November, 2007, published in Turkey’s Today’s Zaman
By Bulent Kenes
The answer given to this question by Dr. Ian Douglas, who teaches courses on political science at An-Najah National University and is a member of the BRussells Tribunal Committee, is an open and clear “Yes.”
The massive tragedy that has been taking place right next to our country since April 2003 is unfortunately not given enough coverage by the Turkish media. The editorial “kitchens” of newspapers and televisions have become so used to the killing of dozens of Iraqis every day by Americans, insurgents or Al-Qaeda members that they have ceased to attach any news value to these killings. Although the tragedy that claims lives every day seems to have created a kind of sentimental stupor in the media, this definitely does not mean that the tragedy is no longer there. This bloody tragedy, which we have become so used to, is stripping ourselves of our humanity, and is suffered every single day with all its terror in a country right next to us. Every moment it leaves a woman childless, husbandless, fatherless, brotherless, or leaves a child motherless, brotherless, fatherless, or without a grandfather, uncle or aunt.
This bloody tragedy, which we have become so used to, is stripping ourselves of our humanity, and is suffered every single day with all its terror in a country right next to us Before the very eyes of a numb-hearted world, a country is being pillaged and plundered; a nation is being wiped out step by step. While dozens of people are killed every day, maybe hundreds are forced into leaving their homes, hometowns and homeland.
Dr. Douglas rises against this, articulating that “this is a full-fledged genocide.” He has decided to inform as many people as he can and calls on everyone he reaches to be much more sensitive toward the genocide being perpetrated in Iraq. It is impossible not to see the genuine pain of having witnessed massive destruction in the eyes of this man, who has also visited me to share his views.
Maybe we should stop for a moment to associate Iraq only with the existence of the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the north of the country and the threat it poses to Turkey, or with projects being realized by Turkish contractors and businessmen in Iraq, and once again try to see what is really happening there.
Dr. Douglas states that the United States began its genocide in Iraq 17 years ago and notes, “The 2003 US invasion of Iraq was the culmination and intensification of a consistent US policy of destroying Iraq as a national and state entity.” Having figured out that around 1.5 million people, most them children and women, died because of the 13-year UN-led embargo on Iraq, which was enforced as a result of heavy pressure from the US, Dr. Douglas adds that the number of people killed in the war since 2003 has exceeded 1 million. He benefits also from Lancet and the Iraq Body Count in reaching the quoted figures and holds the United States responsible for the killing of a total 2.5 million people in Iraq — apart from the cultural, social and economic destruction it has inflicted on the country. He bluntly describes this as downright genocide.
Dr. Douglas notes these under the title, “Implementing genocide in Iraq.” He says: “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 power; and 2) break Iraq as a state and a 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 and serve in the protection of the US’s offensive regional instrument and proxy, Israel.”
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. This is a catastrophic betrayal for the Iraqi people and an injury to us all Dr. Douglas also accuses the international community. “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. This is a catastrophic betrayal for the Iraqi people and an injury to us all,” he said.
“The Iraqi people have the legal right to resist occupation, colonialism and genocide by all available means, including armed struggle,” says Dr. Douglas, adding, “The national popular resistance in Iraq is combating genocide directly where international law as a preventative and protective mechanism has failed.”
He also makes two calls: “In defense of civilization, people all over the world should rise up in support of the national liberation struggle of Iraqi people. In defense of international law, jurists and law associations should work to bring the charge of genocide against the US, its leaders and its allies.”
Who can claim that Dr. Douglas’ accusations and calls are unfair or ill founded?