Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Tony Blair

I’m already tired of the ‘lessons’ of Chilcot. What can we learn from a report that ignores Iraqis?

A midget report on a midget man.

The Iraqis were not allowed to give evidence

If Blair and Bush were sincere about the dangers of weapons of mass destruction, they would have invaded North Korea

Robert Fisk@indyvoices. Thursday 7 July 2016

So where are the Titans now? I’ve often asked that question but today, I realise, Blair wanted to be a Titan. Up there with the Churchills and the Roosevelts and Titos and – dare I suggest – the Stalins.

Men who made the earth move. Maybe that’s why Chilcot’s achievement was not to prove that Blair was a war criminal but that he was a midget.

Just take that cringing quotation to Bush on 28 July 2002. “I will be with you, whatever.” Sure, we understand the political importance of this tosh. Blair was trying to sound Titan-like. but proved in legal terms that what he meant was: I will be with you – whatever the British people think.

But it’s got deeper roots than that. I have a hunch this was the Blair version of the infinitely more powerful words of Harry Hopkins, Roosevelt’s personal representative to wartime Britain, who – exhausted, but asked to speak to an audience in Glasgow – looked down the room at Churchill and tried to express his love for the great man’s stand against Hitler and Roosevelt’s support for Britain as she stood alone against Nazi Germany.

Hopkins quoted the Bible. Churchill wept as he spoke. “Whither thou goest,” Hopkins said, “I will go… Even unto the end.”

And the best our little Tony could say was: “I will be with you, whatever.” It’s the “whatever” bit that gives the game away, of course; a kind of tossed-out line, the midget’s version of “even unto the end”, an “aw-shucks come-hell-or-high-water, you can rely on me”.

And this, remember, was not a spokesman for the US president telling the British prime minister that he could depend on America. Wee Tony tweaked the whole sorry quotation to turn himself into Roosevelt, and Bush into Churchill.

So earnest was he in the imitative role he had constructed for himself that Blair could not see, when he used these words, that they undermined any moral foundation the future invasion of Iraq might have had in British eyes.

But I’m already tired of the “lessons” of the Chilcot report.

We must learn from what we did wrong, we mustn’t do it again – Cameron repeated the same doggerel, although he might apply it to his own knavish Brexit tricks – and we really must get it right before we blunder into more wars that cost hundreds of British lives, millions of dollars and tens of thousands of other chaps who got in the way but don’t feature as human beings in the Chilcot report.

That’s the real problem, I fear, with the flagellation of Lord Blair.

Yes, he sure was a nasty piece of work, lying to us Brits and then lying to us again after Chilcot was published, and then waffling on about faith and “the right thing to do” when we all know that smiting vast numbers of innocent people – and even bringing about the smiting of a vaster number of the very same Muslims, Christians and Yazidis up to this very day – was a very bad thing to do.

For these victims – anonymous and almost irrelevant in the Chilcot report – we cannot say “even unto the end”, because they are dying unto the present day.

The real “end” for these victims cometh not even yet.

But here’s an underlying dishonesty about Chilcot’s reflection on Blair’s dishonesty.

The evidence of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) was not strong enough, but it was – according to Lord Blair – still worth getting rid of Saddam.

But surely if he was really sincere about the dangers of WMDs, he and Bush would have invaded a nation which undeniably did possess and boasted about them: North Korea, Israel, Pakistan…

Now there’s a crazed dictatorship, butchering its own people, threatening the world – in 2003, just as today – yet not once has anyone, let alone Blair, suggested we should invade North Korea even unto the end and all the way up to the Yalu river.

And we know why.

Because North Korea really does have WMDs.

Lord Blair and Bush would never have dared consider a military adventure against the beloved Kim Jong-un. For the same reason, Blair would never have advocated the invasion of a Muslim nation which is packed with Islamist extremists who knife, shoot and burn to death their infidel enemies and who also possess nuclear weapons, WMDs writ large and boasted about and tested: Pakistan.

I’m leaving out here a peace-loving Middle East nation which possesses even more nuclear weapons than Pakistan and North Korea combined (Israel), but mercifully treats all those it occupies with immense respect, never steals their land and always treats those others with whom it comes into contact during colonisation projects with total respect for their human rights. (Total ironic comment)

Yet why not mention, for that matter, the Iranians? Blair has an odd habit of targeting enemies which are also hated by the aforesaid peace-loving nation – and would presumably like to assault before they actually are able to possess nuclear weapons and therefore immediately become un-invadeable.

Poor old Saddam, he told the truth – that he didn’t have WMDs – and thus doomed both himself and the poor old Iraqis to mass death.

And that’s the point, isn’t it?

The Arabs of Iraq – and now Syria – endure human disaster on an unprecedented scale because of the Blair-Bush lies, yet all Chilcot can produce with his 7 years of literary endeavour and volumes to break the strength of any library shelf is a puny little domestic report on British politics and the self-righteousness of the midget who got it all wrong.

We weep for our British military martyrs, for such is how the Arabs refer to their wartime dead, yet scarcely a single suffering Arab was to be heard in the aftermath of Chilcot.

The Iraqis were not allowed to give evidence; the dead Muslims and Christians of Iraq had no-one to plead for the integrity of their lives. Had their case been made, Chilcot’s report would have gone on to the crack of doom.

It would have been longer than the Holy Bible, the Holy Koran, the entire corpus of Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Chekhov, Proust, Shakespeare and Dante – though the latter’s circles of hell would certainly have caught the measure of the suffering of Iraq and Syria.

No. It was, in reality, a midget report on a midget man.

That’s why, if we brought in the real human beings called Iraqis, their evidence would have indeed been worth a Nuremburg trial.

And yet, in the end, weren’t the ranks of obsequious, strutting, lying and defeated Nazis on the bench at Nuremburg also midgets? Even unto the end. Whatever.

Millions of us knew the Iraq war would be a catastrophe.

Why didn’t Tony Blair?

What kind of democracy are we talking about

On 15 February 2003, my partner and I packed our two young children into their pushchairs and travelled across London to take part in what has since become recognised as the single largest protest event in human history.

Between six and 30 million people (depending on whom you believe) took part in about 600 cities worldwide, united by a belief that the proposed military intervention in Iraq was not justified by the facts.

Sir John Chilcot has, in his newly published report, reinforced this view.

In the intervening years a gigantic political disaster, like some sort of all-consuming black hole, has devoured everything in its path including the credibility of our democratic process and any moral capital the west had. The human cost is staggering.

The repercussions and aftershocks endless – international law, natural resources, political norms, the UN, religious tolerance, all irrevocably altered or destroyed, while, 13 years after the fall of Saddam Hussein, one of the oldest civilisations on our planet lies a shattered ruin; a destabilising presence in a fragile region, locked in a permanent civil war, with any prospects for a peaceful civil society decades in the future.

Somehow, “We told you so” just doesn’t do it justice.

Najat Rizk shared this link

“I remember thinking at the time: “How can it be blindingly obvious to me, and to millions of other ordinary people like me, that the invasion will be a disaster, while our political leadership fails to see it?”

There was no question that Saddam’s brutality needed addressing – but not like this.”

Prior to the decision to go to war being made – in the months the debates raged – I did the only thing I knew how which was to put my frustrations into a new piece.

The Blue Notebooks would be a protest album about Iraq, a mediation on violence – both the violence that I had personally experienced around me as a child and the violence of war, at the utter futility of so much armed conflict. We recorded it in London about a week after the protests.

I structured the work around a series of readings by Tilda Swinton from the works of Franz Kafka. I think of Kafka as a sort of patron saint of doubt, and his writing spoke to the bleak absurdity of that political moment for me.

Balancing the Kafka texts are extracts from Czesław Miłosz, a sort of anti-Kafka, for whom the universe is redeemed by human creativity and compassion. I wrote the piece to meander through music history – quoting and re-contextualising musical texts – the music I had run to as a child to escape my own reality.

Blair’s creative way with the facts seems in retrospect to be the beginning of the sort of post-truth politics we have seen in the recent Brexit debate, where fiction and reality were treated by Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson and their like as essentially interchangeable. Donald Trump does the same.

A second, less charitable, justification is that Blair deliberately ignored warnings from the Ministry of Defence and joint intelligence committee about the reliability of the intelligence, and in a striking example of confirmation bias, chose to engage with the facts only insofar as they supported the decision to go to war, a decision which we now know had been taken long before the other options to deal with Saddam had been exhausted.

Chilcot agrees; Blair withheld information from the cabinet, misled parliament, the public, and the military. Thousands paid with their lives.

Looking more deeply into why he might do this leads inevitably to the peculiar romance that developed between Bush and Blair, the cowboy and his poodle, united in some sort of shared crusade.

Blair’s hubristic view of himself as a moderating influence on the imbecile Bush betrays a spectacular miscalculation of the power dynamics in play.

A third scenario is that Blair was simply too dumb to see what was coming down the tracks.

Tony Blair (former UK PM) takes partial blame for Iraq War and creation of ISIS

(Even after over 23 years, Blair is lying through his teeth.

In the meantime, he has been racking $millions for speeches, talks and appointment as Palestinian/Israel head for 4 parties negotiation during the last 2 decades.

He knew the pieces of intelligence were wrong from the start but he wanted to reap the $billions that the USA dangled to him and give cover to the Alliance.)

Appearing on the US TV network CNN Tony Blair was asked directly whether the decision to enter Iraq and topple Saddam Hussein had been ‘a mistake’.

He replied: ‘You know whenever I’m asked this I can say that I apologise for the fact that the intelligence I received was wrong.

‘Because even though he had used chemical weapons extensively against his own people against others, the programme in the form we thought it was did not exist in the way that we thought. So I can apologise for that.

‘I can also apologise, by the way, for some of the mistakes in planning and certainly our mistake in our understanding of what would happen once you had removed the regime.

‘But I find it hard to apologise for removing Saddam. I think even from today 2015 it’s better that he is not there than he is there.’

Mr Blair was then asked whether the invasion of Iraq was the ‘principle cause’ of the rise of ISIS.

The former Prime Minister said: ‘I think there are elements of truth in that. But we have got to be extremely careful otherwise we will misunderstand what’s going on in Iraq and in Syria today.

‘Of course you can’t say that those of us who removed Saddam in 2003 bear no responsibility for the situation in 2015.

‘But it’s important also to realise –

 One, that the Arab Spring which began in 2011 would also have had its impact on Iraq today. And

Two – ISIS actually came to prominence from a base in Syria and not in Iraq.

‘This leads me to the broader point, which I think is so essential when we are looking at policy today. We have tried intervention and putting down troops in Iraq. We’ve tried intervention without putting down troops in Libya.

‘And we’ve tried no intervention at all but demanding regime change in Syria.

‘It’s not clear to me that even if our policy did not work, subsequent policies have worked better.’

A 2002 briefing note from US Secretary of State Colin Powell to the President showed Blair had secretly pledged to back the conflict – while telling MPs and British voters that he was seeking a diplomatic solution.

In his CNN interview, Blair candidly asks for forgiveness for his blunder in not realising ‘what would happen once you removed the regime’.

The admission makes a mockery of the statement in the Powell memo that Blair would ‘demonstrate [to Bush] that we have thought through ‘the day after’ ‘ – a reference to the consequences of invasion.

However, the bloody chaos in the region continues to this day.

And in a separate development, former Labour Home Secretary David Blunkett has revealed that he challenged Blair before the war about avoiding chaos after Saddam’s downfall.

Lord Blunkett says Blair failed to give him such ‘reassurances’ – and instead placed blind faith in the two main ‘hawks’ in the US administration, Vice-President Dick Cheney and Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Lord Blunkett also vented his fury that Sir John Chilcot, who is leading the long-delayed inquiry into the Iraq War, had failed to ask him to give evidence.

‘I will not apologise for the conflict. I believe it was right.’ House of Commons 2004

‘I don’t think we should be apologising at all for what we are doing in Iraq. We should be immensely proud. I can’t take responsibility for people sending car bombs into a market place.’ TV interview , 2007 

I may have been wrong, but I did what I thought was right for our country.’ When he resigned as PM, 2007

[If he had known there were no WMDs] ‘I would still have thought it right to remove Saddam.’ TV interview, 2009

‘It was a headline question. It had to have a headline answer.

Answer ‘Yes’ and I knew the outcome: ‘Blair apologises for war’, ‘At last he says sorry’. I can’t say sorry in words; I can only hope to redeem something from the tragedy of death, in the actions of a life, my life, that continues still.’ Memoirs , 2010

‘When people say to me, ‘Do you regret removing him’, my answer is, ‘No – how can you regret removing somebody who was a monster?’ ‘ TV interview , 2013

Remarkably, Blair himself predicted how the apology U-turn he finally makes today would be reported.

In his 2010 memoirs, he explained why he had so far refused to say ‘yes’ when asked if he was sorry, because he knew it would prompt damaging headlines.

‘Answer ‘Yes’ and I knew the outcome: ‘BLAIR APOLOGISES FOR WAR’, ‘AT LAST HE SAYS SORRY’. I can’t say sorry in words.’

His apology is bound to prompt claims that he is trying to head off the scathing criticism of his handling of the Iraq War expected to be included in Chilcot’s findings.

All the key figures, including Blair and other senior Labour politicians, are understood to have been given notice of the broad thrust of Chilcot’s verdict on them, expected to be made public next year.

As a master of public relations and media manipulation, Blair may have calculated that since Chilcot is likely to accuse him of major errors of judgment, it is better for him to volunteer an apology now, rather than be forced to do so if, as seems certain, Chilcot’s damning assessment gives him little choice.

The former Prime Minister’s decision to make his apology in the US, as opposed to the UK, is also significant.

Far from presenting his apology in a harsh critical light, CNN interviewer Zakaria, a personal friend of Blair, showers praise on him for being the only interviewee in the programme who ‘took responsibility for Iraq’ on camera.

Most of the others involved in the show, senior US political and military figures, blamed each other.

The Colin Powell memo – which this newspaper found among declassified US State Department documents while searching through a cache of Hillary Clinton’s recently released emails – was written in March 2002, a week before Mr Blair met Mr Bush for a summit at his ranch in Crawford, Texas.

In our report, which made headlines around the world, we revealed that Powell had said Blair ‘will be with us’ should the US take military action in Iraq and that the ‘UK will follow our lead’.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3287982/I-m-sorry-Blair-takes-blame-Iraq-War-admits-conflict-caused-rise-ISIS-astonishing-apology-TV-show.html#ixzz3phCrr65h
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Kamal Nader shared this link

توني بلير ، رئيس وزراء بريطانيا الأسبق ، وشريك جورج بوش في جريمة تدمير العراق وقتل اكثر من مليون مواطن من أبنائه وجعله مرتعاً للفوضى والإرهاب والمجازر ، يعترف بأن الحرب على العراق لم يكن لها مبر وكانت خديعة وافتراء ويعتذر ….فمتى تنكشف خديعة الحرب على سورية ؟؟

The extraordinary confession by the former Prime Minister came during a TV interview about the ‘hell’ caused by his and George Bush’s decision to oust Saddam Hussein.
dailymail.co.uk

 

Russell Brand: How Bush Jr. and Blair represent Christian terrorism?

Russell Brand has said devout Christians George Bush and Tony Blair represent Christianity no more than the Charlie Hebdo terrorists represent Islam.

In a late blog on the killings in France that killed 17 people and three gunmen over three days, Brand said the “bewildered, pitiable” men who carried out the attacks “do not speak for Islam or Muhammed or Allah”.

Russell Brand Says Charlie Hebdo Killer Represent Islam ‘Like Bush And Blair Represent Christianity’

“These men of murder are the symptom of a creed that lies as far away from God as is possible to conceive and do not represent Islam anymore than George Bush, Tony Blair and Halliburton represented Christianity,” he wrote.

“Or ordinary, secular Europeans and Americans when they profited from the bombing of innocent Iraqis.”

CHARLIE HEBDO

One of the gunmen, who took hostages in a kosher grocery, pledged allegiance to Islamic State in a video released after his death, while the two who attacked the satirical newspaper’s offices claimed to be from Al Qaeda, their rival Islamist extremists.

In his blog, Brand said: “How can any spiritual scripture be used as justification for mass murder?

“How can the tenet that The Prophet ought never be depicted ever override Islam’s most mundane greeting AsSalaam alaikum – “peace and mercy be upon you”? It can’t and it doesn’t.

“The young, bewildered, pitiable men that carry out these atrocities probably at the behest of older, power hungry men do not speak for Islam or Muhammad or Allah.

“This language has nothing to do with the God I believe in or the God any of the Muslims I know believe in.”

Blood Begins to Dry As War Criminals In Our Midst are put on trial…

In transmitting President Richard Nixon’s orders for a “massive” bombing of Cambodia in 1969, Henry Kissinger said, “Anything that flies on everything that moves“.

As Barack Obama ignites his 7th war against the Muslim world since he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the orchestrated hysteria and lies make one almost nostalgic for Kissinger’s murderous honesty.

By John Pilger / johnpilger.com

As a witness to the human consequences of aerial savagery – including the beheading of victims, their parts festooning trees and fields – I am not surprised by the disregard of memory and history, yet again.

A telling example is the rise to power of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge, who had much in common with today’s Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

They, too, were ruthless medievalists who began as a small sect.

They, too, were the product of an American-made apocalypse, this time in Asia.

According to Pol Pot, his movement had consisted of “fewer than 5,000 poorly armed guerrillas uncertain about their strategy, tactics, loyalty and leaders“. Once Nixon’s and Kissinger’s B52 bombers had gone to work as part of “Operation Menu“, the west’s ultimate demon could not believe his luck.

The Americans dropped the equivalent of 5 Hiroshimas on rural Cambodia during 1969-73. They levelled village after village, returning to bomb the rubble and corpses. The craters left monstrous necklaces of carnage, still visible from the air.

The terror was unimaginable. A former Khmer Rouge official described how the survivors “froze up and they would wander around mute for three or four days. Terrified and half-crazy, the people were ready to believe what they were told… That was what made it so easy for the Khmer Rouge to win the people over.”

A Finnish Government Commission of Enquiry estimated that 600,000 Cambodians died in the ensuing civil war and described the bombing as the “first stage in a decade of genocide”.

What Nixon and Kissinger began, Pol Pot, their beneficiary, completed. Under their bombs, the Khmer Rouge grew to a formidable army of 200,000.

ISIS has a similar past and present.

By most scholarly measure, Bush and Blair’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 led to the deaths of some 700,000 people – in a country that had no history of jihadism.

The Kurds had done territorial and political deals; Sunni and Shia had class and sectarian differences, but they were at peace; intermarriage was common.

Three years before the invasion, I drove the length of Iraq without fear. On the way I met people proud, above all, to be Iraqis, the heirs of a civilization that seemed, for them, a presence.

Bush and Blair blew all this to bits.

Iraq is now a nest of jihadism. Al-Qaeda – like Pol Pot’s “jihadists” – seized the opportunity provided by the onslaught of Shock and Awe and the civil war that followed.

“Rebel” Syria offered even greater rewards, with CIA and Gulf state ratlines of weapons, logistics and money running through Turkey. The arrival of foreign recruits was inevitable.

A former British ambassador, Oliver Miles, wrote recently, “The [Cameron] government seems to be following the example of Tony Blair, who ignored consistent advice from the Foreign Office, MI5 and MI6 that our Middle East policy – and in particular our Middle East wars – had been a principal driver in the recruitment of Muslims in Britain for terrorism here.”

ISIS is the progeny of those in Washington and London who, in destroying Iraq as both a state and a society, conspired to commit an epic crime against humanity.

Like Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, ISIS are the mutations of a western state terror dispensed by a venal imperial elite undeterred by the consequences of actions taken at great remove in distance and culture. Their culpability is unmentionable in “our” societies.

It is 23 years since this holocaust enveloped Iraq, immediately after the first Gulf War, when the US and Britain hijacked the United Nations Security Council and imposed punitive “sanctions” on the Iraqi population – ironically, reinforcing the domestic authority of Saddam Hussein.

It was like a medieval siege. Almost everything that sustained a modern state was, in the jargon, “blocked” – from chlorine for making the water supply safe to school pencils, parts for X-ray machines, common painkillers and drugs to combat previously unknown cancers carried in the dust from the southern battlefields contaminated with Depleted Uranium.

Just before Christmas 1999, the Department of Trade and Industry in London restricted the export of vaccines meant to protect Iraqi children against diphtheria and yellow fever.

Kim Howells, parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Blair government, explained why. “The children’s vaccines”, he said, “were capable of being used in weapons of mass destruction“.

The British Government could get away with such an outrage because media reporting of Iraq – much of it manipulated by the Foreign Office – blamed Saddam Hussein for everything.

Under a bogus “humanitarian” Oil for Food Programme, $100 was allotted for each Iraqi to live on for a year. This figure had to pay for the entire society’s infrastructure and essential services, such as power and water.

“Imagine,” the UN Assistant Secretary General, Hans Von Sponeck, told me, “setting that pittance against the lack of clean water, and the fact that the majority of sick people cannot afford treatment, and the sheer trauma of getting from day to day, and you have a glimpse of the nightmare. And make no mistake, this is deliberate. I have not in the past wanted to use the word genocide, but now it is unavoidable.”

Disgusted, Von Sponeck resigned as UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator in Iraq. His predecessor, Denis Halliday, an equally distinguished senior UN official, had also resigned. “I was instructed,” Halliday said, “to implement a policy that satisfies the definition of genocide: a deliberate policy that has effectively killed well over a million individuals, children and adults.”

A study by the United Nations Children’s Fund, Unicef, found that between 1991 and 1998, the height of the blockade, there were 500,000 “excess” deaths of Iraqi infants under the age of 5.

An American TV reporter put this to Madeleine Albright, US Ambassador to the United Nations, asking her, “Is the price worth it?” Albright replied, “We think the price is worth it.”

In 2007, the senior British official responsible for the sanctions, Carne Ross, known as “Mr. Iraq”, told a parliamentary selection committee, “[The US and UK governments] effectively denied the entire population a means to live.”

When I interviewed Carne Ross three years later, he was consumed by regret and contrition. “I feel ashamed,” he said. He is today a rare truth-teller of how governments deceive and how a compliant media plays a critical role in disseminating and maintaining the deception. “We would feed [journalists] factoids of sanitised intelligence,” he said, “or we’d freeze them out.”

On 25 September, a headline in the Guardian read: “Faced with the horror of Isis we must act.” The “we must act” is a ghost risen, a warning of the suppression of informed memory, facts, lessons learned and regrets or shame.

The author of the article was Peter Hain, the former Foreign Office minister responsible for Iraq under Blair. In 1998, when Denis Halliday revealed the extent of the suffering in Iraq for which the Blair Government shared primary responsibility, Hain abused him on the BBC’s Newsnight as an “apologist for Saddam”.

In 2003, Hain backed Blair’s invasion of stricken Iraq on the basis of transparent lies. At a subsequent Labour Party conference, he dismissed the invasion as a “fringe issue”.

Now Hain is demanding “air strikes, drones, military equipment and other support” for those “facing genocide” in Iraq and Syria. This will further “the imperative of a political solution”.

Obama has the same in mind as he lifts what he calls the “restrictions” on US bombing and drone attacks. This means that missiles and 500-pound bombs can smash the homes of peasant people, as they are doing without restriction in Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Somalia – as they did in Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos.

On 23 September, a Tomahawk cruise missile hit a village in Idlib Province in Syria, killing as many as a dozen civilians, including women and children. None waved a black flag.

The day Hain’s article appeared, Denis Halliday and Hans Von Sponeck happened to be in London and came to visit me. They were not shocked by the lethal hypocrisy of a politician, but lamented the enduring, almost inexplicable absence of intelligent diplomacy in negotiating a semblance of truce.

Across the world, from Northern Ireland to Nepal, those regarding each other as terrorists and heretics have faced each other across a table. Why not now in Iraq and Syria.

Like Ebola from West Africa, a bacteria called “perpetual war” has crossed the Atlantic. Lord Richards, until recently head of the British military, wants “boots on the ground” now.

There is a vapid, almost sociopathic verboseness from Cameron, Obama and their “coalition of the willing” – notably Australia’s aggressively weird Tony Abbott – as they prescribe more violence delivered from 30,000 feet on places where the blood of previous adventures never dried.

They have never seen bombing and they apparently love it so much they want it to overthrow their one potentially valuable ally,  Syria. This is nothing new, as the following leaked UK-US intelligence file illustrates,  and written in 1957:

In order to facilitate the action of liberative [sic] forces… a special effort should be made to eliminate certain key individuals [and] to proceed with internal disturbances in Syria. CIA is prepared, and SIS (MI6) will attempt to mount minor sabotage and coup de main [sic] incidents within Syria, working through contacts with individuals… a necessary degree of fear… frontier and [staged] border clashes [will] provide a pretext for intervention… the CIA and SIS should use… capabilities in both psychological and action fields to augment tension.”

In the imperial world, nothing essentially changes.

Last year, the former French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas revealed that “two years before the Arab spring”, he was told in London that a war on Syria was planned. “I am going to tell you something,” he said in an interview with the French TV channel LPC, “I was in England two years before the violence in Syria on other business. I met top British officials, who confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria… Britain was organising an invasion of rebels into Syria. They even asked me, although I was no longer Minister for Foreign Affairs, if I would like to participate… This operation goes way back. It was prepared, preconceived and planned.”

The only effective opponents of ISIS are accredited demons of the west – Syria, Iran, Hezbollah. The obstacle is Turkey, an “ally” and a member of Nato, which has conspired with the CIA, MI6 and the Gulf medievalists to channel support to the Syrian “rebels”, including those now calling themselves ISIS.

Supporting Turkey in its long-held ambition for regional dominance by overthrowing the Assad government beckons a major conventional war and the horrific dismemberment of the most ethnically diverse state in the Middle East.

A truce – however difficult to achieve – is the only way out of this imperial maze; otherwise, the beheadings will continue. That genuine negotiations with Syria should be seen as “morally questionable” (the Guardian) suggests that the assumptions of moral superiority among those who supported the war criminal Blair remain not only absurd, but dangerous.

Together with a truce, there should be an immediate cessation of all shipments of war materials to Israel and recognition of the State of Palestine. The issue of Palestine is the region’s most festering open wound, and the oft-stated justification for the rise of Islamic extremism. Osama bin Laden made that clear. Palestine also offers hope. Give justice to the Palestinians and you begin to change the world around them.

More than 40 years ago, the Nixon-Kissinger bombing of Cambodia unleashed a torrent of suffering from which that country has never recovered. The same is true of the Blair-Bush crime in Iraq.

With impeccable timing, Henry Kissinger’s latest self-serving tome has just been released with its satirical title, “World Order“. In one fawning review, Kissinger is described as a “key shaper of a world order that remained stable for a quarter of a century”.

Tell that to the people of Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Chile, East Timor and all the other victims of his “statecraft”.

Only when “we” recognise the war criminals in our midst will the blood begin to dry.

When You Kill Ten Million Africans You Aren’t Called ‘Hitler’

 

Saudi Arabia is world’s fourth biggest military buyer

WORLD – APRIL 15, 2014

Saudi Arabia generally doesn’t announce military purchases, but multi-billion-dollar orders often facilitated by foreign governments are hard to conceal.

Saudi Arabia’s military spending in 2013 was $67 billion, up 14% from 2012. It jumped to number four on the list of the world’s biggest military spenders, passing France, Japan and the UK, according to an April 14 report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Saudi Arabia spends the most on the list as a percentage of GDP by far.

British defense firm BAE Systems announced on Feb. 19 that it had renegotiated a deal to sell 72 Eurofighter Typhoon jets to Saudi Arabia. The original 2007 price was 4.4 billion British pounds, but the Saudis requested advanced weaponry and equipment.

The announcement coincided with a visit by Prince Charles, but his spokesman said BAE was not discussed. The deal became controversial when it was revealed that former premier Tony Blair pressured a UK attorney general to drop a fraud inquiry into a past BAE sale to the kingdom for Tornado combat jets.COPYRIGHT 2014 REUTERS

The announcement coincided with a visit by Prince Charles, but his spokesman said BAE was not discussed. The deal became controversial when it was revealed that former premier Tony Blair pressured a UK attorney general to drop a fraud inquiry into a past BAE sale to the kingdom for Tornado combat jets.

Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud visited Pakistan Feb. 15-17 (2014) to meet with military officials. He was expected to sign a security pact. Pakistan has expressed interest in selling its JF-17 Thunder combat jets (pictured), based on the F-16. Both countries deny nuclear arm discussions.

“The whole-of-government approach to export sales gives us a strategic advantage as we pursue international markets.”DANNY DEEP, GENERAL DYNAMICS LAND SYSTEMS – CANADA

U.S. weapons maker General Dynamics Corp. said on Feb. 14 that its Canadian subsidiary signed a 14-year contract for up to $13 billion to build light-armored vehicles for Saudi Arabia, the largest advanced manufacturing export deal in Canadian history. Canadian Trade Minister Ed Fast helped lead negotiations.

The Pentagon notified Congress on Dec. 5, 2013, of a sale of 15,000 Raytheon anti-tank missiles to Saudi Arabia worth $900 million. Although the notification said the sale was for Saudi defense, the kingdom has no known land threats. This raised speculation that the weapons were going to Syrian rebels.

In March 2013, Lockheed Martin signed a $253 million maintenance and training program for the kingdom’s F-15 fleet. In Dec. 2011, Saudi Arabia purchased 84 F-15SA fighter jets for $29.4 billion, in a deal that also upgraded its 70 F-15S jets.

“Lockheed Martin also recognizes that Saudi Arabia requires much more than defense and security capabilities. Our diverse portfolio of programs also includes offerings in other areas such as health, cyber-security, air traffic control and energy solutions.”LOCKHEED MARTIN WEBSITE

Lockheed Martin’s Saudi Arabian subsidiary also sells missiles, naval equipment, sniper guns, surveillance equipment, and satellite communications to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia has made several purchases from the U.S. for Apache (pictured) and Blackhawk helicopters. The orders have been followed up with upgrades and training. Saudi Arabia signed $75.7 billion worth of U.S. arms transfer agreements from 2004-11, according to the Congressional Research Service.

Saudi weapons purchases have raised red flags because of the kingdom’s poor record on human rights and its support of hardline Islamists.

The militaries of countries that have poor human rights records such as Egypt, Yemen, Libya, and Bahrain have also received help from Saudi Arabia amid crackdowns.

“Don’t take it personal Tony Blair: You are totally useless in the Quartet of Palestinian peace process”

Palestinian officials say Tony Blair (former Labor British PM) shouldn’t take it personally, but he should pack up his desk at the Office of the Quartet Representative in Jerusalem and go home.

They say his job, and the body he represents, are “useless, useless, useless”.

Mr Blair became the representative of the Middle East Quartet – the UN, EU, US and Russia – a few weeks after leaving Downing Street.

Last week, he visited the region for what he said was the 90th time since being appointed in June 2007.

He spends one week a month based in Jerusalem or globetrotting on behalf of the Quartet. His office is funded by the Quartet members and his 24-hour security detail is on secondment from Scotland Yard but he receives no direct salary.

MATTHEW KALMAN published in The Independent on Dec. 16, 2012 under

‘Useless, useless, useless’: the Palestinian verdict on Tony Blair

“After four years of renting 15 rooms at the American Colony Hotel for his full-time staff, Mr Blair put down more permanent roots in 2011 by renting the penthouse of a new office building in Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem.

Senior Palestinian officials and analysts told The Independent the move was unnecessary – his sojourn in the region should be cut short.

Mohammed Shtayyeh, an aide to the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said last week:

“The Quartet has been useless, useless, useless. Always the statement of the Quartet really means nothing because it was always full of what they call constructive ambiguity that really took us to nowhere…” and he suggested that its constant need to reach internal consensus among its warring participants had rendered it ineffective.

Mr Shtayyeh, who had just ended a meeting with Mr Blair and said: “You need a mediator who is ready to engage and who is ready to say to the party who is destroying the peace process ‘You are responsible for it'”

Mr Shtayyeh is not alone (in finding Blair’s role totally useless).

Last February, the Saban Centre for Middle East Policy at The Brookings Institution pronounced the body already dead in a report bluntly entitled The Middle East Quartet: A Post-Mortem report:

“The Quartet has little to show for its decade-long involvement in the peace process. Israelis and Palestinians are no closer to resolving the conflict, and in the few instances in which political negotiations did take place, the Quartet’s role was usually relegated to that of a political bystander. Having spent most of the last 3 years in a state of near paralysis, and having failed to dissuade the Palestinians from seeking UN membership and recognition in September 2011, the Quartet has finally reached the limits of its utility.

“The current mechanism is too outdated, dysfunctional, and discredited to be reformed. Instead of undertaking another vain attempt to ‘reactivate’ the Quartet, the United States, the European Union, United Nations, and Russia should simply allow the existing mechanism to go quietly into the night,” the report concluded.

Mr Blair rarely travels to Gaza, citing security reasons.

The Quartet website features a number of achievements in the West Bank, including the removal of Israeli army checkpoints and upgraded facilities for exports. Palestinian and Israeli officials told The Independent that the Quartet appeared to be taking credit for other people’s work.

“I think in general, Palestinians are disappointed by the performance of the Quartet,” said Ghassan Khatib, vice-president of Birzeit University near Ramallah and a former Palestinian Authority cabinet minister. “I cannot think of any serious thing that the Quartet succeeded to help us in.

“Sometimes Tony Blair speaks about removing checkpoints, but I think Israel was going to remove these checkpoints with or without the Quartet”. Dr Khatib said the Quartet’s announcements about assisting the Palestinian economy were as hollow as their political achievements, but he stressed that his attitude wasn’t personal. “It has nothing to do with Tony Blair … I think it’s the Quartet that failed to deliver.”

Mr Blair’s Jerusalem office did not respond to a request for a comment.

Timeline: Blair’s peace-making

June 2007

Tony Blair appointed Middle East envoy on behalf of the EU, US, UN and Russia.

May 2008

Launches peace plan for Israel-Palestinian conflict based on improving economic co-operation.

March 2009

On a visit to Gaza, Mr Blair calls on Israel to ease its blockade.

September 2011

Mr Blair warns that a bid for statehood at the United Nations by the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas would be “deeply confrontational“.

October 2011

Nabil Shaath, one of the senior aides to President Abbas, has harsh words for Tony Blair and accusing him of talking “like an Israeli diplomat”.

 

“Why Hezbollah of Lebanon pissed me off “: GW. Bush explains

GWBush wrote in his biography:

“On July 12, 2006, Laura and I had a stop-over in Germany on our way to the G8 at St. Petersburg. Angela Merkel recounted her childhood during the communist era in East Germany. Angela had a happy childhood, but her mother never ceased to warn her of mentioning family discussions in public: The Stasi (internal intelligence services) was everywhere.

News of Hezbollah capturing Israeli soldiers as hostages (and killing 8 Israeli soldiers who arrived promptly to the rescue and fell in the trap) triggered a strong reaction from Israel.

Israel bombed Hezbollah targets in South Lebanon, and bombed the civilian airport in Beirut to prevent further weapon supplies.

Hezbollah launched missiles on Israeli towns and cities

(How simplistic are the recollection of Bush Jr. on this important preemptive war on Lebanon! In a paragraph, Bush Jr. summarized the various attacks of Hezbollah on American targets within Lebanon in 1983…)

At the G8 summit, all members condemned Hezbollah for starting Israel reactive war. (

It was proven later on that Bush and Israel had finalized a plan of attack to begin in September, and thus Hezbollah preempted this planned war, but was not aware of the violent all-war reaction of Israel).

I was frustrated that Israel declined to attack Syria, thus facilitating communication and movement of Hezbollah.

Israel military targets in Lebanon were mostly doubtful, especially targets in Beirut and north Lebanon.  The immense damages to the infrastructure in Lebanon and the over 1,500 casualties among the Lebanese civilian were widely disseminated in the news media, and hampered the long-term prosecution of the war.

(In the first week, Israel failed to capture the first small town on the border called Maroun el Ras)

On the second violent week of Israel war, many members in the G8 demanded a cease-fire.  I didn’t side with their request: I wanted to continue the war until Hezbollah military power is eradicated. Fundamentally, the war on Hezbollah was to sending a strong message to Iran and Syria.

Unfortunately, Israel behavior in the third week of the war plan exacerbated the world community and the Lebanese government headed by Seniora, which was a strong ally to the US drive for democracy and liberty…

Israel bombed a building in Qana and killed over 30 civilians huddled in the basement.

(Israel had bombed Qana in 1996 where civilians took refuge in a UN compound and killed over 30o civilians).

Seniora was furious and was about to resign if the war resumed. The Arab leaders were afraid that the carnage in the pictures and video, circulating 24 hours on TV, could foment strong reactions of the people in the streets.

I convened the National Security Council, and the debate was hot.

Dick Cheney said: “We have to let Israel finish off Hezbollah.

Condoleezza Rice replied: “If we allow that, you may kiss good-bye to the presence of the US in the Middle-East region” and she proposed a cease-fire resolution in the UN and dispatching a multinational UN force to the Litany River.

I was for the resumption of the war, but I feared that lodging a veto in the UN will lead to isolating the US, instead of Syria and Iran.  Consequently, I figured out that long-term pressures on Syria and Iran out-weight the short-term successes on Hezbollah.  I dispatched Condi to the UN to iron out resolution 1701.

A cease-fire took hold on August 14,  Israel reactive and approximate war decisions, cost its precious and remaining credibility in the world community, even though Hezbollah was seriously weakened militarily.”

Four days before the voting on a resolution, Israel attempted a last, all-out advance of just 3 miles toward the Litany River.

Hezbollah destroyed 50 Merkava tanks and forced the Israeli troops to retreat every which way to the border.

(Interestingly, in the third day of the war, the delegates of Lebanon to the UN demanded to submit a cease-fire resolution.  The UN ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, informed them haughtily and in no uncertain terms that there will be no resolution before Israel annihilate Hezbollah.

Three days before the actual cease-fire, it was Bolton hurrying up to the Lebanese delegates and begging them to present a resolution.  He explained: “The Israelis are horribly harassing us for a cease-fire resolution, at any cost…”)

Note 1: The July war 2006, covered only three pages of the 484-page of the autobiographical book “Decisive moments: GW.Bush”  Amazingly, this war was the turning moment for the total failure of the US strategic plan of the “Greater Middle East.

Israel was reduced to defensive position, licking its wounds, examining its failures…

The Arab dictators and absolute monarchs who encouraged Israel to prosecute the war in order to eradicate Hezbollah military power were judged traitors by the Arab masses.

Turkey and the European States were pissed off with GW.Bush insistence of continuing the war for over 4 weeks. It was evident after the first week that the strategic goals have fizzled.  The remaining 3 weeks of the war were total liability to the US administration and Israel.

Hezbollah was on the offensive and frustrated all the haphazard attempts of Israel to getting back on the driver seat.

Note 2: Three days before the decided cease-fire, Israel imported cluster bombs from England of Tony Blair and launched 3 million bombs in south Lebanon (kids are still being killed and injured six years later).

This behavior was in retaliation of huge frustration and with the hope that the tiny bombs will delay the return of the inhabitants to their homes.

Amazingly, the next day of the cease-fire, the citizens in the south returned in mass, irrespective of official warnings and the destruction of all bridges

Israel goals failed on all front, and Hezbollah emerged as the first resistance force to checking Israel offensive all-out war.

Note 3: You may read the follow-up article How I spread liberty...https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/how-i-spread-liberty-george-w-bush-explains/

Note 4: Why Israel begged for a cease fire? https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2013/08/26/why-israel-begged-for-an-immediate-cease-fire-in-its-preemptive-july-war-of-2006/


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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