Sponsored by: Jack Kirkwood Approved: 03/01/2007
A RESOLUTION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF OREGON
RESOLUTION TO CALL FOR THE UNITED NATIONS TO TAKE THE LEADING ROLE IN RESTORING PEACE, SECURITY, AND STABLE GOVERNMENT IN IRAQ.
WHEREAS, the 2006 Platform of the Democratic of Oregon Article 5 affirms “the principle of global cooperation, working to insure the survival and well-being of present and future generations, and
WHEREAS, Iraq is a charter member of the United Nations and has never attacked the United States, and
WHEREAS, the United States took its case for invading Iraq to the UN Security Council, and
WHEREAS, Iraq cooperated with the UN by allowing Security Council inspectors into Iraq to look for weapons of mass destruction1, and
WHEREAS, the President took the US forces to war without Security Council authorization2, and
WHEREAS, the invaders failed to restore peace and security after deposing the existing government of Iraq3, and
WHEREAS, wars can end when combatants can agree that more fighting will not help them achieve their goals4, and
WHEREAS, hatred of occupation forces is believed to compromise the United States’ ability to restore peace and security in Iraq5, and
WHEREAS, the UN has a proven record of nation building in failed states6, and
WHEREAS, the United Nations can perform the role of neutral broker better than any individual nation which has a stake in the outcome7, and
WHEREAS, the United Nations depends on member nations to work together to achieve its Charter objectives;
NOW THEREFORE, THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF OREGON RESOLVES AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. Call upon the President and Congress to ask the United Nations to assume the leading role in convening factions in Iraq to achieve a working federation or governing authority that can enjoy respect across the nation and restore domestic stability.
Section 2. Call upon the United Nations to convene neighboring nations which have a stake in a stable and peaceful Iraq to assemble peacekeepers that can provide security for the diplomatic work of bringing Iraqi factions together.
Section 3. Call upon the United Nations Security Council to organize security necessary for the orderly withdrawal of coalition forces, bases, and corporations.
Section 4.Ask the United Nations to work out and implement a schedule of actions necessary to restore Iraq to full sovereignty.
Section 5. Call on Congress to appropriate sufficient funds (beyond regular US dues to the UN) to make these operations possible.
Tabled October 28, 2007
Comments on the Revision Process
Footnotes have been added to explain language and changes
1 There is confusion in the public mind, because one reason Bush took us to war was that Saddam Hussein had not reported his weapons of mass destruction, as demanded by Security Council resolutions. That is true, but
Hussein did permit entry of inspection teams which worked from December 2002 to March 2003. When they were ordered out because of impending invasion, they considered their work 90% complete. They had not found any WMD. They did find missiles of greater range than allowed under Security Council rules. They
supervised destruction of them.
During the 1990’s, UN inspection teams worked until Desert Fox (bombing around Baghdad) in 1998 to remove WMD. Those teams were removed prior to Desert Fox. Afterward, UN inspectors were not permitted back in because Hussein claimed the attack was against his defensive installations and had nothing to do with WMD. He claimed the inspection process had been used to gather intelligence about those installations.
But under pressure from the world community and threat of war, he did permit return of UN inspection teams in December 2002.
2 I have removed “either a declaration of war by Congress, or.” There is disagreement about whether the War Resolution Act of 2002 was a declaration of war. Senator Byrd argued that the proposed resolution was about
“whether to declare war on Iraq” (Tom Ricks, Fiasco, p. 62). But many did not consider it a declaration of war,
since it was not worded as such.
3This item has been reworded to reflect facts on the ground in Iraq.
4This is a new item. It was a point included in the cover letter, but is more appropriate in the resolution.
5While the administration and its supporters argued that our enemies in Iraq were “Islamofacists” which
implies hatred of Americans motivated by irrational, ideological thought, the press has been closer to the mark
by calling them “insurgents.” That implies a desire to get rid of an occupying force or an existing government or both. Polls indicate that about 70% of Shiites and 90% of Sunnis want us to leave. AlQaida, which Saddam Hussein barred from operation in Iraq, came in after the war began. Estimates are that AlQaida ranges from 3-5% of forces opposing the Coalition. It is my opinion that AlQaida, mostly foreigners, would not be interested
in either ending the occupation or resolving conflict among Iraqis, and they will continue to be a problem if war ends just as they are in other parts of the world. But if resolution of the conflict between occupation forces and Iraqis and between Iraqi factions can be achieved, the war should end. If that happens, Iraq may no longer be regarded by alQaida leadership as a recruiting tool and a training ground for terrorists.
In my opinion, if Iraq gains a functioning, sovereign government, whether democratic or not, they will deal
harshly with alQaida. In the absence of American forces, alQaida might leave, be executed, imprisoned, or deported by Iraqis.
6 The word “positive” is removed. An article by James Dobbins in the UNA-USA’s The Interdependent
Winter 2005-2006 reports a Rand Corporation study that compared UN-led nation building missions with those of the United States.UN-led missions tended to be smaller, faster, cheaper, and on balance more successful than those led by the United States.The record of US-led projects was:four of eight are peaceful and democratic today.The UN’s score was seven of eight are peaceful today and six are democratic.
US-led missions were generally conducted in more difficult circumstances and some were launched only
after smaller, UN efforts had failed.
But the study explained, “the UN has simply done a better job of institutionalizing its experience, creating an on-going doctrine for the conduct of such missions and building a cadre of experienced nation builders who can go from one mission to the next. By contract, the US has treated each mission as if it were the first ever encountered, sending new and untried individuals to face old, familiar problems.” And worse, the US tends to dissipate both the acquired knowledge and experienced personnel after each mission.
The author, while criticizing the Bush Administration for amateurish approach to post-conflict stabilization in Iraq, credits both State and Defense Departments with changes designed to better learn from past mistakes.
7In any negotiations the party serving as arbitrator must be able to see the adversaries’ legitimate goals and must help each side see the other’s point of view. The United States has 14 military bases that appear to be permanent and a 104-acre walled embassy compound (the largest in the world) under construction along the Tigris River in Baghdad. The US has privatized oil production and other enterprises. These are all decisions exercised by the sovereign power there. If sovereignty is to be transferred to Iraqis, all these interests will be under review. If not, any emerging state will be considered a client of the US, not a truly independent state.
The UN is the appropriate entity to undertake this task.
Thanks to all who participated in the discussion of this resolution. I welcome any suggestions so we can be as
near consensus as possible.
Jack Kirkwood, Washington County First Congressional District