IRAQ – The Anatomy of a Massacre, by Malcom Lagauche

July 31, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment

The Anatomy of a Massacre

Malcom Lagauche

The Mother of All Battles is available. To order, please click on this link:

July 30, 2010Twenty years ago, the Middle East was an entirely different entity from the area of today. No U.S. troops were stationed in Arab countries. Iraq and Iran had just finished a bloody eight-year war. Iraq was rebuilding its economy and the nation had a bright future. Then, on August 2, 1990, Iraqi troops crossed the border of Kuwait. The Kuwaitis, in collaboration with the U.S. and their silent partners, Israel, began a propaganda campaign that surpassed those of any in recent history.

Iraq had a legitimate gripe with Kuwait and thought the Kuwaitis would sit down at the bargaining table if Iraqi troops crossed the border. Iraq was wrong. Kuwait and the US had begun to plan the destruction of Iraq in 1987 and now was the chance the U.S. was awaiting to control the Arab world with troops on the ground. Shortly after the August 2 intrusion of Iraqi troops, Saudi Arabia became a launching pad for the US military in the Arab world.

Soon, it will be the 20th anniversary of the beginning of the end for the country of Iraq. Let’s go back to those days and also look at the preposterous events that followed that doomed Iraq’s fate.

When the first bomb fell on Iraq at 2:00 a.m. on January 17, 1991, the United States began the military implementation of years of deceit and dirty tricks to attain a permanent foothold in the Middle East. George Bush I enlisted, coerced and paid 27 other nations to help massacre Iraq, depriving these newly-won allies of any ethical high ground.

Continue Reading IRAQ – The Anatomy of a Massacre, by Malcom Lagauche…

Pre-Ramadan Distractions in Iraq, by Reidar Visser

July 31, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment

Pre-Ramadan Distractions in Iraq

Posted by Reidar Visser

on Friday, 30 July 2010 14:35

This week has been about the Shaabaniyya pilgrimage to Karbala; next week is the last full working week in Iraq before Ramadan starts around 11 August. Alas, signs are that Iraqi politicians have already resigned and do not expect any political movement before the month-long holiday period in which business slows down considerably and at least some appear to be planning an exodus from the summer heat of the Iraqi capital.

More worryingly, the limited activity that can be discerned at the level of coalition-discussion seems to be getting less and less focused by the day. Regretfully, even some of the parties that did best in the 7 March elections are now getting engrossed in nonsensical detours that will only increase the delays in forming the government and could potentially lead to an outcome very far from the wishes of their electorates. Take the secular Iraqiyya, for example, and its recent attempt at declaring the current government a caretaker government. On 27 July, Hani Ashur told media in all seriousness that the “dissolution of parliament” creates a situation in which the government becomes a “caretaker government”:

وأوضح عاشور :” ان الدستور ينص على ان حل مجلس النواب يحيل الحكومة الى حكومة تصريف اعمال

The only problem, of course, is that this paragraph of the constitution is the second part of an article (64) that deals with the special case of parliament dissolving itself by a special majority in case it wants to terminate the parliamentary session prematurely, i.e. before four years have lapsed. But the paragraph quoted by Ashur obviously does not relate to a regular, automatic dissolution of parliament after four years – which is what we are dealing with today – and as such just underscores the futility of the whole idea of bothering about the status of the existing government instead of taking bold steps towards the formation of a new one.

This episode just highlights a series of unfortunate turns within Iraqiyya towards focusing more and more on far-fetched arguments in the coalition-forming process. Not infrequently, these are part of a rather heated anti-Maliki discourse, where the latest idea is that any second premiership by Maliki would somehow be problematic because it would jeopardise “the peaceful rotation of power”.  Again, Iraqiyya is at odds with the Iraqi constitution: There is no limitation on the number of times a premier can serve. Focusing on problems of authoritarianism is of course legitimate, but at least with Maliki there are common views between him and Iraqiyya on a range of basic issues relating to the centralised structure of the state and the centrality of a state-led oil sector, which after all makes up most of Iraq’s economy. Conversely, Iraqiyya’s current conversation partners among the Kurds and ISCI have an opposite, pro-federal position on these key issues, and – lest we get too deeply immersed in the “anti-authoritarian” argument against Maliki – feature a considerable number of autocrats in their ranks.

The latest idea to create distractions in Iraq is the notion that a meeting of the UN Security Council next week will somehow engage in a robust manner with the process of government formation in Iraq. It probably won’t. The Security Council is not more than the sum of its members, and the Obama administration clearly isn’t interested in a pro-active role in the government formation process beyond the repeated expression of a preference for a large coalition of the four winning blocs. Few Americans other than Ken Pollack have suggested more active machinations of the kind associated with the Bush era, and the likelihood that Obama/Biden will pick up these ideas seems limited: “Bush reintroduced democracy in Iraq; Obama cancelled the elections and imposed a salvation government”?? Probably not. Nonetheless, Iraqiyya – which unfortunately has a past habit of often expecting the UN to rise as a sphinx and intervene in Iraq quite irrespective of the explicit disengagement strategies of its constituent elements – seems to be paying attention to proposals that will probably never become US policy and are using them to lull themselves into a state of inaction in the government-formation process.

Finally, by all means, Iraqiyya is not the only bloc that seems to have immersed itself in futile schemes and strange readings of the constitution. Lately, there has been a mushrooming of claims to “entitlements” (istihqaqat) in the next government on the alleged basis of the elections result. Again, this notion – which above all has been articulated by the Kurdish alliance, but has also been found more recently among others – is pure nonsense. In fact, there is only one kind of electoral entitlement in the Iraqi constitution, and it relates to bigness. The biggest bloc which is able to unite and agree on a single, named and identifiable premier candidate has the right to form the government, period. Every other idea of entitlement – whether ethnic, sectarian or demanding the inclusion of a particular number of blocs or even all winning lists – is rubbish without any constitutional basis. Their proponents are either racists, sectarian bigots, ignoramuses, or all of the above – and need a crash course on the Iraqi constitution.

If these trends of unfounded bickering between Iraqiyya and State of Law continue, the result will be the dominance of regional and particularly Iranian forces who stand ready to accept any outcome that produces a weak and oversized government. The fear is that this whole process will take so long that Iraqiyya and SLA forget where it started, and they end up taking a couple of ministries in a 50-strong cabinet headed by a weak compromise figure from the Iraqi National Alliance.


July 28, 2010 at 9:37 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment

Exclusive: After Revealing Afghan War Secrets, Wikileaks Prepares Document Dumps on Iraq and Diplomacy


 July 28, 2010While the world has begun picking through the 90,000 classified reports on U.S. military activity in Afghanistan obtained and released by freedom-of-information Web site Wikileaks, Declassified has learned that tens of thousands of additional U.S. government documents—including military reports relating to the Iraq War and State Department diplomatic cables—may surface in forthcoming document dumps.
Two sources familiar with material currently in the hands of Wikileaks, who asked for anonymity when discussing sensitive information, said on Monday that the next subject to be featured in media revelations based on documents leaked to Wikileaks was likely to be U.S. conduct of the Iraq War. The sources indicated the type of material likely to be the basis of anticipated forthcoming exposes would be similar to the military reports—many of them from U.S. military units operating in the field—which began to surface on Monday in reports published by The New York Times, The Guardian newspaper of London and the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel regarding U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and related dealings with authorities in Pakistan. 
Due to the sensitivity of the material, the sources declined to discuss any of the still-to-be-revealed documents about Iraq in detail. However, one of the sources characterised the material as describing the involvement of U.S. forces in a “bloodbath.”
One of the sources also noted that Bradley Manning, a U.S. Army private under arrest and charged with disclosing to unauthorized persons a U.S. military video that later was believed to have been made public by Wikileaks, also faces charges of illegally downloading more than 150,000 U.S. diplomatic cables. The official charges do not accuse Manning of actually passing on this material to anyone. However, Declassified’s source indicated that this classified State Department material may also soon surface in media reports courtesy of Wikileaks.
This source said that the 90,000-plus documents so far mentioned in stories based on the Wikileaks material in The New York Times, Guardian, and Der Spiegel only relate to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Thousands, if not tens of thousands, of other similar documents apparently are already in the hands of Wikileaks relating to U.S. operations in Iraq, the source indicated, as well as the 150,000 U.S. diplomatic cables.

The sources said they could not predict when additional news stories based on Iraq and State Department documents obtained by Wikileaks would first appear. But they suggested that the timing of future revelations may relate to the fact that one of the news organizations involved in the initial round of revelations, Der Spiegel, is a magazine that publishes only one main edition weekly (though Spiegel does have a Web site). The New York Times publishes seven days a week, and The Guardian publishes Monday through Saturday, though the London newspaper also owns a Sunday broadsheet, The Observer.
One of the sources familiar with the Wikileaks material said that nothing in the cache seen so far was classified higher than “Secret/Noforn”—the latter term meaning that the documents were not intended to be shared with any foreign government. In U.S. government terms, material classified “Secret” is of relatively moderate sensitivity. The U.S. government’s most sensitive military and intelligence secrets—including the so-called Pentagon Papers, which were leaked in the 1970s to The New York Times—are classified “Top Secret”, and within that general category, access to ultrasensitive material is restricted more greatly through the use of “Special Access Programs” and exotic codewords like “Talent/Keyhole” (relating to picture-taking spy satellites) and “Umbra” (related to electronic eavesdropping).
In a statement posted on the White House Web site Sunday, retired general Jim Jones, President Obama’s national-security adviser, condemned the Wikileaks revelations on Afghanistan and Pakistan and said that they would not affect the U.S. commitment to the region. The statement made no mention of possible future Wikileaks-related revelations regarding Iraq or U.S. diplomatic activities.

Iraq reconstruction funds ‘missing’

July 28, 2010 at 1:31 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Iraq reconstruction funds ‘missing’ 

July 27, 2010


 The US Defence Department is unable to properly account for $8.7 billion in Iraqi oil money tapped by the US for rebuilding the war ravaged nation, according to an audit.

This came in an audit report released by the US Special Investigator for Iraq Reconstruction on Tuesday.

The report offers a compelling look at continued laxness in how such funds are being spent.

The audit found that shoddy record keeping by the Defence Department left the Pentagon unable to fully account for over 95 per cent of a total of $9.1 billion it withdrew between 2004 and 2007 from a special fund set up by the UN Security Council.

Of that amount, the Pentagon “could not provide documentation to substantiate how it spent $2.6 billion.”

The funds are separate from the $53 billion allocated by Congress for rebuilding Iraq.

No basic services

The report comes at a critical time for Iraq, where people complain basic services like electricity and clean water are sharply lacking seven years after the US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

The audit cited a number of factors that contributed to the inability to account for most of the money withdrawn by the Pentagon from the Development Fund for Iraq.

It said most of the Defence Department organisations that received DFI money failed to set up Treasury Department accounts as required.

In addition, it said no Defence Department organisation was designated as the main body to oversee how the funds were accounted for or spent.

“The breakdown in controls left the funds vulnerable to inappropriate uses and undetected loss,” the report said.

Money on hold

The audit found that the US continues to hold about $34.3 million of the money even though it was required to return it to the Iraqi government.

The audit did not indicate that investigators believed there were any instances of fraud involved in the spending of these funds.

The DFI includes revenues from Iraq’s oil and gas exports, as well as frozen Iraqi assets and surplus funds from the now-defunct, Saddam Hussein-era oil-for-food programme.

With the establishment of the Coalition Provisional Authority, which ran Iraq shortly after the start of the US invasion in 2003 until mid-2004, about $20 billion was placed into the account.


Chilcot Inquiry – Fresh accusations of Iraq War cover-up

July 26, 2010 at 2:39 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment

Fresh accusations of Iraq war cover-up

by Louise Nousratpour

July 25, 2010A former diplomat has accused the government of “covering up” key information from the Iraq inquiry to hide mistakes.

Carne Ross, who quit the Foreign Office in 2004 after criticising Britain’s involvement in the war, said he had been denied access to key material before his recent appearance.

The former Iraq expert at the United Nations also claimed he had been subjected to “subtle intimidation” from Whitehall to drop references to a classified memo warning of inaccuracies in a paper prepared for Labour MPs.

Giving evidence to Sir John Chilcot’s panel earlier this month, Mr Ross complained about a “culture of unaccountability and sometimes dishonesty” in government.

In a hard-hitting article published in a Sunday paper, Mr Ross renewed a call for all but a few of the “most secret” documents related to the 2003 invasion to be made public.

“Though profoundly embarrassing, there is little here that damages national security, except in the hysterical assessment of officials protecting their own reputation,” he wrote.

Mr Ross said “most” of the key documents he had requested to see were missing from large files sent to him to look through before his inquiry appearance.

He was told certain records, including those related to a visit to Syria by then prime minister Tony Blair, could not be found – something he said was “simply not plausible.”

Mr Ross warned that the inquiry was being given a “very one-sided account” to the panel that military action was “more or less unavoidable” because sanctions and containment were failing.

“The government is covering up its mistakes and denying access to critical documents,” the ex-diplomat claimed. The true story is there to be seen in the documents.”


Turkey Forbids Israeli Military Overflights, by Juan Cole

July 26, 2010 at 2:05 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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In case you have missed it:

Turkey Forbids Israeli Military Overflights, by Juan Cole

Informed Comment

Posted on June 29, 2010 by Juan

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday in Toronto in the wake of the G20 conference that Turkey will no longer routinely give Israeli military aircraft permission to fly in Turkish airspace. The announcement came as Turkey forbade an Israeli military airplane (taking officers on a visit to the sites of Nazi death camps for Jews in Poland) to fly over its territory. The Turkish press denies that the destination of the plane influenced the decision.

Future Israeli military overflight permissions will be granted on an ad hoc basis.

From the Guardian: ‘Israel’s Ynet news website reported that other military flights had also been quietly cancelled. “Turkey is continuing to downgrade its relations with Israel,” an unnamed official told Ynet. “This is a long-term process and not something that began just after the flotilla incident. We are very concerned.” ‘

Israel should be very concerned, since it is significantly more isolated in the Mediterranean than it has ever been in its history. And this isolation derives from Israeli policies, of illegal blockades of, and systematic land theft and displacement of occupied civilians under its control, along with aggressive wars on neighbors, which target infrastructure and civilians and are clearly intended to keep neighbors poor and backward.

I do not know if the Turkish air force has “identify friend or foe” codes. But it is possible that it does, and that it gives the code to regional military allies. Thus, US planes flying out of Incirlik air force base in Turkey to Iraq could be putting out IFF codes that reassure Turkish fighter jets on patrol that they are friendly. US aircraft certainly use this system to reassure each other. Erdogan’s announcement may mean that the Israeli air force used to have the Turkish IFF codes, but that they have now been changed and have not been shared with Tel Aviv. As a result, every overflight would have to be individually authorized or risk being suspected of being hostile and shot down.

The change in policy is significant because the Israeli air force in the past has flown over Turkey without permission for military purposes. Thus, when Israel bombed a Syrian facility it claimed was a budding nuclear reactor in October, 2007, its fighter jets flew over Turkish territory. Erdogan is said to have been surprised when it was reported to him that jettisoned Israeli fuel tanks from the raid had been found inside Turkey. But if the Israeli air force had Turkey’s IFF codes, they would not have needed prior permission for that overflight and would not have needed to worry about being mistaken for hostiles by the Turkish air force. And, Israeli officers could have been confident that the Turkish generals or “pashas” in Ankara would hardly complain very much about a potential nuclear reactor in Syria having been taken out. Turkey and Syria for decades had bad relations.

But now things have changed radically. Erdogan has a policy of pursuing good relations with immediate neighbors. He takes this policy so seriously that he has just removed Iran and Greece from Ankara’s “Red Book” or classified list of security threats. Erdogan has also made friends with Syrian president Bashar al-Asad. In fact, he offered Ankara’s good offices for indirect Israeli-Syrian talks that may have been going somewhere when the Israeli leadership suddenly brutally attacked Gaza in December-January 2008-2009, shocking and dismaying Erdogan and so angering Damascus that the talks collapsed, perhaps for the long term.

The political culture of the Israeli elite, which tends to treat allies as patsies, has left Erdogan scarred and grouchy. After the Israeli commando attack on the Turkish Mavi Marmara aid ship on May 31, which left 8 Turkish citizens and one American dead, Erdogan demanded an apology from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. He has received none. He demanded an international investigatory commission. Israel rejected that request. He wants an end to Israel’s blockade of Palestinian civilians in Gaza. The Israelis announced they would let in a third more trucks, but even with that change only a fourth of the goods would go into Gaza this year as went in before the blockade.

Erdogan appears to have spent a lot of time at the G20 meeting in Toronto showing other leaders, such as Dimitry Medvedev of Russia and Barack Obama, the forensics reports on the Israeli commandos’ killing of humanitarian workers on the Mavi Marmara. He pressed on Obama the need for an Israeli apology, and Erdogan says that Obama agreed with him, and pledged to convey the message to Netanyahu when they meet in Washington on July 7.

Erdogan has been repeatedly sandbagged and played by Israeli decision-makers, presumably on the theory that with Turkey’s candidacy for the EU going nowhere fast, and Turkey’s relations with the Arab world and Iran traditionally poor, Ankara had nowhere to go for friends but Tel Aviv and Washington.

What the Israeli politicians do not seem to have realized is that with the repeated election of the Justice and Development Party in Turkey and the consolidation of power in Erdogan’s hands, Ankara has a new and robust foreign and commercial policy with several planks.

Turkey’s candidacy for the European Union gives it excellent access to European markets even while it waits for a decision. It does $20 billion a year in business with Germany, $5 billion a year with Holland, etc. This access to Europe from the late 1990s has helped spur a Turkish economic miracle. (In some ways, it matters less if Turkey is admitted to Europe than if it just manages to remain a candidate for decades). Turkey has already undergone a demographic transition, so ever-increasing population growth no longer blunts gains in economic growth. The country, now 72 million, will likely level off at 90 million. Even as Turkey maintains and strengthens its European links, it has been since the late 1940s a member of NATO and its troops fight in Afghanistan.

But Europe (to which the Islamically tinged Justice and Development Party is especially committed) is only one wing of Turkey’s foreign policy. It has two others– the United States, and the Middle East. Turkish exports to Iran in 2009 amounted to $2 billion, up from only $320 million in 2002. Turkey does $3 billion a year in trade with Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, more than the $2.5 billion it does with Israel. And the total Turkish trade with the Arab world is now a whopping $30 billion per annum–12 times its trade volume with Israel. Some 20 percent of Turkey’s exports go to the Arab world (up from 12% in 2004), while 50% of its exports go to Europe. And Ankara’s flag is following its trade.

Some Western observers misunderstand Erdogan’s foreign and trade policies as increasingly oriented to the Middle East rather than to the West. That interpretation is incorrect. Erdogan does not want to substitute the Middle East for Europe. He wants to add the Middle East to Europe as spokes in Turkish diplomacy and commerce. A Turkey nearly as big as Germany, with a rapidly growing economy, which can offer itself as a bridge between Europe, the Middle East, and the US, could emerge as an indispensable country in the 21st century.

Israel is therefore not, as Tel Aviv appears to have earlier imagined, the only regional game in town for Turkey. It is a source of military technology and tourism and a way of cultivating good relations with Washington. But if Israel is going to keep embarrassing Erdogan with one SNAFU after another, it just isn’t that important and can be jettisoned.

And one dimension of Israel-Turkish military relations has just been jettisoned.

IRAQ: The Plight of the Yezidis

July 25, 2010 at 11:31 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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The following was sent to me by Mr. Mirza Ismail of Yezidi Human Rights Organization-International:

Conference on Iraqi religious minorities at the State Department

 July 14, 2010

 BY: Yezidi Human Rights Organization-International

 Office of International Religious Freedom

 Ladies and Gentlemen:

 The Yezidis, an Iraqi ethnic and religious minority, suffered greatly for decades under the dictatorial and brutal regime of Saddam Hussein. His government’s policy aimed to replace Yezidis with Muslims of Arabic ethnicity, driving us from our agricultural lands with the aid of an embargo. This campaign, as one might imagine, severely affected Yezidi social and economic institutions. The Yezidis’ plight has been largely ignored by mankind and in recent years particularly by the West. Under the Kurdish political system, which has been in place in the northern region since the removal of previous regime, the Kurdish authorities have been doing the same thing. If a Yezidi family or individual leaves voluntarily that is fine otherwise he/she is forced to sell his/her land and leave, or faces severe consequences, as Saddam did during his regime and worse; the Kurds are taking over Saddam’s unfinished work towards the innocent Iraqi religious and ethnic minorities. And also the International communities can see the Kurdish question has over-shadowed our (Yezidis) issue. Our history shows that whenever the Kurds get a chance and power, they always plan their first steps to destroy non-Muslim religious minorities in these areas not just in Iraq, but also in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Iran.

However, since 2003, the Kurds have been trying to assimilate us (Yezidis), to obscure our identity and culture that we (Yezidis) have been in the area for thousands of years. The Yezidi religion developed in Mesopotamia 6760 years ago. Many other religions including Mithraism and Zoroastrianism were born in the same area.

  Continue Reading IRAQ: The Plight of the Yezidis…

IRAQ – The Turkmen Charter

July 24, 2010 at 12:00 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment

The Turkmen Charter

Kerkük Foundation


1.Ideology of the Turkmen movement
2.Turkmen’s vision of the Iraqi citizenship
3.Turkmen citizens’ view of the Iraqi ethnicities
4.The Turkmen’s View on the Arab Nations’ Issues
5.The Turkmen’s View on the Aspiration of the Kurdish Citizens
6.The Turkmen’s View on the Iraqi Governance System
7.The Turkmen’s View on the Religious and Sectarian Diversity
8.The Turkmen’s View on the Neighbouring and Regional Nations
9.The Turkmen’s View on family and Women
10.The Turkmen’s View on Education
11.The Turkmen’s View on the Economic factors and Market policies

The Iraqi proposition sailed thorough stormy events that were created by various consecutive brutal dictatorial regimes that subsequently caused considerable hardship in all aspects of the Iraqi social order. Unfortunately, and despite the clear statements of the International Human Rights Declaration that was proclaimed on 10th of December 1948, the assured freedom and respectable life for everyone in the world was not reflected in the progression of events in Iraq for many decades.

The Turkmens had opposed dictatorial and repressive regimes throughout the recent history, which led these governments to marginalize the role of the Turkmen in the political arena and that of decision-making within the government. In order to obtain independence for the country of Iraq during the royal rule, the government pledged allegiance to the League of Nations in May 30th 1932, and hence assured the inclusion of prominent Turkmens in the early governments and confirmed the recognition of the major ethnic groups of Iraq as being made up of Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen. From the commencement of Iraq as a nation, the Turkmen were subjected to excessive oppression and, during the republic era and even under the western protection of Northern Iraq, the Turkmen cities were plundered more than once. All these events did not shake the Turkmen citizens’ resolve of allegiance to their citizenship, and they kept working with the Arabs, Kurds and Cildo-Asserians to establish a civil order in the country and to build a strong society that practices freedom, provides an honourable living and affords mutual respect to all ethnic components of the nation.

1. Ideology of the Turkmen movement:

The Turkmen movement is an ethnic movement that believes in the moral tenants of Islam and strives to sustain the dignity of the Turkmen and all other Iraqi ethnicities. It rejects all ethnic approaches that admit the superiority of one ethnic group over the others. The Turkmen movement is an inclusive ethnic movement that rejects racism, schisms, and local, regional and national factions.

It is a civilized foundation that assembles the Turkmen in various cities, towns and villages regardless of their diverse views, under a broad umbrella to guide them to mutual coexistence and brotherhood among the Iraqis.
This is a broad proclamation that embraces all of the vast groups of the Turkmen with its variety of social and/or intellectual opinions, and it also represents an ideological union to confront future events that face all Turkmen citizens.

2. Turkmen’s vision of the Iraqi citizenship:

From the inception of today’s Iraq, the Turkmen were firmly bound to their conviction of being citizens of this nation and of having toiled in their political actions to advance the nation, even though many of the consecutive governments resorted to obstructing their rights and benefits and preventing their intellectuals from reaching the level of decision makers in Iraqi society.
Historically, the Turkmen have proved their allegiance to the Iraqi land and to the nation, and never joined or supported groups or movements that promoted harmful separation of or infidelity to the unity of Iraq. During the previous century there has never been any record of mass departure of the Turkmen from Iraq, even under the most brutal and tyrannical regime.
The Turkmen proudly declared their resentment towards any movement that would disrupt the unity of Iraq and they consider the sacredness of all the Iraqi territories, from the extreme North to the extreme South, which they would defend by any means. As they proclaimed their intention, they also invited all the Iraqi citizens regardless of their ethnicities, factions and ideologies to hold firmly onto this understanding and agreement regarding the principles of preserving the unity of the Iraqi nation.

3. Turkmen citizens’ view of the Iraqi ethnicities:

It is the firm belief of the Turkmen that the ideal solution for the ethnicity problems in Iraq will come to fruition only when the process builds on a solid foundation that embraces all the ethnicities and groups, and considers them all as first class citizens and partners in one nation. Selection of a free and sovereign united government system should be according to the resolve and free will of the Iraqis.

There should be no attempt to push aside any ethnic group or sect of people or exaggerate the role of one group over the others because of certain exceptional states of affairs. Any solution that resorts to and implements the principles of the International Declarations of Human Rights according to the current situation would become a transitional solution, and could not represent wholeheartedly the blessing of the Iraqi people.

The Turkmen citizens affirm their respect for a comprehensive decision by the Iraqis that should take into consideration all the Iraqi ethnic groups who should exercise equal rights in shouldering similar duties in the regions that they inhabit, and that this should be conditional on a credible and just demographic census under the supervision of the United Nations. The Iraqi Turkmen predict a united, democratic, pluralistic and parliamentary Iraq, in which the government will be chosen by a free and credible election according to international standards, and will not be subjected to narrow-minded ethnic determinations in the distribution of authority or governmental positions.

In public service, the Turkmen believe that efficiency, qualifications, experience, and clear vision should become the standard. The Turkmen agree on other solutions that affirm all Iraqi ethnic groups’ right to carry out fully all of their national, cultural and administrative rights within principles that prescribe to local self determination or to a decentralized mode of governance or any other organizational system that would provide the Turkmen with automatic equal rights without any discrimination or bias.
The Turkmen citizens completely realize the current situation of the unfair political manoeuvres that favours the interest of one group over the others, or those that attempt to smear other ethnicities or nationals as conspirators. They vow not to fall into this trap and, they call on other ethnic groups to adopt a similar stance towards the Turkmen citizens of Iraq.

4. The Turkmen’s View on the Arab Nations’ Issues:

The Turkmen view the Arab Nation as an important resource that enriches the Turkmen culture. They have been intertwined in the same fabric throughout history, and made to face the same destiny and struggle for coexistence while sharing their cultural and intellectual resources. Thus the Iraqi Turkmen citizens shared the inspirations, feelings and pains of their Arab brothers and stand with them to face the same objectives, especially with regards to Palestine, which is considered an important Arabic, Islamic and regional issue. The Turkmen affirm that the Palestinians should strive to attain all of their legitimate rights and the establishment of a sovereign nation, with Jerusalem as its capital city.

Furthermore, they hold onto the concept of the rights of all the nations in the Middle East to peaceful coexistence, and support all the Arab Nations intellectual and regional actions and inspirations. They support the successes of the Arab Nations in achieving the goals of freedom and democracy according to systems of their choice. This will definitely influence the outcome of peace and stability in the region and, in return, will lead to security and tranquillity for all the people of the Middle East. The Turkmen movement supports the efforts of the Arab League to sustain the security and sovereignty of the Arab nations, the promotion of alliance and cooperation with the nations of the region, and they strive to strengthen the cultural and intellectual relations with the Turkmen according to the principles of the Arab League and the Cairo Declaration of Denouncement of Racial Discrimination for the year 2001.

The movement also declares to all of their Iraqi Arab brothers to encourage and cooperate in cultural and intellectual arenas by supporting the translations of literary works and intellectual books from the Turkmen language to Arabic. Moreover, they will organize periodic forums that include the participation of Arab and Turkmen elite to enlighten all the citizens on the Turkmen culture, wisdom, literature, folklore, music and theatre.

5. The Turkmen’s View on the Aspiration of the Kurdish Citizens:

The Turkmen movement considers the aspirations of the Kurdish citizens in Iraq to be legitimate, and such as would certainly increase the intellectual and ideological Iraqi alliance. The Turkmen movement considers the Iraqi Kurdish citizens as being a vital element in defending the achievements of the entire nation and, that the Kurdish people as having a reputable heritage, and deserving all their legitimate political, cultural, and national rights, including their rights to self governance, for a united Iraq.

The Turkmen movement holds no animosities or disrespect for the Kurds, and both of their movements are analogous and parallel. In return, the Turkmen expect the same civilized stance from the Kurdish political leadership in respecting the Turkmen’s distinctiveness, and their support for Turkmen aspirations to political, cultural and national rights, without any preferential treatment or favour of one faction over the other.

They expect good will and cooperation in attaining mutual achievements for both the Turkmen and Kurds in Iraq. The Turkmen movement invites the Kurdish leadership and all Kurdish political, cultural, and ideological organizations to a dialogue based on mutual respect and courtesy, and they will reject all sorts of coercion or monopoly regarding the rights of others.
The long and rich history of the coexistence in Northern Iraq between the two peoples, as practiced in their villages and towns, invites the leadership and politicians of both movements to consider seriously the divisive issues, and focus on strengthening the bonds of mutual trust and facilitate cooperation with the Cildo-Asssirians inhabitants of Northern Iraq and all the Arab citizens of the nation. This would lay a strong foundation for building a civilized model for healthy coexistence and integration in the Middle East region.

6. The Turkmen’s View on the Iraqi Governance System:

The Turkmen movement believes firmly in the process of the selection of a form of government that should be decided by the Iraqis without being totalitarian. The Turkmens like other ethnic people of Iraq have rejected such dictatorial regimes in the past, and the movement advocates a democratic system and peaceful utilization of the authority according to a fair and credible election in line with the civilized manner that is practiced in democratic countries.

The Turkmen movement supports a pluralistic, constitutional and democratic republic. The Iraqi constitution should come out of the nation’s consciousness and should assure all Iraqi citizens freedom in practicing their political, civil, social, and cultural privileges. These include freedom of speech exercised in terms of publishing newspapers and magazines, establishing radio and television stations, creating political parties, and the establishment of an intellectual organization within a moral code that would foster unity and prevent divisions within the country.

The Turkmen movement supports a strong central government in the capital of Baghdad, and considers it an assurance for the unity and the stability of Iraq for granting local governments and municipalities the maximum flexibility in governing their affairs. Moreover, the Turkmen movement respects the Iraqi decision of selection of a government system either federal or united, with the condition that such a decision should consider the inclusion of all the ethnic groups of Iraq. Such decisions are vital and grave, and not should be granted to one group; the entire components of the Iraqi nation should be consulted on this issue.

7. The Turkmen’s View on the Religious and Sectarian Diversity:

The Turkmen movement considers that the diversity of religious sects in Iraq has always enriched the religious and the cultural events of the Iraqi Turkmen. Religious beliefs or practices have never been a source of disagreement or intellectual conflict among them.

The Turkmen realize that resorting to the religious practices of following the famous and ancient Islamic scholars is a personal spiritual choice that has contributed to the enrichment of the faith in the hearts of the Muslims. The Turkmens have the same opinion of leaving such matters to individuals or group choice and providing necessary support for religious organizations and places of worship to all Muslim categories.

The Turkmens confirm and believe in the Islamic principles of religious tolerance and respect for others religious characteristics. Citizens of various religious affiliations have lived along with the Turkmen and established humanistic bonds, interacted with them courteously and demonstrated due mutual respect to each other. Among the Turkmen there is a Christian sect that lives in Kirkuk, especially in the historical fortress, and their identity should be revered, and their intellectual contributions and relics protected.

8. The Turkmen’s View on the Neighbouring and Regional Nations:

The Turkmen movement affirms that in order to catch up with the progress of civilization and globalization, Iraq has to continue to work with all nations, especially with the neighbouring and regional countries, to benefit from their intellectual, economic and cultural resources. Iraq should not be in isolation from the rest of the world, but should continue the active role that has been followed since its inception, in cooperating and contributing in both the regional and international arenas according to mutual respect. However, this should not lead to interference in the internal affairs of other nations.
The Turkmen movement desires to see the Iraqi government established a harmoniously broad spectrum of relations, which strengthens the bonds with neighbouring and regional countries. The government should allow people from other countries to visit the holy shrines or the historical sites, and the process of granting permission should adopt a civilized and pragmatic order.
The same should apply to the Iraqi citizens who would like to travel to other countries for religious, business, training and cultural reasons. This should apply to all countries, but particularly to Turkey and Iran.
The Turkmen share with Turkey and other Asiatic Turkic speaking nations their culture, language and heritage. Thus they consider improving these relations as important elements for the enhancement of their cultural activities in literature and publishing. The Turkmen categorically reject false assumptions in this direction, and confirm that this relation is absolutely cultural and intellectual and does not have any political merit. The same applies to the relations of other ethnic groups, such as the Arabs in Iraq, as they establish similar ties with neighbouring Arab nations.
The Iraqi Turkmen also call for improving relations with other regional nations in the Caucasus and central Asia to benefit from their cultural and artistic experience. It must be clear that the political decisions of the Iraqi Turkmen originate from the Iraqi land, along with those of other ethnic brethren in the country.

9. The Turkmen’s View on family and Women:

The family is considered the most important pillar of the Iraqi and Turkmen society, and it is the responsibility of the government to provide the family with all the civil rights that maintain its unity and enhance its role in the creation of a unique civil society. The Turkmen view women as the most vital element for the cohesiveness of the family, and to the raising of upright generations.

Therefore, they call for complete support for the rights of the Turkmen and all the Iraqi women, for their protection from exploitation and suppression. Legislation that assures women dignity and rights should be enforced comparable to what has been set for men and in accordance to the articles of the Treaty on the Abolishment of all Forms Discrimination Against Women as adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 18, 1979.
The Turkmen movement invites all the government agencies to utilize this civilized course in dealings with family matters, to provide women with a noble status in society and to protect her rights in job markets, ownership, commerce, cultural and social activities.

10. The Turkmen’s View on Education

The implementation of compulsory education at least to middle school level for all the sectors of the Iraqi populace is regard by the Turkmen as an important issue that has to be addressed and achieved by the government with prudence and sensitivity. Private schools that cater for the special needs of various sectors of the society should be considered prudently, and standards set for a complete central administration of such educational institutions for the entire country.
The Turkmen movement strongly advocates the adoption of local languages for teaching in all the sectors of Iraq, with full and sustained governmental support of their curriculum and schools. Furthermore, the Turkmen movement advocates the expansion of vocational education, and the preparation of a technical force that would take an active role in rebuilding Iraq, improving higher education, and utilizing a systematic and statistical means of balancing studies in science and the humanities.

The Turkmen movement also advocates the adoption in all the Turkmen regions of the Turkmen language in teaching at all levels of education, according to an established curriculum with the emphasis on teaching the fundamentals of the language and maintaining selected lessons for Turkmen language and literature in the higher classes. The teaching of Arabic should be maintained at all levels of education. The use of modern (Latin) letters in the study of the Turkmen language as adopted by educators in the field of Turkic languages is preferred.

This will facilitate catching up with progressive trends in education and teaching, as it provides vocal similarities to these languages. Furthermore, special attention should be paid to the study of the Turkmen language in Arabic script, and to obtaining permission for literary forums to publish in these languages, and even to reprint old publications of Turkmen literature for the enrichment of thought and knowledge.

11. The Turkmen’s View on the Economic factors and Market policies:

The Turkmen Movement believes in free economic policies and the adaptation of free market practices to achieve the best economic growth and development in a manor that prevents interferences or monopolies whether from the State or individuals. The Turkmen Movement supports and encourages the movement of assets and free investments as long as it does not affect or harm the national security. In this regard, the Turkmen Movement stresses the limitation of the State’s control on major economic issues and to free the currency policy and privatize the economic activities which were directed by the State like Banking, Insurance, Airways and telecommunication sectors.
The role of the Government in these activities should me be restricted to auditing and other supportive measures that extend the activities of these sectors in order to create the necessary balances that lead to free market practices. The Turkmen Movement calls for the promotion and rehabilitation of national industries. Development of institutions that are required for improving the export means, adoption of the freedom of foreign trade and elimination of restrictions on the imports in order to allow the free market to organize itself with own mechanisms and compete with the imported materials and goods are important issues that need considerable energy and organization.

The Turkmen Movement draws the attention to the importance of establishing a High Planning Authority which supports local industries, promotes the foreign investment and prevents all restrictions on hard currencies in order to reach the suitable flotation value of the Iraqi currency. In the meantime, the Turkmen Movement considers feasibility studies for national projects, separating these industries on wide geographic area within the Iraqi homeland, the use of the raw material with efficiency and introduce into the developing areas of the country vital industrial and service projects in order to achieve proficiency and profit.

Thus the Movement asks for real attention to be paid to Turkmen areas to support and encourage the development of industrial and economic facilities including the petro -chemical industries in the proper parts of the country.


All the Turkmen in Iraq are invited to rally behind the articles of this charter, and to support the coalition of actions and cultural affairs. The Turkmen movement firmly believes that all political actions and decisions should sprout genuinely from Iraqi soil and from the reality of the Turkmen presence in Iraq, and should be immune from any external influence whatsoever.
The Iraqi Turkmen are more aware of their affairs, problems and aspirations than others, and they should be the model and motivator of the Iraqi Turkmen. The Turkmen movement earnestly calls on the entire Iraqi population to proceed with the collaboration of the political and cultural movement of the Turkmen.
They should adhere to the principles of this charter, and should present this narration as an assurance for future collaboration with the entire Iraqi population for a free and civilized nation.

Invisible Holocaust: Iraqi Sanction Criminals Seek Reprise in Iran

July 23, 2010 at 10:26 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Invisible Holocaust: Iraqi Sanction Criminals Seek Reprise in Iran



Written by Chris Floyd   
Tuesday, 20 July 2010 00:14  
In the last decade of the 20th century, a nation often hailed (not least by itself) as the “world’s greatest democracy” directed a program of savage economic warfare against a broken, defenceless country. This blockade, carried out with an exacting bureaucratic coldness, killed, by very conservative estimate, at least one million innocent people. More than half of these victims were young children.

Dead children. Thousands of dead children. Tens of thousands of dead children, Hundreds of thousands of dead children. Mountains of dead children. Vast pestiferous slagheaps of dead children. This is what the world’s greatest democracy created, deliberately, coldly, as a matter of carefully considered national policy.The blockade was carried out for one reason only: to force out the broken country’s recalcitrant leader, who had once been an ally and client of the world’s greatest democracy but was no longer considered acquiescent enough to be allowed to govern his strategically placed land and its vast energy resources

. The leadership of both of the dominant power factions in the world’s greatest democracy agreed that the deliberate murder of innocent people — more people than were killed in the coterminous genocide in Rwanda — was an acceptable price to pay for this geopolitical objective. To them, the game — that is, the augmentation of their already stupendous, world-shadowing wealth and power — was worth the candle — that is, the death spasms of a child in the final agonies of gastroenteritis, or cholera, or some other easily preventable affliction.
It is, by any measure, one of the most remarkable — and horrific — stories of the last half of the 20th century, outstripped in that period only by China’s ‘Great Leap Forward’ and by the millions killed in the conflicts in Indochina in which the world’s greatest democracy played such an instrumental role. Yet it remains an “invisible war,” as Joy Gordon calls it in the title of

her new book

on the United States and the Iraq sanctions. Not only that, the perpetrators of this Rwanda-surpassing genocide walk among us today, safely, serenely, in honor, comfort and privilege. Some of them still hold powerful positions in government. If their savage war was invisible, then so is the innocent blood that smears them from head to foot.
Andrew Cockburn has written an excellent — and greatly detailed —

review of Gordon’s work

in the latest London Review of Books, drawing upon his own extensive experience in Iraq as well as the extensive evidence of the book. The review is worth excerpting at length, although there is still much more in the original piece, which you should read as well.
Cockburn writes:

The multiple disasters inflicted on Iraq since the 2003 Anglo-American invasion have tended to overshadow the lethally effective ‘invisible war’ waged against Iraqi civilians between August 1990 and May 2003 with the full authority of the United Nations and the tireless attention of the US and British governments. …Even at the time, the sanctions against Iraq drew only sporadic public comment, and even less attention was paid to the bureaucratic manoeuvres in Washington, always with the dutiful assistance of London, which ensured the deaths of half a million children, among other consequences. In her excellent book Joy Gordon charts these in horrifying detail….

The sanctions were originally imposed on Iraq after Saddam — who had been given the famous “green light” by the envoy of the American president — invaded Kuwait. The sanctions were said to be a measure short of war, to force him to withdraw; later they became a tool of war when the fighting started. And afterward they became an extension of the war by other means. But in all cases, as Gordon and Cockburn note, they were above all a weapon to destroy the civilian infrastructure and economy of Iraq. Cockburn writes:

… The war, when it came, was directed as much against Iraq’s economy as against its army in Kuwait. Key features of the bombing campaign were designed – as its principal planner, Colonel John Warden of the US air force, explained to me afterwards – to destroy the ‘critical nodes’ that enabled Iraq to function as a modern industrial society. The air force had dreamed of being able to do this sort of thing since before the Second World War, and Warden thought the introduction of precision-guided ‘smart bombs’ now made it a practical proposition. Iraq’s electrical power plants, telecommunications centres, oil refineries, sewage plants and other key infrastructure were destroyed or badly damaged. Warden, I recall, was piqued that bombing in addition to his original scheme had obscured the impact of his surgical assault on the pillars supporting modern Iraqi society….

…The first intimation that the blockade would continue even though Iraq had been evicted from Kuwait came in an offhand remark by Bush at a press briefing on 16 April 1991. There would be no normal relations with Iraq, he said, until ‘Saddam Hussein is out of there’: ‘We will continue the economic sanctions.’ Officially, the US was on record as pledging that sanctions would be lifted once Kuwait had been compensated for the damage wrought during six months of occupation and once it was confirmed that Iraq no longer possessed ‘weapons of mass destruction’ or the capacity to make them. A special UN inspection organisation, Unscom, was created, headed by the Swedish diplomat Rolf Ekeus, a veteran of arms control negotiations. But in case anyone had missed the point of Bush’s statement, his deputy national security adviser, Robert Gates (now Obama’s secretary of defence), spelled it out a few weeks later: ‘Saddam is discredited and cannot be redeemed. His leadership will never be accepted by the world community. Therefore,’ Gates continued, ‘Iraqis will pay the price while he remains in power. All possible sanctions will be maintained until he is gone.’

This is the blood-and-iron voice
of the man retained by the Progressive Peace Laureate in the White House to run his war machine as it churns through human bodies around the world, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, the Philippines, Colombia and dozens of other countries: a war machine of official armies, secret militias, death squads, robots and mercenaries. Back to Cockburn:

Despite this explicit confirmation that the official justification for sanctions was irrelevant, Saddam’s supposed refusal to turn over his deadly arsenal would be brandished by the sanctioneers whenever the price being paid by Iraqis attracted attention from the outside world. And although Bush and Gates claimed that Saddam, not his weapons, was the real object of the sanctions, I was assured at the time by officials at CIA headquarters in Langley that an overthrow of the dictator by a population rendered desperate by sanctions was ‘the least likely alternative’. The impoverishment of Iraq – not to mention the exclusion of its oil from the global market to the benefit of oil prices – was not a means to an end: it was the end.

We are of course seeing this same dynamic at work today, as Gates and a new temporary emperor work the same scheme, with the same aim, on yet another recalcitrant nation unfortunately possessed of a strategic location and vast energy resources. Even the same sham justification is being used: the non-existent threat of non-existent weapons of mass destruction. But why not? As long as the rubes keep falling for this shtick, the masters of war will keep using it. Cockburn continues:

Visiting Iraq in that first summer of postwar sanctions I found a population stunned by the disaster that was reducing them to a Third World standard of living. … Doctors, most of them trained in Britain, displayed their empty dispensaries. Everywhere, people asked when sanctions would be lifted, assuming that it could only be a matter of months at the most (a belief initially shared by Saddam). The notion that they would still be in force a decade later was unimaginable.

The doctors should not have had anything to worry about. Resolution 661 prohibited the sale or supply of any goods to Iraq … with the explicit exception of ‘supplies intended strictly for medical purposes, and, in humanitarian circumstances, foodstuffs’. However, every single item Iraq sought to import, including food and medicine, had to be approved by the ‘661 Committee’, created for this purpose and staffed by diplomats from the 15 members of the Security Council. The committee met in secret and published scarcely any record of its proceedings. Thanks to the demise of the Soviet Union, the US now dominated the UN, using it to provide a cloak of legitimacy for its unilateral actions.

The 661 Committee’s stated purpose was to review and authorise exceptions to the sanctions, but as Gordon explains, its actual function was to deny the import of even the most innocuous items on the grounds that they might, conceivably, be used in the production of weapons of mass destruction. An ingenious provision allowed any committee member to put any item for which clearance had been requested on hold. So, while other members, even a majority, might wish to speed goods to Iraq, the US and its ever willing British partner could and did block whatever they chose on the flimsiest of excuses. … Thus in the early 1990s the United States blocked, among other items, salt, water pipes, children’s bikes, materials used to make nappies, equipment to process powdered milk and fabric to make clothes. The list would later be expanded to include switches, sockets, window frames, ceramic tiles and paint.

In 1991 American representatives forcefully argued against permitting Iraq to import powdered milk on the grounds that it did not fulfil a humanitarian need. Later, the diplomats dutifully argued that an order for child vaccines, deemed ‘suspicious’ by weapons experts in Washington, should be denied.

Throughout the period of sanctions, the United States frustrated Iraq’s attempts to import pumps needed in the plants treating water from the Tigris, which had become an open sewer thanks to the destruction of treatment plants. Chlorine, vital for treating a contaminated water supply, was banned on the grounds that it could be used as a chemical weapon. The consequences of all this were visible in paediatric wards. Every year the number of children who died before they reached their first birthday rose, from one in 30 in 1990 to one in eight seven years later. Health specialists agreed that contaminated water was responsible: children were especially susceptible to the gastroenteritis and cholera caused by dirty water.

All very terrible, of course. But what about the UN “Oil for  Food” program that was eventually set up to provide a trickle of goods into Iraq in exchange for some of those coveted energy resources? As Cockburn notes, while the “invisible war” of sanctions that killed half a million children is now simply a non-event in the American consciousness, the Oil for Food “scandal” — Saddam gaming the system to enrich himself while his people suffered — still looms large for the apologists for the 2003 war of aggression. This, they say, was the real scandal, not all those dead babies. Cockburn:

Under the terms of the programme, much of the money was immediately siphoned off [by the US-led blockaders] to settle what critics called Kuwait’s ‘implausibly high’ claims for compensation for damage from the 1990 invasion and to pay for the Unscom inspections and other UN administrative costs in Iraq. Although the arrangement did permit some improvement in living standards, there was no fundamental change: the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan reported in November 1997 that despite the programme, 31 per cent of children under five still suffered from malnutrition, supplies of safe water and medicine were ‘grossly inadequate’ and the health infrastructure suffered from ‘exceptionally serious deterioration’.

It was possible for the Iraqis to wring some pecuniary advantage from the Oil for Food programme by extracting kickbacks from the oil traders whom it favoured with allocations, as well as from companies, such as wheat traders, from which it bought supplies. In 2004, as Iraq disintegrated, the ‘Oil for Food scandal’ was ballyhooed in the US press as ‘the largest rip-off in history’. Congress, which had maintained a near total silence during the years of sanctions, now erupted with denunciations of the fallen dictator’s fraud and deception, which, with alleged UN complicity, had supposedly been the direct cause of so many deaths.

Gordon puts all this in context. ‘Under the Oil for Food programme, the Iraqi government skimmed about 10 per cent from import contracts and for a brief time received illicit payments from oil sales. The two combined amounted to about $2 billion … By contrast, in [the first] 14 months of occupation [after the 2003 invasion], the US-led occupation authority depleted $18 billion in funds’ – money earned from the sale of oil, most of which disappeared with little or no accounting and no discernible return to the Iraqi people. Saddam may have lavished millions on marble palaces (largely jerry-built, as their subsequent US military occupants discovered) but his greed paled in comparison to that of his successors.

As we have noted here often before, the Americans and British leaders who imposed the killing sanctions knew very well, for many years, that Iraq had no WMD at all — or even any WMD development programs. They knew that by the time of the 2003 invasion, these WMD programmes (which had once been supported with secret cash, credits and “dual-use technology” by
none other than George Herbert Walker Bush) had been mothballed for 12 years. I was talking about this, in print, back in 2003 — even Newsweek was reporting on it, just weeks before the war! — but, merely being the truth, there was really no place for the story in the American political mind, or the national memory. So Cockburn and Gordon do us good service by detailing the story again. They also add one of the most damning aspects of the story: the frantic efforts by Bill Clinton — yes, the good old “Big Dawg” of our modern progressives — to suppress the truth and keep the murderous sanctions, and the drive toward war, going strong:

The economic strangulation of Iraq was justified on the basis of Saddam’s supposed possession of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. Year after year, UN inspectors combed Iraq in search of evidence that these WMD existed. But after 1991, the first year of inspections, when the infrastructure of Iraq’s nuclear weapons programme was detected and destroyed, along with missiles and an extensive arsenal of chemical weapons, nothing more was ever found. Given Saddam’s record of denying the existence of his nuclear project (his chemical arsenal was well known; he had used it extensively in the Iran-Iraq war, with US approval) the inspectors had strong grounds for suspicion, at least until August 1995. That was when Hussein Kamel, Saddam’s son-in-law and the former overseer of his weapons programmes, suddenly defected to Jordan, where he was debriefed by the CIA, MI6 and Unscom. In those interviews he made it perfectly clear that the entire stock of WMD had been destroyed in 1991, a confession that his interlocutors, including the UN inspectors, took great pains to conceal from the outside world.

Nevertheless, by early 1997 Rolf Ekeus had concluded, as he told me many years later, that he must report to the Security Council that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction and was therefore in compliance with the Council’s resolutions, barring a few points. He felt bound to recommend that the sanctions should be lifted. Reports of his intentions threw the Clinton administration into a panic. The end of sanctions would lay Clinton open to Republican attacks for letting Saddam off the hook. The problem was solved, Ekeus explained to me, by getting Madeleine Albright, newly installed as secretary of state, to declare in a public address on 26 March 1997 that ‘we do not agree with the nations who argue that, if Iraq complies with its obligations concerning weapons of mass destruction, sanctions should be lifted.’ The predictable result was that Saddam saw little further point in co-operating with the inspectors. This provoked an escalating series of confrontations between the Unscom team and Iraqi security officials, ending in the expulsion of the inspectors, claims that Saddam was ‘refusing to disarm’, and, ultimately, war.

There you have it. Clinton did not want the sanctions to end; he did not want to stop throwing the bodies of dead children on the stinking slagheap. As always, when one supposed “benchmark” has been met — in this case, the elimination of WMD and WMD programs — the rules are simply changed. We see this too with Iran. Obama puts forth what is purported to be a major “diplomatic” solution to have Iran ship its nuclear fuel to Brazil and Turkey for processing. This was, of course, a hollow gesture, meant to show how intransigent and untrustworthy  Iran really is; the nuke-hungry mullahs would naturally reject the deal. But when Iran made an agreement with Brazil
to do exactly what Obama requested, this was immediately denounced — by Obama — as …. a demonstration of how intransigent and untrustworthy Iran really is. Meet a benchmark, and the masters simply change the rules. That’s how it works until they get what they want: regime change in strategic lands laden with natural resources.

Cockburn points out another effect of sanctions that is almost always overlooked:

Denis Halliday, the UN humanitarian co-ordinator for Iraq who resigned in 1998 in protest at what he called the ‘genocidal’ sanctions regime, described at that time its more insidious effects on Iraqi society. An entire generation of young people had grown up in isolation from the outside world. He compared them, ominously, to the orphans of the Russian war in Afghanistan who later formed the Taliban. ‘What should be of concern is the possibility at least of more fundamentalist Islamic thinking developing,’ Halliday warned. ‘It is not well understood as a possible spin-off of the sanctions regime. We are pushing people to take extreme positions.’ This was the society US and British armies confronted in 2003: impoverished, extremist and angry. As they count the losses they have sustained from roadside bombs and suicide attacks, the West should think carefully before once again deploying the ‘perfect instrument’ of a blockade.

But of course, as we’ve often noted here, this seems to be exactly what they want: a steady supply of extremists who can be relied upon to keep stoking the profitable fires of Terror War: flames which in turn feed the monstrous engines of the War Machine and
its Security offshoot — both of which long ago devoured the remnants of the American republic, and are now metastasizing with dizzying speed, almost beyond human comprehension.

Dead children. Thousands of dead children. The mountain, the slagheap gets higher and higher. And still the people sleep ….

Fallujah children’s ‘genetic damage’, The BBC reports

July 23, 2010 at 9:44 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Fallujah children’s ‘genetic damage’, The BBC reports

Cancer, leukaemia and infant mortality are all increasing in the Iraqi town of Fallujah, which saw fierce fighting between US forces and Sunni insurgents, a new survey says.

Still one of the most dangerous places in Iraq, doctors have been reporting a large number of birth defects since the 2004 offensive.

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