"liberation" of Iraq is a cruel joke on a
stricken people. The Americans and British,
partners in a great recognised crime, have
brought down on the Middle East, and much
of the rest of the world, the prospect of
terrorism and suffering on a scale that al-Qaeda
could only imagine.
is what this week's bloody bombing of the
United Nations headquarters in Baghdad tells
is a "wake-up call", according to Mary Robinson,
the former UN Humanitarian Commissioner.
is right, of course, but it is a call that
millions of people sounded on the street and
all over the world more than seven months
ago -- before the killing began.
yet the Anglo-American spin machine, whose
minor cogs are currently being exposed by
the Hutton Inquiry, is still in production.
to the Bush and Blair governments, those responsible
for the UN outrage are "extremists from outside":
Al-Qaeda terrorists or Iranian militants,
or not outsiders are involved, the aim of
this propaganda is to distract from the truth
that America and Britain are now immersed
in a classic guerrilla war, a war of resistance
and self-determination of the kind waged against
foreign aggressors and colonial masters since
America, it is another Vietnam. For Britain
it is another Kenya, or indeed another Iraq.
1921, Lieutenant-General Sir Stanley Maude
said in Baghdad: "Our armies do not come as
conquerors, but as liberators."
three years 10,000 had died in an uprising
against the British, who gassed and bombed
has changed, only the names and the fine print
of the lies.
for the "extremists from outside", simply
turn the meaning around and you have a succinct
description of the current occupiers who,
unprovoked, attacked a defenceless sovereign
country, defying the United Nations and the
opposition of most of humanity.
weapons designed to cause the maximum human
suffering -- cluster bombs, uranium-tipped
shells and firebombs (napalm) -- these extremists
from outside caused the deaths of at least
8,000 civilians and as many as 30,000 troops,
most conscripted teenagers. Consider the waves
of grief in any society from that carnage.
their moment of "victory", these extremists
from outside -- having already destroyed Iraq's
infrastructure with a 12-year bombing campaign
and embargo -- murdered journalists, toppled
statues and encouraged wholesale looting while
refusing to make the most basic humanitarian
repairs to the damage they had caused to the
supply of power and clean water.
means that today sick children are dying from
thirst and gastro-enteritis, that hospitals
frequently run out of oxygen and that those
who might be saved can not be saved.
many have died like this?
count every screwdriver," said an American
colonel during the first Gulf war, "but counting
civilians who die along the way is just not
biggest military machine on earth, said to
be spending up to $5 billion-a-month on its
occupation of Iraq, apparently can not find
the resources and manpower to bring generators
to a people enduring temperatures of well
over the century -- almost half of them children,
of whom eight per cent, says UNICEF, are suffering
extreme malnutrition. When Iraqis have protested
about this, the extremists from outside have
shot them dead.
have shot them in crowds, or individually,
and they boast about it.
other day, Task Force 20, an "elite" American
unit murdered at least five people as they
drove down a street.
next day they murdered a woman and her three
children as they drove down a street.
are no different from the death squads the
Americans trained in Latin America.
extremists from outside have been allowed
to get away with much of this -- partly because
of the web of deceptions in London and Washington,
and partly because of those who voluntarily
echo and amplify their lies.
the current brawl between the Blair government
and the BBC a new myth has emerged: It is
that the BBC was and is "anti-war".
is what George Orwell called an "official
truth". Again, just turn it around and you
have the real truth; that the BBC supported
Blair's war, that day after day it broadcast
and "debated" and legitimised the charade
of weapons of mass destruction, as well as
nonsense such as that which cast Blair as
a "moderating influence" on Bush -- when,
as we now know, they are almost identical
can forget the BBC's exultant Chief Political
Correspondent Andrew Marr, at the moment of
"coalition" triumph. Tony Blair, he declared,
"said that they would take Baghdad without
a blood bath, and that in the end the Iraqis
would be celebrating. And on both those points
he has been conclusively proved right."
you replace "right" with "wrong", you have
the truth. To the BBC's man in Downing Street,
up to 40,000 deaths apparently does not constitute
a "blood bath".
to the independent American survey organisation
Media Tenor, the BBC allowed less dissent
against the war than all the leading international
broadcasters surveyed, including the American
Gilligan, the BBC reporter who revealed Dr
David Kelly's concerns about the government's
"dodgy dossier" on Iraq, is one of the very
few mavericks, an inconvenient breed who challenge
of the most important lies was linking the
regime of Saddam Hussein with al-Qaeda.
we now know, both Bush and Blair ignored the
advice of their intelligence agencies and
made the connection public.
worked. When the attack on Iraq began, polls
showed that most Americans believed Saddam
Hussein was behind September 11.
opposite was true. Monstrous though it was,
Saddam Hussein's regime was a veritable bastion
against al-Qaeda and its Islamic fanaticism.
Saddam was the West's man, who was armed to
the teeth by America and Britain in the 1980s
because he had oil and a lot of money and
because he was an enemy of anti-Western mullahs
in Iran and elsewhere in the region.
and Osama bin Laden loathed each other.
grave mistake was invading Kuwait in 1990;
Kuwait is an Anglo-American protectorate,
part of the Western oil empire in the Middle
killings in the UN compound in Baghdad this
week, like the killing of thousands of others
in Iraq, form a trail of blood that leads
to Bush and Blair and their courtiers.
was obvious to millions of people all over
the world that if the Americans and British
attacked Iraq, then the fictional link between
Iraq and Islamic terrorism could well become
brutality of the occupation of Iraq -- in
which children are shot or arrested by the
Americans, and countless people have "disappeared"
in concentration camps -- is an open invitation
to those who now see Iraq as part of a holy
I travelled the length of Iraq several years
ago, I felt completely safe.
was received everywhere with generosity and
grace, even though I was from a country whose
government was bombing and besieging my hosts.
and Blair's court suppressed the truth that
most Iraqis both opposed Saddam Hussein and
the invasion of their country.
thousands of exiles, from Jordan to Britain,
said this repeatedly.
who listened to them? When did the BBC interrupt
its anti-Christ drumbeat about Saddam Hussein
and report this vital news?
are the United Nations merely the "peacemakers"
and "nationbuilders" that this week's headlines
say they are.
were dedicated humanitarians among the dead
in Baghdad but for more than 12 years, the
UN Security Council allowed itself to be manipulated
so that Washington and London could impose
on the people of Iraq, under a UN flag, an
embargo that resembled a mediaeval siege.
was this that crippled Iraq and, ironically,
concentrated all domestic power in the hands
of the regime, thus ending all hope of a successful
other day I sat with Dennis Halliday, former
Assistant Secretary General of the United
Nations, and the UN in New York. Halliday
was the senior UN official in Iraq in the
mid-1990s, who resigned rather than administer
sanctions," he said, "represented ongoing
warfare against the people of Iraq. They became,
in my view, genocidal in their impact over
the years, and the Security Council maintained
them, despite its full knowledge of their
impact, particularly on the children of Iraq.
disregarded our own charter, international
law, and we probably killed over a million
a tragedy that will not be forgotten... I'm
confident that the Iraqis will throw out the
occupying forces. I don't know how long it
will take, but they'll throw them out based
on a nationalistic drive.
will not tolerate any foreign troops' presence
in their country, dictating their lifestyle,
their culture, their future, their politics.
is a very proud people, very conscious of
a great history.
grossly unacceptable. Every country that is
now threatened by Mr Bush, which is his habit,
presents an outrage to all of us.
we stand by and merely watch while a man so
dangerous he is willing to sacrifice Americans
lives and, worse, the lives of others."
Pilger's documentary on Iraq, Afghanistan
and the war on terror will be shown on ITV
on September 22.
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