‘Liberating’ Iraqis, Limb by Limb

Via: Al-Ahram Weekly.

Ten years after the invasion, more evidence has been emerging of the US use of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, writes Felicity Arbuthnot

US War Crimes in Iraq

War Criminals Bush and Blair

War Criminals: George Bush and Tony Blair

War Criminal Rumsfeld

War Criminal: Donald Rumsfeld

“Why should we hear about body bags and deaths… I mean, it’s not relevant, so why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?” — Former US first lady Barbara Bush, 18 March 2003

In these days of the 10th anniversary of the illegal US-led invasion and near destruction of Iraq, answers are owed not only to the dead, but also to the cancer-stricken, the deformed, their parents, their siblings and all Iraqis. These people were left with a land poisoned by depleted uranium in 1991, the burden building over 12 more years of (illegal) US and UK bombings and then the enormity of 2003.

The victims in the Iraqi city of Fallujah have rightly come under medical and media scrutiny since the US military onslaught of April and November 2004, but throughout Iraq there have been no reports of areas that have been unaffected.

Activist Dahr Jamail writes from Fallujah that “official Iraqi government statistics show that prior to the outbreak of the First Gulf War in 1991 the rate of cancer cases in Iraq was 40 out of 100,000 people. By 1995, it had increased to 800 out of 100,000 people, and by 2005 it had doubled to at least 1,600 out of 100,000 people. Current estimates show the increasing trend continuing.”

“As shocking as these statistics are, due to a lack of adequate documentation, research and reporting of cases, the actual rate of cancer and other diseases is likely to be much higher than even these figures suggest.” Jamail also mentions the “dramatic jump in miscarriages and premature births… particularly in areas where heavy US military operations occurred,” like in Fallujah. Continue reading

Ken Loach Wants Thatcher’s Funeral Privatized

Via: Information Clearing House.

Filmmaker says that putting the plans ‘out to tender’ is what she would have wanted

By Ben Arnold

The outspoken filmmaker explained in no uncertain terms his feelings on the subject of the former prime minister, who died yesterday following a stroke.

“Margaret Thatcher was the most divisive and destructive Prime Minister of modern times,” he said.

“Mass Unemployment, factory closures, communities destroyed – this is her legacy. She was a fighter and her enemy was the British working class.

“Her victories were aided by the politically corrupt leaders of the Labour Party and of many Trades Unions. It is because of policies begun by her that we are in this mess today.

“Other prime ministers have followed her path, notably Tony Blair. She was the organ grinder, he was the monkey.

“Remember she called Mandela a terrorist and took tea with the torturer and murderer Pinochet.
How should we honor her? Let’s privatize her funeral. Put it out to competitive tender and accept the cheapest bid. It’s what she would have wanted.”

Long an opponent of Thatcher, Loach’s views come as little surprise, and follow the announcement that Baroness Thatcher’s ceremonial funeral, to take place at St Paul’s Cathedral, is expected to cost up to £8 million, the biggest funeral of its kind since the death of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965.

Pete Wylie – The Day That Margaret Thatcher Dies!

Blair Must Be Arrested. By John Pilger

Via: New Statesman.

Having helped destroy other nations far away, our former prime minister — “peace envoy” to the Middle East — is now free to profit from the useful contacts he made while working as a “servant of the people”.

Tony Blair must be prosecuted, not indulged like Peter Mandelson. Both have produced self-serving memoirs for which they have been paid fortunes; Blair’s, which have earned him a £4.6m advance, will appear next month.

Now consider the Proceeds of Crime Act. Blair conspired in and executed an unprovoked war of aggression against a defenceless country, of a kind the Nuremberg judges in 1946 described as the “paramount war crime”. This has caused, according to scholarly studies, the deaths of more than a million people, a figure that exceeds the Fordham University estimate of deaths in the Rwandan genocide.

In addition, four million Iraqis have been forced to flee their homes and a majority of children have descended into malnutrition and trauma. Cancer rates near the cities of Fallujah, Najaf and Basra (the latter “liberated” by the British) are now higher than those at Hiroshima. “UK forces used about 1.9 metric tonnes of depleted uranium ammunition in the Iraq war in 2003,” the Defence Secretary, Liam Fox, told parliament on 22 July. A range of toxic “anti-personnel” weapons, such as cluster bombs, was employed by British and US forces.

Such carnage was justified with lies that have been exposed repeatedly. On 29 January 2003, Blair told parliament: “We do know of links between al-Qaeda and Iraq . . .” Last month, the former head of MI5 Eliza Manningham-Buller told the Chilcot inquiry: “There is no credible intelligence to suggest that connection . . . [it was the invasion] that gave Osama Bin Laden his Iraqi jihad.” Asked to what extent the invasion exacerbated the threat to Britain from terrorism, she replied: “Substantially.”

The bombings in London on 7 July 2005 were a direct consequence of Blair’s actions.

Voracious greed

Documents released by the high court show that British citizens were allowed to be abducted and tortured under Blair. In January 2002, Jack Straw, then foreign secretary, decided that Guantanamo was the “best way” to ensure that UK nationals were “securely held”. Continue reading

Blair’s Medal of Dishonour

Via: Morning Star.

Pouring scorn on the warmongering ex-PM’s latest ‘peace’ accolade

We live in strange times. In October 2009, the fledgling President Obama was awarded the Nobel peace prize for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples.”

He declared himself “surprised and deeply humbled,” accepting it as “a call to action.”

You might have thought this meant more “diplomacy and co-operation” were the order of the day. Not quite.

Two months later Obama announced that killing more Afghans and throwing millions of dollars into doing it was his first priority.

He didn’t quite put it like that, though. He told an audience at West Point, New York, that the deployment of 30,000 additional troops was vital to “the common security of the world.”

It would “break the Taliban’s momentum and increase Afghanistan’s capacity.” Goals would not be set “beyond our responsibility, our means or our interests.”

Six-and-a-half months into 2010, US deaths from improvised explosive devices alone are 188 – already exceeding the 152 for the whole year of 2008, in “Operation Enduring Freedom.” Total deaths for 2009 in Afghanistan were 317. This year they are already 231.

Dismemberments, disfigurements and deaths are seemingly part of Obama’s perceived “interests.” Enduring freedom indeed.

Under this shining example of all the Nobel peace prize now stands for, US drones are killing citizens of Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

And now amid this Orwellian world, “Teflon” Tony Blair is set to collect the latest in a glittering array of awards for services to humanity – the 2010 Liberty Medal, awarded by the US Constitution Centre.

His contribution to the betterment of mankind has included joining the United States in the Afghanistan invasion and the silent cull of an average of 6,000 Iraqi children a month between 1997 and 2003 by instructing Britain’s UN officials to veto everything from vaccines to Ventolin, insulin to incubators, paper to pencils, female hygiene appliances to aids for children at the schools for the blind and deaf. Continue reading