Tag Archives: Iraq

Must Watch: New John Pilger film ‘The War You Don’t See’

John Pilger’s new documentary “The War You Don’t See” questions the role of the media in war and asks whether mainstream news has become an integral part of war-making. The film investigates the government’s lies over Iraq’s non existent weapons of mass destruction as a pre-cursor of manufacturing consent to launch an illegal invasion.

The new film is a powerful and timely investigation into the media’s role in war, tracing the history of ’embedded’ and independent reporting from the carnage of World War One to the destruction of Hiroshima, and from the invasion of Vietnam to the current war in Afghanistan and disaster in Iraq. As weapons and propaganda become even more sophisticated, the nature of war is developing into an ‘electronic battlefield’ in which journalists play a key role, and civilians are the victims.

But who is the real enemy?

Following its premiere at the Barbican on Tuesday 7 December 2010, the first Pilger film since 2007 will be showing at Curzon Soho in London on Sunday 12 December at 12pm, Monday 13 December at 6.20pm (including a satellite Q&A) and Thursday 16 December at 9pm.

On Tuesday 14 December, ITV will broadcast ‘The War You Don’t See’ at 10.35pm.

Rather baffled why it’s not being shown prime time….regardless, it’s a must watch.

1 Comment

Filed under Afghanistan, Documentary, Film Review, Iraq, Media Unspeak, Reports & Findings, War Crimes

The Corporate & Mass Media’s Complicity In Iraqi War Crimes

While all of the media fell over themselves to report the Iraqi Wikileaks, few media outlets are going back to their own coverage and acknowledging how they had failed at the time to report many of the atrocities we now know the US military knew about, and covered up.

One glaring example: the slaughter of thousands that took place in Fallujah, where all media correspondents were banned, so no one could report on what the Americans were doing.

The footage captured by Independent News correspondent Kevin Sites reflects on the controversial “Fallujah mosque shooting” video he captured in November of 2004, footage which was available on the internet and even on Kevin Sites own web page, but was ignored by the mass media.

Reports such as the one I’ve included below were common place to those who do not trust the mass media who tow the government and corporate line, most Muslims and people of good conscience were screaming out about the war crimes that were being committed, only to be told we were extremists, but when a liberal white face such as Julian Assange says it he’s lauded like he’s the second coming.

Shame on you.

The blood of over a million dead Iraqi’s is on your hands.

FALLUJA, IRAQ | NOVEMBER 13, 2004

SUNBEAMS

The carpet of the mosque is stained with blood and covered with fragments of concrete. Tank shells and machine-gun rounds have pitted the inside walls. The rotting, sweet smell of death hangs in the morning air. Gunsmoke-laced sunbeams illuminate the bodies of four Iraqi insurgents. A fifth lies next to a column, his entire body covered by a blanket.

I shudder. Something very wrong has happened here.

Yesterday I had seen these same five men being treated by American medics for superficial wounds received during an afternoon firefight. Ten other insurgents had been killed, their bodies still scattered around the main hall in the black bags into which the Marines had placed them.

The commander of the 3.1 Marines, Lieutenant Colonel Willy Buhl, told me that these five wounded, captured enemy combatants would be transported to the rear. But now I can see that one of them appears dead and the three others are slowly bleeding to death from gunshots fired by one lance corporal, I will learn later, who used both his M-16 and his 9 mm pistol on them, just minutes before I arrived.

With my camera rolling, I walk toward the old man in the red kaffiyeh and kneel beside him. Because he was so old, maybe in his early sixties, and wearing the red headgear, he had stood out the most to me when I was videotaping the day before, after the battle.

Now the old man is struggling to breathe. Oxygenated blood bubbles from his nose. Another man, stocky and dressed in a long gray shirt called a dishdasha, is slumped in the old man’s lap. While I’m taping, the old man is bleeding to death in front of my camera. I look up to see the lance corporal who had just shot all of them moments before, now walking up to the other two insurgents against the wall, twenty feet away. One is facedown, apparently already dead. The other, dressed in an Iraqi Police uniform, is faceup but motionless, aside from his breathing.

The lance corporal says, “Hey, this one’s still breathing.” Another agrees, “Yeah, he’s breathing.” There is tension in the room, but I continue to roll on the man in the red kaffiyeh.

“He’s fucking faking he’s dead,” the lance corporal says, now standing right in front of the man.

1 Comment

Filed under British Soldiers, Iraq, Islamophobia, Media Unspeak, War Crimes, Western Hypocrisy

Wikileaks Iraq War Logs – American & Britain Armies Have No Humanity

A grim picture of the US and Britain’s legacy in Iraq has been revealed in a massive leak of American military documents that detail torture, summary executions and war crimes. The newly released Wikileaks documents show the level of brutality unleashed upon the people of Iraq, and the extent to which the Americans & British went to cover them up.

The problem I have with the release of this data is the sheer volume of it all – it all becomes statistics, straight, cold, hard statistics that numb the reader by taking away the humanity or the lack of it shown by the invading forces.

This is typical of the information released, military jargon.

These people have names.

Nahiba Jassim – a pregnant woman – was murdered in a US army checkpoint shooting.

She was being rushed to the maternity hospital in Samarra when the car was fired upon at a US army checkpoint. Saliha Hassan, her cousin who was in the car was also murdered.

They were just two from almost several hundred civilians who were murdered in cold blood, it didn’t matter if you were a pregnant women or even mentally ill.

This bit of military jargon refers to the torture and execution of Adnan Awad Al Jumaili. He was left to die in jail, with the Pentagon issuing secret orders to it’s troops to look the other way while people were being tortured to death.

The UN Convention on Torture blocks states from handing individuals to the authorities of another state where this would place them at serious risk of torture.

The British army are no better.

A soldier shot dead an eight-year-old Iraqi girl as she played in the street.

She remains nameless.

Support our troops?

When will people get it into their thick heads that the military are a bunch of thugs in uniform who are paid to go to other countries and kill other defenceless people.

I can’t support that, oh and by the way the second world war ended more than sixty years ago, so the battling nazi’s line doesn’t carry weight with me.

Dispatches carried out a summation of the wikileak findings last night, the programme Iraq’s Secret War Files is available to watch for the next seven days on the Channel 4 website.

The fact that the supposedly damaging leaks are in fact bolstering American accusations against Iran while minimizing American complicity in Iraqi deaths leads some to believe that the leaks are in fact engineered by the Pentagon to either discredit Wikileaks, or are in conjunction with Wikileaks which is a U.S. government outfit.

While all of the press seems to be reporting the story, few media outlets are going back to their own coverage and acknowledging how they had failed at the time, to report many of the atrocities we now know the US military knew about, and covered up. One glaring example: the killings that took place in Fallujah, where Al Jazeera correspondents were banned.

There is an oft repeated phrase that “the truth is the first casualty of war”.

What we are seeing now is the sordid truth being revealed, the truth of murder, rape and torture of innocent men women and children, by the very people who still view themselves as liberators, bringing freedom and democracy to the birthplace of civilisation.

Leave a comment

Filed under British Soldiers, Great Britain, Iraq, War Crimes, Western Hypocrisy

War criminal Tony Blair shits himself over book signing

World renowned war criminal Tony Bliar has shat himself and has run off scared to whatever little money making venture he has lined up next by cancelling his “how I killed a million Iraqi’s & still don’t regret it” autobiography book signing in London.

Did you notice how he mentioned the BNP & the idiotic media swallowed it hook line and sinker.

Yeah, real famous anti-war campaigners the BNP are.

This is a win for people power – as those in Dublin proved on Saturday.

Perhaps he was petrified that a protester would breach police lines and perform a citizens arrest on him – what a turn up that would be for the British legal system!

More than one million dead people on his conscience and he’s still acting like butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth.

What a truely classless excuse for a human being.

1 Comment

Filed under Great Britain, Iraq, War Crimes

War criminal Tony Blair pelted with eggs & shoes in Dublin

War criminal Tony Blair was pelted with eggs and shoes at a book signing appearance in Dublin.

Protesters shouted “Whose cops? Blair’s cops!” as they taunted the gardai while Blair remained inside the bookshop. They also shouted: “Hey hey Tony hey, how many kids have you killed today?”

The Akh feels that a war criminal like Bliar should not be allowed to make a profit off the deaths of over a million Iraqi citizens, whilst getting paid silly money from uber zionist rupert murdoch whose company Random House (imprint of Hutchinson in the UK), who is pimping his story to the world.

2 Comments

Filed under Great Britain, Iraq, War Crimes

Still the best Bliar in the business. Reviewing Tony Blair’s Autobiography – The Iraq chapter

I couldn’t help but comment on Tony Blair’s new book, A Journey, extracts of which have been published online here.

But for me, it’s the extracts from the Iraq chapter that caught my sleepy eyes (and not just became A Journey is being published on the day after the last US combat troops left that war-torn country). TB continues to distort, evade, pretend and mislead on the issue of Iraq. He is the ultimate Bliar — and so I couldn’t help but fisk the available extracts from his Iraq chapter.

“I can say that never did I guess the nightmare that unfolded, and that too is part of the responsibility”

Never did you guess?

But why did you have to “guess”?

Six of the country’s top academic experts on Iraq and international security warned TB, in a face-to-face meeting in November 2002, that the consequences of an invasion could be catastrophic. Cambridge University’s George Joffe, one of the six invited to Downing Street, got the impression of “someone with a very shallow mind, who’s not interested in issues other than the personalities of the top people, no interest in social forces, political trends, etc”. Meanwhile, the Joint Intelligence Committee warned TB in February 2003 that the threat from Al Qaeda “would be heightened by military action against Iraq”.

“Why should Saddam keep the inspectors out for so long when he had nothing to hide?”

TB knows perfectly well that Saddam did not “keep the inspectors out”, and nor did he expel them, as TB claimed in the run-up to war in early 2003. The truth is that the UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in December 1998 on the orders of the chief weapons inspector, Richard Butler, in anticipation of the US/UK air attack on Baghdad. Jane Arraf’s CNN report, filed on December 16, 1998, said: “This is the second time in a month that UNSCOM has pulled out in the face of a possible US-led attack. But this time there may be no turning back. Weapons inspectors packed up their personal belongings and loaded up equipment at UN headquarters after a pre-dawn evacuation order. In a matter of hours, they were gone, more than 120 of them headed for a flight to Bahrain.” “Butler ordered his inspectors to evacuate Baghdad,” said the Washington Post on December 18, 1998. While it is true that relations between the Saddam regime and the UN weapons inspectors had already broken down, TB glosses over the fact that the inspection teams had been infiltrated by US and UK intelligence agencies and, in the words of the former inspector and hawk-turned-dove Scott Ritter, “Inspectors were sent in to carry out sensitive inspections that had nothing to do with disarmament but had everything to do with provoking the Iraqis.”

“Even when he let them in, why did he obstruct them?”

Obstruct them?

That wasn’t the view of Hans Blix, the top UN weapons inspector in Iraq, or Mohammed ElBaradei, the head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog, the IAEA. Verifying Iraqi disarmament, said Blix on 7 March 2003, “will not take years, nor weeks, but months.” ElBaradei offered a less specific forecast but nonetheless pointed out that “the recently increased level of Iraqi cooperation should enable us in the near future to provide the Security Council with an objective and thorough assessment of Iraq nuclear-related capabilities.”

“Why bring war upon his country to protect a myth?”

Saddam did not “bring war upon his country” — the US and the UK invaded Iraq, in defiance of international law. And the Iraqi dictator, as we now know, made several desperate, last-ditch attempts to avoid war, including the use of back-channel approaches to (of all people!) Richard Perle.

“The caveats entered by Dr Kay were largely overlooked, including his assertion that Saddam was possibly a greater threat than we had known, a remark seen at the time as inexplicable, given the primary finding.”

Dr David Kay? TB looks for support from a man who, as the Guardian’s Julian Borger once pointed out, was far from impartial: “Before the war, Kay was one of the most fervent supporters of military action.”

“The second report from Charles Duelfer was not published until September 2004. It received far less attention, yet this was the complete analysis”

Yes, and the complete analysis from Duelfer’s Iraq Survey Group concluded that, at most, Saddam’s Iraq had been engaged in “WMD-related programme activities”. Get that, Tone? Not WMDs. Not even WMD programmes. But “WMD-related programme activities”, whatever they happen to be. I wonder: can a WMD-related programme activity be activated within 45 minutes of an order to do so?

“The constraint became even tougher when revelations from Saddam’s son-in-law about his continuing interest in development of WMD were broadcast to the world in 1996.”

TB, like George Bush, trumpeted the alleged “revelations” from Saddam’s son-in-law, Hussein Kamal, in the run-up to war as well (for example, in a speech to the Commons in February 2003). But TB conveniently omits to mention here what Kamal told UN weapons inspectors in 1995, while being debriefed in Jordan (and first reported in Newsweek on 24 February 2003, three weeks before the invasion): “All chemical weapons were destroyed. I ordered destruction of all chemical weapons. All weapons – biological, chemical, missiles, nuclear were destroyed.”

“This conclusion on nuclear weapons was actually endorsed by the Butler Report of July 2004, though that was written prior to the full ISG Report of September 2004. The Butler Report concluded…”

TB chooses to selectively quote the Butler Report. Surprise, surprise! No mention from our former PM of the Butler Report’s conclusions that “more weight was placed on the intelligence than it could bear”, and that judgements had stretched available intelligence “to the outer limits”. No mention of the view expressed by Lord Butler himself, in the House of Lords, in February 2007, that TB was, at the very minimum, “disingenuous” about the Iraqi “threat”.

“As Saddam came to power in 1979, Iraq was richer than either Portugal or Malaysia. By 2003, 60 per cent of the population was dependent on food aid.”

No mention here of the sanctions on Iraq, imposed by the United Nations, and enforced by the United States and the United Kingdom. Those sanctions caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children, and were described by the former UN humanitarian co-ordinator in Iraq, Dennis Halliday, as a form of “genocide”. As even the Humanitarian Panel of the Security Council noted in March 1999: “Even if not all suffering in Iraq can be imputed to external factors, especially sanctions, the Iraqi people would not be undergoing such deprivations in the absence of prolonged measures imposed by the Security Council and the effects of the war”.

“Millions were malnourished, and millions were in exile.”

How is that different to the situation produced by TB and GWB? The Anglo-American invasion of Iraq produced, at the height of the conflict, the Middle East’s largest refugee crisis since the Palestinian exodus from Israel in 1948. Inside Iraq itself, according to the UN, more than 1.5 million people remain displaced.

“One statistic above all tells us what Saddam’s Iraq was like. According to the UN, by 2002 the number of deaths of children under the age of five was 130 per 1,000, a figure worse than that for the Congo.”

Again, no mention of the impact of UN sanctions.

“Before anyone says ‘Ah, but it was sanctions’, it should be remembered that Saddam was free to buy as much food and medicine as he wanted”

This is untrue. As Professor Karol Sikora, then the chief of the cancer programme of the World Health Organisation, wrote in the British Medical Journal: “Requested radiotherapy equipment, chemotherapy drugs and analgesics are consistently blocked by United States and British advisers [to the Sanctions Committee]. There seems to be a rather ludicrous notion that such agents could be converted into chemical or other weapons.” Professor Sikora added: “The saddest thing I saw in Iraq was children dying because there was no chemotherapy and no pain control. It seemed crazy they couldn’t have morphine, because for everybody with cancer pain, it is the best drug. When I was there, they had a little bottle of htmlirin pills to go round 200 patients in pain.” As Benon Sevan, the executive director of the UN Office of the Iraq Programme, said in 2001: “The improvement of the nutritional and health status of the Iraqi people . . . is being seriously affected as a result of [the] excessive number of holds placed on supplies and equipment for water, sanitation and electricity.”

“In the Kurdish area, despite Saddam and despite sanctions covering them too, the death rate for children was half that of central and southern Iraq.”

Apples and oranges, Tony, apples and oranges. As a Unicef document in August 1999 on the differences in the levels of child mortality between the autonomous northern governorates in the Kurdish areas and the rest of Iraq pointed out: “… the difference in the current rate cannot be attributed to the differing ways the Oil-for-Food Program is implemented in the two parts of Iraq… We need to look at longer-term trends and factors including the fact that since 1991 the north has received far more support per capita from the international community than the south and center of Iraq. Another factor maybe that the sanctions themselves have not been able to be so rigorously enforced in the north as the border is more “porous” than in the south and center of Iraq.” And as Hans Von Sponeck, the former UN humanitarian coordinator in Iraq, pointed out in 2001: “The northern part of Iraq, where the Kurds live, is getting a disproportionate amount of oil revenue for the humanitarian program. Thirteen percent of the population living in that area is getting 20 percent of the oil revenues.”

“The origins of this figure lie in the Lancet report published in October 2004 which purported to be a scientific analysis of deaths in Iraq. The figure they gave – 600,000 – led the news and became dominant, repeated as fact.”

“Purported to be”?

What does that mean?

That the Lancet authors were pretending to offer “scientific analysis”? Sorry, are we now supposed to take the word of our former prime minister, a law graduate from Oxford, over the word of a peer-reviewed study produced by world-renowned epidemiologists and published in Britain’s most prestigious medical journal?

“Later the methodology on which this report was based was extensively challenged; its figures charged with being inaccurate and misleading; and the assessment made comprehensively questioned by other publications.”

Eh? Did John Rentoul ghost-write this portion of the chapter? “Extensively challenged”? Here’s Lila Giterman writing on the first Lancet report in the Columbia Journalism Review: “I called about ten biostatisticians and mortality experts. Not one of them took issue with the study’s methods or its conclusions. If anything, the scientists told me, the authors had been cautious in their estimates.” Ronald Waldman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University who worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for many years, called the survey method “tried and true,” and added that “this is the best estimate of mortality we have.” In a letter to The Age, 27 epidemiologists and health professionals defended the methods of the study, writing that the study’s “methodology is sound and its conclusions should be taken seriously.” But, best of all, the chief scientific adviser to TB’s own Ministry of Defence said the survey’s methods were “close to best practice” and the study design was “robust”. Did Number 10 not get his memo?

“Friends opposed to the war think I’m being obstinate; others, less friendly, think I’m delusional.”

No, I just think you’re being dishonest, Tony. Seven years on from Iraq, nothing has changed.

Courtesy of Mehdi Hasan’s blog on the New Statesman

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Review, Great Britain, Iraq, War Crimes

Saddam Hussein Posed No Threat To UK

The former head of Mi5 stated that Saddam Hussein posed no threat to the UK, but since Britain joined America’s war for regime change in Baghdad, the knock on effect of the “terror threat” to our shores has increased significantly.

Eliza Manningham-Buller told the Chilcot inquiry that the Iraq invasion had led to “radicalising” Muslims.

Manningham-Buller undermined the case for the illegal war presented by the former prime minister Tony Blair, she was asked whether it was feared Saddam could have linked terrorists to weapons of mass destruction, facilitating their use against the west.

“It certainly wasn’t of concern in either the short term or the medium term to me or my colleagues,”

she replied.

Asked by Sir John Chilcot if she had any general reflections, she replied:

“The main one would be the danger of going to war on fragmentary intelligence.”

Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction.

There was no threat to Britian.

Saddam Hussein had no links to Al-CIAda or any other terrorist group.

This was a war for regime change and to have hegemony over a large, proven energy resource.

It was illegal from day one and has cost the lives of over a million Iraqi civilians, seven million people have left the country, while a further seven million are internally displaced refugees.

The cradle of civilisation is rocked by a intercine theocratic civil war, in which the American occupiers play one side off against the other.

Birth defects are running off the charts thanks to uranium tipped ordnance used by the occupying forces.

The infrastructure of the country is ruined, there is intermittent water and electricity supplies, yet the biggest construction project in the world – America’s green zone has the best amenities available in the world.

Ask them if the price was worth it and they’ll say yes everytime.

This isn’t just a war on Iraqis or Afghanis or even Arabs or Muslims. It is ultimately a war on us all.

2 Comments

Filed under British Soldiers, Iraq, No Justice No Peace, War, War Crimes