Two Births: A Gilded Arrival and a Poisoned Legacy

August 27, 2013 at 12:09 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Two Births: A Gilded Arrival and a Poisoned Legacy

Global Research, August 13, 2013

” … war in our time is always indiscriminate, a war against innocents, a war against children.” (Howard Zinn, 1922-2010.)

On 22nd July two babies were born – in different worlds. Prince George Alexander Louis, son of Britain’s Prince William and his wife Catherine, arrived in the £5,000 a night Lindo Wing of London’s St. Mary’s Hospital, weighing a super healthy 8lbs 6 oz.

According to the hospital’s website: “The Lindo Wing offers private en suite rooms, designed to provide you with comfort and privacy during your stay. Deluxe rooms or a suite are available on request. Each room has a satellite TV with major international channels, a radio, a safe, a bedside phone and a fridge. You and your visitors can access the internet and … a daily newspaper is delivered to your room each morning throughout your stay. Toiletries are also provided.”

Also on hand is a: “Comprehensive wine list, should you wish to enjoy a glass of champagne and toast your baby’s arrival.”

Moments away, are also some of the world’s finest medical facilities and specialists, in the event of complications.

To mark the birth, the band of the Scots Guards played at Buckingham Palace, the fountains in Central London’s Trafalgar Square were lit with blue lights for six days and the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and the Honourable Artillery Company staged a forty one gun royal salute. At least, breaking the habits of the centuries, and recent decades, this time they didn’t kill anyone.

On the same day, a universe away, in Falluja, Iraq – poisoned by weapons armed with uranium, chemically and radiologically toxic, and white phosphorous, a chemical weapon, and other so far unidentified “exotic weapons” – baby Humam was born. In a city relentlessly bombarded in 1991 and again in two further criminal, inhuman US decimations in 2004.

Humam was born with Retrognathia, a congenital heart disease , Omphalocele and Polydactly of upper and lower limbs. Omphalocele is an abnormality that develops as the the foetus is forming. Some of the abdominal organs protrude through an opening in the abdominal muscles in the area of the umbilical cord. Polydactly is the manifestation of extra digits on the hands or feet, in Humam’s case, both.

Humam translates as: “Brave, noble, generous.”

Dr Chris Busby, whose appointments have included sitting on the UK Ministry of Defence Oversight Committee on Depleted Uranium, and is a visiting Professor in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Ulster, has made extensive studies in Falluja. He tested parents of : “children with congenital anomalies and measured the concentration of 52 elements in the hair of the mothers and fathers. We also looked at the surface soil, river water and drinking water. We used a very powerful (mass spectroscopy) technique called ICPMS … the only substance we found that could explain the high levels of genetic damage was the radioactive element uranium.” (i)

Much has rightly been made of the use of depleted uranium (DU) in Iraq in 1991 and the subsequent decade-plus illegal bombing of the country by the US and UK, then the 2003 and subsequent onslaughts, but, says Busby:

“Astonishingly, it was not depleted uranium. It was slightly enriched uranium, the kind that is used in nuclear reactors or atomic bombs. We found it in the hair and also in the soil. We concentrated the soil chemically so there could be no mistake. Results showed slightly enriched uranium – manmade.”

This enriched uranium was found in Falluja’s: “soil, water and in the hair of parents whose children had anomalies.”

Relating to the near Dresden-like bombardment of November 2004, Busby is convinced of a connection between cancers, deformities and the uranium weapons:

“Uranium is excreted into hair and hair grows at a known rate: one centimeter per month. We obtained very long hair samples … and measured the uranium along the lengths of the hair, which gave us historic levels back as far as 2005. In one woman, whose hair was 80 centimeters, the uranium concentration went up toward the tip of the hair, showing very high exposures in the past (and) “ the uranium was manmade, it was enriched uranium, …”, he stressed.

Busby believes: “ … these results prove the existence of a new secret uranium weapon. We have found some US patents for thermobaric and directed charge warheads which employ uranium … to increase their effect …”

His team also: “ investigated bomb craters in Lebanon in 2006 after the Israeli attacks and found one which was radioactive and containing enriched uranium. We found enriched uranium in car air filters from Lebanon and also from Gaza. Others have found evidence of its use in Afghanistan and possibly also in the Balkans …an astonishing discovery with many global implications.”

Dr Busby claims that: “It is clear that the military has a secret uranium weapon of some sort. It causes widespread and terrifying genetic defects, causing cancer and birth anomalies and poisoning the gene pool of whole populations. This is a war crime and must be properly investigated.

“This material … is slowly contaminating the whole planet. It is poisoning the human gene pool, leading to increases in cancer, congenital anomalies, miscarriages and infertility … It has probably been employed in Libya, so we must wait and see what levels of cancer and congenital disease appears there.” (Emphasis mine.)

Further, Dr Busby’s report, compiled with Malak Hamdan and Entesar Ariabi, found infant mortality in Falluja in eighty of every thousand births,.in neighbouring Jordan it is seventeen.

Robert Fisk describes a visit to Falluja General Hospital last year:

“The pictures flash up on a screen on an upper floor of the Fallujah General Hospital. And all at once, Nadhem Shokr al-Hadidi’s administration office becomes a little chamber of horrors. A baby with a hugely deformed mouth. A child with a defect of the spinal cord, material from the spine outside the body. A baby with a terrible, vast Cyclopean eye. Another baby with only half a head, stillborn like the rest … a tiny child with half a right arm, no left leg, no genitalia … a dead baby with just one leg and a head four times the size of its body.” (ii)

One British trained obstetrician somehow raised funds for a £79,000 scanner, for detection of congenital abnormalities. Why, she asked, would Iraqi’s Ministry of Health not hold a full investigation into Falluja’s birth defect epidemic?

Answer, surely: because the cause would be weapons used by the US – to whom the government of Iraq owe their positions and their mega money accumulating enterprises.

(Ironically the Ministry of Health under Saddam Hussein moved mountains, under the uniquely difficult circumstances of the embargo, to collect statistics from throughout the country and to press the relevant world bodies for widespread investigation into the cancers and abnormalities, to no avail.)

Dr Samira Allani talks of: “the increased frequency (of congenital abnormalities) that is alarming.” Congenital heart defects, a research paper she has written states, had reached “unprecedented numbers” by 2010. Still births and premature births also continue in an upward spiral.

Falluja lacks even laboratory equipment to facilitate the treatment of foetal infections which are curable.

But this is an Iraq-wide phenomenon, ongoing since the 1991 bombings and simply multiply escalating.

In the southern holy city of Najav, Dr Sundus Nsaif says: “After the start of the Iraq war, rates of cancer, leukemia and birth defects rose dramatically in Najaf. The areas affected by American attacks saw the biggest increases … When you visit the hospital here you see that cancer is more common than the flu.” (iii)

Dr Nsaif comments on an active push by the government not to talk about the issue, speculating the reason is perhaps in an effort not to embarrass coalition forces. Never mind embarrassment, the implications for claims for compensation could be a world first in the potential size of damages, where ever these weapons have been used.

In Basra it is reported that birth defects increased seventeen fold in under a decade after the 2003 invasion and, as Falluja, over half of all babies conceived since are “born with heart defects.”

“The Pentagon and the UN estimate that US and British forces used 1,100 to 2,200 tons of armor-piercing shells” made of depleted uranium during attacks in Iraq in just two months, March and April 2003. Enriched uranium is not mentioned of course. That added to the up to 900 tons in 1991, the subsequent illegal bombings and the bombardments including Falluja, March 2003-December 2011, when the US forces slunk out of their killing fields under cover of darkness.

The warning after 1991 by none other than the UK Atomic Energy Agency must never be forgotten: ”If fifty tonnes of the residual (depleted uranium) dust is left in the region, there will be an estimated half million cancer deaths by the end of the century” (2000.) The further horror of enriched uranium was not, seemingly, a known factor then.

There is surely a vast cover up on the effects of these weapons. As Mozhgan Savabieasfahani has written: “The joint (World Health Organisation) and Iraqi Ministry of Health Report on cancers and birth defect in Iraq was originally due to be released in November 2012. It has been delayed repeatedly and now has no release date whatsoever.”(iv)

He writes: “The back-breaking burden of cancers and birth defects continues to weigh heavily on the Iraqi people”, in an article which draws attention to the fact that fifty four eminent academics from a number of countries have written to the WHO demanding the release of the Report.

He adds that in November 2006: “The British Medical Journal published an article entitled ‘WHO suppressed evidence on effects of depleted uranium, expert says.’ It suggested that earlier WHO reports were compromised by the omission of a full account of depleted uranium genotoxicity.

“Additionally, recent revelations by Hans von Sponeck, the former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations, suggest that WHO may be susceptible to pressure from its member states.

“Mr. von Sponeck has said that ‘The US government sought to prevent WHO from surveying areas in southern Iraq where depleted uranium had been used and caused serious health and environmental dangers.’ “

Further, adding fuel to radioactive fire, there are reports that the latest WHO Report does not even touch on depleted uranium (yet alone enriched.) We will have to wait and see – and wait and wait …The WHO of course is an arm of the UN, so read US.

One of the first people arrested in Iraq on the asinine US playing cards of the “most wanted” in 2003, was Dr Huda Ammash. Dean of Baghdad University, and internationally renowned environmental biologist, who earned her PhD at the University of Missouri.

She extensively researched and wrote papers on the effects of DU and other pollutants after the 1991 war and cited the International Treaties outlawing such weapons and stressed depleted uranium weapons not being “depleted” but a “radioactive waste”, the all in minutely detailed, careful, hard hitting, scientific, incontrovertible fact. “DU is radiologically and chemically toxic to humans and other forms of life.” (v) She was way ahead in what she had detected.

Her contribution to the widely acclaimed “Iraq Under Siege – the Deadly Impact of Sanctions and War” (Pluto Press, 2000, updated 2003) was a wake-up call on the environmental Armageddon wrought on Iraq by the toxic weapons of 1991.

Her introduction read: “The Gulf war ended in 1991, but the massive destruction linked to it continues. An unprecedented catastrophe resulting from a mixture of toxic, radiological, chemical and electromagnetic exposure is still causing substantial consequences to health and the environment …. much of Iraq has been turned into a polluted and radioactive environment.”

The highly publicized book surely made her a marked woman. She was one of the first arrests of the Iraq invasion, dubbed “Dr Anthrax” in US disinformation, remaining in US custody until November 2005.

Robert Fisk, in his graphic article, cited above, writes: “This is too much. These photographs are too awful … They simply cannot be published.” He cites the pain of the parents, many who wanted to talk to him and the world to know.

The facts, the pictures, should be on the front page of news outlets across the globe until these obscene weapons are outlawed. Iraq’s plight is being, and will be replicated where ever they have been and are again used.

They are the new Hiroshimas and Nagasakis, with the genetic burden loaded on future generations for possibly millennia.

If the WHO Report ever comes out, it will anyway be no good to baby Humam and uncounted others.

The birth was “very emotional” said Prince William’s wife, Catherine, of that of Prince George Alexander Louis. Imagine being Humam’s mother, or any mother in Iraq, who has no idea what horrors her precious offspring may present with.

The little Prince is to be feted from the day of his birth onwards – uncounted children of Iraq and where ever these weapons have been used, are fated from the day of theirs.

Ironically the Prince’s father and uncle, Prince Harry, both belong to the UK armed forces, with America, partners in crime in these horrors.



See also: Pentagon admits used white phosphorous against Iraqis in Falluja:

10 years after the war, Innocent New Lives are Still Dying and Suffering In Iraq. Human Rights NGO new report

April 19, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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On April 18, HRN released a press release:

Human Rights Now

Immediate Release

10 years after the war, Innocent New Lives are Still Dying and Suffering In Iraq.

Human Rights NGO publish the Report of a Fact Finding Mission on Congenital Birth Defects in Fallujah, Iraq in 2013


This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Iraq War. After the war, particularly in the most recent few years, a deeply troubling rise in the numbers of birth defects has been reported by doctors in Iraq, leading to suspicions that environmental contamination from the war may be having a significant negative effect on the health of local people, and in particular infants and children. For instance in Fallujah, the city heavily attacked by the US twice in 2004, the data of Fallujah General Hospital shows that around 15% of babies of all births in Fallujah since 2003 have some congenital birth defect.

Human Rights Now (HRN), a Tokyo based international human rights NGO in consultative status with the UNEconomic and Social Council, conducted a fact-finding mission in Fallujah, Iraq in early 2013 to investigate the situation of the reported increasing number of birth defects in Iraq.

Today, HRN published a report over 50 pages entitled Innocent New Lives are Still Dying and Suffering in Iraq” on this investigation.

Full Report:

Iraq Report April 2013.pdf


Iraq Report April 2013 Appendix-1.pdf

Iraq Report April 2013 Appendix-2.pdf

This is the first investigation conducted by an international human rights NGO on the congenital birth defect issue in Iraq since 2003. Despite the gravity of the situation, there has not been a sufficient investigation of the health consequences associated with toxic munitions in Iraq by the US, UK or any independent international organization such as a UN body.

Through one month period’s extensive investigation, the fact finding team has found an extraordinary situation of congenital birth defects in both nature and quantity. The investigation suggested a significant rise in these health consequences in the period following the war, and HRN found that the rights to health and life of children have been seriously violated in Fallujah, Iraq, and that the epidemic of congenital birth defects in Iraq needs immediate international attention.

The report discloses documentation and photos of over 70 cases of recent birth defects in Fallujah, with the permission of the hospital and the families.  “Although the disclosure of such incidents is an extremely sensitive issue, the families and especially the mothers expressed a strong desire to share their cases in order to highlight the birth defect situation in Iraq. We sincerely hope many people in the world, especially the states concerned as well as relevant international institutions,  know the gravity of the victimization.”, Kazuko Ito, Secretary General of Human Rights Now stated.

An overview of scientific literature relating to the effects of uranium and heavy metals associated with munitions used in the 2003 Iraq War and occupation, together with potential exposure pathways, strongly suggest that environmental contamination resulting from combat during the Iraq War may be playing a significant role in the observed rate of birth defects. However, without sufficient disclosure of information related to toxic weapons used during the conflict, the cause of problem has not yet been identified.

In order to prevent further victimization of the lives of innocent children, it is urgent that a comprehensive investigation into the prevalence of birth defects and toxicity related illnesses in Iraq be conducted, including any correlation between such illnesses to scrap or munitions debris left by the Iraq conflict.  It is essential to investigate the sources and spread of birth defects, identify causes, establish effective public health policies and medical care, and provide appropriate compensation for victims.

Human Rights Now therefore calls on the US and UK governments to disclose all information regarding the types of weapons used during the occupation, quantities fired, and exact firing points, and to take necessary measures to protect the right to health and life of the local people if a pollution problem is indicated.

Furthermore, HRN calls on the Iraqi government to establish an independent commission into investigating serious health problems reported after the war, and the UN Human Rights Council to establish measures for the investigation of all human rights abuses committed during the war, including the use of inhumane and toxic weapons. The outcomes of the WHO investigation into the birth defect issue in Iraq has yet to be publicly released, but in the event of a public health issue being identified, HRN additionally urges the WHO to provide technical assistance and guidance in creating policies and measures to tackle the issue, as well as to consider conducting further investigations to try to better clarify the epidemiological nature of the phenomenon.

Fallujah, Iraq 2004 – Misrata, Libya 2011

May 6, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Fallujah, Iraq 2004 – Misrata, Libya 2011

Media Lens





Fallujah , November 2004


May 5, 2011

Operation Phantom Fury

In November 2004, the UN’s Integrated Regional Information Network reported the impact of Operation Phantom Fury, a combined US-UK offensive, on Iraq’s third city, Fallujah:

‘Approximately 70 per cent of the houses and shops were destroyed in the city and those still standing are riddled with bullets.’ (‘Fallujah still needs more supplies despite aid arrival,’, November 30, 2004)

An Iraqi doctor, Ali Fadhil, reported of the city:

‘It was completely devastated, destruction everywhere. It looked like a city of ghosts. Falluja used to be a modern city; now there was nothing. We spent the day going through the rubble that had been the centre of the city; I didn’t see a single building that was functioning.’ (Fadhil, ‘City of ghosts,’ The Guardian, January 11, 2005)

Main battle tanks, bombers, attack helicopters and thousands of assault troops were flung into the attack. But this was no Stalingrad. ‘Coalition’ forces faced young fighters in tracksuits armed with assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades. A US Marine sergeant told a British news team: ‘We’ll unleash the dogs of hell, we’ll unleash ’em… They don’t even know what’s coming – hell is coming! If there are civilians in there, they’re in the wrong place at the wrong time.’ (Channel 4 News, November 8, 2004)

A health centre was bombed, killing 60 patients and support staff. The Independent reported claims that ‘a large number of people, including children, were killed by American snipers’. Refugees also accurately reported that the US had used cluster bombs and white phosphorus weapons. A Red Cross official estimated that ‘at least 800 civilians’ were killed in the first nine days of the assault. Dr Rafa’ah al-Iyssaue, the director of Fallujah’s main hospital, said that more than 550 of 700 bodies recovered were women and children.

Last year, the Independent reported:

‘Dramatic increases in infant mortality, cancer and leukaemia in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, which was bombarded by US Marines in 2004, exceed those reported by survivors of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, according to a new study.’ (See our media alert for details)

At the time of the offensive, a Times leader was unmoved by the devastation:

‘This is not a struggle that, contrary to how it has been presented in some quarters, the Americans were very gung-ho about. It has, nonetheless, become evident that those either loyal to the old Baathist order or keen volunteers for Islamist terrorism would not cease to use the city as the centre of their operations.

‘In this context, the US military had to act decisively or fail those entitled to its protection.’ (Leading article, ‘Taking Fallujah,’ The Times, November 10, 2004)

The Telegraph applauded Britain’s contribution:

‘The men of the Black Watch are on their way home, their mission accomplished. We should congratulate them not only for their successes in Fallujah and in Operation Tobruk, which they have just completed, but also for their pragmatism and courage in the face of the unknown.’ (Leading article, ‘Mission accomplished,’ Telegraph, December 6, 2004)

On ITV, anchors Nick Owen and Andrea Catherwood talked over animations depicting the high-tech equipment deployed in Fallujah:

‘The marines can call on some of the latest technology, like The Buffalo, that can locate and destroy mines and booby troops using a robot arm.’ (News at 18:30, November 10, 2004 )

An animated Buffalo was shown approaching a cartoon car, which exploded as the Buffalo’s extendable arm touched:

‘They’ve also got the Packbot. It’s a small remote-controlled robot fitted with a camera which can climb stairs and even open cupboards to search houses and other buildings for explosives.’

The slaughter inspired a ‘shooter’ video game for Xbox, Six Days In Fallujah. Too much even for the British press, the game was dropped, but seems to have been resurrected by a different company.   

No weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq. There was no evidence of a link to al Qaeda. And yet few in the media questioned the right of the Western army of occupation to destroy a major Iraqi city in the name of ‘protection’.



Massacre In Misrata

By contrast, last month, The Times published a leader with the title, ‘Revealed: The full horror of Misrata’:

‘While the suppression of dissent is commonplace in Libya, the bombardment of Misrata’s estimated 300,000 inhabitants has been exceptionally cruel.’ (Leading Article, ‘Revealed: The full horror of Misrata,’ The Times, April 10, 2011)

The editors added:

‘Two Sunday Times journalists – the first from Britain inside the besieged city – find Colonel Gadaffi’s pitiless troops slaughtering civilians and leaving children to die.’

This week, Murdoch’s humanitarians again lamented Misrata’s grim fate:

‘Colonel Gaddafi’s forces are still bombarding Misrata, a city that has seen terrible human suffering as the besieged inhabitants, without food, medicine or shelter from the artillery and missiles, endure daily casualties.’ (Leading article, ‘The cost of stalemate,’ The Times, May 2, 2011)

The Telegraph has shared the Times’ outrage:

‘Not content with deploying tanks, rockets, and snipers, the Libyan dictator has now taken to using cluster bombs – a weapon banned in most countries because of the risk they pose of indiscriminate injury.’

Back in 2005, Aljazeera reported:

‘Dr. Khalid ash-Shaykhli, an official at Iraq’s health ministry, said that the U.S. military used internationally banned weapons during its deadly offensive in the city of Fallujah.’ The official reported evidence that US forces had “used… substances, including mustard gas, nerve gas, and other burning chemicals in their attacks in the war-torn city.”‘ (‘US used banned weapons in Fallujah – Health ministry,’ March 3, 2005,

Despite this and copious other evidence, the BBC’s director of news, Helen Boaden, told Media Lens in March 2005 that her reporter in Fallujah, Paul Wood, had seen ‘no evidence of the use of such weapons’. The issue is much more clear cut in Misrata, it seems. The BBC commented recently:

‘The wounded arrive with horrific injuries – the result of mortars, grenades, and snipers. An increasing number have lost limbs – which may be the result of cluster bombs.

‘The use of what look like cluster bombs explains some of the horrific injuries doctors are seeing. We found remnants of these widely banned weapons attached to a makeshift barricade in a district near the front line. The rebels there told us they had been used on homes and a supermarket.’

The BBC’s Lunchtime News of April 27, referred to unspecified ‘reports’ that ‘put the death toll at over 450’ in Misrata. Curiously, a piece in the same broadcast put the toll at 400. But then there is no need to make sense of the figures or to provide sources – or to consider arcane issues of methodology – when the bad guys are doing the killing.  

Elsewhere, Campaign Against Arms Trade asks: ‘Why is the British Government surprised at what Colonel Gaddafi has done with the weapons it has sold him?’ Kaye Stearman comments:

‘UKTI DSO [UK Trade & Investment Defence & Security Organisation, the Government’s arms export unit] set up a permanent office in Tripoli to facilitate arms company activities. Libyan top brass were invited to attend Farnborough International Airshow in 2010 and Defence Security Equipment International  arms fair in London in 2009.

‘In turn, British arms companies exhibited at arms fairs in Libya. Britain had the largest pavilion at Tripoli’s Libyan Defence and Security Exhibition in 2010.

‘In 2009, EU arms exports to North Africa doubled from 985 million euros to two billion euros. In Libya, they reached 343 million euros (compared to 250 million euros the year before). The main suppliers in the five years 2005-09 were Italy, France and the UK…’

Cluster Bombs – Some Awkward Facts

The US website Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) noted that the New York Times had reported:

‘Military forces loyal to Col. Moammar el-Gadhafi have been firing into residential neighborhoods in this embattled city with heavy weapons, including cluster bombs that have been banned by much of the world.’

The NYT strongly suggested that the use of cluster bombs helped justify Nato’s cause:

‘The use of such weapons in these ways could add urgency to the arguments by Britain and France that the alliance needs to step up attacks on the Gadhafi forces, to better fulfill the United Nations mandate to protect civilians.’

The newspaper mentioned as an aside:

‘At the same time, the United States has used cluster munitions itself, in battlefield situations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and in a strike on suspected militants in Yemen in 2009.’

The reality is far uglier, as FAIR noted:

‘The U.S. was criticized by Human Rights Watch for using cluster bombs in populated areas in Afghanistan, killing and injuring scores of civilians (Washington Post, 12/18/02). Amnesty International (4/2/03) called the U.S.’s use of cluster bombs in civilian areas of Iraq “a grave violation of international humanitarian law.” (See FAIR Action Alert, 5/6/03.) NATO employed cluster bombs in its bombing of Serbia during the Kosovo War, with one attack killing 15 civilians in the town of Nis (BBC, 5/7/99); more than 2,000 unexploded munitions from cluster bombs are estimated to remain on Serbian territory, continuing to endanger civilians (AFP, 3/10/09).

‘The “suspected militants” attacked by a cluster bomb in Yemen in 2009 turned out to be “21 children and 20 innocent women and men” (, 12/9/10)–all killed in the U.S. attack.’

FAIR added, ‘You can be sure that none of these examples of U.S. use of cluster bombs in civilian areas prompted the New York Times to suggest that they justified military attacks on the United States in order to protect civilians.’

There is also the embarrassing fact that British and American officials colluded in a plan to hoodwink parliament over a proposed ban on cluster bombs. WikiLeaks revealed that David Miliband, Britain’s foreign secretary under Labour, approved the use of a loophole to manoeuvre around the ban and allow the US to keep the munitions on British territory.

In a straightforward propaganda piece in the Guardian, Xan Rice wrote:

‘In their attempt to end the uprising, Gaddafi’s forces have killed at least 1,000 people. Around 90% are civilians who have died because of indiscriminate shelling or shooting, doctors here say.’

Again, no need to provide serious evidence for the figures.

Having previously lauded ‘a war in Libya with the noble aim of protecting civilians,’ the Independent’s Patrick Cockburn now looks on as ‘Justifiable action against impending massacre turns into imperial intervention.’ The notion that the war has suddenly turned ‘into imperial intervention’ might salve Cockburn’s conscience, but in fact there has been no change, no turn, because there never was a ‘noble aim’. As Richard Keeble reported in a recent guest media alert, the West has been trying to topple Gaddafi for four decades. Likewise, over many decades, the West has been utterly ruthless in using violence to secure the region’s natural resources. It makes no sense to view the current war in isolation from the long, abysmal historical record, and the obvious drivers and goals of US-UK foreign policy. Former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, blogged the point that matters:

‘Bahrain is putting 47 doctors and nurses on trial for treating wounded and dying protestors. Again there is total silence from the UK and US governments at this sickening human rights abuse by our “ally” in the Gulf. There is no discussion of sanctions against Bahrain or Saudi Arabia. There no longer seems to be even the slightest attempt to disguise the double standards. Human rights are merely an excuse to attack those who oppose UK and US interests, meaning corporate wealth; those who promote those interests can rape, kill and pillage whosoever they please.’

On April 20, we challenged the BBC’s Jonathan Marcus on his coverage of the war in Libya:

Hi Jonathan

I’m sure you believe your reporting is completely neutral. You write: “there seems to be a general sense that something more must be done…” to help rebels “defeat their government opponents on the ground”. You ask “But what? None of the options are quick or simple”. You then provide three military options: [Nato ‘boots on the ground’, ‘equip and train’ rebels and ‘advice and support’ for rebels].

Can you see that, to be neutral, you would have to pen a companion article outlining military options that would help pro-Gaddafi forces defeat the rebels and Nato? Inconceivable, of course.

Best wishes


Marcus responded the same day:

Sorry I disagree with your logic. I don’t believe my reporting is neutral – I know it is. We must leave it at that – we are not going to agree.

He added: “I am paid precisely not to have strong views but to try to analyse events fairly which I have done.”

We replied, again on the same day:

Thanks Jonathan. It’s not about agreeing; it’s about providing reasonable arguments to justify important positions. To be balanced, the BBC would have to outline options that might enable pro-Gaddafi forces to win the war. This the BBC would never do because it would be seen as an endorsement for Gaddafi’s cause. And this is why your report was not neutral – it’s fine to offer a de facto endorsement for the rebels’ cause, even though the BBC doesn’t just believe, but knows it’s neutral.

It’s just a rational argument – you’re free to ignore it, of course.

Best wishes 


Our point – an obvious one, we would hope – is not at all to suggest that we support Gaddafi’s tyranny or his atrocities. Our point is that, time and again, our ostensibly independent mass media fall into line when the state declares war. When the official enemy attacks civilians our media howl with righteous outrage. But when our own governments, the people we elected, do the same or much worse –  when they reduce a major city to utter ruins – our media applaud the tough choices made by a ‘warrior president’, or celebrate the clever, high-tech tools that make the task that bit easier.

As long as our compassion is filtered through a screen of self-interest, so that we notice suffering when it suits us and ignore it when it does not, our world will be filled with violence and the lucrative industries it spawns.

Suggested Action

The goal of Media Lens is to promote rationality, compassion and respect for others. If you do write to journalists, we strongly urge you to maintain a polite, non-aggressive and non-abusive tone.

Write to Jonathan Marcus


Write to Xan Rice


:: Article nr. 77465 sent on 06-may-2011 19:46 ECT

Iraqi mps debate whether us troops committed genocide

April 14, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Iraqi mps debate whether US troops committed genocide

niqash | Hayder Najm | tue 12 apr 11

niqash weekly

Last week Iraqi MPs debated whether US-led battles in 2004 could be prosecuted as genocide. Former prime minister Iyad Allawi, who assented to the missions, may also be implicated.

The controversial topic was added to the agenda just hours before the Iraqi parliament’s session for April 4. The request – made by two members of the popular Iraqiya list, one of the most powerful coalitions currently in Iraqi government – came as something of a surprise. To take this issue seriously, in an official capacity, would be sending the whole nation into “a dark tunnel”, other members of the Iraqi Parliament commented.

The topic in question: whether brutal US-led battles that took place in Fallujah in 2004 could be considered genocide. Fallujah, 65 kilometres west of Baghdad in the Sunni-dominated Anbar province, was once considered a capital for Iraq’s insurgent forces and after four US contractors were killed there in 2004, two major battles took place in the city in April and November 2004. The fierce fighting, authorised by the interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi and including some Iraqi troops alongside Americans, displaced most of the city’s 300,000 population and resulted in thousands of deaths and injuries as well as leaving many of Fallujah’s buildings and businesses destroyed. The two MPs who proposed the discussion topic also demanded the passing of a law that would compensate victims of the Fallujah battles and their families.

Continue Reading Iraqi mps debate whether us troops committed genocide…

The Nightmare: The Iraq Invasion’s Atrocities, Unearthing the Unthinkable, by Felicity Arbuthnot

October 9, 2010 at 10:57 pm | Posted in Turkmens | 1 Comment
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The Nightmare: The Iraq Invasion’s Atrocities, Unearthing the Unthinkable

Felicity Arbuthnot

Fallujah, Iraq – December 2004 

October 9, 2010

“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” François-Marie Arouet -“Voltaire” (1694-1778.)

I have a deeply held belief that the duty of a commentator is, to the best of one’s ability, to record, to shine light in often dark places, to act as a voice for those whose own voice, fears, plights might not be heard or known. To write about the emotions one sometimes feels when doing it, is an anathema and anyway a redundancy. The purpose is to attempt to draw attention to wrongs, not to whinge about the effects they can have – and any way, a private life should be just that. If politicians wish to strip themselves of their dignity and allude to everything from their sex life, to using private grief to gain sympathy votes, those with a shred of self-respect do not wish to emulate them. Here, I am breaking my taboo, for a reason.

Over the last several weeks I have again researched in depth, invasion’s atrocities in Iraq, unearthing the unthinkable, switching off emotion and reading of terror, torture, monstrous wickednesses, word after sickening word. Then, Fallujah revisited (1) with document after document revealing the depth of the darkest depravities towards others, which can be plumbed, by “some mother’s son” – or daughter. Indeed, some child’s father or mother, able to shoot the children, toddlers, babies of others, in cold blood, drive over them in tanks, leaving the pathetic remains to be eaten by stray dogs.

Photographs viewed have included many which even hardened investigators have deemed: “too disturbing to view.” This is not a view I hold. If family members who have survived, emergency workers (when not incinerated by U.S., troops themselves) medical staff, if not shot, imprisoned, tortured, or tied up with a bag over their head) can view, identify, bury with love and respect – or in the case of medical staff, carefully photograph, and note time, location of finding, then number, wrap and retain for a period, before burial, hoping a relative will claim the charred, mutilated, or worse, remains. It is a duty for those with any “voice”, from countries responsible for this first documentable U.S., U.K., genocide of the 21st century, to draw attention to it, in the memory of and in tribute to, the voiceless, nameless, uncounted victims, in the hope that eventually, legal recourse might result.

In fact it was compassion which over came all – bodies and faces burned near beyond recognition, or the eviscerated, the all with the eyes, often, still staring out in a desperate silent plea for help, combined with utter bewilderment. “We have the scumbags on the run”, wrote a marine on his website. “We lit them up”, wrote another, as many took photographs of these lost souls – and sent them to porn sites in exchange for free viewing. And between the U.S., occupiers (now, surreally, re-branded “advisors” – same car, new paint) and what Hussein al-Alak of the Iraq Solidarity Campaign has called: ” the U.S., imposed Vichy government, with their foreign passports ..”, who will fight for justice for the Iraqis?

And, as since 1991, this is also a war against the unborn, new born and under fives. After the bodies and the rubble, the gore, blood and limbs, there are the deformities. The fledgling life, born without eyes, brain, with one cyclops eye, with no head, with two heads, with no limbs, or fingers – or too many. A biblical land turned to genetic and ecological Armageddon, for current and future generations, till the end of time. “Mission accomplished”, said George W. Bush, in his ridiculous little flying suit, on the USS Abraham Lincoln on 1st May 2003. “Let freedom reign”, he scribbled, after the first, corrupt, murderous, corpse-littered “elections”. Result: “Let genocide commence.”

The U.S., appointed “Viceroy” in Iraq, J. Paul Bremer, dressed for the part, Hollywood style, in ridiculous desert, or army boots, depending on your perception, arrived shortly after the invasion, seemingly believing in population reduction. Reportedly asking what the population of Iraq was, he was told, about twenty five million. His response was allegedly : “Too many, try five.” But then, he had been Kissinger Associates’ man.

As I read, I listened to the great and the good in various world legal bodies discuss whether the Congo and Rwanda should be “classed” as genocide. In July 2004, as U.S., troops were training for the Fallujah massacre, the coming November, the U.S., House of Representatives passed a unanimous resolution calling the tragedy of Darfur: “Genocide.” They asked the administration to consider “Multilateral or even Unilateral” action, to end this genocide. Reluctance to take proactive steps to prevent further loss of human life was “criminal”, they opined.

Seemingly genocides these days are only committed by Africans or Eastern Europeans, not those great bastions of democracy, U.S., U.K., and the “only democracy in the Middle East”, ally Israel. The Israeli Defence Force, trained U.S., troops for the two week November 2004, Fallujah pogrom. (2) “If it moves, shoot it”, was the order of the day. As two world wars, as Korea, Vietnam, the face of liberation never changes.

“Their tactics basically involve massive fire power … bringing in tanks and helicopters to fire on targets … demolishing buildings, establishing snipers on roofs, smashing holes in walls (and) shooting anything that moved.” This in addition to: ” … aerial bombardment and shell fire from large field guns.” The plight of Fallujah: “Was not fully understood in the West, save by some of the survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto … they were trapped (like) rabbits in a cornfield”, being circled to be mown down and dismembered by combine harvesters.(3)The photographs are testimony to the chilling description. The unsung heroes are those who determined to record them, so some time, some where, the crimes would be known and legal retribution sought. These terrible, pathetic images, are the silent testimony to the first known Western genocide of the 21st century. Sadly, it is a near certainty that Iraq and Afghanistan will, in time, produce proof of more.

On visits to Iraq during the embargo years, when there was the silent genocide over nearly thirteen years of the U.S.-U.K.,- driven U.N., embargo’s prohibition of all necessary to sustain the basics of life, with children dying of “embargo-related causes”, at an average of six thousand a month, witnessing the heartbreak, the bafflement at their plight, the terrible guilt was always leaving. One saw and shared to some extent, the unimaginable, being perpetrated in one’s name, then one left. Across the border, in Jordan, the lights were on, the towns bustled, clean water came out of the taps, and the illegal American and British bombs were not dropping. Yet so near, the children were dying, the people were dying, in the name of “We the people …”

Looking through the photographs, reading of the near incomprehensible depths of sadistic destruction of their fellow human beings, men and women in uniform can uniformly sink to, I could also escape at the end of the day. I could make a meal, go and listen to live jazz at a favorite jazz pub, or simply pour a glass of wine and listen to music, surrounded by numerous books, collected pictures and loved items, in a home I enjoy, before seeking the warmth of the duvet and a comfortable bed.

But if the conscious mind can switch off, clearly the sub-conscious does not. One night the nightmare, one was sure was not a nightmare, but reality, struck. In the surreal world of nightmares, I “woke”, to find myself saturated, blood pouring from under my arms. Wondering what was happening and what to do about it, I did, in nightmare-land, what I often do when working something out (though not usually at 3 a.m.,) and got the tools together and went out in to my garden. As ever, to trim and nurture plants, and bushes, mostly grown from tiny, often quarter inch cuttings, cosseted indoors, until clement weather, then planted outside, in sheltered warmth, and further fed and tended until suddenly seemingly overnight, a vibrant, colored addition, standing on its own roots, is ready to face all seasons. But my garden, with its protective hedges, (white flowers in summer, orange berries in winter and thorns to deter the trespasser …) had gone. There were just bulldozer tracks, deep, ruining, not a leaf, stem or bloom left – just a wasteland.

Then, in nightmare-world, in my nightclothes, blood covered, I realised I had no keys to get back in. What if anyone found me in this state? I turned to the front door to try and figure a plan – but the building had gone. I was alone, bloody, near undressed and all had vanished, turning back to other familiar buildings, suddenly there was nothing. Just ruin, rubble and wasteland, as far as the eye could see. My life, my books, my comfort zone, were no more. Just the bloodied clothes I stood in remained.

Like walking away, I, of course, woke up – soaked and shivering. To a hot bath, a washing machine and a warm airing cupboard full of clean bed linen – my garden still intact. The people of Iraq, with their destroyed homes and gardens, fruit groves, date palm groves, or their vibrant plantings on balconies or flat roofs; the Palestinians, suffering the same plight for sixty two interminable years, and the people of Afghanistan in their flattened compounds, destroyed with their scented groves and gardens of blossoms and apricots, live a nightmare from which they never awake.
I thought again of the Iraqi child, whose parents had a beautiful garden, who showed a friend and I her drawing book, before the invasion. One picture had an abundance of flowers, carefully colored, in numerous hues, on the side were American soldiers – shooting at the flowers. “Why are the soldiers shooting the flowers?” We asked. “Because Americans hate flowers”, she replied solemnly. It was a deeply saddening moment, that she represented so many children, who saw American as representing only wrath, fear and deprivation. She knew nothing of those Americans who had worked tirelessly to reverse the situation. If she has survived, she will be a young adult. She is unlikely to have changed her views.

In the U.K., Scottish parliamentarian, Dr Bill Wilson (4) is ploughing a determined path to bring Tony Blair to justice. In furtherance of this, he has now written to Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond and Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Kenny MacAskill, calling for Scotland to adopt the recently agreed international definition of the crime of aggression into its legislature. His letter reads:

“The International Criminal Court’s Review Conference of the Rome Statute in Kampala (5) earlier this year adopted a resolution by which it amended the Statute so as to include a definition of the crime of aggression and the conditions under which the Court could exercise jurisdiction with respect to the crime. The actual exercise of jurisdiction is subject to a decision to be taken after 1 January 2017 by the same majority of States Parties as is required for the adoption of an amendment to the Statute. However, I believe that there is now no legal obstacle to individual countries adopting the new definition of the crime of aggression into their own legislatures. I hope you will agree with me that it would be to Scotland’s credit if we could be one of the first countries to do this, and it would be a fine legacy for the present Scottish Government to leave as it nears the end of its term.”

He commented that, further, since the The International Criminal Court has now agreed on a definition of the crime of aggression: “I believe that although the ICC itself cannot prosecute on the basis of this for the time being, there is no impediment to individual countries adopting the definition into their own legislatures immediately. If Scotland did so, it would be an excellent example to the rest of the world and would send the clear message that we respect international law here. It would also create a powerful incentive for present and future UK Governments to think carefully before embarking on warfare.

“I think most Scots would not wish to see a repeat of the tragedy we have seen unfold in Iraq. This might be a way of preventing such misguided ventures in the future.” Dr Wilson, is adamant: Scotland is in a position to: “… lead ethically in adopting the crime of aggression definition”, and has legal advise which concurs. Dr Wilson plans to use Fallujah as an example of this aggression, but also points out there there are surely numerous others, undocumented, as yet.

As John Pilger reminds, Blair promised that the (illegal) invasion of Baghdad would be ” … without a bloodbath and that Iraqis in the end would be celebrating … In fact, the criminal conquest of Iraq smashed a society, killing up to a million people, driving four million from their homes, contaminating cities such as Fallujah with cancer-causing poisons and leaving a majority of young children malnourished in a country once described by Unicef as a ‘model.’ ” (New Statesman, 30th September, 2010.)

As Pakistan, Iran, Yemen, Somalia, now seem to be in would be imperial sights, a precedent which will flag a up a warning sign to leaders of ill intent, is surely needed. Dr Gideon Polya, who’s work on excess deaths from invasions since 1950, states, in Afghanistan: “The annual death rate is 7% for under-5 year old Occupied Afghan infants, as compared to 4% for Poles in Nazi-occupied Poland, and 5% for French Jews in Nazi-occupied France.”

The U.S., and U.K., whose leaders have trumpeted the dangers of the latest “new Hitler” in the countries they planned to decimate, have outdone the Nazis. Enough.

See also :
2. “War Crime or Just War”, Nicholas Wood, South Hill Press, 2005.
3. See 2.
4. See 1.
20releases/review%20conference%20of%20the%20rome%20statute%2 …

Published in URUKNET

Falluja, Tony Blair and a Man with a Mission by Felicity Arbuthnot

September 28, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment

Falluja, Tony Blair and a Man with a Mission

Felicity Arbuthnot



September 26, 2010


“The reason governments have secrets is not because the public won’t understand, it’s because the public will.”

(A friend.)

Dr Bill Wilson, knows a bit about duplicity and is not a man to give up, as a glance at his website shows. (1) Dr Wilson is a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) in the Scottish National Party,for the West of Scotland. This week, he lodged a Parliamentary Motion (2) “highlighting the consequences of the US and UK’s use of weapons of mass destruction in Fallujah, in 2004.”

Speaking after lodging the Motion, Dr Wilson said, “The consequences are ongoing: a survey showed a four-fold increase in all cancers, a 12-fold increase in childhood cancer in under-14s and a 38-fold increase in leukaemia. By contrast, Hiroshima survivors showed a 17-fold increase with regard to the latter. What’s more, because of this cancer crisis, local doctors are advising women not to have children.

“I have long been convinced that those responsible for the invasion of Iraq should be charged. It seems to me that any reasonable person looking at what happen in Fallujah would conclude that major war crimes have been committed.Tony Blair has to answer for his decisions … women are now being advised not to have children. To turn a blind eye now would surely make us all complicit.”

The Motion states: “The Parliament notes a report in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health: ‘Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005-2009’, on the effects of the United Kingdom and United States’ attack on Fallujah in 2004; notes the reports that this attack involved the use of illegal chemical weapons, phosphorous bombs and nerve gas; understands that it has been further reported that this has led to an explosion of infant mortality, leukaemia and cancers, exceeding those following the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to the extent that local doctors are advising women not to have children; supports the international courts in their pursuit of war criminals since 1945; believes that no individual guilty of such crimes should escape justice, and calls for the detention and trial of Anthony Charles Lynton Blair.”

“Bush and Blair lied about non-existent weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, now the toxic effects of the US-UK’s own WMDs have brought massive cancer surges, particularly of childhood cancers ..” He comments.

Dr Wilson has the bit firmly between his teeth. On 10th September he announced that he was seeking legal advice, “following a long running exchange of letters”, over the Crown Office’s refusal to disclose “details of its deliberations on whether the crime of aggression forms part of Scots law.” If not, he wishes to know, can the “declaratory power of the High Court”, not be used to incorporate it in to Scots law?

“Iraq was invaded on what amount to a pretext, a million plus Iraqis have lost their lives (with) thousands of coalition (troops) … frustrated by Crown Office’s refusal to fully explain why it believes Scots law cannot be used to bring a prosecution, for what I believe was a bloody crime of aggression, I lodged a freedom of information request (into their) deliberations.” A refusal included that it would “not be in the public interest. I am not at all happy that it is in the public interest to hide the reasons, for effectively turning a blind eye, to what many consider to be mass murder, and so I am seeking legal advice to take the matter further.” (3)

Both 2004 attacks on Fallujah were an undisputedly joint US-UK venture. British troops from the Black Watch were sent north from Basra to the Baghdad region to “free up” American troops for November’s Slaughterhouse Anbar Province. Further, the British also protected the supply lines to the U.S., troops from Kuwait. (After the first onslaught on Fallujah, in April 2003, in which at least six hundred civilians were indiscriminately killed, in spite of “international condemnation”, Prime Minister Blair said: “We stand shoulder to shoulder with the U.S.”)(4) Estimates are as high as twelve hundred dead.

As an estimated quarter of a million people fled the city, even before the November invasion, the firepower directed against those who remained was staggering, according to the Center for Defense Information:

“In the days leading up to the November invasion, Fallujah was subjected to a U.S. military cordon and intense bombardment on a daily basis. U.S. warplanes, such as AC-130 gunships, struck insurgent positions, in tandem with tank cannons, mortar and artillery, including M109A6 Paladin 155mm howitzers, that can be fired from a range of 22 miles, and will kill anyone within 55 yards of the point of impact. A number of 500-pound bombs were dropped on the city, obliterating insurgent targets and any other persons or buildings in the impact area. Bombings were said to cause damage to poorly constructed houses, where such structures were located near buildings that were attacked. U.S., forces in Fallujah have used the Miclic rocket-propelled mine clearing system, normally deemed unfit for use in an urban environment because of its indiscriminate explosive force. The use of such extraordinary military hardware in an urban setting necessarily invokes questions …” How they anyway identified the difference between resistance and civilians from the air is a mystery.

We’ll unleash the dogs of hell, we’ll unleash them.They don’t know what’s coming – hell is coming. If they’re civilians in there, they’re in the wrong place at the wrong time”, said Sergeant Sam Mortimer, U.S., Marines.(5) So much for international law, with Barrister Blair “shoulder to shoulder”, in crime.

Thus, there is certainly much that British governments offices may deem: “not in the public interest” – read: plenty to hide. In November 2005, George Monbiot wrote in the (UK) Guardian, “We know know the U.S., used thermobaric weapons (in Fallujah)”, that assault weapons the US marines were using were armed with warheads containing: “about 35% thermobaric novel explosive (NE) and 65% standard high explosive.” How : “thermobaric”, “novel” and “explosive”, find their way in to the same sentence is one to ponder on. Perhaps weapons manual authors are recruited from a home for the criminally insane.

The MK77 bombs used, acted like napalm, containing jet fuel and polystyrene, unleashed, the scalding gel sticks to victims. The Iraqi Minister of Health described: “melted bodies” and fires that could not be extinguished with water. He directly accused U.S., troops of using napalm, which the U.S., immediately denied. Referring to the MK77s, military analyst, John Pike commented: “You can call it something other than napalm, but it’s napalm.”

The Minister, Dr Khalid ash-Shaykli, described large areas of Fallujah where nothing, people, cats, dogs, birds were left alive, alleging that mustard and nerve gasses had been used. InterPress reported people being roasted alive, in unquenchable, jellied fire. Numerous reports during the assault recorded people on fire leaping in to the Euphrates – and continuing to burn. Bodies were found with clothes melted in to the skin – and bodies were found with no injuries at all, giving credence to the accusation of the use of gasses and chemical weapons.

Further credence is given by the reports that the army brought in water tankers to power blast the streets, was it to wash away bloody crimes, or chemical and other “novel” residues? They are certainly not in the neighbourhood beautification business. Red Crescent staff trying to enter with medical supplies and help were repeatedly turned away.

A Pentagon spokesman told the BBC that White Phosphorous: ” … was used as an incendiary device.”

The destruction was staggering, as Dirk Adriaensens has written:

*7000 houses totally destroyed, or nearly totally destroyed, homes in all districts of Fallujah. – 8400 stores, workshops, clinics, warehouses, etc.. destroyed.
* 65 mosques and religious sanctuaries have been either totally demolished and leveled to the ground or whose minarets and inner halls have been demolished.
* 59 kindergartens, primary schools, secondary schools and technical colleges have been destroyed.
* 13 government buildings leveled to the ground.
* Destruction of the two electricity substations, the three water purification plants, the two railroad stations and heavy damages to the sewage and rain drainage subsystems throughout the city.
* The total destruction of a bridge to the West of the city.
* The death of 100,000 domestic and wild animals due to chemical and/or gaseous munitions.
* The burning and destruction of four libraries that housed hundreds perhaps thousands of ancient Islamic manuscripts and books.
* The targeted destruction (which appears to be intentional) of the historical nearby site at Saqlawia and the castle of Abu al-Abbas al-Safah.(6)

“It wasn’t a war, it was a massacre”, wrote an unidentified soldier in

Since the Pentagon find any body counts except their own, an anathema, the dead will almost certainly never be fully accounted for. The Red Cross/Red Crescent estimated “upwards of six thousand.” Adriaensens also makes clear that Fallujah still appears to be closed by numerous U.S., road blocks to outsiders, even to those in nearby towns, his article questioning if there is still concern that those with chemical or nuclear monitoring equipment might otherwise get in. Countless unanswered questions remain.

Iraq, before 2003’s invasion, was already an environmental disaster from the 1991 and subsequent bombings, which not alone left a lethal legacy of radioactive and chemically toxic depleted uranium, but since chemical, pharmaceutical and other factories were bombed, releasing multiple lethal toxicities, along with a host of other installations, adding to the toxic burden, fear of having children, medical advice not to and even decisions not to get married, began as the extraordinary rise in birth defects manifested, across the country, little over a year after the war. But even that pales against the burden since 2003. In September 2009, in Fallujah General Hospital, of one hundred and seventy babies born, 24% died in seven days and 75% were classified as deformed. “A significant number of babies that do survive, begin to develop severe disabilities later”, a doctor commented.

Whilst the Fallujah study is a significant, courageous and sickening break through, it must be wondered how the rest of Iraq is faring. Little detailed reporting has come from many places bombarded by U.S., troops, but what has seeped out is how similar the tactics have been. Water, electricity and communications are cut (clearly, as the U.S., doesn’t “do body counts”, they don’t do law either.)

There is a pattern of shooting up ambulances, trashing hospitals, clinics and medical supplies, arresting and killing medical staff (and patients.) “The hospitals in the west of Iraq, ask for urgent help, we are in a big humanitarian medical disaster … they burned the whole store of medication of the west area of Iraq … prevented us from helping the people in al-Quaim .. ” was a message that a friend managed to somehow send to journalist Dahr Jamail.

Towns, cities and villages bombarded, often multiply, have included: Ramadi, Buhruz, Baquba,Tel Afar, Mosul, Najav, Kerbala, Haditha, Hiyt, al-Qaim, Yusufiyah, Mahmudiyah, Najav, Karbala, Tikrit, Kirkuk, Hilla, Samarra, Nineveh, Baghdad – unceasingly – the list likely includes any inhabited place n Iraq. And what happened to the tons and tons of topsoil, trucked day and night, from Baghdad Airport, just after the invasion? What weapons were used, what contamination did it contain and where has it been dumped? Suggestions also of some kind of massive thermobaric weaponry will not go away.

Metal contaminated with DU is being sold as scrap throughout Iraq, as Afghanistan to irradiate, where ever it is incorporated, and whoever touches it, fashions it, breathes in the dust, the implications of just what is known, indicate crimes of near unprecedented enormity, for eternity’s children to pay the price.

The importance of Dr Wilson’s stance cannot be overstated, it has implications for where ever such tactics and weapons have been used, in Iraq and elsewhere – and where there are plans to emulate them.

“I believe that in Britain, we allowed our judgement of the direct consequences of inaction, to override our judgement of the even more dire consequences of departing from the rule of law, said Sir Stephen Wall, former senior diplomatic adviser on Europe, speaking at Chatham House (The Institute for International Affairs) on 8th November 2004, as the Fallujah assault began. (See 4.)

Dr Wilson is asking that the concerned in the U.K., write to their Parliamentarians asking that they support his stance. A suggestion: a start might be by the estimated three million, who came from all over the country to March through central London to Hyde Park, in an effort to stop this predictable, near unprecedented, illegal disaster. As the new Leader of the Labour Party and the newish Leader of the Conservative party, both commit to a more listening culture, they and all Parliamentarians who did not listen then, owe it to all, to listen now.

Note: Unless indicted below all detail comes personal notes of from the extensive archive at :

mid=5&searchword=iraq+sanctions&submit=Search&searchphrase=a …

2. Full text here:

3. MSP Seeks Legal Advice re Crown Office Refusal to Disclose Deliberations on Iraq Prosecution

4. Nicholas Wood: “War Crime of Just War, the Case Against Blair”, South Hill Press, 2005: numerous war crimes,in Iraq, meticulously documented.

5. See 4.



:: Article nr. 70181 sent on 27-sep-2010 17:02 ECT 

Beyond Hiroshima: Fallujah’s cancer catastrophe

September 13, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
Tags: , , ,

Beyond Hiroshima: Fallujah’s cancer catastrophe


A recent report documenting how the US-British offensive on Fallujah in November 2004 — named “Operation Phantom Fury” — left in its trail a horrific increase in cancer, infant mortality and birth defects, has been ignored by virtually all the American and British media.

By Editors
Media Lens
August 2010


The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, a leading medical journal, published in August 2010 a study, ‘Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005–2009,’ by Chris Busby, Malak Hamdan and Entesar Ariabi.

Noam Chomsky commented the study’s findings are “vastly more significant” than the Wikileaks Afghan ‘War Diary’ leaks.

After all, the cancer crisis reported in the study is impacting thousands of people in one of Iraq’s largest cities and is so severe that local doctors are advising women not to have children.

In the Independent, Patrick Cockburn wrote:

“Dramatic increases in infant mortality, cancer and leukaemia in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, which was bombarded by US Marines in 2004, exceed those reported by survivors of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, according to a new study.”

The survey of 4,800 individuals in Fallujah showed a four-fold increase in all cancers and a 12-fold increase in childhood cancer in under-14s. It found a 10-fold increase in female breast cancer and significant increases in lymphoma and brain tumours in adults. Researchers found a 38-fold increase in leukaemia. By contrast, Hiroshima survivors showed a 17-fold increase in leukaemia. According to the study, the types of cancer are “similar to that in the Hiroshima survivors who were exposed to ionising radiation from the bomb and uranium in the fallout”. (Ibid.)

Infant mortality was found to be 80 per 1,000 births compared to 19 in Egypt, 17 in Jordan and 9.7 in Kuwait.

The study’s authors commented:

“These results support the many reports of congenital illness and birth defects in Fallujah and suggest that there is evidence of genetic stress which appeared around 2004, one year before the effects began to show.”

Dr Chris Busby, a visiting professor at the University of Ulster and one of the authors of the survey, said it was difficult to identify the exact cause of the cancers and birth defects. But, he said, “to produce an effect like this, some very major mutagenic exposure must have occurred in 2004 when the [US] attacks happened”. (Cockburn, op.cit.)

US troops launched a major attack on Fallujah in March 2004 and then joined with British forces to storm the city in a much bigger offensive, Operation Phantom Fury, in November of the same year. On November 30, 2004, the UN’s Integrated Regional Information Network reported the aftermath:

“Approximately 70 percent of the houses and shops were destroyed in the city and those still standing are riddled with bullets.” (‘Fallujah still needs more supplies despite aid arrival,’, November 30, 2004)

In January 2005, an Iraqi doctor, Ali Fadhil, reported of the city:

“It was completely devastated, destruction everywhere. It looked like a city of ghosts. Falluja used to be a modern city; now there was nothing. We spent the day going through the rubble that had been the centre of the city; I didn’t see a single building that was functioning.” (Fadhil, ‘City of ghosts,’ The Guardian, January 11, 2005)

On March 3, 2005, Aljazeera reported:

“Dr. Khalid ash-Shaykhli, an official at Iraq’s health ministry, said that the U.S. military used internationally banned weapons during its deadly offensive in the city of Fallujah.” The official reported evidence that US forces had “used… substances, including mustard gas, nerve gas, and other burning chemicals in their attacks in the war-torn city.” (‘US used banned weapons in Fallujah – Health ministry,’ March 3, 2005,

American documentary film-maker Mark Manning told of “American forces deploying – in violation of international treaties – napalm, chemical weapons, phosphorous bombs, and ‘bunker-busting’ shells laced with depleted uranium. Use of any of these against civilians is a violation of international law.” (Nick Welsh, ‘Diving into Fallujah,’ Santa Barbara Independent, March 17, 2005)

Despite this and copious other evidence, the BBC’s director of news, Helen Boaden, told Media Lens in March 2005 that her reporter in Fallujah, Paul Wood, had seen “no evidence of the use of such weapons”. Wood added, with considerable naivety:

“The character of the fighting that I saw was bloody, old-fashioned clearing of houses and buildings street by street, block by block, the kind of fighting which is done with little more than an M16 and a handful of grenades. It doesn’t make sense to use mustard gas, nerve agents, other chemical agents or nuclear devices — to quote the Al Jazeera story — in such a small space also occupied by your own forces.” (Boaden, email to Media Lens, March 7, 2005)

See our previous alerts for details:Doubts cast on BBC, BBC silent on Fallujah, BBC still ignoring evidence

While the recent survey was unable to identify the weapons used by US forces, the extent of genetic damage suffered by residents in Fallujah suggests the use of uranium in some form. Dr Busby said: “My guess is that they used a new weapon against buildings to break through walls and kill those inside.” (Cockburn, op. cit.)

The authors concluded:

“This study was intended to investigate the accuracy of the various reports which have been emerging from Fallujah regarding perceived increases in birth defects, infant deaths and cancer in the population and to examine samples from the area for the presence of mutagenic substances that may explain any results. We conclude that the results confirm the reported increases in cancer and infant mortality which are alarmingly high. The remarkable reduction in the sex ratio in the cohort born one year after the fighting in 2004 identifies that year as the time of the environmental contamination.”

Media Performance

We can find exactly one mention of the Fallujah cancer and infant mortality study in the entire UK and US national press – Patrick Cockburn’s article in the Independent. The story has simply been ignored by every other US-UK national newspaper.

The study +has+ been reported elsewhere. Cockburn’s piece was reprinted in The Hamilton Spectator in Ontario, Canada on July 24 and in the July 25 Sunday Tribune in Ireland. The July 27 Frontier Post in Pakistan ran an excellent piece on the US military’s use of depleted uranium in several theatres of war, including Fallujah. So did the July 30 Irish News. The August 3 edition of New Nation in Bangladesh also covered the issue. It is much more difficult for us to assess TV and radio performance. To its credit, the BBC did give the story some attention.

The destruction of Fallujah is only one small item on an almost unbelievable list of horrors heaped by the United States and Britain on Iraq – crimes that are rarely considered individually and almost never as a whole. Readers might like to consider how often they can recall the mainstream media summing up the recent history of Iraq in the way that US dissident writer Bill Blum did last week:

“… no American should be allowed to forget that the nation of Iraq, the society of Iraq, have been destroyed, ruined, a failed state. The Americans, beginning 1991, bombed for 12 years, with one excuse or another; then invaded, then occupied, overthrew the government, killed wantonly, tortured … the people of that unhappy land have lost everything — their homes, their schools, their electricity, their clean water, their environment, their neighborhoods, their mosques, their archaeology, their jobs, their careers, their professionals, their state-run enterprises, their physical health, their mental health, their health care, their welfare state, their women’s rights, their religious tolerance, their safety, their security, their children, their parents, their past, their present, their future, their lives …

“More than half the population either dead, wounded, traumatized, in prison, internally displaced, or in foreign exile … The air, soil, water, blood and genes drenched with depleted uranium … the most awful birth defects … unexploded cluster bombs lie in wait for children to pick them up … an army of young Islamic men went to Iraq to fight the American invaders; they left the country more militant, hardened by war, to spread across the Middle East, Europe and Central Asia … a river of blood runs alongside the Euphrates and Tigris … through a country that may never be put back together again.”

Mainstream journalists see things differently. The BBC’s correspondent Paul Wood reported from Iraq in June 2005:

“After everything that’s happened in Fallujah, the Americans aren’t going to find an +unambiguous+ welcome. But Fallujah +is+ more peaceful than it’s been in a long time. Its people like that.” (Wood, BBC 1, 18:00 News, June 22, 2005)

Fallujah: Anatomy of an Atrocity

July 11, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Anas Hamed (R) and his sister Inas who suffer from birth defects are pictured on November 12, 2009 in the city of Fallujah

Fallujah: Anatomy of an Atrocity

-By David Rothscum

Today July 6th of 2010 is the day that Chris Busby, Malak Hamdan Entesar Ariabi released their epidemiological study on the health problems the people of Fallujah are suffering from. The full study can be downloaded here, free of charge. You may not have heard of these men yet, but I am quite sure their names will be found in the history books. The reason for this is that they have gathered scientific evidence of the genocide the people of Fallujah are suffering from at the hands of the imperialists that invaded Iraq. Unfortunately, they have not yet raised much attention to their discoveries, and thus I feel compelled to help with this myself.

A few days ago, on 2 July, they released a press release on Uruknet that showed some of their findings. It was entitled “Genetic damage and health in Fallujah Iraq worse than Hiroshima”. In April, they announced preliminary findings on Global Research, a site I suspect most of you are familiar with. Please realize that when people discover horrendous atrocities, that the mainstream media refuses to touch, they come to you, the Truth movement, and it is you that are responsible for this information becoming public. Before 2003, before the invasion of Iraq war, the slaughter of Fallujah, and so much more, you were trying to raise awareness of Gulf War Syndrome, the epidemics of cancer and birth defects in Southern Iraq due to Depleted Uranium, and were generally met with ridicule and disbelief.

Now that the horrors you warned of are slowly being revealed to the world, all of you have reason to be proud of your hard work. Not just the main activists (Leuren Moret, Doug Rokke, and many others) but all of you who contributed in their own way by reposting their stories to blogs, forums, writing to politicians, and everything else you did to raise awareness to this atrocity. If people listened to you much of it could have been prevented. I find it important you realize you should be proud of yourselves for the effort you took while most people around you did nothing.

I also have a lot of respect for the team of 11 people that went house to house in Fallujah to gather the data. People in Fallujah are suspicious of authorities (they have every reason to), and they were suspected of being part of a secret-service operation. In one case they were unfortunately met with physical violence. The team nonetheless completed the survey, despite the risk they faced from both the threat of physical violence, and of course by simply being in such an unhealthy environment.

With that said, let me move on to the study itself. As shocking as the information announced in the press release and the preliminary findings was, the complete results they showed in their study are worse. The press release mentioned that: “infant mortality was found to be 80 per 1000 births which compares with a value of 19 in Egypt, 17 in Jordan and 9.7 in Kuwait”. What the press release did not mention was that this is the period of 2006 until 2010. Unfortunately, from 2006 to 2010, the infant mortality continued to rise.

As the full study mentions, when we only look at 2009, and the first two months of 2010, we find that the infant mortality rate now is not at a level of 80 children out of 1000 that die within a year, but at a horrific rate of 136 per 1,000 births. When we look at the table in the study, we find that in 2008, 6 infants (age 0-1) died, compared to 0 in 2005, and only 1 in 2004. In 2009, 10 infants died. However, in the first two months of 2010 that the scientists studied, they found that 6 infants had died. Thus, in only the first two months of 2010, as many infants died as in the entirety of 2008. If the rate for 2010 were to continue (and this is not guaranteed, it could be lower, but due to the rising trend it is more likely to increase further), in 2010, 36 infants will die, compared to only 1 in 2004.

Although I should have known better, I had hoped that the situation was easing in Fallujah, or at least not getting worse, because I had not heard much news recently, but instead, the situation is only getting worse as we speak. A further finding the scientists made was that in the category of children aged 0-4, there are only 860 boys per 1000 girls. A normal ratio is 1050 boys per 1000 girls. This is evidence of genetic mutations.

The reason for this is that girls have two X-chromosomes, while boys only have a single X-chromosome. Thus, if one of a girl’s X-chromosomes suffers from a genetic mutation, the girl still has another functional copy. However, if a boy’s X-chromosome suffers from the same genetic mutation, he has no functional copy of the same gene left, and this can cause the boy’s death. However, the skewed birth ratio can also be (partly) caused by another effect the scientists didn’t mention in their study: The endocrine disrupting effect of Uranium.

At levels below the EPA standard, Uranium is a potent endocrine disruptor. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that have a hormonal effect on humans, and Uranium works as an estrogen (female hormone) in the human body. This causes a lower number of male children to be born. Thus, the skewed birth ratio could be the result of the hormonal effect of Depleted Uranium as well, besides being caused by an increase in genetic mutations.

Another fact the researchers have discovered needs to be mentioned as well. Their study has found there has been a sharp decline in the birth rate. As they mention: “It is clear that the 0–4 population, born in 2004–2008, after the fighting, is significantly 30% smaller than the 5–9, 10–14 and 15–19 populations.” This is what I call depopulation in action.

Unfortunately there is an epidemic of cancer in Fallujah as well. This is to be expected, but it has not received a lot of attention so far. There are 4.2 times more cases of cancer than you would expect for the region. For childhood cancer, there is a 12.6 relative risk. Brain cancer, breast cancer and lymphoma are all particularly higher than you would expect, but worst of all is the epidemic of Leukemia, at a 22.2 times relative risk, and 38.5 in the age category 0–35. These are the exact types of cancers we would expect if the cause was radiation exposure. Veterans exposed to Depleted Uranium also suffer from epidemics of Leukemia for example. Children are most sensitive to the effects of radiation due to their rapidly dividing cells.

All evidence shows the disaster is caused by Depleted Uranium. It’s not stopping, but only getting worse, and will continue to get worse. We are now in 2010, and the intense fighting happened in 2004. In Basra, the intense fighting happened in 1991. In 1998, the increase in birth defects began to get seriously noticeable, and in 2001, ten years later, it had gone through the roof. In 2005, the cancer rate was still rising in Basra. Thus there is little reason to believe the situation is going to get better anytime soon unfortunately.

I would not wish what is happening to my worst enemy. Then surely I would not wish it upon the great people of Iraq, who managed to build a first world country in the desert, where people of different faiths intermarried, and Muslims and Christians ran the secular government together. Women were in university, and did not have to hide their beauty. Now they will cover their bodies, to hide the scars of cancer and birth defects that will plague the great people of Iraq for decades to come. Those left 50 years from now will still ask themselves when they get cancer if the Depleted Uranium could be responsible. They suffer every bit as much as you and I would if this were to happen to us. Therefore I do not see the survivors of this genocide forgiving us anyday soon.

I do not think we would forgive and want to be friends with people that send their soldiers to invade our countries, destroyed our DNA with their radioactive weapons, and do not show an ounce of regret or guilt either. When we saw what they had done to our children, born deformed and suffering from cancer, we would fight the invaders until they were all dead, or had all left our country. Do not interpret this as a call for violence, I am merely stating the obvious: If you harm someone’s children, they will fight you until death, without a moment of doubt in their mind. When you mourn the 4.400 dead American veterans, or the hundreds from other countries, think about that. They can not point at their commanders, they have an own responsibility to do no harm to others, and they failed to live up to it. At all times, tell anyone you know in the military to desert when they get the chance. It’s never too late to return from evil.

And this evil unfortunately seems to be quite out in the open. When Israel bombed Gaza, they called it “Operation Cast Lead”, a poetic description of Depleted Uranium (Uranium generally being described as being denser than lead, which is supposedly why it’s used). When Americans took over Fallujah, they called their slaughter, Operation Phantom Fury. I would again call this a poetic description of what they did to the people of Fallujah. The American military establishment was furious about the death of 4 of its elite warriors, the Blackwater contractors whose bodies were hung from a bridge. Thus, they unleashed their “phantom fury”. The invisible radiation that human senses can not detect, that destroys every living thing it touches. If poisoning an entire city with radiation is not a form of “Phantum Fury”, I don’t know what is.

Any possibility for reconciliation is not helped by the reaction I see from people on the Internet to these stories. “Wow, all this for hanging the bodies of burned dead American contractors from the bridges and desecrating them. I do not feel very sorry for them.” Is what one individual responded. When news of an epidemic of blood cancer in the Gaza Strip due to Operation Cast Lead was revealed, someone responded with: “With any luck maybe they will stop breeding on the strip.” Dr. Daud Miraki posted a number of images of the children born in Afghanistan and wrote in an e-mail to Jeff Rense about the response he got: “For the past few days, I have been going through hell receiving rotten and hate-filled email from some of the sick and stupid people in America. They make fun of the babies…and they curse Islam and I and my family.”
I do not know what kind of sick individuals it takes to say such things. It seems to be predominantly those in the middle of the political spectrum, the people who believe that the Democrats and Republicans give them a choice, and who believe what they see on TV.

Communists, Anarchists, White Nationalists, Black Nationalists, Islamists, they are all appalled by the use of Depleted Uranium and oppose it. These are the people who the media calls extremists, because they don’t fit into the controlled opposition, and who we are taught to fear. Instead, the people I find who ignore, or worse encourage this genocide are those from the political mainstream. If there is anyone I fear, it is those in the political mainstream, composed of people too scared to think for themselves and who think nothing will happen to them if they cheer for those in power. They are the people who make this genocide possible.

Genetic damage and health in Fallujah Iraq worse than Hiroshima

July 3, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Genetic damage and health in Fallujah Iraq worse than Hiroshima


Press release

02 July 2010

Results of a population-based epidemiological study organized by Malak Hamdan* and Chris Busby are published on 03 July 2010 in the International Journal of Environmental Studies and Public Health (IJERPH) based in Basle, Switzerland. They show increases in cancer, leukemia and infant mortality and perturbations of the normal human population birth sex ratio significantly greater than those reported for the survivors of the A-Bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

Results of a survey in Jan/Feb 2010 of 711 houses and more than 4000 individuals in Fallujah show that in the five years following the 2004 attacks by USA-led forces there has been a 4-fold increase in all cancer. Interestingly, the spectrum of cancer is similar to that in the Hiroshima survivors who were exposed to ionizing radiation from the bomb and uranium in the fallout. By comparing the sample population rates to the cancer rates in Egypt and Jordan, researchers found there has been a 38-fold increase in leukemia (20 cases) almost a 10-fold increase in female breast cancer (12 cases) and significant increases in lymphoma and brain tumours in adults.

Based on 16 cases in the 5-year period, the 12-fold increases in childhood cancer in those aged 0-14 were particularly marked. The cancer and leukemia increases were all in younger people than would normally be expected. Infant mortality was found to be 80 per 1000 births which compares with a value of 19 in Egypt, 17 in Jordan and 9.7 in Kuwait. An important result is that the sex-ratio, which in normal populations is always 1050 boys born per 1000 girls was seriously reduced in the group born immediately after 2005, one year after the conflict: in this group the sex ratio was 860.

Birth sex ratio is a well known indicator of genetic damage, the reduction in boy births being due to the fact that girls have a redundant X-chromosome and can therefore afford to lose one though genetic damage; boys do not. Sex ratio was similarly reduced in the Hiroshima survivors children. “This is an extraordinary and alarming result” said Dr Busby, who is visiting Professor in the University of Ulster and Scientific Director of Green Audit, an independent environmental research organization. He added: “To produce an effect like this, some very major mutagenic exposure must have occurred in 2004 when the attacks happened. We need urgently to find out what the agent was. Although many suspect Uranium, we cannot be certain without further research and independent analysis of samples from the area.” Malak Hamdan, who organized the project said: “ I am so glad that we have been able to obtain proper scientific confirmation of all the anecdotal evidence of cancer and congenital birth defects. Maybe now the international community will wake up”.

Contact: Chris Busby (France) +44 7989 428833
Malak Hamdan (London) +44 7903 153163
Richard Bramhall: +44 1597 825771

Chris Busby, Malak Hamdan and Entesar Ariabi Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005–2009 Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7, 1-x; doi: 10.3390/ijerph707000x

* Malak Hamdan is a member of the BRussells Tribunal Advisory Committee

After Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there was Fallujah

April 8, 2010 at 11:12 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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The United States takes the matter of three-headed babies very seriously.

 By William Blum


by kanan48

Via: The Anti-Empire Report.

When did it begin, all this “We take your [call/problem/question] very seriously”? With answering-machine hell? As you wait endlessly, the company or government agency assures you that they take seriously whatever reason you’re calling. What a kind and thoughtful world we live in.

The BBC reported last month that doctors in the Iraqi city of Fallujah are reporting a high level of birth defects, with some blaming weapons used by the United States during its fierce onslaughts of 2004 and subsequently, which left much of the city in ruins. “It was like an earthquake,” a local engineer who was running for a national assembly seat told the Washington Post in 2005. “After Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there was Fallujah.” Now, the level of heart defects among newborn babies is said to be 13 times higher than in Europe.

The BBC correspondent also saw children in the city who were suffering from paralysis or brain damage, and a photograph of one baby who was born with three heads. He added that he heard many times that officials in Fallujah had warned women that they should not have children. One doctor in the city had compared data about birth defects from before 2003 — when she saw about one case every two months — with the situation now, when she saw cases every day. “I’ve seen footage of babies born with an eye in the middle of the forehead, the nose on the forehead,” she said.

A spokesman for the US military, Michael Kilpatrick, said it always took public health concerns “very seriously”, but that “No studies to date have indicated environmental issues resulting in specific health issues.” 1

One could fill many large volumes with the details of the environmental and human horrors the United States has brought to Fallujah and other parts of Iraq during seven years of using white phosphorous shells, depleted uranium, napalm, cluster bombs, neutron bombs, laser weapons, weapons using directed energy, weapons using high-powered microwave technology, and other marvelous inventions in the Pentagon’s science-fiction arsenal … the list of abominations and grotesque ways of dying is long, the wanton cruelty of American policy shocking. In November 2004, the US military targeted a Fallujah hospital “because the American military believed that it was the source of rumors about heavy casualties.” 2 That’s on a par with the classic line from the equally glorious American war in Vietnam: “We had to destroy the city to save it.”

How can the world deal with such inhumane behavior? (And the above of course scarcely scratches the surface of the US international record.) For this the International Criminal Court (ICC) was founded in Rome in 1998 (entering into force July 1, 2002) under the aegis of the United Nations. The Court was established in The Hague, Netherlands to investigate and indict individuals, not states, for “The crime of genocide; Crimes against humanity; War crimes; or The crime of aggression.” (Article 5 of the Rome Statute) From the very beginning, the United States was opposed to joining the ICC, and has never ratified it, because of the alleged danger of the Court using its powers to “frivolously” indict Americans.

So concerned about indictments were the American powers-that-be that the US went around the world using threats and bribes against countries to induce them to sign agreements pledging not to transfer to the Court US nationals accused of committing war crimes abroad. Just over 100 governments so far have succumbed to the pressure and signed an agreement. In 2002, Congress, under the Bush administration, passed the “American Service Members Protection Act”, which called for “all means necessary and appropriate to bring about the release of any US or allied personnel being detained or imprisoned by … the International Criminal Court.” In the Netherlands it’s widely and derisively known as the “Invasion of The Hague Act”. 3The law is still on the books.

Though American officials have often spoken of “frivolous” indictments — politically motivated prosecutions against US soldiers, civilian military contractors, and former officials — it’s safe to say that what really worries them are “serious” indictments based on actual events. But they needn’t worry. The mystique of “America the Virtuous” is apparently alive and well at the International Criminal Court, as it is, still, in most international organizations; indeed, amongst most people of the world. The ICC, in its first few years, under Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, an Argentine, dismissed many hundreds of petitions accusing the United States of war crimes, including 240 concerning the war in Iraq. The cases were turned down for lack of evidence, lack of jurisdiction, or because of the United States’ ability to conduct its own investigations and trials. The fact that the US never actually used this ability was apparently not particularly significant to the Court. “Lack of jurisdiction” refers to the fact that the United States has not ratified the accord. On the face of it, this does seem rather odd. Can nations commit war crimes with impunity as long as they don’t become part of a treaty banning war crimes? Hmmm. The possibilities are endless. A congressional study released in August, 2006 concluded that the ICC’s chief prosecutor demonstrated “a reluctance to launch an investigation against the United States” based on allegations regarding its conduct in Iraq. 4 Sic transit gloria International Criminal Court.

As to the crime of aggression, the Court’s statute specifies that the Court “shall exercise jurisdiction over the crime of aggression once a provision is adopted … defining the crime and setting out the conditions under which the Court shall exercise jurisdiction with respect to this crime.” In short, the crime of aggression is exempted from the Court’s jurisdiction until “aggression” is defined. Writer Diana Johnstone has observed: “This is a specious argument since aggression has been quite clearly defined by U.N. General Assembly Resolution 3314 in 1974, which declared that: ‘Aggression is the use of armed force by a State against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another State’, and listed seven specific examples,” including:

The invasion or attack by the armed forces of a State of the territory of another State, or any military occupation, however temporary, resulting from such invasion or attack, or any annexation by the use of force of the territory of another State or part thereof; and

Bombardment by the armed forces of a State against the territory of another State or the use of any weapons by a State against the territory of another State.

The UN resolution also stated that: “No consideration of whatever nature, whether political, economic, military or otherwise, may serve as a justification for aggression.”

The real reason that aggression remains outside the jurisdiction of the ICC is that the United States, which played a strong role in elaborating the Statute before refusing to ratify it, was adamantly opposed to its inclusion. It is not hard to see why. It may be noted that instances of “aggression”, which are clearly factual, are much easier to identify than instances of “genocide”, whose definition relies on assumptions of intention. 5

There will be a conference of the ICC in May, in Kampala, Uganda, in which the question of specifically defining “aggression” will be discussed. The United States is concerned about this discussion. Here is Stephen J. Rapp, US Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues, speaking to the ICC member nations (111 have ratified thus far) in The Hague last November 19:

I would be remiss not to share with you my country’s concerns about an issue pending before this body to which we attach particular importance: the definition of the crime of aggression, which is to be addressed at the Review Conference in Kampala next year. The United States has well-known views on the crime of aggression, which reflect the specific role and responsibilities entrusted to the Security Council by the UN Charter in responding to aggression or its threat, as well as concerns about the way the draft definition itself has been framed. Our view has been and remains that, should the Rome Statute be amended to include a defined crime of aggression, jurisdiction should follow a Security Council determination that aggression has occurred.

Do you all understand what Mr. Rapp is saying? That the United Nations Security Council should be the body that determines whether aggression has occurred. The same body in which the United States has the power of veto. To prevent the adoption of a definition of aggression that might stigmatize American foreign policy is likely the key reason the US will be attending the upcoming conference.

Nonetheless, the fact that the United States will be attending the conference may well be pointed out by some as another example of how the Obama administration foreign policy is an improvement over that of the Bush administration. But as with almost all such examples, it’s a propaganda illusion. Like the cover of Newsweek magazine of March 8, written in very large type: “Victory at last: The emergence of a democratic Iraq”. Even before the current Iraqi electoral farce — with winning candidates arrested or fleeing 6— this headline should have made one think of the interminable jokes Americans made during the Cold War about Pravda and Izvestia.


  1. BBC, March 4, 2010; Washington Post, December 3, 2005
  2. New York Times, November 8, 2004
  3. Christian Science Monitor, February 13, 2009
  4. Washington Post, November 7, 2006 <
  5. Diana Johnstone, Counterpunch, January 27/28, 2007
  6. Washington Post, April 2, 2010

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