The Guardian February 11, 2004


Iraqi Communist Party statement

At its meeting held on December 11-12 the Central Committee of 
the Iraqi Communist Party (ICP) issued a statement summing up its 
estimation of the events in Iraq since its July meeting, the 
present situation in occupied Iraq and the tasks ahead. The 
Guardian has abridged the statement for publication. The full 
text can be found on the CPA website (www.cpa.org.au).

The period [July to December] was characterised by the intensity 
of events and speedy developments on all fronts, especially on 
the political scene, with increasing complexity fraught with 
dangers. At the same time it opens up the prospect of a peaceful 
and relatively speedy transition from the previous dictatorial 
era to a democratic, federal Iraq where the rule of law and 
respect for human rights become the prevalent norms.

This requires the creation of conditions to empower the Iraqi 
people to end the occupation and regain national sovereignty as 
soon as possible while ushering the country towards democratic 
development and reconstruction.

The period referred to began with the [US-appointed Iraqi  
Editor] Governing Council (GC) starting to function, with limited 
authority, alongside the occupation authority which had been 
granted international legitimacy and the right to exercise 
authority in all fields by UN Security Council Resolution 1483.

Executive power has gradually been transferred from the advisers 
connected to the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) [the 
Authority created by the US, British, Australian and other 
occupying countries  Editor] to the ministers who started work 
in early September and exercised their powers within a 
complicated, multifarious and contradictory process.

The Governing Council dealt with many pressing issues and 
decisions were taken in the interest of the people, which 
ministers endeavoured to carry out as well as making changes to 
the role of staff and cadres in ministries and their tasks.

However, many of the decisions taken by the GC and ministers have 
clashed, and continue to clash, with the Coalition Provisional 
Authority's [use of] pretexts about the scarcity of financial 
resources and lack of proper budgetary allocations.

Then as now, the security issue predominates. The security 
situation has been deteriorating with a rise in the intensity of 
explosions, terrorist attacks and random shootings.

The instigators of such criminal acts of terror have apparently 
improved their capabilities, with co-operation between the 
remnants of Saddam's regime and terrorist Islamist extremists, 
benefiting from weak preventative measures and the failure of the 
occupation forces to maintain internal security, as well as the 
inability to secure the boarders, thus enabling foreign 
terrorists to infiltrate from abroad.

All this is closely related to the slow improvement in the living 
conditions in general. For broad sections of the people, these 
conditions have either failed to improve or even deteriorated. 
Worsening fuel shortages have recently aggravated the situation.

While the salaries of some sections of government employees were 
increased and there were wage rises, prices, rents and the cost 
of services [have soared]. The rising inflation has depleted a 
lot of the increases in real income enjoyed by some, and 
intensified the burden for the unemployed who constitute more 
than 50 percent of those able to work.

Unemployment is widespread and is too deeply rooted to be 
remedied with limited and short-term measures.

Notwithstanding some improvements in the provision of public 
services, water, electricity, health and education, the Iraqi 
people are worn out by and still suffering from the cumulative 
effects of decades of despotic rule, three wars unleashed or 
caused by the dictatorial regime and 12 years of strangulating 
economic sanctions, during which they had to sell much of what 
they had owned.

Moreover, the process of reconstruction and revamping of the 
infrastructure has been compromised owing to the lack of a clear 
economic policy and prospects, although it is apparent that 
liberal capitalist orientation has increasingly prevailed in 
economic policies.

This state of affairs has retarded the development of the 
economy, as does the rampant corruption in the inherited 
administrations, in ministries and institutions at all levels.

Senior officials have been rushing to sell the homeland and 
public property for any price to parasitic elements and black 
marketeers seeking maximum profits, taking advantage of the 
current extraordinary situation and the delay in removing them 
from positions of power.

During the discussion of the draft of the foreign investment 
decree, a consensus was noted within the Governing Council of the 
necessity to exclude important sectors of the national economy 
(including oil) from foreign investment, as well as delaying the 
issue of privatisation until an independent government is 
established.

The problem does not lie in foreign investment per se, as we 
recognise the need for it to revitalise the economy. However, we 
are concerned with the circumstance and conditions within which 
such investment is allowed and we stress the necessity to 
institute proper regulations and limitations to protect national 
capital and workers' rights.

The security issue

The change of regime in accordance with the US plan  has 
created a situation in our country characterised by occupation 
and foreign rule. The first to be struck by this reality were 
forces that had thought they could build democracy through this 
US plan. In actual fact, the patriotic and democratic forces 
within Iraq are confronted with two pressing tasks.

(1) Ending the occupation and ensuring the speedy transfer of 
power to Iraqis in a manner that regains national sovereignty.

(2) Eradicating the legacies and influence of the previous 
dictatorial regime and building a democratic regime. This 
requires getting rid of all the remnants of the dictatorship  
political, psychological and ideological  and not allowing the 
emergence of a new dictatorship.

In full opposition to these tasks are the terrorist acts and 
sabotage operations that have ravaged the country for several 
months. Their real aim is to revive the dictatorial regime. It is 
an insult to claim that such operations constitute "resistance". 
The perpetrators of these activities are driven by narrow, self-
serving interests to regain privileges endowed by the previous 
regime and to regain their grip over political and economic 
power.

Their actions contradict the basic interests of the people and of 
liberating the country. They are inflicting grave damage to the 
well-being of Iraqis and the country. In the final analysis, they 
provide pretexts for prolonging the occupation!

It must not be forgotten that the former regime had, to the very 
last minute of its existence, attempted everything possible to 
gain the approval of the US Administration to stay in power while 
capitulating unconditionally to the Americans. Is it then 
possible that the instruments of the former regime have turned 
into sudden converts to defending national interests?

In addition to their endeavour to restore the old regime, with or 
without Saddam at the helm, their actions to destabilise the 
situation, disturb peace and spread chaos, also aim to pressure 
the Americans to hand them, at least, some role in the new Iraq!

The resulting deterioration in security within the country has 
naturally provided more favourable ground for all forms of 
terrorism and sabotage, including criminal elements (freed by 
Saddam just before the start of the war). They seized sizeable 
caches of weapons and money.

These forces have pursued their activities unabated due 
principally to the failure of the occupation authority to 
effectively and resolutely curtail their activities and punish 
them. It should be clear by now that the security tasks must be 
transferred, first and foremost, to the Iraqis themselves before 
we can hope to see a reduction in terror and sabotage and, 
ultimately, their abatement.

Serious measures to reconstitute the police force, army and 
security organs are a necessity towards achieving this goal, as 
is the proper monitoring of the country's borders. The various 
political parties are further required to step up their role 
within society to create conditions to rebuff terrorists and 
saboteurs.

It should also be taken into consideration that restoring 
security involves not only pure policing measures, but also 
appropriate and concrete changes in the political, economic and 
social arenas.

All of this must be carried out simultaneously to ensure a speedy 
and complete end to the current situation, where terror forces 
retain the initiative and offensive, while those defending the 
people of Iraq, their rights and the country's sovereignty and 
democracy, find themselves on the defensive!

Governing Council

The Governing Council has endeavoured to assert itself and to 
expand its authority, influence and role in the decision making 
process. It has been involved in continued struggle with the 
Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) to ensure the transfer of 
power to the Iraqis and regain independence, sovereignty and end 
the occupation.

It has managed in this respect to achieve a measure of unity. 
However, the obstacles put up by the CPA and limitations imposed 
on the Council's powers, have impeded its efforts. Coupled with 
this are the slow decision-making, apparent deficiencies and weak 
initiatives, as well as insufficient ties with the Iraqi people. 
All this presents the Council as an easy prey for those wanting 
to decry its ability and suitability to lead the country.

New Agreement

The "Agreement Regarding Political Measures", signed by Mr Jalal 
Talabani, representing the GC, and Paul Bremer, representing the 
CPA, on November 15, was the result of a multitude of factors. 
Among them are the deteriorating security situation, on the one 
hand, and the growing demand by the Governing Council to speedily 
transfer security matters and power to the Iraqis, as well as 
mounting popular pressure which is yet to materialise in well 
defined forms.

All these were behind the change in the US administration's 
position towards [the] transfer of power and the formation of a 
government with full authority that will be born out of the 
formation of a national assembly comprising representatives of 
all of Iraq's political, national, religious and ethnic mosaic. 
This would have taken the country along the path of regaining its 
independence and national sovereignty and ending the occupation.

The agreement, [however] represents a step in the right 
direction. For the effective implementation of the agreement, it 
is necessary for the Governing Council to retain its coherence, 
act collectively and in a unified manner, and co-operate with the 
patriotic forces active outside the framework of the GC.

UN Security Council Resolution

The UNSC Resolution (1511) at the end of October 2003 generally 
marked a positive development but it was discussed and formulated 
in the absence of any representation of the Iraqi people.

It included the formation of a multi-national force under a 
unified command, but without a clear indication of who takes the 
commanding role. Nor did the resolution indicate the authority of 
the force, or whether it will replace the current occupation 
forces.

Clause 15 of the resolution indicates that the Security Council 
will look into the responsibilities of this force and its needs 
within a period that does not exceed a year from the passing of 
the resolution. However, the resolution leaves open the question 
of how long this force will remain, and links it with the 
political process. The text allows one to conclude that the force 
could possibly stay even after the formation of a representative 
and internationally recognised Iraqi government.

The positive aspects of the resolution emerge in it stressing the 
temporary nature of the occupation and its call to the occupation 
authority to give back responsibility and power to the Iraqi 
people.

The resolution also recognises the Governing Council and brings 
to the fore its role in the political decision making process. It 
recognises the authority of the appointed ministers and asserts 
that the institutions formed by the interim Iraqi administration 
will gradually run the affairs of the country.

The resolution also puts the UN in a more active role in the 
political process that is evolving in our country. The resolution 
further takes a firm stand in rejecting the so-called 
"resistance" and its terrorist activities and calls upon UN 
members to deny terrorists arms and finance and to put an end to 
their infiltration into Iraq.

Having said the above, the implementation of the resolution in a 
manner that achieves positive results is dependent on the 
steadfast and unwavering commitment on our part and all the 
patriotic forces in Iraq to mobilise world public opinion in 
support of our people's objectives to regain Iraq's independence 
and sovereignty and to end the occupation.

Our Tasks

* The proper fulfillment of tasks necessitated by an estimation 
of the existing reality requires forming the broadest political 
alliance possible and constituting a political front based on 
agreed common denominators, in various shapes and forms. Our 
tasks are interconnected: ending the occupation and regaining 
Iraq's sovereignty and independence, as well as consolidating the 
democratic process in all forms of political life.

* We seek to strengthen co-operation between members of the 
Governing Council, on the one hand, and dialogue and co-operation 
between the Council's members and patriotic forces and political 
figures outside the Council, on the other.

* Our party further seeks to co-operate and form other alliances 
with the democratic forces  in the interest of the people and 
country.

* There is always a pressing need for our party's media to 
uncover facts, criticise shortcomings and put forward logical and 
positive alternatives and solutions to existing problems.

* If and when an agreement is reached to elect assemblies for 
governorates and municipalities, our comrades and organisations 
need be ready to actively and effectively participate in the 
elections. It is necessary to make proper preparations [and form] 
coalitions with genuine and decent patriotic figures and groups 
and provide effective assistance to ensure success.

* There is an urgent need to combat brutal acts of terror through 
broad mass action throughout the country and in various forms.

* In addition to the security issue, living conditions and 
difficulties associated with them present a most pressing demand. 
Our comrades need to carefully and genuinely address people's 
demands: they must listen to people's complaints, and effectively 
involve them in the struggle to gain their rights at the 
workplace and in society. We need to address our own shortcomings 
and provide appropriate solutions, launch mass initiatives and 
seek effective ways to consolidate the solidarity of society. The 
responsibility for taking the initiative in all this falls on the 
shoulders of our party members.

* The cornerstone of our political orientation remains the 
revitalising of popular activities, especially among the working 
people. We must proceed tirelessly and steadfastly.

At the end of the meeting, the Central Committee stressed its 
confidence that, in spite of the complexities and challenges, our 
Party along with the political forces concerned for national 
unity and democratic progress in Iraq can move forward to achieve 
a unified, federal and democratic Iraq.

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