Military occupation must end now -- Akahata editorial, December 16

Former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein was captured by U.S. forces.

Hussein, who is responsible for the suppression of the Iraqi people and the 1990 invasion of Kuwait, must be brought to justice strictly in compliance with international law and in response to international opinion.

In Iraq, now under U.S.-British occupation, a cycle of people's hatred of the occupation forces and violence is increasing. Hussein's capture will not automatically bring about the stability and reconstruction of Iraq.

The U.S. occupation forces commander said that he doesn't think the continuous attacks against the U.S. forces will be over anytime soon.

Hatred and violence do not fade away

U.S. President George W. Bush also admitted that the capture of Hussein doesn't mean an end to violence in Iraq.

The United States is emphasizing that Hussein's custody will not stop conflicts, apparently with the aim of justifying the continued occupation of Iraq. But fundamentally, it is obliged to say so because conflicts and violence persist on the ground.

For the last 10 months, U.S. forces have searched for "weapons of mass destruction", which the United States used as a pretext for making attacks on Iraq but none have been found. Obviously, the United States and Britain are continuing the lawless war and the illegal occupation without U.N. mandate.

This is why many Iraqis are angered by the military occupation causing more unemployment, hardships of life, and the worsening condition of public safety. What they are seeking is an end of the occupation and the establishment of their own government.
The lawless war by the United States and Britain and their high-handed military occupation are preventing Iraq from reconstructing.

The U.S. forces are repeating the bloodshed on a larger scale in the name of mop-up operations. It only helps increase people's hatred of the occupation forces and creates a climate more favorable to terrorists. That's why violent responses to the U.S. occupation forces are increasing.

This is obvious from the U.N. secretary general's report to the U.N. Security Council. Pointing out the worsening public order in Iraq, he called for ending the U.S.-British occupation as quickly as possible on the grounds that military measures alone cannot resolve the question.

To resolve the Iraq question, it is necessary for sovereign rights to be restored to the Iraqi people without delay and to begin a U.N.-led effort in Iraq's reconstruction, as well as for the U.S. and British forces to withdraw from Iraq.

The military occupation hampers progress in Iraq's stability and reconstruction while causing more suffering and difficulties to the Iraqi people.

The Koizumi Cabinet still sticks with the dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces to Iraq, and intends to send advance units in December. Such an action will delay a settlement of the Iraq question.

As Japanese Communist Party Diet Policy Commission Chair Kokuta Keiji pointed out in the Lower House on December 15, the occupation conflicts with the U.N. Charter. The SDF dispatch is tantamount to Japan's participation in the illegal U.S. war and illegal occupation.

Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro had to acknowledge that the SDF will transport supplies and personnel of the U.S. forces in Iraq, thus assisting the U.S. forces in combat.

Make diplomatic efforts to ensure U.N. leadership

The dispatch of the SDF supporting the occupation forces will turn Japan into a target of hatred of the Iraqi people, further rouse their anger, prolong the war, increase the instability, and delay reconstruction.

The earliest possible end of the U.S.-British occupation is the only way to removing anger at and hatred of the occupation forces and to setting up a government by the Iraqi people.

Japan, with its war-renouncing Article 9 of its Constitution, has an obligation to make diplomatic efforts to persuade the international community into working in this direction.

The plan to send Japan's troops to the battlefield in Iraq must be canceled at once. (end)

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