Northern Iraq elections: the case for suspending them sine die

Your Excellency, dear Mam Jalal,

Greetings and best wishes for your health and the well-being of both you & the people entrusted to you.

On June 28, it will be 4 years that a long-time mutual friend of us, Dr. Salah Jmor, was killed by an American sniper soldier on a busy highway in Baghdad. Like myself on parallel political tracks, Salah, an Iraqi refugee who became a Swiss citizen living in Geneva, pursued on the academic pathway his dream of a brighter future for his Kurdish and other Iraqi brethren. And though I, as a Swiss citizen, am not aware that I'd have any direct Kurdish or Iraqi roots, other calls of fate have driven me to seek to contribute what I can towards the genuine liberation and non-discriminate well-being of all constituant parts of the Iraqi people, be they of Arab, Assyrian, Kurdish, Turkmen, Yezidi or other origin, or of whatever faith.

In the same spirit, on his last voyage I understand Salah was on his way to assist you, as the newly elected Iraqi President, in the awesome tasks ahead. I think it's time now for an appropriate memorial to be erected in honor of Salah. And I suggest that you, Jalal, give some consideration to that while you are in office and can thus still make a dent. Which is not to suggest some marble plate or physical statute. Rather, and more befitting, this is about a fresh look at what Salah really stood for and would have liked to see happening in his beloved motherland Iraq. Namely the ideas outlined to you either in person or in previous mailings ( | .../mvc.htm) which are summarized and complemented below. Which we worked on either separately or together. And which we tirelessly tried to advance with our meager means, regardless of seemingly unsurmountable obstacles. Incidently, some reports suggested his killing was a case of mistaken identity: reportedly, the real target was somebody with a similar political profile, i.e. me. Indeed, last year, a senior US intelligence operative stationed in Baghdad told a mutual friend that they have had me in the cross hairs for years - allegedly, preposterously and tellingly suspecting me to be a deep-cover KGB agent.  ...

Some key ideas Salah, others and I have shared on reconciliation
-    Abolition of the death sentence in Iraq.
-    Suspension sine die of the regional elections in Northern Iraq of 25th July 2009 by the Iraqi President who, ex officio and notwithstanding the Iraqi Constitution's transitional article 138 al.1, is to watch over the strict fulfilment of Iraq's international obligations, these elections having been organised under circumstances and conditions which are seen to be incompatible notably with such internationally guaranteed stipulations as "equitable representation" of minorities written into article 4 of Iraq's still fully valid Declaration of 30th May 1932, stipulations which, according to its article 1, constitute
    the "fundamental laws of Iraq, and no law, regulation or official action shall conflict or interfere with these stipulations, nor shall any law, regulation or official action now or in the future prevail over them."
-    Particularly in the event of a formal challenge on the proposed suspension of said regional election due to said Iraqi Declaration of 1932, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) is to be requested to either decide by itself, or to have the International Court of Justice give an Advisory Opinion, on the status of Iraq's thus fundamental Declaration of 30th May 1932 and, in the event, to proceed as set out in UN General Assembly Resolution 24 (I), section I, of 12 February 1946, stating:
    "The General Assembly will itself examine, or will submit to the appropriate organ of the United Nations, any request from the parties that the United Nations should assume the exercise of functions or powers entrusted to the League of Nations by treaties, international conventions, agreements and other instruments having a political character."
    I.e. the UNGA should be given an opportunity to decide on the ways, means and UN institutions - e.g. its Trusteeship Council - which, for the benefit of the thus internationally protected Iraqi minorities, are to assist the Iraqi authorities in the realization of the "international guarantees" regarding Iraq's "fundamental laws" on the cultural, religious, political & property rights of citizens & communities.
-    Integration of Iraq's constituant religious, ethnic and other communities in its political and economic development in line with Iraq's key Declaration of 30th May 1932, with equitable sharing of power, resources and responsibilities, and with due consideration of, yes, old-fashioned but time-tested and perhaps even providential and thus to-be-revived tribal and other helpful structures.
-    Truth & Reconciliation Commission.
-    General amnesty and immediate release of at least all political prisoners.

On reconstruction
-    River basin development in line with the Internationa Law Association's Helsinki Rules (i.e. on a fully consultative, cooperative basis involving all involved riparian states: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey).
-    Reforestation.
-    Recovery of "Iraq's lost generations" (externally: Project Plato, internally: Project Babylon 2).

On history and religion
-    Some of Iraq's cultural treasures - e.g. Arbil's castle and the "Egyptian tomb" in the Sulaymaniyah area - may have unsuspected significance for understanding the origins of monotheistic religions. Moreover, they may contain the key for resolving some misunderstandings underlaying current conflicts between Jews, Christians and Muslims (Project SLM Center). Under Echnaton, Egypt's influence reached to and beyond the Tigris river; Echnaton's tomb - and perhaps even that of his wife Nefertiti - might yet be found there.
-    The significance of the Avesta, Zorastrians and Yezidis and their history for successive monotheistic religions is still not widely appreciated.
-    The root causes of the Palestinian/Jewish adversities may be understood and overcome when it will be more generally recognized that Echnaton was the Pharao of the exodus and is identical with Moses; it might be Iraq's historic vocation to help unlock the related gridlock in mutually beneficial ways.

Of course, neither Salah nor I - nor for that matter anyone else, the UN surely not excluded - have had a monopoly for good ideas. But it so happened that our background enabled us to think out-of-the-box and to helpfully connect dots which most observers would not even suspect of being interrelated. Visionaries like you who occupy positions of power - and you proved to have acquired that essential quality already when we first met in your office in Ankara in 1992 when I showed you the nine-stars-puzzle - may appreciate the opportunities thus offered for building legacies beyond mere footnotes of history. Accordingly, I'd be happy to discuss matters with you at a place and time of mutual convenience. Notwithstanding the above-mentioned friendly fire from some flat earth adepts from across the Atlantic, I am confident, that on related tracks, the devisive Kirkuk, Nineveh, PKK and PJAK questions can be resolved promptly, without further bloodshed, and in a lasting manner compatible with the requirement of good neighborly relations. Indeed, having given some Swiss army knives to key leaders of the PKK & PJAK on the occasion of our exploratory Dohuk talks for possible solutions to the related cross-border conflicts, I would not be surprised to eventually find myself also accused of "arming" these groups.

Salve and stay well! Sincerely yours,

Anton Keller, Permanent Representative,
International Committee for European Security and Co-operation
004122-7400362    004179-6047707    (url:

Nationalrat     Conseil national
05.5155     Frage     Question Gysin Remo Fragestunde.    Heure des questions.
Ermordung von Salah Jmor     Assassinat de Salah Jmor
Einreichungsdatum     Date de dépôt 26.09.05

Eingereichter Text
    Der 49-jährige Genfer Salah Jmor wurde am 28. Juni 2005 im fahrenden Auto auf einer Schnellstrasse in Bagdad mit einem gezielten Schuss von einem amerikanischen Soldaten getötet.
    Beharrt der Bundesrat auf seiner Forderung, dieses Verbrechen vollständig zu klären, namentlich im Hinblick auf eine mögliche Verletzung der Genfer Konventionen durch die Vereinten Nationen?
    Besteht er auf einer Aushändigung des amerikanischen Untersuchungsberichtes und auf einer Untersuchung durch Schweizer Behörden oder eine von den USA unabhängige Kommission?

Texte déposé
    Salah Jmor, citoyen genevois de 49 ans, a été abattu d'une balle tirée par un soldat américain le 28 juin 2005 alors qu'il se trouvait à bord d'une voiture qui roulait sur une autoroute à Bagdad.
    Le Conseil fédéral continue-t-il à exiger que toute la lumière soit faite sur ce crime, notamment en ce qui concerne une possible violation des Conventions de Genève par les Nations Unies?
    Insiste-t-il pour que le rapport d'enquête américain lui soit remis et pour qu'une enquête soit menée par les autorités suisses ou par une commission indépendante n'ayant aucun lien avec les Etats-Unis?

Calmy-Rey Micheline, conseillère fédérale: Il convient de rappeler d'emblée ceci, comme mentionné dans la résolution 1546 du Conseil de sécurité de l'ONU: "Toutes les forces qui agissent en faveur du maintien de la sécurité et de la stabilité en Irak se sont engagées à se conformer au droit international, y compris aux obligations qui découlent du droit international humanitaire."
Le DFAE a reçu de la part des autorités américaines une copie du courrier adressé par le commandant américain de la Force multinationale en Irak au président Jalal Talabani. Ce courrier résume les conclusions du rapport d'enquête sur le décès de Monsieur Salah Jmor. Il reconnaît que des soldats de la Force multinationale sont impliqués dans cet incident et qu'il s'agit d'un accident tragique. En outre, une compensation financière en faveur de la famille est évoquée.
Concernant les circonstances exactes de cet accident, le gouvernement suisse n'a pas pu tirer de conclusions AB 2005 N 1137 / BO 2005 N 1137
définitives sur la base des informations fournies. Le rapport d'enquête n'a pas été remis aux autorités suisses, ce qui en soi n'est pas insolite, dans la mesure où les enquêtes administratives sont également classifiées en Suisse. Le DFAE a par conséquent requis des informations complémentaires. Les autorités américaines compétentes sont actuellement en train de vérifier quels éléments supplémentaires peuvent être transmis à la Suisse compte tenu des règles applicables en la matière au Pentagone. Une enquête par une institution indépendante exigerait des moyens personnels, techniques et financiers importants et ne serait possible qu'avec l'accord des autorités américaines et irakiennes; elle n'est pas envisagée.