat Al-Fakih” (Rule of
the Jurist — a laden concept which puts
religious authority above nationalism),
similar to and allied with Iran. This will be
a destabilising factor for the whole Gulf
region, including Saudi Arabia. It is
opposed by most Arab countries. In
reality, if there isn’t a strong unified Iraq,
Letter” of the Project for a New American Century
(PNAC) think-tank to President Bill Clinton, 16 January
1998, urging Clinton, “to seize that opportunity, and to
enunciate a new strategy that would secure the interests
of the US and our friends and allies around the world.
That strategy should aim, above all, at the removal of
Saddam Hussein’s regime from power,” adding
ominously that “American policy cannot continue to be
crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the
UN Security Council.”
39 Saleh Abdel-Jawwad, “Israel: the ultimate winner”,
Al-Ahram Weekly, Issue #634, 17-23 April 2003.
40 For more on partition, see
peaceful and cooperative with its
immediate neighbours, there will be no
stability in Iraq or in the region. As was
rightly observed by Saud Al-Faisal, the
Saudi foreign minister, this may result in a
civil and regional war.
That partition is even a proposal, given that
none of the stated aims of the 2003 illegal US
invasion suggest it, reveals that the US has
moved consciously to fulfil Israel’s agenda
and bring about precisely this outcome. The
overall result: a strategic victory for the State
of Israel; ancillary benefits for Iran as a second
level proxy; and justification for permanent
and expanding US military presence in the
whole of the Middle East region.
The third arm of US regional policy has been
to destroy existing Arab developmental
achievements, undermining and destroying
Arab states as viable entities while promoting
corrupt, incompetent and repressive regimes
that serve the interests of foreign powers.
Rejecting this destiny, it is well known that of
all Arab states, Iraq prior to 1990 had the most
developed system of national education,
healthcare and primary state services. On the
basis of a nationalised oil industry and Iraq’s
water resources, Iraq was able to achieve
significant state and national development
autonomous from foreign capital and thus
encompassing infrastructure, science, military
advance, and social security. Sanctions
targeted Iraqis as a people and state, not only
the Iraqi government or army. Indeed, the
regimen of punitive sanctions imposed on Iraq
stands unprecedented in modern history,
systematically destroying its attained levels of
economic, social, political and military
development and leading to an estimated
1,500,000 excess deaths over 13 years.41
Hans C von Sponeck, A Different Kind of War: The
UN Sanctions Regime in Iraq (New York: Berghahn
Books, 2006).
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US Genocide in Iraq
Overall, these three aspects of US regional
policy — breaking regional unity by
instrumentalising Israel; Balkanising and
partitioning Arab states into ethnic and
sectarian entities; and destroying Arab
development capacities — by design aim to
ensure that the Arab world as a whole never
attains the requisite social, political, economic
and military development to take advantage of
the enormous oil, gas and mineral resources
over which by right it is sovereign.
Keeping Iraq in particular unstable is key to
US strategic designs for the whole Arab
region. In the words of Abdul Ilah Albayaty
and Hana Al Bayaty, given Iraq’s median
geopolitical position: “The slightest
deterioration in relations between Iraq and any
of its neighbours is automatically a setback for
cooperation throughout the whole region.42
Michael Ledeen, founding member of the
Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
and a key neoconservative, in 2002
unabashedly told the truth about US regional
policy in saying: “Stability is an unworthy
American mission, and a misleading concept
to boot. We do not want stability in Iran, Iraq,
Syria, Lebanon, and even Saudi Arabia … The
real issue is not whether, but how to
destabilise. Creative destruction is our middle
name … Our enemies have always hated this
whirlwind of energy and creativity which
menaces their traditions (whatever they may
be) … we must destroy them to advance our
historic mission.”43
iii. The US national emergency and corporate
The entire entity of the United States is on
death row. The end of the age of oil is its
42 Abdul Ilah Albayaty and Hana Al Bayaty, “Fortress
Iraq,” Al-Ahram Weekly, Issue 722, 23-29 December
Michael Ledeen, The War Against the Terror
Masters: Why It Happened. Where We Are Now. How
We’ll Win (New York: Truman Talley Books, 2002).
execution order. Spending $200,000 a minute
on oil, no system of life on earth is as
dependent on oil as that of the United States.
The consumer economy, which depends on oil
and relative high wages, is the guarantor of the
internal tranquillity of the US. Many core US
industries — protected and uncompetitive, and
based on high wages — would collapse if
guaranteed supplies of oil were to end, upon
which guarantees stable prices depend. With
the collapse of industries, the consumer
economy would be oversupplied. Prices would
plummet and growth would disappear. Outside
the national sphere, US corporate
globalisation, exploitative in nature, depends
on the US military machine, which itself
depends on foreign oil.44 As the eclipse of the
age of oil approaches, these objective realities
constitute a national emergency for the United
US economic vulnerability is not only centred
on the supply of oil. The entire entity of the
United States is wagered on the use of the
dollar as the primary currency of oil
transactions. The US long forced OPEC oil
sales to be transacted only in dollars,
establishing the dollar as the global currency
of reserve. Indeed, the global oil industry is the
guarantor and engine of the global dollar
economy. Any alteration of this arrangement
threatens to explode the illusion on which
American economic prowess is built. If dollars
were to flood back into the United States,
hyperinflation would take hold, followed by
According to Defense Logistics Agency
spokeswoman Lana Hampton, quoted in an article in the
American Forces Information Service News, the US
military is using 10-11 million barrels of fuel each
month to sustain operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and
Michael Klare, Resource Wars: The New Landscape
of Global Conflict (New York: Owl Books, 2002) and
Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of
America’s Growing Petroleum Dependency (New York:
Penguin Books, 2005).
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US Genocide in Iraq
stagflation as uncompetitive and protected
industries collapsed. As consciousness of the
approaching end of the age of oil sinks in, and
as others powers — the EU and China — rise,
this monetary consideration is a second level
to the US national emergency.46
By 1997, the PNAC understands well the twin
levels of the US national emergency and
commits itself to address it. Though the US-
led destruction of Iraq has already begun, the
signatories of the PNAC express concern that
the US is resting on its laurels — they
undertake to accelerate it. The PNAC
announces its presence with a question and a
warning: “Does the United States have the
resolve to shape a new century favourable to
American principles and interests? We are in
danger of squandering the opportunity and
failing the challenge. We are living off the
capital — both the military investments and
the foreign policy achievements — built up by
past administrations.”47 Admonishing the then
Clinton administration, the neoconservatives
of the PNAC argue for significant defence and
foreign policy spending, to curtail — with no
irony — “the promise of short-term
commercial benefits” threatening to “override
strategic considerations.”
In 1999, Dick Cheney, then CEO of
Halliburton, the largest post-invasion
contractor in Iraq, muses on the issue of
supply: “by 2010 we will need on the order of
an additional 50 million barrels a day. So
where is the oil going to come from? ... While
many regions of the world offer great oil
opportunities, the Middle East with two thirds
of the world's oil and the lowest cost, is still
where the prize ultimately lies. Even though
46 William R Clark, Petrodollar Warfare: Oil, Iraq and
the Future of the Dollar (NY: New Society Books,
47 “Statement of Principles”, Project for the New
American Century, 3 June 1997.
companies are anxious for greater access there,
progress continues to be slow.”48
September 2000, despite their ideas receiving
some heed, the PNAC is running out of
patience: “Global leadership is not something
exercised at our leisure, when the mood strikes
us or when our core national security interests
are directly threatened; then it is already too
late. Rather, it is a choice whether or not to
maintain American military pre-eminence, to
secure American geopolitical leadership, and
to preserve the American peace.”49
Much has been said about the PNAC’s claim
that the transformation in American strategy
would be slow and frustrating “absent some
catastrophic and catalysing event — like a new
Pearl Harbour.” Many believe that 9/11 was
the convenient trigger. In reality, the true Pearl
Harbour occurs within weeks of this PNAC
prediction being published. On 6 November
2000, Iraq began selling oil in euros, with
others (Venezuela, Iran, Russia and Libya)
threatening to follow suit.50
Later Iraq
converted its $10 billion reserve fund at the
UN also to euros. In the aftermath of the 7
November 2000 US presidential elections, the
Republican right faced the long-term national
emergency immediately. If the oil economy
were to shift to euros, the American economy
would collapse. This is the context
surrounding the deliberations of the Cheney
Energy Policy Task Force in early 2001,
whose conclusions until now remain
49 “Rebuilding America’s Defences: Strategy, Forces
and Resources for a New Century,” PNAC, September
50 William R Clark, “The Real Reasons for the
Upcoming War With Iraq: A Macroeconomic and
Geostrategic Analysis of the Unspoken Truth”, 17
February 2003.
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US Genocide in Iraq
The two national emergencies had rolled into
one: Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi people
were weathering sanctions while other states
were circumventing them, slowing down
progress in Big Oil regional ambitions; and
President Hussein played the bourse card,
threatening the entire basis of the American
economy in one move. Iraq was the country
that didn’t compromise and succeeded in firing
missiles on Israel; it was also the country that
used its oil for progress and that aided poor
countries in Asia, Africa and the Arab world,
As a country that could defy imperialism when
imperialism was victorious everywhere, Iraq
signed its own death warrant. It should die.
That US Big Oil corporations would make a
killing on stolen Iraqi resources was a bonus.52
The real issue was national defence — that is,
defence of the system of life of a nation that
consumes 25 per cent of the world’s energy
resources while it constitutes 4.6 per cent of
the world’s population, a system that creates
600,000 tons of garbage per day.
iv. A unified strategy of genocide
To truly secure US supremacy, Iraq would
have to become the 51st economy of the
United States. This could only suggest
genocide. By no other means could the United
States control what has been a geopolitical
entity for 6,000 years and a bastion of Arab
nationalism throughout the 20th century. By
no other means could the United States seize
from Iraqis their principle source of material
and future welfare, imposing on their culture
the idea of foreign ownership of the riches of
the land. Destroying the Iraqi state would not
be enough. To control Iraq, in its median
Disclosure of the 2001 deliberations of the National
Energy Policy Development Group (commonly referred
to as the “Cheney Energy Task Force”) is subject to
ongoing legal action.
position, necessitates destroying its Arab
Muslim identity — erasing its very being as a
In combination, the above represents the
strategic context and motive — global,
regional and national — for destroying the
state and nation of Iraq. No single aspect can
be taken alone; each supports the others. It is
through myriad acts meeting these three broad
strategic concerns that US “intent to destroy”
Iraq can be traced, while the general cohesion
of these three pillars of US strategy suggests
“intended destruction” of Iraq as the logical
conclusion of well-established US Middle East
and global strategic policy.
Nothing in this “logic” can excuse its
execution. Indeed, nothing in this logic is
excusable. It is specific intent, not
implementation that defines the crime of
genocide under international law. Claims of
“benevolent hegemony” that accompany US
global plans are irrelevant. These plans in
intent constitute genocide. US national,
regional and global designs dictate the
rationality embedded in military planning and
thinking. Implementation is merely the mirror
of the intent. And if, in the words of Morris
and Scharf, “it is unnecessary for an individual
to have knowledge of all details of the
genocidal plan or policy,” the pattern of
implementation is enough to infer the crime.53
b) Implementing genocide in Iraq54
Having understood the desire, or mens rea, the
means, or actus rea, becomes easier to
unravel. From the above, it is clear that the
United States had reasons to desire — within
its own logic — the destruction of Iraq as a
53 Virginia Morris and Michael P Scharf, The
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (NY:
Transnational Publishers, 1998).
54 For more information on the section that follows see, and
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US Genocide in Iraq
state and nation. The means by which it
destroyed the Iraqi state, and attempted to
destroy the Iraqi nation, follow on from and
accord to these reasons.
Specifically, the US has sought to: 1) Destroy
Iraq physically and culturally, and principally
militarily, so that it can never re-emerge as an
economic, political or military force; and 2)
Break Iraq as a state and nation, substituting
the state with three or more conflicting and
weak entities based on ethnic and sectarian
affiliations that presage the destruction of
Iraq’s Muslim Arab identity. These two
objectives, if achieved, would allow for the
plunder of Iraq’s resource riches, control of its
median position in order to attain global pre-
eminence, serve in the protection of the US’s
offensive regional instrument and proxy,
Israel, and erase the last official remnant of the
pan-Arab nationalist movement.
This project of intended destruction — the
legal substance of genocide — has been going
on for 17 years. All together, the pattern of
intent is irrefutable. It has led to an estimated
1,500,000 excess Iraqi deaths under sanctions,
and as many as 1,000,000 excess violent Iraqi
deaths since the US illegal war of aggression.
By any definition, but also defined in law, this
is genocide.
i. Destroying Iraq physically and permanently
The destruction of Iraq began with sanctions in
1990 and the 1991 Gulf War. On the one hand,
the war was not to liberate Kuwait. It was the
opening shot of a broader objective of
destroying Iraq, entailing permanently
destroying its military capabilities and civil
capacities, in order to replace the Iraqi state
with an unviable entity in need of constant US
assistance, while breaking its economy in
order to break the will of the Iraqi people and
later plunder Iraqi resources. Under sanctions,
in finance and economy Iraq became a ward of
the UN Security Council, its budget managed
by foreign powers, and with no end in sight.55
This marks the beginning of the dismantling of
Iraq as a state and nation. Ground invasion
takes place when established policy proves
unable to achieve its goals.
Francis Boyle in his indictment for crimes
against humanity and the crime of genocide
describes well the 1991 Gulf War and its
The bombing continued for 42 days. It met
no resistance from Iraqi aircraft and no
effective anti-aircraft or anti-missile
ground fire. Iraq was basically
defenceless. Most of the targets were
civilian facilities. The United States
intentionally bombed and destroyed
centres for civilian life, commercial and
business districts, schools, hospitals,
mosques, churches, shelters, residential
areas, historical sites, private vehicles and
civilian government offices. In aerial
attacks, including strafing, over cities,
towns, the countryside and highways,
United States aircraft bombed and strafed
indiscriminately. The purpose of these
attacks was to destroy life and property,
and generally to terrorise the civilian
population of Iraq. The net effect was the
summary execution and corporal
punishment indiscriminately of men,
women and children, young and old, rich
and poor, of all nationalities and religions.
The intention and effort of this bombing
campaign against civilian life and facilities
was to systematically destroy Iraq’s
infrastructure leaving it in a pre-industrial
condition. The United States intentionally
In the words of Martin Indyk, the top Middle East
policymaker on Clinton's first National Security
Council, “We will not be satisfied with Saddam's
overthrow before we agree to lift sanctions.”
Page 25
US Genocide in Iraq
bombed and destroyed defenceless iraqi
military personnel; used excessive force;
killed soldiers seeking to surrender and in
disorganised individual flight, often
unarmed and far from any combat zones;
randomly and wantonly killed iraqi
soldiers; and destroyed material after the
ceasefire. The United States used
prohibited weapons capable of mass
destruction and inflicting indiscriminate
death and unnecessary suffering against
both military and civilian targets. Fuel air
explosives were used against troops in
place, civilian areas, oil fields and fleeing
civilians and soldiers on two stretches of
highway between Kuwait and Iraq.56
The material destruction of Iraq didn’t end
with the ceasefire that supposedly marked the
end of the 1991 Gulf War. General Michael J
Dugan, former chief of staff of the US Air
Force, revealed the deliberations of the US
administration when he stated in mid-summer
1991 that if another war comes, “We will
bomb Iraq back into the Stone Age.”
In reality, in the post-Gulf War period Iraq’s
defences were systematically obliterated by
numerous US-UK bombing raids under
justification of unilaterally imposed and illegal
no-fly zones — first in the north, in April
1991, and later in the south.57 Thus, contrary to
what is usually assumed, the occupation of
Iraq didn’t start in 2003; it started in 1991. If
occupation is the situation that pertains when
the territory of a state is put under the
authority of a foreign military power — as
defined by The Hague IV Regulations58 —
then Iraq from this time, in losing effective
56 Francis Boyle, “Flashback: US War Crimes During
the Gulf War,” 2 September 2002,
58 Laws and Customs of War on Land (Hague IV) 18
October 1907,
military control of at least two thirds of its
territory, became de facto occupied.
The no-fly zone system also had an ancillary
agenda: 1) It imposed a de facto division of
Iraq into three regions that corresponded to a
political agenda of partition59; 2) Provided
political cover for continuous targeting of
Iraq’s military and civil infrastructure; and 3)
Provided air cover for the US to gather
conspiring opposition forces and for the US
and Israel to train Iraqi separatist militias,
which later would replace the national army.
Tied to UN sanctions, the UN weapons
inspections programme (United Nations
Special Commission, UNSCOM) presented
Iraq with constantly shifting demands. The
“100 per cent” verification order was
technically — even according to former
inspectors — impossible to satisfy. Aside from
that, according to a 1999 article in The
Washington Post, “United States intelligence
services infiltrated agents and espionage
equipment for three years into United Nations
arms control teams in Iraq to eavesdrop on the
Iraqi military without the knowledge of the
UN agency that it used to disguise its work,
according to US government employees and
documents describing the classified
operation.”60 Similar allegations surfaced in
2003 that the UK leaked false information on
weapons in order to use inspections as political
Combined, no-fly zones and weapons
inspections allowed the United States and its
59 Richard Becker, “Is the U.S. Attempting to
Dismember Iraq?”
60 “US Spied on Iraq Via UN,” The Washington Post, 2
March 1999,
srv/inatl/daily/march99/unscom2.htm UNSCOM was
disbanded in 1999, replaced by United Nations
Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission
(UNMOVIC). In 2003, UNMOVIC concluded that
UNSCOM had successfully dismantled Iraq’s
unconventional weapons programme during the 1990s.
Page 26
US Genocide in Iraq
allies to bomb Iraq at will for 13 years in the
pre-invasion phase. Under the cover of
weapons inspections in particular, scores of
factories, schools, chemical plants of a civil
nature — indeed anything suspected even
remotely of having a prohibited military
function — were blown up or bombed.
In the name of the no-fly zones, the US and
allies hit infrastructure, communication lines,
defensive installations and numerous non-
military targets, ostensibly all in the name of
protecting the civilian population. While the
US administration was telling lies about
seeking a diplomatic solution to the “Iraq
crisis” it engineered, Operation Southern
Focus begun in June 2002, entailing intensive
bombing below the 33rd parallel, ostensibly to
“soften up” Iraq for invasion. In September
2002 alone, US air forces dropped 54.6 tons of
bombs, one month prior to Congress
authorising war.
With the ground invasion the military and civil
destruction of the Iraqi state accelerated
dramatically. With the massive air bombing
campaign dubbed “Shock and Awe”, the Iraqi
state — already criminalised, as the
“repressive arm” of the Iraqi Baath Party — in
every instance of its human and infrastructural
form was a target. Conscious that its forces
were unequal to those of the foreign invaders,
and after the Battle of Baghdad Airport where
non-conventional weapons were used by the
US, the Iraqi army disperses, a substantial part
going underground to pursue pre-planned
guerrilla warfare.
The police like the population as a whole stays
home. Militias entering Baghdad alongside US
forces inaugurate the breakdown of law and
order sanctions long desired, looting and
burning down all public institutions
(ministries, hospitals, universities, schools,
museums, libraries, cultural institutions, etc.),
unopposed by US forces who have been
ordered not to intervene. Nothing of exchange
value belonging to the Iraqi state is not stolen;
everything else is destroyed. This policy of
tabula rasa amounts to the effacement of
modern and ancient Iraq. The result is a state
of national shock and of preparation of the
confrontation between the occupation and the
Iraqi state apparatus that went underground.
Order #2 of US Civil Administrator L Paul
Bremer will disband the national Iraqi army61,
leaving 400,000 well-trained and experienced
men with no immediate means of material
survival and no legitimate national force
responsible for defending Iraq’s population
and territory. In addition to the looting of civil
institutions, systematic looting of military
installations and armories is organised62, all
left unprotected by occupation forces allegedly
on Iraqi soil to disarm by force the Iraqi state.
Heavy materiel from national armories is
either sold as iron or carried to the north.
Army personnel are criminalised as Saddam’s
Armaments, equipment and archives are
destroyed or stolen, personnel killed or
detained, and Iraqi military ideology — of
being an army defending the unity of Iraq and
the Arab nation — considered racial and
sectarian. Iraq’s experienced and strong army,
dating in origin to 1921 and which defended
the unity of the Iraqi state and participated in
the defence of Palestine, Jordan and Syria, will
be replaced by Kurdish separatist and pro-
Iranian militias. The task of the new army is
61 CPA Order #2, “Dissolution of Entities,” 23 August
2003, http://cpa-
62 James Glanz and William J Broad, “Looting at
Weapons Plants Was Systematic, Iraqi Says,” New York
Times, 13 March 2005.
5/0313systematic.htm. James Glanz, “Arms Equipment
Plundered in 2003 Is Surfacing in Iraq”, New York
Times, 17 April 2005.
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US Genocide in Iraq
not to defend the unity and integrity of Iraq,
but to defend the occupation and its local
proxies against the people of Iraq labelled
“terrorists” or “Saddamists”.
Iraq’s territorial borders are left unsecured.
Private foreign security contractors working as
mercenaries, create a parallel system of fear
and danger, operating free of all accountability
to law.63
The militias of sectarian forces
brought in with the occupation begin to
operate across the Iraqi territory.
Simultaneously, a wave of assassinations
targets pilots, engineers, scientists and military
officers, with reports linking the killing to
intelligence agencies of Israel and Iran
suspected of circulating elaborate “hit lists”.
With weapons being disseminated across the
country, kidnapping becomes a threat to daily
civil security, along with extortion and
summary execution. Corpses quickly start to
appear on the streets of Baghdad.
Parallel to military campaigns, from 1990 the
US deliberately pursued a policy of weakening
Iraq economically to be sure that Iraq could
not recover from the systematic destruction of
civil infrastructure during the 1991 Gulf War
and again emerge as an economically
developing country. UN sanctions, which
prevented the free sale of oil from 1990
onwards, had a devastating effect on Iraq’s
economy, and necessarily the majority of Iraqi
citizens. The majority of Iraq’s working
population in 1990 were employed in the
public sector and thus dependant on oil
revenue that prior to 1990 comprised 90 per
cent of Iraq’s GDP.
Given that Iraq was a welfare state, the
debilitation of public services affected all Iraqi
citizens. Ostensibly eased by the Oil-for-Food
63 CPA Order #17, “Status of the CPA, MNFI, Certain
Missions and Personnel in Iraq,” 27 June 2004,
Programme, which was based on limited sales
quotas until 1998 and thereafter remained
heavily regulated, sanctions continued from
1996 to devastate commerce and
infrastructure.64 The banning of “dual use”
items even included paper.65 Sanctions also
would play a role in the de facto partition of
Iraq: the northern Kurdish area, under the no-
fly zone, was effectively exempted, allowing
Kurdish separatists to flourish and entrench
their autonomy from the central government.
One aspect of the package established by UN
Security Council Resolution 687 of 3 April
1991 was the UN Compensations Commission
that throughout the period of sanctions, when
economically Iraq was crippled and when over
5,000 children were dying monthly, collated
damages claims from the Gulf War and
siphoned a third of Iraq’s oil revenues
(restricted under quotas) to pay reparations.
This situation is ongoing with claims
amounting to $352.5 billion.66 For contrast,
when in December 1996, under the Oil-for-
Food Programme, Iraq was permitted to export
oil in return for humanitarian supplies it was
restricted to an overall quota of $2 billion in
oil sales every six months. In effect, Iraq had
no means of sustaining itself, the total of its
remittances from oil amounting to disposable
revenue of $15 per Iraqi per month.
Exasperated by a system they deemed
“genocide,” Denis Halliday and Hans von
Sponeck (both former UN humanitarian
coordinators for Iraq who resigned) in
November 2001 wrote: “The uncomfortable
truth is that the West is holding the Iraqi
people hostage.”67
67 Hans Von Sponeck and Denis Halliday, “The
Hostage Nation,” 29 November 2001,
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US Genocide in Iraq
Upon invasion, US strategy in Iraq can be
summed up in one phrase: privatisation by
military force. Order #12 of US Civil
Administrator Bremer enacted on 7 June 2003
suspended all tariffs, customs duties, import
taxes, licensing fees and similar surcharges for
goods entering or leaving Iraq, and all other
trade restrictions that may apply to such
goods68; Order #17 grants foreign contractors,
including private security firms, full immunity
from Iraq’s laws69; Order #39 allows for the
privatisation of Iraq’s 200 state-owned
enterprises, 100 per cent foreign ownership of
Iraqi businesses, national treatment of foreign
firms, unrestricted, tax-free remittance of all
profits and other funds, and 40-year ownership
licenses70; Order #40 turns the banking sector
from a state-run to a market-driven system
overnight by allowing foreign banks to enter
the Iraqi market and to purchase up to 50 per
cent of Iraqi banks71; Order #49 drops the tax
rate on corporations from a high of 40 per cent
to a flat rate of 15 per cent. The income tax
rate is also capped at 15 per cent72; and Order
# 81 prohibits Iraqi farmers from using the
methods of agriculture that they have used for
68 CPA Order #12, “Trade Liberalisation Policy,” 26
February 2004, http://cpa-
69 CPA Order #17, “Status of the CPA, MNFI, Certain
Missions and Personnel in Iraq,” 27 June 2004,
70 CPA Order #39, “Foreign Investment,” 20 December
2003, http://cpa-
71 CPA Order #40, “Bank Law,” 19 September 2003,
72 CPA Order #49, “Tax Strategy for 2004,” 20
February 2004, http://cpa-
centuries.73 The common worldwide practice
of saving heirloom seeds from one year to the
next is made illegal in Iraq.
The consequences are as follows: 1) A rise of
unemployment to over 70 per cent; 2)
Systematic plunder by multinational
corporations; 3) Corruption on a scale
unprecedented; and 4) The institution of two
economic realities: the economy of graft
limited to the Green Zone, and the non-
economy of the rest of Iraq, known as the
“Red Zone”.
ii. Substituting the Iraqi state and nation
In its attempt to destroy and substitute the Iraqi
state and nation, the United States pursued two
parallel tracks: 1) Demonising the Arabism of
the Iraqi state, of the Iraqi Baath Party — a
non-sectarian national movement of six
million sympathisers — and Saddam Hussein;
and 2) Promoting, funding and organising
sectarian groups of the Iraqi opposition.
Kick-starting the policy of destroying the Iraqi
nation defined as being composed of Iraqis,
Bush Sr encouraged the rebellion of “Kurds”
and “Shias” against the Iraqi central
government in 1991 as the Iraqi national army
was demobilising, implying that those who
ruled them were “Sunnis”. In the words of
Francis Boyle: “Bush encouraged and aided
Shiite Muslims and Kurds to rebel against the
government of Iraq causing fratricidal
violence, emigration, exposure, hunger and
sickness and thousands of deaths. After the
rebellion failed, the US invaded and occupied
parts of Iraq without lawful authority in order
73 CPA Order #81, “Patent, Industrial Design,
Undisclosed Information, Integrated Circuits and Plant
Variety Law,” 26 April 2004, http://cpa-
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US Genocide in Iraq
to increase division and hostilities within
UN sanctions forced Iraq, as both a state and a
nation, into complete isolation. While
President Saddam Hussein, and by extension
the Iraqi Baath Party, was the main focus of
relentless vilification, from 1990 onwards to
be non-Kurd Iraqi was to be suspect. With the
demonisation of President Hussein began the
process in discourse that would undermine the
very concept of Iraqi citizenship: the
imposition of sectarianism in allegations, now
questioned, that “Saddam gassed the Kurds”
and “oppressed the Shia”, and ruled in the
name of the “Sunni minority”. The Iraqi Baath
Party, central to the operation of the state, was
falsely cast as “Sunni”, repressive of Iraqi
Kurds and Shias as Kurds and Shias — a
canard that would later allow for the targeting
of Sunnis simply because they are Sunni.
Covertly, and later overtly, the United States
started funding sectarian militias and
opposition groups. The US-sponsored 1992
opposition conference in Salah El-Din (on
Iraqi soil, with US security guarantees — a
blatant breach of Iraqi sovereignty)
crystallised the ideas of what would replace
the political regime of the Iraqi Baath Party: a
sectarian division of Iraq, as well as sectarian
quotas in government. A decade of
unsuccessful attempts to unify that opposition
on the details of carving up Iraq would follow.
By 1998, US official policy, announced in the
Iraq Liberation Act, became “regime change”,
including official funding of sectarian
opposition groups. Within a month and a half
of the passing of the act, the United States
launched a major bombing campaign across
Iraq. Various plots for a coup d’etat were
supported and funded by the CIA.
74 Francis Boyle, “Flashback: US War Crimes During
the Gulf War,” 2 September 2002,
After years of conspiracy, the December 2002
London conference of the Iraqi National
Congress (INC; pre-1998 funded by the CIA,
post-1998 funded by US Congress, and headed
by Ahmed Chalabi) agreed on what
percentages each participating faction of the
US-assembled “opposition” would gain in the
sectarian quota system. Unable to replace the
Iraqi state and its national movement without
the Islamist “factor”, the INC London
conference also crystallised an accord between
the US and Iran on how to, and who would,
replace the regime of Saddam Hussein: an
alliance between Kurdish separatists allied to
the US; pro-US Iraqi liberals (the INC and the
Iraqi National Accord of Iyad Allawi); and
pro-Iranian Islamists under Mohammed Bakr
Al-Hakim of the Supreme Council for the
Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI).75
This constituted body of US-approved
spokespeople for the virtual constituents of
Iraqi society — Shias, Kurds, liberals —
would help justify the need in the media for a
ground invasion and provide candidates for the
first US installed interim government. Silenced
are the Iraqi people as well as the 23 February
2003 London meeting of authentic Iraqi
opposition forces who opposed the US agenda
of illegal pre-emptive war and the interference
of foreign powers in Iraqi national affairs.76
The phase of “creative destruction” in the Iraqi
political domain starts with, and is predicated
upon, an unprecedented propaganda campaign
directed at both international and Iraqi public
opinion, based on sectarian vocabulary and
virtual identities and predating the invasion. It
reads: 1) “The Kurds have been gassed,” so
should be protected and given special rights,
presaging Kurdish succession and the
75 Ghassan Atiyyah, “Fixing it: the London conference,
Tehran deal, and beyond”, 1 September 2003,
76 See “On Democracy in Iraq,” Documentary, dir.
Hana Al Bayaty, 2003, 52mins.
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US Genocide in Iraq
fragmentation of the Iraqi state; 2) “Shias are
the majority” — a baseless assertion given that
no reliable census has been conducted —
oppressed not only by Saddam’s regime but
also throughout their history, the “democratic
process” simply the harbinger of social justice;
3) “Sunnis are the criminals” and oppose the
“New Iraq” because of loss of privileges and
the power to oppress others; 4) “Iraq is an
artificial creation” comprised of three
homogenous regions: Kurds in the north,
Sunnis in the centre, and Shias in the south.
Inherent to this propaganda is a purposive
blurring of the distinction between ethnic and
sectarian identities: the Shias and Sunnis are
not Arab or Kurd; Kurds are not Muslim, be it
Shia or Sunni; and there is no such thing as
“the Iraqis”, only a composition of Sunni, Shia
and Kurd. All other components of Iraqi
society — Turkomans, Assyrians and other
Christians, and Yaziids and Sabbits — are
purposely ignored.
The aim of this propaganda is to facilitate US
destruction of the Iraqi state. The first order
passed into law by US Civil Administrator
Bremer, outlaws the Iraqi Baath Party in its
entirety.77 Immediately 100,000 able members
of the administrative cadre are criminalised
and disbarred from state employment. Silenced
is the fact that 58 per cent of those targeted by
the US-imposed DeBaathification Commission
are Shias. In place of the dissolved state, the
Transitional Administrative Law (TAL) is
drafted and imposed, legislating the
disbanding of the army and the privatisation of
the economy. Civil and political resistance to
the occupation is outlawed, and civil and
political resistance to US corporate
privatisation is criminalised.
77 CPA Order #1, “DeBaathification of Iraqi Society,”
16 May 2003, http://cpa-
No one who does not endorse the TAL is
permitted to participate in the “political
process”, which itself is reduced to a
competition between sectarian leaders. The
whole domain of Iraqi politics becomes US-
drafted. The US claims to know who
represents the Iraqi people better than the
people itself. The TAL, in effect, legislates the
alienation of the Iraqi people from democratic
politics. Violating the UN Draft Articles on
State Responsibility, UN Security Council
Resolution 1546 in June 2004 “welcomes” and
“endorses” the formation of a “fully
sovereign” interim Iraqi government as a stage
on the road to an independent, democratic and
federal Iraq, thereby recognising the
consequence of an illegal state act — the
The following period of general repression can
be split between two phases: 1) The imposition
of illegal elections; and 2) The imposition of a
permanent constitution based on the TAL.
Across Iraq, the occupation attempts to create
three de facto realities on the ground: 1)
Northern autonomy for the Kurds with
promises of generous representation in
parliament, and the annexation of oil-rich
Kirkuk, allowing the occupation to justify its
“democratic process” and in turn
instrumentalise Kurdish militias to suppress
the Iraqi resistance; 2) The promotion of
Islamist clergy in the south in exchange for
Sistani’s support of the political process and
his compelling fatwas for all Shias to
participate in national elections; 3) The central
region identified as Sunni and subject to waves
of violence, urbicide and terror.
Ahead of and after elections, waves of
violence and arbitrary detentions target Sunni
communities. The vilification of the Baath
Party and its assimilation with Sunnis deepens.
Media sources speak of “Sunni terrorists”,
“Saddam loyalists”, “The Sunni Triangle”,
“The Triangle of Death” and “Sunni Al-
Qaeda”, all presaging and constituting the
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US Genocide in Iraq
destruction of Iraq’s unifying Arab Muslim
identity and the very idea of Iraqi citizenship
and nationality. This sectarian propaganda will
directly play a role in later attempts to spark
civil war, and will contribute to the enforced
homogenisation of city districts and justify the
erasure by military force of whole towns in
predominantly Sunni provinces. That these
provinces rise up in resistance in response to
US military aggression is taken as proof that
the resistance is Sunni, thereby sectarian and
should be repressed. In order to achieve its
goals, the sectarian occupation accuses the
Iraqi people and its resistance of sectarianism.
The so-called “political process” is but theatre
in which the public has no right to change the
issue. While Iraq is under real and concrete
illegal occupation; while political free
expression is absent thanks to the
deBaathification and the repression of Sunnis;
while Iraqi citizens cannot prove themselves
citizens because of the absence of registers —
destroyed in the looting78
— and state
institutions; while the condition of
participating in politics is acceptance of the
TAL; while those who survey and organise the
elections are well known pro-occupation
propagandists; while the political process is
under the occupation’s guns; while you loose
your food ration or your life if you don’t vote
as you should, how can anyone think that the
result is the real expression of Iraqi people?
The elections can be summed in an Iraqi
proverb: “You choose a rabbit, I give you a
rabbit; you choose a gazelle, I give you a
rabbit.” The spectacle is organised to institute
a divided Iraq.
Further, elections will be based solely on
sectarian lists, the main lists benefiting from
generous US funding and access to US-
sponsored media. Fifty per cent of Iraqis will
78 Saad Kiryakos, “Destroying Iraq's Public Records,”
July 2003,
boycott, despite the price of starvation exacted
for non-participation. In the new National
Assembly, contradictory agendas ensure
permanent instability. The “political process”,
already stripped of legitimacy, cannot but
further deepen the confrontation between the
occupation and the Iraqi people. How can a
permanent constitution be drafted by a
parliament that does not fairly represent the
population and fails — and cannot succeed —
to ensure peaceful coexistence in society?
The theatrical elections and the political
process are unable to hide the gap between the
real Iraq and the real plans of the occupation.
The real occupation is using military force to
impose its model. The “political process”
simply creates a clique working for, or
accepting, the occupation’s plan of destruction
for Iraq. As with the elections, the constitution
in 2005 is passed at gunpoint by referendum.
Based on the TAL, it legislates the destruction
of Iraq as a state and nation. By its central
provisions and blurred jargon it: 1) Cancels the
concept of the united republic of Iraq; 2)
Cancels the concept of citizenship; and 3)
Cancels the concept of Iraq as an Arab-
Muslim nation.
The draft oil law — the major plank in the
strategy of plunder of the US occupation — if
passed would contribute to the de facto
partition of Iraq in shrinking the funding
source of central government, as well as
opening the way to foreign ownership of Iraqi
oil. As set in the illegal constitution, the
proposed Oil Law that until now cannot be
passed, has two objectives: 1) To end all
public management of the Iraqi oil industry by
opening it up to private capital; and 2) to pass
to confederated regions real decisions on oil,
neglecting the existence and the necessity of a
united Iraq with a central government.
These two principles are more political
propaganda to ignite local dreams and
conflicts than real law to organise Iraq’s oil
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US Genocide in Iraq
industry. All who are concerned with the oil
industry in Iraq, including international oil
companies, know it is impossible to direct the
oil industry but by a central entity, whether it
is public or private, and that these
principles are a source of potential unending
conflicts between Iraqis.
The US oil project is to give in the north the
presenting producing fields of Kirkuk to the
Kurds, and in the south the presently
producing fields to Shias, while obliging the
centre — which it names “Sunni” and which
has, according to estimations, twice what the
north and the south have — to render its oil to
foreign companies. The occupation’s
propaganda on oil is solely to ignite conflicts
between Iraqis. All know it is unrealisable.
Technically, oil fields do not respect sects and
ethnicities. Legally, the occupation’s laws are
not binding for Iraqis. And politically, all
Iraqis believe that oil is the property of the
nation and its privatisation is plunder and
Iraq, prior to when the genocide began in
1990, was a modern Arab state led by its
middle class culture. It became nothing less
than hell for those living in it now. US
“creative destruction” has touched all aspects
of society as a whole. Through the
dismantlement of the state, the middle class
has been decimated. The targeted assassination
of all kinds of professionals has accurately
been described as the imposition of the
“Salvador Option”79 in Iraq. Not only has this
lead to tens of thousands of murders, driving
the middle class that remained, despite the first
wave of migration during the sanctions period,
into exile, but in stripping Iraq of its middle
class culture it has led to a breakdown of
social values at all levels.
Further, all welfare provision has completely
collapsed, ensured by the disbanding of Iraq’s
competent civil service under deBaathification
and the promotion of sectarian and feudal
forces that understand only nepotism. With
mass deprivation, child begging has risen 450
per cent. Criminality and prostitution have
burgeoned, as has the drug economy. Extortion
and kidnapping is a whole parallel economy.
Forced displacement has denied thousands of
families of their possessions and property. For
those unable to flee, the only economy is
collaboration, which amounts to genocide of
another kind. Instead of sustaining the
occupation by joining the Iraqi army or the
police, millions are choosing poverty and
Equally destructive has been the targeting of
women. Iraq’s women have been central to its
public history for generations. From enjoying
the freedoms of liberty and progress, enshrined
in pre-US invasion protective legislation,
cancelled by the occupation, Iraqi women have
been consigned to their homes, hundreds of
thousands rendered widows, thousands more
raped and abused, and millions forced behind
the veil by the rise of sectarian Islamist
fundamentalism, or as a general feeling of
mourning and a counter-identity to the
occupation. The violence that has been visited
upon Iraqi women has deeply shocked Iraqi
society. Mass detentions of men have driven
many, separated from their husbands, into
poverty. Further, rising sectarianism has
broken thousands of families with divorce
rates soaring, many women left struggling to
feed themselves or their children.
The climate of general repression that is the
outcome of the above touches all Iraqis,
individually and collectively, and deeply.
Mental disturbance and psychosis has
proliferated. Constant witness to atrocities and
death, 2007 saw the walling-in of whole
communities, further isolating neighbourhoods
and relatives, entailing de facto house arrest
for millions. The parallel economy of extortion
and violence has led to massive forced
redistributions of wealth; many families forced
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US Genocide in Iraq
to give everything they own in ransoms. Tens
of thousands of children have been orphaned.
In the social sphere, a strategy of annihilation
has been pursued from the beginning. “By
destroying the Iraqi state,” in the words of
Hana Al Bayaty, “the occupation has erased
any potential intermediary with the Iraqi
people and has had to face them directly.”80
Not only has it had to; it wanted to and aimed
to. After four years of its resistance, however,
the Iraqi people have vindicated Sartre: if the
US wants to break them, it will have to
exterminate them to the last woman, child and
iii. Resistance to genocide
Of the few in the West that stood in solidarity
with Iraq under sanctions and visited the
country destroyed by unprecedented force in
the 1991 Gulf War, many describe Iraq’s mode
of survival under sanctions as a “miracle”.
With ingenuity and determination, Iraqis
rebuilt essential civil infrastructure bombed to
oblivion and televised on screens worldwide.
Under unprecedented forces, included
intended starvation and the debilitation of
primary services, the Iraqi nation did not
fragment — indeed, it strengthened.
Following the ground invasion, Iraqi resistance
began on the second day of the occupation of
Baghdad with the killing of an American
soldier in Al-Adhamiyah. By June 2003, the
resistance is already strong enough to declare a
programme of national liberation. What is
evident now is that this resistance was
prepared in parallel before the invasion as the
sole way a small people can confront a
military superpower.
Even before the supposed end of US major
combat operations, resistance operations
targeting occupation forces escalate, centred
80 Hana Al Bayaty, “Iraq’s Sectarian Myth,” Al-Ahram
Weekly, Issue 747, 16-22 June 2005.
on Baghdad and its surrounding towns. It is
clear to all military planners, whether from the
invading armies or from the disbanded
national army, that the control of Baghdad is
essential to the control of the entirety of Iraqi
There have been to this day, four attempts to
pacify Baghdad since 2003. Iraq being a
particularly centralised state, all roads passing
across the country and linking it to
neighbouring states, lead to or leave from the
capital. From the very start of the occupation,
the confrontation between the resistance and
multinational forces has naturally concentrated
itself on the control of these axes. The
occupation cannot stabilise Iraq without the
subjugation of Baghdad and its surrounding
provinces. The Iraqi resistance as it grows
from 2003 onwards will mainly operate in and
around the capital in order to disrupt the
supply chain and capacity of movement of
occupation forces across the country. The
success of this resistance strategy will cost the
United States millions of dollars.
Because of its arrogance and ignorance and
imperial calculations, Fallujah and Ramadi,
Samarra, Baquba, and Hillah are daily
criminalised as strongholds of the “Sunni”
insurgency. In fact, they become known to the
entire world simply because they respectively
are the first towns on the roads going from
Baghdad to Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Iran and the
Arab Gulf. As a result of daily campaigns of
indiscriminate bombings and arrests, civil and
armed resistance in these provinces increases,
thereafter used as the proof of the veracity of
US propaganda.
As to Baghdad, it is historically a multi-ethnic
and multi-cultural city where no ethnic or
sectarian community is the majority. The
provinces creating a ring around the Iraqi
capital are traditionally and culturally patriotic
and anti-occupation. This is proven by their
sympathy and cooperation with resistance
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US Genocide in Iraq
movements that developed throughout
successive attempts by foreign imperial
powers to occupy Iraq by taking its capital, be
it at the time of the Mongols or the British.
The arrogance and ignorance of US strategists
thought that by awe and corruption they could
destroy Iraqi nationalism and identity. In
attacking Sunnis they thought that they could
win Kurds and Shias. They forgot the factors
which stand against their theoretical
suppositions: 1) There is no ethnically or
sectarian pure region in Iraq. An important
Sunni population in the south and one million
Kurds in Baghdad illustrates this point; 2) A
third of Iraqi marriages are inter-communal
marriages; 3) Most Iraqi tribes are composed
of Sunnis and Shias together; 4) The large
Iraqi middle class is secular; 5) Iraqi identity
has nothing to do with religion, sect or
ethnicity; 6) Class interest is more important
for the people than their ideologies; 7) Iraqis
are all inheritors of the same civilisations, the
latest being the Arab Muslim civilisation; and
8) More than 80 per cent of Iraqis are Arabs
and they are proud of it.
In 2004, the US began a new phase in its
project by attacking Fallujah and Najaf. It was
evident then that the occupation was pushing
all Iraq against its project. Whatever the
propaganda, Iraqis understood that the US
wants to subjugate them by force and that
democracy is a lie. By late 2004, unable to
break the backbone of the growing resistance
movement, and due to the nature of guerrilla
warfare being unable to differentiate the
population from its assailants, the occupation
further targets the population.
We now enter a period of escalating
repression, especially affecting the central part
of Iraq and running in parallel with the US
process”. Having disbanded the national army,
the occupation relies primarily upon sectarian
militias with poor local and no national ties,
and a newly recruited Iraqi army, also based
on sectarian quotas, that is to this day reported
as being unreliable, poorly equipped and
poorly trained. The occupation resorts to two
different military tactics: 1) Terror and
targeted assassinations, and 2) A campaign of
urbicides and mass incarceration.
In an attempt to divide the Iraqi population and
criminalise its popular resistance, the
occupation conducts numerous “black-ops” —
patent US and UK covert attacks on Shia
populated areas such as markets, mosques, bus
stations, etc. These operations are then
attributed to the popular resistance in order to
criminalise it and divide it from its base of
support across the whole population. All
bombings in mosques and civil gathering
places, representative of a long list of acts
aimed to agitate, divide and terrorise the Iraqi
population, are denounced and denied by the
Iraqi armed resistance and never investigated
by so-called sovereign successive Iraqi
Throughout the attempt to conduct illegal
criminalising the Baath Party and assimilating
the Baath with Sunnis, waves of mass
detentions are followed by the strafing and
levelling of entire cities (including Fallujah
and Tel Afar, Al-Qaem, Haditha, Ramadi,
Samarra). Scandals of war crimes, crimes
against humanity, and grave human rights
abuses continually arise, and collective
punishment through food deprivation and
large-scale round-ups of the male population
are common. The targeting of the educated
middle class by occupation sponsored militias
and death squads starts to spike by late 2004,
especially in Baghdad, with thousands of
forced disappearances and the beginning of an
exodus from Iraq that by 2007 would top four
The Iraqi resistance, through its popular
support, proves its capacity to collect
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US Genocide in Iraq
information quicker than the occupying forces
and their generous payouts. One major blow to
the occupation is the attack inside a refectory
within an American military base near Mosul,
killing 19 soldiers and wounding 59 others.81
The Iraqi population, harbouring the
resistance, was by then already a permanent
target, but this attack widens US suspicion
even to collaborators. The feeling of
insecurity, even within their fortified barracks,
and extreme tension due to the lack of trust in
local translators, starts breaking the morale of
the occupying troops.
After massive waves of indiscriminate
repression, the central part of Iraq refuses to
participate to the “elections”, while southern
Iraq, under British occupation, is called by the
clergy to participate, officially as a means to
elect a parliament that would call for a
timetable for withdrawal. Over 50 per cent of
the population overall boycotts the elections,
de-legitimising the “political process”. As the
population stands in solidarity against US
plans, the occupation appears increasingly
eager to instrumentalise this division of tactics
and pit Iraqis against each other. From this
moment onwards, US forces try to build a
“new army” by unofficially incorporating
sectarian militias into the security apparatus,
none of which have allegiance to the central
government and largely operate outside of its
By the start of 2006, attempts to pacify
Baghdad have failed for the third time. Despite
indiscriminate incarceration, blackmail,
hostage taking, the walling-off of towns, food
deprivation and massive human rights
violations, the resistance is reportedly
developing more sophisticated weapons and
able to conduct up to 1,000 attacks against
occupation forces each month. Its resolve
cannot be broken and new recruits volunteer
In February 2006, in what seems a desperate
attempt to impose civil war, the occupation
and its militias organise the bombing of the
Golden Dome Mosque in Samarra, one of the
most sacred shrines for Shia communities
worldwide. In a matter of hours, as expected,
sectarian militias burn down holy Sunni
mosques all over Baghdad and kill scores of
civilians in summary executions, all under the
protection and supervision of occupation force
air cover. A campaign of ethnic cleansing at
the hands of governmental militias is not
contained and continues to this day.
With the failure of the political process due to
the impossible real life conditions to which
Iraqis are subjected, and the military, political
and moral achievements of the Iraqi people
represented by the resistance — that is to say
the legal Iraqi army — the US tries to use the
illegal tribunal it created to execute members
of the legal Iraqi government as an instrument
of propaganda. The fate and the illegal trial of
President Saddam Hussein in particular is
instrumentalised to revive sectarianism and to
attempt to divide the different currents of the
resistance among and within themselves.
Although the Iraqi resistance is not borne of a
person, party, sect or religion, the trial, by
refusing Saddam Hussein prisoner of war
status, is aimed to revive the idea that Saddam
Hussein equals Baathism that equals Sunnism
that equals Arabism. Its political aim is to
prevent the resistance from defending the Iraqi
state by presenting them as only defending
Saddam and the Sunnis. In addition, the trial is
used to ignite sectarian divisions, as the chief
prosecutor is known to be Shia and the
presiding judge known to be Kurd.
As with the political process, the biased and
flawed theatre of “victor’s justice” announces
the nature of the entity the occupation intends
to establish in place of the Iraqi state. Amid
the US-authored genocide unfolding in
ferocious force, Saddam Hussein’s alleged
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US Genocide in Iraq
crimes pale in significance. In dignity and
displaying essential Iraqi patriotism, Saddam
Hussein succeeds in convincing Iraqis that he
was not sectarian and remains anti-imperial.
He reflects until his last breath the Iraqi
people’s refusal to be subjugated.
Because of the trial’s failure to achieve its
political goals, the hanging, its timing, method
and perpetrators (an assuredly soon-to-be
public execution overseen by a Shia
government), is used by the occupation for the
same ongoing purpose of igniting sectarian
divisions and creating a vacuum of leadership
in the Baath Party and the Iraqi resistance.
Contrasted by the final dignity of Iraq’s legal
president on the gallows, it is evident to all
that the occupation has expended all its
political cards. It is also forced to realise that
the Baath current, personified in the integrity
of the president, constitutes the backbone of
the resistance to its occupation, and that in
struggle it is experiencing a renaissance.
In hanging Saddam as a symbol, the US
intended to create a leadership crisis among
and between the old guard and the struggling
new young Baathists — a confrontation
between their cultures. The aim was to divide
the movement and reveal potential candidates
for compromise, as well as signifying clearly
to the civil resistance that there is no limit to
the occupation’s will. The hanging coming on
the Muslim day of forgiveness — Eid Al-Adha
— is a further intended injury and an insult to
Muslims and Arabs worldwide. These
calculations failed. The resistance intensified,
declaring that in the place of Saddam Hussein
thousands of Saddams will rise.
Neither the constitution nor the National
Assembly will be able to achieve the core
objective of the United States. Having
destroyed the Iraqi state, the US’s own
handpicked proxies prove unable to build a
functioning state of any kind. In reality, a
parallel state exists, composed of the Iraqi
resistance, armed, political and popular. Faced
with impending defeat, the US accuses its
proxies of its own failure in hope of winning
the hearts of Iraqis.
This marks the entrance of a strategy of
annihilation in the political sphere. No one is
the American’s friend. Timed revelations
begin to surface about secret government
prisons. Constant crisis meetings are held and
public admonishments of puppet Prime
Minister Maliki are frequent. Meanwhile, the
Green Zone is all but empty. Iraqi
parliamentarians award themselves a two-
month 2007 summer holiday, several
rumoured to be approaching Western states for
asylum — an option the chief judge in the trial
of Saddam Hussein took within days of the
president’s summary execution.
The strategy of annihilation is paralleled in the
military sphere with what in 2007 will be
known as “the surge”. On 10 October 2006,
resistance forces engage the occupation at
Forward Base Camp Falcon, where occupation
ammunition reserves for the whole of the
Baghdad region are kept. An undisclosed
number of occupation forces are killed as the
entire camp burns to the ground, lighting up
the skies of Baghdad. This defeat will cost the
occupation $1 billion. This attack is so well
planned and carried out that it seems
impossible for the US to hide anymore that it
is battling an experienced army.
The retaliation will show no mercy. Rejecting
the Baker-Hamilton Report recommendations,
and despite the concerns it expresses on the
state of the US military, Bush orders an
increase in US force levels, redeploying —
whereas through much of 2006 they had been
garrisoned — US forces back into Iraqi
neighbourhoods. Exhausted by the armed
resistance, US forces resort to walling-in entire
districts of Baghdad — a strategy already
tested in other Iraqi cities. Amid the shooting
down of numerous US helicopters by the
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US Genocide in Iraq
armed resistance, the US launches bombing
campaigns that are as disproportionate and
indiscriminate as they are futile. The Iraqi
resistance responds by reportedly shooting
down an F-16.
The US is out of options in its “New Iraq”.
Although it continues manoeuvring politically,
reinforcing its destruction of the life of Iraqi
society, it has only two choices: 1) Accept its
defeat and a humiliating exit; or 2)
Exterminate the population. The “surge
strategy”, the walling-in of Baghdad districts82,
the project to impose on 50 localities the same
constraints imposed on Fallujah (electronic
IDs, check points at all points of entry, only
proven residents allowed in), the four million
exiled, the non-recognition of the resistance
amid its continual attacks and military-style
anti-occupation operations in Baghdad, reveals
that the occupation, whatever choice it makes,
has lost. It was genocide for a purpose, now it
is genocide without purpose. Baghdad can
never be subjugated.
As for Iraqi resources, in the time of the no-fly
zones it was US that destroyed Iraq’s oil
industry to prevent Iraq from profiting from oil
revenues. After the occupation, it is the
Iraqi people who prevent the occupation from
using oil revenues to further its project of
national subjugation. The US in its plans
forgot that the central region that it calls
“Sunni” controls all Iraq’s communications,
pipelines and, for historical reasons, the
military and technical and scientific cadre.
Even if the US were to attempt to enforce its
strategy of annihilation by imposing a
parliament compliant enough to pass the oil
law it wants, in the long term it will fail. Once
the occupation leaves, all of its laws will be
revoked, Iraqis reconstructing Iraq as they did
under sanctions: in the name and the benefit of
all Iraqis.
6. Interpreting genocide in Iraq
From the strategic context mapped above, it is
clear that the United States not only had a
desire, but also in the minds of the
neoconservative right has been compelled to
pursue a strategy of genocide in Iraq. This
strategy has taken two forms: 1) An overall
genocide contained in, and following from, the
imperative of destroying Iraq as a state and a
nation; 2) Specific genocide pursued through
the implementation of this agenda against
definable groups within the nation of Iraq.
In the first instance, the combination of 13
years of sanctions and the ravages of the
ground occupation have demonstrably
subjected the Iraqi people as a defined national
group to conditions of life calculated to bring
about its physical destruction in whole or in
part. In reference to sanctions, in the words of
Marc Bossuyt:
The sanctions regime against Iraq has as
its clear purpose the deliberate infliction
on the Iraqi people of conditions of life
(lack of adequate food, medicines, etc.)
calculated to bring about its physical
destruction in whole or in part. It does not
matter that this deliberate physical
destruction has as its ostensible objective
the security of the region. Once clear
evidence was available that thousands of
civilians were dying and that hundreds of
thousands would die in the future as the
Security Council continued the sanctions,
the deaths were no longer an unintended
side effect — the Security Council was
responsible for all known consequences of
its actions. The sanctioning bodies cannot
be absolved from having the “intent to
destroy” the Iraqi people.83
Marc Bossuyt, “The adverse consequences of
economic sanctions on the enjoyment of human rights,”
August 2000, UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion
and Protection of Human Rights
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The destruction of the Iraqi state — a
necessary condition of the implementation of
US global, regional and national goals — has
been an objective attempt to render “unviable”
the nation of Iraq in the context of a strategy of
partition, Balkanisation, the destruction of
Iraq’s unifying Muslim Arab identity, and the
erasure of the very concept of being “Iraqi”.
Only by destroying Iraq as a state and nation
could the United States advance in its bid for
global hegemony and “full spectrum
dominance.” Only by destroying the unifying
Muslim Arab identity of Iraqis could the
United States hope to control the 6,000-year
old geopolitical entity that is Iraq.
In thinking about what the state is, we must
bear in mind two aspects: 1) The state is the
sum of the entire social, cultural, political and
economic history of a given people, translated
into language, social norms, customs,
identifications, urban formations, patterns of
life, and natural social unities that inform and
mould the feeling of citizenship, and that exist
independent of concepts as an historical
reality; 2) The state is the historical guarantor
of the propagation and development — the
very existence — of a given people; it is
indivisible and cross-generational, and is a
necessity to existence itself.
In reference to post-invasion US policy, in the
words of Abdul Ilah Albayaty:
Beside controlling and plundering the
natural resources of Iraq, the United
States’ plan consisted in abolishing the
concept of citizenship — the basis of any
modern state. It annulled sovereignty,
destroyed heritage and memory, and took
over Iraqi wealth in an attempt to divide
the country and destroy its Arab and
Islamic geopolitical and civilisation-based
affiliations. The occupation has tried, and
continues to try, to replace Iraq by a
subordinate state based on ethnicity and
sectarian identity: a state of parties,
lineages and religious references rather
than a state of equal and free citizens. By
dividing the state into three or more weak
and conflicting entities according to the
virtual lines of blood and sectarianism, the
US, in reality, draws a map corresponding
to the occupation’s own interests in oil.
This programmed division necessitated the
abolition of the Iraqi state; the dismantling
of its apparatus and institutions and an
ongoing plan of privatisation of state-
owned industries, buildings, lands and
DeBaathification is another pretext for the
same ends. Given its centrality in the operation
of the state, destroying the Baath Party — an
openly stated objective of the US military
intervention, consciously planned in advance85
— necessarily subjected the entire Iraqi
population to conditions of insecurity and
mass deprivation. In reality, deBaathification
is nothing more than collective punishment
and a canard used to justify disbanding the
army, the police, the education system, and the
entire administrative cadre.
Further, the systematic destruction of
education86, heath care87, and all primary
services88, demonstrates US refusal that Iraq
— and by example any Arab state —
independently develop conditions of national
development and life sustainability. The
systematic assassination of academics89, health
84 Abdul Ilah Albayaty, “Why the US will lose,” Al-
Ahram Weekly, Issue 767, 2-9 November 2005.
The Future Iraq Project advocated deBaathification
“of all facets of Iraqi life.”
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professionals90, engineers, journalists91,
scientists, and lawyers92 throughout the period
of US occupation reveals an objective attempt
to liquidate, or forcedly expel, the educated
Iraqi middle class that possesses the scientific,
technical, administrative, civil and military
skills necessary to guide Iraq on the strategic
path of independence, democracy and
The US project of destroying the Iraqi state
and nation, however, cannot but fail:
The United States established a collision
course confrontation with Iraqi society
when it liquidated the Iraqi state,
destroying its accomplishments and
erasing its memory. It was oblivious to the
simple truth that society is not just a
political movement that can be conquered,
or a number of individuals who may be
apprehended, bribed or even killed. It is all
the living people in a given country. Like
other live societies, Iraqi society possesses
huge capabilities — a sophisticated
legacy, ancient civilisations and an
American strategists, while building their
model for Iraq, missed or disregarded the
fact that social movements are based on
solid realities and lived experience, and
cannot just be created on the whim of a
political decision or through insidious
forms of pressure.93
To the extent to which US strategists continue
to refuse to recognise — or are not forced to
recognise — this reality, the slow genocide of
Iraq as a state and nation will continue.
93 Abdul Ilah Albayaty, “Why the US will lose,” Al-
Ahram Weekly, Issue 767, 2-9 November 2005.
In regards to specific genocide, it appears clear
that: 1) Sunnis in Iraq have been
disproportionately targeted by US military
action and the constitution of a sectarian
environment that criminalises Sunnis and
militates towards their erasure for being Sunni.
This constitutes genocide of a religious group
as defined by the Genocide Convention; 2)
Members of the Iraqi Baath Party have been
targeted not only for assassination but also
dispossessed of their material means of
survival. That members of the Iraqi Baath
Party adhere or not adhere to a political
programme is irrelevant; their primary identity
is their Iraqi citizenship, and they constitute an
Iraqi national group objectively and by
ideology, the loss of which in whole or
substantial part renders the state of Iraq
unviable as an entity, threatening the survival
of the Iraqi nation; and 3) The targeting of the
Iraqi middle class, as an ethnic group as
enumerated in US Code, has also rendered the
state of Iraq unviable, threatening the survival
of the Iraqi nation.
In sum, the colonial nature of US policy is
manifest, suggesting, along the lines set out by
Sartre, that intent to commit genocide is
inherent to its rationality. Certainly
“submission” amounts to genocide for the
Iraqi people; not only socially and culturally,
under the yoke of sectarian forces imposed on
Iraq by the US, but also economically, given
that the overall US strategy is clearly defined
as seizing Iraqi oil and controlling Iraq as a
whole as part of a global strategy of
commanding the resources of the entire
Middle East and Eurasian area. The plunder
and expropriation of the primary wealth-
creating natural resources of a foreign state
and nation by definition is an act that denies
that state and nation its primary conditions of
development and life.
Further, in the context of popular resistance,
the “logic” of neo-colonial genocide is present.
With the United States choosing a “surge
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strategy” over a timetable for withdrawal, it
appears that a strategy of annihilation — tested
and devolved into attempts to spark civil war
until now — has been embraced in full. The
overall tendency is not only towards the
continuance of the slow genocide of Iraq as a
nation, having destroyed the central state and
brought about conditions of mass deprivation,
but a possible spike in conscious extermination
as the occupation struggles to survive in the
face of overwhelming civil resistance.
For Sartre two conditions, in such a situation,
lead to the only way out — the withdrawal of
the colonial power: 1) Domestic unrest within
the colonial state, opposing the barbarity of
what is done in the name of “national interest”;
and 2) A realisation on behalf of colonial state
military commanders that the war cannot be
won, leaving withdrawal as the only option.
The second condition appears present. Dissent
within the US military — and not only at the
level of ground troops — is growing. Only the
arrogance and disregard for life and
coexistence that is embodied in the ideologues
and officials of the current US administration
blocks common sense from prevailing. As
Sartre stated 40 years ago, the United States is
not guilty of having invented genocide; it is
guilty of having “preferred a policy of war and
aggression aimed at total genocide to a policy
of peace, the only other alternative, because it
would have implied a necessary
reconsideration of [its] principal objectives.”
This guilt, indeed, is summed up in the very
notion of the “Project for a New American
As to the first condition, a mass injection of
energy is needed. It is sad but a fact that
people grow accustomed to atrocity. But
Sartre’s analysis should be binding, for we
have in mass action a chance to help bring all
of this to an end. It is the decisive struggle of
our time.
7. Conclusion
What has happened in Iraq is more than simple
divide and rule. The biggest lie is that the US
occupation of Iraq is a blunder. Analysis of the
strategic logic for destroying Iraq, as well an
understanding of the nature of colonial war
and how the US occupation has unfolded,
reveals that it is not the occupation that veered
from its aims, but rather the Iraqi people who
in courage resisted. The longer the situation
persists, the more proven is the fortitude of the
Iraqi people.
The US’s declaration of global permanent war
has revived the strategy of total conquest,
entailing a reduction of human life as a whole
to its bare essence where people no longer
have a history as such but are mere things.
Akin to a domestic state of emergency, the
global “war on terror” declared and policed by
the United States presages a generalised
suspension of customary global civil rights and
inaugurates an era that militates towards total
conquest or total destruction. While Iraqis
have borne the brunt, in reality it is an attack
on the whole of humanity.
As such, the ongoing US genocide on Iraq is
clearly and demonstrably a threat to
international peace. International law must be
wrested from its foundation as a means of
legitimising and humanising war and instead
criminalise it unequivocally. Establishing as
criminal US imperial policies is the first step
towards forging the alternative world the bulk
of humanity hopes for and believes in.
Genocide is a crime over which all states
should, and many can, exercise universal
jurisdiction.94 That states have fallen silent
leaves agency to the people of the world.
94 Theodor Meron, “International Criminalization of
Internal Atrocities”, American Journal of International
Law, Volume 89 (1995), p. 569, Kenneth C Randall,
“Universal Jurisdiction under International Law”, Texas
Law Review, Volume 66 (1988), pp. 785, 835-837.
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US Genocide in Iraq
To end this genocide unfolding in front of us,
unity of purpose is necessary across the
multiple fronts of action for social justice.
Global civil disobedience need not be
conceived along the lines of a single plan.
Resistance is always a matter of situation. The
aim must be coordinated action at local,
national and international levels, in shifting
alliances that gather and displace while
maintaining pressure on all fronts.
Save the humanity in you by being against this
Whereas thousands of Iraqis are falling, in
reality, the United States cannot make its
strategy work. In pursuing a policy of
genocide the United States has committed
moral suicide. The people of the world can and
must step into the vacuum its moral collapse
opens. We must remember and claim what
modern states supposedly concede: that people
are the sole source of sovereignty, and that
international law is the patrimony of the
development of human civilisation.
In defending both, we defend the Iraqi people.
8. Appendix
According to Article 2 of the Genocide
Convention, the following arguably constitute
qualifying acts of genocide in Iraq, 1990-2007.
All have been conducted by US forces,
multinational forces, and/or US-supported
death squads, militias or Iraqi security forces
under the final military authority of the United
(a) Killing members of the group
Use of disproportionate and indiscriminate
Disproportionate killings of members of
the middle class as a defined national
Disproportionate killings of Sunnis as a
religious group
Wilful destruction of electricity and water
Wilful destruction of sanitation
Widespread forced disappearances
Assassinations of members of the Baath
Party as a defined national group
Assassinations of doctors as members of a
national group
Assassinations of academics as members
of a national group
Assassinations of lawyers as members of a
national group
Assassinations of journalists as members
of a national group
Killings by US-supported death squads
Killings by US-supported sectarian militias
Instigation of sectarian strife leading to tit-
for-tat killings
Widespread use of DU leading to cancer
and leukaemia
Wilful destruction of the healthcare system
leading to mass preventable deaths
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to
members of the group;
Widespread use of torture
1990-2003 sanctions regime
Use of disproportionate and indiscriminate
Widespread use of DU leading to cancer,
leukaemia, sterility and birth defects
Wilful dismantling of the state in all its
aspects, individually and severally
Wilful destruction of electricity and water
Wilful destruction of sanitation
Wilful destruction of Iraqi heritage
Wilful destruction of religious sites
Wilful destruction of Iraqi civil
Disproportionate killings of members of
the middle class
Disproportionate killings of Sunnis
Widespread forced disappearances
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US Genocide in Iraq
Assassinations of members of the Baath
Assassinations of doctors
Assassinations of academics
Assassinations of lawyers
Assassinations of journalists
US support for death squads
US support for sectarian militias
Instigation of general terror
Instigation of sectarian strife
Mass arbitrary detention
Mass kidnapping
Mass extortion
Mass rape
Mass corruption
Mass humiliation
Instigation of a drug culture
Instigation of prostitution
Mass unemployment
Mass impoverishment
Mass malnourishment
Restrictions on movement
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group
conditions of life calculated to bring about its
physical destruction in whole or in part;
1990-2003 sanctions regime
Use of disproportionate and indiscriminate
Widespread use of DU and the
contamination of land and water
Wilful dismantling of the state in all its
aspects, individually and severally
Wilful destruction of electricity and water
Wilful destruction of sanitation
Wilful destruction of Iraqi heritage
Wilful destruction of religious sites
Wilful destruction of Iraqi civil
Disproportionate killings of members of
the middle class
Disproportionate killings of Sunnis
Widespread forced disappearances
Assassinations of members of the Baath
Assassinations of the Iraqi resistance
Assassinations of doctors
Assassinations of academics
Assassinations of lawyers
Assassinations of journalists
US support for death squads
US support for sectarian militias
Instigation of general terror
Instigation of sectarian strife
Mass arbitrary detention
Mass kidnapping
Mass extortion
Mass torture
Mass rape
Mass corruption
Mass humiliation
Instigation of a drug culture
Instigation of prostitution
Mass unemployment
Mass impoverishment
Mass malnourishment
Restrictions on movement
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent
births within the group;
Widespread use of DU leading to sterility
and birth defects
Instigation of general terror
Mass arbitrary detention
Mass impoverishment
Mass malnourishment
Restrictions on movement
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US Genocide in Iraq
According to Article 3, the following arguably
constitute qualifying crimes in Iraq:
(a) Genocide;
All aspects noted above, individually and
(b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;
US strategic agenda in Iraq, 1990 to the
Ongoing US strategic adjustments
All members of Multinational Force-Iraq
(MNF-I), individually and severally
The Iraqi government as an arm of the
All members of the United Nations,
individually and severally, who
supported sanctions and the 2003
(c) Direct and public incitement to commit
“Shock and Awe”
Statements of US neoconservatives
Statements of US “liberal hawks”
Right wing and liberal US media alike in
contributing to the vilification of Iraqis
Right wing and liberal US media alike in
contributing to the vilification of the Iraqi
Baath Party
Right wing and liberal US media alike in
contributing to sectarian
US corporate propaganda
(d) Attempt to commit genocide;
All aspects noted above, individually and
(e) Complicity in genocide.
All members of MNF-I, individually and
The Iraqi government as an arm of the
All members of the United Nations,
individually and severally, who failed to
stop sanctions and the 2003 invasion