Tags: US wars
America’s War for Global Domination
by Michel Chossudovsky
12/15/03: (Global Research)
We are the juncture of the most serious crisis in modern history.
The Bush Administration has embarked upon a military adventure which threatens the future of humanity.
The wars on Afghanistan and Iraq are part of a broader military agenda, which was launched at the end of the Cold War. The ongoing war agenda is a continuation of the 1991 Gulf War and the NATO led wars on Yugoslavia (1991-2001).
The post Cold War period has also been marked by numerous US covert intelligence operations within the former Soviet Union, which were instrumental in triggering civil wars in several of the former republics including Chechnya (within the Russian Federation), Georgia and Azerbaijan. In the latter, these covert operations were launched with a view to securing strategic control over oil and gas pipeline corridors.
US military and intelligence operations in the post Cold War era were led in close coordination with the “free market reforms” imposed under IMF guidance in Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and the Balkans, which resulted in the destabilization of national economies and the impoverishment of millions of people.
The World Bank sponsored privatization programmes in these countries enabled Western capital to acquire ownership and gain control of a large share of the economy of the former Eastern block countries. This process is also at the basis of the strategic mergers and/or takeovers of the former Soviet oil and gas industry by powerful Western conglomerates, through financial manipulation and corrupt political practices.
In other words, what is at stake in the US led war is the recolonization of a vast region extending from the Balkans into Central Asia.
Dr Hassan Aydinli, ITF EU Representative attended the Delegation for relations with Iraq Meeting at the EU ParliamentMay 31, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
Tags: Dr Hassan Aydinli, Lahebib Adami, Mohammed Abdullah Al-Humaimidi
European Parliament Brussels – 29th May 2012
Tags: EU-TURKEY, Martin Schulz
Speech by Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament for the Opening of the “Civil Society Facility –
Parliamentary Exchange and Dialogue” / Ankara, 28 May 2012
Dear Speaker Çiçek, Dear Colleagues Parliamentarians, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Allow me to start with some words that are not related to today’s ceremony. I would like to condemn in the strongest terms last 25 May bomb blast in Kayseri and deeply regret the loss of life. I would like also to stress once again that the EU stands with Turkey in its resolve to fight against terrorism. Nothing justifies such indiscriminate violence.
Coming back to the ceremony, it makes me very proud to be here today at the opening of the “Civil Society Facility – Parliamentary Exchange and Dialogue.” I would like to thank the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Speaker Çiçek for hosting this event. I would also like to thank the European Commission and Delegation of the European Union to Turkey for their hard work in making it possible.
This is an important and exciting opportunity for both the European Union and Turkey. It is an opportunity to dispel some misconceptions on both sides; an opportunity to bring our government officials and members of civil society together to strengthen and affirm our shared values and hopes, and confront common challenges. Many European citizens and their elected representatives have concerns about Turkish accession that could be resolved through exposure to Turkish people and institutions. Knowing that they are working with their Turkish counterparts on a process they too have gone through will build trust and a sense of common endeavour. They may learn that Istanbul is one of the largest and most vibrant cities in Europe and its most popular tourist destination. That the Turkish historical narrative is strikingly similar to their own; one featuring a difficult transition from autocracy to democracy and then having to consolidate that democracy. It is a story familiar to many of us.
Having parliamentarians from the European Parliament or from the National Parliaments of the Member States visit Ankara will help those in the Grand National Assembly and Turkish civil society to know that many EU leaders are behind them in this journey towards membership. They can see what being in EU means on a first-hand basis, what implementing the acquis has meant for national legislatures. That joining the EU does not mean losing a sense of self, but rather means allowing Turkey to contribute to the common European narrative.
We may look at this Facility within the broader context of the “Positive Agenda” that was launched during Commissioner Füle’s visit on 17 May of this year and fully supported by the Member States. The best way to further develop the common strategic interests of the EU and Turkey is to engage in a wide variety of frank, face-to-face discussions as foreseen in this Exchange and Dialogue. It is my sincere hope that the understanding and close ties brought about by this Facility will help to make progress with those chapters frozen for political reasons and in particular those highlighted by  Stefan Füle during his visit.
It is an opportunity to strengthen Turkey’s parliamentary democracy, to make it the driving force in the reform process. It is no secret that the path to EU membership will be long and difficult. Dramatic changes are required of Turkey, changes that can only come after negotiation with all interested parties. Changing the constitution, the fundamental law that governs the working of your nation, is no small matter. It must represent a broad consensus from across society and come from society to be legitimate. This means two things. Point one, the Grand National Assembly must be the centre of gravity for constitutional deliberations. A parliament, as a body elected by the people (the source of all democratic legitimacy) to represent their interests, is the natural forum for discussing changes of this importance. They cannot simply come down as diktats from the government. The Constitutional Conciliation Committee is the right venue for this work and I congratulate Speaker Çiçek as chairperson on the committee’s commitment to consulting extensively with civil society before beginning to draft any proposals.
Which leads me to the second point: Constitutional reform must reflect a broad consensus of society and therefore of all its representatives. There must be cooperation between the parties, dialogue must be engaged in, arguments had, compromises made. It will not be easy. Many of you have, perhaps, very different visions of the future of Turkey. That is the nature of politics. Nevertheless, it will be a joint future and it is incumbent on you, as today’s leaders, to leave a constitutional legacy to tomorrow that is seen as legitimate by all citizens of Turkey.
It is the intention of this facility to strengthen the role of the Grand National Assembly, and one of the most effective ways to do this is give more voice to civil society. A government that encourages the participation by civil society in decision making, that acknowledges broad rights of free speech, that seeks out and respects the opinions of experts and interested parties is not only more legitimate in the eyes of the people but is all the more effective and efficient for it. And Turkey will not be able to make headway with the accession process without it.
The constitutional reform process is an opportunity to incorporate all of Turkish society. By this, I mean bringing into the discussion those historically excluded from the political process. Women, youth, ethnic and religious minorities. Minorities especially should be protected by any constitution purporting to represent all of Turkey. It is not enough to simply recognize their status as a minority. In fact, on its own this can do more harm than good, as we in Europe know only too well. Rather, any new constitution should take care to guarantee minorities all rights and duties of Turkish citizenship. There must be a safe and peaceful political space for them to express their views and legitimate demands as citizens without fear for their livelihoods, liberty, or life.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a time of great transition and unrest in our neighbourhood and the future of the fledgling democracies is still uncertain. Whether they consolidate their hard-won freedoms and avoid the fate of so many would-be democracies around the world is in large part dependent on us. We must work together closely in all available forums if we hope to face these challenges. Turkish cooperation with the EU’s Common Foreign and Security policy should be reinforced and we invite Turkey to join us as we move to revitalise the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean, the presidency of which I recently took over for one year.
Turkey is uniquely placed in this regard. Your political and material support, especially in relation to Syria, has been invaluable. So too has the example you have set as a vibrant, secular, Muslim-majority democracy. However, Turkey could be a still better example by continuing with reforms of the judicial system, further strengthening civilian authority over the military, more clearly defining offenses such as ‘terrorism,’ and grant religious and ethnic minorities equal protection and access under the law.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Only a few short years after passing the Lisbon Treaty, the European Union is again facing the need to adjust the rules it works by. However, during this necessary period of introspection, we must resist the temptation to ignore the world around us. If anything, we must redouble our efforts to strengthen our ties with our neighbours, especially one as important to us economically and politically as Turkey.
It is my sincere hope that this Civil Society Facility will help draw attention within Europe to the opportunities and challenges to be encountered in Turkey’s accession process. Turkish membership in the EU will be a win-win situation for us both; the better this is appreciated by both sides, the better our ability to make progress towards the ultimate goal of accession. Let us move forward, then, with understanding, mutual respect and a spirit undaunted by the challenges ahead.
Thank you for your attention and good luck for the facility.
For further information: Michael Bergius – Deputy Spokesperson
THE IRAQ WAR READER: A History of War Crimes and Genocide. The Unleashing of America’s New Global MilitarismMay 28, 2012 at 2:25 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
Tags: Finian Cunningham, Iraq War Reader, Michel Chossudovsky, War Crimes
THE IRAQ WAR READER: A History of War Crimes and Genocide. The Unleashing of America’s New Global Militarism
ONLINE INTERACTIVE I-BOOK
by Michel Chossudovsky and Finian Cunningham
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GLOBAL RESEARCH ONLINE INTERACTIVE READER No. 5
THE IRAQ WAR READER
A History of War Crimes and Genocide
The Unleashing of America’s New Global Militarism
I-Book No. 5, May 2012
The adage that “it is the victors who write history” in matters relating particularly to war and conflict is something of a euphemism when applied to recent military campaigns conducted by America and its NATO allies. For what is disputable – no, let us say repugnant – about the official accounts of these events is not merely a difference in emphasis or nuance on the matter, which the adage may infer. It is rather that the victors’ version of history is a wholesale fabrication, an obscene travesty of actual events. It is not a case of victors writing history, more one of victors “violating history”.
Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and what is unfolding covertly in Syria and Iran stand out as egregious examples of how the dominant Western powers are not just writing history with a certain self-reflecting vainglorious bias. They are instead concocting events in such a way as to completely distort the facts of history. It is fair to say that in many ways what is taking place is an inversion of realities and language.
“Peace-keeping” really means “war-making”; “protecting human rights” really means “bombing civilian centers”; “upholding international law” really means “committing crimes against humanity”. Accusations of “tyrants”, “miscreants”, “rogues” and “renegades” are hurled likes bricks in a glasshouse by perpetrators who arrogate the privilege to call themselves “civilized, democratic, law-abiding governments”. What needs to be contested, therefore, is not some kind of half-baked history, pitted here and there with flaws and hubris, but rather what needs to be challenged is out-and-out willful propaganda purporting as history.
In this new Interactive Book No 5, Iraq: A History of War Crimes and Genocide, we show how the policy of successive US governments and their Western allies towards Iraq illustrates this grand criminal deception; we also show how such unaccounted-for gargantuan crimes against humanity have not just decimated the social conditions for millions of Iraqis, but have also poisoned international law and are having far-reaching impacts on the democratic rights of citizens globally. We contend that it is not just imperative to bring Western political and military leaders to account through legal prosecutions for the purpose of restitution for the people of Iraq; it is imperative that we do so for the sake of ending an ongoing global war agenda conducted by these same Western powers, and for the restitution of democratic rights for all citizens in all countries.
The devastation of Iraq and the unfettered aggression by Western capitalist powers towards other countries is very much an integral part of the unfolding devastation of social conditions in North America and Europe under the diktat of a class war by a global elite. Understanding what really happened in Iraq, and why, is a vital part of understanding how and why the mass of people need to fight for democracy in the US, Europe and elsewhere. These far-reaching issues including an examination of the evolving Orwellian Police State apparatus in Western countries will be the object of a separate forthcoming I-Book.
Concealing Genocide As War
Take the most basic of words used in common parlance with reference to modern Iraq – the “Iraq War”. The word “war” normally refers to combat between two comparable adversaries contesting over competing claims. But in the case of Iraq that country was invaded without provocation on the basis of knowingly falsified allegations by an overwhelmingly superior military machine – a multiple war crime. The “shock and awe” aerial bombardment that proceeded against a civilian population is another multiple war crime. The US-led NATO military campaign from 2003 until 2012 in which at least 1,000,000 Iraqi civilians, men, women and children, were killed compared with 4,500 US troops cannot be referred to in any meaningful way as a “war”. To do so is to employ an obscene Orwellian euphemism to describe what really happened – that is, genocide.
However, search the annals of Western mainstream media and no such simple truths can be found. Reams of newspaper copy and video footage refer endlessly to the Iraq War and they reiterate, with gullible respect, the disingenuous premises pronounced by Western governments and military, thus giving the whole nefarious enterprise a veneer of legitimacy and credibility. At the furthest range of criticism in such media, we might read about how the “Iraq War” was “misplaced”, a “waste” or a “tragedy”. But we will not read that it was genocide perpetrated by war criminals in Washington, London or other Western capitals based on conscious lies and willful fabrications. Truth is censored.
In this new Interactive Book we draw on Global Research’s extensive archive to give an accurate account of the origins of the invasion and genocidal occupation. The US-led criminal aggression towards Iraq involves four US presidents: George Herbert Walker Bush Senior, William Jefferson Clinton, George W Bush Junior and Barack Hussein Obama over more than two decades. We examine how a once-staunch Western client state became an object for obliteration.
The latter phase of American aggression conducted during more than nine years of US-led NATO occupation involved the most heinous crimes against humanity in a no-holds-barred effort to crush an ancient civilization. This Interactive Book looks at the aftermath of such barbarity and lawlessness, not just for Iraqis and ordinary Americans, but for the Middle East region and beyond.
Our bias is to expose official Western claims and accounts of what happened in Iraq, how and why, with uncompromising criticism. Our bias is to record the experiences and suffering of people in the real world, not what governments and military officials purport to have taken place. We are confident that our analysis presents the real story of Iraq, not only what happened and why, but its far-reaching wider significance for international relations. Today’s increasingly militarist foreign policy of the US, its NATO allies and proxy states across the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa can be traced to the awful precedent that is Iraq.
Australian author and media commentator John Pilger once noted that journalists could be thought of as being tasked with writing the “first draft of history”. Their reports and analyses of events will one day provide research material for historians. This has rather disturbing implications for future retrospective historical accounts of Iraq. That is because the prominent newspapers of North America and Europe and other mainstream media have, by and large, amply recorded verbatim the official narratives on Iraq that emanate from their governments. In other words, when future historians of modern Iraq draw on the archives in the likes of The New York Times, The Financial Times and Le Monde, they will be drawing on a first draft of history that is falsified, propagandized, and indeed calumnious.
Fortunately, the burgeoning of independent media over the past decade has afforded an alternative account of history on Iraq, versions that arguably accord more accurately with actual events. We at Global Research proudly present this volume of wide-ranging articles on Iraq as an antidote of truth to the “victors’ history”.
Structure of this I-Book
The Iraq War Reader is the fifth in a new series of Interactive Books from Global Research. In Iraq: A History of War Crimes and Genocide, we have selected over 60 articles from hundreds in our 10-year-old archive that cover the background, prosecution and aftermath of the US-led aggression in Iraq. We have also included a review of key intelligence and policy documents, estimates of mortality resulting from the US led occupation (Lancet Report), key videos, photographic evidence and scientific reports pertaining to war crimes.
The book is structured in Ten Parts, these together with highlighted chapters include an analysis of the historical background of the 1991 Gulf War, the atrocities committed during the “sanctions regime” (1991-2003), the extensive crimes committed against the Iraqi people during nine years of military occupation. The latter include the carpet bombing of urban areas, the planned devastation of the Iraqi economy including the confiscation of the country’s extensive oil reserves, the programmed demise of State institutions including public health and education, the targeted and systematic assassination of the country’s scientists, engineers and intellectuals, the ruin of Iraq’s research and academic institutions, the pillage and theft of Iraq’s archeological heritage.
The unspoken agenda was to destroy Iraq as a Nation State, establish a US proxy regime and, quite deliberately, impoverish the people of Iraq under the banner of “democratization” and “post-war reconstruction”.
The book also addresses the Pentagon’s propaganda campaign, its various PR Psy Ops, which portray Iraq, in the eyes of Western public opinion, as an outright evil “rogue state” supportive of Osama bin Laden, the bogeyman and alleged mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks.
Fiction become Truth. “Evil folks are lurking”. Al Qaeda’s leader Osama bin Laden is supported by Iraq’s President Saddam Hussein. Iraq is portrayed as a “State sponsor of terrorism”. WMD and Al Qaeda related concepts and images are routinely funnelled into the Western news chain and on network TV, with a view to affecting the human mindset of millions of people.
War becomes peace. the threat of WMD by the avowed enemies of the Western World, repeated ad nauseam, is intended to create confusion, namely to prevent people from comprehending the “real outside World” of war, politics and the economic crisis.
This Iraq War Reader also reveals the sinister machinations of British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s inner political circle to churn out fake yet “reliable” intelligence documents on Iraq’s WMD program.
These fake intelligence dossiers are then candidly presented by US Secretary of State Colin Powell to the UN Security Council (February 2003) as a means to acquiring the UN “green light” for an invasion of Iraq.
Part I is entitled Historical Background: Regional Hegemony and The Battle for Oil. As brought out in Felicity Arbuthnot’s essay, the systematic campaign of US-NATO aggression towards Iraq involved the participation of no less than four White House oresidents and five British prime ministers over a 21-year span. In a wide-ranging historical essay, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya shows how the conquest of Iraq was a key part of a long-term roadmap for Washington’s hegemony in the oil-rich Middle East region.
Professor Eric Waddell’s 2002 geopolitical essay brings to the forefront the “real intent” of the US led war on Iraq, namely the Battle for Oil. According to Waddell: “What is ultimately at stake in Iraq is the intention on the part of the U.S. and its indefectible British ally to establish control over one of the world’s largest, cheapest and most easily accessible oil reserves.”
© Map by Eric Waddell, The Battle for Oil, Global Research, 2003. (click map to enlarge)
Part II: Atrocities of the Gulf War and the Sanctions Regime (1991-2003) includes two important essays, Joyce Chediac’s analysis of the Massacre of Withdrawing Iraqi Soldiers on “The Highway of Death” and Professor Thomas Nagy’s award winning 2002 investigation on how the US deliberately destroyed Iraq’s Water Supply. Confirmed by documents of the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), “the U.S. government intentionally used sanctions against Iraq to degrade the country’s water supply after the Gulf War. The United States knew the cost that civilian Iraqis, mostly children, would pay, and it went ahead anyway.”
Part III on The Pretext to Wage War brings forth the issue of the fake intelligence documents used to justify the invasion, with contributions by professors Michel Chossudovsky and Glen Rangwala.
Part IV From “Shock and Awe” to Occupation and Resistance focusses on the contours of what author Chris Floyd calls The Anglo-American Dirty War.
Part V on the Role of the United Nations includes the contribution of former Assistant Secretary General Denis Halliday, focussing on how the United Nations, in the wake of the invasion, paid lip service to the illegal occupation of Iraq in blatant violation of the United Nations Charter.
Part VI, with contributions by Michel Chossudovsky, Max Fuller and Ghali Hassan, focusses on the heinous legacy of the clandestine unleashing of sectarian death squads by America and Britain on the populace, which served to divide and rule and also to justify the illegal occupation of a sovereign country.
Modelled on US covert ops in Central America, the Pentagon’s “Salvador Option for Iraq” was carried out under the helm of the US Ambassador to Iraq John Negroponte (2004-2005), who had served as US ambassador to Honduras in the early 1980s.
This “terrorist model” of mass killings by US sponsored death squads had been applied in El Salvador, in the heyday of resistance against the military dictatorship, resulting in an estimated 75,000 deaths. The “Salvador Option in Iraq” consisted in the use of death squads “to fight against the rebels”, namely the Iraqi resistance.
In 2011, “The Salvador Option: was applied in Syria. The US Ambassador to Syria (appointed in January 2011), Robert Stephen Ford was part of Negroponte’s team at the US Embassy in Baghdad (2004-2005).
Civilian casualties in Iraq were triggered by daily terrorist attacks and suicide bombings of a sectarian nature. The media in chorus presented “Al Qaeda in Iraq” headed by (the late) Abu Musab Al Zarqawi as responsible for the suicide bombings, without acknowledging that Al Qaeda was a creation of the US intelligence apparatus. In Iraq, Al Zarqawi was described as the bogeyman, intent upon “igniting a civil war between Sunnis and Shiites”. But is that not precisely what US intelligence was aiming at ( “divide and rule”) as confirmed by several analysts of the US led war? Pitting one group against the other with a view to weakening and destroying the resistance movement.
Moreover, the evidence confirms that US and allied special forces, including British SAS (disguised as “Arab terrorists”) were directly involved in the staging of the terror events. (See British “Undercover Soldiers” Caught driving Booby Trapped Car “They refused to say what their mission was.” – by Michel Chossudovsky )
John Negroponte, architect of “the Salvador Option in Iraq”, US Ambassador to Iraq (2004-2005)
Part VII of the Iraq War Reader exposes the complicity of the Western mainstream media in covering up the appalling onslaught of violence against the Iraqi people, from the initial carpet bombing of the country through the following nine years of murderous occupation.
Part VIII entitled War Crimes: The Evidence provides an detailed dossier of evidence and analysis of crimes against humanity including the testimonies of key witnesses and victims of US sponsored war crimes.
This body of evidence and opinion, as outlined by Professor Francis Boyle, Prosecutor in The Kuala War Crimes Tribunal, makes the case that past and present American and British political leaders are liable to stand trial for war crimes in Iraq.
From the outset to its ongoing repercussions, this was a war of aggression comparable to Nuremburg standards. And political and military chiefs should be held accountable as a matter of legal and moral principle. The detailed research of Dirk Adriaensens and Bie Kentane of the BRussells Tribunal, Dahr Jamail, Abdu Rahman, Professor Alfred McCoy, Tom Burghardt, the sworn testimony of Professor Ali Shalal, “The Man Behind the Hood” tortured at Abu Ghraib prison, provide ample evidence of the extensive war crimes committed in the name of the “international Community” by president George W. Bush and his indefectible British cohort, Prime Minister Anthony Blair.
Finian Cunningham recalls one of many war crimes, the Haditha massacre in 2005 in which 24 civilians, including women and children, were slaughtered in cold blood by US troops. Not one of the soldiers or their commanders involved in this barbaric crime was convicted, as with countless other such crimes in Iraq and elsewhere. Yet in the same week that the Haditha massacre trial in the US closed without a single conviction, Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama had only glowing praise for the heroism of American troops in Iraq in his 2012 State of the Union address.
The extensive dossier on war crimes in Part VIII also includes the results of the Lancet Study on post-invasion mortality, the essay by Professor Souad N. Al-Azzawi on depleted uranium contamination. Several important videos in Global Research’s archives can also be consulted including the controversial Cockpit Video on the Strafing of Civilians in Fallujah.
Part IX entitled The Criminalization of War. Prosecuting the War Criminals includes essays by Richard Falk, Francis Boyle and Finian Cunningham as well as video interviews with Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Gurdial Ninjar Singh, Denis Halliday and Michel Chossudovsky.
In Part X entitled The Aftermath: The Destruction of Iraqi Society, Felicity Arbuthnot, Hugh Gusterson, Jack A. Smith and former UN Assistant Secretary General Hans von Sponeck provide the reader a harrowing glimpse of the scale of destruction in Iraq by the US, Britain and other NATO powers.
An ancient civilization with its proud traditions in education and culture has been bombed and brutalized with irreparable losses. What we need to understand urgently is that the barbarism inflicted on Iraq continues to be unleashed by the US-led powers in their ongoing campaign of permanent war for global dominance. As Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya points out in cogent analyses: the US has rewritten the constitution of vanquished nations including Iraq and Afghanistan as part of Washington’s empire-building project.
Unleashing America’s Global Conquest
Crucial to understanding the full impact of the US-led war of aggression on Iraq is the concomitant erosion of civil liberties in America and Europe. The crimes committed in Iraq have ironically served to amplify the spurious “war on terror”. This has in turn rebounded in multiple insidious ways to increase state security powers against citizens and to justify the creation of virtual police states that can spy, detain and assassinate citizens on the basis of secret executive orders. The war on Iraq and Afghanistan have led to the massive expansion in state powers for surveillance against citizens and anti-war protesters in particular, with far-reaching implications for democracy. Incipient fascism has now become the de facto form of government in supposed Western democracies. The criminalization of resistance in Iraq to illegal occupation goes hand-in-glove with the criminalization of resistance in the US and Europe to war-making.
When US President Barack Obama made an electioneering visit to Afghanistan in May 2012, he declared with typical purple prose: “This time of war began in Afghanistan, and this is where it will end… We have travelled through more than a decade under the dark cloud of war. In the pre-dawn darkness of Afghanistan, we can see the light of a new day on the horizon.”
Obama asserted: “The Iraq War is over… We have a clear path to fulfill our mission in Afghanistan”. In this way, the US Commander-in-Chief was stealthily taking credit for ending “a decade of war” as if he had fulfilled in good order his 2008 presidential campaign promises to end America’s foreign wars. He went on to mendaciously conflate these military campaigns as parts of a noble agenda of “War on Terror”.
Nothing could be further from the truth. For a start, the presumptive “peace president” had cynically reneged on pledges to the war-sickened American electorate to promptly withdraw troops upon his election. Obama has in office overseen a dramatic escalation in the American ruling class’s militarism at home and abroad, as well as arrogating executive powers to spy, detain and assassinate citizens and non-citizens alike solely on his command and secret information.
The long-delayed dates marking official troop withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan belie the fact that both countries will continue to host thousands of American military, Special Forces, secret service agents and private mercenaries for many years to come.
Merely declaring a “war over” does not mean that it is over. Iraq is all too painfully a case in point. The bulk of the US military forces may have departed from Iraq in December 2011, but in terms of daily violence, deprivation, suffering and trauma, the people of Iraq are still very much wracked by foreign aggression. After nine years of occupation, Iraq is not “sovereign, stable and self-reliant” – as Obama claimed on the eve of troop withdrawal.
Daily bombings and shootings claiming hundreds of lives every month mark a country that is riven with bitter sectarian conflicts – conflicts that were cynically inflamed by the NATO occupying forces as a means of subduing the resistance to an illegal occupation. Simmering hostilities between Shia, Sunni and Kurdish provinces threaten to explode into all-out civil war and fragmentation of Iraq.
Infrastructure and basic utilities have been destroyed by years of NATO aerial bombardment and previous years of crippling economic sanctions. Millions of families remain homeless and displaced. One in three Iraqi children have been made orphans. Unemployment, poverty and malnutrition are rampant.
The same prognosis of violence and misery can be made for Libya and Afghanistan when US-led NATO forces are due to withdraw from the latter country in 2014 – bequeathing again a shadow army of militias, military trainers, contractors and Special Forces amid a country reduced to rumble.
A Harbinger of Wars of Aggression Without End
What we are witnessing is not presumed episodic war, with a discrete beginning and end, for some noble purpose, as claimed. But rather, we are witnessing the violent conquest of sovereign countries by Washington and its Western allies, the installation of pliable corrupt regimes that serve Western interests, and the ongoing low-level military occupation of these countries to ensure subjugated status. Iraq is a harbinger of the new militarism – wars of aggression without end in which devastation in targeted countries becomes the status quo. The same nefarious process can be seen for Afghanistan, Libya and any other country – currently Syria and Iran – that befalls the imperialist attentions of the US-led Western powers.
For further details on the Global War agenda, see:
This is a thoroughly criminal process involving international aggression, crimes against humanity, and plunder and theft of sovereign resources. Iraq’s estimated hydrocarbon reserves of 112-115 billion barrels of oil – the earth’s second-largest known reserves after Saudi Arabia’s – were the main prize, incredibly downplayed or overlooked by the Western mainstream media. Having previously enjoyed a high standard of living, the majority of Iraq’s people are now struggling in poverty with power and fuel shortages, while Western oil giants Exxon, Chevron, British Petroleum and Total are tapping the country’s vast natural wealth, paying off local elites for the privilege.
The same agenda of hegemony over energy resources applies to Afghanistan, Libya and Iran. Syria is not a leading oil producer, but it is a crucial staging post towards Western regime change in oil-abundant Iran. This dynamic for rolling conquest will not stop with these countries. Recall that former US General Wesley Clark disclosed a Pentagon war plan from 2001 that included the above and additional countries for conquest – Lebanon, Sudan and Somalia. In effect, this is a global war agenda that the US-led capitalist powers are inextricably pursuing in line with their deteriorating economic status. The desperate drive for control by the US and other Western powers over the oil and gas lifeblood of the waning capitalist world economy will inevitably bring these powers into confrontation with other countries, Russia and China in particular. The seeming insanity of this seemingly wanton global militarism is dictated by the cold logic of capitalism. Understanding this underlying driving force is key to understanding, and ultimately challenging, American-led global militarism.
Such naked imperialism cannot be conducted openly in the eyes of the world; it has to be covered up with a wall of lies, the particular lie or pretext to be emphasised at any given time depending on the target country in question.
Iraq possessed “weapons of mass destruction that could be launched within 45 seconds” we were told by American and British leaders George W Bush and Anthony Blair, who based their claims on concocted fantasy.
Indicted War Criminals George W. Bush and Tony Blair
Iraq was also linked to Al Qaeda, the murky global terror network created by the CIA and MI6 that allegedly carried out the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. When that lie wore thin, we were then told that Iraqis needed to be liberated from a Hitler-like dictator Saddam Hussein, who notwithstanding was formerly a favoured Western client until he blundered over the boundaries of Western oil geopolitics. Latterly, after these pretexts could no longer be sustained, Bush’s successor Barack Obama would assure the public that the American-led occupying forces were “consolidating democracy and sovereignty” – albeit in a country that was torn apart by US-induced sectarian fratricide and subordinated to foreign oil companies.
All these baseless claims, pretexts and allegations have been faithfully parroted by the mainstream media. And so the Western war and lie machine trundles on, conjuring new pretexts for smashing its way into the next countries to commit yet more atrocities and crimes against humanity in its conquest of natural resources.
The significance of Iraq is the heinous precedent that it set. Here, Washington and its Western allies transgressed international law in the most blatant, criminal manner to commit genocide. Yet not only Western mainstream journalism, but also academia, the legal profession and other sectors of civic society gave cover to such crime, or at best failed to hold the perpetrators to account. And, as criminologists will testify, when a criminal gets away with crime, then there is nothing to hold him from committing further crime. The ongoing criminal US-led occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, the murderous mass bombing of Libya by NATO, the clandestine Western-backed terrorism against Syria, America’s drone assassinations in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere in Africa, and Washington’s swivel-eyed threats towards China and Russia are all proof that America’s global war of aggression has become the perverse new normal. Western mainstream media has indeed much to answer for in its complicity in global militarism and concomitant crimes.
The reality check of how criminally deranged the US-led Western powers have become is their ongoing aggression towards Iran. Less than a decade after launching genocide on Iraq based on an outrageous fabrication of weapons of mass destruction, the same criminal powers are repeating the same calumnies against Iran with “no options off the table” threats that allude to pre-emptive nuclear attack. And the Western mainstream media that aided and abetted the genocide in Iraq are once again giving credence to the calumny over Iran.
This is the descent into barbarism that happens when victors violate history and are not held to account. We are then condemned to repeat history, no matter how barbaric and crass that repetition is.
This Interactive Book from Global Research is an attempt to set the historical record straight with a truthful perspective. By arming people with the truth, we may then stop the criminal repetition of history because, armed with the truth, we hope that Western publics in particular will begin to hold their war-mongering governments to account in the most rigorous way.
Michel Chossudovsky and Finian Cunningham, May 26, 2012
The Editors are indebted to the Following Global Research Authors who contributed to the Iraq War Reader:
Dirk Adriaensens, Felicity Arbuthnot, Dr. Souad N. Al-Azzawi, John M. Blair, Nile Bowie, William Bowles, Prof. Francis A. Boyle, Tom Burghardt, Dr. Chris Busby, Joyce Chediac, Prof. Michel Chossudovsky, Michel Collon, Finian Cunningham, Jason Ditz, Eric Draitser, Gregory Elich, Prof. Richard Falk, Max Fuller, Hugh Gusterson, Denis Halliday, Ghali Hassan, Dahr Jamail, Bie Kentane, Prof. Alfred W. McCoy, Steven H. Miles, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Prof. Thomas J. Nagy, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Abdu Rahman, Prof. Glen Rangwala, Prof. Ali Shalal, Jack A. Smith, Hans von Sponeck, Prof. Gurdial Nijar Singh, Prof. Eric Waddell, Raymond Whitaker, Kevin Zeese. Thanks to James Blunt and Billy Pilgrim, Lyrics, US-UK War Crimes
About the Editors
Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (Emeritus) at the University of Ottawa. He is the Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal and Editor of the globalresearch.ca website. He is the author of The Globalization of Poverty and The New World Order (2003) and America’s “War on Terrorism”(2005). His most recent book is entitled Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War (2011). He has taught as Visiting Professor at universities in Western Europe, South East Asia, Latin America and the Pacific. He has acted as an adviser to governments of developing countries and has worked as a consultant for the several international organizations. Prof. Chossudovsky is a signatory of the Kuala Lumpur declaration to criminalize war and a member of the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (KLWCC). He is also recipient of the Human Rights Prize of the Society for the Protection of Civil Rights and Human Dignity (GBM), Berlin, Germany. He is also a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. His writings have been published in more than twenty languages.
Finian Cunningham is currently Global Research’s Middle East and East Africa Correspondent. He has written extensively on international affairs. Previously, he was based in Bahrain and witnessed the upheavals in the Persian Gulf kingdom during 2011 as well as the subsequent Saudi-led brutal crackdown against pro-democracy protests. He is now based in East Africa. Finian Cunningham’s forthcoming book is: Bahrain and the “Arab Spring”.
This I-Book is dedicated to Tun. Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia (1981-2003), who over the last six years has relentlessly and skilfully steered the Kuala Lumpur Initiative to Criminalize War, leading to a historic and unanimous “guilty verdict” by The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal (May 2012) against former US president George W. Bush, vice-president Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and their key legal advisors. In this historic judgment, George W Bush and associates “were convicted of war crimes for their authorization of torture, in direct violation of the Geneva Convention on torture 1949, the Convention against Torture 1984, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Charter, and the US Constitution.”
Due to formatting issues pertaining to diverse archives extending over ten years, a number of unresolved glitches have emerged in font size and style which have affected titles and authors’ names.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Historical Background: Regional Hegemony and The Battle forOil
Media Lies on Saddam: Test Your Knowledge
Glaspie US Embassy Memo Leaked: US Dealings With Iraq Ahead of 1990 Invasion of Kuwait Detailed
Iraq and the Battle for Oil. A Historical Insight
Atrocities of the Gulf War and the Sanctions Regime (1991-2003)
Remember the 1991 Gulf War: The Massacre of Withdrawing Iraqi Soldiers on “The Highway of Death”
Fake Intelligence, War Propaganda and The Pretext to Wage War
Who is behind the “Terrorist Network” in Northern Iraq
Ritter dismisses Powell report
Twenty Lies About the War– by Glen Rangwala and Raymond Whitaker, 2007-03-15
The Downing Street Memo
From “Shock and Awe” to Occupation and Resistance
They promised that the invasion of Iraq would be without a bloodbath…
International Law and the Role of the United Nations
NGOs Demand UN Security Council to Review Violations of International Law in Iraq
US Sponsored Death Squads, Al Qaeda and the “War on Terrorism“
For Iraq, “The Salvador Option” Becomes Reality,
Al Qaeda and the Iraqi Resistance Movement,
British “Undercover Soldiers” Caught driving Booby Trapped Car,
British Chief Police Investigator in Basra dies under mysterious circumstances
Western Media Complicity in War Crimes
Media Cover-up of US War Crimes in Iraq
Media Disinformation and the Nature of the Iraqi Resistance
Murder of Iraqi Journalists
Killing the Messenger: The Silencing of Journalism in Iraq
Killing the “Unembedded Truth”
Toppling a Country: from Statue to Legality
Saddam Hussein’s Last Words: “To the Hell that is Iraq!?”
The Show Trial of the Century
War Crimes: The Evidence
The Hidden History of CIA Torture: America’s Road to Abu Ghraib
Torture and Extrajudicial Killings in Iraq
Denial, Selective Perception and Military Atrocities.
US Complicity and Cover-Up of Iraq Torture Exposed
8.2 Strafing, Indiscriminate Killings and Enforced Disappearances
Haditha: Another Small Massacre – No One Guilty
Tags: Corruption, Dana Ahmed Majid, Sulaymaniyah
Censured ex-governor of Sulaymani moves to London
News and Comment by The Kurdistan Tribune: 25.5.2012 – Dana Ahmed Majid’s conduct as the governor of Sulaymani (from 2005 to 2009) was twice censured by the audit office: For using public money for his office and close aides and for mismanaging money allocated to tackle the drought that hit the Sulaymani region’s countryside. These reports were issued by Jalal Sam Agha, the Sulaymani audit office director, at the end of 2010.
Recently corruption charges were brought against Sulaymani mayor Zana Hama Salih, who was arrested and last month died mysteriously in a security cell. Some observers speculated at the time that Dana Ahmed Majid – who publicly switched his allegiance from the PUK to Gorran in 2010 – might also face legal proceedings. However, this has not happened so far and our sources inform us that Majid moved to London last December and hasn’t been home since.
Tags: Abdülkerim Ağa, Syria Turkmen movement
Syrian Turkmen visited ITF
The Head of the Turkmen Movement in Syria Abdülkerim Ağa visited the Iraqi Turkmen Front Turkey Representation.
Abdülkerim Ağa who was received by the Turkey Representative and MKYK member Dr. Hicran Kazancı talked about the developments in Syria as well as the status of the Turkmen.
Hicran Kazancı said that in order to be included in the process after the regime, it was vital that the Turkmen are included in the national council to be formed including the opposition. The actual problems will start after the fall of the regime rather than now. Maybe the actual ethnic conflict originated from sects and other reasons will start then. The country may be thrown into chaos. As you know, the wolf prefers tempestuous weather and likewise all extremist groups who hunt will endeavor to be more efficient during such times. As such, the Turkmen regardless of their outlooks, must forget the past and unite to further the Turkmen cause after the regime. This is essential because the Turkmen are the key for ensuring stability in the region.
At the end of the meeting Abdülkerim Ağa expressed his appreciation for the Iraqi Turkmen Front.
Tags: Blair Bush phone call, France veto
Tony Blair and George Bush’s phone conversation a week before Iraq invasion ‘must be released’
Monday, 21 May 2012
Words that Tony Blair spoke over the phone to George Bush on the eve of the Iraq war are to be made public, a tribunal ordered today.
The Foreign Office has been ordered to release parts of the note detailing the conversation on 12 March 2003, a week before the invasion of Iraq began.
A panel chaired by tribunal judge Professor John Angel overruled objections from the Foreign Office that publishing any part of the conversation could do “serious damage” to relations with the USA
They said in their ruling: “The circumstances surrounding a decision by a UK government to go to war with another country is always likely to be of very significant public interest, even more so with the consequences of this war.”
The two leaders are believed to have discussed whether they should go to the United Nations for a resolution specifically authorising them to go to war.
British and US diplomats had worked frantically to try to win over a majority of members of the Security Council. Then on 10 March, France’s President Jacques Chirac told French TV that even if there was a majority, France would vote ‘no’, thus vetoing the resolution. It was likely that Russia would also wield a veto.
It was after hearing President Chirac’s remarks that Tony Blair finally gave up the quest for a second UN resolution, a decision he is assumed to have conveyed to President Bush in that 12 March phone call.
Jack Straw, who was Foreign Secretary at the time of the Iraq war told the subsequent Chilcot Inquiry: “This was the great Chiracian pronouncement. Whatever the circumstances, he says, La France will veto.”
Documents released by the inquiry into the war show that the French repeatedly protested at the interpretation which Britain put on Chirac’s words, but their objections were ignored.
Sir John Holmes, who was Britain’s Ambassador to France at the time, told the inquiry that “there was ambiguity” in the President’s remarks.
The tribunal ordered that an edited version of the note should be released within 30 days.
An FCO spokesman said: “The FCO is obviously disappointed by the decision of the tribunal. We will want to study the terms of the judgment more closely over the coming days.”
Tags: Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal
Bush Convicted of War Crimes in Absentia
by Yvonne Ridley
May 12, 2012
Kuala Lumpur — It’s official; George W Bush is a war criminal.
In what is the first ever conviction of its kind anywhere in the world, the former US President and seven key members of his administration were yesterday (Fri) found guilty of war crimes.
Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and their legal advisers Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, William Haynes, Jay Bybee and John Yoo were tried in absentia in Malaysia.
The trial held in Kuala Lumpur heard harrowing witness accounts from victims of torture who suffered at the hands of US soldiers and contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan.
They included testimony from British man Moazzam Begg, an ex-Guantanamo detainee and Iraqi woman Jameelah Abbas Hameedi who was tortured in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison.
At the end of the week-long hearing, the five-panel tribunal unanimously delivered guilty verdicts against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and their key legal advisors who were all convicted as war criminals for torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment.
Full transcripts of the charges, witness statements and other relevant material will now be sent to the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, as well as the United Nations and the Security Council.
The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission is also asking that the names of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, Yoo, Bybee, Addington and Haynes be entered and included in the Commission’s Register of War Criminals for public record.
The tribunal is the initiative of Malaysia’s retired Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who staunchly opposed the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
He sat through the entire hearing as it took personal statements and testimonies of three witnesses namely Abbas Abid, Moazzam Begg and Jameelah Hameedi. The tribunal also heard two other Statutory Declarations of Iraqi citizen Ali Shalal and Rahul Ahmed, another British citizen.
After the guilty verdict reached by five senior judges was delivered, Mahathir Mohamad said: “Powerful countries are getting away with murder.”
War crimes expert and lawyer Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law in America, was part of the prosecution team.
After the case he said: “This is the first conviction of these people anywhere in the world.”
While the hearing is regarded by some as being purely symbolic, human rights activist Boyle said he was hopeful that Bush and Co could soon find themselves facing similar trials elsewhere in the world.
“We tried three times to get Bush in Canada but were thwarted by the Canadian Government, then we scared Bush out of going to Switzerland. The Spanish attempt failed because of the government there and the same happened in Germany.”
Boyle then referenced the Nuremberg Charter which was used as the format for the tribunal when asked about the credibility of the initiative in Malaysia. He quoted: “Leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit war crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any person in execution of such a plan.”
The US is subject to customary international law and to the Principles of the Nuremberg Charter said Boyle who also believes the week-long trial was “almost certainly” being monitored closely by both Pentagon and White House officials.
Professor Gurdial Singh Nijar, who headed the prosecution said: “The tribunal was very careful to adhere scrupulously to the regulations drawn up by the Nuremberg courts and the International Criminal Courts”.
He added that he was optimistic the tribunal would be followed up elsewhere in the world where “countries have a duty to try war criminals” and he cited the case of the former Chilean dictator Augustine Pinochet who was arrested in Britain to be extradited to Spain on charges of war crimes.
“Pinochet was only eight years out of his presidency when that happened.”
The Pinochet case was the first time that several European judges applied the principle of universal jurisdiction, declaring themselves competent to judge crimes committed by former heads of state, despite local amnesty laws.
Throughout the week the tribunal was packed with legal experts and law students as witnesses gave testimony and then cross examination by the defence led by lawyer Jason Kay Kit Leon.
The court heard how
- Abbas Abid, a 48-year-old engineer from Fallujah in Iraq had his fingernails removed by pliers.
- Ali Shalal was attached with bare electrical wires and electrocuted and hung from a wall.
- Moazzam Begg was beaten, hooded and put in solitary confinement.
- Jameelah was stripped and humiliated, and was used as a human shield whilst being transported by helicopter.
The witnesses also detailed how they have residual injuries till today.
Moazzam Begg, now working as a director for the London-based human rights group Cageprisoners said he was delighted with the verdict, but added: “When people talk about Nuremberg you have to remember those tried were all prosecuted after the war.
“Right now Guantanamo is still open, people are still being held there and are still being tortured there.”
In response to questions about the difference between the Bush and Obama Administrations, he added: “If President Bush was the President of extra-judicial torture then US President Barak Obama is the President of extra judicial killing through drone strikes. Our work has only just begun.”
The prosecution case rested on proving how the decision-makers at the highest level President Bush, Vice-President Cheney, Secretary of Defence Rumsfeld, aided and abetted by the lawyers and the other commanders and CIA officials – all acted in concert. Torture was systematically applied and became an accepted norm.
According to the prosecution, the testimony of all the witnesses exposed a sustained perpetration of brutal, barbaric, cruel and dehumanising course of conduct against them.
These acts of crimes were applied cumulatively to inflict the worst possible pain and suffering, said lawyers.
The president of the tribunal Tan Sri Dato Lamin bin Haji Mohd Yunus Lamin, found that the prosecution had established beyond a “reasonable doubt that the accused persons, former President George Bush and his co-conspirators engaged in a web of instructions, memos, directives, legal advice and action that established a common plan and purpose, joint enterprise and/or conspiracy to commit the crimes of Torture and War Crimes, including and not limited to a common plan and purpose to commit the following crimes in relation to the “War on Terror” and the wars launched by the U.S. and others in Afghanistan and Iraq.”
President Lamin told a packed courtroom: “As a tribunal of conscience, the Tribunal is fully aware that its verdict is merely declaratory in nature. The tribunal has no power of enforcement, no power to impose any custodial sentence on any one or more of the 8 convicted persons. What we can do, under Article 31 of Chapter VI of Part 2 of the Charter is to recommend to the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission to submit this finding of conviction by the Tribunal, together with a record of these proceedings, to the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, as well as the United Nations and the Security Council.
“The Tribunal also recommends to the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission that the names of all the 8 convicted persons be entered and included in the Commission’s Register of War Criminals and be publicised accordingly.
“The Tribunal recommends to the War Crimes Commission to give the widest international publicity to this conviction and grant of reparations, as these are universal crimes for which there is a responsibility upon nations to institute prosecutions if any of these Accused persons may enter their jurisdictions”.
British journalist Yvonne Ridley is the European President of the International Muslim Women’s Union as well as being a patron of Cageprisoners. Read more articles by
Tags: Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal
Tags: Bie Kentane, Iraqi children, Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal
|The Children of Iraq: “Was the Price Worth It?”
– by Bie Kentane – 2012-05-09