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Archive for the tag “Iraqi-American war”

British double standards on WMD and terrorists

The British government uses double standards over weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and also over which “terrorist” governments it recognises and fails to recognise.

How Labour used the law to keep criticism of Israel secret | Politics | The Guardian:

The full extent of government anxiety about the state of British-Israel relations can be exposed for the first time today in a secret document seen by the Guardian.

The document reveals how the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) successfully fought to keep secret any mention of Israel contained on the first draft of the controversial, now discredited Iraq weapons dossier. At the heart of it was nervousness at the top of government about any mention of Israel’s nuclear arsenal in an official paper accusing Iraq of flouting the UN’s authority on weapons of mass destruction.

The dossier was made public this week, but the FCO succeeded before a tribunal in having the handwritten mention of Israel kept secret.

clipped from www.guardian.co.uk

The removal of a negative reference to Israel from a draft of the discredited Iraq weapons dossier released this week illustrated the double standards which contribute to Palestinian anger and violence, a Labour MP said today.

Richard Burden, chair of the British-Palestine all-party parliamentary group, was responding to the revelation in today’s Guardian that a comment on Israel flouting United Nations resolutions was removed from the “Williams draft” after the Foreign Office appealed to the information tribunal, which had ordered the document’s publication.

But the Birmingham Northfield MP insisted the international community should “not be afraid” of saying that “Israel has been developing weapons of mass destruction for some years”.

Burden compared the government’s reluctance to offend Israel to the reaction after Hamas won the Palestinian elections in 2006. He said that after the Islamist group called a truce the response was “to ignore that and refer to them as terrorists”.

blog it

As Burden points out, the recent revelations about British double standards on the question of WMD in the Middle East also highlight other double standards as well — denouncing Hamas as “terrorists”, but recognising the UDI by the UCK (Kosovo Liberation Army), which is just as much a terrorist organisation as Hamas.

US presidential election — the media have spoken

Yesterday morning when we got up the TV news channels were full of the Iowa primary in the US presidential election, and for about 10 minutes we had the impression that John Edwards had won, and had just beaten Hillary Clinton.

Then we noticed the text underneath one of the screens saying that Edwards and Clinton were running neck and neck for second place. Who was in first place? That wasn’t important. For the media (all of them) the election was defined by Hillary Clinton. Everything was seen in relation to her.

Similarly, among the Republicans, Mitt Romney seemed to be the media favourite. He had apparently come second, so what was he going to do next? Only much later did we learn that Barack Obama had actually come first. The good guys — Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel and Ron Paul, weren’t mentioned. It seems to be true that the “mainstream” media are in a conspiracy to keep them out of the public eye. According to IndependentPrimary.com

ABC NEWS HAS EXCLUDED KUCINICH, GRAVEL, AND OTHERS: In an arbitrary decision that shakes our democracy to its very core, ABC News has set debate criteria that exclude Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel, Chris Dodd, Joe Biden and Duncan Hunter from their Saturday debates. New Hampshire has a recent history of open debates. As a result of these
exclusions the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper has decided not to co-sponsor the debate.

FOX NEWS HAS EXCLUDED RON PAUL: Fox News has done ABC one step worse by calling it’s Sunday debate a “candidate forum” to avoid setting any criteria at all. They’re using this technicality to exclude Ron Paul – even though the co-sponsoring New Hampshire Republican Party issued a statement saying they want all the candidates included.

If Michael Moore is right, it’s all about the Iraqi-American War:

Over 70% of Iowan Democrats voted for candidates who either never voted for the invasion of Iraq (Obama, Richardson, Kucinich) or who have since admitted their mistake (Edwards, Biden, Dodd). I can’t tell you how bad I feel for Senator Clinton tonight. I don’t believe she was ever really for this war. But she did — and continued to do — what she thought was the politically expedient thing to eventually get elected. And she was wrong. And tonight she must go to sleep wondering what would have happened if she
had voted her conscience instead of her calculator.

John Edwards was supposed to have come in third. He had been written off. He was outspent by the other front-runners six to one. But somewhere along the road he threw off the old politico hack jacket and turned into a real person, a fighter for the poor, for the uninsured, for peace. And for that, he came in a surprise second, ending up with just one less delegate than the man who was against the war from the beginning. But, as Joshua Holland of AlterNet pointed out earlier today, Edwards is still the only front-runner who will pull out all the troops and do it as quickly as
possible. His speech tonight was brilliant and moving.

I’ve taken more interest in the US presidential elections this time than I usually do. Yes, I knew that a war-mongering president in the White House could make things nasty for people in other parts of the world — the cowardly Nato bombing of Yugoslavia showed us that. But a lunatic warmonger like George Bush raised it to a new level, making the world a far more dangerous place for everybody. I think a lot of people around the world are hoping that someone will be elected who is not only peaceful, but sane and peaceful.

So I hope Michael Moore is as right in his prediction as in his analysis. If his analysis is right, the mainstream media have a stake in candidates who voted for the war because of the role the media themselves played in promoting war and beating the war drums. They are unlikely to admit that the people are sick of it. And I hope he is right in his prediction that the American people are sick of war.

George W. Bush and his junta have tried to persuade Americans that people have opposed his war because they hate America and Americans. But that is not true. People can hate American foreign policy over the last 20 years without hating Americans. It’s that old cliche about hate the sin and love the sinner. And people may have in the back of their minds what the Nuremberg Tribunal found: that starting a war of aggression is not just a war crime, but the war crime. The German political and military leaders in World War II were not on trial because they lost the war, but because they started it.

Bush supporters are inclined to get a bit irritated about comparisons with Nazi Germany, but some parallels are there for everyone to see: Bush’s invasion of Iraq had about as much justification as Hitler’s invasion of Poland. And it was supported by the “mainstream” media, whose policy of appeasement of a crazy warmonger helped to lead to the mess we see today.

Iraq troop withdrawals cut violence

In Basra, violence is a tenth of what it was before British pullback, general says – International Herald Tribune: “Attacks against British and Iraqi forces have plunged by 90 percent in southern Iraq since London withdrew its troops from the main city of Basra, the commander of British forces there said Thursday. The presence of British forces in downtown Basra, Iraq’s second-largest city, was the single largest instigator of violence, Maj. Gen. Graham Binns told reporters Thursday on a visit to Baghdad’s Green Zone. ‘We thought, ‘If 90 percent of the violence is directed at us, what would happen if we stepped back?” Binns said.”

So there’s perhaps a great deal to be said for immediat withdrawal of all foreign occupation troops from Iraq.

Bush and the Armenian genocide

Why does Bush deny the Armenian genocide?

Could it be because he is participating in it?

From yesterday’s Guardian:

President George Bush today urged members of Congress to reject a congressional resolution recognising the killings of Armenians in 1915 as “genocide”, warning that it would damage US relations with Turkey.

From todays TimesOnline:

Three Christian sisters, beating their mother’s coffin in grief, wailed and hugged each other at her funeral in Baghdad yesterday as their rapidly shrinking religious community vented anger at the foreign security guards who killed her.

Hat-tip to Fr David McGregor (whose blog unfortunately does not allow backlinks).

War and hegemony

Alan Greenspan, the former head of the US Federal Reserve, has been in the news lately with the publication of his memoirs, in which he claimed that that Bush’s invasion of Iraq was about oil, not weapons of mass destruction.

Counterpunch disagrees, however,

It is certainly the case that Iraq was not invaded because of WMD, which the Bush administration knew did not exist. But the oil pretext is also phony. The US could have purchased a lot of oil for the trillion [billion] dollars that the Iraq invasion has already cost in out-of-pocket expenses and already incurred future expenses.

and goes on to say that

Bush’s wars are about American hegemony, not oil. The oil companies did not write the neoconservatives’ “Project for a New American Century,” which calls for US/Israeli hegemony over the entire Middle East, a hegemony that would conveniently remove obstacles to Israeli territorial expansion.”

And it is on that point that the policies of the two major American parties are almost exactly the same. Americans seem to get hugely antagonistic about their politics, tossing puerile insults at the other side (one gets tired of seeing “DemocRATS” and “Repugs” all over the Internet), and yet to people outside the USA, they are as alike as Tweedledum and Tweedledee, fighting over the claim the one had spoiled the other’s nice new rattle. American politicians do indeed seem to be like children fighting over toys, the toys, in this case, being America’s military hardware.

Bush bombed Baghdad, but Clinton bombed Belgrade, and Blair joined in the bombing of both. And Madeleine Albright thought the death of half a million Iraqi children was a price worth paying to ensure American hegemony in the Middle East. And it was her Democratic Party administration that bombed a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan using the false pretext that it was being used for the manufacture of WMD.

Score two for the peacemakers — blessed are they

A very interesting verdict in a court case in Britain:

Toby Olditch and Philip Pritchard, who broke into the US Airbase at RAF Fairford on the eve of the Iraq war, intending to sabotage B52 bombers bound for the war, were acquitted of all charges on Tuesday. The judge evidently allowed them to present the defence of “lawful excuse” to the jury, that they were acting to prevent a greater crime. The prosecution accepted that even delaying the bombers could potentially save civilian lives, as they would have more time to flee.

But I wonder if Americans will get into a tizz about it, because it might perhaps also be seen as a precedent to justify the bombing of abortion clinics.

But read the whole thing – it gets better.

Massacres

On blog after blog and newscast ofter newscast I have read expressions of shock, horror and sympathy prompted by the massacre at Virginia Tech where 32 students were killed by a deranged fellow student.

Our prayers and thoughts are with them, said Tony Blair. And so they are.

But there here is something that happened on the same day.

BAGHDAD (AP) – Six bombs exploded in predominantly Shiite sections of the capital Sunday, killing at least 45 people in a renewal of sectarian carnage that set back the U.S. push to pacify Baghdad

Are our prayers and sympathy and thoughts with them too, or is it not politically correct to say so?

Racism and sexism rule OK

I’m glad I’m not the only one to have noticed that in all the media hoopla about potential US presidential candidates Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton, practically nothing has said about their policies. It’s all about race and sex. The Gaelic Starover and Priestly Goth Blog: Barack Obama have also noticed this phenomenon, so I’m not alone.

It seems that the media are playing the race and sex cards for all they are worth. There was a thing on SAFM radio yesterday: Will the American voters accept someone of Barak Obama’s race or Hillary Clinton’s sex? What do black American voters think of Barak Obama (he’s a real African-American, with an African father and an American mother)?

This shows how racist and sexist the media still are. In a really nonracist and nonsexist society, the focus would be on their policies.

If whichever one wins withdraws all American soldiers from Iraq by the end of January 2009, then we’ll know that they will have at least cleaned up George Bush’s mess. The smell will linger long afterwards, of course, but they will have done what they could and can spend the rest of their presidency, one hopes, getting on with more positive things. But race and sex are far more glamourous than cleaning cat crap off the carpet.

But not a word about ending the warmongering that has made America the polecat of the world. It’s all race and sex. Not only do the media expect us all to be racist and sexist, the encourage us to be racist and sexist, and to evaluate politicians on the basis of their race and sex, and not on their policies.

Bush and Blair banned from the Church of the Nativity

I wonder if either of them have had any urge to visit. Anyway, it seems that the clergy regard them in the same way as they regard Herod’s Masssacre of the Innocents.

According to Christ is in our midst: Bush and Blair banned

On Tuesday 1 April 2003, the representative of the Orthodox community in Amman in the Jordan, Fr Constantine Karmash, said that he fully supported the Church of the Nativity’s decision to ban the Western leaders from entering the house of worship. ‘The priest at the Church of the Nativity has every right to ban Bush and his supporters, since they have marred the teachings of Christ. Their entry into the church will tarnish it, as [Bush’s] hands are covered in the blood of the innocent’, said Fr Constantine to The Jordan Times.

George W. Bush: Islamism’s best friend

Ivan Eland was written an article on a disturbing trend in US foreign policy George W. Bush: Islamism’s best friend.

When US forces invaded Iraq in 2003 in order to bring about “regime change”, it was difficult to see what other outcome there could be than the replacement of Saddam Hussein’s secular Ba’athist regime by an Islamist one. The only alternative to that is permanent American occupation. And that doesn’t count Afghanistan, where the Americans are learning what the USSR learnt in the 1980s.

Eland’s article shows the effects in other ways. I don’t agree with his analysis in every respect, but the question remains: why does George W. Bush seem so determined to entrench Islamist influence in the Near and Middle East? What does he stand to gain from it? Or is he just too stupid to realise that that is what he is doing? And then there is fact that his policies seem calculated to eradicate every trace of Christianity from the land of its birth.

Thanks to A conservative blog for peace for the link.

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