Green party

"Iraq violence fuelled by globalisation" - MEP

7 February 2005

Violence in Iraq is being driven by the plunder of Iraq's economic resourcesand continued attempts to subject the country to the forces of economicglobalisation, a British Euro-MP has warned.

The resistance to ongoing occupation is fuelled by opposition to economic as well as political and military factors, according to veteran peace campaigner Caroline Lucas.

Attacks on Iraqi and US security forces will continue as long as attempts to prise open Iraqi markets to international trade and foreign investors are maintained, the Green Party MEP will tell a Stop the War meeting in Bristoltonight.

"The violence in Iraq has shown no signs of abating since last weekendselection, dashing Blair's hopes that the issue will now go away until afterthe general election here in the UK.

"The attacks - such as the two reported car bombings which killed 33 Iraqipolice officers just last night - will continue as long as the occupyingforces preside over the take-over of the Iraqi economy by the forces ofglobalisation."

Dr Lucas, who is co-president of the European Parliament's cross-party groups on peace and globalisation, a member of CND's national council and serves on the advisory board for the International Forum on Globalisation, will make her comments at a public meeting hosted by the Stop the War coalition in Bristol tonight.

She will join former MP Tony Benn and Edd Cherrie of UK Veterans & FamiliesFor Peace on the panel at the meeting, which takes place at The CouncilHouse, College Green from 7.30pm.

Citing 'Order 81', the new Iraqi law prohibiting Iraqi farmers from re-usingsaved wheat seeds and obliging them to abandon traditional agriculturalmethods in the face of international intellectual property laws grantingwheat patents to US-owned agribusiness firms, Dr Lucas said Iraqiself-determination is as much about economic as military control.

"Resistance to the occupation will continue as long as allied forces - andthose Iraqis trained by them - continue behaving like an occupation force and presiding over the transfer of power and resources from Iraq to their political sponsors 'back home'," said Dr Lucas.

"Forcing the oldest agricultural economy in the world to abandon its traditional practises, justifying doing so by claiming that the effect of the west's own sanctions regime is evidence that local methods are failing,is indicative of the allies real intent in Iraq: opening its economy up to the forces of economic globalisation and establishing the framework for aprofitable future for US firms doing business in Iraq.

"This has been the agenda of colonial occupation forces throughout history: and the experience of India and Africa teach us that 'insurgent' violencecontinues, at terrible human costs, until the occupation ends economically, politically and militarily."

Lucas added: "Last week's historic, if flawed, election wasa step forward for the peoples of Iraq, but only a tiny first step. It's no surprise that it hasn't put a stop to the violence."