Change hands over Iraq question, from U.S. forces to U.N.: Shii

On a satellite TV interview program broadcast on September 11, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo called for the Iraq question to be handled not by the U.S. forces but in the framework of the United Nations. Excerpts of questions and answers follow:

Q: In President George W. Bush's planned visit to Japan on October 17 and 18, the Iraq question will be the focal issue. Could you comment on the present situation in Iraq, its influence on Japan and how Japan should deal with it?

U.S. wants to keep control and to use foreign troops and funds

Shii: The circumstances in Iraq have shown clearly that an illegal war and illegitimate occupation cannot create peace. The war was one of aggression, and U.S. and British forces have occupied the country and are maneuvering to set up a government which they can manipulate. This is the crux of the contradiction, and from this, terrorist and violent actions have arisen. The war has apparently turned Iraq into a nursery for terrorism.

In order to solve the question properly, it is necessary to clearly acknowledge the error of the past approach, end the occupation of Iraq by the U.S. and British forces, and change the framework into reconstruction efforts led by the United Nations.

The U.S. draft resolution to the next U.N. Security Council meeting, however, reveals the U.S. insistence on maintaining control and power, asking for the UNSC to adopt a resolution urging its members to provide troops and funds.

In his speech on the United States going to war, President Bush described the United Nations as powerless and the UNSC as doing nothing. He said that this was why the United States was acting on its own. The absurdity is that although the United States invaded Iraq alleging that the United Nations is powerless, it is now in a fix and wants a U.N. resolution without giving up its control.

UNSC members, such as France, Germany, China, and Russia, are opposed to this U.S. move. The Arab League countries in unison decided on not accepting the U.S. request for sending troops. The worldwide current in opposition to the start of the Iraq war is thriving internationally.

Japan must stop accepting U.S. directions, cancel its plans to send the SDF, and work for a U.N.-led approach

Shii: The failure of the U.S. approach has become clearer than ever before. Now the Japanese government must acknowledge the mistake in its policy of supporting the U.S. war of aggression and shift to supporting a U.N.-led approach by not sending SDF troops.

However, the government is planning to send a study team to satisfy U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage's wish for Japan to send troops soon: "Don't walk away. This isn't like attending a tea party." If Japan continues to follow U.S. directives, Japan will be dragged in a quagmire of terrorism and violence in Iraq, with the whole Middle East becoming hostile to Japan. (end)

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