Elections under genocide and clampdown
Campaigns have started toward January 30, 2005 elections for a Transitional National Assembly of Iraq. News media are referring to the elections as "the first free elections" or "democratic elections." But the military forces having killed over 6,000 civilians in Falluja continue the occupation, and the nation is under declaration of a state of emergency issued by a puppet administration. Now what kind of freedom or democracy are we supposed to find in elections under such circumstances?
On December 12, US forces air-raided Falluja and Mosul again in random attacks. The nationwide combat state does not show the slightest sign of calming down. In Falluja, approximately 200,000 people, two thirds of the population, have been evacuated. They still remain outside the city, refused from going home by the US military. Even the puppet government's election board admits that voter registration is impossible in the provinces of Ninawa and al-Anbar, where Falluja is located.
Rather than permitting Fallujans to return, the US military is now drawing up plans for controlling individual residents based on identity authentication and forcing all male evacuees to work in "military-style battalions." (Source: The Boston Globe, Dec.5)
Transformation of an entire city into a Nazi-like detention camp and elections under military domination--these are what make up "democracy" for global capitalism. Anti-occupation forces have more than enough reasons for calling for an election boycott.
Civilian Protection Law integral with troop deployment
In order to support a firm enforcement of the elections, the Koizumi administration extended the Self-Defense Forces (Japanese troops) deployment to Iraq for one year with the initial dispatch plan set to expire on December 14. On that day, the Koizumi administration released its Outline of the Basic Policy on Protecting Civilians. The Outline of the Basic Policy lists presumable "situations of armed attacks" including (1) landing invasions, (2) assaults by guerillas or special units, (3) ballistic missile strikes and (4) air raids. Presuming such cases, the Outline calls for collaboration among local public entities, the Defense Agency and the SDF while requesting prefectural and municipal governments to establish 24-hour readiness for quick response.
On the other hand, the new National Defense Program Outline approved by the Cabinet on December 10 had to state clearly that "the threat of full-scale invasion of Japan (meaning a war) is decreasing." As a way around this, the Outline justifies policies to build up a warfare system with the need for "preparedness to respond to unforeseeable threats and for a diverse range of incidents." Meanwhile, the Outline assigns the SDF new duties such as "willing and positive participation in activities undertaken by international communities" and "effort to stabilize the regions from the Middle East to East Asia." As we can see from this wording, the Outline is a declaration of the full-fledged status of aggressor troops of the SDF whose primary mission includes overseas operations in the name of "national interest."
While the fear of terrorist attacks and ballistic assaults is being fanned, the SDF, local public entities and residents' organizations are being integrated. Thus, a warfare system may emerge even in peacetime, supporting overseas SDF deployment and occupation. That is what the Civilian Protection Law is aimed at.
Block the path to a warfare nation
In 2005, people struggling for peace and democracy have to play significant roles. Their missions include termination of the occupation of Iraq, withdrawal of all occupation forces, and the SDF in particular, through solidarity with the Iraqi Civil Resistance pursuing reconstruction of Iraq and the creation of a democratic society, and, blockage of development of a warfare system in Japan.
While local governments are pressed to quickly develop resident protection manuals under the Outline of the Basic Policy, two signature-collecting drives will start for direct petition to declare the relevant communities as non-defended localities. One of them will start on January 14 in Arakawa-ku, Tokyo, and the other on January 28 in the city of Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture.
Internationally, we have movements for peace, trying to contain global capitalism. Internally, we have struggles for peace, blocking an emergence of a warfare nation: the Non-Defended Localities Movement. Let us promote these two movements as one united effort. (December 18)