BUSH, BLAIR & Co. CALL THEMSELVES 'CHRISTIAN'
Vanishing Goalposts Of Individual And Collective
We have a constant flow of information to On Target; far too much to
incorporate in any newsletter. The invasion and occupation of Iraq continue
to be a scenario of global importance. We have now amassed over 2,000
A3 pages, mainly press cuttings covering Iraq, another 1,000 dealing
with the so-called "War on Terror" and several more volumes
of principally Internet material. We have noticed how press coverage
of the continuing attrition in Iraq has lately become more muted; except
for the most serious incidents, increasingly relegated to "news-in-brief"
columns. We have been allowed few glimpses of casualty statistics that
might give rise to public alarm, especially during the Bush-Kerry election
campaign for the United States Presidency in the latter months of 2004
and, as the election scheduled for Iraq in late January, 2005, draws
near. One can only assume that the Mass Communications Media are for
the most part singing to the same orchestrated "hymn sheet".
As far as we are aware coverage of wounded American servicemen being
fitted for prosthetic eyes and limbs, for example, has appeared only
in the American Free Press tabloid. The total for American servicemen
killed in Iraq to date is some 1,400. Only from the Internet did we
learn that by January, 2004, between 11,000 and 22,000 casualties -
a range that alone demonstrates the lack of proper information - had
been evacuated from Iraq (including 491 mostly pregnancy-related!),
of which 9,433 had been processed by the United States air base at Ramstein
in Germany. We could easily publish further accounts of continuing military
action in Najaf, Samara, Fallujah, Mosul and elsewhere. However, it
is important to approach the situation from another and more fundamental
In 1998 we wrote of two committed Christians, Major Derek Cooper, O.B.E.,
M.C., and his wife Pamela, formerly Viscountess Ruthven of Canberra.
Following a period of service at Windsor Castle after the 1939-45 War,
they married and devoted the latter 40 years of their lives to humanitarian
work; during the Hungarian Uprising of 1956, with the Save the Children
Fund in Austria and Jordan, again with the Save the Children Fund in
the aftermath of the Iran earthquake, and in Occupied Palestine with
the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (U.N.R.W.A.)(2). When in
their 70s, in West Beirut during the Israeli sponsored bombardment of
1982 - the Sabra Shatilla Massacre - they worked for six weeks organising
food and medical aid. As a result of this they founded the charity Medical
Aid for Palestinians (M.A.P.). Eleven years later, now in their 80s,
when most of us were safe at home enjoying our Christmas fare, the Coopers
spent six weeks confronting the Israeli authorities, when the Security
Forces were shooting, killing and maiming Palestinian children between
the ages of 4 and 16. No Honours lists for the Coopers, now in their
90s and living quietly in retirement. They have not donated handsomely
to party-political coffers. Left-Liberal ideologues would dismiss them
as "Establishment" figures.
In 2003, two others who "professed"
Christianity, President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair,
riding roughshod over the United Nations Security Council, took the
West into a genocidal conflict in Iraq; a conflict in any case pre-determined
in the United States some years beforehand. The invasion, in March 2003,
was driven by Israeli-linked Neoconservative civilian zealots within
the United States Department of Defense(3). Bush and Blair justified
their actions on the basis of blatantly falsified evidence and ever
shifting pretexts - the removal of Saddam Hussein, unproven links to
al Qa'eda, "liberation" of the Iraqi people, non-existent
Weapons of Mass Destruction and the nonsensical "45 minute"
factor. As each was discredited and exposed, another was glibly substituted
before sycophantic politicians in Westminster. The same cross-party
political faithful on both sides of the Atlantic who for the most part
had sat on their hands during 12 years of illegal, United States-driven
draconian sanctions in the name only of the United Nations after the
first Gulf War of 1991, now continued to back their personal and collective
party-political self interest. Opposition to the invasion was conveniently
and disingenuously allowed to be attributed to a handful of Left-Wing
politicians and journalists, and activist remnants of the Cold War Campaign
for Nuclear Disarmament (C.N.D.). For those it has suited to advocate
a military solution in Iraq and who "profess" the Christian
faith this meant the deaths of some 500,000 innocent Iraqi children
alone. According to an article in The Lancet this has meant 100,000
Iraqis "liberated" from life since March, 2003. It has meant
the deliberate concealment; indeed suppression, of the lethal radiation
effects of Depleted Uranium (D.U.) ammunition not only in Iraq, but
in the Balkans and Afghanistan, both for civilian populations and our
own servicemen. It has meant vast numbers of children killed and maimed
by cluster bombs. So much for the "Thou shalt not kill" of
the Ten Commandments of the Holy Bible.
Double Standards And Dirty Tricks
In November, 2004, in "Who is the real enemy?
Do you support your country if what it does is evil?", Florida-based
American writer John Kaminski stated that he was "acutely ashamed,
in this rancid day and age, to be an American". Man's historic
quest for exploration, acquisition and conquest may be explained away
in the context of an inordinately simpler, uncharted and sparsely populated
world. Over two thousand years the population of the United Kingdom
has risen from roughly 3,000,000 to almost 60,000,000. The world today
is closely integrated, and complex. Its resources are being overworked
to provide desirable commodities that have become vital. That the needs
of developed countries are identified with the national interest, but
this in turn has been subsumed by the drive for supranational financial
and economic Power; the process of progressive Centralisation. The national
interest of the United Kingdom also presupposes, and is formally embodied
in, loyalty to one's Queen and Country. Thus military chaplains were
a part - a Christian prerequisite - of this fabric through the two world
wars of the Twentieth Century. Bankers and industrialists profited.
Millions died. In the current case of Iraq where has been the Christian
Church? We can only ultimately acknowledge the existence of a single
Supreme Power. No religious creed has an exclusive monopoly of this
ultimate Truth, as we have explained by the challenge to define Infinity
in terms of Time and Space, from which fractious earthly theological
fragmentation is simply a Diversion; think on this. Following the Boxing
Day, 2004, Tsunami disaster in the Indian Ocean, in which at least 150,000
people died, the Archbishop of Canterbury was reported as questioning
the "existence of God" (The Sunday Telegraph, 2nd January,
2005). We have quoted a figure of 500,000 Iraqi children alone who perished
as a result of the Sanctions between 1991 and 1992, and a further 100,000
Iraqi civilians who have died as a result of the invasion and "liberation"
in March, 2003. Where has been the thunder from the Christian pulpits?
The moral outrage? The appeal for funds? These strangely malleable priorities
of the Christian hierarchy were amply reflected in successive letters
to The Daily Telegraph of the 6th and 8th January, 2005:
Not to belittle the terrible tragedy of the
tsunami, but can any one explain why the Government hasn't also ordered
a three-minute silence for the estimated 100,000 civilian deaths that
have taken place in Iraq?
Why hasn't the Government called for a three-minute
silence for the estimated 100,000 civilian deaths since the invasion?
George W. Bush and Tony Blair have in fact offered nothing but a 659-day
silence on this subject.
Does "Thou shalt not kill" discriminate between religious
faiths? What has happened to those Anglican Bishops who campaigned so
vigorously against the Apartheid regime in South Africa? The World Council
of Churches provided funds for the campaign. Where are the funds to
fight the oppression and genocide in Iraq? The violence in South Africa
was largely Black-upon-Black. The highest figure we have is a mere 14,000
Zulu Inkatha killed by the militant Communist-controlled African National
Congress (A.N.C.). 2,000,000 are said to have died during the 20-year
war in the Islam-governed Sudan, but where has there been any United
States-driven military Coalition to liberate the oppressed Sudanese?
Clearly the Christian hierarchy is highly selective, according to financial,
economic and material priorities. Has no one wondered how George W.
Bush or Tony Blair can ever pass through the portals of any Christian
Lord Rees-Mogg is an Establishment figure who
has included the B.B.C. Board of Governors, the Broadcasting Standards
Council, editorship of The Times and directorship of G.E.C. in
his commitments. We found his record as a banker more elusive in Who's
Who. This has included the M&G Group, Rothschild Asset Management
and St James Place Capital (also Rothschild)(4). When he wrote in the
Sunday Mail of 3rd October, 2004, under the heading "The
world really needs Bush to win", he was arguably reflecting an
Establishment, high Tory position on the global imperium. He referred
to the United States Presidential Campaign debates as a "magnificent
symbol of democracy", when the reality was that of a three-month
stage managed, "show biz" pantomime from which all but the
two major political parties - the same sides of the same coin - had
been ritually eliminated. Rees-Mogg wrote of the importance of United
States leadership, of the need for "democracy" in Iraq and
the threat of failure in Iraq to the credibility of United States Power.
"Democracy" in the United States, as in the United Kingdom,
has long been a farce for ordinary people; the chance to vote for a
system largely beholden to massive vested interests behind two principal
political parties that function behind a "rubber wall" of
obfuscation once the public vote has been secured. Under a puppet provisional
Government dominated by C.I.A.-linked Kurds, any future move towards
"democracy" with this provenance in Iraq is a total fraud.
The Daily Mail headline of 29th June, 2004, "Iraqis, you
have your nation back" on the occasion of the abrupt departure
of United States Administrator L. Paul Bremer and his handover to the
C.I.A.-linked Iyad Allawi, could only be seen as satire or a sick joke.
In "The Disenchanted American: are we growing world weary?",
John Denny wrote resentfully, even petulantly on 8th January, 2005,
of the constant vilification of the United States, as the dominant world
power, in fulfilling what he sees as its altruistic global obligations.
He alluded to the alternative prospect of potential nuclear proliferation,
and militant dictatorships. Lord Rees-Mogg saw the United States in
the context of the "equivalent of a lender of resort in banking"
- the "power of last resort". Otherwise he saw the world "becoming
an even more dangerous place, particularly in terms of nuclear proliferation,
the relationship with Islam, oil and international terrorism".
Where we once referred to "Communism" we now, of course, refer
to "Terrorism"! Different perceptions depend upon the level
at which they are formed; the successive layers of a conceptual "onion",
but the foregoing arguments, however superficially plausible, are belied
by the reality. The key to United States policies is control of essential
natural resources as by far the greatest consumer. Ipso facto, control
over those governments germane to this scenario. No economy can be allowed
to function outside the dollar-dominated global economic model, which
we will come to in later pages. The notorious School of the Americas
at Fort Benning, in Georgia, was set up to train terrorist agents for
the purpose of destabilising governments in Latin America that threatened
the United States politico-economic model. Assassination, torture, murder
and insurrection were the techniques. In 2000 the name was adroitly
changed to the Centre for Inter-American Security Cooperation(5). So
much for the semantics. So much for the altruism. One-man-one-vote Western-style
government, however unsuited to existing, indigenous cultures, is more
malleable than independent-minded and more autocratic regimes. On the
retrospective evidence, who now believes the invasion of Kosovo, in
1999, was really about Serbian genocide of Kosovar Albanians? Mark Littman,
Q.C., has shown the invasion to have been illegal and contrived. But
the controlled economy and State Socialism of Slobodan Milosevic in
the former Yugoslavia did not fit the political mosaic of an expanding
European Union, or the global economic model. Who can now recall the
huge natural resources of the Trepca mines that were at stake in Kosovo,
or moves to "privatise" former Yugoslavian assets? This was
the point at which the International Crisis Group, sponsored by international
financier George Soros, moved in(6). In the Balkans, as in Iraq, the
Geneva Conventions and United Nations Human Rights legislation have
been thrown to the winds by the United States. Civilian populations
and the civilian infrastructure - hospitals, power, water and sewerage
- have been deliberately targeted with the use of modern battlefield
weapons, and the willing acquiescence of United Kingdom Governments.
In the wake of this destruction, of course, in come American reconstruction
corporations, such as Bechtel and Haliburton. Where would Lord Rees-Mogg
and John Denny care to place United States global statesmanship and
The global authority, and conscience, are theoretically
vested in the United Nations, but this has never been allowed to function
as such by the United States. In 1996 the more positive Boutros Boutros-Ghali
was replaced as Secretary-General by the feeble, equivocating Kofi Annan.
Mohammed AlBaradei, Head of the International Atomic Energy Authority
(I.A.E.A.), is reported to be currently under threat to his reappointment;
almost certainly because he has not fulfilled United States objectives
in the case of Iran, arguably the next target after Iraq. In December,
2002, Iraq forwarded an 11,000-page dossier on its weapons capability
to the United Nations Headquarters, in New York. This was removed by
the United States from the office of the United Nations Weapons Inspectors,
and later returned with no less that 7,000 pages removed. The Western
Powers, first Great Britain and France, latterly the United States,
have manipulated the Middle East since the fall of the Ottoman Empire
after the 1914-18 War. Arab nations so formed under mandates and protectorates
were never truly free, although some benefited enormously in the spin
off from the growing oil industry. After the 1939-45 War Arab and Iranian
heads of state were sponsored or deposed by Western intelligence and
diplomatic agencies, and wars were instigated and sponsored as necessary
to maintain the requisite Balance of Power. This took scant account
of any United Nations obligations. In divided Cyprus a United Nations
Force (U.N.F.I. CYP), has been in place since the early 1960s. In Israel-Palestine,
where a United Nations Force should have been in place some four decades
ago, the United Nations has been reduced to near impotence by the virtually
unqualified support of the United States, behind which lies the Power
of Organised International Jewry. Thus little control has been exercised
over Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people, the continued settlement
of Palestinian land, or Israel's role as a major nuclear power outside
the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Once again, so much for American
statesmanship and altruism.
The Kidnapping Of Margaret Hassan
Margaret Hassan was Irish. She held Irish and Iraqi passports. She was
fluent in Arabic, she had lived in Iraq for some 30 years, and as a
dedicated aid worker and the Head of CARE in Baghdad she was revered
by ordinary Iraqi people. In mid-October, shortly before the Black Watch
were despatched from Basra to support the vengeful, genocidal United
States destruction of Fallujah, Margaret Hassan was kidnapped from her
car on her way to work. She was also a close friend of leading journalist
on Iraqi affairs, Felicity Arbuthnot, who is also Irish. Felicity Arbuthnot
had been senior researcher in 1999, for John Pilger's television film:
"Paying The Price: The Killing Of The Children Of Iraq", with
which Margaret Hassan had also been associated as an adviser. In the
dangerous, convoluted and complex inter-factional network in Iraq it
was never clear who Margaret Hassan's captors were. That a loyal Iraqi
group might have been responsible would have been seriously counter-productive
as a bargaining counter against the impending assault on Fallujah. Shortly
after her disappearance it was also revealed that a cousin of puppet
Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi, and two wives from his family, had also
been "kidnapped". This was a far more logical tactic against
the assault. But were these abductions a complicated double bluff on
the part of the Coalition Forces and their agents? After Margaret Hassan
was reported to have been executed, a badly mutilated body was said
to have been flown to the United Kingdom for D.N.A. verification. But
nothing of the result, or the subsequent funeral has as far as we are
aware since been reported in the Media. The Allawi wives are believed
to have been released, but of Allawi's cousin, potentially a serious
embarrassment for the Coalition, equally little has subsequently been
heard. Much of this we have already published, but more was to come.
Following Margaret Hassan's disappearance, Felicity Arbuthnot featured
several times in the British Media speaking as one who knew her and
the scenario in Iraq well. Indeed she was also consulted by the Media
as far apart as the United States, France, Germany and Japan. Felicity
had been insistent that Margaret Hassan had not held a United Kingdom
passport, which could have been the kiss of death for her by linking
her in the minds of her captors with the hated Coalition Forces and
Administra-tion. This for some obscure reason at one stage precipitated
an angry confrontation with the Foreign Office. Then, in late November,
no less than the Foreign Office Press Secretary, John Williams, personally
tele-phoned Felicity late one Sunday afternoon to threaten her against
persisting with this line of reasoning. Soon afterwards it became impossible
to telephone Felicity; each time one dialled the automated voice declared
that the number was "not available". Her line had been cut
off. Yet Felicity Arbuthnot had already settled her telephone account
promptly, in cash. At about this time she had also paid a fine for a
minor traffic offence in cash, in court, at the time of the penalty.
A few days later she arrived at her flat in London to find a warning
note from the Police that a warrant would be issued against the alleged
"non-payment" of the fine. She then contacted a very senior
and distinguished Member of Parliament, who promised to ask a question
in the House. He later telephoned to say that he had received a request,
unprecedented in his entire career in Parliament, to withdraw his question.
If we don't believe in official "dirty tricks", do we believe
in coincidence? Meanwhile the mystery of Margaret Hassan has yet to
finally be resolved.
THE REAL AIM OF THE "LIBERATION"
THE ECONOMIC RAPE AND PILLAGE OF IRAQ
The global economy is geared to the debt-usury
system of money "creation". Broadly speaking, corporate -
and in the same way individual, private debt - cannot catch up on itself.
Global institutions must therefore over-produce in an enforced free
trade environment to satisfy this insatiable demand. When President
Nixon removed the regulatory linkage between the dollar and gold in
the 1960s freedom to create paper "money" took off. Three
other factors loom large. A massive military-industrial complex that
had evolved during the Twentieth Century could not simply be switched
off with the end of the Cold War. Secondly, the supply of natural resources,
particularly oil, is not inexhaustible in a climate of insatiable consumption.
Thirdly, the balance of the global economy and demand for these resources
are being increasingly threatened as India and China come on stream,
with populations roughly 3 and 4 times that of the United States respectively.
We usually depict the global economy in the form of an inverted cone
expanding ever upwards and spinning in a state of precarious equilibrium.
The United States economy, much the world's largest, is already in serious
trouble. The following three reports suggest the true reasons for the
occupation of Iraq. In the case of the Monsanto Corporation, attempts
to force Genetically Modified (G.M.), produce on the United Kingdom
in the late 1990s with the acquiescence of the New Labour Government
are well known. The move of Monsanto into Iraq exemplifies the global
strategy in which the Corporation is forcing its way into India, the
sub-Saharan economies and Latin America.
United States To Take Bigger Bite Of Iraq's
"Helping" Government Cut Social Subsidies,
Give United States Corporations Full Access to Iraqi Oil
by Emad Mekay, Inter Press Service, 24th December,
The United States is helping the interim Iraqi
Government continue to make major economic changes, including cuts to
social subsidies, full access for United States companies to the Nation's
oil reserves and reconsideration of oil deals that the previous regime
signed with France and Russia. During a visit here this week, officials
of the United States-backed Administration detailed some of the economic
moves planned for Iraq, many of them appearing to give United States
corporations greater reach into the occupied Nation's economy. For example,
the current leadership is looking at privatising the Iraqi National
Oil Company, said Finance Minister Adil Abdel Mahdi. The government,
which is supposed to be replaced after elections scheduled for January,
2005, will also pass a new law that will further open Iraq's huge oil
reserves to foreign companies. United States firms are expected to gain
the lion's share of access in a process estimated to be worth billions
of dollars. "So I think this is very promising to the American
investors and to American enterprises, certainly to oil companies",
Abdel Mahdi said at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.
Abdel Hadi, formerly a member of the exile Iraqi opposition, said the
interim Government will also reconsider deals signed between French
and Russians oil firms and the regime of former President Saddam Hussein.
It is still not clear whether those contracts will be cancelled altogether
or just reduced.
France and Russia both opposed the March, 2003, United States-led invasion
of the Arab country and companies from those nations were initially
banned by the United States occupation administration, the Coalition
Provisional Authority (C.P.A.), from helping to "rebuild"
Iraq. Washington later said non-United States firms could work there,
after the world's rich nations agreed to forgive part of Iraq's debt,
a decision that opened the door to Baghdad signing on to a loan programme
designed by the International Monetary Fund (I.M.F.). But to date all
contracts let for "reconstruction" by the United States Agency
for International Development (U.S.A.I.D.) have gone to United States
firms, which have then subcontracted some work to foreign companies.
Iraq's oil sector is essential both to world energy markets and to the
Nation's economy. Iraq sits on the planet's second largest oil reserves,
after Saudi Arabia, and oil revenues account for more than 95 per cent
of the country's current budget. (The rest comes mainly from taxes and
profits of certain state-owned enterprises). Iraq is now producing a
maximum 2,500,000 barrels of oil a day (b.p.d.), which drops to around
two million b.p.d. during attacks from the armed opposition. But Baghdad
says it expects to produce 3,500,000 b.p.d. when more United States
companies move in and security improves. "We found it very useful
and interesting to hear the representatives of the government describe
some of the preliminary thinking about structuring of the state-owned
oil sector in Iraq", said Alan Larson, Under Secretary of State
for Economic, Business and Agriculture, during the press club conference
with Iraqi officials. Washington is also expanding its influence in
Iraq's oil sector via training programmes. During meetings this week
of the Iraq-United States Joint Economic Commission (J.E.C.), the body
that coordinates United States plans for Iraq's economy, Larson said
the United States will provide training for oil-sector personnel, at
United States universities.
Since it invaded Iraq, the United States has worked to reshape the Arab
Nation in its - United States - image. All the economic programmes.,
including the most liberal tax scheme in the Middle East and nearly
non-existent trade tariffs, instituted by the C.P.A. are being continued
by the interim government. Washington has installed hundreds of United
States economic advisors in all Iraqi government ministries, who have
a decisive say on most economic decisions. It has also sponsored the
bulk of the Nation's economic changes, based on a neo-liberal model
that emphasises privatisation of government entities and cuts to social
spending. One major move the country is inching towards under United
States guardianship, which was discussed this week, is a rollback of
Iraq's huge subsidies system, which may have kept millions of Iraqis
from starvation under United States and United Kingdom-backed sanctions
imposed by the United Nations after the 1991 Gulf War. The sanctions
lasted for 12 years. A study by the United Nations Children's Fund (U.N.I.C.E.F.)
and Iraq's Ministry of Health found that 500,000 more Iraqi children
died under sanctions, from 1991 to 1998, than would have otherwise perished,
but they stressed that not all the deaths could be directly blamed on
the provisions. It is believed that many more Iraqis would have died
if not for a strong subsidies system that gave food rations to Iraqi
families. Under its October agreement with the I.M.F., Baghdad's interim
leaders agreed to cut the support, among many other conditions. Officials
defended the move during their Washington visit. "I think this
is a necessity for the Iraqi economy", Abdel Mahdi said. "We
really need to work on our subsidy side. Subsidies are taking almost
60 per cent of our budget. So this is something we have to work on .
. . Other measures really were a real necessity for the Iraqi economy
before (becoming) conditions asked by the I.M.F.". Iraqi officials
say the country's unemployment rate is now 27 per cent, but some groups
have estimated it to be as high as 50 per cent.
The I.M.F. has been notorious for imposing conditions
that its economists say are necessary to slash nations' budget deficits.
Development groups and anti-poverty campaigners argue those measures
favour corporations in the most industrialised nations while harming
the poor and middle class in borrowing"countries. The programme
with Iraq appears to be no different. Called the "enhanced post-conflict
facility", I.M.F. programme bestows U.S.$420,000,000 in loans to
the Iraqi Government as a first step, promising more in 2005 if the
Nation meets more demanding conditions The I.M.F., which is dominated
by the United States and other rich nations, has said it is willing
to loan Iraq 2.5 - 4.3 billion dollars over three years now that an
internationally recognised Government is in place in the Nation. Washington
also brokered talks that began two weeks ago to make Iraq a member of
the World Trade Organization (W.T.O.). During this week's meeting of
the J.E.C., the United States Agency for International Development (U.S.A.I.D.)
said it will focus on lending for Iraq's agricultural sector, which
will include over 100 demonstration projects throughout the country
to reinvigorate crops and to boost the industry, with the help of United
States companies. The United States Treasury and U.S.A.I.D. also said
they will back a housing fund in Iraq, which will start lending in January
2005 and is designed to add 30,000 new residential units in and around
Baghdad during the year. Many United States companies will be involved.
Washington is also pushing lending programmes to Iraq through the United
States Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation
and the United States Trade and Development Agency, all of which would
produce more opportunities for United States firms in the occupied Nation.
The Economic Situation In Iraq
Still Crushed Under The "Bremer Orders"
by Dahr Jamail, Baghdad, 7th December, 2004
Abu Ahmed AI-Hadithi, 40, sells vegetables in
Al-Adhamiyah market. "The economic situation is so bad now",
he said while standing near bins of vegetables. "The costs of gas
and food are going up so high; so even if we make more now, everything
is costing more". His situation is common amongst Iraqis who are
struggling to survive under the occupation. Looking expectantly for
customers, Mr. Al-Hadithi added, "In Saddam's days we grew all
our own vegetables to sell . . . but now so many are coming from outside
of Iraq and it is causing us to sell them for less. So I make less profit
now, and I have nine people to take care of, and it has made my life
very difficult. Many of the vegetables in Iraq now have been poisoned
by Depleted Uranium (D.U.). "We can't take any vegetables from
the south now; the D.U. makes them all lose their ripeness and become
poisonous for us. The struggles facing Abu Ahmed Al- Hadithi are a direct
result of Paul Bremer's Order number 12 - former United States Civil
Administrator in Iraq Paul Bremer authored the "100 Orders",
which control the Iraqi economy. Order Number 12 effectively suspends
"all tariffs, customs duties, import taxes, licensing fees and
similar surcharges for good entering or leaving Iraq", which caused
an overnight influx of cheap foreign consumer goods into the country.
This led to conditions which Antonia Juhasz - a project director at
the International Forum on Globalisation and a Foreign Policy in Focus
scholar - describes as affecting Iraqis by "devastating local producers
and sellers who were thoroughly unprepared to meet the challenge of
their mammoth global competitors".
The authority of the 100 Orders was conveniently
signed over to the United States-installed interim Prime Minister Ayad
Allawi on Bremer's last day in Iraq. Allawi, an Iraqi exile of twenty
five years, has close ties to the C.I.A. and the British Intelligence.
Juhasz writes in a Los Angeles Times commentary dated 5th August,
2004, that the Bremer Orders "lock in sweeping advantages to American
firms, ensuring long-term United States economic advantage while guaranteeing
few, if any, benefits to the Iraqi people". One of the Bremer Orders
in particular - Number 39 - effectively allows, Juhasz writes, for:
1. Privatization of Iraq's 200 state-owned enterprises.
2. 100 per cent foreign ownership of Iraqi businesses.
3. "National treatment" - which means no preferences for local
over foreign businesses.
4. Unrestricted, tax-free remittance of all profits
and other funds.
5. 40-year ownership licenses..
In summary, those measures do not provide preference
for Iraqis in doing business in their own country, while they allow
foreign companies to buy Iraqi businesses and perform all of the reconstruction
and rehabilitation work without being required to spend any of their
money in the Iraqi economy. Examples of Iraqis suffering as a result
of the Bremer Orders are abundant. Abu Gouda, 50, used to work in a
factory of the Ministry of Military Industry. He earned one of the largest
monthly salaries at the factory. Now he too is selling vegetables in
the Al-Adhamiya market. "I make between 8 and 10,000 Iraqi Dinars
per day, and this is just enough to feed my family of seven". Sabah
Ahmed used to serve on the Council of his neighbourhood in Baghdad.
He is currently out of a job and doesn't know what he will do. "The
economic situation is very bad", he said with dismay. "The
people are in a critical situation because of the increase in prices.
Gasoline, transportation, everything is going up so much. "We have
no security, which means that our economy cannot function".
Another man, who asked to be referred to as "Haider", works
in a small gold store in the Khadimiyah gold market. "There is
a big problem with gold coming from the United Arab Emirates into Iraq,
because it is driving all the prices down here, so I am struggling to
make a living". Ali also works in the market in the Kadhamiya district
of Baghdad. He is responsible for supporting his eight daughters, wife,
father, and mother after his older brother was killed by occupation
forces. "This is not my real job, but I have to do this. I make
4,000 Iraqi Dinars ($2.70) daily . . . but my family needs 10,000 Iraqi
Dinars daily ($7), and I pay 3,000 Iraqi Dinars ($2) for transportation".
Many Iraqis have become desperate to make a living under the untenable
circumstances caused by the illegal United States occupation of their
country. A man who asked to remain anonymous used to work as a warrant
officer. "Now I am jobless, so I am selling sweets". He complained
that he is struggling to get by because most people are no longer able
to afford sweets. This is compounded by the security situation, which
causes fewer people to leave their homes and obliges merchants to work
shorter hours. Others have resorted to working in the black market in
order to maintain their families. "I used to drive my car as a
taxi, but now I make more money filling my tank with fuel at the pumps,
then selling it here in the black market", an Iraqi said on condition
of anonymity. After pausing to watch cars pass by, he added sombrely,
"Only in this way am I making enough money". Inflation constitutes
another aspect of the crippling situation. "The currency is worth
less than before; although the pay rates are higher, the balance is
negative because of the increase in prices", Abu Omar, an unemployed
While Iraqis struggle to survive, and unemployment is up to 70 per cent
amidst the bloody occupation, foreign companies operating in Iraq are
posting record profits. Halliburton saw an increase of 80 per cent in
revenues in the first financial quarter of 2004 compared to the same
quarter last year. This is primarily due to their operations in Iraq,
where the company received the lion's share of reconstruction dollars
from the United States Government. Bechtel, recipient of the second
largest amount of contract funding in Iraq, has seen a 158 per cent
increase in revenues generated outside of the United States since last
year, which pulled the company out of a slump in this sector. It must
be noted that the Bremer Orders are illegal under international law,
because they violate the Hague regulations of 1907, which illegalise
the transformation of an occupied country's laws. While the orders continue
to hurt, rather than assist, Iraqis, there seems to be little hope for
an improvement in the quality of life in the war-torn country.
Note: Dahr Jamail is an American journalist of
Lebanese descent. Currently based in Iraq, his articles focus on Iraqis
and how the occupation of their country affects their daily life.
Iraq Agriculture Forced To Pay For Genetically
Iraq's New Patent law: A Declaration Of War Against Farmers
by Focus on the Global South and Grain
When Paul Bremer left Baghdad, he left behind the 100 orders he enacted
as chief of the occupation authority in Iraq. Among them is Order 81
on "Patent, Industrial Design, Undisclosed Information, Integrated
Circuits, and Plant Variety". This order now has the status and
force of a binding law. Seed Farmers will only be allowed to plant "protected"
crop varieties. Multinational Seed Companies like Monsanto, Syngenta,
Bayer and Dow Chemical will benefit, small farmers in Iraq will lose.
For generations, small farmers in Iraq operated
in an essentially unregulated, informal seed supply system. Farm-saved
seed and the free innovation with and exchange of planting materials
among farming communities has long been the basis of agricultural practice.
This has been made illegal under the new law. The seeds farmers are
now allowed to plant - "protected" crop, varieties brought
into Iraq by transnational corporations in the name of agricultural
reconstruction - will be the property of the corporations. While historically
the Iraqi Constitution prohibited private ownership of biological resources,
the new United States-imposed patent law introduces a system of monopoly
rights over seeds. Inserted into Iraq's previous patent law is a whole
new chapter on Plant Variety Protection (P.V.P.), that provides for
the "protection of new varieties of plants". P.V.P. is an
intellectual property right (I.P.R.), or a kind of patent for plant
varieties which gives an exclusive monopoly right on planting material
to a plant breeder who claims to have discovered or developed a new
variety. So the "protection" in P.V.P. has nothing to do with
conservation, but refers to the safeguarding of the commercial interests
of private breeders (usually large corporations) claiming to have created
the new plants.
To qualify for P.V.P., plant varieties must comply with the standards
of the U.P.O.V. Convention, which requires them to be new, distinct,
uniform and stable. Farmers' seeds cannot meet these criteria, making
P.V.P. protected seeds the exclusive domain of corporations. The rights
granted to plant breeders in this scheme include the exclusive right
to produce, reproduce, sell, export, import and store the protected
varieties. These rights extend to harvested material, including whole
plants and parts of plants obtained from the use of a protected variety.
This kind of P.V.P. system is often the first step towards allowing
the full-fledged patenting of life forms. Indeed, in this case the rest
of the law does not rule out the patenting of plants and animals. The
term of the monopoly is 20 years for crop varieties and 25 for trees
and vines. During this time the protected variety de facto becomes the
property of the breeder, and nobody can plant or otherwise use this
variety without compensating the breeder. This new law means that Iraqi
farmers can neither freely legally plant nor save for re-planting seeds
of any plant variety registered under the plant variety provisions of
the new patent law. This deprives farmers what they and many others
worldwide claim as their inherent right to save and replant seeds.
The new law is presented as being necessary to ensure the supply of
good quality seeds in Iraq and to facilitate Iraq's accession to the
World Trade Organisation (W.T.O.). What it will actually do is facilitate
the penetration of Iraqi agriculture by the likes of Monsanto, Syngenta,
Bayer and Dow Chemical - the corporate giants that control seed trade
across the globe. Eliminating competition from farmers is a prerequisite
for these companies to open up operations in Iraq, which the new law
has achieved. Taking over the first step in the food chain is their
next move. The new patent law also explicitly promotes the commercialisation
of Genetically Modified (G.M.) seeds in Iraq. Despite serious resistance
from farmers and consumers around the world, these same companies are
pushing G.M. crops on farmers around the world for their own profit.
Contrary to what the industry is asserting, G.M. seeds do not reduce
the use of pesticides, but they pose a threat to the environment and
to people's health while they increase farmers' dependency on agribusiness.
In some countries like India, the "accidental" release of
G.M. crops is deliberately manipulated, since physical segregation of
G.M. and G.M. free crops is not feasible. Once introduced into the agro-ecological
cycle there is no possible recall or clean-up from genetic pollution.
As to the W.T.O. argument, Iraq legally has a number of options for
complying with the Organisation's rules on intellectual property, but
the United States simply decided that Iraq should not enjoy or explore
The Reconstruction Facade
Iraq is one more arena in a global drive for the adoption of seed patent
laws protecting the monopoly rights of multinational corporations at
the expense of local farmers. Over the past decade, many countries of
the South have been compelled to adopt seed patent laws through bilateral
treaties. The United States has pushed for the U.P.O.V. styled plant
protection laws beyond the I.P.R. standards of the W.T.O. in bilateral
trade through agreements for example, with Sri Lanka and Cambodia. Likewise,
post-conflict countries have been especially targeted. For instance,
as part of the reconstruction package the United States recently signed
a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement with Afghanistan, which would
also include I.P.R. related issues. Iraq is a special case in that the
adoption of the patent law was not part of negotiations between sovereign
countries. Nor did a sovereign law-making body enact it as reflecting
the will of the Iraqi people. In Iraq, the patent law is just one more
component in the comprehensive and radical transformation of the occupied
country's economy along neo-liberal lines by the occupying powers. This
transformation would entail not just the adoption of favoured laws but
also the establishment of institutions that are most conducive to a
free market regime.
Order 81 is just one of 100 Orders left behind
by Bremer and among the more notable of these laws is the controversial
Order 39 which effectively lays down the over-all legal framework for
Iraq's economy by giving foreign investors rights equal to Iraqis in
exploiting Iraq's domestic market. Taken together, all these laws, which
cover virtually all aspects of the economy - including Iraq's trade
regime, the mandate of the Central Bank, regulations on trade union
activities, etc., lay the bases for the United States' bigger objective
of building a neo-liberal regime in Iraq. Order 81 explicitly states
that its provisions are consistent with Iraq's "transition from
a non-transparent centrally planned economy to a free market economy
characterised by sustainable economic growth through the establishment
of a dynamic private sector, and the need to enact institutional and
legal reforms to give it effect." Pushing for these "reforms"
in Iraq has been the United States Agency for International Development,
which has been implementing an Agricultural Reconstruction and Development
Programme for Iraq (A.R.D.I.), since October, 2003. To carry it out,
a one-year US$5,000,000 contract was granted to the United States consulting
firm Development Alternatives, Inc., with the Texas A&M University
as an implementing partner. Part of the work has been sub-contracted
to Sagric International of Australia. The goal of A.R.D.I. in the name
of rebuilding the farming sector is to develop the agribusiness opportunities
and thus provide markets for agricultural products and services from
THE REALITY BEHIND THE POLITICAL POSTURING
We should first refer to "Food For Thought" on the cover page.
Then we should contrast the illusions of Prime Minister Tony Blair,
a "marzipan man" with no intellectual rapport with the Middle
East and its cultures, no previous ministerial experience before he
became Prime Minister in 1997, and no diplomatic experience; a soft-skinned
barrister suffused by fifth form ideologies who has never dirtied his
hands in battle, with the commentary of a respected journalist and expert
on the Middle East, Robert Fisk. Moreover, Blair is a proven liar who,
when faced with domestic problems such as the liaisons of former Home
Secretary David Blunkett, a collapsing Health Service or the 45 minute
farce, flies off to the Sudan, South Africa or Eritrea on some superficial
"initiative" or other. An election is scheduled to take place
in Iraq at the end of January, 2005. The violence of a people who simply
demand their country back - not terrorists - is escalating. Quisling
C.I.A. placemen like Iyad Allawi are vulnerable. On 4th January, 2005,
the Governor of Baghdad was shot dead. Six days later the Deputy Police
Chief was assassinated. According to an Energy Security report prepared
for the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, attacks on oil
pipelines and other installations numbered 37 between 11th June and
22nd December, 2003, and 87 between 7th January and 12th September,
2004. The obeisance of Tony Blair to the objectives of President Bush
and the ruthless Neoconservative cabal behind him defy belief; unless
perhaps one remembers Exxon Mobil, B.P. Amoco and Royal Dutch Shell;
3rd, 9th and 13th respectively in the Financial Times list of
the world's 500 largest companies for 2004. Nevertheless the marzipan
man assures the country that Iraq is now "A better and safer place".
Can't Bush and Blair See Iraq Is About to
by Robert Fisk, Arab News, 2nd August, 2004
The war is a fraud. I'm not talking about the
Weapons of Mass Destruction that didn't exist. Nor the links between
Saddam Hussein and Al-Qa'eda which didn't exist. Nor all the other lies
upon which we went to war. I'm talking about the new lies. For just
as, before the war, our governments warned us of threats that did not
exist, now they hide from us the threats that do exist. Much of Iraq
has fallen outside the control of America's puppet government in Baghdad
but we are not told. Hundreds of attacks are made against United States
troops every month. But unless an American dies, we are not told. Last
month's [July's] death toll of Iraqis in Baghdad alone has now reached
700 - the worst month since the invasion ended. But we are not told.
The stage management of this catastrophe in Iraq was all too evident
at Saddam Hussein's "trial". Not only did the United States
military censor the tapes of the event. Not only did they effectively
delete all sound of the 11 other defendants. But the Americans led Saddam
Hussein to believe - until he reached the courtroom - that he was on
his way to his execution. Indeed, when he entered the room he believed
that the judge was there to condemn him to death. This, after all, was
the way Saddam ran his own state security courts. No wonder he initially
looked "disorientated" - C.N.N.'s helpful description - because,
of course, he was meant to look that way. We had made sure of that.
Which is why Saddam asked Judge Juhi: "Are you a lawyer? . . .
Is this a trial?" And swiftly, as he realized that this really
was an initial court hearing - not a preliminary to his own hanging
- he quickly adopted an attitude of belligerence. But don't think we're
going to learn much more about Saddam's future court appearances. Salem
Chalabi, the brother of convicted fraudster Ahmad and the man entrusted
by the Americans with the tribunal, told the Iraqi press two weeks ago
that all media would be excluded from future court hearings. And I can
see why. Because if Saddam does a Milo-sevic, he'll want to talk about
the real intelligence and military connections of his regime - which
were primarily with the United States.
Living in Iraq these past few weeks is a weird as well as dangerous
experience. I drive down to Najaf. Highway 8 is one of the worst in
Iraq. Westerners are murdered there. It is littered with burnt-out police
vehicles and American trucks. Every police post for 70 miles has been
abandoned. Yet a few hours later, I am sitting in my room in Baghdad
watching British Prime Minister Tony Blair, grinning in the House of
Commons as if he is the hero of a school debating competition; so much
for the Butler report. Indeed, watching any Western television station
in Baghdad these days is like tuning in to Planet Mars. Doesn't Blair
realize that Iraq is about to implode? Doesn't Bush realize this? The
American-appointed "government" controls only parts of Baghdad
- and even there its ministers and civil servants are car-bombed and
assassinated. Baquba, Samara, Kut, Mahmoudiya, Hilla, Fallujah, Ramadi,
all are outside government authority. Iyad Allawi, the "prime minister",
is little more than mayor of Baghdad. "Some journalists,"
Blair announces, "almost want there to be a disaster in Iraq."
He doesn't get it. The disaster exists now. When suicide bombers ram
their cars into hundreds of recruits outside police stations, how on
earth can anyone hold an election next January? Even the National Conference
to appoint those who will arrange elections has been twice postponed.
And looking back through my notebooks over the past five weeks, I find
that not a single Iraqi, not a single American soldier I have spoken
to, not a single mercenary - be he American, British or South African
- believes that there will be elections in January. All said that Iraq
is deteriorating by the day. And most asked why we journalists weren't
saying so. But in Baghdad, I turn on my television and watch Bush telling
his Republican supporters that Iraq is improving, that Iraqis support
the "Coalition", that they support their new United States-manufactured
government, that the "War on Terror" is being won, that Americans
are safer. Then I go to an Internet site and watch two hooded men hacking
off the head of an American in Riyadh, tearing at the vertebrae of an
American in Iraq with a knife.
Each day, the papers here list another construction
company pulling out of the country. And I go down to visit the friendly,
tragically sad staff of the Baghdad mortuary and there, each day, are
dozens of those Iraqis we supposedly came to liberate, screaming and
weeping and cursing as they carry their loved ones on their shoulders
in cheap coffins. I keep re-reading Tony Blair's statement. "I
remain convinced it was right to go to war. It was the most difficult
decision of my life." And I cannot understand it. It may be a terrible
decision to go to war. Even Chamberlain thought that; but he didn't
find it a difficult decision - because, after the Nazi invasion of Poland,
it was the right thing to do. And driving the streets of Baghdad now,
watching the terrified American patrols, hearing yet another thunderous
explosion shaking my windows and doors after dawn, I realize what all
this means. Going to war in Iraq, invading Iraq last year, was the most
difficult decision Blair had to take because he thought - correctly
- that it might be the wrong decision. I will always remember his remark
to British troops in Basra, that the sacrifice of British soldiers was
not Hollywood but "real flesh and blood". Yes, it was real
flesh and blood that was shed. "Deadly force is authorised,"
it says on checkpoints all over Baghdad. Authorized by whom? There is
no accountability. Repeatedly, on the great highways out of the city
United States soldiers shriek at motorists and open fire at the least
suspicion. "We had some Navy Seals down at our checkpoint the other
day," a 1st Cavalry sergeant says to me. "They asked if we
were having any trouble. I said, yes, they've been shooting at us from
a house over there. One of them asked: 'That house?' We said yes. So
they have these three S.U.Vs. and a lot of weapons made of titanium
and they drive off towards the house. And later they come back and say
'We've taken care of that'. And we didn't get shot at any more."
What does this mean? The Americans are now bragging
about their siege of Najaf. Lieutenant Colonel Garry Bishop of the 37th
Armoured Division's 1st Battalion believes it was an "ideal"
battle (even though he failed to kill or capture Moqtada Sadr whose
"Mehdi army" were fighting the United States forces). It was
"ideal", Bishop explained, because the Americans avoided damaging
the holy shrines of the lmams Ali and Hussein. What are Iraqis to make
of this? What if a Muslim army occupied Kent and bombarded Canterbury
and then bragged that they hadn't damaged Canterbury Cathedral? Would
we be grateful? What, indeed, are we to make of a war which is turned
into a fantasy by those who started it? As foreign workers pour out
of Iraq for fear of their lives, United States Secretary of State Colin
Powell tells a press conference that hostage-taking is having an "effect"
on reconstruction. Effect! Oil pipeline explosions are now as regular
as power cuts. In parts of Baghdad now, they have only four hours of
electricity a day; the streets swarm with foreign mercenaries, guns
poking from windows, shouting abusively at Iraqis who don't clear the
way for them. This is the "safer" Iraq which Blair was boasting
of the other day. "What world does the British Government exist
PRINCIPLES AND TECHNIQUES OF 'LIBERATION'
Robber Barons, Hoodlums And Cowboys In An Ancient Culture
Is this sub-heading unduly harsh? We think not. Hatred for the Americans
has been embedded since the first Gulf War of 1991. War crimes were
committed on a large scale; crimes for which the United States was never
brought to book. These crimes involved deliberate targeting of the civilian
population during 11,000 aerial sorties in which 88,000 tons of explosives
were dropped, mainly on a defenceless country. The Pentagon subsequently
admitted that this was "both to demoralise the populace and exacerbate
the effects of sanctions" [trade sanctions already in place against
Iraq; not the later United Nations sanctions]. We also had the infamous
"Turkey Shoot" in which thousands of defeated, fleeing Iraqis
were slaughtered from the air in cold blood. Others were buried alive
and a number attempting to surrender were shot down, also in cold blood(7).
Under the auspices of Secretary for Defence Donald Rumsfeld and his
Neoconservative accomplices in the Pentagon, the United States invaded
Iraq again without any formal post invasion studies or preparation of
the Armed Forces, many of whom had never travelled abroad, for operations
in an ancient and unfamiliar cultural environment. The ensuing atrocities
have been amply covered in previous editions of On Target(8). The distinguished
American-Jewish investigative journalist, Seymour Hersh, has been an
outspoken critic of the invasion in March, 2003, and the conduct of
the occupation. This extract from an interview with Seymour Hersh on
11th October, 2004, says all that need be said at this stage:
In the evening's most emotional moment, Hersh
talked about a call he had gotten from a first lieutenant in charge
of a unit stationed halfway between Baghdad and the Syrian border. His
group was bivouacking outside of town in an agricultural area, and had
hired 30 or so Iraqis to guard a local granary. A few weeks passed.
They got to know the men they hired, and to like them. Then orders came
down from Baghdad that the village would be "cleared". Another
platoon from the soldier's company came and executed the Iraqi granary
guards. All of them. "He said they just shot them one by one. And
his people, and he, and the villagers of course, went nuts", Hersh
said quietly. "He was hysterical, totally hysterical. He went to
the company captain, who said, 'No, you don't understand, that's a kill.
We got 36 insurgents. Don't you read those stories when the Americans
say we had a combat manoeuvre and 15 insurgents were killed?'"
Historically a tough township, even under Saddam
Hussein, Fallujah already had a legacy of indiscriminate bombing from
1991 when 200 civilians were killed and a further 500 injured(9). Within
two months of the invasion in March, 2003, a maternity hospital had
been bombed and some 20 civilians killed by trigger-happy American forces
lamentably ignorant of the local culture. Frustrated by the retribution
of months of predictable and sterile confrontation, on 8th November
the United States launched a campaign of sheer butchery, using state
of the art battlefield weapons, to terrorise and crush the population.
How America Wages War in Iraq - Fallujah,
by Freelance Columnist Firas Al?Atraqchi, 18th November, 2004
Millions of viewers around the world were horrified
when their local news media broadcast footage of a United States soldier
killing at point blank range a wounded Iraqi man lying in a mosque.
Pool journalist Kevin Sites, an "embed" travelling with United
States Marines, shot the footage and later said the man appeared unarmed
and unthreatening. This is what the footage showed:
* "He's (expletive) faking he's dead!"
"Yeah, he's breathing", another Marine is heard saying. "He's
faking he's (expletive) dead!" the first Marine says. A Marine
raises his rifle toward the wounded prisoner lying on the floor and
pumps a bullet into his head. United States networks blurred the image
or blacked it out. The B.B.C. showed it. So did Aljazeera. As the wounded
man is shot, his legs rise in the air in reaction to the impact of the
bullet to his skull. Blood is spattered on the mosque wall behind him.
"He's dead now", a Marine is heard saying.
There is no escaping this was a war crime. Now
the world can see for itself that the torture and murder of Iraqis while
in detention at Abu Ghraib was not an isolated matter. How many more
Iraqis were killed in this way that video cameras were not able to capture?
Hello America. This is your United States Army, valiant and proud. Today
we will review the finer merits of military strategy when taking and
maintaining a hold on a vibrant city of some 300,000 men, women and
Step 1: The Media.
This has to comply fully with our strategic goals by ensuring that key
words are repeated thoroughly when referring to a certain subject matter.
In Fallujah's case, we will allow the media to repeat words like "bastion",
"stronghold", "insurgent base", "insurgent
centre of Iraq", "terrorist heart of the Sunni triangle"
and so on, until all semblance that this was once a city bustling with
civilian life is erased from the psyche and the reader is fully engrossed
in the mandated logic that the United States military is fighting insurgents
in their terrorist base. Furthermore, ensure that the local and world
media toe the line when it comes to reporting about Fallujah and any
other military campaigns. Iraq's media regulator has warned news organisations
to stick to the government line on the United States-led attack in Fallujah
or face legal action - "We hope you comply . . . otherwise we regret
we will be forced to take all the legal measures to guarantee higher
national interests", the statement said, without elaborating.
Count on a media blackout and our ordinary citizens' ignorance to ensure
they do not realise that our tactics are as terrorist and inhumane as
those of countries we previously condemned on the world stage: The fundamentalist
Muslim Brotherhood seized Hama as the first step towards its goal of
a national uprising against the secular Baathist regime. The Syrian
President demanded their surrender. His army shelled the city, and special
forces went in to kill or capture the militants. The Syrians employed
the same strategy that the United States is using now. Its tanks and
artillery waited outside the city; they fired on militants and civilians
alike. Its elite units, like the American Marines surrounding Fallujah
today, braced themselves for a bloody battle. The United States condemned
Syria for the assault that is believed to have cost 10,000 civilian
lives. The Syrian army destroyed the historic centre of Hama, and it
rounded up Muslim rebels for imprisonment or execution. Syria's actions
against Hama came to form part of the American case that Syria was a
terrorist state. Partly because of Hama, Syria is on a list of countries
in the Middle East whose regimes the United States wants to change.
(Charles Glass in Sulaymaniyah, The Independent, 9th November,
Step 2: Public Relations.
Tell the world the city we are about to storm
has been emptied of civilians:
Mohammed Abboud said he watched his nine-year-old
son bleed to death at their Fallujah home yesterday, unable to take
him to hospital as fighting raged in the streets and bombs rained down.
"My son got shrapnel in his stomach when our house was hit at dawn,
but we couldn't take him for treatment", said Mr Abboud, a teacher.
"We buried him in the garden because it was too dangerous to go
out". (Fadel al-Badrani for the B.B.C. in Fallujah, 10th November,
Make sure our soldiers know that they aren't
fighting for the people of Iraq but for cold revenge:
"I'm not sure it will be better when we're
gone, but it's gotten to the point of retribution for all the things
that have happened. The beheading, the bombings and everything"
(Tom Lasseter Knight Ridder-Tribune News, 13th November, 2004).
"Even if Fallujah has to go the way of Carthage,
reduced to shards, the price will be worth it. We need to demonstrate
our strength of will to the world, to show that there is only one possible
result when madmen take on America (Ralph Peters, New York Post,
4th November, 2004).
"This is for the Americans of Blackwater
that were murdered here in 2004 Semper Fidelis (always faithful)",
is scrawled in black print on a section of the bridge across the Euphrates
where the remains of two out of four Americans, killed by a mob in Fallujah
at the end of March, were hung. The graffiti is signed "3-5",
an abbreviation of the 3rd Battalion 5th Marines, one of the units that
is taking part in a massive United States-Iraqi assault on the rebel
stronghold to regain control of the city. It finished with: "P.S.,
F-ck You" (Agence France-Presse, 14th November, 2004).
"I see the little kids in the cars and I
feel sorry for them, but when they turn 16 they're evil".(Lindsey
Hilum, with the lst Marine Expeditionary Force in Fallujah, 14th November,
Tell enough lies to our troops until even our
own spokesman starts to believe them:
The goals are simple: To win the gratitude of
Fallujah civilians who will no longer have to cope with Iraqi and foreign
fighters in their midst; and to demonstrate to other insurgent-dominated
towns and cities what can happen if they refuse to participate peacefully
in the Iraqi political process (John Diamond, Steve Komarow and Tom
Squitieri, U.S.A. TODAY, 12th November, 2004).
"Let our troops know that God wants them
to kill Iraqis in Fallujah, that United States President George Bush
received direct orders from the Divine that war was sanctioned in Fallujah:
The Marines that I have had wounded over the past five months have been
attacked by a faceless enemy", said Colonel Gareth Brandi. "But
the enemy has got a face. He's called Satan. He lives in Fallujah. And
we're going to destroy him" (Paul Wood, B.B.C. News, embedded with
United States Marines near Fallujah, 7th November, 2004).
"We must not be afraid to make an example
of Fallujah. While we always seek to fight humanely, the most humane
thing we can do in that tormented city is just to win, to burn out the
plague of fanaticism and prove to Iraq's people that the forces of terror
will not be allowed to enslave them". (Ralph Peters, New York
Post, 4th November, 2004).
Tell the Iraqi people that their own representatives
in the interim government are negotiating a peaceful settlement, while
in reality, we are preparing for a major assault:
"Although the Fallujah operation has lasted
less than a week, it was several weeks in the planning and the forces
involved may be tied down establishing stability for some time to come".
(John Diamond, Steve Komarow and Tom Squitieri, U.S.A. TODAY, 12th November,
Make the fighting seem like a video game our
young soldiers may have played a few years ago, or even better, a Hollywood
"A psychological operations Humvee drove by, blaring Richard Wagner's
'Ride of the Valkyries', the music used in a famous helicopter attack
scene in the movie 'Apocalypse Now'" (James Janega, Chicago
Tribune staff reporter, 10th November, 2004).
Step 3: Kill everything in sight.
Fire at everything that moves. This will guarantee
that we save our own skins. Fire before you even know what you are firing
at: "Jump out. Kick in door. Spray machine-gun fire. Run to rooftop.
Kill enemy. Jump back into armoured vehicle. Move to new location".
(Tom Lasseter, Knight Ridder-Tribune news, 13th November, 2004).
"To disarm possible booby traps, mines,
and other explosives, the advancing forces fired rockets charged with
plastic explosives down the empty streets and alleys, which detonated
a number of jury-rigged bombs". (Anne Barnard, Boston Globe
Staff, 9th November, 2004).
"I'm supposed to shoot into the houses before our troops go in",
a weary Porter told an Agence France-Presse correspondent in this dusty,
devastated city that was once home to around 300,000 Sunni Muslims.
Shoot unarmed Iraqi soldiers. It's okay; we'll
probably get a few Purple Hearts for it:
"Jeff was about five feet away from two
unarmed Iraqi soldier-prisoners - each about his own age - when he was
ordered to shoot them. He said he looked them in their eyes before closing
his own, then pulled the trigger. He took off two dog tags around his
neck, threw them at me and said, 'Don't you understand? Your brother
is a murderer', Debbie said" (Adam Gorlick, Associated Press, 13th
"A United States Marine has sparked world-wide
revulsion after being seen shooting an injured and helpless Iraqi. The
sickening scene was broadcast by Channel 4 Television News after a fire-fight
in the rebel stronghold of Fallujah. The trigger-happy soldier had been
asked to get nearer to the injured man. But instead of trying to capture
him, the Marine is seen leaning over a wall and cold-bloodedly shooting
him". (Paul Gilfeather, Political Editor, Sunday Mirror,
14th November, 2004).
"I decided to swim . . . but I changed my mind after seeing United
States helicopters firing on and killing people who tried to cross the
river". He watched horrified as a family of five was shot dead
as they tried to cross. Then, he "helped bury a man by the river
bank, with my own hands". "I kept walking along the river
for two hours and I could still see some United States snipers ready
to shoot anyone who might swim. I quit the idea of crossing the river
and walked for about five hours through orchards". (Associated
Press, ABC News.com; from accounts by Associated Press photographer
Bilal Hussein, 14th November, 2004).
The morbid gallery of quotes, facts, and figures
above printed and published in Western media by verifiable and veritable
sources can stream on endlessly. But these testimonials are enough to
conjure the reality of the United States onslaught in Iraq. It is not
humanitarian, nor is it compassionate. It bears the mark of skull 'n'
bones - the more killed the better. It is the taste of hatred and brutality,
one that has been equalled by the razing armies of history - the Nazis,
the Romans, the Visigoths, the Mongols - but rarely exceeded. This article
is not endowing the reader with fuel for hatred. It is not about wanton
violence or revenge. It is about truth, the truth that has been kept
from a majority of readers and viewers. Insulated and protected from
the way war is waged, they refuse to believe that a Western army can
execute people in cold blood and fire on unarmed civilians, that a free
press is actually less free than many presume.
Note: Firas Al-Atraqchi is a Canadian journalist
of Iraqi heritage. Holding an M.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication,
he has eleven years of experience covering Middle East issues, oil and
gas markets, and the telecommunications industry.
In the Summer of 2004 we received a reflective letter from an old and
trusted friend for whose views we have profound respect. The letter
questioned very fairly the balance of our reporting on Iraq in that
we were discounting the brutality of the Saddam Hussein regime that
has now been displaced. Much of the answer lies in these pages. These
are rulers the West has manipulated into office over many years, as
in Indonesia and Latin America; tyrants we have armed and sponsored
for our own ends. Our correspondent, whose family had good reason to
be grateful to the United States where they lived between the wars,
censured Felicity Arbuthnot, who also lived in the United States for
several years, for her uncompromising views on Iraq and for now spurning
the land that had once given her a home. Sadly, we are back with perceptions
drawn from peeling away the layers of our conceptual "onion".
For some 14 years, Felicity Arbuthnot, often at risk to herself, witnessed
the situation on the ground in hospitals and on the streets. The history
speaks for itself. In the end it is we, all of us, who vote politicians
into power on both sides of the Atlantic. Until we, the electorate,
are prepared to mobilise and force those elected to represent our views,
and not those of massive vested interests on both national and international
questions, the situation is not going to change.
Note:. A wide range of reading may be found in
the Stock Price List (S.P.L.), which may be obtained post free on request
from the address on the last page. Out of print, or older works, may
be obtained through the Book Search Service, or the Second-Hand Book
Service, both of which are operated by Mr. T.G. Turner, for which details
are available as for the S.P.L.
(1) "Revealed: the meeting that could have
changed the history of Iraq - When six of the country's leading experts
on Iraq went to Downing Street in November, 2002, they sought to warn
Tony Blair about the dangerous consequences of his actions. In this
extraordinary account of that meeting, they reveal for the first time
their shock at his response, offering a unique insight into the mind
of a Prime Minister determined upon war". The Independent
on Sunday, 17th October, 2004.
(2) On Target, Vol. 27, No. 14, 3rd January, 1998. Unselfish Gallantry
- Two People From Another Age.
(3) MacDonald, Professor Kevin. "Thinking About Neoconservatism".
2003. Professor MacDonald is Professor of Psychology at California State
University-Long Beach. He gives a full, reasoned argument to show how
the Zionist element works behind leading Gentile figures, such as Secretary
for Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
(4) Directory of Directors 1991. Volume 1 - Key Data On The 60,000 Directors
Who Control Britain's Major Companies. Reed Information Services Ltd.,
(5) Blum, William. Rogue State - A Guide to the World's Only Superpower.
Zed Books, 2002.
(6) On Target, Vol. 29, Nos. 21 & 22, 8th & 22nd April, 2000.
The Shifting Geo-Political Sands - The Middle East, The Balkans, The
Caucasus And Patterns Of Power. What Is This Power, Where Is It, And
Who Controls It?
(7) Clark, Ramsey. The Fire This Time - U.S. War Crimes in the Gulf.
Thunder's Mouth Press, 1994.
(8) On Target, passim.
(9) Clark, Ramsey. Op. cit.
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Editor and Publisher: Donald A. Martin Copyright
© D.A. Martin
Deputy Editor and Research Department: Barry S. Turner