By Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate – TRANSCEND Media Service
USA/UK committed genocide against Iraq people between 1990/2012 killing 3.3 million including 750,000 children through sanctions and war.
On September 11, 2014 US President Obama, on the anniversary of 9/11, in his speech promised the world more war, and especially the people of Iraq and Syria when he promised that together with his coalition partners, they would kill every ISIS person in Iraq, Syria, or anywhere in the world they may be. He described ISIS as cancer cells and promised they would be all killed off. His Speech was chilling and had the desired effect of reminding us all just how low morally and intellectually the American administration, and their Coalition, has sunk.
For the President to ignore the fact that the USA/UK, NATO, have committed genocide against the Iraq people between 1990/2012 killing 3.3 million including 750,000 Iraqi children through sanctions and war, not including subsequent wars by USA/NATO, against Afghanistan, Libya, Sudan, and their attempted and well funded efforts through a proxy war to destroy Syria, is criminal. The Iraqi war (as indeed is the war against Gaza by Israel) is a classic definition of Genocide. These past and current foreign policies of military aggression break all International Laws, to which the President makes no reference, and will only result in more killings and more hatred of the West.
That the US Administration plans to escalate military attacks in Iraq and Syria and to increase funding and training of ‘moderate rebels’ in Syria, is a betrayal of all those people in these countries struggling through peaceful and nonviolent ways to solve their problems without guns and violence. If the US wants to stop ISIS, it can remove its funding and arms, which are coming from US allies Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and others and from the US itself, through intermediaries like the Syrian ‘rebels’. It is the USA and their allies that have created the conditions, funded and facilitated the growth of these reactionary Jihadist organizations. If USA/UK really want to stop ISIS they should work with the Syrian Government, support the people who have been the main victims of ISIS, and support the Syrian peace and reconciliation movement who are working to stop the violence and bring real change in their country.
The USA administration policy of air strikes against ISIS in Syria and increasing funding for the moderate rebels is illegal under international law, as it is illegal for the US to fund, train, weaponize and co-ordinate to overthrow the regime of a sovereign state. Also the airspace of any country is its own and USA must get Syrian authorization to fly over Syria. (Illegally Israel continues to fly over and bomb Syria). Having visited Iraq before the second war, and Syria in 2013 and 2014 and witnessed that the people of both countries were brave and courageous and trying to solve their problems ( in Syria, a proxy war with thousands of foreign Jihadists) through peace and reconciliation. In Syria, they asked that there be no outside interference and aggression on their country, as this would make things worse, not better. Under International Law the US Gov. NATO and any coalition forces should respect the wishes of the people of the Middle East and Syria, and recognize it is for the people of Syria to modify or change their government and not for the US or Saudi Arabia or NATO. Ending militarism and war is possible and restoring justice, human rights and dignity for all the people, will bring peace and we must each do all in our power to Resist and Stop this latest drive to war and demand our governments withdraw from this Coalition of war with USA.
Mairead Corrigan Maguire is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment. She won the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize for her work for peace in Northern Ireland. Her book The Vision of Peace (edited by John Dear, with a foreword by Desmond Tutu and a preface by the Dalai Lama) is available from www.wipfandstock.com. She lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland. See: www.peacepeople.com.