University of Southern California

Iraq Teach-In

Iraqis Deserve to Be Liberated: Sometimes It Is Necessary to Interfere

April 8, 2003
Niels Frenzen
Law School

Questions not being asked by many who oppose the war:
    How do Some / Many / Most Iraqis view the war?
    Why do Some / Many / Most Iraqis support the war?
    How severe are human rights violations in Iraq?
Basis for My View-
    My views are influenced by what I now believe most Iraqis want and what they see as being in their best interests. I represent Iraqi asylum seekers in the USA, including members of the Iraqi National Congress, former Iraqi diplomat and former Iraqi military officers.
Situation in Iraq- Extreme level of terror; massive violations of human rights.
    [See Human Rights Key Points Below]

    Dictatorship has killed hundreds of thousands of people over the past 25 years

    Some estimates suggest over 2 million people have been killed when you take into account the wars Iraq has launched against Iran, Kuwait, and the internal efforts to eliminate or forcibly relocate Kurds and Shia.

    Based on this - I strongly believe Iraqi people want armed overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the Baathist dictatorship
    US led war would not be my first choice
      Would prefer to see Iraqis overthrow the dictatorship – not practical or realistic

      US led war of liberation, is the only option available to the Iraqi people at any point in foreseeable future
    Is there any legal basis for such an act? YES
Doctrine of Humanitarian Intervention provides some Legal Authority
    The doctrine (not widely accepted) recognizes use of force by one or more states to stop the mistreatment by a state of its own nationals when the conduct is so brutal and large-scale as to shock the conscience.

    Elie Wiesel supports armed force: “Sometimes it is necessary to interfere”
      Wiesel: This is a necessary war; Earlier intervention in Rwanda would have saved hundreds of thousands.
War of Self-Determination or National Liberation is Lawful
    UN Charter (Arts 1, 55, 73, 76) repeatedly recognizes right of a People to self-determination

    Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes that man may be compelled to rebel against tyranny and oppression. As does our Declaration of Independence

    Int’l Covenant on Civil & Political Rights – recognizes right of all people to self-determination

    The Iraqi National Congress (INC) and other established opposition groups speak for the Iraqi people AND they have called for the use of military force by the US and its allies – it is legal. No other voice is available to people living under totalitarianism – as the grip of terror is loosened, more will be able to speak from within Iraq
Note re the UN Charter – It would be preferably to have UN approval – BUT:
    It does not always work

    UN Security Council Failed to Intervene in Rwanda – over 800,000 died – this is unacceptable – Sitting on the Security Council at the time & debating the UN role was a representative of the genocidal regime of Rwanda

    Concept of sovereignty and the Charter itself should not protect a brutal dictator at the expense of the people over which he rules

    UN Security Council, and permanent members in particular, is not a neutral benevolent tribunal – Russia & France exercise their veto authority not based on interests of Iraqi people but on basis of what its govt decides is in its own national interest (as does Govt of USA).
My Fears - After Baathist regime has lost control:
    US will seek to remain too long

    The US will attempt to control the new Iraqi government to too great of an extent

    The Saudis and to a lesser extent, the Turks, Syrians, Jordanians, will attempt to undermine Iraqi efforts at establishing some level of democracy
Other Points
    Human Rights Violations - Examples
      As of 1989 Iraq was spending 89% of its oil revenue on military expenditures / War debt today of approx $200 million

      1980-88 – Iran-Iraq war started by IRAQ; close to 1 million killed on each side / Basra was in a state of siege for years / infrastructure devastated

      Shia religious leadership killed or deported

      Upwards of 300,000 Shia Arab and Kurds expelled to Iran by the early 1980s

      By 1987 close to 200,000 Kurds disappeared – today as more territory is liberated families are hoping to identify fates of the disappeared

      Communist Party members, approx 7,000 executed in late 1970s

      Baath Party has probably killed more Baath Party members than will be killed in this war.

      1991 Intifada (stemming from betrayal by USA) perhaps 80,000 killed by Iraq in the South and North.
    9/11 - Circumstantial Evidence of Iraqi Role in attacks on NY and DC

    Oil - Iraq produces 2% of world oil supply

    France’s TotalFinaElf oil conglomerate has among greatest interests currently in Iraq. As does Russia – Iraq has a debt to Russia of between $10 and 12 billion US dollars

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