( – promoted by buhdydharma )
We all remember the fanfare of the Bush administration declaring Iraq a sovereign country. Our war criminal king George stuck his thumbs into his arm pits and crowed.
“After decades of brutal rule by a terror regime, the Iraqi people have their country back,” Mr. Bush said in Istanbul at a gathering of NATO leaders, who agreed Monday to help rebuild Iraq’s security forces.
And who can forget the touching love note from Condi to Bush announcing that L. Paul Bremer had finished rewriting Iraqi laws and handed over the keys to Saddam’s palaces to the interim Iraqi government.
My question is what does Iraqi sovereignty mean? I have to ask because Iraqi airspace and territory have been repeatedly violated by Turkey, with the United States supplying the Turkish military with intelligence to conduct “incursions” into Iraq.
The basic foundation of international law with respect to sovereignty is often traced back to the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. The principle is that the sovereign ruler has absolute authority within the borders of the country.
Here are some key points made by Kal Raustiala, professor of international law at UCLA Law School, about the meaning of sovereignty.
Sovereignty is conventionally defined as supreme political and legal authority within a given territory.
Formally, sovereignty is absolute and total. As a legal matter, sovereign states are equal to one another–regardless of their size or military power–and their territorial integrity and political independence are protected by international law. The principle of non-intervention in the domestic affairs of a sovereign state was expressly written into the U.N. Charter in 1945, and remains there.
And over the centuries since Westphalia, powerful states have paid lip service to the principle of sovereignty, even as they intervened in the domestic affairs of their weaker brethren.
Even with lip service often given to sovereignty, Raustiala highlights several indisputable principles of sovereignty. Namely, a “sovereign” country has the right to control foreign troops within its borders, including ejecting them on demand.
The United Nations also highlighted Iraq’s newfound territorial integrity in 2004.
The members of the Security Council welcome the handover of full responsibility and authority for governing Iraq to the fully sovereign and independent Interim Government of Iraq, thus ending the occupation of the country. The members of the Council reaffirm the independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Iraq.
The latest instability in the region exposes Iraq’s sovereignty as a complete sham. Did Turkey approach the United Nations or NATO about the supposed attacks on its territory originating from Iraq? No. Did Turkey pursue diplomatic resolutions to its grievances before taking military action? No. It merely appealed to the country supposedly protecting the territorial integrity of Iraq and asked permission to attack. Bush gave them the green light, intelligence to plan the attack, and polite requests to keep the incursions relatively brief. It sure looks like the United States rather than Iraq has control over the territorial integrity of Iraq.
The Iraqi Parliament, that freely elected, democratic body of the people promoted as the sovereign authority in Iraq by the Bush administration, rejected the Turkish incursions and told the Turks to leave.
“The council expresses its rejection and condemnation to the Turkish military incursion which is considered a violation to the Iraqi sovereignty,” the Iraqi cabinet said in a statement. “The cabinet stresses that unilateral military action is not acceptable and threatens good relations between the two neighbors.”
“The Turkish incursion into Iraqi Kurdistan is a violation of Iraqi sovereignty,” Falah Mustafa Bakir, head of the Department of Foreign Relations of the Kurdistan Regional Government, said in an interview on Tuesday.
The national and regional representatives of the Iraqi government do not want Turkish troops in Iraq and Turkish jets bombing Iraq.
The Turks response?
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Turkey declined to give Iraq a timetable for withdrawal of troops fighting Kurdish guerrillas on Wednesday, resisting pressure from the United States and other allies for a quick resolution.
“Our objective is clear, our mission is clear and there is no timetable until…those terrorist bases are eliminated,” Turkish envoy Ahmet Davutoglu told a news conference after talks in Baghdad with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari.
It looks like Iraqi sovereignty means nothing since they have no control over foreign troops within their borders. Iraqi sovereignty is just another neocriminal myth, along with Saddam’s nuclear program, Iraq as a threat to the United States, and this war not being about oil.
We found excuses to violate the sovereignty of Iraq in deposing Saddam Hussein. We still find excuses to violate the sovereignty we supposedly restored to Iraq in 2004. Think about this. Instead of letting Turkey invade and bomb Iraq to get at an organization we call terrorists, why didn’t we mount an operation in Northern Iraq with the Iraqi Security Forces? Why didn’t we work together with the Kurdish Pershmerga to secure the border area in question? Iraq is a sovereign state and we are still the sovereign.