War will continue in Iraq unless U.S. forces withdraw -- Akahata editorial, November 18

The U.S. Bush administration has announced its plan to transfer the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) powers to the Iraqis if a provisional government is established by next June.

The U.S. forces in Iraq have suffered increasing loss of lives from attacks by resistance forces in Iraq.

The Bush administration has apparently concluded that this situation will not help President George W. Bush to be reelected next year. So, by announcing the transfer of the CPA powers, it began urging other countries to dispatch troops to Iraq.

However, the U.S. secretary of state says that the U.S. forces will continue to stay in Iraq even after the establishment of a provisional government.

So long as the U.S. continues stationing its forces in Iraq, the war will not end.

The right to resist aggression

Every time U.S. soldiers fall victim to attacks, the U.S. president maintains that the U.S. will never be defeated by terrorists and that Saddam Hussein must be captured.

Remnants of the Hussein regime and terrorist groups may be taking part in attacks on U.S. troops, but there is no evidence for this, and the only obvious thing is that the war launched by the U.S. and the continued military occupation of Iraq have roused the Iraqi people's anger, provoking such attacks.

If the U.S. refuses to withdraw from Iraq by ignoring this crucial point, any U.S. attempt to install a provisional government would not lead to ending the war but would only intensify it.

The United States invaded Iraq under its preemptive strike strategy. Ignoring the wishes of the Iraqi people, it started the war without United Nations approval. It is a war of aggression without just cause.

Therefore, the longer the U.S. continues the war, the more the Bush administration is losing its trust both domestically and internationally.

This is all the more so because of the administration's chameleon-like attitude of changing statements that the United States goes to war because of the need to fight terrorism, eliminate weapons of mass destruction, or topple the dictatorial regime.

If the terrorist forces are to blame, the United States should take a hard look at the fact that the anger and hatred toward the U.S. aggression and occupation of Iraq is used as a reason by the terrorists for their attacks.

It's not very convincing to say that "we won't yield to terrorists" while creating the grounds of justification for terrorists.

Even if the former Iraqi regime was a tyrannical dictatorship, it should be up to the Iraqi people to decide what to do now.

The people of Iraq have the right to resist the war of aggression.

No matter how long the U.S. troops are hostile to the Iraqis in disregard of this right, they will be forced out from Iraq in the end.

What's needed is for the international community to change the framework from a U.S.-led occupation into a U.N.-led support for the peaceful reconstruction of Iraq.

Without stating an intention to withdraw the U.S. forces from Iraq within a set time frame, the war will not end. That's why no other country will send troops to Iraq and the Bush Administration has become more isolated from the rest of the world.

The U.S. defense secretary emphasized, "More than 30 countries have dispatched their troops." But all these countries have done it for supposed political gains. Actually, in those countries, more and more people are opposing the deployment of troops in Iraq.

The Koizumi Cabinet insists that it will send Japan's Self-Defense Forces to Iraq at any cost.

Such a decision will make Japan step into an irrevocable path.

SDF dispatch for national interests?

Prime Minister Koizumi again promised the U.S. defense secretary to dispatch the SDF to Iraq and said, "It will fulfill national interests."

With a slogan of "assistance for the reconstruction of Iraq" as a principle, Koizumi shows no hesitation to claim "the dispatch is in Japan's national interests". This will inevitably rouse more fury from Iraqis suffering under the lawless war and the cruel occupation by the United States.

Giving up the SDF dispatch will help bring an end to the Iraq War in solidarity with peoples of the world, including those in Iraq and the Middle East. (end)

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