from the Central Committee of the Iraqi Communist Party
n Mr Kufi Annan, UN Secretary General
n Members of the UN Security Council
n European Union presidency
n Mr Amro Mousa, Arab League Secretary General
n Islamic Conference presidency
n International Human Rights Organisations
n All Parties, Organisations and World Public Opinion
At dawn, on Thursday 20 March 2003, Iraq suffered what we have always feared and warned against, time and again, in recent months. The US forces launched their first missile attack on Iraq, thus signalling the breakout of the war they had been threatening to wage under the pretexts of either “regime-change” or the elimination of the country’s weapons of mass destruction, as well as other declared objectives.
All these objectives could have been achieved by using peaceful means that would have spared our people and country further suffering and devastation, and which would have also paved the way for the democratic change that the Iraqi people have been aspiring for. However, the US administration has chosen to adopt the worst available means, thus endangering people’s lives, damaging the economy, and jeopardizing peace and security in the area. It should also be noted that the decision to go to war was not only unilateral but also, more importantly, lacked international legitimacy, having not exhausted the various diplomatic means.
Our people have thus been exposed to another catastrophe of enormous proportions, compounding the wounds that they had already suffered as a result of the regime’s previous wars.
Although the war is continuing, and despite the fact that the invading forces have already penetrated Iraqi territories, it is possible and essential to put an immediate end to it, and resume political and diplomatic efforts, to preserve the lives of the innocent, and protect our homeland and its infrastructure from further devastation.
While we raise our voices to demand an immediate end to the war, we cannot at all overlook or ignore the Iraqi dictatorial regime’s pivotal responsibility in precipitating this war, as it has done before. During the past 12 years, it has neither eliminated the banned weapons, nor implemented most of the UN Security Council resolutions, thus providing the US administration various pretexts to unleash this new war.
The tyrant heading the Iraqi regime continues to oppress our people, even while missiles rain down on them, despite many sincere calls for him to relinquish power and leave the country, and thereby spare the Iraqi people the calamities of war.
The removal of this murderous adventurous regime, therefore, remains an essential urgent task for the Iraqi people, their armed forces and the patriotic opposition forces that aspire to a unified federal democratic Iraq.
In this extremely grave situation, we call upon you to:
n Press for a halt to the war, ending US unilateralism in dealing with the Iraqi issue, and returning to international legitimacy and the UN, acting within the framework of its responsibilities for preserving security and peace in the world.
n Act urgently to ensure that food, medicine and other basic needs are provided to the Iraqi people, and to work for lifting the economic blockade.
n Ensure the implementation of the Geneva conventions, the protection of Iraqi civilians and infrastructure, and respecting human rights of Iraqi people in accordance with relevant international agreements and treaties.
n Send UN human rights monitors to Iraq, with the task of preventing violations against Iraqi civilians, as well as urgently investigating the fate of thousands of political prisoners and detainees, with the aim of saving their lives from physical liquidation by Saddam’s regime under the cover of war.
n Reject the invasion, occupation and US military rule of Iraq, and to ensure that our Iraqi people exercise their right to decide their destiny, choosing the form of their future government with their own free will, without foreign interference or patronage from any quarter.
n Support convening an International Conference on the Iraqi Issue, under UN auspices, with the participation of representatives of Iraqi democratic and patriotic forces, in order to tackle all aspects of the Iraqi crisis, put an end to war and its tragedies, and to open up prospects for resolving the issue on the basis of international legitimacy, so as to ensure genuine democratic change in our country.
n Protect Iraq’s national wealth and resources, especially oil, as they belong the Iraqi people who alone have the right of disposal over these resources through democratically elected constitutional bodies, as well as protecting Iraq’s unity and sovereignty.
n Support Iraqi people’s aspiration to establish a transitional broadly-based coalition patriotic government which would ensure democratic freedoms, and prepare conditions and prerequisites for free elections under UN supervision, as an essential step along the path of building a constitutional democratic Iraq.
As enormous grave dangers threaten our people, who are caught up between the war and the disastrous policies of the dictatorial regime, we look forward to your active solidarity and support for our Iraqi people in their just struggle to stop the war, get rid of the dictatorial regime and build an Iraq of peace, freedom and dignity: a unified democratic federal Iraq.
The Central Committee – Iraqi Communist Party
Shaqlawa, Iraqi Kurdistan
23 March 2003