The “secret” war which has seen a 300 per cent increase in bombing raids on Iraq

The American and British attack on Iraq has already begun. While the Blair government continues to claim in Parliament that “no final decision has been taken”, Royal Air Force and US fighter bombers have secretly changed tactics and escalated their “patrols” over Iraq to an all-out assault on both military and civilian targets.

American and British bombing of Iraq has increased by 300 per cent. Between March and November, according to Ministry of Defence replies to MPs, the RAF dropped more than 124 tonnes of bombs.

From August to December, there were 62 attacks by American F-16 aircraft and RAF Tornadoes – an average of one bombing raid every two days. These are said to have been aimed at Iraqi “air defences”, but many have fallen on mostly populated areas, where civilian deaths are unavoidable.

Under the United Nations Charter and the conventions of war and international law, the attacks amount to acts of piracy: no different, in principle, from the German Luftwaffe’s

— source | john pilger | 20 Dec 2002

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The propaganda used to ‘justify’ war against Saddam aims only to distract from the real prize: Iraq’s rich reserves of oil

On November 7, the day before the United Nations Security Council voted on a resolution that made an American and British attack on Iraq more than likely, Downing Street began issuing warnings of imminent terrorist threats against the United Kingdom.

Cross-Channel ferries, the London Underground and major public events were all said to be “targeted”.

The anonymous Government sources described “emergency security measures” that included a “rapid reaction force of army reservists” and a squadron of fighter jets “on constant standby”. Plans were being drawn up to “evacuate major cities and deal with large numbers of contaminated corpses”. Police snipers were being trained “to kill suicide bombers” and anti-radiation pills were being distributed to hospitals. By November 11, Tony Blair himself was telling the British public to be “on guard” against an attack that could lead to “maximum carnage”.

Curiously, the national state of alert for a likely attack, colour-coded amber, which such a grave warning would require, was never activated. It remains on “black special”,

— source | john pilger | 3 Dec 2002

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An Examination of Gen. Colin Powell’s Bloody Legacy

But the 2003 speech was not the first time General Powell had falsely alleged Iraq had WMDs. In 1991, during the Persian Gulf War, the U.S. bombed Iraq’s only baby formula factory. At the time, General Powell said, quote, “It is not an infant formula factory. … It was a biological weapons facility, of that we are sure,” he said. Well, U.N. investigators later confirmed the bombed factory was in fact making baby formula.

While many in Iraq consider Powell to be a war criminal, just like they consider George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, Powell has long been celebrated at home. Colin Powell was born in Harlem in 1937. His parents had both immigrated from Jamaica. He was educated in public schools, including City College of New York, before he joined the military through ROTC. He served two tours in Vietnam. He was later accused of helping to whitewash the My Lai massacre, when U.S. soldiers slaughtered up to 500 villagers, most of them women and children and the elderly. While investigating an account of the massacre filed by a soldier, Powell wrote, quote, “In direct refutation of this portrayal is the fact that relations between American soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent,” he said.

Powell spent 35 years in the military, rising to chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In the 1980s, he helped shape U.S. military policy in Latin America at a time when U.S.-backed forces killed hundreds of thousands of people in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala and other countries. Powell also helped oversee the U.S. invasion of Panama and the Persian Gulf War.

— source | Oct 19, 2021

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If US Had that $6.4 Trillion we wasted on Iraq and Afghanistan

Wouldn’t it be nice if the richest country in the world had some resources stored up to deal with the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and the worst health crisis since the 1918 Influenza Pandemic that killed 600,000 Americans? I mean, we had a $21 trillion a year economy.

George W. Bush and his administration squandered $6.4 trillion on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. With regard to Iraq, that was a war of choice. Iraq had not attacked the United States. Iraq’s secular government feared and hunted down al-Qaeda. Bush just didn’t like the looks of Iraq and decided to whack it.

The US was in a rare moment of global ascendancy. We had won the Cold War. The former Soviet Union was supine. There were no peer rivals in the whole world. The US could have wound down its arms industries, slashed the Pentagon budget, and invested in science and technology and educating the American public in creativity and critical thinking. Late in the Clinton administration we even had a slight budget surplus.

And then Bush pissed it all away. He actually borrowed a lot of the money for his wars, so you and I had to pay interest on their costs. It was sort of like being forced to buy a burned out building and pay interest on the mortgage for the rest of your life. Then he had the bright idea to lift financial regulation, allowing banks and even General Motors (?) to wrap up bad mortgages into securities and sell them like pigs in a poke to unsuspecting investors until that little ponzi scheme collapsed big time.

— source | Juan Cole | May 11, 2020

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Sanctions on Iraq kill 200 children every day

Last August, the defence minister John Spellar described the no-fly zones over Iraq as “international zones, designed by the international community”. This is false.

Imposed and enforced only by the United States and Britain, these zones have never been ratified by the United Nations and have no basis in international law. The official reason for them is the protection of the Kurds in the north and Shi’a in the south from Saddam Hussein’s military. This, too, is false.

During the Gulf war, far from protecting Kurds and Shi’a, the American-led coalition slaughtered them. Most of Saddam’s conscript army were Shi’a and Kurds. Reporting from the carnage of the American “turkey shoot” on the Basra Road, Kate Adie noted that “those who fought and died for Iraq here turned out to be from the north of the country, from minority communities, persecuted by Saddam Hussein [such as] the Kurds”.

Two weeks later, in February 1991, the Shi’a in the south responded to George Bush’s call that they should rise up against Saddam Hussein. The rebels soon controlled most of the

— source | john pilger | 6 Mar 2000

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Significant Bronze Age city discovered in Northern Iraq

Archeologists from the Institute for Ancient Near Eastern Studies (IANES) at the University of Tübingen have uncovered a large Bronze Age city not far from the town of Dohuk in northern Iraq. The excavation work has demonstrated that the settlement, which is now home to the small Kurdish village of Bassetki in the Autonomous Region of Kurdistan, was established in about 3000 BC and was able to flourish for more than 1200 years. The archeologists also discovered settlement layers dating from the Akkadian Empire period (2340-2200 BC), which is regarded as the first world empire in human history.

Scientists headed by Professor Peter Pfälzner from the University of Tübingen and Dr. Hasan Qasim from the Directorate of Antiquities in Dohuk conducted the excavation work in Bassetki between August and October 2016. As a result, they were able to preempt the construction work on a highway on this land. The former significance of the settlement can be seen from the finds discovered during the excavation work. The city already had a wall running around the upper part of the town from approx. 2700 BC onwards in order to protect

— source University of Tübingen | Nov 4, 2016

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Colin Powell said Iraq was not a threat

Writing in the Daily Mirror, John Pilger reveals that both US Secretary of State Colin Powell and Bush’s closest adviser Condaleeza Rice said, in 2001, that Saddam Hussein was effectively disarmed and no threat – putting the lie to their own propaganda.

Exactly one year ago, Tony Blair told Parliament: “Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction programme is active, detailed and growing.

“The policy of containment is not working. The weapons of mass destruction programme is not shut down. It is up and running now.”

Not only was every word of this false, it was part of a big lie invented in Washington within hours of the attacks of September 11 2001 and used to hoodwink the American public and distract the media from the real reason for attacking Iraq. “It was 95 per cent charade,” a former senior CIA analyst told me.

An investigation of files and archive film for my TV documentary Breaking The Silence, together with interviews with former intelligence officers and senior Bush officials have

— source | john pilger | 22 Sep 2003

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America’s Afghan War Is Over, So What About Iraq – and Iran?

At Bagram air-base, Afghan scrap merchants are already picking through the graveyard of U.S. military equipment that was until recently the headquarters of America’s 20-year occupation of their country. Afghan officials say the last U.S. forces slipped away from Bagram in the dead of night, without notice or coordination.

The Taliban are rapidly expanding their control over hundreds of districts, usually through negotiations between local elders, but also by force when troops loyal to the Kabul government refuse to give up their outposts and weapons.

A few weeks ago, the Taliban controlled a quarter of the country. Now it’s a third. They are taking control of border posts and large swathes of territory in the north of the country. These include areas that were once strongholds of the Northern Alliance, a militia that prevented the Taliban from unifying the country under their rule in the late 1990s.

People of good will all over the world hope for a peaceful future for the people of Afghanistan, but the only legitimate role the United States can play there now is to pay reparations, in whatever form, for the damage it has done and the pain and deaths it has caused. Speculation in the U.S. political class and corporate media about how the U.S.

— source | Medea Benjamin | Jul 13, 2021

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The Crimes of Donald Rumsfeld and a Reflection on the Iraq War

Donald Rumsfeld’s death is a good occasion to reflect on the Iraq War of which he was a major architect. The War was the highpoint of the U.S. pursuit of global hegemony. That means it’s been downhill since then. Its failures echo far beyond the calamity of the War itself. The collateral impacts—before, during, and after—have grievously damaged American interests and substantially diminished its power in the world. It’s the exact opposite of what was promised going in.

The War grew out of one fiscal problem and two strategic opportunities. The problem was that after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the U.S. didn’t have any meaningful military challengers. None. So, there was no rationale for the kind of military budgets the weapons makers had been accustomed to. People were demanding a “peace dividend.” It would never come.

— source | Robert Freeman | Jul 5, 2021

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