Green party

An End to the Occupation of Iraq

1. The Green Party condemns the Government's decision to extend the involvement of British troops in the US-led occupation of Iraq, particularly in operations designed to support the violent and aggressive assaults on various Iraqi cities. The Party utterly opposes any indiscriminate attack within civilian areas of Iraq and calls upon the international community to bring its full diplomatic weight to pressurize the US to prevent their assaults. We believe it critical at this point that the Party clarifies its position with regard to the replacement of the existing occupying force with a legitimate multinational force.

2. The retention and deployment of British troops in Iraq should not be determined by requests from a US administration primarily responsible for the present mess. We want no part of the so-called "second war". Nor should the retention of such troops be determined on the basis of requests from any unrepresentative Iraqi administration installed by that occupation and dependent upon it. Our troops should not be fed into a new Viet Nam.

3. Since the invasion the Green Party has repeatedly called for the removal of US and British troops from Iraq, to be replaced by a multinational peace-keeping force genuinely controlled by the UN rather than the US.

4. The situation has markedly deteriorated since then, and foreign forces, whether occupation forces or Arab Jihadists, are seen as the enemy by most within Iraq, including many opposed to the former brutal dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. They see the occupiers as exploiting the situation for economic and political ends, and standing in the way of communities seeking to determine and develop their own future. Violent and overwhelming military responses to insurgents by occupying forces only deepen and brutalises the conflict. With a poor security situation getting worse, it now looks increasingly unlikely that a multinational peace-keeping force could be mustered and deployed effectively in Iraq.

5. Even when British armed forces use well-tested low-profile peacekeeping methods, they cannot overcome the fact of their involvement in the original invasion, nor their effective support for US tactics. The situation is extremely dangerous for the individuals concerned. Their very presence enables the US administration to claim foreign support.

6. We seek therefore the withdrawal of British troops.

7. The peoples and communities of Iraq need positive support from the international community in a manner that develops peace, security and self-determination. The Green Party reiterates its support for the United Nations and the principles of peacekeeping. UN peacekeepers have successfully brought stability and protection to innocent people around the world. Urgent efforts are necessary to muster a UN peacekeeping force, peaceworkers, police and other advisers comprised of people from countries not involved in the invasion and large enough to have a chance of assisting Iraq to develop organs of accountable government. Such an action will take time and must not be allowed to delay the withdrawal of the occupiers. The cost must be met by the UN and those countries involved in the original assault on the country. All Iraqi debt must be immediately cancelled as linked to the previous dictatorship propped up by the West, and reparations be paid to Iraq.

8. Conference instructs the national executive to promote this strategy for real progress towards a peaceful, prosperous, democratic and sustainable Iraq.

Main stories today

Related news