Science of the Social Credit Measured in Terms of Human Satisfaction
Christian based service movement warning about threats to rights and freedom irrespective of the label, Science of the Social Credit Measured in Terms of Human Satisfaction

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"
Edmund Burke

Science of the Social Credit Measured in Terms of Human Satisfaction
Food for Thought: While the plains Indians hunted the buffalo on horseback, fought each other with the white man's guns, and exulted in the wealth and power which they possessed, their brothers in the East had turned their faces to the setting sun, resigned to a hopeless and miserable destiny. Caught in the flood of American expansion, they burnt their homes and left the land of their fathers to move westwards to lands which they dared not hope to retain. Those who stayed to fight fell under the pressure of overwhelming numbers and deadly rifle fire; those who merely stayed succumbed to the degenerating influence of the white man's way of life. . . . So the Indian moved on, just beyond the frontier, until his new lands aroused the cupidity of the restless American pioneers and the process of swindling and bullying began again. . . . The white man's government had offered them a new way of life; missionaries had offered them a new religion, and the Indians had been willing to accept them, only to find that the jealousy of lazy and vicious whites stirred up general resentment against them and deprived them of reasonable protection. Small wonder that the Indian's hatred of the European way of life was so intense, gained as it was from the perverse actions and ideals of frontier Americans, and from that hatred arose much of the mistrust and difficulty which hampered any attempts to solve the problem of white and red men living together. Robin A. Kelly, The Sky Was Their Roof(1)


Houses Of Liars - Or Puppets?

The War against Iraq inevitably tends to monopolise our attention as events continue to unfold. But we must begin to look further into what we believe have been the real reasons for this conflict. We must also try to penetrate the greater global scenario even to begin to comprehend how, or why, we have been brought to this situation. Moreover where do we continue to go - or to be led, driven, or conned - from here? Whatever the degree of obfuscation, procrastination, prevarication, mutual or diversion-ary smokescreens of accusation and counter-accusation, or the slithery rhetoric and slickly changing domestic and foreign concerns and priorities of Prime Minister Blair, the truth is that the invasion, not least the "evi-dence" to justify it, was knowingly rigged from the very beginning. Cert-ainly the thinking began in the mid-1990s. It is impossible not to believe that this was known in political, diplomatic or intelligence circles, or discussed across the dinner tables of the establishment. We would consider it unseemly to call our leadership on either side of the Atlantic a bunch of liars. We leave that to the dictionary.

Twenty five years ago we were sharply chastised for omitting the "Great" in references to Great Britain in the draft of a railway history. This was just the gentle world of the railway enthusiast. The 2003 invasion of Iraq surely saw the post 1939-45 War image of the "Great" in Great Britain finally vanish for good. In Prime Minister Blair any illusion of a "special" relationship which had lasted from Winston Churchill through the Macmillan-Kennedy and Thatcher-Reagan years finally vanished down the plug-hole of history in downright toadyism. Sheer military power and half a century of American-engineered imperial deconstruction, dollar-oriented global economic integration and consolidation, and ultimate subservience to the United States, brought the virtual death knell of our independence and authority as a Nation - and that of the leading European Nations. So, too, this has ended the already diminishing credibility of the United Nations. We must examine in future the many strands and influences, such as Political Correctness, that have been deliberately employed, or have otherwise functioned to emasculate and degrade the will and involvement of ordinary people, on both sides of the Atlantic. It is this, as well as political duplicity and corruption, that has brought us to a position of growing Orwellian impotence and subservience as Global Power, and its Military "enforcer", have been centralised and consolidated.

Power Hungry, Or Simply Power Mad?

The United States now does more or less as it pleases. Nor does it appear to care if we know or not. The extract in "Food For Thought" is taken from a fascinating history of the Wild West. The seeds of American power, culture and attitudes today are very clear. Today, talking heads like Samuel P. Huntingdon in "The Clash of Civilizations", are employed to promote pseudo-academic theories designed to marginalise Islam just as Red Indian traditions and beliefs were being trashed 150 years ago. Today this has the massive force of the United States-dominated Global Econ-omic Model backed by Military Power. The supporting American culture, despite the pretensions and private museums and art collections of American billionaires, remains ignorant and paper-thin. Like the invasion of Afghanistan, the campaign against Iraq, far from being based on any genuine concept of "liberation", is leaving a trail of social, economic and structural disintegration. In Iraq ordinary American servicemen from the backwoods and inner cities, woefully lacking any preparation for, or under-standing of, the country and its complex cultures, die with each passing day of this chaos. That, more than two months after the end of the conven-tional conflict, fellow British servicemen of the Coalition Forces are being used to instruct occupying United States troops on the rudiments of urban policing is a downright disgrace. We have already concluded that, in spite of some twelve years of political build-up, and twelve months of formal military planning time, no proper studies or exercises were undertaken to prepare for the invasion and, essentially, for its aftermath. We were right. That these vital options and the preparations that would have evolved were ignored becomes more obvious as the story unfurls. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice-President Dick Cheney, apparently influenced by the Israel-oriented "neoconservative" sponsors of the Project for the New American Century (P.N.A.C.), behaved like a couple of irresponsible homicidal maniacs.

The United States economy is greater than those of the major European and British producer Nations and that of Japan combined. The Global Economic Model is geared to the United States dollar. The United States mints - "creates" - money at will to sustain its own spiralling proflig-acy in defiance of the Law of Gravity. As this Economic Model is manipu-lated to the advantage of the United States, the rest are dragged up and down accordingly like a ride on a giant fairground big-dipper. The United Kingdom hangs on in there obsequiously bleating its support, behind which lie the oil interests of BP-Amoco and Royal Dutch Shell. The invasion of Iraq was not about oil. Of course not! So why did the Financial Times of 10th July, 2003, slip in a little note that "U.S., U.K. groups win Iraq oil contracts"?

* The second auction of Iraqi oil since the ousting of Saddam Hussein has seen U.S. and U.K. companies winning most of the contracts. Eight million barrels of Basra light crude oil were tendered yesterday, most of which will be destined for U.S. consumption. . . .

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher inspired a major British stake in the other dominating activity, the Military-Industrial Complex, hence the double standards of sanctimonious, so-called "ethical" foreign policy of the British "New" Labour Government, economically "hooked" on the "kill-ing" industries. But even now these look like being sucked into the vorac-ious vacuum of much larger American corporations as takeover proposals are mooted in the business pages. The late Aida Parker repeatedly warned of the dangerously unstable Global Economic Scenario. This has been further examined in the London Review of Books for 6th February, 2003 under the portentous heading "Towards the Precipice - Robert Brenner on the crisis in the U.S. economy". This spiralling vortex must be sustained by more war, so the talk-up has already begun against Iran. Hypothetical threats that the weaponry of weaker Middle Eastern Nations is "within range of . . . " perceived "targets" in the West are nothing new. This ploy was invoked by then Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind in the 1980s, and we are now witnessing a replay, significantly by the Zionist Daily Tele-graph, of 5th July, 2003, with the heading "Israel 'in range of Iranian missiles'".

How Far And For How Long Must We Acquiesce And Grovel?

Turkey, like Egypt, is heavily dependent on United States economic aid. It is also a member of NATO and a key United States military base. Yet the Turkish Parliament showed remarkable resilience in denying the use of Turkey as a base from which to launch an attack on Iraq from the North. Turkish-Iraqi-Iranian-Kurdish relations in the region are complex due to Kurdish nationalist and separatist ambitions, and the location of the oil reserves. Turkish troops are located there as part of the Coalition, but the United States authorities nevertheless unilaterally arrested 11 members of their compatriot Turkish Special Forces there for an alleged "plot". The United States has applied relentless pressure on Belgium over a local law which permits the trial for war crimes of foreign nationals, such as Dr Henry Kissinger, General "Tommy" Franks or Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Attempts have been made to humiliate and marginalise France and Germany, and to split the European Union in which both countries play a leading role, for their perfectly legitimate opposition to the invasion of Iraq. On the other hand the United States has rendered the International Criminal Court a farce by refusing to recognise its jurisdiction over American nationals, and by concluding bilateral agreements for this immunity with individual governments.

The United States continues to flout the Geneva Conventions and International Law - whatever that may be since it appears to be made up as we go along - by detaining prisoners in inhumane conditions in Camp X-Ray, in Guantanamo Bay, in Cuba. The pretext is that they are "terrorists" and so outside the accepted custodial norms. In spite of the key role of the British Government in the invasion of Iraq, we appear to have no knowledge of the fate of Iraqi prisoners of war handed over into American custody. Nor does any information seem to be available over the fate of members of the former Iraqi Administration, scientists, doctors and others who were either captured, surrendered or who have been abducted, perhaps, simply because they possess certain information, such as that on the ravages of Depleted Uranium. However one views it, "Great" Britain grovels. The true position is revealed by the case of two British subjects, Moazzi Begg and Feroz Abassi. Both men face trial behind closed doors before an American military "kangaroo" court. This is a purely American legal fabrication; basically the lynch law of the old Wild West. Begg was arrested in Pakistan some twelve months ago merely on suspicion. It is still not clear whether the C.I.A., M.I.5, or both were involved. Even within the British Government, between Prime Minister Blair, Foreign Secretary Straw and Home Secretary Blunkett there seems to be confusion between acquiescence and pleading for British jurisdiction for our own nationals. Such is the fate of the United States' great "ally", as was reflec-ted in a report by Neil Mackay and Felicity Arbuthnot in the Scottish Sunday Herald of 6th July, 2003, with the heading "The First Letters From Briton Facing The Death Penalty At Camp X Ray". We reproduce these brief extracts:

* They are the first letters to see the outside world from the 21st century's Devil's Island the United States military prison camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. These ten letters in neat, cramped handwriting from Moazzam Begg to his family back home in suburban Birmingham tell exactly what life is like inside the world's most feared prison Camp X Ray. Begg, who is 35, has been detained without charge since January 2001, has faced gruelling interrogations, been denied access to lawyers, confined in brutal conditions and now awaits a military tribunal which could well result in a short trip to a custom built death house for execution.

* On Thursday, 4th July (American Independence Day and the day before Begg's birthday), President Bush ordered that Begg and five other men, including another Briton Feroz Abbasi, 23, from London would be the first detainees to face military tribunals. Washington is now facing international criticism over its use of military tribunals which are held in secret and presided over by high ranking United States soldiers. There is no guaranteed right to appeal. Detainees are kept in wood and steel mesh cages, partially exposed to the elements. The world was shocked when the first pictures of Camp X Ray emerged, showing detainees bound hand and foot and wearing blacked out goggles. Some were stretchered into the camp, which has been labelled degrading and inhuman. Begg, detainee number JJJEEHH 160, says in his letters that he mostly writes at night, "which is usually when I cannot sleep because of thinking and worrying all the time, and the heat and the bright lights".


Profitable "Ethical" And Political Attitudes

One of the most heinously devised weapons in the current military arsenal is the cluster bomb. It simply fragments on impact or in its comm-only unexploded form if later handled. Use is indiscriminate by its very distribution. Countless thousands of innocent men, women and children have been killed or maimed in the Balkans, Afghanistan and the Middle East. The horrendous effects have been graphically described by John Pilger in The New Rulers Of The World(2). This is, of course, only a very small part of the litany of atrocities exposed by Pilger; atrocities committed around the world in countries like Laos, or condoned in Indonesia. It transcends what used to be called national interests. Today, attempts are made to obscure the reality by aligning protest with the political Left. It condemns axiomatically the so-called "Christian" faith professed by Western leaders. It does partly explain the moral dilemma of a society whose economy is "hooked" on the production of the Weapons of Death. It does explain the acquiescence of politicians who are committed to protecting jobs and industries in their constituencies.

As early as 1987 cluster bombs were listed dispassionately in the British Defence Equipment Catalogue(3). The manufacturer was Hunting Engineering Limited. Our enquiries with Companies House show links with INSYS, said by the Ecologist currently to be the world's largest producer. The INSYS board of directors includes, or has included, former Chief of the Defence Staff, Field Marshal Lord Vincent, and former Quartermaster General, General Sir Richard Trant. The "New" Labour Secretary of State for Defence is "Geoff" Hoon. A former barrister with no obvious record in the wider fields of organisation and management, much less in defence matters, he is surely one of the most clueless political appointees to have held the job. The Sunday Times of 6th April, 2003, reported Hoon as claiming that cluster bombs were "perfectly legal" and had a "highly legitimate role" on the battlefield. Under the heading "Widespread use of cluster bombs sparks outrage", the Financial Times of 4th April, 2003, reported Hoon as saying that the bombs were only used when "absolutely justified . . . because it is making the battlefield safer for our armed forces". Only when "absolutely justified"? Not specifically defence policy, purchased and scaled for use? As if commanders on the point of battle went looking for the appropriate ammunition like supermarket shoppers? The solution for Hoon, Prime Minister Blair and the rest of the Cabinet is to be forced to be present in civilian areas during the next planned conflict (Iran or Syria?). If they survive, to be forced to reside and move in devastated civilian areas littered with unexploded bomblets. The following reports give the reality as it is.

Questions Linger About Hillah Battle That Left Hundreds Of Civilian Casualties
Sameer N. Yacoub and Richard Pyle, Associated Press, 15th May, 2003

The tell-tale evidence is everywhere: in the pattern of blast marks gouged in a schoolyard's concrete, in the yellow metal casings that once held small bombs, in the bomblets themselves. "They're all over. They're even in people's bedrooms," said one bomb disposal specialist. A month after United States cluster munitions fell in a deadly shower on Hillah's teeming slums as United States forces drove toward victory in Baghdad, 55 miles to the north, the most telling evidence may lie in the crowded, fly infested wards of the city hospital, where the toll of dead and wounded still mounts. At least 250 Iraqis were killed and more than 500 wounded during 17 days of fighting in the area, most of them civilians and many the victims of cluster munitions, according to hospital medical staff. Leftover bomblets still kill or maim hapless civilians daily, they said. As the pieces of the story of what happened in Hillah in late March and early April begin to fall together, gaps and uncertainties remain, including the question of whether Iraqi troops were still in Nadr, Amira and other Hillah area districts when they were attacked. On April 3rd, Brigadier General Vincent Brooks at United States Central Command indicated the matter was being investigated. The next day he added that United States targeting in such densely populated areas was "very precise". A month later, the Command's Lieutenant Herb Josey said, "it is correct to assume the investigation is still going on." The Command has received no results yet, he said, without describing what the investigation consisted of. While General Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, confirmed last month that high flying B 52s dropped cluster bombs during the push to Baghdad, the Pentagon has not acknowledged the use of cluster munitions around Hillah.

Such weapons delivered by rockets, howitzer shells and air dropped bombs open up before impact to scatter many tiny bomblets over wide areas, sometimes the size of a football field. They're considered effective weapons for attacking massed soldiers and vehicles and for blocking troop movements. They were first used in the lndo-China War, when United States aircraft dropped them on enemy jungle camps and supply trails. Unexploded bomblets still pose a hazard to civilians there. Leftover duds also inflict casualties in Afghanistan, Angola, Chechnya, Bosnia and Kuwait. The use of such weapons is not explicitly banned under International Law, but human rights groups think it should be or at least prohibited in populated areas as too indiscriminate. They also point to the weapons' high "dud rate" the percentage that don't explode on impact, leaving stray bomblets to kill the unsuspecting later. Military experts say artillery fired cluster munitions have a dud rate of up to 5 per cent, but New York based Human Rights Watch claims the rates for some artillery types are three to four times higher. Human Rights Watch on April 25rd accused the Pentagon of a "whitewash", of minimizing in its public statements the deadly effect of cluster munitions on Iraqi civilians by discussing only aerial bombs and not artillery shells, which the group says caused most civilian casualties from cluster munitions in Iraq. On March 31st and April 1st, and apparently on later dates as well, cluster munitions fell among Iraqi peasants in and around their homes in Nadr, Amira, Kifi and other districts mostly on Hillah's southern edge.

Meeting with journalists in Washington recently, Lieutenant General William Scott Wallace, who commanded the United States Army's Vth Corps during the war, specifically mentioned Hillah among several southern cities where the Iraqi military "was much more aggressive than what we expected him to be". The United States Army's 101st Airborne Division was pushing north through the green, irrigated countryside between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. Its next objective was Hillah, a town said to have been built centuries ago with bricks from the nearby ruins of ancient Babylon. First the paratroopers had to pass through the Nadr quarter, straddling Highway 8. How the cluster munitions were delivered by air or by artillery is lost in confused Iraqi memories and in the United States military's silence on the subject. Wherever they came from, by April 1st hellish scenes were unfolding at Hillah Surgical Hospital. Foreign journalists, bussed to Hillah by Saddam Hussein's Information Ministry, found dozens of dead and wounded civilians, many children, jammed into coffins and lying in hallways. The besieged doctors reported 33 dead civilians and more than 300 wounded, many from Nadr. Over 17 days, from all bombing and other fighting, the hospital's records indicate about 500 civilians were wounded, and the hospital's director, Dr. Adil al Himiri, said about 250 people were killed, both military and civilian. The death records are not available, because they were taken to Baghdad subsequently by an Iraqi doctor, he said. Weeks after the attacks, some victims were still hospitalized, including 13 year old Faleh Hassan, who lost a hand and has needed several operations for severe foot wounds. An uncle, Hadi Maraza, said five in Faleh's family were wounded. "I think it was artillery shells," Maraza said of the April 1st events. "Before landing they sent small bombs flying, like balls." He said no Iraqi soldiers were in the area. "it was random shelling".

With Saddam's regime toppled, the hospital staff felt freer to talk by late April. What they said tended to justify the United States attack. "The old regime put military tanks in between the houses, and so they were bombed," said al Himiri, the hospital director. "it's the truth. There were military targets." Another doctor, surgeon Majid al Khafaji, said he had heard similar stories from wounded people. But the doctors acknowledged they hadn't gone to the bombed areas themselves. Civil defence workers who went to Nadr immediately said they saw no sign of the Iraqi military there. That agrees with what Nadr residents consistently said: The Iraqi military had set up mortars or artillery in Nadr, apparently in a date palm grove on the fringe of the slum, but had pulled out. Some believe they left days before the United States strike with cluster munitions; some think it was a day before. Nadr is a place of tightly packed mud brick homes, garbage filled paths, herds of goats wandering along gullied tracks. A schoolyard a rare stretch of concrete is pocked with an almost regular pattern of blast marks that appear to have come from cluster bomblets. But there are none of the burned out tanks, other military vehicles or destroyed weapons commonly seen in areas where United States forces struck Iraqi troops. Salem Farhan, 33, a factory worker, said Iraqi artillery in Nadr fired at distant United States troops and then withdrew a day before the first cluster bomb attacks. "They left a few soldiers behind, like neigh-bourhood guards," he said. "Maybe the planes were attacking them." Repeated United States shelling or bombing came as late as April 8th, when Farhan's house was hit and a neighbour woman and child were killed as they took shelter in his yard. His two younger brothers were badly wou-nded. "There was no reason. There was no resistance here" , Farhan said.

Deaths still come daily, as duds explode when picked up, kicked or otherwise disturbed. "I've dealt with 300 cluster bombs in one day," said Hilial Saadi, a civil defence explosives specialist, who destroys duds by piling them up and dynamiting them. The Hillah area civil defence director, Hussein Jaber, said unexploded bomblets had been retrieved from schoolrooms and people's bedrooms. A corner of his office's front lot is heaped with examples recovered from surrounding areas from dark grey, 3 inch long bomblets to two bulbous, 6 foot long, yellow green shells that held hundreds of bomblets. Saadi, whose ordnance disposal experience stretches back to the 1991 Gulf War, said the Americans have adopted more advanced cluster munitions. For one thing, "there are more frag-ments," he said, and held up a shattered yellow metal shell stamped "Bomb, Frag, BLU 97A/B." "Children were playing with this one when it exploded," he said. "Two were killed and six wounded. It happened three days before the fall of Baghdad" that is, on April 5th. The BLU 97 is one of the most sophisticated United States cluster weapons, capable of scattering 40 bomblets over a 4,800 square yard area and deadly against tanks as well as soldiers in the open. At the same time that Hillah residents were unearthing mass graves of victims of Saddam's bloody repression, hospital officials said they were recording as many as four deaths a day from exploding United States leftovers. AI Himiri, the hospital director, was clearly troubled even though he believes United States forces had legi-timate military targets to attack. "From a military point of view, it's justif-ied," he said. "But from a humanitarian point of view it's not justified."

United States Under Fire for Use of Cluster Bombs in Iraq
Jack Epstein, San Francisco Chronicle, 15th May, 2003

Now that the war in Iraq has ended, the United States military must quickly remove thousands of unexploded cluster bombs to keep its promise to do everything possible to limit civilian casualties, human rights groups say. Estimates of casualties caused by the deadly munitions vary. General Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the weapons caused only one civilian death during the three week war. Other estimates put the number closer to 200. Human rights groups caution that more will die as unsuspecting civilians especially children - inadvertently detonate unexploded bombs with the slightest touch. William Hartung, a military expert at the World Policy Institute's Arms Trade Resource Centre at the New School in New York, said the Pentagon's use of cluster bombs is "contrary to the rhetoric of how they were going to fight the war a clean war with minimal civilian casualties." Each 1,000 pound cluster bomb contains between 200 and 300 "bomblets" canisters that can explode into hundreds of fragments over an area the size of several football fields. According to Myers, United States warplanes dropped 1,500 cluster bombs in Iraq, 26 of them within 1,500 feet of civilian neighbourhoods. Britain's Ministry of Defence said the British Army fired by artillery or rocket launchers more than 2,000 cluster munitions and dropped 66 cluster bombs around Basra. United States troops have reportedly removed about 600 unexploded bomblets from the Baghdad neighbourhood of Doura. But unexploded cluster bombs still litter cities such as Najaf, and their existence has become another source of resentment felt by Iraqis toward the occupying United States forces.

Pentagon spokesman Air Force Major Jay Steuck says cluster bombs were used because they are especially effective in destroying airfields, tanks and enemy convoys. He added that the bomblets, which fail to explode upon impact between 5 per cent and 20 per cent of the time, cause less physical destruction than many bombs. "The (Defense) Department carefully considers the use of any weapon systems," said Steuck. "There is no intent to cause unwanted civilian deaths during or after the fact." However, the use of cluster bombs in the Iraq War figures in a suit filed Wednesday in a Belgian court that accuses United States commander General Tommy Franks and a Marine officer named Colonel Brian P. McCoy of war crimes. Belgian attorney Jan Fermon says he represents 17 Iraqi and 2 Jordanian civilian victims of United States weapons, four of whom were wounded by bombs. His suit is made possible by a unique 1993 Belgian law that claims universal jurisdiction for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity, regardless of the nationality of the accused. In an interview by e mail, Fermon conceded that there is no law specifically banning cluster weapons, but argued that the "use of ammunition that causes severe suffering and injury in areas with a civilian population is a violation of international humanitarian rights. I hope that this complaint will contribute to a general ban on cluster bombs." The State Department dismissed the lawsuit as political harassment. "The Belgian Government needs to be diligent in taking steps to prevent abuse of the legal system for political ends," Department spokesman Richard Boucher said last month. But the use of cluster bombs a single fragment of which can rupture the spleen or cause intestines to explode upon impact has long been controversial.

After the war in Kosovo, during which United States, British and Dutch aircraft dropped 1,765 cluster bombs, the Red Cross appealed for a new global law outlawing the weapons. After the first Gulf War in 1991, more than 1,600 Kuwaiti and Iraqi civilians were killed and 2,500 injured by an estimated 1,200,000 unexploded cluster bombs, according to Human Rights Watch. The casualties included 80 United States soldiers. In a survey of NATO's 78 day bombing of Kosovo in 1999, the International Committee of the Red Cross found that cluster bombs killed 50 people and injured 101 the year after the conflict ended. The report also said that children were five times more likely to be killed or injured by a NATO cluster bomb than by a Serbian land mine. In Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch estimated United States cluster bombs killed or injured 127 civilians. Critics say Myers' estimate of deaths caused by cluster bombs in the Iraq war omitted ground launched cluster munitions, which were reportedly used more extensively in Iraq than the air dropped variety. A multiple rocket launcher can fire 12 cluster bombs at a time, each of which has 644 bomblets. "On one night, we received 35 dead from cluster bombs," Dr. Safaal Amaidi, Director of Najaf Teaching Hospital, told Reuters last month. On April 7th, Rashid Majid and three of his sons were killed after they picked up an unexploded bomblet in Baghdad, according to Western press accounts.

Briefing: Cluster Bombs: The Indiscriminate Killer .
Islamic Human Rights Commission, 7th April, 2003

The war on Iraq has indeed seen the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction: the unleashing of cluster bombs by the United States British forces upon the Iraqi population, massacring and terrorizing the very people whom they purport to liberate. The American and British government leaders and military commanders finally admitted that they are using cluster bombs dropped by high flying bomber squadrons, although there is ample evidence they have also been fired from jet fighters, tanks, artillery and off shore missile launchers. The use of cluster bombs has been reported in Basra, Najaf, Karbala, Hilia and Baghdad itself. The worst incident to date has been the attack last week on Hilia, a region 80 kilometres south of Baghdad. It left at least 61 Iraqi civilians dead and more than 450 seriously injured, mainly children.

Extensively used by United States forces in Vietnam, the 1991 Gulf War, Kosovo and Afghanistan, and by Israel in the 1982 siege of West Beirut, cluster bombs have received severe condemnation from hum-an rights and humanitarian organisations. There is consensus in the [so-called-Ed.] International Community that these weapons are unacceptable and in breach of international humanitarian law, with many calling for a moratorium on their use. The effects of cluster bombs are comparable to those of anti personnel mines, which are outlawed by the 1999 Ottawa Treaty. Despite this they remain a firm favourite in the United States wea-pons arsenal and Britain engages in their use in defiance of the Resolution of December 13th, 2001, by the European Parliament, calling for an imm-ediate global moratorium on their use to be followed by an outright ban.

Cluster bombs may be delivered by aircraft, rocket. or by artillery projectiles. Each cluster bomb is composed of 200 to 700 of sub-munitions called bomblets or grenades, depending on the method of delivery. They are carried in a large cannister that break open in mid air, dispersing the sub-munitions over a large area. The higher the altitude at which the bomblets are released, the wider the target zone. Each exploding bomblet fragments into hundreds of pieces of jagged steel, in effect creating a blizzard of shrapnel.

The high speed at which the fragments travel means that when they impact humans, they have devastating consequences. Even a single fragment can cause heavy damage to soft tissues and organs. These are not merely unintended side effects but rather intentionally designed to do this. The effects of cluster bombs are deadly, regardless of which type is used. The C.B.U. (Cluster Bomb Unit) 41 carries napalm filled bomblets and the Honest John carries 368 Sarin nerve gas filled bomblets, both having lethal effects. In Indo-China the use of the WDU 4 cluster bomb, meant that the overhead release of 6,000 barbed metal darts, literally had the effect of nailing people to the ground. The CBU 87, one of the United States fav-ourites and widely used by them in the first Gulf War, Kosovo and Afghanistan, consists of a triple action killing device: anti personnel (for people), anti armour (for tanks), and incendiary (setting the target area on fire). The CBU 26, widely used in Laos between 1964 to 1973, is an anti personnel fragmentation bomb that consists of a large bombshell holding 670 tennis ball sized bomblets, each of which contain 300 metal fragments. The detonations of all the bomblets creates a deadly killing zone, propelling 200,000 steel fragments over an area the size of several football fields. It is estimated that some 90,000,000 CBU 26 bomblets were dropped on Laos (and the CBU 26 is just one of 12 different kinds of cluster bombs that have been recovered there to date). Reports indicate that the cluster bombs used in Hilia were a type known as BLU97 AIB. Each canister contains 202 small bomblets BLU97 the size of a soft drink can. These cluster bomblets scatter over a large area approximately the size of two football fields.

The bomblets or grenades are intended to explode on impact, just before impact or shortly afterwards. However, they have a high failure rate, estimated to be 10 to 30 per cent. Over time cluster bomblets become less stable and explode more easily. The failure to detonate essentially renders them as super anti-personnel mines that can explode at the slightest touch. Thus the use of cluster bombs poses on going danger, whereby the toll in civilian casualties continues long after the conflict has ended. In particular, they pose a grave danger to children, the largest portion of the victims, who are attracted by the bright colours and shapes of the bomblets. They also pose serious danger to soldiers, peacekeepers and de-miners, returning refugees and displaced persons and further obstruct the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Unexploded cluster bombs have had lethal consequences as witnessed in places such as Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Sudan, Lebanon, Iraq, Kuwait, Yugoslavia, Kosovo, Ethiopia, Chechnya, and Afghanistan, where they have been used in past conflicts. In Laos, the effects of cluster bombs are still felt from cluster bombs that were used 30 years ago. People are killed and maimed every day and this is likely to continue indefinitely with an estimated 10,000,000 still remaining unexploded. The first Gulf War saw the dropping of a staggering 30,000,000 cluster bomblets on Kuwait and Iraq in months following the end of the conflict, 1,600 civilians were killed and another 2,500 injured as a result. In Kosovo, it is estimated that 60 per cent of Royal Air Force cluster bombs in the Kosovo conflict missed their targets. The United Nations' Mine Action Co ordination Centre (M.A.C.C.), estimates that 7 11 per cent of bomblets about 20,000 failed to blow up during NATO's air campaign in Kosovo. According to the Red Cross, children in Kosovo are five times more likely to be killed or injured by a NATO dropped unexploded cluster bomb than by a Serbian landmine. According to Human Rights Watch, the United States dropped around 1,230 cluster bombs containing around 248,056 deadly bomblets on Afghanistan between October 2001 and March 2002. They estimate that when taking a conservative estimate of a 5 per cent failure rate, it is likely that there are 12,400 explosive duds that threaten civilians and require clearance.

Conclusion: Are they permitted under international law? The wide dispersal of cluster bombs and their failure to target precisely means that they have particularly lethal results when used in or near civilian areas. Although not specifically prohibited under International Law, the Geneva Conventions prohibit indiscriminate strikes whereby civilian and military targets are attacked without distinction. They, like antipersonnel landmines are by their nature indiscriminate weapons which do not draw a distinction between combatants and non-combatants.

Cluster Bombs
Ros Coward, The Ecologist, May, 2003

The debris that normally concerns the ecologically aware is the ever growing mountain of rubbish produced by our throwaway society. But there's another, more immediately lethal kind of litter that also speaks volumes about our lack of responsibility towards the Earth and its inhabitants. That's the litter produced by war the munitions left behind post conflict that continue to damage the land and its people long after the fighting is over. Nothing has sounded more hollow than the so called reassurances given by the United Kingdom and United States Governments as they began the Iraq war that their argument was not with the country of Iraq or its people but with its leader, and that reconstruction not devas-tation was their objective. If that was the case then how could they condone the use of cluster bombs weapons that, like landmines, have a devastating long term effect on communities and go on killing innocent civilians for decades. Most military strategists now accept (even promote) cluster bombs as necessary elements in warfare. They enable armies to inflict maximum initial damage from the air rather than engaging immediately in close ground combat. Because they are meant to be combat weapons they evade United Nations treaties against the use of weapons like landmines that target civilians. But this evasion is sophistry. Cluster bombs are vast containers that after exploding send out a huge number of what the military playfully call "bomblets". These bomblets scatter across areas the size of eight football pitches. Most bomblets are designed to explode on impact or contain devices that trigger on touch. Many do just that, inflicting horrific damage on armies and civilians in war situations. But many fail to explode immediately. In spite of the fact that modern military technology is meant to be so sophisticated that it could extinguish Saddam Hussein's cigar as he sits in his bunker, even official estimates admit a cluster bomb failure rate of 5 10 per cent. Unofficially, the estimated failure rate is much higher. In the last Gulf War, roughly 47,000 cluster bombs were dropped containing 13,000,000 bomblets. Since the end of the war there have been 1,924 recorded deaths from "unexploded remnants of war". In Kosovo, it is estimated that 3,000,000 were dropped, of which 30,000 failed to explode on impact, causing hundreds of deaths. In Afghanistan 14,000 unexploded devices were left behind and there have already been 150 deaths since the war ended there. In many ways cluster bombs are even more devastating than landmines. Most victims are killed outright. Those who survive are horrifically injured. The force of the shra-pnel from these weapons is such that bodies sometimes explode totally. Like landmines, children are most often the victims. The usually bright colours of bomblets are attractive to children and to people in devastated post war societies hunting for valuable scrap metal. Like landmines, too, their legacy is enduring. It's shocking to think that while Vietnam is a remote cultural memory for United States kids, children in Laos are still being injured by cluster bombs and large areas of land are still unusable. The way cluster bombs blight land often goes overlooked. Large areas become no go areas that can't be farmed. This hinders attempts of societ-ies to reconstruct and become self sufficient. The problem is not confined to a few unlucky nations; at least 80 countries are currently affected by landmines and cluster bombs. But while after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, 146 countries rapidly signed the Ottawa Treaty banning the use of anti personnel weapons, cluster bombs are not covered by any conven-tion. Countries that use them are under no obligation to clear land when hostilities cease. In the run up to the current war Landmine Action and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund tried to persuade the United Kingdom Government not to use cluster bombs and to support new inter-national conventions forcing combatants to "clear" areas after military action. Two United Kingdom Ministers refused to rule out the use of cluster bombs in Iraq: Tony Blair and Defence Minister Geoff Hoon. Not only does the government refuse to rule out their use, but INSYS the world's largest producer of the bombs is a United Kingdom based firm. When tackled by Landmine Action, INSYS replied that it was not respon-sible for the weapons' devastating effects, claiming: "It's not the company that uses them." As this equivocation shows, the logic of war dehumanises and desensitises even the most supposedly decent people. These weapons are the deadliest kind of debris and last for decades. They leave behind no man's land and intimidated communities long after the soldiers have gone and governments have changed. In these communities children will not be able to play, it will be impossible to resettle the land and there will be no agriculture. If attempts are made to clear these areas, there will be many deaths. All this happens in poor countries with no resources. And use of these weapons is increasing globally. No longer confined to the big military powers, cluster bombs are increasingly likely to be used in smaller scale conflicts. If we needed more evidence of mankind's disregard for the future it is this readiness to use weapons that inflict damage for decades to come. It is evidence of cowardice and bullying, too. When the armies have gone, it's the innocent members of society those trying to work and play on the land who continue to be targets.

Atillo A.Boron Interviews Noam Chomsky on 14th June, 2003

Atilio A. Boron: Looking at the recent United States policies in Iraq, what do you think was the real goal behind this war?

Noam Chomsky: Well, we can be quite confident on one thing. The reasons we are given can't possibly be the reasons. And we know that, because they are internally contradictory. So one day, Bush and Powell would claim that "the single question," as they put it, is whether Iraq would disarm and the next day they would say it doesn't matter whether Iraq disarms because they will go on and invade anyway. And the next day would be that if Saddam and his group get out then the problem will be solved; and then, the next day for example, at the Azores, at the summit when they made an ultimatum to the United Nations, they said that even if Saddam and his group get out they would go on and invade anyway. And they went on like that. When people give you contradictory reasons every time they speak, all they are saying is: "don't believe a word 1 say." So we can dismiss the official reasons.

And the actual reasons I think are not very obscure. First of all, there's a long standing interest. That does not account for the timing but it does account for the interest. And that is that Iraq has the second largest oil reserves in the World and controlling Iraqi oil and even ending up probably with military bases in Iraq will place the United States in an extremely strong position to dominate the global energy system even more than it does today. That's a very powerful lever of world control, quite apart from the profits that comes from it. And the United States probably doesn't intend to access the oil of Iraq; it intends to use primarily safer Atlantic basin resources for itself (Western Hemisphere, West Africa). But to control the oil has been a leading principle of United States foreign policies since the Second World War, and Iraq is particularly significant in this respect. So that's a long-standing interest. On the other hand it doesn't explain the timing.

If you want to look at the timing, I think that it became quite clear that the massive propaganda for the war began in September of last year, September 2002. Before that there was a condemnation of Iraq but no effort to whip people into war fever. So we asked what else happened then [in] September 2002. Well, two important things happened. One was the opening of the mid term congressional campaign, and the Bush's campaign manager, Kari Rove, was very clearly explaining what should be obvious to anybody anyway: that they could not possible enter the campaign with a focus on social and economic issues. The reason is that they are carrying out policies which are quite harmful to the general population and favour-able to an extremely narrow sector of corporate power and the corrupt sectors as well, and they can't face the electorate on that. As he pointed out, if we can make the primary issue National Security then we will be able to win because people will flock to power if they feel frightened. And that is second nature to these people; that's the way they have run the country right through the 1980s with very unpopular domestic program-mes but accustomed to press into the panic button Nicaragua, Grenada, crime, one thing after another. And Rove also pointed out that something similar would be needed for the presidential election.

And that's true and what they want to do is not just to stay in office but they would like to institutionalize the very regressive programme put forward domestically, a programme which will basically unravel whatever is left of New Deal social democratic systems and turn the country into a passive undemocratic society, controlled totally by high concentration of capital. This means slashing public medical assistance, social security; probably schools; and increasing state power. These people are not conser-vatives, they brought the country into a federal deficit with the largest increase in federal spending in 20 years, that is since their last term in office and huge tax cuts for the rich, and they want to institutionalize these programmes. They are seeking a "fiscal train wreck" that will make it imp-ossible to fund the programmes. They know they cannot face an election declaring that they want to destroy very popular programmes, but they can throw up their hands in despair and say, "What can we do, there's no money," after they have made sure there would be no money by huge tax cuts for the rich and sharp increase in spending for military (including high tech industry) and other programmes beneficial to corporate power and the wealthy. So that's the second, that's the domestic factor and in fact, there was a spectacular propaganda achievement on that. After the government media propaganda campaign began in September they succeeded in con-vincing a majority of the population very quickly that Iraq was an imminent threat to the security of the United States, and even that Iraq was responsible for September 11th. I mean, there is not a grain of truth in all that, but by now a majority of the population believes those things and those attitudes are correlated strongly with the commitment to war, which is understandable. If people think they are threatened with destruction by an enemy who's already attacked them it is likely that they'll go to war. In effect, if you look at the press today they describe soldiers as saying: "we are here for revenge you know because they blew up the World Trade Centre, they will attack us," or something. Well, these beliefs are completely unique to the United States.

No one in the World believes anything like this. In Kuwait and Iran people hate Saddam Hussein, but they are not afraid of him, they know they're the weakest country in the region. In any event the govern-ment media propaganda campaign worked brilliantly as the population was frightened and to a large extent it was willing to support the war despite the fact that there was a lot of opposition. And that's the second factor.

And there was a third factor which was even more important. In September the Government announced the National Security Strategy. That is not completely without precedent, but it is quite new as a formu-lation of state policy. What is stated is that we are tearing the entire system of the International Law to shreds, the end of United Nations Charter, and that we are going to carry out an aggressive war which we will call "preventive" and at any time we choose and that we will rule the world by force. In addition, we will assure that there is never any challenge to our domination because we are so overwhelmingly powerful in military force that we will simply crush any potential challenge.

Well, you know, that caused shudders around the world, including the foreign policy elite at home which was appalled by this. I mean it is not that things like that haven't been heard in the past. Of course they had, but it had never been formulated as an official national policy. I suspect you will have to go back to Hitler to find an analogy to that. Now, when you propose new norms in the international behaviour and new policies you have to illustrate it, you have to get people to understand that you mean it. Also you have to have what a Harvard historian called an "exemplary war", a war of example, which shows that we really mean what we say.

And we have to choose the right target. The target has to have several properties. First it has to be completely defenceless. No one would attack anybody who might be able to defend themselves. That would be not prudent. Iraq meets that perfectly: it is the weakest country in the region, it's been devastated by sanctions and almost completely disarmed and the United States knows every inch of the Iraq territory by satellite surveillance and oversights, and more recently U 2 flights. So, yes, Iraq it is extremely weak and satisfied the first condition.

And secondly, it has to be important. So there will be no point invading Burundi, you know, for example, it has to be a country worthwhile controlling, owning, and Iraq has that property too. It's, as mentioned, the second largest oil producer in the world. So it's perfect example and a perfect case for this exemplary war, intending to put the world on notice saying that this is what we're going do, any time we choose. We have the power. We have declared that our goal is domination by force and that no challenge will be accepted. We've showed you what we are intending to do and be ready for the next. We will proceed on to the next operation. Those various conditions fold together and they make a war a very reasonable choice in taking to a test some principles.

Atilio A. Boron: According to your analysis then the question is: who is next? Because you don't believe that they are going to stop in Iraq, wouldn't you?

Noam Chomsky: No, they already made this clear. For one thing they need something for the next presidential election. And that will continue. Through their first twelve years in office this continued year after year; and it will continue until they manage to institutionalize the domestic policies to which they are committed and to ensure the global system they want. So what's the next choice? Well the next choice has to meet similar condi-tions. It has to be valuable enough to attack, and it has to be weak enough to be defenceless. And there are choices, Syria is a possible choice. There Israel will be delighted to participate. Israel alone is a small country, but it's an offshore United States military base, so it has an enormous military force, apart from having hundreds of nuclear weapons (and probably kinds of chemical and biological weapons), its air and armed forces are larger and more advanced that those in any NATO Power, and the United States is behind it overwhelmingly.

So Syria is a possibility. Iran is a more difficult possibility because it is a harder country to dominate and control. Yet there is a reason to bel-ieve that for a year or two now, efforts have been under way to try to dis-mantle Iran, to break it into internally warring groups. These United States dismantling efforts have been partly based in Eastern Turkey, the United States bases in Eastern Turkey apparently flying surveillance over Iranian borders. That's another possibility. There is a third possibility that can not be considered lightly, and is the Andean region. The Andean region has a lot of resources and it's out of control. There are United States military bases surrounding the region, and United States forces are there already. And the control of Latin America is of course extremely important. With the developments in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, Bolivia it's clear that United States domination is challenged and that can't be accepted, in particular in a region so close and so crucial because of its resource base. So that is another possibility.

Atilio A. Boron: This is really frightening. Now the question is, do you think that this situation in Iraq, the invasion and the aftermath would affect in a non reparable manner the political stability of the region? What are likely to be the side effects of this invasion in countries with a very fragile political constitution like South Arabia or even Syria, Iran or even the Kurds? What may be the future of the Palestine question, which still is of paramount importance in the area?

Noam Chomsky: Well, what's going to happen in the Arab world is extremely hard to predict. It's a disorganized and chaotic world dominated by highly authoritarian and brutal regimes. We know what the attitudes are. The United States is very concerned with attitudes in the region so they have pretty good studies made by United States Middle East scholars on the attitudes in the region, and the results are pretty dramatic. One of the more recent ones, a University of Maryland study covering from Morocco to the Gulf to Lebanon, the entire area, shows that a very large majority of the population wants religious leaders to have a greater role in government. It also shows that approximately another 95 per cent believe that the sole United States interest in the region is taking its oil, streng-hening Israel and humiliating the Arabs. That means near unanimity. If there is any popular voice allowed in the region, any moves toward democracy, it could become sort of like Algeria ten years ago, not necessarily radical Islamists but a government with some stronger Islamist currents. This is the last thing the United States wants, so chances of any kind of democratic opening very likely will be immediately opposed.

The voices of secular democracy will also be opposed. If they speak up freely, about violation of United Nations Resolutions for exam-ple, they will bring up the case of Israel, which has a much worse record than Iraq in this respect but is protected by the United States. And they will have concerns for independence that the United States will not favour, so it will continue to support oppressive and undemocratic regimes, as in the past, and as in Latin America for many years, unless it can be assured that they will keep closely to Washington's priorities. On the other hand these chaotic popular movements are so difficult to predict. I mean, even the participants can't or don't know what they want. What we know is this tremendous hatred, antagonisms and fear probably more than ever before on the Israel Palestine issue that is, of course, the core issue in the Arab world. The Bush administration has been very careful not to take any posi-tion, though there are actions, which undermine the prospects for peaceful resolution: funding more Israeli settlement programmes, for example.

They don't say anything significant. The most they say is that we have a "vision" or something equally meaningless. Meanwhile the actions have been taken and the United States had continued to support the more extremist positions within Israel. So what the press describes as George Bush's most significant recent statements, then later reiterated by Colin Powell, was the statement that said that settlement in the occupied territ-ories can continue until the United States determines that the conditions for peace have been established, and you can move forward on this mythical "Road Map." The statement that was hailed as "significant" in fact amou-nts to a shift in policy, to a more extremist form. Up until now the official position has been that there should be no more settlements. Of course, that's hypocritical of the United States because meanwhile it continues to provide the military, and economic, and diplomatic support for more settle-ments, but the official position has been opposed to it. Now the official position is in favour of it, until such time as the United States determines unilaterally that the "peace process" has made enough progress, which means, basically indefinitely. Also it wasn't very well noticed that last December, at the United Nations General Assembly, the Bush Administra-tion shifted the United States policy crucially on an important issue. Up until that time, until last December, the United States has always officially endorsed the Security Council Resolutions of 1968 opposing Israel's annexation of Jerusalem, and ordering Israel to withdraw the moves to take over East Jerusalem and to expand Jerusalem, which is now a huge area.

The United States had always officially opposed that, although again hypocritically. As of last December the Bush Administration came out in support of it. This was a pretty sharp change in policy, and it is also significant that it was not reported in the United States. But it took place. So this is the only concrete act, and continues like that. The United States has in the past vetoed the European efforts to place international monitors in the territories, which would be a way of reducing political, violent confrontations. The United States undermined the December 2001 meet-ings in Geneva to implement the Geneva conventions and as almost all the other contracting parties appeared the United States refused and that, essentially, blocked it. Bush then declared Sharon to be "a man of peace" and supported his repressive activities, as was pretty obvious. So the indications are that the United States will move towards a very harsh policy in the territories, granting the Palestinians at most some kind of meaningless formal status as a "state". Of course, this would dress up as democracy, and peace, and freedom, and so on. They have a huge public relations operation and it would be presented in that way, but 1 don't think the reality looks very promising.

Atilio A. Boron: I have two more questions to go. One is about the future of the United Nations system. An article by Henry Kissinger recently reproduced in Argentina argued that multilateralism is over and that the world has to come to terms with the absolute superiority of the American Armed Forces and that we've better go alone with that because the old system is dead. What is your reflection on the international arena?

Noam Chomsky: Well you know, it's a little bit like financial and industrial strategy. It is a more brazen formulation of policies which have always been carried out. The unilateralism with regard to the United Nations, as Henry Kissinger knows perfectly well, goes far back. Was there any United Nations authorization for the United States invasion of Vietnam 40 years ago? In fact, the issue could not even come up at the United Nations. The United Nations and all the countries were in overwhelming opposition to the United States operations in Vietnam, but the issue could literally never arise and it was never discussed because everyone understood that if the issues were discussed the United Nations would simply be dismantled.

When the World Court condemned the United States for its attack on Nicaragua, the official response of the Reagan Administration - which is the same people now in office - the official response when they rejected World Court jurisdiction was that other nations do not agree with us and therefore we will reserve to ourselves the right to determine what falls within the domestic jurisdiction of the United States. I am quoting it. In this case, that was an attack on Nicaragua. You can hardly have a more extreme unilateralism than that. And American elites accepted that, and so it was applauded and, in fact, quickly forgotten. In your next trip to the United States take a poll in the Political Science Department where you are visiting and you will find people who never heard of it. It's as wiped out as this. As is the fact that the United States had to veto the Security Council's Resolutions supporting the Court's decision and calling on all states to observe International Law. Well, you know that is unilateralism in its extreme, and it goes back before that.

Right after the Missile Crisis, which practically brought the world to a terminal nuclear war, a major crisis, the Kennedy Administration resumed its terrorist activities against Cuba and its economic warfare which was the background for the crisis and Dean Acheson, a respected statesman and Kennedy advisor at the liberal end of the spectrum, gave an important address to the American Society of International Law in which he essentially stated the Bush Doctrine of September 2002. What he said is that no "legal issue" arises in the case of a United States response to a challenge to its "power, position, and prestige." Can't be more extreme than that. The difference with September 2002 is that instead of being operative policy now it became official policy. That is the difference The United Nations has been irrelevant to the extent that the United States refused to allow it to function. So, since the mid 1960s when the United Nations had become somewhat more independent, because of decoloniza-tion and the recovery of other countries of the world from the ravages of the war, since 1965 the United States is far in the lead in vetoing Security Council Resolutions on a wide range of issues Britain is second and no one else is even close. All that renders the United Nations ineffective. It means, you do as we say or else we will kick you in the pants. Now it is more brazen.

The only correct statement that Kissinger is making is that now we will not conceal the policies that we are carrying out.

Atilio A. Boron: Okay, here is my last question: What has been the impact of the Iraqi War on the freedoms and public liberties of the American public? We have heard horrific stories about librarians been forced to indicate the names of people checking out books regarded as suspicious or subversives. What has been the real impact of the war in the domestic politics of the United States?

Noam Chomsky: Well, those things are taking place but 1 don't think they are specifically connected with the Iraq War. The Bush Administration, let me repeat it again, they are not conservatives; they are statist reaction-aries. They want a very powerful state, a huge state in fact, a violent state and one that enforces obedience on the population. There is a kind of quasi fascist spirit there, in the background, and they have been attempting to undermine civil rights in many ways. That's one of their long term objectives, and they have to do it quickly because in the United States there is a strong tradition of protection of Civil Rights. But the kind of surveill-ance you are talking about of libraries and so on is a step towards it. They have also claimed the right to place a person even an American citizen in detention without charge, without access to lawyers and family, and to hold them there indefinitely, and that in fact has been upheld by the Courts, which is pretty shocking. But they have a new proposal, sometimes called Patriot II, an 80 page document inside the Justice Department. Someone leaked it and it reached the press. There have been some outraged articles by law professors about it. This is only planned so far, but they would like to implement as secretly as they can. These plans would permit the Attor-ney General to remove citizenship from any individual whom the Attorney General believes is acting in a way harmful to the United States interests. I mean, this is going beyond anything contemplated in any democratic society. One law professor at New York University has written that this administration evidently will attempt to take away any civil rights that it can from citizens and I think it's basically correct. That fits in with their reactionary statist policies which have a domestic aspect in the economy and social life but also in political life.

by "Kitz"

The New Rulers Of The World by John Pilger. Verso, 2002.

John Pilger could very well have begun this book by citing the over-hasty impetus given to post World War II decolonisation substantially as a result of Roosevelt's abhorrence of colonialism and imperialism. Yet, in their place, by 1948, and as colonial empires began to crumble, George Kennan, America's strategic planner, was already advocating that America, with only 6.3 per cent of the world's population, and yet already owning 50 per cent of the world's wealth, should seek to maintain this disparity. This process, according to Pilger, could be termed civilising, rather than imperialistic.

Pilger has proved himself to be a fearless investigative journalist who having, for example, produced a telling documentary about Iraq has now written this book, The New Rulers Of The World. Pilger is under no illusions about who these rulers are and does more than suggest that behind the global bankers, the multinational corporations there exists a powerful elite symbolised by their greed and since the demise of bipolarity with the collapse of the Soviet Empire the unhindered use of power is feeding their greed.
In illustrating how the new rulers of the world ply their trade, Pilger cites three examples in detail, although with his extensive experience as a globe-trotting investigative journalist he could have chosen others as well. Pilger chose Indonesia, Iraq and then his own backyard, Australia.

Pilger cites President Suharto of Indonesia as America's "model pupil" and indeed one of his chapters is called just that - "The Model Pupil". Pilger describes how Suharto was manipulated by the C.I.A. and Britain to oust his predecessor Sukarno in the 1965-66 coup. An illustrative experience, for Sukarno, whilst not himself blameless, fell foul of American global ambitions when he first engineered the Bandung principles, appeared to permit the growth of political parties including the influential Communist Party the P.K.I. and finally when he expressed distaste for the American economic model for Indonesia. The years of Suharto's pitiless rule of Indonesia ended in 1998 taking with him a severance pay estimated at $15,000,000,000, taken out of an economy heavily indebted to the World Bank. During the period of Suharto's dictatorship, Pilger shows how the Americans controlled the I.M.F. (International Monetary Fund), and the World Bank, pillaged Indonesia's riches and reduced major sections of its working population to nothing short of global servitude in the interests of multinational profits.

Iraq appeared to have been a country which Pilger tried to bring to the notice of the world in the period between the First Gulf War and the Second Gulf War, although his book preceded the latter war. From a dubious ally of America as Iraq fought a debilitating, indecisive war against its more threatening neighbour, Iran, Saddam Hussein and his Socialist Ba'athist party became America's Number 1 enemy and paid the price for sitting upon the second largest oil reserves in the world and not proving a co-operative partner in America's plans for global control (Back to Kennan here). For a variety of reasons President George Bush Snr. did not finish off Saddam Hussein in the First Gulf War but instead determined to maintain control over Iraq by a process of sanctions and the operation of no-fly zones, which incidentally covered most of Iraq itself. Both, Pilger reminds us, were illegal since neither appear to have obtained outright United Nations approval and indeed if such intentions had been brought to the General Assembly of the United Nations instead of to the Security Council, they would have been overwhelmingly rejected. But the New Rulers proceeded unhindered with sanctions eliciting the famous response from Secretary of State Madeline Albright when asked whether she had heard half a million children had died as a result of their application, replied "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price - we think, the price is worth it". (Quoted by Pilger on page 61). We now know that the bombing meted out to the Iraqis during the no-fly zone period not only tore the heart out of what remained of Iraq's military infrastructure but killed thousands of innocent Iraqis in the process.

In Pilger's last chapter, Pilger, an Australian, as if to remind us that Australia, loyal supporter of America and hence her new rulers has herself a far from lily-white background in her treatment of her own racial minority - the Aborigines but what is of greater importance, if one can put it like that, is Pilger's more analytical chapter "The Great Game" in which he demolishes almost sentence by sentence the lack of compassion shown by the developed World for the Underdeveloped World as its new rulers sought to maintain Kennan's disparity. There is the box-bombing by B52s, the use of cluster bombs, the unprincipled support and then the rejection of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the mouthings of political guru Brzezinski, the record of hidden wars, the scandal of Noriega's imprisonment, the fact that Britain is second only to America as a supplier of arms world-wide which makes Robin Cook's "ethical foreign policy" laughable, but as Pilger hints it all ends up in the same multi-corporate board room, the New York bankers' offices or amongst the weasel word of James Rubin when tackled by Pilger about American policy and dutifully recorded by him on pages 83 - 88.

Finally let me go back to page 98 of this very important book and I am sure Pilger would be pleased to see this repeated. The following comes from Lord Curzon when he was Viceroy of India:

To me, I confess that (countries) are pieces in a chessboard upon which is being played out a great game for the domination of the world.

This was in 1898!


Note: Prices are shown where available from Bloomfield Books, and represent only a selection relevant to the theme of this edition of On Target. Books referred to in the text are numbered. Books of a general interest to the theme of this edition are listed unnumbered. 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 below. 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) Kelly, Robin A. The Sky Was Their Roof. Andrew Melrose, 1955.
(2) Pilger, John. The New Rulers Of The World. Verso, 2002.
(3) British Defence Equipment Catalogue. Seventeenth edition, 1987 - 1988. Published in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence (Defence Export Services Organisation), by Combined Service Publications Limited.
- Iraq Under Siege - The Deadly Impact of Sanctions and War. Edited by Anthony Arnove. Updated edition. Pluto Press, 2003.
- Clark, Ramsey. The Fire This Time - U.S. War Crimes in the Gulf. Thunder's Mouth Press, 1994.
- Crimes Of War - What The Public Should Know. Edited by Roy Gutman and David Rieff. W.W. Norton & Company Ltd., 1999.

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