Addressing a glittering military gathering of US Marines on February
27, 2009, at the North Carolina Marine base, President Barack Obama
announced that by August 31, 2010, most American troops would have left
Iraq, except a contingent of about 35,000 to 50,000 troops, who would be
required to carry out specific duties.
By 2011, all US troops would be completely withdrawn. After six years
of engagement in a contentious war in Iraq, there appears to have been a
re-think about the military intervention in Iraq.
The US President was not only fulfilling a campaign promise, but he
outlined the difficulties and how a continued engagement would not be in
tune with present realities in America. The economy must be rescued from
the throes of a total melt-down. Unemployment must be tackled as well as
other social problems.
Many questions have been asked about the future of Iraq after the
departure of US troops. With a trillion dollars spent and over 4000
young American soldiers dead, Jim Jones said,” Honestly, I do not give a
damn.”Some Americans now feel that “Charity should remain at home.”
Between 2000 and 2005, HATE wore a princely amour, rode a white horse
into Iraq, became the Monarch of all he surveyed, chose chivalry
Instead of caution and ordered the invasion of Iraq. We have all become
wiser to see that HATE is no excuse for the wanton destruction of Iraq
but that is now military history.
The present Iraqi Constitution was fashioned under the watchful eyes of
the occupation forces. So, one would be right in observing that there
was a gulf between what was desired and what was achievable in the
circumstances of the time.
Also, what was fair and representative was beyond constitutionalism.
The interplay between the elements of constitutionalism and what was
fair for all remain controversial till date. There should be a
constitutional review before the next elections in order to strike a
fair balance among competing interests in Iraq. This is imperative
because political privileges are usually the subject of political
The US President, George Bush refused to be flexible on some issues
because he believed that “the Commander-in-Chief does not waiver.” This
dogmatic assertion led to error of judgment. As a result, there was a
visible disagreement between the Executive and the Legislative branches
of Government in America.
As Dr. Henry Kissinger, the one-time US Secretary of State said in
1975, “Comity between the executive and the legislature is the only
basis for national action.” The withdrawal of support for the Iraqi war
stemmed from Presidential isolation from the Congress and the public.
The republicans learnt the hard way that the way they perceived their
policy in Iraq could not “stand above the pressures of domestic politics
and constituent interests” (Congressman Patsy T. Mink). According to
Raoul Berger,” Executive privilege, when misused can lead to error. It
is actually a constitutional myth”
Philip R Collins wrote that “executive privilege has remained a
problem in American Constitutional Law.” Arthur M. Cox, in his book
entitled,” Congress and Executive Secrecy,” noted that “it fosters
executive secrecy”. Richard C. Ehlke said that “Often, it blocks
Congressional access to information”
Sam J. Ervin, writing in the Loyola Law Journal, 20, 1973-1974 said
that “In some cases, it becomes difficult to control executive
privilege”. Realizing this, many Senators including Barack Obama,
opposed Bush’s resort to executive privilege in some of his decisions in
prosecuting the Iraqi war, especially when it became obvious that some
of those decisions were manifestly infested with extraordinary
improprieties, subjectivity and strong-headedness.
The Congress, being the legislative body, was very conscious that it is
a fundamental principle of American constitutional government that it is
impermissible for Congress to delegate or compromise the usurpation of
its authority, which Congress has always guarded jealously.
It is now well known that the hurried eagerness to invade Iraq was
based on intelligence reports (now discredited). It was also a
gregarious blunder to have hastily sacked all the officers and men of
the Iraqi army and the experienced civil service cadre. Hatred led to
I hope that all nuclear- possessing states will never act on frenzied
misadvise, should there be a serious political crisis at any future
It is re-assuring to see that past and present political leaders can
now be prosecuted for crimes against humanity, mass murder and ordering
irreverent massacres in the name of power.
On March 3, 2009, the International Criminal Court issued a Warrant of
Arrest for the President of Sudan, Al Bashir alleging various crimes
against humanity, mass murder, etc. Curiously, the ICC advertently or
inadvertently closed Al Bashir’s “window of vulnerability” by failing to
file a charge of genocide against him for ordering murderous acts in
Darfur and failure to stop bestial acts against African Sudanese.
I am summoned to deal with this subject as an International Legal
Consultant, so I will restrict my remarks here by supporting the
position of the Belgian Concept of Universal Justice, which elevates
justice above sovereignty and other diplomatic immunities, where
violations of human rights, crimes against humanity, mass murder, mass
torture, genocide, killing of members of a group based on religious or
ethnic considerations etc, are proven.
I urge the International Criminal Court to be fearless, resolute, bold,
consistent and uncompromising in prosecuting the case against Omar AL
Bashir. The Courts’ actions will open a Pandora Box containing criminal
charges against other leaders in this world.
In the Era of the Gentiles, Atonement and the Brotherhood of Man, hard
attitudes will mellow down, arrogance will give way to prudence and
forgiveness will show the possibilities of Man.
Iraqi politicians may wish to adopt Hugh Todd Naylor Gaitskell’s
doggedness at fighting to change party policy, whenever he thought that
there was need for a revision.
After the British elections in 1959, Hugh Gaitskell, a brilliant
scholar and politician, suggested a revision of policy especially basic
Clause 4 relating to (“common ownership of national production,
distribution and exchange.”)The British Trade Unions forced him to drop
He beat back political confrontations, when policy issues were in
discussion. Barack Obama has shown that he is ready to toe this line of
action in reversing hackneyed policies, hitherto regarded as sacrosanct,
immutable and good for all time.
The acquittal of the former Honourable Deputy Prime Minister, Tariq
Aziz, is a manifestation of the new Iraqi spirit of reconciliation. He
was saved by faith and the mercy of the TRIUNE GOD.
Other factors that made his release possible were the exit of George
Bush, Barack Obama’s cultured disposition and his announcement of the
withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, the futility of blood-letting
and the ascending new notion that evil is indeed a myth.
The philosophy of Exalting Man and not money, power and hegemony is
already taking hold in the world. The Fustian, Arabesque attitude is
yielding place to more sober reflections of the fact that modernization
is an imperative category in the twenty -first century and no state can
stay behind. Did the King of Saudi Arabia, His Royal Majesty, not
appoint a female cabinet minister recently? This is the Era of the
Gentiles, Atonement and the Brotherhood of Man!
There will be new galactic
coordinates that will envelope the earth
unleashing a hazy luminous band that will purify Man’ intellect and
produce an integrated effect on his reasoning.
Iraq has suffered historical damages, but has always survived.” Baghdad
was the city of the Arabian nights. It was founded in the 8th century
and for 500 years the capital of the Arab world. In the 10th century, it
was the seat of Arab learning but held little importance after the 13th
century. Baghdad was both a route and center of great importance.
Railway routes to Syria and Turkey passed through Basra and Kirkut”
(The New Universal Library, London, 1969)
Iraqis need reconciliation. They must search for a way out. The
game-keepers gibbet of Iraqis shooting Iraqis and hanging them in rows
on a fence to please occupiers need no longer impress anyone. It is now
time for gaudeamus but those, who want to go back to the Old Iraq, must
Many have asked whether the gangue, ideological politics of Saddam
Hussein’s Iraq will return, if and when the Americans depart. Good
question! As Niels Bohr observed, “prediction is very difficult,
especially about the future.”