Category War

Who would have thought?

Who would have thought when I wrote this that six years later a lead­ing con­tender for nom­inee as Repub­lican U.S. pres­id­en­tial can­did­ate would be arguing the same thing in his campaign.

He sums up the prob­lem with U.S. for­eign policy nicely: “We don’t mind our own business!”

Fun fact: U.S. mil­it­ary vet­er­ans have given more money to Ron Paul’s cam­paign than all the other cam­paigns put together.

Jason Burke’s Bin Laden obituary perpetuates myth that Taliban refused to hand Bin Laden over

Jason Burke’s Osama bin Laden obit­u­ary for The Guard­ian per­petu­ates the myth that the Taliban never offered to hand Bin Laden over:

Faced with an ulti­matum, the Taliban again refused to sur­render Bin Laden, who ini­tially denied involve­ment, and an American-led aer­ial bomb­ing cam­paign followed.

In fact the Taliban pub­licly offered in Octo­ber of 2001 to hand Osama bin Laden over to a third coun­try, provided the U.S. hal­ted the illegal bomb­ing of Afgh­anistan and pro­duced the neces­sary evid­ence about involve­ment of Bin Laden or any of his asso­ci­ates in the 11 Septem­ber attacks. Would they have gone through with the offer? We’ll never know because Bush rejec­ted it, put­ting an end to any pos­sib­il­ity of a poten­tially peace­ful, legal res­ol­u­tion to the events of 11 Septem­ber 2001, and opened up the way for the inva­sion and occu­pa­tion of Afgh­anistan and Iraq, along with the mil­lions who have lost their lives or had them des­troyed as a result.

Update: Jason Burke says he’ll cor­rect obit­u­ary.

Senior New Zealand Defence Ministry officials spying for the U.S.

Stuff.co.nz is report­ing this morn­ing on U.S. cables, obtained by WikiLeaks, that reveal senior New Zea­l­and Defence Min­istry offi­cials have been spy­ing for the U.S., in this case secretly brief­ing the United States embassy on Cab­inet dis­cus­sions about the Iraq war.

I would hope they are tracked down and kindly relieved of their duties. Count me as an indig­nant “other-worlder.”

What is Tony Blair’s excuse for invading Iraq now?

In 1980 Iraq invaded Iran. In response the United States, Bri­tain, France, Ger­many and the Soviet Union provided Hus­sein the means to build a chem­ical, bio­lo­gical and nuc­lear weapons programme.

In 1986 the United States with Bri­tain blocked all Secur­ity Coun­cil res­ol­u­tions con­demning Iraq’s use of chem­ical weapons, and on 21 March the United States became the only coun­try to refuse to sign a Secur­ity Coun­cil state­ment con­demning Iraq’s use of these weapons.

Iraq failed to defeat Iran and in 1988 a cease fire was declared.

In 1990 a U.S. Ambas­sador met with Hus­sein under instruc­tions “to broaden and deepen our rela­tions with Iraq” and declared “we have no opin­ion on the Arab-Arab con­flicts, like your bor­der dis­agree­ment with Kuwait.” No expli­cit go ahead was given for the inva­sion of Kuwait but a month later Hus­sein invaded, under the assump­tion that the United States would not respond.

Hus­sein had been cut loose.

The Secur­ity Coun­cil imposed a bru­tal near-total fin­an­cial and trade embargo, killing half a mil­lion Iraqi children.

When the World Trade Centre was attacked in 2001 they tried to pin it on Hus­sein. Then there was the whole ‘Sad­dam could nuke Bri­tain in 45 minutes’ thing. Then they tried to link Sad­dam to Al-Qaeda. When all of these excuses crumbled Tony Blair and his ilk were left to pro­claim that they invaded Iraq because Sad­dam was a bad man, a tor­turer and murderer.

Thanks to WikiLeaks, and some brave whis­tleblower, we now have a very clear por­trait of a United States and Bri­tain com­pli­cit in the tor­ture and murder of Iraqis. Blair has run out of excuses.

In the mean time Iraq’s oil reserves have been handed over to the markets.

Obama perpetuates “wiped off the earth” lie

Barack Obama:

Under­stand­ably, Israel is very con­cerned when the pres­id­ent of a coun­try, a large coun­try near them, states that they should be wiped off the face of the earth.

Which is simply a lie. Is it any won­der Amer­ic­ans are so brain­washed?

Taliban Could Defeat NATO in 30 Days

Mat­thew Nas­uti, for Kabul Press:

The para­dox for NATO and the Amer­ic­ans is that in Septem­ber, 2010, they will have deployed the largest num­ber of troops they ever had in Afgh­anistan, and yet that is when they are the most vul­ner­able, as the sup­ply needs for this huge force are poten­tially crippling.

Free Bradley Manning

Free Brad­ley Man­ning web­site.

Dylan Ratigan inter­views Daniel Ells­berg — the guy who blew the whistle on the Viet­nam War in 1971 — about WikiLeaks and Brad­ley Manning.

And Ann Wright, retired US Col­onel and Dip­lo­mat, says Brad­ley Man­ning should be praised.

Hey hey Tony hey, how many kids have you killed today?

Tony Blair has penned a six-page intro­duc­tion to the Amer­ican ver­sion of his blood money mem­oirs, in which he had this to say about recent U.S. presidents:

Mere mor­tals are still inspired by a cer­tain awe,’ he gushes.

Bill Clin­ton is ‘an extraordin­ary mix­ture of easy­going charm and fero­cious intel­lec­tual capa­city. Prob­ably … he is the most for­mid­able politi­cian I ever met.’ Pres­id­ent Bush ‘has great intu­ition.’ And of Barack Obama, he says: ‘The per­sonal char­ac­ter is clear: this is a man with steel in every part of him.’

Stay classy Blair.

Mean­while he’s been pel­ted with eggs and shoes at a book sign­ing in Ireland:

Skir­mishes broke out between pro­test­ers and police at the first pub­lic sign­ing for Tony Blair’s mem­oirs, with shoes and eggs hurled at the former prime minister.

Pro­test­ers shouted … “Hey hey Tony hey, how many kids have you killed today?”

It really is shame­ful that some­body can be respons­ible for the death and destruc­tion that he was respons­ible for in Iraq and Afgh­anistan and walk away without any account­ing for that and become a very wealthy man off the back of it.”

Toxic legacy of US assault on Fallujah ‘worse than Hiroshima’

Amer­ica, kick­ing ass:

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

Dr Busby says that while he can­not identify the type of arma­ments used by the Mar­ines, the extent of genetic dam­age suffered by inhab­it­ants sug­gests the use of uranium in some form. He said: “My guess is that they used a new weapon against build­ings to break through walls and kill those inside.”

Hero: Inbar Michelzon

Inbar Michelzon:

I felt very alone in the army. I couldn’t talk about the things I felt were mis­placed … I didn’t have strong views but I felt uncom­fort­able about the talk, about sol­diers hit­ting Arabs and laugh­ing. I thought every­one else was nor­mal and I was the one who wasn’t. I felt an out­sider to the group experience.