The world's only superpower, with a military budget that nearly equals that of all other nations together, has invaded and occupied a small nation crippled by years of war and sanctions. Bravo.

What next?

Millions of protesters took to the streets during the past months. We were unable to prevent the war. But we did help to save the UN from the shame of being a rubberstamp for US policy. We forced reluctant regimes to pay attention, reluctant media to give us coverage. Young, and older, people who'd never protested before, realized that they are not happy with the way the world is run - and that they can say so. We DID make a difference - and we must continue.

Our first and most imperative demand is that Iraq belongs to the Iraqis. The UN should assure an interim civil administration for Iraq pending rapid elections for a constituent assembly.

It is folly to imagine that a conquering power, having itself supported and armed the regime it has now decided to annihilate, having justified its war of conquest with forged documents and lies; having shown its commitment to good government by leaving its last conquered nation (Afghanistan) to warlords and chaos, its respect for human life by the use of unnecessarily dangerous weapons and hundreds of civilian casualties, its commitment to freedom of the press by attacking al-Jazeera TV and a hotel full of war correspondents, its commitment to religious freedom by supporting Christian fundamentalists at home, its commitment to human rights by its treatment of its own illegally held Guantanamo prisoners, its commitment to rule of law by its flagrant violation of the UN Charter; a power which installed, supported and continues to support authoritarian regimes throughout the middle east and elsewhere (its ally Uzbekistan is distinguished by "human rights abuses on an epic scale", according to Human Rights Watch) - it is sheer folly to imagine that this superpower is in a position to bring democracy to Iraq. The UN is still the most credible international institution we have. The UN Security Council has shown itself capable of rejecting the enormous pressure of bribes and blackmail from the US. The UN alone must be entrusted with interim governance of Iraq - not in a supporting role but decisively.

Nevertheless, while the present occupation of Iraq persists, the US and the UK must fulfil their obligation as occupying powers "to maintain the orderly government of the territory" and in particular to ensure and maintain "the medical and hospital establishments and services, public health and hygiene in the occupied territory" (fourth Geneva Convention). Failure to prevent recent widespread looting, particularly of hospitals, are a symptom of either incompetence or disregard for international standards.

Second, we must ensure that the oil of Iraq is for the people of Iraq, and not for the companies of America.

Third, we must demand that all profits from reconstruction go to Iraqis, and that the costs are born by the aggressor (and not the other way round!). Iraq has architects, entrepreneurs and labor. They need the jobs, and Iraq's economy needs the boost. Incredibly, Iraq, through its oil sales, is still paying reparations for its invasion of Kuwait in 1990. When will the US start to pay for its unlawful invasion of Iraq?

Fourth, the illegal occupation of Iraq must not obscure the 36-year-old illegal occupation of Palestine. Until the Palestinian people have a viable state, tension and unrest will persist. Can anyone seriously claim that Washington, where decisions are made by people who have actually worked for the Likud (Feith, Perle, …), can solve this problem? We must insist that the UN and the European Union shoulder this responsibility - urgently.

Fifth, looking to the future, we must work toward a renewed, strengthened and democratized United Nations Organisation truly able to maintain world peace, and work toward reducing oppression, injustice and inequality, the true "axis of evil".