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Tutu:
The cost of the decision to rid Iraq of its by-all-accounts despotic and murderous leader has been staggering, beginning in Iraq itself.
Last year, an average of 6.5 people died there each day in suicide attacks and vehicle bombs.
Since 2003 millions have been displaced.
By the end of last year, nearly 4,500 American soldiers had been killed and more than 32,000 wounded.
It is not better in 2012
Tutu relies on the Iraqi Body Count project for statistics of deaths of Iraq people but this itself is one more propaganda tool of the West.
Close to a million people have been killed in Iraq due to Bush and Blair and the political parties in both countries who voted for such killing.
All have blood dripping from their bodies and their hearts and everything they are and stand for.
Kewe
Desmond Tutu calls for Blair and Bush
to be tried over Iraq
Destruction and Civilian Victims of the Anglo-American Aggression in Iraq
Instead of recognising that the world we lived in, with increasingly sophisticated communications, transportations and weapons systems necessitated sophisticated leadership that would bring the global family together, the then-leaders of the US and UK fabricated the grounds to behave like playground bullies and drive us further apart.
Over time I was increasingly shocked by the speed and ease with which many intelligent and seemingly competent members of the CFR [ Council on Foreign Relations ] appeared to eagerly justify policies and actions that supported growing corruption.
The regularity with which many CFR members would protect insiders from accountability regarding another appalling fraud surprised even me.
Many of them seemed delighted with the advantages of being an insider while being entirely indifferent to the extraordinary cost to all citizens of having our lives, health and resources drained to increase insider wealth in a manner that violated the most basic principles of fiduciary obligation and respect for the law.
In short, the CFR was operating in a win-lose economic paradigm that centralized economic and political power.
I was trying to find a way for us to shift to a win-win economic paradigm that was — by its nature — decentralizing.
Catherine Austin Fitts — Dillon Reid and Co. Inc.
And the Aristocracy of Stock Profits
Dead babies due to US and UK Bombing of Iraq 2003
There are images on this page that are disturbing to the emotions and for some may make physically sick
“Saddam Hussein's regime is despicable, he is developing weapons of mass destruction, and we cannot leave him doing so unchecked.
"He is a threat to his own people and to the region and, if allowed to develop these weapons, a threat to us also.
"Doing nothing is not an option ... Our way of proceeding should be and will be measured, calm and thought through.”
Blair — House of Commons
10 April 2002
http://dahrjamailiraq.com/
A wounded four year-old Iraqi child lies in a hospital bed next to his sister after they were both injured in a suicide attack in Baghdad, January 4, 2005.
 

Are some of us waking up!!!
Wednesday, 2 April, 2003
Is Blair a neo-Conservative?
Mark Mardell
By Adam Brookes
BBC chief political correspondent
Tony Blair and George Bush at Camp David
Tony Blair's influence on George Bush has been 'huge'
At the recent Camp David summit between Tony Blair and President Bush, the news conference was packed and the overflow press corps listened from a big room, British and Europeans separated from their American colleagues by a thin partition.
The Americans shuffled with outraged incomprehension as the Brits howled with laughter at President Bush's verbal infelicities.
British ministers loyal to Tony Blair say it's this sort of snobbishness that has made it so difficult for the prime minister to gather support for war in his country and in his party.
They fulminate that something doesn't automatically become wrong because President Bush supports it.
But how much is this coincidence of interest and how much is it an agreement?
After the war is over Tony Blair will be judged by the country on its success or failure.
But he may be judged by his party and his closest colleagues on the peace.
On what comes next.
On his motives.
The question they might ask is "Is Blair really a neo-conservative?"
What's neo-Conservative other than a fancy name for New Tory?
John Rogers
It is the neo-conservatives in President Bush's cabinet, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, who have long argued for this war.
'21st Century Nationalists'?
In 1997 they, along with Jeb Bush, Paul Wolfowitz and Dan Quayle, signed the founding document for the neo-conservative "Project for the New American Century".
They argued that America has to re-discover its "military strength and moral clarity" and needed to "challenge regimes hostile to our interest and values".
They had to wait, but they've got their way.
George Bush with his brother Jeb
Jeb Bush signed founding document for a neo-conservative project
For a couple of weeks I've been trying to find out, without success, why the neo-conservatives are so labelled.
There's not much "neo" about them.
Better names might be "Pre-emptive Pragmatists", "Armed Might Paternalists" or perhaps "Imperialist Aggressors".  Ha ha.  Only joking.
They are at any rate full blooded 21st Century Nationalists.  They believe that "American leadership is good for America and good for the world".
'High passion'
They think that American defence spending is too low, and that as the only super power America must remain militarily unchallenged.
In the heyday of the British Empire the navy had a formula that it must remain larger than the next two forces combined.
Some neo-cons have updated the doctrine to suggest that the US has the right to pre-emptively deal with any state that has the temerity to come close.
Donald Rumsfeld
Rumsfeld has long argued for taking on Iraq
Tony Blair hasn't explicitly endorsed this view of the world.  But he's come close.  He's shown plenty of passion over this war.
But the three moments of highest passion I've seen recently were off the cuff, in defence of America's leading role in the world.
Mr Blair argues that America is a force for good in the world and seems terrified of a "bipolar world" — code for other Western powers, with similar values arguing a different case to the US administration.
'Muscular optimism'
There is one way in which the neo-cons are hugely different to previous nationalists.  They insist America's mission is to bring democracy to the world.
True, they don't spend their time organising worthy summer schools for opposition politicians in emerging democracies.
I hunt in vain for an earnest neo-con pamphlet debating whether first past the post or proportional representation would be better for a Democratic Iraq.
UN Security Council
Europeans and Americans take different stance on UN
Their commitment to democracy is, shall we say, a muscular optimism: states that oppose their values should be "challenged".
Shake the kaleidoscope vigorously enough and a more pleasing pattern will emerge.
Tony Blair has been an explicit champion of this rather unconservative view that the day of the sacrosanct nation state is over.
We have the right to interfere to prevent genocide, massacre, and on occasions, general bad behaviour.
He argues forcefully that unruly dictatorships and countries on the edge of chaos are the biggest threat to the world.
Broad alliance
The best guarantor of safety for the West is the spread of democratic states.
But the second best is military force to remove the cause of instability and impose stability.
But there's one gaping hole in my argument.
Surely, where Tony Blair and the neo-cons part company is their distain for international institutions, whether it's the UN or the International Court, and his belief in the importance of America working with the rest of the world?
But this is a caricature of their true position.
Neo-cons are anything but stupid.
They want as broad alliances as possible; they just don't want the will of America to be ultimately stopped or contained by such organisations.
Blair may not really be a neo-con ... but you know the old saying 'if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck'
An important article by the leading neo-con Robert Kagan, written while Tony Blair was trying to get a second resolution, argued forcefully that even American multilateralists were unilateralists at heart.
It said of Europeans: "They have this idea that the UN Security Council is the only world body legally empowered to decide whether Iraq is to be invaded", whereas nearly all Americans believe of the UN: 'If it makes the right recommendation it strengthens your case. If not you can always ignore it.'"
There seems little doubt which side of this argument Mr Blair has come down on.
Downing Street has long argued that Tony Blair's influence on President Bush has been huge, delaying on Afghanistan for a UN mandate, trying to do the same for Iraq.
Building bridges
But at least one book detailing the course of the Afghan Conflict, "Bush at War" by Bob Woodward, shows the US War Cabinet waiting and waiting ... not for the UN ... but for the military to get their act together.
When they had, they went in.  I suspect the Iraq campaign was not much different.
The next test is of course who runs Iraq after Saddam: the UN or the Americans.
But a much bigger test is what follows on the international stage.
Neo-cons see Iraq as a stepping stone to "confronting" other miscreant states.
The Foreign Office scoff at the idea Iran could be in Blair's sights.
They argue Britain has quite deliberately bucked the American line and is in the business of building bridges, not dropping bombs.
Different perspective
The same is true of Syria, they say.
And North Korea must have a diplomatic solution.
But in public at least Tony Blair has not moved one inch from his contention that rogue states, and those with illegal weapons of mass destruction must be dealt with.
So is Blair a neo-con?
Well not really, he comes from a different perspective and different tradition.
At the end of last year I was convinced by the notion that Blair was caught in a paradox: he believed in a new world order of democratic and liberal values, backed by the international rule of law, enforced by the only power capable of playing global policeman.
The paradox was that the policeman often had to be cajoled to play within the rules.
Now I'm not so sure. 
Blair may not really be a neo-con ... but you know the old saying "if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck"...
It may be an image that goes down better in Middle America than with Labour's grassroots, but if the war goes wrong there are plenty of Labour MPs polishing their 12 bores and hoping feathers will fly.
Watches U.N. weapons inspectors leave airport in Baghdad, March 18, 2003
Wednesday, 4 June, 2003
Blair under fire over weapons claims
Tony Blair in the Commons
Blair says the charges are totally untrue
Tony Blair has again insisted intelligence documents on Iraq's weapons programmes were not changed on the orders of Downing Street to strengthen the case for war.
Announcing that Parliament's all-party intelligence and security committee would be conducting an inquiry into the row, the prime minister said the allegations were "completely and totally untrue".
Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith said the credibility of the government was now at stake in the row.
But a Liberal Democrat motion, backed by the Tories, calling for an independent judicial inquiry, was defeated by 301 votes to 203 on a government majority of 98.
The vote, which saw just 11 Labour MPs rebel, came at the end of a debate about the Iraq intelligence.
Deceit'
During the debate, former cabinet minister Clare Short said her briefings from the security services made her believe the intelligence had been exaggerated.
"The fact there was deceit on the way to military action is a very grave accusation because if we can be deceived about this what can we not be deceived about," she said.
There have been uncorroborated briefings by a potentially rogue element
Dr John Reid
Leader of the Commons
Critics reportedly faced a showdown with John Prescott at the weekly meeting of Labour backbenchers.
"This is all about the integrity of the party — and the prime minister does not lie," Mr Prescott told them, according to London's Evening Standard newspaper.
In the Commons, Mr Blair backed a claim by cabinet minister John Reid that "rogue elements" in the intelligence services were briefing against the government.
But he said he was convinced that nobody from the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) — which briefs ministers on security matters — was involved.
Mr Blair said one claim being disputed — that Iraq could launch weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes of an order being given — was entirely the work of the JIC.
Blair says the charges are totally untrue
Blair says the charges are totally untrue
Launching a vigorous defence of the government's approach to Iraq, Mr Blair said work on finding the weapons was just beginning.
A newly expanded team of about 1,400 people from the US, UK and Australia was only now stepping up the search.
"I have absolutely no doubt at all that they will find the clearest possible evidence of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction," he said.
'Credibility at risk'
Mr Blair urged MPs to remember that as well as the weapons issue "the people of Iraq are delighted that a brutal dictator that murdered hundreds of thousands of people is gone".
But he faced tough questioning from Mr Duncan Smith after Dr Reid's allegation that "rogue elements" were feeding journalists with false information about the government's approach to Iraq.
The Tory leader demanded to know who those "rogue elements" were.
"The whole credibility of his government rests on clearing up these charges," he said calling for an independent judicial inquiry.
"I simply say to the prime minister these allegations are not going to go away."
Robin Cook and Clare Short challenged the prime minister
Robin Cook and Clare Short challenged the prime minister
Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy said: "Who are the public to trust if the government are letting it be known that they can't wholeheartedly trust their own intelligence services?"
Former cabinet minister Robin Cook urged Mr Blair to acknowledge the government was mistaken in making the 45 minutes claim, and also the separate claim Iraq had tried to buy uranium from Africa.
Mr Cook later accused Dr Reid of "running around lighting bush fires" with his security services claims in the hope that attention would be diverted from the central charge.
'Skulduggery'
Earlier, Dr Reid told BBC Radio 4's Today programme it was a "disgrace" that the integrity of the leadership of the security services was being impugned by "obviously rogue isolated individuals".
He urged critics to "put up or shut up" in the light of "15 years of evidence" that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Blair says the charges are totally untrue
Two Committees
Intelligence and security committee is appointed by and reports to the prime minister, although it prides itself on its independence.  It meets behind closed doors.
Foreign affairs committee is a cross-party select committee and meets in public.

MPs on the influential foreign affairs select committee are set to investigate the way the government presented intelligence information over Iraq's weapons.
The Intelligence and Security Committee inquiry will take place behind closed doors.
But the prime minister said its report would be published and his spokesman indicated that Mr Blair himself could give evidence to the inquiry.
Body of man carried away from blast scene that killed 135, injured more than 700, October 25, 2009
Monday, 2 June, 2003
In quotes: Blair and Iraq weapons
There are growing calls for an inquiry into the government's claims about Saddam Hussein's weapons programmes.
Ex-cabinet ministers Clare Short and Robin Cook have both argued evidence about Iraq's weapons was hyped up before the war.
So what claims did the prime minister make about Saddam's weapons?  Here are some of his key quotes.


10 April 2002
"Saddam Hussein's regime is despicable, he is developing weapons of mass destruction, and we cannot leave him doing so unchecked.
"He is a threat to his own people and to the region and, if allowed to develop these weapons, a threat to us also.
"Doing nothing is not an option ... Our way of proceeding should be and will be measured, calm and thought through."
House of Commons


24 September 2002
"(Saddam'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....
"The intelligence picture (the intelligence services) paint is one accumulated over the past four years.  It is extensive, detailed and authoritative.
"It concludes that Iraq has chemical and biological weapons, that Saddam has continued to produce them, that he has existing and active military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, which could be activated within 45 minutes, including against his own Shia population; and that he is actively trying to acquire nuclear weapons capability....
"On chemical weapons, the dossier shows that Iraq continues to produce chemical agent for chemical weapons; has rebuilt previously destroyed production plants across Iraq; has bought dual-use chemical facilities; has retained the key personnel formerly engaged in the chemical weapons programme; and has a serious ongoing research programme into weapons production, all of it well funded..."
House of Commons


25 February 2003
"The intelligence is clear: (Saddam) continues to believe his WMD programme is essential both for internal repression and for external aggression.
"It is essential to his regional power.  Prior to the inspectors coming back in he was engaged in a systematic exercise in concealment of the weapons.
"The biological agents we believe Iraq can produce include anthrax, botulinum, toxin, aflatoxin and ricin.  All eventually result in excruciatingly painful death."
House of Commons


11 March 2003
"We have 300,000 troops down there now sitting on his doorstep.  You've got the UN inspectors in.  It's unlikely at this very moment in time as we speak that Saddam is going to do anything; that's true.
"But what happened before when he was first given the opportunity to disarm completely was in April 1991 and he was given 15 days then to come forward with an honest declaration of what he had...
"If we don't act now, then we will go back to what has happened before and then of course the whole thing begins again and he carries on developing these weapons and these are dangerous weapons, particularly if they fall into the hands of terrorists who we know want to use these weapons if they can get them."
MTV debate


25 February 2003
"We are asked now seriously to accept that in the last few years-contrary to all history, contrary to all intelligence-Saddam decided unilaterally to destroy those weapons.  I say that such a claim is palpably absurd."
House of Commons

The Sunday Times — Britain
May 01, 2005
Blair planned Iraq war from start
Michael Smith
Sub-commander, Sozdar Serbiliz
PKK
Northern Iraq's Kurdish autonomous region
INSIDE Downing Street Tony Blair had gathered some of his senior ministers and advisers for a pivotal meeting in the build-up to the Iraq war.
It was 9am on July 23, 2002, eight months before the invasion began and long before the public was told war was inevitable.  
The discussion that morning was highly confidential.
As minutes of the proceedings, headed “Secret and strictly personal — UK eyes only”, state: “This record is extremely sensitive.   No further copies should be made.   It should be shown only to those with a genuine need to know its contents.”
In the room were the prime minister, Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, Geoff Hoon, the defence secretary, Lord Goldsmith, the attorney-general, and military and intelligence chiefs.
Also listed on the minutes are Alastair Campbell, then Blair’s director of strategy, Jonathan Powell, his chief of staff, and Sally Morgan, director of government relations.  
What they were about to discuss would dominate the political agenda for years to come and indelibly stain Blair’s reputation; and last week the issue exploded again on the political scene as Blair campaigned in the hope of winning a third term as prime minister.
For the secret documents — seen by The Sunday Times — reveal that on that Tuesday in 2002:
  • Blair was right from the outset committed to supporting US plans for “regime change” in Iraq.  
  • War was already “seen as inevitable”.  
  • The attorney-general was already warning of grave doubts about its legality.  
    Straw even said the case for war was “thin”.   So Blair and his inner circle set about devising a plan to justify invasion.  
    “If the political context were right,” said Blair, “people would support regime change.”
    Straightforward regime change, though, was illegal.   They needed another reason.
  • By the end of the meeting, a possible path to invasion was agreed and it was noted that Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, chief of the defence staff, “would send the prime minister full details of the proposed military campaign and possible UK contributions by the end of the week”.  
    Outside Downing Street, the rest of Britain, including most cabinet ministers, knew nothing of this.
    True, tensions were running high, and fears of terrorism were widespread.
    But Blair’s constant refrain was that “no decisions” had been taken about what to do with Iraq.  
    The following day in the House of Commons, Blair told MPs: “We have not got to the stage of military action .  .  .  we have not yet reached the point of decision.”
    It was typical lawyer’s cleverness, if not dissembling: while no actual order had been given to invade, Blair already knew Saddam Hussein was going to be removed, sooner or later.
    Plans were in motion.
    The justification would come later.  
    AS a civil service briefing paper specifically prepared for the July meeting reveals, Blair had made his fundamental decision on Saddam when he met President George W Bush in Crawford, Texas, in April 2002.  
    “When the prime minister discussed Iraq with President Bush at Crawford in April,” states the paper, “he said that the UK would support military action to bring about regime change.”
    Blair set certain conditions: that efforts were first made to try to eliminate Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) through weapons inspectors and to form a coalition and “shape” public opinion.
    But the bottom line was that he was signed up to ousting Saddam by force if other methods failed.
    The Americans just wanted to get rid of the brutal dictator, whether or not he posed an immediate threat.
    US occupying forces
    Al-Ramadi
    Iraq
    This presented a problem because, as the secret briefing paper made clear, there were no clear legal grounds for war.
    “US views of international law vary from that of the UK and the international community,” says the briefing paper.  
    “Regime change per se is not a proper basis for military action under international law.”
    To compound matters, the US was not a party to the International Criminal Court, while Britain was.
    The ICC, which came into force on 1 July, 2002, was set up to try international offences such as war crimes.
    Military plans were forging ahead in America but the British, despite Blair’s commitment, played down talk of war.
    In April, Straw told MPs that no decisions about military action “are likely to be made for some time”.
    That month Blair said in the Commons: “We will ensure the house is properly consulted.”
    On July 17 he told MPs: “As I say constantly, no decisions have yet been taken.”
    Six days later in Downing Street the man who opened the secret discussion of Blair’s war meeting was John Scarlett, chairman of the joint intelligence committee.
    A former MI6 officer, Scarlett had become a key member of Blair’s “sofa cabinet”.
    He came straight to the point — “Saddam’s regime was tough and based on extreme fear.
    The only way to overthrow it was likely to be by massive military action”.  
    Saddam was expecting an attack, said Scarlett, but was not convinced it would be “immediate or overwhelming”.
    His assessment reveals that the primary impetus to action over Iraq was not the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction — as Blair later told the country — but the desire to overthrow Saddam.   There was little talk of WMD at all.
    The next contributor to the meeting, according to the minutes, was “C”, as the chief of MI6 is traditionally known.
    Sir Richard Dearlove added nothing to what Scarlett had said about Iraq: his intelligence concerned his recent visit to Washington where he had held talks with George Tenet, director of the CIA.
    “Military action was now seen as inevitable,” said Dearlove.   “Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD.”
    The Americans had been trying to link Saddam to the 9/11 attacks; but the British knew the evidence was flimsy or non-existent.   Dearlove warned the meeting that “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy”.
    It was clear from Dearlove’s brief visit that the US administration’s attitude would compound the legal difficulties for Britain.   The US had no patience with the United Nations and little inclination to ensure an invasion was backed by the security council, he said.
    Nor did the Americans seem very interested in what might happen in the aftermath of military action.   Yet, as Boyce then reported, events were already moving swiftly.
    “CDS (chief of the defence staff) said that military planners would brief (Donald) Rumsfeld (US defence secretary) on 3 August and Bush on 4 August.”
    The US invasion plans centred around two options.   One was a full-blown reprise of the 1991 Gulf war, a steady and obvious build-up of troops over several months, followed by a large-scale invasion.
    Estonia
    The other was a “running start”.
    Seizing on an Iraqi casus belli, US and RAF patrols over the southern no-fly zone would knock out the Iraqi air defences.
    Allied special forces would then carry out a series of small-scale operations in tandem with the Iraqi opposition, with more forces joining the battle as they arrived, eventually toppling Saddam’s regime.
    The “running start” was, said Boyce, “a hazardous option”.
    In either case the US saw three options for British involvement.   The first allowed the use of the bases in Diego Garcia and Cyprus and three squadrons of special forces; the second added RAF aircraft and Royal Navy ships; the third threw in 40,000 ground troops “perhaps with a discrete role in northern Iraq entering from Turkey”.
    At the least the US saw the use of British bases as “critical”, which posed immediate legal problems.   And Hoon said the US had already begun “spikes of activity” to put pressure on the regime.
    AMID all this talk of military might and invasion plans, one awkward voice spoke up.   Straw warned that, though Bush had made up his mind on military action, the case for it was “thin”.   He was not thinking in purely legal terms.
    A few weeks later the government would paint Saddam as an imminent threat to the Middle East and the world.   But that morning in private Straw said: “Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran.”
    It was a key point.   If Saddam was not an immediate threat, could war be justified legally? The attorney-general made his position clear, telling the meeting that “the desire for regime change was not a legal base for military action”.
    Right from the outset, the minutes reveal, the government’s legal adviser had grave doubts about Blair’s plans; he would only finally conclude unequivocally that war was legal three days before the invasion, by which time tens of thousands of troops were already on the borders of Iraq.
    There were three possible legal bases for military action, said Goldsmith.   Self-defence, intervention to end an humanitarian crisis and a resolution from the UN Security Council.
    Neither of the first two options was a possibility with Iraq; it had to be a UN resolution.   But relying, as some hoped they could, on an existing UN resolution, would be “difficult”.
    Despite voicing concerns, Straw was not standing in the way of war.   It was he who suggested a solution: they should force Saddam into a corner where he would give them a clear reason for war.
    “We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors,” he said.
    If he refused, or the weapons inspectors found WMD, there would be good cause for war.   “This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force,” said Straw.
    From the minutes, it seems as if Blair seized on the idea as a way of reconciling the US drive towards invasion and Britain’s need for a legal excuse.
    “The prime minister said that it would make a big difference politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the UN inspectors,” record the minutes.   “Regime change and WMD were linked in the sense that it was the regime that was producing the WMD .  .  .  If the political context were right, people would support regime change.”
    Blair would subsequently portray the key issue to parliament and the people as the threat of WMD; and weeks later he would produce the now notorious “sexed up” dossier detailing Iraq’s suspected nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programmes.
    But in the meeting Blair said: “The two key issues are whether the military plan works and whether we have the political strategy to give the military plan the space to work.”
    Hoon said that if the prime minister wanted to send in the troops, he would have to decide early.   The defence chiefs were pressing to be allowed to buy large amounts of equipment as “urgent operational requirements”.   They had been prevented from preparing for war, partly by Blair’s insistence that there could be no publicly visible preparations that might inflame splits in his party, partly by the fact there was no authorisation to spend any money.
    The meeting concluded that they should plan for the UK taking part in any military action.   Boyce would send Blair full details; Blair would come back with a decision about money; and Straw would send Blair the background on the UN inspectors and “discreetly work up the ultimatum to Saddam”.
    The final note of the minutes, says: “We must not ignore the legal issues: the attorney-general would consider legal advice with (Foreign Office/Ministry of Defence) legal advisers.”
    It was a prophetic warning.
    Also seen by The Sunday Times is the Foreign Office opinion on the possible legal bases for war.
    Marked “Confidential”, it runs to eight pages and casts doubt on the possibility of reviving the authority to use force from earlier UN resolutions.
    “Reliance on it now would be unlikely to receive any support,” it says.
    Foreign Office lawyers were consistently doubtful of the legality of war and one deputy legal director, Elizabeth Wilmshurst, ultimately resigned because she believed the conflict was a “crime of aggression”.
    The Foreign Office briefing on the legal aspects was made available for the Downing Street meeting on July 23.
    Ten days ago, when Blair was interviewed by the BBC’s Jeremy Paxman, the prime minister was asked repeatedly whether he had seen that advice.
    “No,” said Blair.   “I had the attorney-general’s advice to guide me.”
    But as the July 23 documents show, the attorney-general’s view was, until the last minute, also riven with doubts.
    Three years on, it and the questionable legality of the war are still hanging round Blair’s neck like an albatross.
    Copyright 2006   Times Newspapers Ltd.
    U.S. troops backed by helicopters killed the man, injuring his wife
     US largest war funding request ever for 2008
    Weeps for father killed by the US
    U.S. troops backed by helicopters killed his father, injuring his mother
     US largest war funding request ever for 2008
     
    Published on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 by the Guardian (UK)
    This Is Our Guernica
    Ruined, cordoned Falluja is emerging as the decade's monument to brutality
    by Jonathan Steele and Dahr Jamail
    Robert Zoellick is the archetypal US government insider, a man with a brilliant technical mind but zero experience of any coalface or war front.
    Sliding effortlessly between ivy league academia, the US treasury and corporate boardrooms (including an advisory post with the scandalous Enron), his latest position is the number-two slot at the state department.
    Put the prime minister and the foreign secretary to shame
    Yet this ultimate "man of the suites" did something earlier this month that put the prime minister and the foreign secretary to shame.
    On their numerous visits to Iraq, neither has ever dared to go outside the heavily fortified green zones of Baghdad and Basra to see life as Iraqis have to live it.
    They come home after photo opportunities, briefings and pep talks with British troops and claim to know what is going on in the country they invaded, when in fact they have seen almost nothing.
    Zoellick, by contrast, on his first trip to Iraq, asked to see Falluja. Remember Falluja?
    A city of some 300,000, which was alleged to be the stronghold of armed resistance to the occupation.
    Two US attempts were made to destroy this symbol of defiance last year.
    The first, in April, fizzled out after Iraqi politicians, including many who supported the invasion of their country, condemned the use of air strikes to terrorise an entire city.
    The Americans called off the attack, but not before hundreds of families had fled and more than 600 people had been killed.
    Six months later the Americans tried again.
    This time Washington's allies had been talked to in advance.  Consistent US propaganda about the presence in Falluja of a top al-Qaida figure, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was used to create a climate of acquiescence in the US-appointed Iraqi government.
    Shia leaders were told that bringing Falluja under control was the only way to prevent a Sunni-inspired civil war.
    Blair sent British troops to block escape routes from Falluja
    Blair was invited to share responsibility by sending British troops to block escape routes from Falluja and prevent supplies entering once the siege began.
    Warnings of the onslaught prompted the vast majority of Falluja's 300,000 people to flee.
    The city was then declared a free-fire zone on the grounds that the only people left behind must be "terrorists".
    Three weeks after the attack was launched last November, the Americans claimed victory.
    They say they killed about 1,300 people; one week into the siege, a BBC reporter put the unofficial death toll at 2,000.
    But details of what happened and who the dead were remain obscure.
    Were many unarmed civilians, as Baghdad-based human rights groups report?
    Even if they were trying to defend their homes by fighting the Americans, does that make them "terrorists"?
    Journalists "embedded" with US forces filmed atrocities, including the killing of a wounded prisoner, but no reporter could get anything like a full picture.
    Since the siege ended, tight US restrictions - as well as the danger of hostage-taking that prevents reporters from travelling in most parts of Iraq - have put the devastated city virtually off limits.
    Blasted husks of buildings still line block after block
    In this context, Zoellick's trip, which was covered by a small group of US journalists, was illuminating.
    The deputy secretary of state had to travel to this "liberated" city in a Black Hawk helicopter flying low over palm trees to avoid being shot down. 
    He wore a flak jacket under his suit even though Falluja's streets were largely deserted.
    His convoy of eight armoured vehicles went "so quickly past an open-air bakery reopened with a US-provided micro-loan that workers tossing dough could be glanced only in the blink of an eye," as the Washington Post reported.
    "Blasted husks of buildings still line block after block," the journalist added.
    Meeting hand-picked Iraqis in a US base, Zoellick was bombarded with complaints about the pace of US reconstruction aid and frequent intimidation of citizens by American soldiers.
    Although a state department factsheet claimed 95% of residents had water in their homes, Falluja's mayor said it was contaminated by sewage and unsafe.
    Other glimpses of life in Falluja come from Dr Hafid al-Dulaimi, head of the city's compensation commission, who reports that 36,000 homes were destroyed in the US onslaught, along with 8,400 shops.
    Sixty nurseries and schools were ruined, along with 65 mosques and religious sanctuaries.
    Daud Salman, an Iraqi journalist with the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, on a visit to Falluja two weeks ago, found that only a quarter of the city's residents had gone back.
    Thousands remain in tents on the outskirts.
    The Iraqi Red Crescent finds it hard to go in to help the sick because of the US cordon around the city.
    Burhan Fasa'a, a cameraman for the Lebanese Broadcasting Company, reported during the siege that dead family members were buried in their gardens because people could not leave their homes.
    Refugees told one of us that civilians carrying white flags were gunned down by American soldiers.
    Corpses were tied to US tanks and paraded around like trophies.
    Justin Alexander, a volunteer for Christian Peacemaker Teams, recently found hundreds living in tents in the grounds of their homes, or in a single patched-up room.
    A strict system of identity cards blocks access to anyone whose papers give a birthplace outside Falluja, so long-term residents born elsewhere cannot go home.
    "Fallujans feel the remnants of their city have been turned into a giant prison," he reports.
    Many complain that soldiers of the Iraqi national guard, the fledgling new army, loot shops during the night-time curfew and detain people in order to take a bribe for their release.
    They are suspected of being members of the Badr Brigade, a Shia militia that wants revenge against Sunnis.
    One thing is certain:  the attack on Falluja has done nothing to still the insurgency against the US-British occupation nor produced the death of al-Zarqawi - any more than the invasion of Afghanistan achieved the capture or death of Osama bin Laden.
    Thousands of bereaved and homeless Falluja families have a new reason to hate the US and its allies.
    Tour the city that Britain had a share in destroying
    At least Zoellick went to see.
    He gave no hint of the impression that the trip left him with, but is too smart not to have understood something of the reality.
    The lesson ought not to be lost on Blair and Straw.
    Every time the prime minister claims it is time to "move on" from the issue of the war's legality and rejoice at Iraq's transformation since Saddam Hussein was toppled, the answer must be:  "Remember Falluja."
    When the foreign secretary next visits Iraq, he should put on a flak jacket and tour the city that Britain had a share in destroying.
    The government keeps hoping Iraq will go away as an election issue.
    It stubbornly refuses to do so.
    Voters are not only angry that the war was illegal, illegitimate and unnecessary.
    The treatment inflicted on Iraqis since the invasion by the US and Britain is equally important.
    In the 1930s the Spanish city of Guernica became a symbol of wanton murder and destruction.
    In the 1990s Grozny was cruelly flattened by the Russians; it still lies in ruins.
    This decade's unforgettable monument to brutality and overkill is Falluja, a text-book case of how not to handle an insurgency, and a reminder that unpopular occupations will always degenerate into desperation and atrocity.
    Jonathan Steele is the Guardian's senior foreign correspondent; Dahr Jamail is a freelance American journalist.
    © 2005 Guardian Newspapers, Ltd.
    Common Dreams © 1997-2005
    April 15, 2005
    Fallujah: Dresden in Iraq
    Although studiously ignored by the mainstream news media, last month came reports that the U.S. used napalm and chemical weapons in its assault upon the city of Fallujah.
    The assault of November 2004 resulted in the near-total destruction of the city, as well as the deaths of thousands of non-insurgent Iraqi civilians.
    If the reports about napalm and chemical weapons are true, not only would the U.S. be in violation of international law, it would be guilty of the very crimes against humanity that it previously leveled against Saddam Hussein and used as a justification for invading Iraq.
    Reportedly, Dr. Khalid ash-Shaykhli of the Iraq Ministry of Health held a press conference last month and charged the U.S. with using napalm, mustard gas, and nerve gas when it attacked Fallujah in November 2004.
    Dr. ash-Shaykhli described "melted" bodies and fires that could not be put out with water.
    Similarly, Dr. ash-Shaykhli described entire sections of the city where nothing, neither cats nor dogs nor birds, was left alive, suggesting the use of chemical weapons.
    Promptly, the United States denied Dr. ash-Shaykhli’s allegations about mustard and nerve gasses.
    The U.S. even went so far as to deny the very existence of Dr. ash-Shaykhli or that anyone by that name ever worked for Iraq’s Ministry of Health.
    According to the U.S., the false story about the U.S. military’s use of chemical and nerve gasses in Fallujah was invented by a web site pretending to be that of the Qatari television network Al Jazeera.
    Unfortunately, the U.S. denial of wrongdoing in Fallujah cannot withstand scrutiny.
    For example, while the U.S. is correct that a fake Al Jazeera ("aljazeera.com") published a story about U.S. atrocities in Fallujah, the U.S. glosses over the fact that the real Al Jazeera ("aljazeera.net") published a similar story.
    On March 17, 2005, the real Al Jazeera reported on the wholesale killings of civilians by U.S. forces in Fallujah, including through the use of napalm.
    In that story, the real Al Jazeera provided eyewitness accounts of U.S. forces killing entire families, including women and children.
    Likewise, the real Al Jazeera reported that the U.S. raided the only hospital in Fallujah at the beginning of the assault in order to prevent reports of civilian casualties.
    The U.S. has yet to attempt to discredit the story published by the real Al Jazeera.
    Furthermore, U.S. denials about using prohibited weapons in Fallujah, particularly napalm, lack credibility inasmuch as the U.S. was forced to retract previous denials of similar accusations.
    On March 22, 2003, following the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that U.S. forces had used napalm.
    Noting that napalm had been banned by a United Nations convention in 1980 (a convention never signed by the U.S.), U.S. military spokesmen denied using napalm in Iraq.
    On August 5, 2003, however, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that U.S. officials confirmed using "napalm-like" weapons in Iraq between March and April 2003.
    In a feat of semantic hair-splitting of which Bill Clinton would have been proud, the U.S. claimed the incendiaries used in Iraq contained less benzene than the internationally-banned napalm and, therefore, were "firebombs" and not napalm.
    According to U.S. officials, had reporters asked about firebombs in March of 2003, the U.S. would have confirmed their use.
    Nonetheless, the U.S. was forced to concede that regardless of the technicalities, the napalm-like weapons were functionally equivalent to napalm.
    In fact, the difference between napalm and firebombs is so minute that U.S. forces still refer to the weapons as napalm.
    With that kind of track-record, it is difficult to swallow the recent denials by the U.S. that it used napalm or any other banned weapons in Fallujah.
    Such denials are even less convincing when contrasted with eye-witness reports of what happened in Fallujah.
    There are, first of all, the findings by Dr. Khalid ash-Shaykhil of Iraq’s Ministry of Health that U.S. forces used napalm and chemical weapons in Fallujah.
    However, even taking as true the U.S. claim that Dr. ash-Shaykhli never existed, much less worked for Iraq’s Ministry of Health, he is not the only individual to claim that the U.S. used banned weapons in Fallujah.
    For instance, on November 10, 2004, the San Francisco Chronicle quoted Kamal Hadeethi, a physician from a hospital near Fallujah, as saying, "The corpses of the mujahedeen which we received were burned, and some corpses were melted."
    When he spoke from Baghdad on November 29, 2004 with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!, American journalist Dahr Jamail recounted stories told to him by refugees from Fallujah.
    According to Jamail, the refugees described bombs which covered entire areas with fire that could not be extinguished with water and which burned bodies beyond recognition.
    Likewise, in a November 26, 2004 story for the Inter Press Service (http://ipsnews.net/new_nota.asp?idnews=26440 ), Jamail reported eye-witness accounts of U.S. forces using chemical weapons and napalm in Fallujah.
    Later, in a January 18, 2005 report for Electronic Iraq, Jamail reported eye-witness accounts of U.S. forces using bulldozers and dump-trucks to remove tons of soil from various sections of Fallujah.
    Eye-witnesses also described U.S. forces using water tankers to "power wash" some of the streets in Fallujah.
    It does not take a conspiracy-theorist to conclude that U.S. forces wanted to "decontaminate" the city and remove evidence of chemical weapons.
    On November 29, 2004, Al Jazeera TV (the real Al Jazeera) interviewed Dr. Ibrahim al-Kubaysi in Baghdad after his medical delegation was denied access to Fallujah.
    In that interview, Dr. al-Kubaysi recounted eye-witness descriptions of blackened corpses and corpses without bullet holes strewn throughout the streets of Fallujah.
    On February 26, 2005, the German newspaper Junge Welt published an interview with Dr. Mohammad J. Haded, a member of the medical staff of the Central Hospital of Fallujah, and Mohammad F. Awad, a member of the Iraqi Red Crescent Society who helped gather corpses in Fallujah for identification.
    In that interview, Dr. Haded described Fallujah as "Dresden in Iraq" and Awad recounted the "remarkable number of dead people [who] were totally charred."
    Dr. Haded also described how U.S. forces "wiped out" the hospital in Fallujah, attacked rescue vehicles, and destroyed a makeshift field hospital.
    American documentary-maker Mark Manning made similar observations:
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article8353.htm
    while in Fallujah, as reported in the March 17, 2005 edition of the Santa Barbara Independent.
    Manning visited Fallujah in January 2005 and interviewed Iraqi physicians who told him that the first target of U.S. forces in the November 2004 assault on Fallujah was the hospital and that ambulances were fair-game.
    Iraqi physicians told Manning they were certain chemical weapons had been used in Fallujah "because they handled many dead bodies bearing no evident sign of trauma."
    As for the use of napalm by U.S. forces, Manning returned home from Fallujah with photographs of charred corpses "whose clothes had been melted into their skin."
    Michele Naar-Obed, of the Chicago-based Christian Peacemaker Team, also visited Fallujah in early 2005.
    Naar-Obed described her trip in the March 13, 2005 edition of the Duluth News Tribune of Minnesota.
    As with Manning, Naar-Obed described Iraqi physicians who were convinced that chemical weapons and napalm were used by U.S. forces in Fallujah.
    According to Naar-Obed ( http://www.antiwar.com/blog/index.php?id=P1916 ), U.N. representatives confirmed to her reports of execution-style killings of handcuffed and blindfolded Iraqis, as well as reports of bodies that were burned and horribly disfigured.
    Finally, on March 21, 2005, the Commission for the Compensation of Fallujah Citizens, established by the Iraqi transitional government, reported that approximately 100,000 wild and domesticated animals were found dead in Fallujah, killed by chemical or gaseous munitions ( http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m10580 ).
    An estimated 600 non-insurgent civilians died in the U.S. assaults upon Fallujah.
    Over half of them were women and children.
    According to an April 4, 2005 report by IRIN ( http://www.irinnews.org/print.asp?ReportID=46441 ), a U.N. humanitarian information unit, as many as 70 percent of all structures were destroyed or rendered uninhabitable.
    There is similarly no water, electricity, or sewage treatment in Fallujah.
    Not surprisingly, a mission that was meant to pacify an insurgent stronghold ended up breeding anti-American hatred among Fallujah’s survivors and their sympathizers.
    U.S. denials of wrongdoing notwithstanding, there are numerous independent sources making similar reports about U.S. forces employing banned weapons in Fallujah, as well as targeting hospitals and civilians.
    In the face of such independent and corroborating reports, it is hard to escape the sickening conclusion that the U.S. violated international law and committed war crimes in its assaults upon Fallujah.
    In doing so, the U.S. became the evil the Bush administration has vowed to eradicate.
    Suddenly, the Bush administration’s open hostility toward the International Criminal Court in particular, and international law in general, makes a whole lot more sense.
    Ken Sanders is a writer based in Tucson, Arizona. Visit his weblog at: www.politicsofdissent.blogspot.com/.
    Reported 5th March 2005
    U.S. Used Mustard gas, Nerve gas, and Burning Chemicals on Iraqis in Fallujah
    U.S. used banned weapons in Fallujah — Health ministry
    An official in Iraq’s health ministry said that the U.S. used banned weapons in Fallujah
    Dr. Khalid ash-Shaykhli, an official at Iraq’s health ministry, said that the U.S. military used internationally banned weapons during its deadly offensive in the city of Fallujah.
    Dr. ash-Shaykhli was assigned by the ministry to assess the health conditions in Fallujah following the November assault there.
    He said that researches, prepared by his medical team, prove that U.S. occupation forces used internationally prohibited substances, including mustard gas, nerve gas, and other burning chemicals in their attacks in the war-torn city.
    The health official announced his findings at a news conference in the health ministry building in Baghdad.
    The press conference was attended by more than 20 Iraqi and foreign media networks, including the Iraqi ash-Sharqiyah TV network, the Iraqi as-Sabah newspaper, the U.S. Washington Post and the Knight-Ridder service.
    Dr. ash-Shaykhli started the conference by reporting the current health conditions of the Fallujah residents. He said that the city is still suffering from the effects of chemical substances and other types of weapons that cause serious diseases over the long term.
    Asked whether limited nuclear weapons were also used by U.S. forces in Fallujah, Dr. ash-Shaykhli said; “What I saw during our research in Fallujah leads me to me believe everything that has been said about that battle.
    “I absolutely do not exclude their use of nuclear and chemical substances, since all forms of nature were wiped out in that city. I can even say that we found dozens, if not hundreds, of stray dogs, cats, and birds that had perished as a result of those gasses.”
    Dr. ash-Shaykhli promised to send the findings of the researches to responsible bodies inside Iraq and abroad.
    Fallujah residents said napalm gas was used
    During the U.S. offensive, Fallujah residents reported that they saw “melted” bodies in the city, which suggests that U.S. forces used napalm gas, a poisonous cocktail of polystyrene and jet fuel that makes the human body melt.
    In November, Labour MPs in the UK demanded Prime Minister Tony Blair to confront the Commons over the use of napalm gas in Fallujah.
    Furious critics have also demanded that Blair threatens the U.S. to pullout British forces from Iraq unless the U.S. stops using the world’s deadliest weapon.
    The United Nations banned the use of the napalm gas against civilians in 1980 after pictures of a naked wounded girl in Vietnam shocked the world.
    The United States, which didn’t endorse the convention, is the only nation in the world still using the deadly weapon.
    “Saddam Hussein's regime is despicable, he is developing weapons of mass destruction, and we cannot leave him doing so unchecked.
    "He is a threat to his own people and to the region and, if allowed to develop these weapons, a threat to us also.
    "Doing nothing is not an option ... Our way of proceeding should be and will be measured, calm and thought through.”
    Blair — House of Commons
    10 April 2002
    http://dahrjamailiraq.com/
    A wounded four year-old Iraqi child lies in a hospital bed next to his sister after they were both injured in a suicide attack in Baghdad, January 4, 2005.
    US destroyed Fallujah as it tries to destroy the rest of Iraq
    Published on Monday, July 4, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
    by Sheldon Drobny
    Justice O'Connor's decision in Bush v. Gore led to the current Bush administration's execution of war crimes and atrocities in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other places in the Middle East that are as egregious as those committed by the Third Reich and other evil governments in human history.
    The lesson is clear.
    Those people who may be honorable and distinguished in their chosen profession should always make decisions based upon good rather than evil no matter where their nominal allegiances may rest.
    Justice O'Connor was quoted to have said something to the affect that she abhorred the thought of Bush losing the 2000 election to Gore.
    She was known to have wanted to retire after the 2000 election for same reason she is now retiring.
    She wanted to spend more time with her sick husband.
    Unfortunately, she tarnished her distinguished career with the deciding vote in Bush v. Gore by going along with the partisan majority of the Court to interfere with a democratic election that she and the majority feared would be lost in an honest recount.
    She dishonored herself and the Supreme Court by succumbing to party allegiances and not The Constitution to which she swore to uphold.
    And the constitutional argument she and the majority used to justify their decision was the Equal Protection Clause.
    The Equal Protection Clause was the ultimate basis for the decision, but the majority essentially admitted (what was obvious in any event) that it was not basing its conclusion on any general view of what equal protection requires.
    The decision in Bush v Gore was not dictated by the law in any sense—either the law found through research, or the law as reflected in the kind of intuitive sense that comes from immersion in the legal culture.
    The Equal Protection clause is generally used in matters concerning civil rights.
    The majority ignored their basic conservative views supporting federalism and states' rights in order to justify their decision.
    History will haunt these justices down for their utter lack of justice and the hypocrisy associated with this decision.
    Sheldon Drobny is Co-founder of Air America Radio.
    Unspeakable grief and horror
                            ...and the circus of deception continues...
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    He says, "You are quite mad, Kewe"
    And of course I am.
    Why, I don't believe any of it — not the bloody body, not the bloody mind, not even the bloody Universe, or is it bloody multiverse.
    "It's all illusion," I say.   "Don't you know, my lad, my lassie.   The game!   The game, me girl, me boy!   Takes on interest, don't you know.   T'is me sport, till doest find a better!"
    Pssssst — but all this stuff is happening down here
    Let's change it!
    To say hello:     hello[the at marker]Kewe.info
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    Mother her two babies killed by US
    More than Fifteen million
    US dollars given by US taxpayers to Israel each day for their military use
    4 billion US dollars per year
    Nanci Pelosi — U.S. House Democratic leader — Congresswoman California, 8th District
    Speaking at the AIPAC agenda   May 26, 2005
    There are those who contend that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is all about Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.   This is absolute nonsense.
    In truth, the history of the conflict is not over occupation, and never has been:  it is over the fundamental right of Israel to exist.
    The greatest threat to Israel's right to exist, with the prospect of devastating violence, now comes from Iran.
    For too long, leaders of both political parties in the United States have not done nearly enough to confront the Russians and the Chinese, who have supplied Iran as it has plowed ahead with its nuclear and missile technology....
    In the words of Isaiah, we will make ourselves to Israel 'as hiding places from the winds and shelters from the tempests; as rivers of water in dry places; as shadows of a great rock in a weary land.'
    Pelosi
     
     
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           Photos of Afghanistan people being killed and injured by NATO      

     
     
     
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