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Vienna: Congress against the aggression on Iraq

5. April 2003

Support for the Iraqi armed self-defense against the invasion

During a two days Congress against the War of Aggression against Iraq at the Technical University Vienna, Austria, around 150 participants, among them representatives of progressive parties, solidarity organization, intellectuals, artists and delegates of the Palestinian, Turkish, Iranian and Iraqi communities in Austria held intensive discussions how to confront the war of aggression against Iraq and support the resistance of Iraq against the invasion.

The Congress was organized by a broad initiative of University Teachers and Students and the Anti-imperialist Camp, an organization for the support of the anti-imperialist resistance of the oppressed peoples against the US dominated western empire. In a press declaration the organizers and proponents of the Congress states that “this congress should express the broad anti-war sentiment among the Austrian and European citizens in order to remind our government on their democratic duty to condemn openly and in the international institutions this illegal war of aggression that violates the international law. We think that the anti-war movement in our country needs such a Forum to develop its political orientation for a prolonged resistance against US-imperialism. We want peace, but we are convinced that peace is only possible when the aggressive US-colonialist politics is defeated. That´s why our congress openly supports the resistance of the Iraqi people and the Iraqi army. Every day of political and military resistance of Iraq helps to strengthen the anti-war movement in the West.”

The Congress was opened by Mr. Abd Al Jabbar Al Kubaysi, secretary general of the Iraqi National Coalition, a front of several organizations of the patriotic forces of the Iraqi opposition, Mr. Ahmed Karim, representative of the patriotic communist movement of Iraq and Mr. Noel Dominque, president of the Iraqi community in Austria. In their intervention on the topic “Political opposition and the defense of Iraq” they underlined that today it is the duty of all Iraqi political forces, in spite of their possible opposition against the government of Saddam Hussein, to defend their country against the US-British invasion. Mr. Kubaysi underlined the strong popular and military resistance of Iraq against the foreign troops. The US-strategy of a fast collapse of the regime and an easy short war has been defeated. US and British troops were unable to conquer any important position, they only advanced through the desert. Whenever they tried to enter populated areas or towns they were confronted with strong resistance. “That is why they now will start massive and indiscriminate bombardments against the civil population.” Mr. Kubaysi pointed out that the so called Iraqi opposition is mainly composed of CIA-funded organizations and individuals without any historical role and popular support in Iraq. “All organizations that has been an integral part of the Iraqi political spectrum, they have to fight in the patriotic resistance against the invasion today, regardless their opposition to the regime. Only the defeat of the US aggression can open the path to democracy and freedom.” Mr. Ahmed Karim said that also the patriotic forces of the communist movement have united in the Iraqi National Coalition “because today the main thing is that we are Iraqis and our country is attacked. Although many of our comrades were imprisoned and even killed by Saddam, our main enemy is imperialism. Democracy means self determination and the defense of the sovereignty of our country.” Mr. Noel Dominque pointed out in his intervention that in the USA the Christian fundamentalists of the Republican Party and the Zionist lobby have gathered in a new crusade against the Arab world. “Iraq has become a symbol of resistance against the colonialist politics of imperialism. Israel is committing a daily genocide against the Palestinians, posses arms of mass destruction and uses them against the Palestinians, violates every resolution of the UN. The Arab people is rising against the humiliation and oppression by imperialism and the anti-imperialist movement against the war in the Western countries is joining this fight against the enemies of peace and justice: Zionism, imperialism and its allies.”

In a discussion forum on the topic “US-empire and Anti-Americanism” the Congress dealt with one of the main ideological attacks of the media and some pro-US intellectual figures against the anti-war movement, to be “anti-American”. Willi Langthaler, representative of the Anti-imperialist Camp said that “indeed, the anti-imperialist forces have to be Anti-American. It is not only the politics of Bush, but a whole system of military, political and cultural oppression, Americanism, that has to be fight. Today imperialism has a concrete form, Americanism. Among the people in Europe, there are anti-American feeling with an important progressive element. They reject the US-global dominance, their dictatorship on the political, economic and cultural level.” Hannes Hofbauer, economic scientist of the University of Vienna, focused on the economic background of US-aggression. “It is no casualty, that the US consider those countries as …‘axis of the evil´ that are discussing to implement the Euro as currency for their international trade and not the US-dollar. Among them Irak, Iran, North Corea and Venezuela.” Jelica Radic from the Austrian Jugoslav Solidarity Movement remembered the US-bombardment of 78 days against Yugoslavia. “The Yugoslav people has suffered the US and NATO-war machinery. That´s why we are on the side of our Iraqi brothers and hope that their resistance will defeat the colonial power of US-imperialism.” A representative of the Turkish revolutionary organization DHKC denounced the pro-US role of the Turkish military which is preparing for an invasion of Northern Iraq, not only because of the Kurdish question, but to consolidate their position as US-puppets in the control over the Middle East.

In the debate about the Austrian Anti-War movement several organization discussed how to strengthen the resistance against the war in the Western countries. “The movement is a starting point. There are still strong pacifist illusions to humanize the imperialist politics. Peace cannot mean equidistance between the aggressor and those who are attacked. In spite of our criticism on the Iraqi government, today anti-imperialists stay completely on the side of Iraq and fight for the victory of the Iraqi army over the invasion forces. The anti-imperialist forces in the West have to coordinate inside the movement against the war to overcome all illusions in a peaceful solution without defeating US-imperialism in the battlefield”, as Gernot Zeiler form the Initiative of Students and University Teacher stated in the name of the organizers.

Finally Fritz Edlinger Secretary General of the Austrian Arab Friendship Association denounced the politics of embargo against Iraq. “This politics till the beginning was an instrument to destroy Iraq and change the government. That´s why the politics of sanctions not only are a crime against humanity, a politics of genocide against the Iraqi people, but also a violation of international law. As Iraq resisted against this permanent aggression over 12 years, now the US-alliance again has taken the way of open and military aggression.” At least Alexander Muth reported from the Austrian Human Shield Mission to Iraq. “We experienced a strong feeling of solidarity and friendship of the Iraqi people. That´s why we, the participant of the Austrian Human Shield Mission say: Victory for Iraq!”

The congress concluded with a resolution of six points:

1. Immediate retreat of the invasion troops of Iraq. Defense of the sovereignty and self determination of Iraq!
2. European governments has to close their air-space for US and British military airplanes, mainly the B 52 that are bombing systematically the Iraqi civilian population.
3. The Austrian government must condemn openly the war as a violation of international law and take initiatives in this sense in the international institutions.
4. We defend the right of Iraq for armed self-defense against the aggression as legatine act as stated in …§ 51 of the UN-charter.
5. We reject every form of occupation regime in Iraq, also under the possible disguise of the UN or other international institutions as later legitimation of the illegal US-British aggression.

Vienna, 30. April 2003